PREVIOUS | Ande Bishop – MoneyOrFriendz
PRE-ORDER | Ocean$ – Ande Bishop
Following the news that Ande Bishop will be releasing his forthcoming E.P “Ocean$ – Extended Play” we have an exclusive 25 facts article of Ande Bishop speaking of the project. Please remember to pre-order Ocean$ – Extended Play from the link listed above.
1. The EP was originally going to be titled “Chess Moves”.
2. The original release date was supposed to be April 28th, but I submitted some unfinished mixes to Seven13 and iTunes by mistake. Which pushed it back 3 weeks… Oops!!
3. I’ll reveal the meaning behind the “OCEAN$” title on my next project, which hopefully comes before the Fall.
4. The project was recorded, mixed and mastered entirely from my personal studio.
5. “HOWITFEELS” is my favorite track on the EP. It is the only track that wasn’t written or pre-thought out. I created on the spot in the middle of the night.
6. I wrote OG Jaylon in 2013, my sister’s unborn son I was talking about is about 10 months old now.
7. I made the two “MoneyorFriendz” tracks while listening to The Game’s “The Documentary”, so I name dropped as many rappers as I could, in homage to Game’s signature style.
8. I deliberately left any tracks produced by myself/American Roulette off of OCEAN$, but my next solo project will be produced in house by me and Londn Blue.
9. I recorded about 30 songs for this EP in 2 weeks, about 12 of them will get released at some point.
10. The album cover was photographed randomly on my homie’s iPhone. It wasn’t staged at all.
11. I recorded all of the vocals for this album within 48 hours, I wanted my voice to sound consistent throughout the EP.
12. I only got like 5 hours of sleep during those 48.
13. The hardest song to record was “LONG WEEK”, I probably recorded it 15 times before I was happy with it.
14. “MoneyorFriendz” and “HOWITFEELS” were the easiest, they got done in 1 take all the way through.
15. None of my family and friends have heard the entire EP. I’m making everybody I know wait until the day it releases.
16. I always figured my first pre-order would come from somebody I knew, but it was a random kid from Rhode Island who DM’d me the morning “MoneyorFriendz” released, so shout out to him!!
17. I recorded this EP knowing I’ll have to perform it over the summer, so I crafted it thinking about how they would go over in front of fans, live. Hoping to tour in Europe by the top of 2016 too.
18. “Supremeizm” was another title I entertained naming it before going with OCEAN$. Might still use it though.
19. I made “ROLLCREDITS” an hour before I had to turn the project in.
20. TP Play and Londn Blue were supposed to be on MoneyorFriendzTwo, but they told me I might as well come out with no features, which I ultimately decided to do.
21. The “OLDJAYZVIDEOS” visual is complete, it’ll drop close to the release date, probably my 2nd favorite song on the EP.
22. I’m quietly hoping Cole, Kendrick or somebody major doesn’t randomly drop an album on the 19th, I’d be sad as shit !!
23. Each song is inspired by a different era or region of rap, but I think it all flows together perfectly.
24. I’m the only vocalist on the album, which is dope to me. The album is completely written and performed by myself. Which is challenging because you have to keep the listener entertained all by yourself.
25. The next release by me won’t be an EP, it’ll be a full body of work, an album.
This is an exclusive 25 facts article about Constant Deviants album “Avant Garde”. You won’t find this information anywhere else. Please remember to download Constant Deviant’s album “Avant Garde” on the iTunes from the 12th of May 2015.
1. DJ Cutt likes to be alone when he makes beats
2. M.I. recorded 4 different albums in 2014
3. SIX2SIX was originally just a term M.I. used to describe his grind
4. DJ Cutt does everything on the production side – beats, cuts and mixing for all Constant Deviants projects
5. Avant Garde was originally going to be a double CD with 2 totally different sounds on each one
6. M.I. prefers to write to the actual beat he is recording a track to.
7. For Avant Garde, M.I. recorded his own vocals for the entire album
8. The artwork for the album cover was designed by a friend in Switzerland called Teymor Azzam
9. This album will be followed by a new EP and another album close behind it
10. DJ Cutt and M.I. feel as the years have gone by, experience means each new album gets easier to make great
11. The duo don’t like much outside input on their music during the writing and recording process
12. M.I. hasn’t once had writer’s block since 1996 !
13. Constant Deviants future plans include creating and developing new sounds that reshape hip hop
14. For Avant Garde, DJ Cutt spent a lot of his time sourcing unusual samples to use in the beats
15. Making sure the album was mixed a certain way and had a special and specific sound actually took more time than the creative and recording process
16. Constant Deviants recorded their first demo on a 4 track live with one traxck for vocals and one for cuts. It meant if there was a mistake they had to start all over again.
