We are proud to share a Hip-Hop Kings exclusive. Here is the Epic Beard Men Interview (Sage Francis and B Dolan) that we filmed at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, as part of the duo’s UK tour.
We have interviewed both B Dolan and Sage Francis individually in the last couple of years, when they’ve stopped by Manchester and Leeds respectively. Following their nine-day date at Ed Fringe, the Epic Beard Men added a string of UK dates to their schedule which saw them perform at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. The Epic Beard Men Interview was everything we hoped, and we spoke about the single “You Can’t Win” along with some previous tracks (2 Bad and Heart Failure). Shouts to DJ Focuz who’s now a target.
Hip-Hop Kings blogged the video for You Can’t Win which has seen some great reviews from fans and critiques since it’s release, and also marks the start of an Epic Beard Men project. Sage Francis and B Dolan confirmed they’re working on creating a project but are in the beginning stages, so there was nothing concrete to share at the moment. We’ll of course be keeping an eye on the development of the full length (hopefully an album) record, and will be sharing when the news becomes available. In the meantime, make sure you’ve watch our interviews with Sage Francis and B Dolan and check the back cataloge.
You can watch the Epic Beard Men Interview (Sage Francis and B Dolan) on the YouTube player below.
In our ongoing series, we’re proud to present Izm White – Wildlife 25 Facts.
Izm White made his debut on Hip-Hop Kings with the track “Nod Ya Head” ft Prodigy of Mobb Deep. Check out the 25 facts on his album “Wildlife” which can be downloaded from iTunes. Izm White – Wildlife 25 Facts are below.
1. Wildlife was released on the legendary Tommy Boy Records
2. Wildlife is my official debut album
3. I shot 6 music videos for the album
4. I recorded “Nod Ya Head” feat Prodigy in Queens NY at Mobb Deep’s studio
5. The music video for “Nod Ya Head” feat Prodigy was filmed at The Garden Of The God’s in Colorado Springs and has a cameo from Alchemist
6. Sheek Louch recorded his verse in Denver at Conway Sound (my go to studio) with Ghostface Killah in attendance
7. The music video “Signs Of The Times” feat Sheek Louch, was filmed in Denver and has cameos from Jadakiss and Styles P
8. “Top Level” feat Big Twins of Infamous Mobb Deep was shot in Miami by my brother who is also my DJ
9. I picked up Agallah in Compton the day we shot the music video “Battle Scars” in L.A
10. I recorded and mixed 90% of Wildlife at Conway Sound in Denver, CO
11. Ghostface Killah has been a mentor to me since I was 17 yrs old and is a big reason I got my record deal for Wildlife with Tommy Boy
12. I had the idea and mocked up the original design for the album cover art.
13. The music video for “They Say Yeah” looks like it was filmed in Morocco but was actually filmed in South East Colorado at the Great Sand Dune national park
14. I originally recorded around 30 plus songs for Wildlife before narrowing it down to 15.
15. My original 1st verse for “Nod Ya Head” feat Prodigy was more about partying and women, but after hearing Prodigy lay down his verse, I changed up some of my lyrics to be more aggressive.
16. The lyrics on Wildlife is 95% factual
17. I wrote 100% of all my lyrics on Wildlife with absolutely no in studio help
18. I over saw the mixing of each song in studio.
19. I had to have a few of the original beats re- worked before the Tommy Boy release
20. Wildlife is one of the first albums from a Colorado based MC released by a label with such stature as Tommy Boy.
21. I invested 100% of my own money to fund Wildlife and the music videos
22. I was 32 yrs old when I recorded Wildlife
23. Approximately 1lb of cannabis was consumed during the making of Wildlife
24. The album title can be interpreted in couple different ways, all are true to who I am where I’m from and what the music is about.
25. I passionately put my heart, mind and soul into this record.
You can watch the video for “Nod Ya Head” ft Prodigy below.
High Focus artist and Problem Child member Dabbla, has released his new album “Year of the Monkey” Here is Dabbla Year of the Monkey 25 Facts.
