1 – “The Fuel” EP is being released first, but was recorded after our “Flight” LP that is dropping in 2016.
2 – Most of Koncept’s vocals were recorded in his previous apartment in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
3 – Koncept’s vocals for “Porcelain” were recorded in Warwick, NY the day before moving to the west coast. Hollis recorded her vocals at J57’s apartment in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn shortly after.
4 – “Crazy Is Beautiful” was recorded in Portland, Oregon the day before shooting the video for “Porcelain” in Cannon Beach (where the Goonies was filmed).
5 – “Crazy Is Beautiful” was originally intended to be on the 2nd full length album which will drop after “Flight”. Nevaeh (sings the hook) is the daughter of friend, Jessica Keaveny who is a very talented photographer.
6 – “Jump” was also recorded in Portland. Koncept wrote and recorded “Jump” to let off steam one day when in the studio and was in a particular mood. The song was not intended for the EP or for any project. It was more for his own release/therapy. A week later Koncept & J57 knew it had to go on the project. There is artwork for this song. Maybe it will be released some day.
7 – Koncept spent months in the Red Bull Studio LA with James Musshorn mixing and mastering “The Fuel” EP. Each song has at least 5 different mixes due to us being perfectionists. J57 was on Skype/Facetime from Brooklyn for many of those days mixing.
8 – Originally the EP was only 4 songs. Now it is 8.
9 – “The Fuel” EP had previous artwork that will never see the light of day.
10 – Major labels freaked out when they were playing the EP and LP in their offices and wanted to sign them on the spot.
11 – Andrew Thomas Reid basically freestyled over the “Excitement” beat and the 4 bars off it were taken and made into the perfect hook for the song.
12 – You can hear that the very last clap at the very end of the song on “Excitement” is slightly off. It was kept because imperfection is beautiful.
13 – Half of the beats on “The Fuel” EP were made back in 2008 and 2009. J57 strategically saved them for the future and didn’t show them to anyone.
14 – Back in 2010, close friend/collaborator, Sene from Denitia and Sene, originally had a song over “The Fuel” beat for the intended Sene & J57 album. They even performed that song live for a few months around NYC and various other cities but decided to scrap it over time.
15 – Joe Rogers aka The Grand Concourse co-produced “Excitement” with J57. J’s original version (created in 2009) was his attempt at making an Exile meets Kid Cudi sounding beat. Joe and J brought it to another level when they sat down in Joe’s Room17 studio with a ton of analog gear in the summer of 2013 and revamped the beat.
16 – Two of J57’s new artists that he’s producing, Mike Two and Nichelle are both on “Crazy Is Beautiful”. Mike Two (who’s background is ghost writing for major labels) wrote the chorus and laid down a demo for Nevaeh to get the gist of it. Mike’s vocals sounded so good that they kept his vocals in and even had Nichelle come in and sing some background accenting vocals at Optiks’ home studio in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
17 – Mike Two coached Nevaeh how to deliver her vocals over Skype the day before Koncept & J57 shot the “Porcelain” video.
18 – Back in 2009, J57 had a solo song recorded to the “Excitement” beat but never let anyone hear it except for the person that sung the chorus on J’s version, Jefferson Price. J decided to scrap it as well as the rest of his solo album in late 2009 but kept the beats for future endeavors that he felt made sense.
19 – The “Porcelain” beat (created in 2014) was originally for J57’s debut solo LP, then while on tour a year later J played the beat for Koncept saying it would make more sense to use it for Koncept & J57 and that Hollis (whom they met 2 weeks prior) would sound perfect on it. J called Hollis and asked to if she was down to collaborate and she said yes. The rest is history.
20 – “Live Forever” was originally on “Flight” and was worked on at Red Bull Studios LA back in May 2013. PJ Katz even added extra keys there and James and Eric from Red Bull mixed the track. Dice Raw was a later addition to the record.
21 – “Plane Ticket” was a beat that J57 made in 2013 and wasn’t going to show anyone because he felt like none of the artists he worked with would like it for any of their albums. He luckily showed Koncept & Joe Rogers aka The Grand Concourse during a drunken studio session at Room17 Studio and they created the song known today as “Plane Ticket”.