17. By comparison, their second demo was recorded in a multi million dollar studio where DJ Cutt worked in NYC.
18. Their first record deal was with Vestry Records who were actually also based in the same building where DJ worked.
19. The group have never given up the publishing rights to any of their music
20. In 1996, Constant Deviants’ entourage bumrushed the radio station at Columbia University and attempted to give Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito their demo. They were told to send it in two weeks later, and when they did, a couple of their tracks were played. It felt like the dream had come true and to this day people know the name Constant Deviants because their music was played on this legendary show!
21. Throughout all the years, the duo have rarely had many features on their albums, but prefer to keep it consistent predominantly as a dupo format.
22. Constant Deviants are also part of a larger crew that goes by the name of Global Platoon
23. One Speaker Supreme is an original member of Constant Deviants, and regarded by M.I. as the one who taught him how to Emcee.
24. DJ Cutt still has his original Technique 1200s
25. M.I.C. was M.I.’S original name (Mic’s Illest Controller) shortened to M.I. which became Mr Impossible over the years. He still uses both names
PRE-ORDER (iTunes) | Voices from Planet Cattele – Onoe Caponoe
PURCHASE | Onoe Caponoe – Voices From Planet Cattele CD
EXCLUSIVE VINYL | Onoe Caponoe – Voices From Planet Cattele
PREVIOUS | Onoe Caponoe – Space Bitches (Video)
The latest addition to High Focus Records, Onoe Caponoe, delivers his 25 facts about the upcoming album “Voices From Planet Cattele”. As Hip-Hop Kings previously reported, the whole album has been produced by UK Hip-Hop legend Chemo, and is available to pre-order now (links above). Enjoy!
1.The project was started somewhere in between December 2012 and January 2013.
2. The Lap steel slide guitar used in the track ‘Space Jungles of Cattele’ was previously owned for many years by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd.
3. The voice on the intro of the album is actually DJ BB.
4. The song ‘Disappearing Jakob’ was a curse and week later I was skateboarding down my road, fucked up on a stone or some shit and fell off n smashed my phone.
5. ‘Space Jungles Of Catelle’ was recorded in my bedroom last minute and it juuuussstttt made it onto the project.
6. ‘Space Bitches’ was written in late 2011.
7. I recorded ‘Space Bitches’ to a random song I wrote it to then Chemo constructed his beat to the accapella.
8. Jehst is actually the Lord of darkness and wrote one of the cleverest blasphemic rap verses ever, casually in under 10 minutes then levitated.
9. I drew all the art work for the bloodclart project ya simi.
10. This project is a turning point in my career and while working on it I have also been pushing and maturing my own sound and working on a number of projects and ideas for future releases.
11. I accidentally took loads of acid after a show then spent the next 3 months spazzing out n nearly didn’t finish the project lol.
12. One of my friends, this dude named Mycro was in the studio with a few of us when we are recording the song ‘Goth Bitches’. I askd him to go in the booth and do some shit for the outro of the song. He did it one take and that’s what we used.
13. I had these samples I had cut out of a film and wanted Chemo to put on a beat so we could put it at the beginning of the song ‘Peace to tha Gods’. He made the beat in front of me straight away in somewhere around 5 minutes.
14. We shot the Video for ‘Horse In The Hill (Quadrant)’ somewhere farrrrrrrr in Kent.
15. I didn’t realise there were forests like that in Kent, we were driving through these forests with Classic FM on playing the most amazing random music I had never heard before in this place that looked like fucking Canada it was a trip.
16. The Video for ‘Horse In The Hill (Quadrant)’ took 3 fullllllllllll days to shoot.
17. Space bitches is actually a continuation of a song i have with Drae Da Skimask called ‘Funky Caterpillar’ on a LP I did in 2012 called ‘Willows Midnight Gallery’.
18. The track called ‘Under The Bridge’ is a true story.
19. I wrote the song ‘Peace To Tha Godz’ cuz I was mad pissed off 1 day about feeling trapped in the city and being surrounded by a lot of stupid mentalities hovering around everywhere.
