Category: Exclusive

Awkword Freestyle (Exclusive)

• May 27, 2016
Awkword Freestyle (I Am)

Awkword Freestyle (I Am)

This is the latest video we have from Awkword, who gives Hip-Hop Kings an exclusive freestyle. During the “Kings of New York” series, the Awkword Freestyle is the latest video to go live on the HHKMusic YouTube Channel.

The Awkword Freestyle is a Hip-Hop Kings exclusive, and was filmed at the same time as the Awkword Interview that we have shared previously. In the interview, Awkword talks about his concept albums (including World View) which was the project we were introduced to. Awkword also talks about his collaborations (Atmosphere, Joell Ortiz, Chaundon and many others) and his upcoming album and gofundme campaign as well. If you’ve not watched the Awkword interview, check the end of the YouTube video below and we have linked the interview after the freestyle has finished.

As Awkword works on continuing to give back to the community and also give shine to other artists from all other the world, he has setup a gofundme campaign, which will enable Awkword to film and release a music video for “Africa/the Diaspora”. The plan is to have rappers from all over the world (including Africa) appear on video in a high quality project which requires support of Awkword’s fans. Please check the gofundme campaign and donate what you can to the project.

Subscribe to the YouTube channel and check out the other interviews from our Kings of New York series which include interviews with the likes of Masta Ace, Skyzoo, Torae, Ruste Juxx and many more. You can also search Awkword on Hip-Hop Kings to view plenty of previous tracks we have blogged and shared. You can watch the Awkword Freestyle on the YouTube player below.

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Imperial and Kinetik Adventures in Technicolour 25 Facts

• May 25, 2016
Imperial and Kinetik Adventures in Technicolour

Imperial and Kinetik Adventures in Technicolour

In our popular series, please find the latest installment for Imperial and Kinetik Adventures in Technicolour 25 facts.

The album title, ‘Adventures In Technicolour’ (AIT), came about from an interview with Tom Simkins from BBC Cambridgeshire after Imperial and K.I.N.E.T.I.K.’s headline performance at the Secret Garden Party 2015. In the interview, K.I.N.E.T.I.K. described their first EP, ‘Pencils Not Pistols’ (PNP) as being in ‘monochrome’ and ‘AIT’ as being in ‘technicolour’.

Other album title ideas included ‘Fresh Equations’ and ‘Music You Can Play For Your Mother’.

Sonically, ‘AIT’ is much brighter and fuller than ‘PNP’. The beats contain more layers than ‘PNP’ and the production is far more creative and precise.

The artwork was a collaboration between Imperial and K.I.N.E.T.I.K. and their good friend Agnes and Lupus. The album cover is actually Imperial after eating 30 packs of skittles and the deluxe cover available through Bandcamp is K.I.N.E.T.I.K., but that took 40 packs. It was very messy.

The feel and approach for ‘One Big Rhyme’ was inspired by ‘Save The Children’ by Joey Bada$$. K.I.N.E.T.I.K. wanted to challenge himself and go beyond the usual 16 bar verse and 8 bar hook formula that he was becoming reliant on, so he just decided to write ‘one big rhyme’ literally.

The crowd audio used on the intro and outro for ‘Good’ Music’ was captured on Imperial’s GoPro at the end their show on the BBC Introducing stage at Secret Garden Party 2015. They didn’t get to perform that last song though.

The first verse of ‘Good Music’ was written back in late 2012 to the first beat Imperial ever sent to K.I.N.E.T.I.K. when he asked him to feature on his solo album. They ended up recording ‘Zone Out’ instead.

The second verse of ‘Good Music’ was all Imperial’s idea. The song was done and then Imperial had the bright idea of doing a new second verse paying tribute to all of their favourite Hip Hop duos. K.I.N.E.T.I.K. didn’t just want to name drop, but he wanted to include the names of his favourite duos in a cohesive narrative. He also wanted to shed light on duos who are either less well known like Epidemic or sometimes overlooked like Eightball and M.J.G.

To save time, a few of the songs were recorded to other instrumentals and remixed by Imperial to fit the feel of the album. ‘Higher’ was originally recorded to ‘Freedom’ by The Procussions, ‘Good Music’ was recorded to ‘Miss January’ by The Procussions and ‘Not For Sale’ was recorded to ‘Sapporo Summer’ by Funky D.L.

Imperial and Kinetik Good Music

Imperial and Kinetik Good Music

There are a few unreleased tracks from the album sessions including one called ‘Dexter Morgan’ that was recorded to ‘Hood In The U.S.A.’ by Large Professor and another one called ‘This Goes Out To You’ featuring Sivion.

