Land-Grant Beer Garden
Land-Grant Beer Garden
424 W. Town St. Columbus, OH 43215

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Jun 22 2024


7:30 pm - 11:00 pm



RJD2 Live at Land-Grant

Join us outside in the Beer Garden for an unforgettable evening at Land-Grant as we host the legendary RJD2 on June 22nd at 7 PM. Known for his genre-defying soundscapes and innovative beats, RJD2 has captivated audiences worldwide with his unique blend of hip-hop, electronic, and soulful grooves. This special performance celebrates the release of his highly anticipated 8th studio album, “Visions Out Of Limelight.” This is a 21+ event. Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm.


With the same care he combines sound sources into songs, RJD2 has stitched together an impressive career out of many projects: instrumental albums, international tours, credits for Mos Def, MF DOOM, Phonte, producing the theme for Mad Men, and beyond. The Columbus, OH producer titled his new album Visions Out of Limelight in honor of his comfortable place in the underground and his “self-imposed exile” at work on the tracks. For his latest instrumental LP, the producer found inspiration in sources that can be taken for granted by less-discerning listeners.

Thanks to time at home with his son, RJD2 was completely immersed in the TV theme songs of the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. “I realized how incredibly composed and skillfully complex many of them were. These songs contained a few core tenets: a great groove, a great chord change, a strong melody, and a concise time frame,” he says. “It made me realize how hard it is to make instrumental music with a melody that’s as memorable as a lead vocal.”

The producer was also determined to build tracks around interesting basslines, inspired by classic parts in Dr. Dre’s “Deep Cover,” KMD’s “Black Bastards,” and [Diamond D example]. It was a deliberate change from the chord-centric compositions in post-millennial hip-hop and funk. It became a “mini-mission” for the producer to make a modern album that puts the bass in the forefront of the songs.

Both approaches align on single “Catch The Exit Door”, as electric bass percolates up and down the neck under wah-wah guitars and horns straight out of a syndicated cop drama. “Through It All” features crooning from English vocalist Jamie Lidell, pondering his existence over piano stabs and a steady breakbeat. Frequent collaborator Jordan Brown flexes his paranoid android falsetto to fit the loose groove of “Fools at the Haul” with robotic precision.

Some songs were recorded with live instrumentation while others were chopped and re-assembled via sampler “like the olden days,” RJD2 says. “I still to this day appreciate the radical shift in mindstate inspired by constructing a song with bits of found sound.”

Good luck figuring out which drums are live or samples. With 15+ years of studio experience, the producer has developed a combination of mic placement, technique, tuning and gain staging to get drum sounds that evoke the same grit and urgency of classic hip-hop breakbeats. “You either run out of great drum samples, or you spend the bulk of your creative time chasing new ones, to varying degrees of success,” he says. “The finite nature of great drum samples has pushed me further into honing my drumming game.”

RJD2 has a wide range of Visions: “Wild For The Night”’s aggro horn loop was inspired by the legendary Bomb Squad, while “What I Do, Man” and “Asphalt Lamentations” were inspired by French touch house of Daft Punk and Ed Banger Records. At proper volume, the full album evokes the thrift-shop psychedelia of Paul’s Boutique.

And the producer really did bury himself up to his neck in the dirt [where?] for the album art. “Album covers have become my opportunity to do something fun in the real world,” he says. It’s a dual homage to Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain and Redman’s Dare Iz A Darkside, two artists with enduring catalogs of no-bullshit, rock-solid music. RJD2 aspires to create a similar body of work, from his 2002 opus Deadringer to 2020’s The Fun Ones on to the future.

“I have come to terms with the fact that the most impactful and lasting effort I can put forth in my limited time on Earth is to leave behind the best music I can, not for the sake of pitching ‘me,’ but for the sake of the music itself,” he says. “The timeless nature of recorded music and its ability to touch an unknown future listener makes it as close to a worthy endeavor as I’ll ever attempt.” Visions Out of Limelight channels RJD2’s many influences into another incredible instrumental album, and it just might be a classic one day too. -Jack Riedy