1. According to the Chinese zodiac and Chinese Five Element Theory, each year is associated with one of five elements (Gold, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth) as well as an animal. This means that there are five types of Monkey year, and Monkey years of each element come once in a 60-year cycle with their own characteristics. 2016 is a Fire Monkey year, which will not be seen again until 2076.
2. ‘Psychoville’ was recorded in a house bang in the midst of the 2011 tottenham & Enfield riots with an Audi A3 burning outside at the end of the road throughout the night.
3. The guy playing pool in the ‘Get It feat: Ocean Wisdom’ video is three-time European Pool Champion and trick-shot master Rico Diks.
4. Not one song on the album was written or recorded on a Tuesday.
5. A Monkey year begins on Chinese New Year’s Day and ends on the last day before the following Chinese New Year (2017 will be a Rooster year). However, the Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar. Therefore, the starting dates of each Monkey year are different.
6. ‘Cheers’ was the first Ghosttown beat I ever recorded on, the baseline momentarily reminded me of the jungle classic Super Sharp Shooter.
7. Randeer doesn’t have a UK passport, he also doesn’t have underwear on most of the time.
8. The colour scheme for the album artwork was modeled on Aesop Rock’s ‘Skelethon’.
9.YOTM survived 2 macbook pro’s and a PC desk top computer.
10. The album was going to be called ‘Something Else’ before it was going to be called ‘Smell My Chi’ before it was finally named ‘Year Of The Monkey’
11. This is Dabbla’s first solo album and at the same time, sixth official LP he’s appeared on.
11. This is Dabbla’s first solo album and at the same time, tenth official LP he’s appeared on.
12. Y.O.T.M has the numeric value of 3 which is strong in the realms of numerical values.
13. Almost every family in China will put up New Year decorations before New Year’s Day comes. In a year of the Monkey, decorations featuring monkeys can be seen everywhere, including households, shopping malls, parks, and streets. Decorations are generally in the form of paper cuttings, New Year paintings, couplets, etc.
14. It took approximately 2 years for baxter to write his verse for ‘Vomit’ after insisting he was better suited to a slower bpm. In the end he wrote it in 20 minutes in Bangkok off his face.
15 A year of the Monkey is believed to be an unlucky year for people whose birth sign is the Monkey. According to Chinese astrology, in their Zodiac year people are believed to offend Tai Sui, the God of Age, bringing nothing but bad luck.With this in mind, according to folklore, those born in a year of the Monkey should be more careful in Zodiac year 2016. This includes taking caution across a range of aspects, including fortune, career health, and love.
16. Sumgii mixed and mastered 70% of the album with one hand in a bucket of Adobo Chicken.
17. The song ‘Butterfly’ is almost twelve years old.
18. Approximately 7.665 kilos of marijuana was consumed during the making of this production
19. ‘Incomparable’ was recorded in one take at SMB studios and Pete Cannon pressed the record button.
20. ‘That There’ was the last track to be added to the playlist and was spot-written in 6 hours.
21. The vocal for ‘Life Line’ sat on eight different instrumentals until Chemo nailed it.
22. The lyrics for ‘Get It’ were originally written to the instrumental for ‘Stupid.
23. Pterodactyl’ was sped up by 4 BPM after it was recorded because Ghosttown forgets to speed up his Instrumentals by 4 BPM after he writes them.
24. The cuts from frosty would be the first time he’s ever appeared on vinyl.
25. Pterodactyl is my favourite track on the album which doesn’t feature another rapper.
Make sure you download Dabbla Year of the Monkey from the links listed above. You can also check out a day in the life of Dabbla on the YouTube player below.
1. “Lost In Translation” was the only song we recorded together on the album.