20. The whole process of the Album was super relaxed and fun as a motherfucker.
21. I defiantly want to work with chemo again on some different crazy shit on a different scale.
22. Goth chicks are hot.
23. Space bitches are not…hahaha nah they are 2.
24. Chemo is a wizard.
25. It was all recorded with good vibes and if u dig it u a cool ass motherfucker, if not beta get to dipping cuz if u don’t trip u aint hip to the game n won’t understand a thang. peeaaaccceeeeeeeeeeee
PREVIOUS | Buggs Tha Rocka – Bad Habits
Here is the brand new HHK exclusive with 25 Facts About Buggs Tha Rocka – Scattered Thoughts of an American Poet. The album will be released on the 10th of December 2014 and the iTunes pre-order link will be available soon.
1. For the “Scattered Thoughts of an American Poet” project I originally did over 40 tracks for it
2. I started the new project after taking a trip to Amsterdam last summer 2013
3. I had to search for Piakahn for a few months to get him to put a verse on “Angel of Death”. Very hard to find the OG !
4. I literally named this project “Scattered Thoughts….” because I had so many different ideas, thoughts and emotions that went into this project
5. The Jake One produced track “Thirsty” was originally a MOOD record that Donte personally gave me for my project after I recorded my verse
6. The artwork on the project has 3 different versions. Whether I ever put them all out is as yet still undetermined.
7. Aida Chakra who is featured on a few records on “Scattered Thoughts….” is a Galaxxy Enterprise member
8. This project was initially gonna be a visual album. No audio, just all visuals made up of video releases
9. I had such a hard time cutting records because of emotional attachment and the long sabbatical from hip hop that I almost put out a double disc mixtape
10. The original title of “Scattered Thoughts of an American Poet” was “Mutant Level II: Rise of the Phoenix”
11. This project had two initial release dates before the official December 10th date
12. The first song recorded for the project was “My$tery” produced by Sal Dali
13. Mac Miller was supposes to be on “Phantom of the Opera ” but we couldn’t make it happen because of my time restrictions to finish the project
14. Talib Kweli was supposes to be on “Religiously ” and “Royalty interlude” but again we couldn’t because of scheduling
15. Donte from MOOD and Mac Miller’s DJ Clockwork were basically the unofficial executive producers for this album
16. In the process of recording songs for the project I linked up with Monopoli Management who helped back and support the project
17. My favorite song of the project would be either “Rapture” or “Against Me”
18. “Until the End” is the first official collaboration between MOOD & me
19. Kanye West’s “Graduation” LP and Talib Kweli x MOOD’s “Doom” LP were big inspirations for this album
20. This is the most comfortable I ever been with a project in full
21. Hi- Tek gave a lot of advice to me which helped shape my project
22. “Electric Eel in a Pool of Catfish” got its title from a quote in a local cafe I go to in Cincinnati called SITWELLS
23. 3 of the tracks were recorded in Amsterdam, the rest at home in Cincinnati where I feel most comfortable song writing
24. In a few records you hear my saying “FREE see Hussell” who is my cousin. He has just recently been released from jail after 2 in a half years in time to witness this project’s release!
25. I plan to set up a tour in Europe as well as the States for this particular project, and feel it will be one of the best new hip hop releases of 2015 even tho it will release a bit before the new year on December 10th
PRE-ORDER | Chemically Imbalanced – Chris Webby
XXL Freshman Chris Webby gives Hip-Hop Kings an exclusive 25 facts about his album “Chemically Imbalanced” which fans from the UK can pre-order from the iTunes link listed above.
-I spent every penny of my recording budget that Eone gave me on creating this project, and then some. I bought no chains, cars, or anything of the sort. We even went over budget a bit to be honest. I truly put my everything into Chemically Imbalanced.. physically, emotionally, and most definitely financially.
-The hook to Let’s Do It Again is an homage to the Jay-Z’s lyrics in “Do It Again.”
-There was originally a bridge after the second verse on the song Set It Off that utilized the melody to the Strafe song with the same title. Unfortunately, due to clearance issues I had to take it out completely. Shout to Michelle Trumpler for singing on that while we were in the studio too tho. Dope engineer, singer, and person in general.
