By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
Invented in the late '80s by electronics wizard Roger Linn, the Music Production Center is a pimped-out drum machine on steroids, usually equipped with eight to 16 pressure- and velocity-sensitive pads, multiple MIDI inputs and outputs, a superpowered sequencer, advanced sampling systems, and an entire universe of highly evolved effects. It's basically a recording studio in a box. And hip-hop producer Araabmuzik (born Abraham Orellana), a half-Guatemalan, half-Dominican dude straight outta Providence, Rhode Island, is the game's most skilled manipulator of this machine.
Widely known as the MVP of the MPC, Araabmuzik has notched production credits for Dipset crew members including Cam'ron, Jim Jones, and Hell Rell — not to mention other bold-name rappers like Jadakiss, Busta Rhymes, and Fabolous. Over the summer, he finally dropped his debut slab, Electronic Dream, a trance-y hip-hop record loaded with blissed-out instrumentals and hyperintricate beats, that got him mentioned alongside Danny Brown, Yelawolf, and Odd Future in Spin Magazine's The Changing Face of Hip-Hop issue.
Still, though, Araabmuzik is most famous for insane live MPC sessions, during which he becomes an unstoppable blur behind his machine, dropping totally crazy beat sequences at superhuman speed. "I remember entering a battle against certain other producers," he recently told MTV's In My Room. "They all had their MPCs and stuff like that... But I was always the one doing it live on the spot, rather than pressing play and havin' them sit there listening to the beat.
"And that's what made me win every time."