22 – J57 originally made the beat for “Jump” for 1 of his solo albums “We Can Be Kings” and planned on featuring 1 or 2 emcee’s on it and called the song “The Next Kings” in homage to his old crew from back home on Long Island; TNK. As J’s album progressed, he realized that the beat would stick out like a sore thumb so he showed the beat to Koncept. Months later Koncept dug that beat up and recorded an incredible song to it and wanted to call it “The Next Kings” and to release it as a single. Koncept didn’t know that J57 planned on releasing an album called “We Can Be Kings” so they then decided to call it something else — then Koncept came up with “Jump”.
23 – The drum work on “Patience” was an homage to J57’s very long time love for the late, great J Dilla’s drum work.
24 – Whiskey and vodka fuelled Koncept & J57 during the 2 year creation of “The Fuel” EP; between long, fun studio sessions at Room17 with Joe Rogers to long, fun nights with their business partner, Kyle Watkins, in Manhattan going over the master plan.
25 – You are The Fuel. Each and every one of you. We made this music for you. For you to listen, feel, and see. To laugh, smile, jump, and cry. Be inspired to reach your own goals. Passion is life. Passion is fuel.
As we celebrate BTTF day, Leeds based Irn Mnky and Eskar have teamed up to release their brand new mixtape “Back to the Future Mixtape”. Available to download from £6.99 from the bandcamp page listed above, the download is also available in cassette format which is limited edition so make sure you purchase early to avoid disappointment when it inevitably goes out of stock. You can view the official artwork and download link to the Irn Mnky and Eskar – Back to the Future Mixtape here.
In a continued celebration of our friends The Doctors Orders reaching their 10 year anniversary, Spin Doctor has put together his favourite 10 DJ Sets throughout the years. The Doctors Orders are preparing for Scala on the 23rd of October (hit the link above for details and tickets) with arguably their biggest DJ lineup to date! In no particular order, spin Doctor highlights sharing a stage with the likes of Jazzy Jeff, Mr Thing, The Nextmen, DJ Nu Mark and many others. You can view the full list below.
Jazzy Jeff @ BBE 10.5 – 30th Sept 2006 @ Canvas
This is still one of the biggest shows we have done and for me this was the set of the night and was the first time I heard Jeff spin. It was a real eye opener of how good a DJ can be.
DJ Nu Mark – 21ST APRIL 2012 @ Koko
As well as his dope set using kids toys Nu Mark’s set on this night was straight party. A mix of bangers and surprise Rock & Pop classics which set the place alight.
The Nextmen Boat Party – Every Year!
I have always been a big fan of Brad & Dom’s style. They have been one of the main stays of our parties over the last 10 years and they always go in extra hard on their boat parties.
Mr thing @ J-Dilla Tribute – Feb 2006 @ Cargo
Next year will be the 10th Anniversary of our Dilla tributes and although they are always a highlight of the year Mr Thing’s set at the very first one set the tone for every year after.
?uestlove – 3 HR SET 11th Sept 2010 @ East village
You know that ?uestlove comes with a depth of knowledge that surpasses most in the game. This set was three hours of break to the beat killers that was as entertaining as it was educating.
Just Blaze vs Alchemist – 6th April 2010 @ East Village
These two are a pair of the most talented producers in the game and the first of these sound-clash nights sold out in days (which is always nice) and they tour the place apart with just their own beats.
DJ Spinna – Wonder-Full – 24th JULY 2015 @ Scala
I’d been wanting to do Spinna’s Wonder-Full party since going to one in Berlin years ago. A night of all Stevie Wonder work might be too much for some but the vibe and selection were amazing.
Bobbito 45s – 5th April 2014 @ The Book Club
Bob was one of the first guys I booked and we have gone on to become good friends. He only plays vinyl and this set for our 45 x 45s party was so on point.
Beat Junkies (JROCC / BABU / RHETMATTIC) – 23RD AUG 2012 @ Jazz Café
I have always been a huge fan of these guys so to put them on as a crew was a real treat. It was a great balance of party rocking and turntablism that wowed the place.
ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD – 15TH SEPT 2012 @ PLAN B
Tribe have always been my favourite group responsible for my favourite album of all time. They say not to meet your heroes but Ali did not disappoint. A real gent and killer set.