-Me and my in house engineer Juice spent an estimated 35-40 hours working on the 3 interludes on the album. They were like constructing audio movies.. the attention to detail we put in was crazy, but I love how they turned out in the end. Totally worth it.
-My homie Kenny Urban did the beatboxing for all 3 of the interludes in one take each. We may have nudged a couple sections the tiniest bit to keep the tempo 100% perfect, but he didn’t layer any of those crazy sound effects or drum noises. Kid is a beast with the beatbox!
-I had a song called Brim Low on my fourth mix tape back in 2010, which was over the instrumental of the song Blind To You by Collie Buddz. That song was produced by Supa Dups. Then, about 4 years later, I ended up getting in the studio with Supa Dups myself and made a completely new song called Brim Low as a little nod to my past.
-I watched Scott Storch make the beat for the title track, Chemically Imbalanced, when we were together in the studio in Miami. We stayed up working on it until about 11 AM. Probably the coolest studio night I’ve experienced thus far. Scott is insane on the keys, and it was dope as hell watching a genius at work.
-The homie who laid the final mix on all of the tracks is Jeff Edwards, who lives down in ATL. Because we couldn’t be in the same room to go over things, I spent more time on the phone with that dude in the 2-3 months leading up to the release than probably anyone in my life. It was a long, tedious process, but he killed it. That’s the homie for life.
-Day In The Life was originally recorded to a different beat produced by my dude Will Power of SupaHotBeats. When Will sent it back to me after making some changes, it was a totally different song in the best way possible.
-There was an incredible Charlie Chaplin quote at the beginning of the song Stand Up where he spoke about the human races’ lack of compassion to nature and each other, but we had to remove it due to copyright issues.
-My engineer Juice became the character BarsTaLoan, a recurring voice in all three of the interludes, one drunken night in the studio. We were all wasted on cheap wine and he just got in the booth and took on this persona. We laughed all fuckin night. Now we all call him BarsTaLoan too, haha.
-My dad, Dave Webster, played the badass guitar solos in both RAD and Ohh Noo. He also laid some background guitar on the breakdown in Nice 2 Be Back and on the last hook of Stand Up.
-Originally, RyattFienix’s vocals were far more tucked into the audio mix on Day In The Life, but i thought she killed it so I had my engineer bring her voice way more to the forefront in the mix, and gave her the feature credit on the song. She’s the shit, good peoples.
-That’s actually me singing at the end of Brim Low. We were about to wrap the song when my engineer Juice accidentally looped the outro portion of the beat. I was border line blacked out from drinking boxed wine, and I told him to keep it looped while I went into the booth and belted out all those vocals at the end in almost a Janis Joplin-esqe style. I’m definitely going to add that stylistic approach to my music making tool belt going forward.
-I didn’t pay for any features on the album. All of the guest verses all came to be in an organic fashion.
-Grafh was in the studio with me when the song Dopamine was first conceived. I wrote the hook and we laid our verses that night, and then it was months before that song was reproached and sent out to everyone else.
-Jon connor both wrote and recorded his verse to World On Fire when he came through to kick it with me in the studio while he was out east. It took him less than two hours. I can’t remember exactly how long.. that night had to have been about 2 years ago by this point… but it was fast as hell given the complexity of the verse. That man is a beast.
-Sap showed me the beat for So Eazy years ago and said he had sent it to Eminem and was waiting to hear back, but would send it to me if it wasn’t selected. Then he lost the beat, and I pestered him about it for about a year with no luck of him finding it. When he came up to work with me in CT that next year, I told him to reconstruct it right then and there because I had loved the original so much. 48 hours later, So Eazy was more or less done.
-Turnt Up was originally released on 4/20/2013 with a music video me and Dizzy Wright shot in Cali, but was taken down from Youtube due to a sample issue. I liked the song too much to let it slip into obscurity, so I had someone replay the sample and made slight changes to give it the feel of a brand new song.
-It’s hard to say, but I think my favorite song on the project is Stand Up. I feel like it’s important to use the voice I now have to spread awareness and try to make the world a better place in whatever way possible.
-The voice of my manager in the third interlude is actually my manager Dana. The label executive was played by another member of the team, Chris Fury.
-Skrizzly Adams was my main in house engineer until recently when his own solo music career started to take off. He both produced and sang on World On Fire, along with a good handful of my old songs like And The Beat Goes On, Until I Die, and Crashing Down. Great kid, and super talented.
