Instrumental Insight • Thelonious Martin

Photo by Sam Schmieg

Photo by Sam Schmieg

Thelonious Martin aka King Thelonious aka Thelo is one of the most well known producers in Chicago. Because of this and because of many other factors, it's only right that we add the beat maker to our Instrumental Insight column, a column where we highlight talented producers both seasoned and new.

While Thelonious is only 23, he's a veteran in the music world with a boatload of significant placements scattered throughout the competitive rap game.

The talented producer, whose instrumentals have been featured on Adult Swim bumps, entered my radar a few years back with a quick EP that he fully produced for Curren$y and Young Roddy. The project, 3 Piece Set, was a Closed Sesssions release and it honed in on the soulful sampling done by Thelo. Since that period, exactly three years ago, he's gone on to provide some of the finest tracks in the hip-hop scene.

Perhaps most notably, at the end of 2014, Martin released Wünderkid, a solo (yet collaborative) album that featured live instrumentation and enough strong features to make you spin your head. The Exorcist style. Working with Joey Purp, Mac Miller, Smoke DZA, Ab-Soul, and more, the album was one for the books and a producer-driven album that put Martin on the map for a great deal of hip-hop heads.

While Thelo didn't release any proper solo albums this year, he did gather up a bunch of loose tracks and compile them into his Dusty Cartridges 2 playlist. On top of that, he did make his way on projects by A$AP Rocky, Michael Christmas, Da$h, Slayter, Max Wonders, RetcH, Leather Corduroys, and countless others.

At only 23, Thelonious Martin is still growing and I'm sure he has plenty of plans going into 2016. Whether that means another album or whether that means working directly with one rapper/singer or whether that means sending his beats around the globe for features, that all is up in the air, but slowing down is not on the itinerary for the bearded beatsmith. Enjoy our five “essential listens” by Thelo in the SoundCloud playlist provided and look out for another Instrumental Insight next week.