‘Travel The Map’ came about from K.I.N.E.T.I.K. interviewing Oddisee for thehiphopchronicle.com. Details were exchanged and Oddisee agreed to work on a collaboration. There was a small window of time to get the song done, so a beat from Imperial’s stash was sent to Oddisee to write something to about travelling. Two weeks later, Oddisee sent his verse back and Imperial remixed the beat afterwards.

The ‘Softer Than Pampers’ skit was literally added at the last minute. K.I.N.E.T.I.K. messaged his best friend, Jamieson, asking him to do the skit as a favour. Jamieson recorded his vocals on his iPhone after having just woken up which is why he sounds slightly ‘out of it’.

Like the skit before it, ‘Hold That’ was also added to the album at the 11th hour. Josh at Illect wanted a bonus track for the UK audience and nobody reps UK Hip Hop more than Micall Parknsun. Using ‘The New Raw’ produced by Ohmega Watts as inspiration, Imperial knocked out this beat, K.I.N.E.T.I.K. put in a call to Parky and the rest is history. This track is without a doubt, the hardest song on the album.

‘Golden Crown’ is a tribute to their fallen comrade, Praverb The Wyse. Imperial and K.I.N.E.T.I.K. initially crossed paths because of an interview that I.N.E.T.I.K. did for www.praverb.net. Praverb agreed to feature on the album but unfortunately, due to Praverb’s sudden passing, this idea was never realised.

Only 1 song contains a real instrumentation and the rest is all sequenced. The guitars for ‘Man Of The House’ were recorded by Marc Lawrence. Marc is the mastering engineer for many of Tommy Boy’s current Hip Hop releases.

‘Just Another Day’ was the first song that was recorded for this album even though at the time, they didn’t know that they were going to make an album. The original idea that K.I.N.E.T.I.K. had for this beat was about a man who got caught cheating on his wife. Infidelity is far from funny so when K.I.N.E.T.I.K. told Imperial about his idea, he replied with “write some nice Summery raps”.

The cuts used on ‘The Great Indoors’ were sent to Imperial and K.I.N.E.T.I.K. by Red Pill himself. After asking on Twitter if anyone had the acapellas for ‘Rap Game Cranky’, James Gardin (who features on ‘Fresh’), reached out to his Blat Pack brethren Red Pill and assisted with the hook up.

Sampling Phife from A Tribe Called Quest for the hook on ‘Not For Sale’ was K.I.N.E.T.I.K.’s idea. The song deals with maintaining your integrity in a world that encourages everything but that. This track was completed in September 2015 and with Phife’s recent death, the song now has an even deeper meaning for the duo.

Imperial and Kinetik Higher

Imperial and Kinetik Higher

K.I.N.E.T.I.K. was listening to a lot of N.W.A. records while writing the album hence the ‘Compton’ reference on ‘Fix Your Face’ and the ‘Eazy-E’ reference on ‘Man Of The House’.

K.I.N.E.T.I.K.’s writing process includes recording each new song on his iPhone using the Voice Memos app. He then sends the ‘demo’ over to Imperial for feedback prior to recording in the actual studio.

K.I.N.E.T.I.K. ate a box of 8 chicken wings and drank four bottles of Desperados in each recording session. Shout out to Morley’s in Forest Hill, London.

Imperial and K.I.N.E.T.I.K. didn’t record any of the album’s songs together. They did stay in frequent contact via phone calls, email, telegram, courier and even sent messages with pigeons.

For the producers and gear nerds out there, Imperial used Logic Pro X for beatmaking, mixing and mastering. A few of his favourite plugins and synths that were used extensively on the album include; Brainworx saturator, Noveltech character, NI Transient Master, NI Absynth, Passion Flute, Rump Shaker, FabFilter Timeless 2, D16 Decimort, Waves CLA compressors and Ozone 6.

‘AIT’ hit number one in the iTunes Hip Hop pre-order chart and featured on the front page three days after it became available. The response to the album before it has even been released has been staggering and Imperial and K.I.N.E.T.I.K. are hugely thankful to everyone who has pre-ordered a copy.

After the high demand for physical product, Imperial and K.I.N.E.T.I.K. have made the album available on limited edition CD and cassette. The CD can be ordered at imperialandkinetik.com.

Please make sure you download the album and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading Imperial and Kinetik Adventures in Technicolour 25 facts. You can watch Imperial and Kinetik – Good Music on the YouTube player below.