-Opening my email and hearing Tech N9ne’s verse on Ohh Noo for the first time was single handedly one of the coolest moments of my career.
-Me and my homie Lunch Box wrote a few of the hooks featured on the album at Circle House studio in Miami while taking bogie breaks and drinking coffee flavored Monster energy drinks.
-All 3 of the interludes were based on my life. The first couple take place at a house party and on a blunt ride, which were the two most common places for me to break into a freestyle when I was young and on the come-up, many times with my homies beatboxing for me. The final one is in a label office, showing how I learned how to put my years of practice into effect when it really counted. Rapping on the spot and impressing people with freestyles or a hot 16 I had up my sleeve was always my go-to move when I was growing up, and I felt it was important to include that vibe on my debut album.
DOWNLOAD | Dead Residents – Dead Thy Neighbour
In our popular “25 Facts” series, we have the pleasure of presenting Dead Residents’ “25 Facts About Dead Thy Neighbour” which is the latest project from the duo. Dead Residents (Junior Disprol and Chud Jackson) give us 25 facts about their Dead Thy Neighbour project (see below) which you won’t find anywhere else. Also please support by downloading the album from the links listed above.
1). Junior Disprol’s 7” ‘Fight Club’ and the Fleapit track ‘Mangle to This’ both make reference to ‘Dead Residents’ in the lyrics.
2). Dead Residents was originally Junior Disprol and Mr Matrix. They formed in Bristol in the late 90’s. One track was demo’d ‘Hollow earth Theory’.
3). The second incarnation of Dead Residents was a collection of Bristol freestyle cypher tape sessions Disprol was part of in 2000 -01.
4). Junior Disprol and Chud Jackson were originally in a crew called C75 that they formed together while at school.
5). Dead Thy Neighbour features Fab5Freddy, Donald Sinden, Smiley Culture, Arfon Haines Davies, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Prime Rhyme Masters, Frisky Dingo, and the ‘T’ Scheme Rockers.
6). Dead Residents once had a track greenlit for an Irvine Welsh production which eventually got shelved (the film that is, the track is called *‘Erasertooth’). *Bonus track on their Triple Crown LP download available on their Band Camp page)
7). Track 12 on Dead Thy Neighbour was made on an organ liberated from a local school by Retch of The Bukyak Brothers.
8). Rubbish Song was originally titled ‘Portrait of an Artist through the Contents of His Bin’.
9). Kaleidoscope is based on a true story.
10). Dead Residents are banned from airplay in North and South Korea.
11). Jun Dis and Chud have a big following in Japan as ‘Vanilli Gorilli’ (‘Dead Residents’ in Japanese), having been headline support for a K7 and Bel, Biv, Devoe reunion tour across Japan in 2005.
12). Dead Thy Neighbour should’ve been out ages ago.
13). Dead Thy Neighbour is a useful tool for establishing a series of boundaries between yourself and your neighbours.
14). ‘DTN’ was overseen by Professor X.
15). One of the tracks that didn’t make the final cut of ‘DTN’ was called ‘Fuck Orrf’ which was a track about ‘charity muggers’.
16). Dead Residents isn’t a cult, it’s a registered organisation and it resents the accusation.
17). Dead Thy Neighbour is the perfect accompaniment to a soft candlelit dinner for you and a hostage.
18). Dead Thy Neighbour has got much flava.
19). Dead Residents slept on the floor of a strange room in an odd building after a gig in Hamburg a few years ago. The next day they discovered it was a friend of the promoters’ nans’ room at the residential building she lived (she wasn’t there at the time btw). Hence why they were asked beforehand if they could be quiet overnight…
20). If you don’t like Dead Thy Neighbour you got the vapours.
21). Junior Disprol did music for a Sega Saturn game once.
22). Dead Residents are concerned collectively that they may end up referring to themselves as the Dead Residents in the third person after completing these questions.
23). While typing this up I was watching a Kate Bush documentary on BBC 4.
24). Acid 2, a cracked and corrupted version of Cool Edit Pro, tape decks, a Stylophone, plug ins, various toy keyboards, a stolen organ, coconuts, empty beer bottle, zip scratch and a stranglers thumb were all incorporated into the recording of Dead Thy Neighbour.
25). Dead Residents are currently working on a Junior Disprol solo LP.