DOWNLOAD | Rndm – Mega Ran
We have another excellent feature from Mega Ran, with an exclusive 25 Facts about his most recent album “RNDM”. Please support Mega Ran by downloading RNDM from the iTunes link listed above.
1. The original title was “Wouldn’t Miss It For The World.” I’ve mentioned this before, but I don’t know if I’ve told why. I originally used to be a gospel rapper, and the album I was working on back then, maybe 2004 or so, had that title. The concept was that no matter how great things became, or what material posessions I’d have, I wouldn’t miss my shot at eternity for anything or anyone.
2. The Introduction Changed Four Times. I went to a Tech N9ne show for the first time in 2013, and that’s when I got my original idea for an intro. At the end of the show, Tech rapped some sort of pledge, or motto to the crowd, and they all knew the words. I later learned that this motto appears on every Tech album. I wanted my new album to start with a pledge of allegiance of sorts, that I would rap at each show at the beginning. The pledge I wrote was a spoken word poem with no music under it, and while I thought it was dope, it ultimately wasn’t me. I’m not a huge fan of acapellas at shows (no disrespect to anyone that does it, some make it work REALLY well), but I decided to go in a different direction, which was then a HARD rap intro with a beat by DiBia$e. I later scrapped that as well, but it may resurface. I played a show in Japan with a band in late 2014, and they love piano out there. I then decided that I wanted a piano track. I asked 2 great pianists for tracks, but ultimately I decided to contact Michiru Yamane, award-winning composer, and asked her to compose based on my words and feelings, and when I heard it, this current intro just flew out of my pen.
3. The original track listing was over 30 songs. I liked them all, and considered releasing RNDM as a double album. I didn’t wind up doing that. But some of those songs will surface in the next few years I think.
4. “The Meeting” was supposed to have a sequel. I originally planned for “The Meeting” to be two separate songs, where Random would come back and be supportive of Mega Ran’s transformation. I didn’t feel like it needed to end, so to speak, they could agree to disagree.
5. One track is lost forever. I had to cut a track I LOVED from this album, called “Wouldn’t Miss It For The World (sound familiar?)” all because of a producer not being able to get me the multi-track stems of his beat. He told me his computer had crashed, and that he was about to get kicked out of his home if he didn’t have $200 for rent… I felt for him and I gave him the money and he not only didn’t get me the beat, he stopped returning my calls and emails altogether. What a dweeb. That’s a lot of the reason the album title changed.
6. “Introvert Bars” was supposed to be longer. I had an entire song around it but it wasn’t as fun as the beginning was. So I re-did it several times, and then in sequencing, I accidentally realized it sounded perfect right before “Your Favorite Song.”
7. The album took 3, maybe 4 years to complete. I released “Losses” with Joell and MURS in 2013, but didn’t put it out until 2014, which is still a year ahead of the album. Infinite Lives was also released a year before the release date. And related to that…
8. “Believe” is seven years old. When we lived together, DJ DN3 and I just recorded tracks. A lot of music was made then. Most of it has been released, but one thing that never got out was an album called “The House Project,” that he made with our housemates. I appeared on a few tracks and the final track was “Believe.” I loved the song, but since the album never came out, it sat and sat. I asked DN3 if I could use it on this album, but I wanted to beef it up since it was so old. I looked around for organ players, and then got hit up by Packy of the band “I Fight Dragons” who knocked it out of the park. I had no idea he had so much soul.
9. “The Meeting’s concept was born in an interview. About a year ago, an interviewer asked me, “are you ever gonna make one of those ‘split personality songs’ where you talk to yourself? I laughed it off and said “nah, not likely.” I then went home and watched the play “The Meeting” about Martin Luther King meeting Malcolm X. And then I wrote “The Meeting.”
10. The female vocalist on “Laughin At Ya (That’s Crazy)” is from Fiverr. That’s right. I hired a vocalist from India to give me some vocals for the song that I written and she did the job. Originally her vocals were to be placeholders for another singer, but that singer cancelled her session and I was heading on the road, so the $5 vocals stuck. She asked not to be credited by name. That’s Crazy.