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Lazy Habits The Atrocity Exhibition – 25 Facts

• May 19, 2016
Lazy Habits The Atrocity Exhibition - 25 Factsq

Lazy Habits The Atrocity Exhibition – 25 Facts

In our very popular 25 facts series, we speak to Lazy Habits regarding their upcoming album “The Atrocity Exhibition”. Lazy Habits The Atrocity Exhibition will be available on the 27th May 2016 to fans.

1 From inception to completion the album took 2 years.

2 Whilst mixing the album our studio mates were The Cure, who were production rehearsing for a live tour at the time.

3 We may have used some of Royal Bloods equipment in the mixing process.

4 The track-listing for the album has changed a couple of times since the recording process, with one track coming off the original list and two being added.

5 It’s the first time we have ever worked with an outside producer/beatmaker, we co-produced three tracks with Benny Aves.

6 It’s the first time we have ever had guest rappers on an album, with Dizraeli and the returning Skin Horse among the guests on the new album.

7 The album was recorded at three studios in London including a purpose built studio at the Hub where some of us live, this set up was used to record vocals for most of the album, to create a space that was less sterile than a normal recording studio can be at times.

8 We mixed the album at Brighton Electric, where I lived on and off for the six months it took to finish it.

9 Before starting the recording process we road tested a whole bunch of material at some festivals over the summer, under different titles and sometimes only playing small section of these songs was a great way for us to see how the new material worked next the older stuff and also to see what reactions we would get for those songs amongst crowds that were not totally made up of people that had come to watch our show.

Lazy Habits The Atrocity Exhibition - 25 Facts

Lazy Habits The Atrocity Exhibition – 25 Facts

10 Between recording the two albums I started a side project alongside Josh Whitehouse of ‘More Like Trees’ and ‘Fjokra’, called ‘High Cross Society’. In the process of writing and recording with this project I felt I learnt a lot that I took back with me to record “The Atrocity Exhibition” working with Fjokra on most of the pre-production demos and getting both him and Josh to guest on the album both in name and also in other small ways to add to the soundscape of the whole project.

11 We shot the video to The Breach before the track was mixed and mastered, it had a guide vocal on it too but still had the dramatic feel which lead to the overall impact and theme of the video.

12 At one point we almost had Taron Egerton come and do some backing vocals on it, he was around a lot when it was getting made and he does have one hell of a voice.

13 We originally thought the album was going to come out in October last year but it took a little longer to get everything in place before we were given our actual release date, that’s one of the reasons we decided to work a little more on it and add a couple of extra tracks.

14 It started as project of releasing weekly music starting in 2016 with Benny Aves producing, this stopped pretty soon when we realised these tracks were still 100% relevant to theme of the album.

15 We almost had to clear our first ever sample for a recording.. We ended up deciding against it.. The track is called “How it Used to Be” it’s up on our soundcloud and a part of the current live set.

Lazy Habits 25 Facts

Lazy Habits 25 Facts

16 There are a lot more strings on this album, on the first one I think it was 4.. this one is 8 I think, two different composers too.. John Pickup worked with us on the first album and we had him back again but also used award winning composer Simon Dobson who was also on board for trumpet duties on some of the tracks.

17 We used a harp for the first time ever. The amazing talented Bethan Griffiths plays on the opening and closing of the album.

18 In a weird kind of reverse sample type thing we wrote a small section of music with the High Cross Society to infuse into one of the songs on the album, it sounds like its sampled from a song but we only wrote 8 bars of a loop, to give that impression… That loop is now going to be a part of a song by HCS.

19 I wrote Babysol’s hook on this album, but then I ended up using one she had written for another one of the songs.

20 The title of the album is taken from a collection of short stories by JG Ballard, a British writer born in Shanghai, China. A lot of the album’s themes were also explored whilst staying in Taiwan and Hong Kong after touring.

21 The artwork for the album was created by Cranio from Spain. He designed the initial artwork for the album front cover.

22 We decided to get artwork for each of the tracks from the album but using the original artwork as a stating point. Each artist was send a vector of the front cover and the song they would be working to.

23 Artists on the album include Ed Hicks, John Chan, director Lee Lennox, long term collaborator Josh Whitehouse and Harry Yeff (aka Reeps One).

24 Reeps One is also on the album too, as part of the High Cross Scoiety loop. This album really was a family thing so there were a lot of the family around when it was being recorded so some of them are on there somewhere.

25 We have already already started working on the next album.

You can also watch Lazy Habits “Answers with Questions” on the YouTube player below.