In an exclusive feature with IGN, we’ve been given some information regarding the new WWE 2K15 game. There’s the inevitable 30 Years of Wrestlemania campaign mode which is a very introspective story than recent editions. 2K haven’t announced which rivalries will be featured but we’re sure to see appearances from the likes of The Undertaker, Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels, The Rock and many more. MyCareer will give fans the ability to have your own character go through various historical events which will emulate the NBA 2K14 career mode. Look out for plenty of more updates from WWE 2K15 in the very near future.
DOWNLOAD | Invy Da Truth – V.I.C.E
PREVIOUS | Invy Da Truth – Loyalty
Here is the latest Hip-Hop Kings exclusive, this time with Invy Da Truth and his recently released debut album “V.I.C.E”. Invy Da Truth gives us 25 facts about the album that you won’t see anywhere else.
1. V.I.C.E is an acronym for Vast Intoxicating Chemicals Everyday
2. Oldest song is from 2011.
3. Is the second album title selection
4. Has one featured verse (Jamall Bufford)
5. Is executive produced by Chanes
6. Featured 7 Michigan based producers
7. None of the album was made sober
8. I did all my own hooks
9. Five senses was recorded in Arizona produced by Chanes (MI)
10. Big Dawg was record in Michigan produced by Jmatt (AZ).
11. 12 steps used to be 2 songs
12. Drinking alone video has no stunt drinking. All real
13. Big dawg video was shot on the south side of Chicago
14. The producer of Corner Store and lifestyle shot the video for highlight reel
15. Chanes produced a little less than 50 percent of the album
16. Control verses are true stories
17. Binge watching “eastbound and down” with Chanes influenced Kenny Powers
18. The artwork was inspired from the bathroom stall at St. Andrews hall in Detroit
19. Invy’s favorite VICE is lust.
20. Leon speakers sponsored the album
21. First listening of album was done in the sound test room at leon speakers
22. The album is dedicated to my unborn twins
23. I never met 2 producers on the album (Jmatt and Stephan Black 123)
24. The album was recorded with the same mic as Voltron
25. It is a must download!
The release of Tical O: The Prequel is one that doesn’t sit very well within Method Man’s discography. He’s the first to admit it, quoted “On the third LP, it was suggested to bring in Harve Pierre and P Diddy. Who am I to argue? Puff knows how to sell some records. But that wasn’t the direction to go in, and I know that now.” The statement is probably a relief to most Wu-Tang and Method Man fans who clearly agree with his retrospective views.
In 2004 we saw Tical O: The Prequel hit shelves which ultimately reached number two on the Billboard 200 chart and reached a certified “Gold” status for it’s sales. Nobody faults Method Man for the release but the bitter disappointment was shared, as fans were expecting a better, more polished “Tical 2000: Judgement Day” which boasted an incredible 28 tracks (including skits) and had production mostly by RZA and Wu-Tang Clan members. That rule was only broken for Prince Paul, Havoc (Mobb Deep) and Erick Sermon so nobody complained about that decision either.
Two years later we quickly had a new album titled 4:21: The Day After, which went back to basics (production from RZA, Havoc, Erick Sermon and Scott Storch among others) and guest appearances from Fat Joe, Styles P, Redman and other Wu-Tang affiliates. For true fans you’ll remember the bonus U.K track “O.D”, but although the album didn’t reach the same commercial success (number 8 on the Billboard 200), it was a much preferred album for Method Man fans.
We’re more likely to see Method Man in a movie or a guest feature in 2014, but rumours of an upcoming album (Crystal Meth) this year continue to surface, and of course his work on the one-copy Wu-Tang Clan album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” give fans continual hope of more excellent music from one of the most lyrically and technically astute MC’s in our generation. Look out for Method Man and Redman performing in Croatia at the 2014 Fresh Island Festival in July.
PRE-ORDER | Copper Gone – Sage Francis
Following in true tradition for our “25 Facts” series, here is Strange Famous Records’ Sage Francis giving fans 25 Facts about the upcoming album “Copper Gone”.
1. The title for “Copper Gone”, though based on graffiti that’s painted on abandoned buildings in my area, came to me in a dream. In my dream my Grandmother asked me how “Copper Gone” was coming along. I liked the way it sounded when she said it.
2. “Make Em Purr” was written and recorded in on the same night I received the beat. I thought the album was finished before I received that music and it immediately became clear that the album would be incomplete without it.