2. The title for “Gilbert’s Grape” was inspired by the time Twizzy had Haemorrhoids.
3. Twizzy & Jinxsta wanted to call “To The Slaughter”, “Lamb Shanks” but M.A.B said no.
4. On “Be Careful”, Jinxsta discovered his inner Barry Half-White. Soul.
5. We were going to do one solo track each on the album…but didn’t. Deep.
6. The album was entirely funded by people buying music / merchandise from our Bandcamp & at live shows. Thank you!
7. M.A.B wants to do a world tour in 7 days off the back of this release. It can be done.
8. Cheba who did the album art work, played Mobb Deep at his wedding reception. Mosh pit.
9. The title track “Time To Feast”, was the last track to be finished on the album.
10. Twizzy had to record his vocals twice due to his PC crashing, losing all of the original files.
11. Jinxsta recorded every verse on the album with a bottle of Supermalt in his right hand. His left hand never knew.
12. Together, the Beast is 87 years old.
13. After every show, M.A.B eats between 20-25 chicken nuggets.
14. Billy Whizz is our DJ and also delivers our CD’s.
15. Diligent Fingers produced “Marching” but also came up with the concept for the track as well. Boss.
16. All tracks were mixed and mastered in Bedminster (Bristol) at Rola’s Studio.
17. The Beast have a tie aside from music on a certain date. M.A.B, Twizzy’s Dad & Jinxsta JX’s Mum all share the 29th of June as their birthday…strange but true.
18. The tour bus (Twizzy’s car) is named “Wong Chong Silver” due to the copious amounts of herbal remedies enjoyed within it.
19. The sample used for “Set You Free” was originally flipped by K.Bourne on another beat, to be used on M.A.B’s first project (aged 16) but the recording was lost. Years later the beat was recreated with the help of JCA and is now featured on our album.
20. We started working on the album in 2013. It’s been a slow process due to us wanting the content to be the best we could bring to the table…no pun intended.
21. With that being said, our second release “Self Driven” consists of the tracks that didn’t make the album for various reasons.
22. An early version of “Dead Man’s Shoes” appears on the “Real Talk” compilation, put together by Chester P to raise money for the homeless. Check it out HERE
23. Cheba filmed a video for our first EP but when it came to the editing process, we realised it didn’t look as great as we pictured in our heads. It was later scrapped and never released. (The photo proof can be found online)
24. We once performed at a Weapon of Choice Halloween event dressed as Saddam Hussein (Jinxsta JX) Osama Bin Laden (M.A.B) & Muammar Gaddafi (Twizzy). (Photo proof of this can also be found online)
25. “Time To Feast” is our debut album as a collective and is available now! Have a listen and grab it from our Bandcamp as well as most digital stores, including Spotify. Respect!
Chillman Abstract Patterns 25 Facts is the latest in the Hip-Hop Kings 25 facts series. Also contributions by High Focus and Four Owls member Verb T
1. Abstract Patterns was recorded at the legendary Kilimanjaro studios
2. The colours on the cover represent the Eritrean flag
3. Funk Dialect is essentially a Verbal Highz cypher + The man, the Ked that is Joe Publik
4. It was definitely inspired by someone’s nan
5. The first verse off “Royal with Cheese” was written whilst waiting for my chicken pitta meal at Herefords Go Peri and is the best chicken shop in town, the owner Tanveer loves me because I sort him the good weed
6. “Defeat Stress” was one of the last tracks written
7. Entra P who has the last feature verse on the album actually taught me English
8. I have a huge collection of the prank calls that were featured on “Funky Drifting” on my hard drive
9. I think “Hi Lo” was the first track written that made the album
10. The Defeat Stress EP features a remix off Leaf Dog as well as his brother Illinformed
11. The videos for “You are You” and “Defeat Stress” were shot in London and “Say” in Cardiff
12. The album was done over about 2 years
13. Weston’s is a lovely 8.2 % cider that you should probably try
14. I will definitely be working on another with Verbs in the future
15. Running out of facts so Verbs will take over
16. Album artwork was done by Sam Marsh who also did my ‘Medicated Dreams’ cover
17. I met Chillman at an open mic competition, Chillman missed his performance time, he was getting stoned in his mates car
18. I made most of the beats on the album specifically for this project, a couple of the beats were ones I had in the stash
19. It’s the first full album to drop on “In The Balance Records”
20. At the end of “Hilo” when we were recording, Lukas from Aboveground walked into the room and said “general selecta!” in range of the mic and everyone laughed, you can kind of hear right at the end of the song
21. We wrote and demo’d the album before recording it properly, the main bulk of the tunes were done over two days in April 2015
22. The song and the video for “You are You” were recorded in the same day, part of the video was filmed on a wet roof where I kept falling over and everyone laughed at me, luckily I didn’t fall off the roof
23. Leaf Dog was the fastest of all the features to get his verse recorded and sent back.
24. Chillman’s second album will be produced by me and a 2nd secret weapon beat maker who will amaze the world
25. The best life advice I ever received is … be as nice as you can without compromising your dignity and definitely try your best not to be a dick
As part of our popular 25 facts series, we have Hey Zeus.I – I Aint Apart of This EP which is now part of the legacy. Hey Zeus.I releases I Aint Apart of This and gives Hip-Hop Kings readers 25 facts about the E.P.
