Micro-Chopping Street Corner Music

Street Corner Music founder House Shoes got his first taste of beats as a 5th grader during the 1980s when Father MC’s nephew moved into his neighborhood and played him tapes by The Fat Boys, Ice T, and Run DMC. “It was like he pushed the reset button and everything went from there,” Shoes told Micro-Chop in an interview.

It didn’t take long before Shoes was buying records by The Skinny Boys and copying down samples from album liner notes. Over time he built up his own record collection and started making beats with a four-track and a nine-volt battery-operated Rock and Play sampler. He later saved up for an MPC 3000 and produced songs for Detroit legends Bugz, Danny Brown, Elzhi, and Proof.

In 2013 Shoes decided to take his lifelong love of beats in a new direction and launched Street Corner Music. “It started as a vessel for exposing talent. I created SCM to give records to people that deserve records, both the artists and customers,” he told Bandcamp in their showcase of his label.

Since launching Street Corner music, Shoes has curated an impressive catalog of instrumental albums from a wide variety of producers. And in a mere four years the label has built up a loyal fanbase that often helps their physical releases on cassette and vinyl sell out.

Beyond supplying their fans with quality releases and winning praise from peers like J.Rocc and Madlib, several Street Corner artists have scored major wins in recent years. Stro Elliot produced a track for the recent Hamilton mixtape and is working on the new Roots album. And Apex, North Carolina producer D.R.U.G.S. Beats landed an instrumental on Dr. Dre’s Compton album after Dre walked into the studio while Aftermath producer Focus was listening to it on the monitors.

With the label’s artists quickly working their way up to collaborations with industry elites, it will be interesting to see what further opportunities arise for the label’s talented cast of producers. In the meantime, here’s an introduction to their work, lovingly hand-picked with the assistance of Street Corner Music expert and Micro-Chop friend crawlrawl.

If you love any of the music you hear in the playlist above, please consider supporting it on the label’s Bandcamp page.

Connect with Street Corner Music on Instagram and on Twitter at @streetcornerscm.

If you enjoyed this piece, please consider following my Bookshelf Beats and Micro-Chop publications or donating to the Micro-Chop Patreon page. You can also read my work at Cuepoint and HipHopDX.