Music was a pillar of Jake Palumbo’s childhood & household growing up. Both parents were vinyl collectors (his father favored prog-rock such as Yes & Emerson, Lake & Palmer, his mother sat somewhere in between Cat Stevens & Black Sabbath), & his father played guitar & keys. Growing up in Tennessee in the 1980’s required hobbies to keep yourself occupied & out of trouble, & his obsession with sound & music couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Jake joined his school orchestra as a 5th grader, quickly becoming their star percussionist, though he was kicked out in the 8th grade for disciplinary troubles. That same year his parents saved enough pennies to purchase their son a set of drums, & for the next several years their small rental house was never peaceful again, as he practiced relentlessly and formed several pre-teen garage bands with classmates, daydreaming of the “albums” they would record & release one day.
As a high schooler, inspired by Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back and – most notably – the RZA’s production work on Wu-Tang Forever, he began making his first forays into hip-hop beat making using a setup that owed more to The Bad News Bears than to Puff Daddy’s Hit Men. Years before owning two full rooms of gear at his Manhattan studio, Jake was ill-equipped with a Boss DR-550 & Dr. Groove drum machines, a Casio keyboard, a guitar & bass, & a Sony MiniDisc recorder (also lifted from his job at a Sears warehouse) for primitive sampling. Having to work within such limitations forced Jake to learn his equipment front to back and think outside the box to try & achieve the sounds he aspired for.
Naming his favorite producers as the RZA, DJ Paul & Juicy J, Pete Rock, Madlib, Mannie Fresh, J Dilla & DJ Premier, Palumbo’s production style is as eclectic and varied as he is. A shuffle-play type fusion of soulful boom-bap, metallic electronics, warped arpeggios, down-pitched samples, & crispy drums that usually crack like gunshots, his beats rarely fit nicely into one category. The love for dusty samples & the classic New York sound is genuine, but side-steps the predictable aspects of boom-bap production. On the flip side, the Dirty South tendencies of his music might blur the lines of tribute & parody at times, but the influence is very real – he is a devout No Limit nerd who can be found dissecting the finer points of Rap-A-Lot & Hypnotize Minds catalogs more commonly than predicable true-school titles.
Having begun his foray producing exclusively for his SpaceLAB Recordings crew, & learning the ropes of crafting full projects with one artist, eventually Palumbo branched out into doing beats for other artists. Though he has placed beats on projects & singles by legendary emcees such as Ras Kass, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Masta Ace & more, Jake still prefers to stick to the one artist / one producer format, feeling he can bring more out of an artist throughout the course of a project than by just placing beats. Having produced full albums & EP’s for his label-mates C-Zar Van Gogh & Ciphurphace, as well as the Space Camp compilation showcasing the entire label, Jake has also worked extensively with Queens emcee Rock Mecca, & released their collaborative Ironworld LP in February 2019, featuring legendary wordsmiths like Kool Keith, Canibus, Vast Aire & Roc Marciano over Palumbo’s dark & brooding production. Ironworld spawned three singles (“One Man Gang”, “W.A.S.C.” & “Hells Angels”) to break Top 10 on College Radio charts.
In the meanwhile, the producer has not slowed his pace down one bit, producing the entirety of his upcoming solo LP Jake It Till You Make It. On July 6th, 2019 he released Jake & The Juxxman – a collaborative effort with Brooklyn emcee & Boot Camp Clik affiliate Ruste Juxx – via Soulspazm Records. The 12-song effort moves at a rapid pace, clocking in at only 36 minutes, with minimal features (Ras Kass & Skanks The Rap Martyr being the lone guests) allowing Ruste’s precise pen & gritty delivery to captivate listeners over Palumbo’s hard-hitting, but melodic soundscape.
He is currently finishing production on a full-length LP for New Jersey emcee El Da Sensei, one half of legendary group The Artifacts for a 2019 release.