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Constant Deviants Omerta (25 Facts)

• April 11, 2016
Constant Deviants Omerta (25 Facts)

Constant Deviants Omerta (25 Facts)

Following on from the “Avant Garde” album Constant Deviants Omerta is the upcoming album, and in typical fashion we have 25 facts to share about the project.

We will be posting more promotional material ahead of the upcoming Constant Deviants Omerta album in the forthcoming weeks and months, as the album is due to be released on the 28th June 2016. Check out music from Avant Garde by searching for Constant Deviants in the search bar.

1. The concept for Omerta was inspired at a show in Vevey , Switzerland at the RKC where Constant Deviants and the Six2Six team performed and spent the night bugging out with the late great Sean Price. Great memories!

2. After releasing Avant Garde last year and creating such a laid back, jazzy feeling artistic album, M.I. and Cutt felt it was time to deliver a hard hitting gritty album but still maintain their “moving forward” outlook.

3. The concept for Luciano and Lansky was based on the fact that M.I. is Italian and Cutt is Russian.

4. The Six2Six team has started a Six2Six Films division to the company and in the process of recording this album filmed their second movie “Six 2 Six the Movie”

5. M.I. has fallen in love with acting and enjoys it nearly as much as his music

6. Dj Cutt released a project this year with an artist named Aye Wun titled “Groceries”.

7. Both Cutt and Aye Wun appear in “Six 2 Six the Movie”

8. Omerta is the first project that Constant Deviants recorded together in the studio since “Amongst Friends” circa 1998-2000

9. This album is the duo’s favorite album to date

Constant Deviants Omerta (25 Facts)

Constant Deviants Omerta (25 Facts)

10. M.I. swims 90 laps a day

11. Cutt is getting more into djing parties and playing classics

12. The first song recorded for this album was “So Underrated“. And that set the bar for the album

13. There is already another project in the works for Constant Deviants

14. Constant Deviants is one of the few groups still sticking to the dj/mc formula.

15. DJ Cutt made all the beats and mixed all of Constant Deviants projects

16. Both are sick of hearing about the presidential campaign “Cutt for President”

17. Six2Six Films will begin filming their 3rd movie while the current movie is making a festival run

18. Omerta was originally set to be an EP

19. M.I. released his solo LP titled “Catch 22” early 2016 produced by TCOR

20. Cutt spent a lot of time looking for samples that fit the concept of this LP

Constant Deviants Omerta (25 Facts)

Constant Deviants Omerta (25 Facts)

21. M.I. spent a lot of time making sure he incorporated “mob slang” and mob references in the lyrics but was careful not to come off like they were trying to be mobsters.

22. Luciano and Lansky both died free men

23. Six2Six is looking forward to getting more into scoring movies.

24. M.I. has gotten more into production and is currently producing the “Who” album for label mate Rome.

25. Competition still catchin speed knots!!!

Let us know what you think to the Constant Deviants Omerta 25 facts by joining us on Twitter (@HHKMag) using the hashtag #HHKMusic

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Masta Ace Disposable Arts Interview

• April 8, 2016
Masta Ace Disposable Arts Interview

Masta Ace Disposable Arts Interview

Masta Ace Disposable Arts is without question a Hip-Hop classic. In the second video from the “Kings of New York” series, Hip-Hop Kings present the Masta Ace Disposable Arts interview.

When Hip-Hop Kings owner Ryan Maxwell went to New York, Masta Ace was one of the first interviews conducted for The Kings of New York series. Masta Ace has recently re-issued  his classic album “Disposable Arts” as the physical went out of circulation. Masta Ace discusses the process behind the re-issue and talks about his favourite tracks from the record, along with the legnedary “Take a Walk”.

Later on in the interview, Masta Ace talks about the new two-hour documentary which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the album. Below System Records were responsible for making the re-issue and documentary happen, in partnership with Ace. If you haven’t seen the Masta Ace Disposable Arts documentary I highly recommend watching, as it’s a fantastic insight into the creation and history of the album.

Finally, the very last question confirms that Masta Ace is already working on a documentary of A Long Hot Summer nad filming has began. Please make sure you subscribe to the HHKMusic YouTube channel and share the video with a friend. You can watch the Masta Ace Disposable Arts Interview on the YouTube player below.

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25 Facts About Virus Syndicate Symptomatic Album

• March 12, 2016
Virus Syndicate Symptomatic

Virus Syndicate Symptomatic

DOWNLOAD | Virus Syndicate Symptomatic

As we celebrate the release of Virus Syndicate Symptomatic new album, the lads have provided 25 facts about the project you will not read or see anywhere else. Please also support by downloading the new album from the iTunes link above.