Hey Zeus.I I Aint Apart of This EP (25 Facts)
Contradiction has been 6 years in the making. Anyone who listened to MixxNutts radio show on rinse.fm when i was hosting Alex Nutt’s show should be very familiar with the 1st verse
The first verse on Contradiction is an ode to the american comedian George Carlin and is a reference to his opening piece “I’m a modern man” in one of his stand up routines.
The Beat for Contradiction was meant for someone else but he slept and i stay woke
‘I a’int apart of this’ was a piece originally written to be performed in an abandoned church
The hook “I a’int apart of this I a’int involved…” is also inspired by George Carlin but this time his views on voting.
For ‘I aint involved’, I wrote the hook, sent the acappella to Blue (Daisy), he built around that, then sent me back a tune arranged waiting for verses. I recorded on shitty Mac Mic. Never re-recorded against Blues judgement cause i really like the shitty sound. Tickles my inner punk 😉
Nothing came from lucid trip thoughts contemplating what nothing is or is not
There is a version of ‘nothing’ with 24 bars from Blue Daisy somewhere in the archives over a next beat
Bioniq who did the artwork has also designed me a couple of tattoos which i have on the back of my right arm. its in a style of blaxploitation movie posters but of futuristic matriarchs!!
Nick Blatantly Blunt used to be a rapper and around 10 years back he recorded at my old studio in Tottenham Hale and its pure coincidence Par Excellance got him in to do the promo
I first met Blue daisy at a remix contest where we had to flip Katy Perry “i kissed a girl”acappella. i won he still cant admit defeat!!!
i have mostly been smoking Lemon, on rare occasions when available – grapefruit sour diesel, O.G Kush and girl scout cookies.
through the course of this project i have lived in north, west and east London. touching south soon….
Contradiction was recorded at zip lock studios which is ran by Bad Fx who i have known since 4 years old.
Original cover sketch featured a pig head, which i didn’t get so Bioniq flipped it into a lion head
Bioniq also designed the previous project artwork for Obba Supa
I’m not sure if its deep thinking or procrastination but i like to take at least a week to write a verse or song. that includes a couple days contemplation of what I’m trying to say and the subject I’m approaching.
My favourite line on the project is “I’m a in denial Nihilist dreaming that i got hope”
While following Alex Nutt about, hosting at a rinse.fm bash when Pay as you go was reuniting for a one off speacial, as a host warming up an empty room i stole the mic and it turn out to be (veteran grime MC) Major Aces, he wasn’t happy. I still use it to this day. nudge nudge wink wink…..
“how far can you run into a forest? answer – half way. the other half your running out. this my favourite little riddle I like to tease brains with. Take it as a gift to you to amaze your friends with as i have……
I have no direct internet connection or own a smartphone, tablet etc. making me quite a frustration to get hold of.
Been working on a project with Snow Ghost producer Throwing Snow and also some new material with my group Obba Supa
I don’t smoke or drink and like to be 100% sober when recording verses. Chants, hooks or chorus’s is another story though, same with writing.
This is the first project I have recorded wearing shoes.
Many time I’d go to the Gas Chamber to record and end up just talking about any and everything
We hope you enjoyed reading Hey Zeus.I Contradiction EP (25 Facts) – please make sure you share the article and let us know your thoughts on Twitter (@HHKMag)
Next up in our 25 facts series, we have Visual giving us 25 facts about his upcoming project “The Ambassador”. Visual The Ambassador 25 Facts can be viewed below.