11. “Mackerel Sky” is the result of listening to too much Aesop Rock. I listened to 3 people during the making of this album: Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan and Aesop Rock. I was determined to make a few songs on this album that wouldn’t be immediately decipherable upon first listen. Mackerel and Promised Land are those songs. I wrote Mackerel Sky specifically for the purpose of breaking it down in depth, one day down the line. Turns out it was a banging track. Ironically, AF THE NAYSAYER originally used this beat as a remix for Aesop’s “None Shall Pass.” I heard it at a show and asked him about it, and boom.
12. The Meeting was re-recorded the most times, maybe 5. I usually record stuff once to get it down, then again at the big studio, but this one didn’t have the right amount of emotion on it the first few takes, so I had to do it again, and then again, and again.
13. Joell Ortiz probably doesn’t like me. I asked him to send me a CLEAN verse for this album and though his verse is mostly clean, he uses 2 of the 7 words you can’t say on radio or TV. I asked him to redo his verse and he refused, and even got a little offended. He didn’t want his verse edited, but eventually agreed to it…I think.
14. MURS’ verse on “Losses” took less than 12 hours. If there’s one chance I wish I could get back it’s that one. I dig my verse a lot, but I feel like he had it down and murdered that one. He got me that verse within the same day and it was REALLY impressive.
15. Someone stole the beat for “Your Favorite Song.” Tunesmith (the producer) told me that he sent out a beat tape with that track on it to several other MCs and one young guy from Cali just rapped on the beat and put it on his soundcloud without even talking to him. It’s rappers like that guy that give us a bad name. You probably will never hear it, but if you do, you know the story now.
16. I’ve never met 4 of the producers on the album. Al Maccio, Tunesmith and PR Beats and Marcus Banks are just dope beatmakers who sent me tracks that they’d made with me in mind… they worked. I’d always dreamed of being an artist that producers name beats after, like “Mega Ran-Type Beat”
17. Me and Wordburglar think alike. So on Wordburglar’s new album, I appear on a track called “Warp Formula” which is all about space travel, and he appears on my album on Space Defense Team, all about space travelling bounty hunters.
18. Kool Keith was a dream to work with. I sent him the song with my verses and hook on it and he immediately agreed to hop on and even made suggestions on the song direction, which was awesome. A dream to be able to bounce ideas off of a legendary MC.
19. Matt Weiss did a LOT on this album. He mixed the entire record, played some bass on Miss Communication, did background vocals on several tracks and more. I can’t say enough about his talent level and how much he leveled up this record.
20. Laughin At Ya was a joke. It was supposed to be a skit, but became a whole song. I wrote it so fast that I just didn’t think it deserved to be a part of the album. But it was entertaining and had a sound that I had never experimented with before. So we kept it.
21. Alternate Endings is inspired by the Professor Layton x Phoenix Wright game. In that game, in an alternate world, Layton meets Phoenix Wright, who is a baker, and not a lawyer. So that inspired me to make a song in which someone would meet me in my alternate life. I used to want to be a dentist. It’s true. Up until my sophomore year of college, I was determined to be a dental hygenist. Then I failed biology and decided to change course.
22. Rushmore was a hard song to write. My original plan was to rap each verse in an attempt to impersonate each artist that I was talking about, but I decided not to, though I felt I had done a good job with the voices and flow of each. But I thought that would sound too tongue-in-cheek, when it wasn’t a funny song at all.
23. “Revisions” probably ensures I’ll never teach again. I let out a lot of serious behind-the-curtain stuff that teachers and administrators know, but no one says. I started writing this while I was still teaching, so maybe mid 2011.
24. “The Promised Land” is my career in a nutshell. It works on a number of levels, but it initially was written to be a parallel of my relationship with nerdcore. I feel like I helped knock down a wall that encouraged people of color to be themselves and embrace their nerdiness, but once the wall was down, everyone tried to repeat the same formula and it became overcrowded, to the point where I felt like the outcast. If that wall were still up, I’d be protected, but without it, I’m exposed.
25. “Mighty” was the impossible song, but we got it done. I got an email from Comcept while on the road with Storyville and Danimal this year, and they gave me a short deadline for a very intricate track… they wanted an EIGHT MINUTE song that included a voice clip from every high level backer. You’ll hear that version on the game when it comes out in 2016.