1. This is the first album that has been nearly all produced in house since our first album

2. The preacher on Shadows is actually Nika D acting with an effect on the voice

3. We have shot more music videos to this any other project

4. There is an underlying narrative throughout the album

5. There are 14 tracks on the album

6. It’s the first album we’ve used live musicians on

7. Our video to Psychopath was prohibited from media use in France due to its content

Virus Syndicate Symptomatic LIVE

Virus Syndicate Symptomatic LIVE

8. It took us 9 months to make

9. The chaos & commotion video was a last minute idea planned 24 hours before the shoot

WATCH – Virus Syndicate – Chaos & Commotion

10. We have Italian and Polish rap remixes of Gimme The Mic and Rainy Season

WATCH – Virus Syndicate – Gimme The Mic

11. Dope DOD and James E Mayer feature on the album

12. 50% of the beats were produced by JSD on planes and in hotel rooms on The Swarm album tour

13. It’s the first Virus Syndicate album with a multi territory deal

14. Shadows is based on a true story

15. Every lyric in Insane is 100% factual

Virus Syndicate Symptomatic (Chaos & Commotion)

Virus Syndicate Symptomatic (Chaos & Commotion)

16. Rainy Season was recorded way after the album was finished and only put on at the very last minute

17. Questions & Answers was inspired by the Syrian refugee crisis

18. They are real bible quotes at the beginning of Psychopath

19. We did the album artwork three times, one of the versions involved us having our faces physically painted

20. ‘Wanna Be Me’ is the only track not completely recorded at EY3 Media and was in majority recorded at our old Salford studio

21. Do Suttin was originally called Gorilla Pimp and had a completely different hook and concept

22. F Wid Me was inspired by one of our ex’s

23. It’s the only album we have made without falling out with each other!

24 DEAD is inspired by the pilot who decided to fly his plane into the mountains with a plane load of passengers

25 This is our best album yet… FACT!

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25 Facts About Horseshoe Gang – Anti Trap Music

• February 15, 2016
Horseshoe Gang - Anti Trap Music

Horseshoe Gang – Anti Trap Music

PRE-ORDER | Horseshoe Gang – Anti Trap Music

As we approach the release of the upcoming Horseshoe Gang album “Anti Trap Music” we have 25 exclusive facts about the album. Please pre-order the album from the iTunes link above.

1. We listen to R&B way more than we listen to Rap

2. We never hear each other’s raps until one of us is in the booth recording it

3. We almost put out a Mixtape dissing all the whack rappers in the industry & calling out their names

4. All 4 of us are actually brothers

5. We were homeless half of our childhood & half of our adulthood

6. Our mother had 7 kids

7. Our middle names are Julius, Richard, Dwight & Antron

8. We all agree that the Simpsons is the best cartoon of all time

9. We all agree that “Straight outta Compton” is the best movie of all time

10. Kenny & Demetrius are team Jason Voorhees and Julius & Dice are team Freddy Krueger and we always have heated debates about who’s better

11. Demetrius, Julius & Kenny never went to any school ever

12. We have 2 younger sisters that sing

13. We’ve lived in Long Beach significantly longer than anywhere else but we’ve also lived in Miami, Oklahoma, Oakland, Las Vegas, Harrisburg & Dallas

14. Here’s our Favorite colors
Black for Demetrius, Gray for Julius, White for Kenny & Purple for Dice

15. We all agree that Michael Jackson is the best entertainer of all time

16. When we did our Mixtape Monthly series we thought about doing Mixtape Weekly

17. Our older brothers Kxng Crooked & Mad Man started teaching us how to rap when were about 3 years old

18. Our mother used to sing & had a record deal with her twin sister in the 70s

19. Demetrius & Dice don’t drink or smoke

20. Demetrius is so much of a Lakers fan that he’s almost gotten into fights with strangers because they were cheering for the other team

21. We got the idea for our Mixtape Monthly series from Kxng Crooked’s Hip Hop Weekly series

22. We hate listening to the radio

23. Julius just became a vegetarian

24. We can’t understand anything that Young Thug is saying

25. We all agree that Denzel Washington is the best actor of all time

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25 Facts About Britizen Kane – Orson Welles EP

• February 8, 2016
britizen kane - orson welles EP

britizen kane – orson welles EP

DOWNLOAD | Britizen Kane – Orson Welles EP

Here are 25 facts about the new Britizen Kane album “Orson Welles EP” which fans can download from the bandcamp link above. Also make sure you follow Britizen Kane on Twitter (@IAmBritizenKane)

Till There’s Nothing Left
1. I originally wrote this track for a freestyle video for B The Movement’s YouTube channel in early 2015.
2. The vocals you can hear at the start of ‘Till There’s Nothing Left’ are actually the final bars on my 2010 mixtape ‘Mine For The Taking’. I LITERALLY wanted to pick up where I left of.
3. This record also includes some of my favourite wordplay I’ve ever written (the whole ‘see his face like Sia’s face’ scheme being my overall favourite!).

