Free Agents is a new feature series where we shine the spotlight on an up-and-coming act who’s yet to have a proper release – at least, not one that we’re aware of, and yes, we know that the phrase “proper release” is a bit of a cloudy one these days – but that we think is onto something special regardless.
Origin: South Florida
Style: Electronic / Hip-hop / Club
Plenty of semi-anonymous, Soundcloud dwelling, underground producers embrace a “don’t give a fuck” attitude — just perhaps none with the same enthusiasm of enigmatic producer Ryan “$LUDGEHAMMER” Gregory. Over the past couple of years, Gregory has crosspolinated, recycled, and — with the ambivalence of a child done playing with a toy — moved onto the next sound du jour with ease. There’s nocturnal club music (‘Get Em’), slimepunk freakout (‘slime journey’), and — of course — re-conceptualized Aaliyah (‘Boi Ha’‘).
When working within the confines of rap, he can do 305 antagonism (Yung Simmie’s anthemic ‘Florida Nigga Mentality’), based unease (Lil B’s ‘Lost’), or something else entirely, mashing up unlikely bedfellows Katie Got Bandz and Burzum on his remix of the former’s ‘I Need A Hitta’. If that last one is too extreme, he’s also perfected the mellow, #sadboy aesthetic with his GIRLKISSER project, his collaboration with TITTYSLAMMA/Josh Diamond: ‘IWANTU (Sad Baby)’ is a house track built for an SNES RPG.
Sure, the haphazard nature of $LUDGEHAMMER’s stylistic ADHD may be off-putting to some, but no matter the niche or microgenre, the young producer is always captivating.