EXCLUSIVE | Mega Ran and Bag of Tricks Cat Interview
DOWNLOAD | Mega Ran – RNDM
Following months of anticipation regarding it’s release, we can now download and listen to Mega Ran’s latest album “RNDM”. We saw a number of promotional tracks prior to the release, along with other news and music ventures which saw songs and shows with the likes of K-Murdock and Bag of Tricks Cat. I highly recommend dowloading Mega Ran’s latest RNDM album from the iTunes link above, and I’ve also posted the artwork and track listing here. You can also watch the exclusive Mega Ran and Bag of Tricks Cat interview with Hip-Hop Kings on the link listed above.
1. Same As It Ever Was (w/piano by Michiru Yamane)
2. Infinite Lives (feat. D&D Sluggers, beat by Marcus Banks)
3. Rushmore (feat. Doc Awk, beat by Lazerbeak)
4. Introvert Bars (beat by PR Beats)
5. Your Favorite Song (beat by Tunesmith)
6. The Meeting (beat by K-Murdock)
7. Mackerel Sky (feat. RoQy TyRaiD, beat by AF THE NAYSAYER, cuts by DJ MoNiklz)
8. O.P. (feat. Richie Branson and Storyville, beat by Lost Perception)
9. Laughin’ At Ya (That’s Crazy) (beat by Al Maccio)
10. Altern8 Endings (feat. Open Mike Eagle, beat by AKT AKTION)
11. Revisions (feat. Elle Winston, beat by DJ Big Serg)
12. A Poet (beat by Fresh Kils)
13. The Promised Land (an allegory) (beat by Dony5ive)
14. Miss Communication (beat by Shelshoc)
15. Space Defense Team (Alien Swarm Part 1) [feat. Kool Keith and Wordburglar] (beat by RND1)
16. Believe! (beat by DJ DN3 and RandomBeats)
17. Losses (feat. Joell Ortiz and MURS, beat by Alex Minor)
18. BONUS TRACK: Mighty (beat by DJ DN3, K-Murdock)
Here are 25 exclusive facts about the Verb T and Illinformed album “The Man with the Foggy Eyes”. Make sure you download the album using the iTunes link listed above.
1. Suga Free Inspired the album.
2. The album was made at the same time as my producer album The Mould Tape, Siou Escallon did the art work for both.
3. Leaf dog drew a album cover for it that we rejected, and he spelt the name wrong.
4. The beat for Forgivness is from my first beat tape Weed Money.
5. The album took 2 years to make.
6. All beats were made in my bed room, and the bars were recorded at Chemo’s.
7. The title track was recorded on a different beat originally.
8. Most of the album is made out of old jazz and blues records.
9. We have a ‘part 2’ of the album which was recorded in the same time period coming soon!
10. It was made the same time as Natural Order by The Four Owls.
1. The films ‘king of comedy’ and ‘taxi driver’ influenced me a lot in the making of this album.
2.I wrote lyrics on trians, planes, tour buses and in hotel rooms but the best working space was on my living room floor in the early AM that’s when I had the best ideas.
3. Dirty Dike was meant to be on the album but had a heavy session the night b4 and didn’t make it to the lab. No grudges were held at any time.
4. I recorded more songs for this album than I have on any other album, it was hard to cut the track list down.
5. I am producing albums for both Moreone and Chillman who feature on this album.
6. The cover was inspired by an old movie poster for a movie called the skull, the end result looks very different though.
7. Madlean is the tallest guest on the album, closely followed by fliptrix.
8. The second verse on say it again is a reworking of the first verse from my song where you find me, it’s kind of a self parody too, that’s probably very self indulgent.
9. Some of this album was recorded in the summer and the booth was crazy hot and sweaty, I nearly fainted on one take, I didn’t though, actually I’m not sure how close I was to fainting but I blacked out for like 2 seconds.
10. I recorded most of the bars with my shoes off and my eyes closed.
11. There was a place nearby that does really good stewed chicken with rice and peas for £1.99 that helped me through a few of the longer studio sessions, other times I was bad a bought greasy chicken wings.
12. I ate an average of 2 apples per session.
13. Chemo has subtle backing vocals on about 3 or 4 songs, between that and reading the Crystal Palace fan forums non stop he was very active. Also he did kinda mix and master it all I guess.
14. The video for first stone by above ground consists of footage mixed with thousands of photos it was easy to film, but not to edit I’m sure.
15. I was going to do a joke country version of the album but realised that was incredibly long so I just did one skit at the very end.