Make It Out Alive
4. ‘Make It Out Alive’ is the first track I’ve ever produced that I’ve rapped on as well.
5. The basis of the instrumental and hook line for ‘Make It Out Alive’ came together in about 10 minutes during a phone call with 3D, where I was attempting to do an impression of Future’s rapping style.

Feels Like Fire
6. This record is actually a remix of a Dan Kent produced track by Flexplicit, Kuniva (D12) and Kof which Dan Kent kindly let me drop some verses on.
7. ‘Feels Like Fire’ originally had two completely different verses written for it when I first got given the instrumental in 2013, but I decided to scrap them on the day of the session to record the final take for the EP…so I had to write new ones on the Metrolink en route to Mister’s studio.

Goldmine
8. I had the hook idea for ‘Goldmine’ years before I ever actually had an instrumental to use for it.
9. Two of the verses recorded for this track were reworks of verses originally planned for collaborations with my long time musical family, Mark Waters and Mister.

Listening To Jadakiss
10. Each verse on ‘Listening To Jadakiss’ starts with an opening bar from a track by three rappers who have influenced me the most, (Sway, Tech N9ne & Joe Budden).
11. The instrumental for this track had originally appeared as an instrumental for a freestyle on a promo CD I did in 2011 entitled ‘The Wordplay Manual’.
12. This song was written as one long wordplay scheme in which I included the names of over 40 hip-hop artists/groups.
13. Despite being my favourite producer to work with, this is the only track on the entire EP which Sean Divine produced.

You In I (Feat. Kris Evans)
14. ‘You In I’ was originally written in 2013, and was going to be called ‘As Much As You Deserve’ with McLean providing the chorus. Some of the lyrics I wrote for that track are still present on this final version.
15. I initially sent the track to Legal EyeZ and Kris Evans to see if they knew a male vocalist who could lay a hook down for me. Later than night, Kris emailed me the track back over with his chorus recorded!

Lost My Way
16. ‘Lost My Way’ wasn’t originally going to be included on the EP, and was just recorded as a personal vent.
17. The final song I originally planned was entitled ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, but was left incomplete due to not being able to find a reliable female vocalist for the record.

Other Miscellaneous & Boring Sh!t
18. This is my first full solo project released under the stage name ‘Britizen Kane’ since I retired ‘Bigfoot’ in 2014.
19. 5 out of the 7 songs were originally intended to appear on my 2015 mixtape ‘The Quality Of Life’ which I later scrapped entirely.
20. This EP is my first project that has been co-mixed and recorded by other people as well as myself since 2010. I’m too OCD with my mixes to let anyone else ever touch them!
21. The project’s original title was ‘The Glass Ceiling EP’, in fact, you can hear me reference ‘the glass ceiling’ on several tracks.
22. The project started its life as an EP…then I turned it into a mixtape…then back to an EP…then back to a mixtape…before FINALLY settling on an EP…I think.
23. During the recording sessions for the EPixtape, I laid down 20+ freestyles and remixes to various instrumentals…most of which will probably never see the light of day.
24. This was the first (and hopefully the last!) project I’ve ever part-recorded using Logic… F**K that! Back to Cubase I go…
25. My original idea was to have a single record called ‘Orson Welles’ as a tribute to the actor who wrote and starred in ‘Citizen Kane’, but I eventually decided to name the entire project after him.

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25 Facts About Mike Two – Thoughts of a Beautiful Dream

• February 5, 2016
mike two - thoughts of a beautiful dream

mike two – thoughts of a beautiful dream

DOWNLOAD | Mike Two – Thoughts of a Beautiful Dream

Following the release of Mike Two’s brand new album “Thoughts of a Beautiful Dream”, here are 25 facts about the album. Please support and download Mike Two – Thoughts of a Beautiful Dream on the link above.