Visual The Ambassador 25 Facts (iTunes)
1. The Ambassador was started in 2013
2. The Ambassador songs were all recorded by 2014
3. The album was recorded at 5 different studios
4. 3 different engineers mixed the album
5. Most of the songs were recorded and mixed in a home studio
6. “Not enough” was recorded at Soundscape studios where Chief Keef, Chance the Rapper, Freddie Gibbs, Action Bronson + have recorded
7. The album was originally digitally mastered but later re-mastered in analog before the release
8. There are 16 featured artist
9. There are 7 different producers
10. The album features 3 female mc’s
11. 1/2 of the 16 featured artist have never released an album
12. All featured artist and producers are from the Midwest
13. 3 tracks with 5 different artist were cut from the project because they did not fit the overall theme
14. The video for Sand in the glass was shot by German film maker and hip hop enthusiast Arvid Wu just a few days after we met, while he was in Chicago visiting friends
15. A video for “Break Away” was shot that may never be released
16. There are already a few songs set for volume 2
17. Volume 2 will feature an artist who many think should be a member of Slaughterhouse
18. The Ambassador is my 12th release
19. “Hollywood” has audio clips of Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls referring to the Miami Heat during the 2011 playoffs as “Hollywood as hell”
20. I went to elementary school with Chi-Ill who is featured on “Matter of fact”
21. My ideas for photography and artwork for the project were made a reality by my good friend Mo Parker
22. The original title I had in mind for this album was “Chicago Renaissance”
23. I paused work on The Ambassador to work on “Supreme Science” & “ILL VISUAL”
24. A LONG TIME AGO I did an interview with Stuart from HHK via AOL IM
25. I stood up till 4:00 am writing this list.
Thank you for reading Visual The Ambassador 25 facts. Please make sure you support by downloading the album.
Our mate Rob Kelly has provided 25 exclusive facts about the upcoming album Kel Jefe. Rob Kelly Kel Jefe is now available to pre-order from iTunes with the single “Eff Mitch Green” available now. Enjoy our Rob Kelly Kel Jefe – 25 Facts and follow him on Twitter (@RobHKelly) for new music.
PREVIOUS | Rob Kelly Kel Jefe Artwork and TrackListing
The album is title ‘Kel Jefe’ because Rob Kelly is from Wexford in Ireland, locals often refer to it as ‘Wexico’ Kel Jefe is a character, part of the Jack The Ripper persona. The Character Jack The Ripper was born out of not wanting to chase radio air play and just make straight up raw hip-hop music.
‘Eff Mitch Green’ was originally called ‘Smash’ as a loose title, it was changed to ‘Eff Mitch Green’ as an ode to the late great Sean Price who due to appear on that record after Rob had already recorded a verse for Sean’s album. Mitch Green the boxer had a famous fight with Mike Tyson outside of Dapper Dan’s in Harlem and Mike Tyson was aka Mic Tyson. It features Rim from Sean Price’s protege group ‘Da Villinz’.
The artwork, by talented Leeds based illustrator Peter O’Toole, is inspired by EPMD’s ‘Business Never Personal’ and Ice-T’s ‘Power’.
J57 who exec produced and A&R’d the project,first submitted beats to Rob when he worked in Fat Beats, his meteoric rise has prompted Rob to nickname him Big Baby Ronson, because he believes J57 will eventually end up wearing 3 piece suits and A&R ing Rita Ora’s 70’s disco throwback album.
The entire album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Terawrizt who also appears on ‘Russian Mafia’ with Jonnie Darkko. The three have a project together in the works.
‘Dessie’s got the shooter in the Van’ was written from the perspective of Tommy from the movie ‘Snatch’ if he lived in Wexico. The character ‘Dessie’ will re-appear in future projects.
The hook from ”Air Max and Cash” came from the time Tabatha Cash wore a pair of air max when being interviewed by Jean Paul Gautier on a TV show called ‘Eurotrash’ in 1997.
‘Death By Gold Chain Rap’ replaced a song called ‘Disco’ that didn’t make the album. The album had already been completed until Rob heard the beat and wrote it on spot.
‘Morphene’ was the first track rob laid for the album after signing the contract and it set the tone for the entire project.