DOWNLOAD | Grizzly Gato – While You Were Sleeping
Following the release of NY based Grizzly Gato’s “Now You Were Sleeping” we have 25 facts about the album as part of our #25Facts series. Make sure you download Grizzly Gato’s “While You Were Sleeping” on the link above.
1- Oddy was actually arrested for drinking a bottle of Ginger Beer outside a bar he was performing at in Hudson, NY. That incident also got the bar shut down for the night. All the audio on “Ginger Beer” is from a video that went viral of the incident and was later taken down by the authorities.
2- Grizzly Grimace is an investing partner of a restaurant called Maurepas Foods in New Orleans.
3- The entirety of the album While You Were Sleeping was recorded within 2 months in the fall between the hours of 10pm <x-apple-data-detectors://2> and 4am <x-apple-data detectors://3> .
4- The Track “Vs Donny Wahlberg” was the first song recorded for the album and was written and recorded only over the drums. The sample was added a month later.
5- Oddy Gato and Grizzly Grimace first met at the 2011 Beat Shot Hip Hop Festival in Albany, NY.
6- Grizzly Grimace has released 2 projects “Whole Lies and Half Truths” and “Love Thug” on Pig Food Records.
7- Oddy Gato has released “Oddzilla” “Oral Surgery” and “Lobo Gato” w Beat Shot Music.
8- Grizzly Grimace’s first production credit was on Cage and Tame One’s Leak Bros. “Waterworld” album.
9- Grizzly Grimace has also produced 2 projects for Bisc 1 (Bisco Smith) back in 2008 and 2010 under the name J Vegus.
10- Oddy Gato has been featured on 2 different J Live projects. “Then What Happened” and “Undivided Attention”.
11- Oddy Gato is fluent in 3 languages.
12- Grizzly Grimace has lived in 6 different cities between North and South America.
13- Oddy Gato has to settle a government debt in order to reclaim his passport, so help us out by supporting and buying the album and we can come tour the UK.
14- The Grizzly Gato album was completely recorded in Grimaces apartment in Albany NY back in 2013. He moved out as soon as it was finished.
15- The Song Dedicated was written about ex girlfriend’s, both from Ohio.
16- Oddy Gato once walked the entire circumference of Denver, Colorado in a day.
17- Grizzly Grimace was a child model in NYC for Kodak and JC Penny.
18- Oddy Gatos real name is Raphael but everyone calls him Ralph.
19- Grizzly Grimaces real name is Christopher but everyone calls him Belly.
20- Oddy Gatos favorite movie is Big Trouble In Little China.
21- Grizzly Grimaces favorite movie is Goonies.
22- Grizzly Gato is currently finishing up an EP due out this winter.
23- Oddy Gato has been part of a public access show in Albany, NY called News World for the past 2 years.
24- Grizzly Grimace once worked at a prominent NYC music studio as an assistant engineer. The studio is known as the studio where 2 pac was first shot.
25- Oddy Gato has volunteered his time to a hip hop workshop for kids in Albany, NY.
1. The name Black N Red comes from the notes books I’ve used to write bars in since 2010. Every book is the same with Black ‘N Red in the corner.
