Hip-hop currently has a few enigmas. Mach-Hommy and Billy Woods both come to mind in the MC territory as some of the most prolific and secretive artists currently releasing music. Big Ghost LTD. is a producer who has kept his identity under wraps despite the fact he used to write high profile hip hop reviews that would gain traction due to their comedic nature. Big Ghost has also released three projects with Conway the Machine while keeping his identity completely hidden from even Conway himself. However, no mysterious figures in hip-hop have had quite a draw and impact on me as the mystique of Sadhugold, a craftsman of hypnotizing, surreal, evil, and equally beautiful, beats.
Not much is known about Sadhugold outside of the fact he burst into the underground scene around 2016-2017 when he first started getting serious beat placements. He started his working relationship with Tha God Fahim and Mach-Hommy in 2017 with the menacing track ‘Maslow’s Hammer’ off the first “Dollar Menu,” Ep collab series between the two MC’s. Sadhu also got two beat placements in 2017 on the legendary Westside Gunn album, “Supreme Blientele,” on back to back tracks, ‘Stefflon Don,’ and ‘Sabu.’
Sadhugold has an incredible knack for finding either the most beautiful sample or the most haunting sample that you’ve ever heard. Because Sadhu is providing you with some of the finest beats out there, the price is justified. His work is difficult to get your hands on, financially or otherwise, but very worth it, some of Sadhu’s creations that are behind a paywall are simply indescribable.
There is an hour and a half long Sadhu beat tape that I came across that blew my mind completely. There were a few beats on it that later went on to be on “Supreme Blientele,” and there’s even a moment where Sadhu flips an old Meek Mill freestyle in a Knxwledge fashion and I nearly cried when he realized he hopped on that wave as well. In Sadhu’s Meek flip, he creates an off kilter beat with a terrifying vocal sample that pierces you to the core. There is a pitch change every few bars and the Meek sample that he decided to work with is one of the most potent ones I’ve heard, even out of all the Meek tapes Knxwledge did.
The project Sadhugold released just this year with the all-powerful Super NackMandela Estee Nack is a 45 minute tour-de-force into these two’s capabilities in their craft. Sadhu creates a seamlessly connecting and clashing gallery of beats primely selected for Estee Nack to pick apart and dissect. I’ve described Nack’s rapping style as him sounding like a massive floating deity holding the beat in his hands pondering where he will dive in and attack next as his flows twist and turn. This is truly the only accurate way to describe it. ‘BAKITHEGRAPPLER,’ could very well be my song of the year, the beat feels despondent and drifty, and Nack’s flow is paralyzing and hallucinogenic throughout the track. The little hook on this track also hits so hard:
“My lawyer grapple with the case like Baki, complicate your life tryna stop me.”
Sadhugold also made a couple of projects in the last few years with an MC just as cryptic as himself, the charismatic and very particular, Spook. They released a project titled, “N.S.F.W (Not Safe For Whites) in 2021 that is a scathing and no holds barred observation of racism in America in a revolutionary and fed up lyrical style. The content itself, from a sonic perspective, is very trippy and abstract while Spook’s lyrics cut through the cartoonish and eerie beats. I honestly need to hear these projects a little bit more but I do really like them. There is a ton of substance in the lyricism and the beats take a second to grab you but when they do these projects have an undeniable aura to them that is really interesting and overall really immersive.
In the vein of fellow hip hop creator Knxwledge flipping Meek Mill freestyles, in June 2020, Sadhugold released “SADHUZI,” an album where he flipped Lil Uzi Vert verses over his original beats. This is such a dope project full of risky experiments that always seem to blend together for the haziest, trippiest, perfect combination of Sadhugold’s beats and distant, lo-fi, Uzi flows.
A dope song that I never even realized that Sadhugold produced is Jalen Smith by Ankhlejohn off of his “Drill-Scott Heron,” drill ep that he released in 2020. That is a shining gem in Ankhlejohn’s catalogue as far as I’m concerned because he adapted to the drill/trap style in such a seamless and infectious way. ‘Jalen Smith,’ is one of the most menacing tracks on the record, Sadhu laced that beat with ether.
Sadhugold lent his production on both DumpGawd: Divino Editions by the charismatic and powerful MC Al.Divino, He produced ‘Dye,’ by Lojii on the underground classic album “Lofeye,” and he has production across quite a few Ankhlejohn projects and they are always on highlight tracks. There is just something so incredible about Sadhu’s beats that just reels me in and I always find myself hypnotized and filled with bliss.
There are still some of his projects I’ve yet to hear that are on Bandcamp, still saving up to be able to buy them but I’m sure they will be worthy investments and full of quality beats. If you didn’t know about Sadhugold before reading this, please track down as much of his work as you can across this assortment of projects, you will not regret it.
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