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A producer and DJ from Columbus, Ohio, RJD2 is undoubtedly one of the most hyped beatmakers in independent hip-hop today. He got his start making tracks for the MHZ crew (Copywrite, Camu Tao, Tage Proto), then worked his way up with a series of singles and mix tapes before unleashing his critically-acclaimed debut LP, Dead Ringer, on the uber-hip Def Jux label in 2002. Much like DJ Shadow (an obvious influence) before him, RJD2's music appeals not only to the underground hip-hop community, but also to aging indie-rockers and hipsters who don't care for most rap music. Loaded with moody samples, dusty drum breaks, dialogue clips, and pieces of vintage soul jams, the mostly instrumental Dead Ringer elicited rave reviews from a wide variety of listeners, and was bound for many critic's "best of 2002" lists.
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