Meet Blac Forest, Germany's Finest Producer of Houston Hip-Hop


"Ram and me are brothers from another mother," Blac Forest says. "I was one of the first supporters of Optimo Radio when he started with it, and he supported me also with rotation on his station. He helped me a lot gettin' verses from artists , hookin' me up with artists, helpin' me shop these beats around."

The producer's latest collaboration with Optimo Radio is H2G III, the third volume in Blac Forest's "Houston 2 Germany" mixtape series featuring verses by Lil' Keke, E.S.G., KB da Kidnappa and Kyle Hubbard. The languid beats crackle with the undeniable soul that's been the cultural bridge connecting Blac Forest with the Houston sound: it's not appropriation, it's participation.

"I think Houston got its very own lifestyle and also a very own style of music," the producer says. "A lot of records produced back then like Don ́t Mess Wit Texas by Keke or the DEA album had that chilled, laid-back, feelin'- good music. A lot of Rhodes, wavy synthesizers, and fat bass for the trunk. I think that was the reason I wanted to produce music with artists from Houston."

Blac Forest says that the German hip-hop scene doesn't quite know what to do with his swangin'-and-bangin' sound. If the history of local hip-hop's creeping influence is any indication, they'll probably come around eventually. In the meantime, Blac Forest is hard at work filling the demand for cold beats and gospel piano right here in his home far away from home.

After all, an addict will go to any lengths to get his fix.

"I just want to reach people with it," he says. "I guess it should be the goal of every artist to spread the love you got for what you're doing. I'm just keepin' on what I ́m doing good -- producing new music."


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