Anybody who is familiar with the backpacker side of Milwaukee's hip-hop scene is probably in the know about Uni.Fi Records and one of it's founders, beatsmith The White Russian.
White Russian isn't a guy that gives a lot of his beats away to artists outside of the artists on Uni.Fi, but what he does place on projects for artists KingHellBastard, etc., are typically pretty nice pieces of work.
He's also a veteran of the Miltown Beat Down, competing in many of the battles to varying degrees of success and after this year's battle he released all of the beats he had lined up for the finals, which he was a part of this year.
Recently he decided to comb through his back catalog to release some of his favorite beats that he created between 2004 and 2008.
The project, called "On The Rocks," shows you his beginnings and leads you through some of the progression he's made in his sound.
The press release had this to say about the man and the project
"When one thinks of hip-hop production, Moscow is ordinarily not the first place which springs to mind. Nevertheless, from behind the once mighty Iron Curtain comes Dmitriy Pochtarev (aka Dima "The White Russian"), a young man who stepped out of Moscow and into the Golden Era of hip-hop circa 1994. Having absorbed the sample-heavy production styles of hip-hop's heyday, it was not until the turn of the millennium that Dima discovered his own knack for creating compelling beats from diverse source material. After a number of years spent honing his craft, Dima founded Uni-Fi Records out of Milwaukee and provided a fertile environment for musicians of all kinds to work on their music. After pairing up with KingHellBastard and handling production for their sophomore release "Cups & Bottles", Dima acquired the moniker White Russian as a fitting complement to his heritage and the alcohol-fueled sessions which gave birth to the album. With that record under his belt, The White Russian has gone on to produce, record and engineer songs for artist both local (House of M, KHB, Malicious, DNA, Dana Coppafeel), and nationally known (Sadat X, Akrobatik, Raashan Ahmad, Stricklin of EMC), all the while continuing to operate the ever-expanding Uni-Fi Records and further his skills as a producer (2nd Place in 2009 Milwaukee Beatdown). With an ear for unique samples and classic hip-hop beats, The White Russian is a producer with a sonic palette as vast as his homeland."
You can download the beat tape via The White Russian's Bandcamp page for free.
Born in Milwaukee and raised in the Milwaukee suburb of Brown Deer, Concordia University Wisconsin alumnus Poppe has spent the majority of his life in or around the city and county of Milwaukee.
As an advocate of Milwaukee's hip-hop community Poppe began popular local music blog Milwaukee UP in March 2010. Check out the archived entries here.
Though heavy on the hip-hop, Poppe writes about other genres of music and occasionally about food, culture or sports, and is always ready to show his pride in Milwaukee and Wisconsin.