Tag: 25 facts

ZotheJerk and Frost Gamble – Black Beach 25 Facts

• March 29, 2017
Black Beach 25 Facts

Black Beach 25 Facts

In our latest 25 facts series, we are honoured to share the thoughts of ZotheJerk and Frost Gamble. This is the Black Beach 25 Facts Hip-Hop Kings exclusive.

PRE-ORDER | ZotheJerk and Frost Gamble – Black Beach

1. The album recording process began at Mr. Porter’s old studio in Detroit – where Eminem’s “Infinite” was first written.

2. The track “Keep Me Safe” was originally intended for Frost Gamble’s “Jackpot EP” with Canadian producer/musician S.One.

3. Frost used a mix of vintage and modern equipment to craft the beats, from the Akai S900 of the 1980s to modern software and plugins from Reaper and Waves.

4. The intro “Welcome to Black Beach” samples an old minstrel show routine, and ironically touches on many of the topics on the album – such as mis-leadership, corruption, systemic racism and fear.

5. Zo and Frost first “met” by speaking on a radio podcast – Zo was the host, and Frost being interviewed, having just dropped his Handpicked album (in 2014).

Frost Gamble - Black Beach 25 Facts

Frost Gamble – Black Beach 25 Facts

6. Zo and Frost have released two commercial singles previously – Family First (2015) and Honey (2016). Black Beach is the duo’s first full album together.

7. Zo met Boldy James almost 13 years ago ironically at a studio on 8 mile in Detroit.

8. During the filming of 8 Mile, Zo was able to connect with Big Proof – R.I.P. – and was asked to work on a mixtape called “a Bunch of Black Folks”.

9. Black Beach was recorded in 3 States: Michigan, Kansas, and Ohio

10. KEM is an acronym for “Kill Everything Moving”

11. Zo and Frost are so similar in lifestyles they call each other twin.

12. It takes Zo 15 minutes to write full songs, concept, verses, and chorus.

Zothejerk - Black Beach 25 Facts

Zothejerk – Black Beach 25 Facts

13. 70% of Black Beach was changed in the last 3 weeks before the album was turned in.

14. Zo freestyled Etch-a-Sketch in one take.

15. Most of the verses on “Black Beach” were recorded in one take.

16. Keep Me Safe features Frost’s son and Zo’s sons.

17. While recording “Black Beach” Zo became a Cisco Certified CCNA.

18. Zo uses a K2, UA Neve, and Apollo MK Twin Quad in his vocal chain.

19. The soundbites on Loyal Victims are never before heard or seen interviews with Von Derrit Myers’ grandmother. These were shot by Zo in Ferguson at the 1 year anniversary of Von Derrit Myers’ death.

ZotheJerk - Black Beach 25 Facts

ZotheJerk – Black Beach 25 Facts

20. Zo earned the nickname Jerk in Detroit due to his straight forward no nonsense attitude and terrible lack of tact!

21. Black Beach was written and recorded as Zo transitioned from Kansas to Ohio, sometimes being recorded in hotels.

22. Zo wrote most of “Black Beach” while working as a Network Engineer.

23. Zo and Frost have only been in the studio together physically in Detroit.

24. Zo took Frost to his block Montrose in Detroit so Frost could experience the beauty of Detroit and fuel their creativity while recording Black Beach.

25. Zo & Frost recorded two albums worth of material preparing for this release – picking only their favorite tracks for the final project.

We hope you enjoyed the Black Beach 25 Facts piece. The official video for Smoke Screen is on the YouTube player below.


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Fliptrix – Patterns of Escapism 25 Facts

• November 15, 2016

In our popular 25 facts series, Fliptrix – Patterns of Escapism is the latest feature. Check out the 25 facts from the High Focus general below.

The album was originally going to be called ‘Circadian Rhythms’ until I came up with the name ‘Patterns Of Escapism’ and ran with that instead. (Download here!)

The large majority of the album was recorded by myself in my home studio.

The title track ‘Patterns Of Escapism’ was originally recorded to another beat but I decided to remix it and when I found the beat that we used, the second I heard it, I knew it was the one.

I actually started making the album before I made ‘Polyhymnia’ got sidetracked with that project and came back to this one afterwards, however taking the time with this one really helped me to get all the perfect beats and make a really cohesive album that I’m very proud of.

The ultimate don Chemo mixed and mastered the album all the way from Bangkok.

Ocean Wisdom first rapped me the verse for our collaboration track ‘Burn It’ when myself, him and Molotov were getting high in park in Athens Greece before we had to catch a plane home. The first time I heard the bar I knew it was gonna be a heavy track.

