Hi-Tek – Werk Road (1997 MPC60) (LP) [Hi-Tek Music HTK005LP]
***PRE-ORDER – Expected release date 1/3/24***
After 25 years of living his dream as one of hip hop’s most respected producers, Hi-Tek is digging back into his roots with a brand new trio of instrumental vinyl LPs.
“Werk Road (1997 MPC 60)” is the third volume of the series, each featuring a selection of restored and remastered beats, carefully chosen from an archive of DAT tapes. These LPs manage to both provide a window into Tek’s development and to shine light on the work of an already enormously talented musician whose beats would’ve sounded right at home on classic releases from the mid-1990s.
1997 is when the name Hi-Tek began to develop a global buzz, largely due to the combustible indie-rap scene. He’d moved on from the now-shuttered Beatbox Studios in his hometown of Cincinnati and began building his first proper home studio in his new apartment on Werk Road. With a borrowed Akai MPC 60 drum machine as the foundation, he began churning out beats at a more prolific rate than ever.
In addition to placements on debut LPs by Mood and Royal Flush, Tek would make his name in 1997 as one-half of the duo Reflection Eternal with Brooklyn MC Talib Kweli. Their Rawkus Records debut 12” “Fortified Live” was an instant smash, and it quickly placed him at the top of the class of up-and-coming beatmakers, producing for Common, Snoop Dogg, Raphael Saadiq, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, and others from all over the country.
The work featured on “Werk Road (1997 MPC 60)” reveals an artist who would not only become one of the most respected producers in rap, but one of the cultural ambassadors of his home city of Cincinnati for over 25 years. In 2022, Hi-Tek was inducted into the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame alongside luminaries like The Isley Brothers, Bootsy Collins and Midnight Star, and remains the most successful hip hop artist that the city has ever produced.