1). J57 & Optiks we’re the only two people that believed in me and all my crazy ideas for creating this project.
2). I wanted to create an album that can be played in the halls of the Louvre.
3). Gold chalice it’s about my desire for competition and wanting to be one of the best. “I can see the day when they’re not Kings again” – Gold Chalice
4). Moonwalk it’s about the people who don’t fuck with you until your poppin’.
5). Mean Joe Scheme’s cousin Pablo is the main reason “Vanity” made the project.
6). It was Optiks’ idea for the hook on “Two3”.
7). “Lit” was the first record me and Koncept did together.
8). Mean Joe Scheme got a hidden interlude on the album.

mike two

mike two

9). Akie Bermiss became Charlie Wilson for the end of the “Transatlantic”.
10). Dream big features my brother Rocman Apollo who is one of the biggest reasons I rap. As well as my homie Terrence Keller who in the mix of making this album changed it to that from T-DOE.
11). Sunset to Black Renaissance is 2 separate Optiks beats we made into one and features my brother Haas on the hook over the phone.
12). Me and Mean Joe Scheme wrote the hook for Chamber Music.
13). I wrote and performed the “King Me” track in the same day.
14). In Cloud Talk I make a mention of Sandy Brock who was the Staten Island basketball legend. It also features Mean Joe Scheme in the transition during the recording I told him to channel Jermaine Dupri’s intro on Usher’s record “My Way”. ( Hilarious)
15). The record “Princeton” is about my feeling of wishing I would have attended the university. It also was the first recorded we recorded for this project.
16). Jemyle Jones is my favorite rapper who’s also my barber.
17) Koncept & Joe’s cousin Pablo have Epic fade battles. (Inside joke)
18) Katiah and I have the same length of hair and his mixtape drops February 29th

miketwo

miketwo

19) I’m born and raised in Staten Island, NY
20) Nicelle narrates the whole album
21) I wrote every record on this album in my head.. no pen and or blackberry
22) I convinced J57 to start 57 music
23) I’m Mike Two because my dad is one
24) “Vanity” was the last record recorded for the project.
25) I’ve known Sauce producer of “The Clean” since high school.

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25 Facts About Mean Joe Scheme – You Gotta Watch

• December 13, 2015
Mean Joe Scheme - You Gotta Watch

Mean Joe Scheme – You Gotta Watch

25 Facts About Mean Joe Scheme – You Gotta Watch

DOWNLOAD | Mean Joe Scheme – You Gotta Watch

Here are the excellent 25 facts from Mean Joe Scheme on his upcoming album “You Gotta Watch”. Please support by downloading using the link above  when the album becomes available on the 15th of December.

1. The title “You Gotta Watch” comes from key advice from my father. Pretty much all of his tutelage is marred with the belief that you must be aware of your surroundings at all times. “You gotta watch, papi..” and such.

2. The film “Paid in Full” is a big inspiration throughout the entire project, none more obvious than the single “51020”. Rico (played impeccably by Cam’ron) has a line in the first scene of the movie during a Chinese food dinner that can be heard at the end of the song. If you listen to the project closely, you’ll hear some of the movie’s dialogue sprinkled in the lyrics.

3. “Champagne” was originally entitled “Intentions” after a conversation I was having with a woman I was (am still sort of?) casually dating the day of the session. Most of the song was a freestyle. Optik’s suggested that I go in the booth and feel it out. So somewhere in the stems is a long gibberish track of gold that only we will hear.

4. Noah Dreiblatt’s (alto saxophone, “Champagne” and “Oddysey”) coming into the fold as told by Optik’s (Producer of the majority of the album whose credits include Jon Connor, Blitz The Ambassador, and Talib Kweli among others): “We performed at Freddy Nyce’s (Head A&R for Tommy Boy Ent.) show in Brooklyn and he was playing sax for his band King Holiday that was added to the bill last minute. After their set, Noah wandered into our dungeon-esk green room. We had a good conversation that lead to an invite to the lab to record some stuff for my album, then, your album.”

5. “G-Dep” is named G-Dep because of the adlibs. I am a huge fan of “Child of the Ghetto” and just kept saying the hey hey hey’s every time I would hear the beat. It was only right I represent. Hold your head, Dep.

6. The album was recorded entirely at Optik’s home studio in Brooklyn. Fact: He fed me dinner after basically every session. The man can cook

7. “Big Pistols” was recorded last of all the songs. In fact, it was always going to be blended in to “Gun to the Door”. Mike Two (fellow fiveseven music artist and GENIUS) heard it late in the process and suggested trap style drums be added for a different feel. He can be heard on the end of the song saying his signature adlib “WHIP WHIP!”.