My long time old school homie RunOne played the piano you can hear in the chorus of the track ‘Diamond Tone’.

Often when I was recording in my yard my cats would attack my leg as the headphone cable was flying around whilst I was rapping and they thought it was a fun game. It resulted in me getting scratches on my leg and fucking up takes but it was pretty jokes all the same.


4 of the tracks were recorded in Chemo’s studio in London before he moved to Bangkok.

Street artist Matt Manson from Bristol designed the patterns you can see on the front of the album cover and Mark Shields put the whole product and package together and did the typography etc.

If you stare at the cover long enough you feel like its resonating and start to trip out.

Old school Hip Hop legend Blade pressed up the CD’s for the project. (Purchase the CD here!)

The CD version of the album contains a 12 page booklet with all of my lyrics from the album so you can rap along on a hype.

The double disc vinyls are going to be different colours with 3 different coloured specks running through them creating a mad effected called ‘Splatter Vinyl’ which means every record will be different and have an original pattern on it. There will only ever be 500 made in this style so get one while you can! (Purchase the vinyl here!)

I sent the beat and my vocal to King Kashmere for the track ‘Smoke Lingers Always’ and 3 days later his killer 32 bar was recorded in my inbox. I was overly gassed when I got it as Kashmere is one of my all time favourite rappers dead or alive and I went out and got waved on a hype that night.

AboveGround filmed the videos for the lead 3 singles ‘The Chronic, The Poltergeist & Patterns Of Escapism’, he is a serious problem, anyone taking photos or making videos needs to keep an eye on this man, he is the future.

I fully location scouted, storyboarded and directed the videos for ‘The Chronic’ & ‘Patterns Of Escapism’ with the concept of ‘The Poltergeist’ being a joint collaboration between myself and AboveGround.


Whilst shooting the video for ‘The Chronic’ multiple people stopped in the street including traffic and a woman screamed at the top of her lungs when she saw me dressed as Michael Jackson smashing a watermelon in the street and smashing it in to my face. It was a fun day.

I am very proud of this album and feel that Illinformed is without a doubt one of the sickest Boom Bap Hip Hop producers this country has ever produced.

‘Patterns Of Escapism’ is my 6th full length studio album, plus I have another project ‘Out The Box’ available on CD/digital and 2 albums with my crew The Four Owls totalling 9 full length albums I have put out not to mention a crazy amount of feature verses. I also feel like I’m only getting started with this rap shit so watch out!

Graffiti OG ‘Vodka’ painted the piece in ‘The Chronic’ video and also location scouted the scary looking abandoned cement works factory you see in ‘The Poltergeist’ video.

Graffiti OG and long time homie ‘Pow’ painted the ‘Escapism’ piece you see in the ‘Patterns Of Escapism’ video at Stockwell skate park, I specifically chose that location as I spent a lot of time there as a kid growing up.

The Weatherspoon’s pub in the ‘Patterns Of Escapism’ video is Denmark Hill and I spent many years going there with friends growing up, everyone probably got barred from there a good few times over the years and multiple jokes and madnesses happened so it meant a lot to shoot in there/outside there.

The first time I ever performed the title track ‘Patterns Of Escapism’ was at the last High Focus night in Brighton @ Concorde2 before I dropped the video, as soon as I heard the beat drop I knew it was going to be a track that will be in my set list for years to come.

If you cop my album you will enjoy it, I have infinite love for all my supporters, creative heads and High Focus fans world wide! (Order on Bandcamp here!)

‘Patterns Of Escapism’ is the third single and title track from Fliptrix’s upcoming 6th studio album entirely produced by Illinformed. The ‘Patterns Of Escapism’ LP features guest appearances from The Four Owls, Ocean Wisdom, King Kashmere, Verb T, Dabbla, Life MC, DJ Sammy B-Side & Jazz T. The highly anticipated album will be released on High Focus Records on the 25th of November 2016 on CD, limited edition vinyl & digital and is available to pre order now!


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Tone Chop and Frost Gamble – Veteran EP 25 Facts

• October 29, 2016
Tone Chop and Frost Game - Veteran EP 25 Facts

Tone Chop and Frost Game – Veteran EP 25 Facts

Here is the latest in our ongoing exclusive series “25 facts”. We have 25 facts from Tone Chop and Frost Gamble for their Veteran EP.

1. The concept for the “Veteran” EP was based around growing into adulthood, fatherhood, etc. – while experiencing the changes in Hip Hop music over the last 20 years.

