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RJD2

Hip-Hop electronic trip-hop electronica hip hop

    RJD2 is Ramble John Krohn, a producer. RJD2 was born in Eugene, Oregon, and raised in Columbus, Ohio. Until recently, he was part of the Definitive Jux label and produced tracks for many of its artists, as well as having a solo career. In 2006, RJ "ditched hip-hop" for the indie-rock label XL, releasing The Third Hand in March 2007.

    From 1998 to 1999, he saw success blossom as DJ/producer for the Columbus-based group the Megahertz, with two twelve-inch singles on Bobbito Garcia's legendary NY label, Fondle 'Em Records. This explosive entrance to the underground hip-hop scene gave way to shows from Europe to Japan, not to mention garnering mention in Vibe magazine's "History of Hip-Hop" historical volume. Opening doors outside of the east coast, the MHz went on to appear on the Bay Area's ABB records compilation, Always Bigger and Better, Volume 1. Their contribution (entitled "This Year") was voted best track on the ABB website, while competing against major label heavyweights such as Dilated Peoples and Defari.

    In 2000, the praise only continued for RJD2, producing Copywrite's debut single "Holier Than Thou" on Rawkus Records. The work certainly didn't stop there; spring of 2001 was RJD2's formal introduction to hip-hop as a solo artist on Def Jux Presents, a compilation showcasing the roster of his record label, Definitive Jux Records. Having to hold his own next to NYC underground legends such as Company Flow, Cannibal Ox, and Aesop Rock, RJD2 did no less. That summer he followed up this string of releases with his own twelve inch entitled June, which featured fellow MHz member Copywrite laying down two incredible book-end verses. Melding the hip-hop tradition of raw, gritty samples with a more classical approach to song structure, he has concocted a style of production that pleases the most discerning hip-hop scholar without compromising that old dance floor aesthetic.

    2002 saw RJD2 release the critically acclaimed debut Dead Ringer, which not only solidified his spot as one of the underground's top producers, but also caught the ears of Grammy-man ?uestlove of The Roots who called the album one of his favorites of the year. Not to mention even landing the track Ghost Writer in a Saturn ad, with juggling solo ventures, producing rappers, and DeeJaying, the man is certainly in the hot seat at the moment. It has been said by many legendary producers that the ultimate goal is to move a crowd-not just to dance, but sometimes also to feel and think. In this vein, RJD2 is only continuing a time-honored tradition.

    In 2003, RJD2 released The Horror, and the landmark Since We Last Spoke in 2004. A track from his 2006 release Magnificent City Instrumentals, "A Beautiful Mine," is the theme song of the AMC television drama Mad Men.

    In 2007, RJD2 released The Third Hand which, if nothing else, showcased his ability to evolve beyond the hip-hop genre. Around this same time RJ created a compilation album with fellow underground DJ's Mick Boogie and DJ Flash for their A.B.B. compadres Little Brother entitled AND JUSTUS FOR ALL.

    In 2010, RJD2 released The Colossus on his own label, RJ's Electrical Connections. The album could be described as RJD2's meshing of Since We Last Spoke's grittier tracks with The Third Hand's Moby-esque pop. The album contains a variety of recording methods, with most songs featuring an amalgam of sampled, programmed, and recorded sounds.

    RJD2 has participated in numerous collaborations with artists such as Aceyalone, Ric Ocasek, and Goapele. RJD2 is also part of the group Soul Position with Blueprint. They have released two full length studio albums, 8 Million Stories and Things Go Better with RJ and Al.


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