8. As told by J57 (Executive producer, producer of “G-Dep”, and Big Homie)

Pre-Cursor:
I couldn’t be any prouder. This kid is one of the most humble, hard working and talented people I’ve ever met. I remember I didn’t know he rapped when he came to a Brown Bag AllStars show years ago at Littlefield in Brooklyn, then fast forward a few years and he’s on stage rocking my birthday show at Littlefield and the sold out crowd went crazy for him. I still have him saved in my phone as Chuck. The roots are deep in our friendship. I believe in him. You’re going to love him, trust me. They’re ALL going to love him.

Fact: I remember hanging out at Optiks’ spot when Mean Joe Scheme and I came up with the game plan for him to make a bunch of singles for us to leak / create an internet buzz from, back in May 2015. As the summer went on, I noticed that Mean Joe was creating some real cohesive and epic sounding stuff with Optik’s — by late July, told me it was going to be an EP and that I had beats on it as well, etc. I told him I didn’t want to hear it until it was finished, because I want to hear it how everyone else will hear it — completely unbiased, so we can get the best product out there as possible. A few months later he and Optik’s decided to make it a full length LP, in which they did an incredible job doing! This will be the first release on my Five Seven Music imprint followed by my solo LP called “I’m the J57” as well as Mike Two’s album “Thoughts of a Beautiful Dream” and Katiah’s mixtape titled “The MixKatape” — all due out in early 2016 on Five Seven Music.

Mean Joe Scheme - You Gotta Watch

Mean Joe Scheme – You Gotta Watch

9. “By My Lonely” almost didn’t make the album. After recording the first verse I was really not pleased with the sound of the song. I was in the middle of telling Optik’s to scrap it during a playback and I think he accidentally muted what was a major component of the original beat. All that was left was the smacking drums and the guitar sounds played by Brett Cimbalik (co-producer and very tall human). It became very sinister, very fast. Exactly what the album needed.

10. Mike Two named “Champagne” champagne.

11. The chorus for “Realize” was inspired by the way Andre 3000 said “ALRIGHT ALRIGHT ALRIGHT ALRIGHT” on “Gasoline Dreams” off of Stankonia. Also, My cousin was in the studio for this session and we were making fun of the saying “Real eyes, Realize, real eyes”. It kind of just clicked off from there.

12. The mighty PitchBlak Brass Band blessed the album kind of by accident. The band leader (and very talented artist in her own right) Tubafresh was called in to hear the album early so we could go over ideas for a show we would do later on in the fall. She asked if we wanted to her to bring her tuba. Op was like, “Hm. Oddysey?”. After the session, she plugged Optik’s with the other band members and boom. Space.

13. Noam the Drummer (very skilled DJ, producer, and dear friend) played the notes for “It Was Written” live while Optik’s laid the drums. Essentially the whole beat was made live.

14. “Gun to the Door”, in my opinion, is the real beginning to the album even though it’s track two. The first track kind of serves as a dream sequence that I’m telling a friend and what I’m saying at the top of “Gun” is kind of the end an anecdote.

15. Which leads me to say that “Big Pistols” is sort of a statement that I am a fan of and can easily make the non-traditional Hip-Hop music of today.

16. The “51020” video was shot in SoHo in one day because we’re live like that.

Mean Joe Scheme - 51020 Video

Mean Joe Scheme – 51020 Video

17. “You Gotta Watch” (the song) was produced by IMAKEMADBEATS who is in a production team named A Gang Called Dumb alongside Optik’s, and Seandammit.

18. Jemyle Jones directed and edited the “51020” video.

19. “Everybody/Nobody” is a commentary on how people project their feelings about themselves on to Hip-Hop artists and just life in general. The last verse is me taking responsibility for doing that to myself, as evidenced by the slight change in the chorus at the end of the song.

20. J57‘s verse on “51020” is all fact. Thus, Five Seven Music.

21. Koncept heard the unfinished “By My Lonely” for approximately 30 seconds and loved it.

22. Optik’s didn’t think I’d really like the beat for “Champagne”. He kept calling it some “teenage love passing me by sh**”.

23. I wanted Optik’s son, Gio, to sing on “It’s Mine, Ok.” and he sternly refused. The post-script to this is now it’s his favourite song of mine and he’s been singing it a lot recently. He’s the harshest music critic I know. This is big for me.

24. “Everybody/Nobody” was originally titled “Je Suis”, French for “I Am”.

25. I know “Oddysey” is spelled incorrectly. But that’s how Optik’s spelled it and that’s how it shall be written in stone.

You can also watch the brand new video from Mean Joe Scheme – 51020 on the YouTube player below.

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