Denaun Porter instrumental hip-hop album inspired by jazz musician Robert Glasper.
Porter Chops Glasper is the first in a series of instrumental albums planned from Grammy Award-winning artist Denaun Porter, the producer working as “Mr. Porter” for the likes of hip-hop’s Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Busta Rhymes and Snoop Dogg, and worldwide icons like Burt Bacharach, Beyonce and Shakira.
The album is inspired by the music of fellow Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Robert Glasper. Porter explains, “Long story short, I am a fan of Robert Glasper. This project contains samples of music of his from the internet, official releases, and even live performances I saw on YouTube. Porter Chops is a representation of when, I feel, the business side of things interfere too much with my creative process.”
In other words, this project represents an emotional release for the Detroit bred admirer of the late J Dilla, who explains that the Detroit icon was most impressed when Porter, “too broke to buy all the records (Dilla) did, chopped up as many beats as I could make out of one.” He further explains: “The first time I got (Dilla’s) attention was because of the way I chopped a Minnie Ripperton sample. The sample was very familiar. It was actually the same sample that A Tribe Called Quest used for ‘Lyrics To Go’. He said, ‘Wow did you hear the way he chopped it!?’ That was an accomplishment for me because I got his attention and he’s the MASTER of chops to me.”
Freed from any commercial constraints, and able to indulge in the atmosphere and groove of a likeminded pacesetter, Porter turns Porter Chops into a celebration of the spirit and soul of music. Not hip-hop. But music, period. While his first love is hip-hop, and while this is clearly a hip-hop take on Glasper’s jazz, Porter Chops Glasper seems more about trying to focus a plethora of great ideas, about taking the most ready elements of a modern genius’ already full discography and making them as appealing to those who are already aware of Glasper’s celebrated fusion as to those whose concept of jazz starts and ends in their grandfather’s dusty record collection. The fact that Porter created this album – which also contains snippets of his forthcoming project Nine, and interludes of Porter himself speaking about the power of music – in nine days says a lot about what we should expect from his juggernaut in coming months. But it seems as if Porter Chops Glasper’s main aim was to replenish Porter’s tapped spiritual well. “I went back to the days of when I was just trying to be noticed, “ he states. “Lately in the industry, it’s been less about the music and more about business. I think those things can diminish the emotion and feeling behind the music. It gets lost.” We’re very lucky we have people like Mr. Porter to give us the gift of renewal, nestled within some damn-fine, banging music.