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Sadhugold, an enigmatic rapper-producer based in Philadelphia, is one of the most sought-after beatmakers currently working in the East Coast underground. His choice to remain anonymous, often donning a gold foil mask, has not only added an air of mystery to his persona but also allowed the focus to remain on the music itself. With an impressive roster of collaborators, such as Westside Gunn, Estee Nack, Mach-Hommy, and Tha God Fahim, Sadhugold continues to gain recognition for his creative versatility and undeniable production talent.
Sadhugold developed a deep passion for production beginning in middle school while listening to artists like Juelz Santana and Big Tymers. He has always approached his creative process organically, focusing on the artistic aspect of his work first and foremost. As a result, his beats often take shape before he considers potential collaborations. "Usually the person doesn't come to mind until after they're done, and I'm just like, okay, I can hear so-and-so on this," Sadhugold said in an interview with The Harvard Crimson.
Sadhugold’s decision to wear a mask and maintain anonymity serves multiple purposes, according to the artist. It allows listeners to project their own ideas and interpretations onto his persona, fostering a subjective experience for each listener.
The mask also underscores the fact that Sadhugold does not seek personal fame, instead wanting to keep the spotlight on the music itself. “I reject the idea of fame,” the artist said. “Fame is just a toxic concept, especially for black people. I don't know how acclaimed I will wind up, but in the event it would be nice to be able to go somewhere and not have to say hi to somebody or take a picture.”
This perspective on fame highlights Sadhugold's commitment to the art form and his belief in its power to convey a message. Working with Griselda Records artists such as Westside Gunn and Rome Streetz has allowed Sadhugold to forge relationships based on mutual respect. He describes their collaborative process as dynamic and productive, with Westside Gunn's creative energy often propelling their work forward.
"[Westside Gunn] gets along with everybody,” Sadhugold said. “The guy’s got ADHD in the best way possible because he’s always on the move. He’s always got a new idea, they're always good ideas, and he’s really accommodating."
Sadhugold has contributed his production prowess to several of Westside Gunn’s projects, including 2018’s “Supreme Blientele” and the July 2020 album “Flygod is An Awesome God 2,” which also prominently featured Syracuse rapper Stove God Cooks. Sadhugold showcased his rapping skills on the track "Greatminder" from the latter project. Most recently, Sadhugold collaborated with Rome Streetz on his debut Griselda Records album, “Kiss The Ring,” producing the song “Fashion Rebel” alongside Sovren.
In addition to music production, Sadhugold is a talented visual artist, having taken an interest in drawing since childhood. This skill often extends to his projects, where he creates the accompanying artwork. According to Sadhugold, the intersection of visual art and music has grown increasingly important in his recent work. This approach allows him to explore different avenues of expression, such as reconnecting with his childhood love for classic cartoons like “Popeye the Sailor Man” and “Looney Tunes”.
“I'll see certain cartoons and just the rhythm that old cartoons have, it just has some kind of a hip-hop essence about it, like you can put a beat behind it and it will just be in sync,” Sadhugold said.
Sadhugold’s recent projects include “The Black Mobius” with Lord Jah-Monte Ogbon and “ATTACK OF THE SWINE MERCHANTS” with Philadelphia rapper Spook, both of which were released in the last year. Last week, he released a full length tape with Tha God Fahim called “Dump Gawd: Tha Knocking of Loose.” The artist also teased a re-release of “Surfinongold.wav 2,” his full length tape with Estee Nack and a follow up to their 2018 release, as well as fresh production work with collaborators old and new.
“I’m working with Mickey Diamond. I’m working with Koncept Jack$on. I still got a lot of stuff coming with Mach-Hommy and Your Old Droog, also got more with Spook,” the artist said.
“People can expect a phantasmagoria of content beyond their wildest dreams,” Sadhugold added.
—Staff writer Ryan S. Kim can be reached at email@example.com.
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