20 Best Harry Fraud Beats (So Far)
Every artist wants to be a brand. You see their name and it's an instant stamp of excellence -- you have to check it out.
Harry Fraud is a certified brand. Everything he touches turns to gold. His work with Curren$y is some of Spitta's best work in years. His chemistry with Chinx
Drugz gets stronger on every new project. He's the producer who jumpstarted French Montana's career and helped do the same for Action Bronson and RiFF RAFF. He can make anybody sound hot. If his prices go up after this piece, I want residuals, but they're probably on the rise already.
Now that he's become a go-to producer, he's started branching out with remixes to songs by artists like Sam Smith and Bipolar Sunshine. With his latest psychedelic work on RiFF RAFF's new album 'Neon Icon,' we thought it best to hit replay on 20 of Harry Fraud's illest beats so far. Sure, other places have done it before, but be real -- their taste is piss poor. Enjoy the free drugs.
Fraud doesn't waste a sound -- every single instrument is essential to the nooks and crannies of the beat. If those little horns in the verses don't get you, that Marvin Gaye chorus will. When it hits, it feels like a magic carpet ride on heroin. Not that I'd know or anything.
People might think 'Shot Caller' deserves this spot (or higher), but at least 'New York Minute' doesn't bite a '90s classic. 'New York Minute' was one of the first mixtape cuts by French to catch on with a wider array of New York artists, originally featuring Jadakiss and later earning a Mase verse on the remix. It's also a prime example of how Fraud can anchor a beat with a vocal sample. Here, Don Henley does the trick. And who the f--k samples Don Henley?
Blasts from the MPC give way to warped strings from 'Across 110th Street' in what's surely the most smoked out flip of the Womack (RIP) classic yet. Production wise, the full-length work between DZA and Fraud didn't live up to expectations, but beats like this, 'F--k Ya Mother,' and 'Turnbuckle Music' made up for it. Where Fraud's music is usually like waking from a dream while lying on the beach, 'Rugby Thompson' was bound to city streets.
Cloud rap frontrunners Mondre M.A.N. and Squadda B got a taste of their own medicine with this tailor-made beat. One of the best things about Fraud's style is how his beats progress across the length of a song. He switches it up for a bit of the second verse before bringing it back, and while so many producers lean on loops for crutches, Fraud seems to use them as jumping off points.
It's technically cheating to include a 'House Of The Rising' sample -- it's never not money. Fraud's flip isn't intricate - those cowboy strings are like stirrups for the drums to dig their heels into. He's wise not to jack the main guitar riff, but those incredible keys for the beat's backbone, matching bombastic kicks and snares to the rising of the keyboard. Listen to this before you walk into the office and finally decide to dropkick your boss.
Chinx is the only Coke Boy to emerge from under Montana's wing with a shred of marketability, but he'll need Fraud to fuel more projects if he wants to hold attention. 'No Giving Up' kills, especially with the strings that sound straight out of a 1920's crime flick climax, but other songs like 'Superlight' and 'Silence' demonstrate Fraud's ability to hook you with a vocal sample and follow with a bed of narcotics for Chinx to confess over.
Music to drool to. Fraud hits this dreamy vein that hovers near the sound of Clams Casino-meets-Lex-Luger, chopped and screwed. Mellow sounds melt into stuttering drum lines and wash over you like the first blunt of the night; waves of numbness accompanied by trying to feel your face.
Fraud's eclectic ear is another one of his biggest draws. He doesn't rely on the same old samples people have heard hundreds of times, but digs deeper to find funk like 'Perfect Picture,' an appropriate accoutrement to waking up hung over and sparking that roach on your dresser.
Another one of the long-haired producer's strengths is versatility. He can do club music or he can zoom in on headphone music, but Fraud always has a firm grasp on instrumentation, as evidence by the smoky sax on 'Low,' which is weirdly panned all the way to the right.
If I was rich enough to do cocaine and ride on a yacht, I'd do both at the same time to this 'Saab Stories' leftover. The genius replay of the Journey sample (again, who the f--k thinks to sample Journey!?) makes this beat everything white sand and Miami Vice was meant for. Play this on vacation.
Joey likes his beats dark, murky and rain-stained, so Fraud serves up a seedy soundtrack to the underworld. Sprinkled keys and sinister horns allow Joey to talk s--t through his third eye. It's one of Fraud's most understated beats, but we'll take all the noir rap production we can get.
Nobody loves '80s loops like Harry Fraud, so when French struck out on his own with the Coke Boys, Eddie Money and Ronnie Spector popped up with a recognizable sample. 'Tunnel Vision' was one of the first French singles to pop, along with 'Choppa Down,' but it was mainly because of Fraud's production that French caught the public's attention after Max B began serving his 75-year jail sentence.
It doesn't take too many ingredients to make a crazy beat -- the ingredients just need to be top notch. Those shrill strings (inspired by Royal Flush's 'Worldwide') give 'I'm A Cokeboy' instant life, making it another one of the early Coke Boy anthems that Harry Fraud orchestrated.
If there's one criticism you can make about Harry Fraud, it's his often limited drum selection. But sometimes all drums do is keep time, and in Fraud's swirl of sounds, it's his sample selection that makes him stand above his peers. 'Hottest MC' samples Aphrodite's Child, some weird ass Greek band (peace to the Grecos - souvlaki Flocky Flame!), about two and a half minutes into the 19-minute epic 'All The Seats Were Occupied.' Hearing the original after the flip is a pure 'oh s--t' moment.
God, this s--t is fresh. If 'Mean' was a Capri Sun flavor, it'd be Orgasmic Ocean Spray. It's like you shouldn't even listen to it unless you're on a speedboat. Sample-based work might be Fraud's bread and butter, but when he gets unorthodox and starts fiddling on the keys, he reaches new heights.
On the latest Coke Boys tape, Fraud drops in just to let everybody know he's still the nicest producer in the camp. It's a treat listening to his beats because he'll change it up three quarters of the way through, like he does with the pitch on '88 Coupes.' It's got the mark of a Fraud beat without sounding too similar to much of his previous work.
Bronson claimed that 'Saab Stories,' his official EP with Fraud, was meant to be performed on stage, but the project starts with headphone music. Bass slips up and down the register as drums are rendered irrelevant -- it's the melody that murders you. Leave it to Fraud to take an instrument that usually plays the back and make it the centerpiece of a lead song.
Sweet baby Jesus, where's my snuff box? Get you some money, smoke you some weed, hail you a cab, and listen to this as you drive over a bridge. You won't make it across before floating up to heaven. If anyone ever makes the Sosa/Scarface spin-off movie, this better be in it. One time for Phillip Bailey with Phil Collins on the boards, too.
Those of us who loved this song from the jump had to settle for an audio rip of the video for far too long. Many consider it the peak of all three artists involved, but really it was their most popular moment, as it led to their discovery by a whole host of white people. 'Bird On A Wire' is the catchiest beat of Fraud's career - the synth itself is a mind-altering substance - and a full project by these three should have been done by now. Whether or not we ever get it, 'Bird On A Wire' will always be one of the finest beats in recent years.
(Cue Clipse's signature "Ugh.") This s--t is disgusting. Dirty, stupid doodoo dumb production from one of the most underrated tapes of 2012 - Meyhem Lauren's 'Respect The Fly Shit.' Again with the obscure sample - this time, Italian soul from the '60s. Fraud's ear is Tarantino-like in scope, and he evens flips both ends of the song, building tension with dusty organs and then releasing it with unfurled horns. Pure fishscale.