2. Black N Red is my first ever full hip hop release.
3. The release is inspired by my son, Cassian.
4. I wrote the release when my son was first born.
5. This is my first release all produced by one producer, Aokid.
6. Aokid is a Hip Hop producer from Derby.
7. Black N Red was recorded at acoustic roots by Frazer Lowrie
8. And was mastered by Deadbeat, Tumble Audio.
9. My first ever tour has taken place due to the release of this EP
10. I’m playing my biggest show to date due to the release at Glastonbury Festival.
11. Black N Red EP is out the day before my birthday.
12. Black N Red is available to Pre Order now on iTunes.
13. There is a video for the release titled single out now on JDZ Media.
14. In the video for the song Dreams I zip round Radford on a mobility scooter.
15. Me and Frazer got joke recording dreams.
16. The artwork is designed by Elliot Caine aka FTS.CO
17. Elliott Caine is a G.
18. The Video for Black N Red was filmed by Toby Curson aka Lock Up.
19. Toby is also a G.
20. Most of the EP was recorded in March.
21. My live performances are backed by a love band.
22. Hip-Hop Kings are sick.
23. Black N Red EP got me a section in Hip -Hop Kings 25 facts.
24. I’m running out of facts.
25. Black N Red EP was released on 27th June on Phlexx Records.
DOWNLOAD | Cats & Dogs (Deluxe Version) – Evidence
During our trip to the 2015 Fresh Island Festival, Ryan Maxwell of Hip-Hop Kings was lucky enough to meet and interview Rhymesayers Entertainment artist Evidence. We are a huge fan of Evidence/Dilated Peoples at Hip-Hop Kings, so it was an honour to meet and interview Evidence, who confirmed that he will be releasing a brand new solo album next year, which he already has a handful of songs recorded for. Evidence also explains his reasons for wanting to sign with Rhymesayers Entertainment, and the guest producers and artists who have already featured on the upcoming album. Please support Evidence by downloading the albums Cats and Dogs and Directors of Photography from the links above. You can also watch Evidence – Fresh Island Festival Interview on the YouTube player below.
DOWNLOAD | Kill the Wolf – B Dolan
PREVIOUS | B.Dolan World Tour Dates
Following the release of B.Dolan’s “Kill The Wolf”, we have an exclusive 25 facts article containing information that you won’t know about the album. Please support B.Dolan by downloading Kill The Wolf from the iTunes link listed above, and look out for B.Dolan on his world tour in the forthcoming months.
1. Over 20 musicians, vocalists, producers and engineers were involved in the making of this record. It took me 5 years to complete.
2. Midway through the process, the lead engineer DS3K moved out of the studio he’d been working in for years and constructed a brand new custom studio that has reinvented our workflow and
made everything quicker / sonically amazing. However, the process of stripping a basement to the studs and building an acoustically engineered studio was not an easy or a quick one.
3. We were in such a rush to get back to work after the studio was constructed, we failed to properly ventilate / consider that the new building materials would be off-gassing. In this way, we very nearly killed ourselves making the album. After one long 4 day session, DS3K went to the hospital one day unable to form sentences properly, and they found elevated Carbon Monoxide in his bloodstream. This album reaked havoc on our health and mental well being more than once. It was during that time that I found the biblical quote from the Lazarus story that became that songs opening “hook” … “This sickness will not end in death.”
4. In the time it took to complete the album, Dave Lamb, the vocalist featured on the chorus of “Jailbreak” was diagnosed with Leukemia and passed away. He was part of an incredible Providence band called Brown Bird that I urge people to find and listen to. He was absolutely one of the most talented musicians I’ve ever known or worked with.
5. I listened to “Jailbreak” 8,000 times while making this album, and only understood the beginning of Aesop’s verse a month after the album was completed. “Vertical vertical vertical vertical diagonal” is a reference to the hashmarks a prisoner would make on the wall while counting off days.
6. I got married while making this album. It’s cool when your best friend is sexy and down to spoon. We get along good.
7. I released two mixtapes while making this record, House of Bees vol. 2 & 3, with Buddy Peace. We’re currently working out a DJ / MC set that we can tour around the world for the next few years. It’s sounding incredible and I’m very excited for people to see this tour.
8. The song “Rats Get Fat” took 6 months to write and record, and at one point featured an entirely different beat / bpm. We did a ton of work on that older version and eventually scrapped it, thought it became the main theme in a movie I wrote & scored last year called “Almost Mercy”. That movie will be on Netflix this July.
9. I wrote “Rats Get Fat” with the intention of turning it into an animated video, though it remains to be seen if the video artist I was originally collaborating with will come through on it. I hope he does, because it looks absolutely incredible, and is the reason I wrote such a visual story. He uses a style of photo animation that’s really unique and dark. The rats have scary red eyes. It’s awesome.
10. During a show w/ Scroobius Pip several years ago, the first song in my set caused a fuse in the venue to blow, shorting out the P.A. and lights. Being mid song and in front of 400 kids, I switched into spoken word mode and performed “Who Killed Russell Jones?” which I had just written at the time. A photographer in the front row switched his camera to video mode and captured the performance, which a fan later animated. We released that video as the first official ‘leak’ from this album.
