African American and 6 foot 5 in stature, Terrel Wallace’s production alias of Tall Black Guy is one of the most descriptive artist names in recent memory. A native of Detroit, Wallace made his bow in 2011 with a series of downtempo beat excursions, showcasing his love of Hip-Hop, Jazz, Soul and everything in between. With records such as 2012’s lush ‘Tall Black Guy Vs. Al Green’, he quickly started earning fans all over-with the likes of Gilles Peterson, Jazzy Jeff and Leffto amongst them. Bringing something fresh to the beats scene via an uncommon level of musiciality and technical proficiency, Wallace’s early work hinted at tantalising potential.
Now living in the UK, Wallace still keenly feels the legacy of his hometown in his music-something that was made abundantly clear with the release of 2013’s debut TBG full length, ‘8 Miles To Moenart’. The title of the record is a reference to the Moenart block that Wallace grew up on, and counts as the producer’s attempt to “…make music that would stand the test of time a lot like how Motown music has done”. Ostensibly a beat tape, ‘8 Miles…’ stretches far beyond the usual scope of that format-taking in traces of Dilla, Dwele, Timbaland and many more for a musical journey that’s anchored by Wallace’s supreme level of technical ability. Rarely relying on the use of vocalists or rappers to get its point across, the music of TBG is richly expressive and soulful in a way that can’t be taught.
Here on Hyp 203, he brings us a selection that takes in all the strands of his sound, with cuts from sometime Joey Bada$$ collaborator Odissee, Brownswood’s Diggs Duke and Philly Hip-Hop heroes The Roots, before rounding things off with a cut from himself.