In August, members of Vinyl Me, Please Rap & Hip Hop will receive an exclusive reissue of Hud Dreems, the seminal instrumental hip-hop and Stones Throw release from legendary producer Knxwledge. This new edition comes with an alternate cover colorway, and comes on black smoke marbled vinyl. Read our rare Q&A with Knxwledge here, and sign up to receive it here.
Andrew Winistorfer: Alex [Berenson], our Head of A&R, and I were talking, and she was like, “What hip-hop record should we do later this summer?” I started thinking about how we did that Madlib record as our fourth Rap & Hip-Hop release (420 Chalice All-Stars), and one of the things that I really love about the RHH subscription is that we’ve stretched the boundaries of what we consider a “hip-hop record.” There’s a version of the subscription that could exist where we just did ’90s New York rappity-rap rappers, but we obviously don’t do that: We’ve done Denzel Curry, Erykah Badu, Rico Nasty — we’ve also done Method Man, OutKast — we’re pretty open to what we’ll put out.
The fourth record in the subscription was that Madlib record, and I thought, “We haven’t done an instrumental one in almost two years at this point.” I actually opened up our list from a while back that’s The Best Instrumental Hip-Hop Albums To Own On Vinyl, and I remembered this Knxwledge record and was like, “Why don’t we do this?” It never came out on color, it’s this classic… sort of like the modern Donuts, in a way. To me, Hud Dreems is in the top-five of the best instrumental rap records: It covers so much ground, and it’s really inventive, and it’s not hemmed in by any boundaries. It’s a record where you can find different pockets that you really love; every time you listen to it, there’s a different section that I’m like, “No no, this is my favorite beat on this, or my favorite song.” Alex loves that record, too.
We have this long relationship with Stones Throw because we did Madvillainy in 2014, and they were pretty much immediately like, “We would love to work with you on this.” We’ve done a couple of classic rap records in a row, and I thought this was a real curveball to throw at people who’ve joined up for Camp Lo, or OutKast, or Method Man.
To our relationship with Stones Throw… we keep getting elusive people, so has it proved a difficult process to get all the particulars together when you’re dealing with someone of a DOOM caliber or a Knxwledge caliber? When they don’t even do press with people?
I think those artists are reclusive, and maybe less likely to say yes than a major label artist. In some ways, when you’re indie, you have more control over who reissues your record. I think DOOM trusts Stones Throw and Rhymesayers, and Knxwledge trusts Stones Throw, so when Stones Throw goes to Knxwledge and says, “Vinyl Me, Please wants to reissue your record, are you interested?” He says yes, because they say, “They’re really great people to work with, they care a lot about your record, and they’re giving it this spotlight feature.” We’re coming out for random records in history and being like, “We want to reissue this.” I think when the label’s as excited as we are, and have worked as closely with us as Stones Throw, those projects usually come together pretty easily.
So what’s up with this packaging?
We have this one on a black smoke marbled vinyl. We have an alternate color for the cover, it is a purple color instead of the OG red. The stencil for this one is really cool too: It’s the Knxwledge dog from some of his art. It comes in a gatefold tip-on style jacket as well.