2. Honesty is also a main theme in Veteran! We don’t glamorize negativity or materialism.

3. The name “Tone Chop” actually comes from an old Kung Fu classic called “Assassins”. One of the characters was named “Tong Chop” and he was very skilled in martial arts – just as Tone is very skilled at emceeing.

4. The “Gamble” in Frost’s name comes from being a pro poker player for 3 years. He used to travel the tournament circuit and make beats on a laptop in hotel rooms every night.

5. Chop writes his rhymes in pieces and puts them together like a puzzle – there might be one rhyme written across five different pages!

6. Sadly, Chop’s mother and father each passed away at a young age, from cancer – just 3 months apart.

7. When Chop met Frost, he was a rapper and had just started making beats. All he had was a drum machine and a four track.

8. Frost learned how to make beats and use the MPC by watching his neighbor DJ Spinna and others create beats for us to rhyme on.

9. Chop’s favorite rapper of all time is Lord Finesse – because of his crazy punchline style.

10. 5 rappers that Chop feels are very under-rated: Ransom, Fred Da Godson, Conway, Joell Ortiz and Joe Budden.

11. Tone Chop and Frost Gamble are both big fans of battle rap, from URL to KOTD. Frost often acts as a judge at local battle events.

12. We don’t really mess with keyboard beats. To us, sampling = Hip Hop

13. The bassline in “Step Up” was sampled from a 1996 cassette recording of a Tone Chop freestyle performance at Frost’s birthday party.

14. Tone Chop and Frost Gamble both enjoy fatherhood, and often use it as a theme in their music. Chop is a father to two boys – Anthony (age 8) and Vincent (age 5).

15. Frost has a 7 year old son, Thaddeus – named after one of his heroes, the 1800’s era abolitionist and US congressman Thaddeus Stevens.

16. Frost’s favorite producers of all time include Marley Marl, Just Blaze, the Beatnuts, Diamond D, Da Beatminerz and Preemo.

17. Chop’s very first Hip Hop tape was “Criminal Minded” by Boogie Down Productions. His all-time favorite is “Funky Technician” by Lord Finesse and DJ Mike Smooth.

18. Frost learned how to loop drumbreaks with pause tapes and tape splices – manually creating tape loops that could run on a reel-to-reel.

19. Chop is a big fan of graffiti art; he takes pictures anytime he sees something fresh!

20. Chop is also in a group called “Binghamton’s Most Wanted” which consists of Big Drew, Kizzle, Awful P, Weegee, T-Y, Trek, Flow and DJ Waxamillion. Both Awful P and DJ Waxamillion appear on the new EP.

21. Frost frequently collaborates with ZotheJerk (Detroit), White Rhino (Canada) & producer S.One who also appears on the EP.

22. Chop’s top favorite producers besides Frost are The Alchemist, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Stu Bangas, Jake One and Marley Marl. He has used some of their beats for freestyles on previous mixtapes in the Chopper City series.

23. Frost moved from NY to Minneapolis, then onto Kentucky, Kansas City, Vegas, LA and Arizona before settling in Canada.

24. “Veteran” was completed by emailing audio files back and forth – we were never in the studio together even once.

25. Tone Chop and Frost Gamble can appreciate any style of Hip Hop – so long as the mic controller has skills. But our favorite will always be gritty NY style street rap.


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Chillman Abstract Patterns 25 Facts

• July 12, 2016
chillman abstract patterns 25 facts

chillman abstract patterns 25 facts

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

chillman abstract patterns 25 facts

chillman abstract patterns 25 facts

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


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Hey Zeus.I – I Aint Apart of This EP (25 Facts)

• July 5, 2016
Hey Zeus.I Contradiction EP

Hey Zeus.I Contradiction EP

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

Hey Zeus.I Contradiction EP

Hey Zeus.I Contradiction EP

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.

Hey Zeus.I Contradiction EP

Hey Zeus.I Contradiction EP

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)


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Rob Kelly Kel Jefe – 25 Facts

• June 8, 2016
Rob Kelly Kel Jefe - 25 Facts

Rob Kelly Kel Jefe – 25 Facts

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.

Rob Kelly Kel Jefe - 25 Facts

Rob Kelly Kel Jefe – 25 Facts

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 Kelly Kel Jefe - 25 Facts

Rob Kelly Kel Jefe – 25 Facts

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


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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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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



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 Koncept and J57 – The Fuel

• November 5, 2015

Koncept and J57 – The Fuel

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.

Koncept and J57 - The Fuel

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.

Koncept and J57 - Porcelain

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.


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