Yo-Dot, The Shorecrest Memoirs
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It happens every year: As soon as we make a list of our favorite Milwaukee music of the year, we come across a record that we wish we would’ve included. Such is the case with Yo-Dot’s new EP, The Shorecrest Memoirs, which the Milwaukee MC posted as a free download earlier this month. (Get it here.) The Shorecrest Memoirs is actually Yo-Dot’s second release of 2010, book-ending the back-end of the year just as the Dot Balistrerri mixtape launched it back in February.
Yo-Dot is the tough guy in the Umbrella Music Group stable, which is best known locally for the alt-rap leanings of Prophetic and Tay Butler, who drop in on Shorecrest Memoirs’ great opening track, “Take Notes.” While Yo-Dot is always a commanding presence on the mic, spinning evocative tales of street life and larger-than-life braggadocio—including likening himself to a superhero on “Spiderman”—what really distinguishes Shorecrest Memoirs is the murderer’s row of local producers in the liner notes. Yo-Dot utilizes a different ace Milwaukee beat-maker on each track, including 40 Mil, Mech, B-Luv, Philly Phil, Bagz, and the brash Lex Luther, whose work on “Problems” gets the edge in what amounts to a bonus round of the Miltown Beatdown. Not only is The Shorecrest Memoirs a good record in its own right, it’s a valuable sampler of Milwaukee’s most exciting hip-hop producers circa 2010.