88-Keys URB Cover Story & Behind The Phtoshoot Video


Decon’s own 88-Keys covers Urb #156, the Nov/Dec issue hitting stands in a few weeks.

Check out the making-of-the-cover video we put together and see how the shots were taken, and the magic worked by Eric Vogel and the good people at the KDU.

Watch The Video Here

Preview an excerpt from the URB cover story, by Jason Newman.

Futuristic throwback producer 88-Keys took a message from God and turned it into an album about The Vagina. by Jason Newman / photography by Eric Vogel

“Once I heard People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, I felt like I had to be a part of hip-hop. I didn’t know how. Hell, I didn’t even know what a producer was. I just knew I had to figure out how to make music like this ‘cause that shit was crazy.”

For posterity’s sake, let’s attribute the above quote to Charles Misodi Njapa, better known as 88-Keys, on Sept. 18, 2008. But let’s also co-sign it to anyone—and there are more of you than you think—who’s ever had a similar thought to albums like A Tribe Called Quest’s debut. After a brief flirtation with fame in the late-’90s, crafting gems for Mos Def, J-Live, and Black Star, 88’s current mix of Golden Age-era beats with diverse genres, coupled with a geek-like obsession for fashion and the Internet, has made him the modern personification of a movement. For anyone who watches old hip-hop videos on Youtube, scans hip-hop message boards in the office and can’t empathize with 50’s problems, 88-Keys feels your pain.

Throughout various stages of the genre over the past ten years—think Mafioso strings, handclaps, etc.—we could find 88-Keys (named years ago by legendary producer Large Professor) with a MPC and a crate full of records, waiting on the word of God (more on that later.) With his debut album, The Death of Adam, dropping after more than a decade in the game, the concept album stands more as the producers’ resurrection than next play in a continuous career.

“I’m a talker. I’m definitely a talker,” he says, lounging in a Cosi sandwich spot before a DJ set later that night. It’s true. Like the best raconteurs, everything is a story, and a conversation with Keys is not so much linear as labyrinthine, filled with backtracks, dead ends, and stories-within-a-story. It’s this same ability that helps carry Adam, a fictional tale that eschews the standard producer album in favor of a concept album about, well…

“The vajayjay,” says 88.

“Excuse me?”

“The vag,” he says, clarifying, as in vagina. “I got this word from God: this is what your album’s gonna be about. Get to work, my child.”

"Stay Up! (Viagra)"Prescription Pack
Available Next Tuesday on iTunes!

Due to the success of 88’s lead single, "Stay Up! (Viagra") Featuring Kanye West, Decon will be releasing the "Stay Up! (Viagra)" Prescription Pack available on iTunes next Tuesday!

Featuring the Stay Up! (Viagra) Remix and exclusive joint ‘Bout To Bus’

1. Stay Up! (Viagra) ft. Kanye West
2. Stay Up! (Viagra) ft. Kanye West [clean]
3. Stay Up! (Viagra) ft. Kanye West – [tv]
4. Stay Up! (Viagra) ft. Kanye West – [a capella]
5. Stay Up! (Viagra) [Illmind Yo’ Business Remix] ft. Kids Incorporated
6. ‘Bout To Bus’

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