Time Spent, For VNDL
In today’s convoluted hip-hop world of Ableton loops and ‘90s samples, it’s not often you come across someone trying to strip down rap music. But, for two Maryland Institute College of Art grads, that’s exactly their mission. Now, don’t get it twisted, 24-year-old Ronin Wood and 23-year-old Matthew Thompson love a good banger. But, as Thompson puts it, “What does Waka Flocka sound like with no beat?”
Ripping away the bass, hi-hat and snare exposes fundamental elements of hip-hop that, today, seems to lie more in the minutia of the genre than its essence – its rhyme and lyric. With a janky VHS camcorder, a barely working editing VCR and a simple desire to shoot a music video for friend and Virginia-based rapper Zaiah Burke, Thompson and Wood started their website Time Spent.
“Really any idea that is presented, I’m like – how can I apply that to hip hop? That’s just my basic go to,” Wood said during a recent chat with the duo at Gallow Green in Chelsea. For the past two years, Wood and Thompson scoured about for fresh talent, featuring promising rap acts like RAPDRAGONS and Abdu Ali out of the studio, off the stage, and packaged in the nostalgic graininess of analog videotape.