Monk One – The Rikers Beats Vol. 1

Monk One is one of my favorite people in the DJ world and it’s always a great time when we link up to play a party, have a few beers, talk records or swap crazy industry stories. Not only is he one of the finest on 2 turntables, he get’s down on the beats which we rarely get a chance to hear but today is the day that we get our fix. Making it’s debut, is his instrumental beat project, The Rikers Beats which definitely holds a special place with him and how it came about.


“Before the pandemic shut everything down, I taught on Rikers Island. It’s a surreal, disturbing, dehumanizing place. Mundane but deeply dark.

After work I had a favorite coping method to decompress and refresh my soul: grab some records, fire up the sampler and zone out making beats — basic hypnotic headnodders, nothing fancy. ‘90s sample-y, heavy drums, those were the most satisfying. Playing them back on the next Dantean public transit trek to the island (shoutout to the Q100) was my religious headphone routine for several years. The Rikers Beats playlist was prodigious.

In 2020, the Island is closed to all but DOC staff and the unfortunate incarcerated, and I haven’t been going much of anywhere. I figured this would be a good time to rummage through the archives and select some of the signature sounds I rode with on those long days.”

Volume 1 is jazzy instrumental stuff; stay tuned for Volume 2 (The Jeep Beats) and Volume 3 (Classic Beat Flips)