There’s something undeniably cool about deliberate obscurity. In a privacy-less age when a celebrity shuns their own celebrity, the communal audience responds by immediately becoming teased and thirsty, and the Twitter monsters start dredging up every possible factoid which they can wrap their grubby little claws around in order to drag this person into the harsh sun of The Limelight.
Enter Sinjin Hawke.
Despite getting his #blessed hands on some of the dankyest dank beats we’ve all heard and loved, Sinjin has managed to deliberately keep himself from being well known by any of us. These days, Buzzfeed will make a 15 cat-long GIF list about you if you even end up in the same building as Kanye, yet somehow Sinjin has managed to produce the first track of West’s upcoming album without making so much as a peep. Google looked at us like “….wut” when we asked about it, so either that’s true humility, or Sinjin’s just not the “look at me” type. But regardless of his reasoning for occupying a decidedly behind-the-scenes persona, there’s no denying that the work he puts out is worthy of even the most crazed-out Japanese fan girl mob.
Plus, we at IHC know what’s really gucci, so we’re here to illuminate all the times Hawke has made you bang out without you even knowing he was there – the grey eminence of getting ratchet. Let’s do this.
1. Kanye West – “Wolves”
Without a doubt the most high-profile collaboration yet, ‘Ye brought in Cashmere Cat and Sinjin Hawke to co-produce the lead off from West’s new album. The slow, distorted, off-kilter track is equal parts 808s and Yeezus, but it’s tight enough that if you were watching the very weird Kanye West Adidas release video – basically a buncha models wearing Kanye’s clothes standing there like blinking statues while fashion people watched and whispered that the whole thing was just so Kanye – you may have noticed that your patience for this was uncharacteristically high. It’s because you were listening to Sinjin Hawke.
Possible new slogan: “Sinjin Hawke: he makes Kanye’s clothing interesting.”
2. Sinjin Hawke & Just Blaze – “One”
You know things are about to get lit when your song gets put on YouTube over an artsy photo of a female model with a blog name/graphic in white. Hawke’s 2014 collaboration with Blaze features some of the best from the two of them: JB’s orchestral hits and harmonically rich textures combine with Hawke’s hard-hitting, off-tempo rhythms, creating something trappier than Blaze would make on his own but more radio-friendly than Hawke would release solo. Also, shout out to the first time we haven’t been bored by a pitched-up soul sample in years.
3. Ludacris ft. Wiz Khalifa, Jeremih, Cashmere Cat – “Party Girls” (Sinjin Hawke remix)
Bouncing, spacey synth float us along over the refrained “I don’t say shit and they be gettin’ naked” in this Hawke remix. A good view of the compatibility between Cashmere and Sinjin, SH dials back a lot of the radio-friendly drums and arrangement – including cutting out the whole Wiz verse about giving your girlfriend a series of the best orgasms she’s ever had, which I’m surrre you did Wiz, you 90 pound lizard man.
4. Sinjin Hawke & DJ Sliink – “Gas Pump”
First of all, this song has rhythmic bed squeaking, which is dope. Secondly, yes, you read it correctly, that is DJ Sliink. Longtime IHC favorite Sliink and Hawke combine to make just the right flavor of club slapper, with booty rattling drops underneath but an atypical array of melodies, samples, and synths whirling about overhead like a nimbostratus cloud of turnt. I got bruises from getting twerked on so hard to this song. Thank you Hawke. Thank you Sliink.
5. Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones – “VClipse”
We had to save the best for last. Hawke and Jones, despite being creative soul mates, happen to be dating and living together in Barcelona in what seems to be basically the coolest life ever. Both acclaimed visual artists in their own right, the two have a musical meeting of the minds that comes together in this vaguely-vampiric-esque video tale of a club murder and robbery set against the backdrop of blacklights and strobe and vintage cash (they haven’t printed $10s that look like that in decades).
The usually reclusive pair will be breaking from the norm and touring the U.S. in the coming weeks, including one of the most exciting ClubIHC shows we’ve ever had the pleasure of putting together featuring SH&ZJ, GHE20G0TH1K founder/empress turned Coors Light spokeswoman Venus X, P. Morris and more. So get out to a show that promises to, quite literally, be history in the making, or you’re just dumb.