11. I also reference that event, and the second time it happened, on the song “Stay Inspired.”
12. The second official leak was also fan created without too much of my knowledge or input. Ben Morgan, a talented filmmaker from Liverpool, asked me to send him some high energy stuff from the new record and I sent him “Alright”. A little while later he dropped that video in my lap, and I was so impressed with it we made that one official too.
13. “These Rooms” was the last song completed for the album. I had the concept in mind for a couple months, but hadn’t sat down to right it yet. At the last possible moment before the album was due, I booked myself into a hotel room 40 minutes from my house where I barricaded myself and wrote the song in one sitting. The instrumentation of that song was the only ‘beat’ I didn’t oversee the production of.
14. Jim Diotte created the “These Rooms” beat, and the last time I worked with him was on my debut LP “The Failure”, when he created the music for “The Crow on the Riddle”. He originally sent me that instrumental for a remix to the song ‘Heart Failure’, which will shock the shit out of people who know both songs.
15. Graffiti Busters had a sample that was impossible to clear, so it was removed, but it would have been my favorite scratch chorus of all time. I was able to edit together two different Rakim lyrics to create a perfect acapella of him saying: “When I’m finished / no graffiti on the wall” and it sounded hard as fuck. However, Def Jam sample clearance was not on the table.
16. “Safety Theater” is a real term used by people in the airport security industry. It refers to the parts of the airport arrival and check-in process that do nothing to actually protect you, but make you feel as if you are being watched / protected. For example your passport is checked several times when you fly internationally, but only once is it ever checked against the “do not fly” list. The other times it’s just being looked at for dramatic effect.
17. “Memory of Bombs” was written in two parts. At first, the song was started in the wake of the Newtown shooting. The idea had to do with an ancient legacy of violence in America, and sense of exceptionalism that sort of mirrors the psychology of a school shooter. I also read an article about the government’s attempts to dispose of a massive amount of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, and the problems that arose from burying something that will still be poisonous and deadly in 10,000 years. A panel of experts was assembled to try and figure out how to warn civilizations that will be as different to us as we are to the humans who made cave paintings… and that idea really fascinated me.
18. In the midst of that, the events in Ferguson and the deaths of unarmed black teenagers suddenly became national news, and the second verse sort of fell into place. The common theme was white violence in America, and the long history of it and difficulty in facing it / “disposing of” it / addressing it.
19. While making this album I bought a house. It’s pretty damn cool. I still sometimes feel like someone is coming to take it away from me. Because they are. Their name is the bank. But so far I have fended off the bank, and now I’m attached do it. Come and git me, you fucks.
20. The engineering of this album was inspired by a little known record label called Cadet, which was an offshoot of Chess Records. I collect LP’s from Cadet’s catalogue, much of which were engineered by Charles Stepney, who later went on to produce Earth Wind & Fire. The Cadet catalog has a ton of really crunchy drum breaks, but also has a lot of huge guitars engineered in a very psych rock way. By initially sampling from, but then recreating, and listening to those records we arrived at the melding of break beats, analog synths and rock engineering that a lot of this album has.
21. I had the album cover before I had the album, or the title of the album. I came across it randomly one day and knew instantly that it needed to be the cover art. It actually influenced the writing on several songs, including “Run the Machine”, but I also realized I’d already made a couple wolf references on different songs. On Stay Inspired I’d talked about eating with the pack, and the line at the end of “Alright”. The theme sort of suggested itself in that way.
22. Jamila Woods is a spoken word artist from Chicago who I hit up to record the spoken word segment of “Run the Machine”. She’s also got a lot of great work to be found on Youtube. Cheggit.
23. We mic’d and recorded a grand piano for an entire day during the making of this album. That recording is nowhere on the finished product.
24. We used a lot of Moog gear on this album, and were scheduled to record a Moog Sound Lab when the album was done. Unfortunately, Moog seems to have discontinued that series, but we still like em and all. What up Moog.
25. Sage Francis sings back up vocals on “These Rooms” and also appears on the first track “Lazarus”, ever so briefly. He only lets me yell things or do hooks on his records, so I feel like it’s becoming a mutual policy. Just to show there’s no hard feelings though, we’re gonna try and make a whole record together next. I referred to him as “my brother” for years, but recently a fan came forward with some info that ironically may show we are in fact distantly related by blood. Crazy, right? That’s why I saved that fact for last. Props to anyone that read this far down. See you soon!