The four albums that were on steady rotation while ‘Kel Jefe’ was recorded were ‘Monkey Barz’ by Sean Price ‘Muddy Waters’ by Redman ‘Operation Doomsday’ by MF Doom and ‘Don Dada’ by Supercat.
‘Morphene’ references characters from ‘Marked for Death’ and ‘Carlito’s Way’ – 2 of Rob’s favourite movies. It also references the BMW chase scene from the former.
Rob originally sang the hook on ‘too good’ ala Erick Sermon but the engineer cut the vocals out in the mix.
‘Jefelogue’ the final track on the album is the 6th record J57 and Rob have worked on together. He also produced ‘shook crews runnin’ featuring Reef The lost Cauze, ‘Badman’ ‘These Days’ featuring Timeless Truth. ‘Air Max Killer’ off the collaboration EP between Rob & S.A.S and ‘Sam Kinnison’s Revenge’ with Soul Khan and Juan Deuce.
Almost all of the tracks on the album were written on spot in studio.
One of the first rap songs Rob ever heard was ‘children’s story’ by slick rick. To this day Rob tries to reference or name check the ruler as many times as possible, there are two references to Uncle Ricky on this album.
Irish author Roddy Doyle who had his Barrytown Trilogy of books adapted into a series of movies in the 90’s. He regularly references and even names songs after characters from the films.
Joey ‘The Lips Fagan’, Sharon Curley, Georgie Burgess have all previously been mentioned in Rob’s work. ‘Kel Jefe’ is no different and contains a reference to ‘Jimmy Rabbitte’ and ‘Imelda Quirke’ from ‘the commitments’ which was directed by Alan Parker in 1991.
‘Kel Jefe’ is another Rob Kelly character or alias, when Rob creates these characters, he gives them theme tunes which is what the title track is.
‘Eff Mitch Green’ is the third collaboration between Rob & Rim from Da Villinz, they first worked together on ‘Jimmy Jump’ from the ‘Black Irish Rogue’ album, they again linked on ‘the wicked’ from Rob’s collaborative project with S.A.S ‘No Blacks No Dogs No Irish’ Their first effort was featured in ‘The Source’ Magazine.
The production on the album comes from London’s ‘Tony Mahoney, California’s Tranzformer, Mook from an Irish group called Sons Phonetic and none other than the ubiquitous J57.
Rob makes reference to the Jay-Z owned Cognac Dusse on the album and although Dusse is not yet available in Ireland, Rob drank it in NYC while attending his good friend Memphis Bleek’s wedding in 2014. The two met on the Jay-Z water for life tour in 2006 and became friends, Bleek has regularly visited Ireland and invited Rob to the side stage when Jay Z performed in Ireland and the two had a record that was on Westwood’s ‘hot 6 at 6’ called ‘Game Over’. Bleek who was Sean Price’s cousin also invited Rob to guest on a track with P called ‘RNS’ which prompted Sean to find out who Rob was and they worked on more music together which Rob lists as his greatest achievement to date.
‘Eff Mitch Green’ contains an LL cool J reference because Rob bought ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ with his confirmation money at 12 years old.
On Black Mass Rob flips a Public Enemy line from 1989’s ‘Fight the Power’ from ‘it takes a nation of millions’ which was heavily used in Spike Lee’s ‘Do The Right thing’ that album and movie heavily influenced Rob’s journey into hip-hop culture.
The video for ‘Black Mass’ is the first Rob Kelly video ever filmed entirely in Rob’s home town of Wexford. It was directed by local director James Bell.
There is a heavy wu-tang influence on the title track, a reference to ODB & method man the later of which worked with exec producer j57 on his Tommy Boy album last year.
Rob is heavily influenced by the chopper read books and movie and tried to write some of the tracks from this album from the perspective of the lovable rogue.
Enjoy our Rob Kelly Kel Jefe – 25 Facts
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.
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’.
2. Other album title ideas included ‘Fresh Equations’ and ‘Music You Can Play For Your Mother’.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. ‘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.
12. 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’.
13. 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.
14. ‘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.
15. 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.
16. ‘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”.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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’.
20. 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.
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. 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.
24. ‘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.
25. 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.