3. I own two cats. The mom and son. The momma cat is the last thing my dad ever gave to me. He found her on the street but he couldn’t keep her so he asked if I would take her in. Turns out she was pregnant. I ended up keeping the runt but we had to give the rest of the litter away. These two cats have been my life force for the past few years and I wish they were cool with traveling because it really sucks to be away from them.
4. “Grace” is a song that contains lyrics and concepts I’ve collected over the past 10 years. The subject is a conglomerate of many people I’ve known and taken shit from in the past decade. I repeat “This is not a love ballad” a few times throughout the song. That phrasing is in reference to the intro of “Shakiyla” by the Poor Righteous Teachers. Wise Intelligent of PRT says “THIS…is not a love ballad” at the beginning of the song and I’ve always wanted to sample it. A few years ago I asked him if I could sample it and he gave me permission, but once I recorded the song I decided it sounded better being delivered in an understated kind of way.
5. The video for “Grace” was inspired by a Japanese film called “Survive Style 5+.” In the music video there’s a part where a woman straddles me and then slaps/chokes/scratches/punches me. We did about 20 takes. Acting is fun.
6. I basically freestyled the chorus to “Pressure Cooker.” I knew where the words were supposed to be and in which cadence, but I had no idea what I wanted to say. Eventually I found out the phrase “I’ve been busy…doing stuff” to be one of the unintentionally funny things I’ve ever said. And I didn’t even know it was funny until I saw every single one of my friends laugh at that part.
7. A couple of the beats I use on this album were discovered from remix contests we’ve held at Strange Famous Records over the past several years. In fact, a lot of the beat producers on this album were originally discovered through SFR remix contests. Although they’re tedious as all hell, I’ve found remix contests to be a great way of discovering production talent.
8. The entire album was recorded in my house in a studio held together by duct tape and strings. There’s no way of explaining how impossible it was for all of this to get recorded in the time frame that it needed to get done on the equipment that I had at my disposal. But I got it done, goddammit.
9. My original plan was to record this album at the end of 2013. However, I ended up touring Australia in December and then I returned home with pneumonia. Most of the album was recorded with a chest infection which was a painful and difficult process. I had to re-record the vocals many times because of this, but I only had one month to do everything which means I haven’t slept much since February.
10. Reanimator and Alias are the only two producers on this album who also made contributions to my first album, “Personal Journals.” They’re both married, they both have one daughter, they both have office jobs, they both like to cook, they’re both incredibly nice, and they both make me wonder where I went wrong in life. Haha. No, they rule and I’m just realizing right now how similar their lives are.
11. I’ve never had an emcee feature on any of my official albums. The first studio album I recorded was in 1998, so I’ve gone 16 years without having Busta Rhymes feature on any chorus.
12. B. Dolan and Prolyphic are both Rhode Island emcees who are on Strange Famous Records and their vocals are sampled on Copper Gone. It may appear to be self-serving to sample people on my own label, but the only hip-hop I tend to listen these days are SFR songs. When I hear lyrics, a lot of lines stick in my head and I can’t get them out. And then sometimes they work perfectly in the chorus of a song.
13. “Say Uncle” originally had entirely different lyrics. I couldn’t figure out how to be cryptic enough to the point where I wouldn’t be putting someone else on blast, so I decided I’d rather have the song be mainly about me. That way I wouldn’t have to answer questions about the person for the rest of my life. Also, in the second verse, I give a head nod to Eyedea by referencing “Shadows have Shadows” and “Oliver Heart.” When those lyrics came out of the pen I thought it was adequately subtle yet obvious at the same time in a way that he might appreciate. Miss him.
14. “Once Upon a Blood Moon” is about a woman I was with for 6 years. A bulk of that song probably sounds like playful symbolism or use of metaphor, but the lyrics reference literal situations. Some shit you just can’t make up. It took me an incredibly long time to record that song due to my inability to actually say a lot of the lines. I had to separate myself quite a bit from the material in order to deliver it. Now when I play it live it feels like I’m telling someone else’s story which makes things a whole lot easier. That’s the power of putting your life onto page sometimes. I’m not sure if that qualifies as healing or simply numbing oneself, but I’ll take it.
15. When I listen to music for leisure I tend to just listen to piano or ambient stuff. It’s usually material with very simply lyrics or no lyrics at all. Stuff that makes me calm. Something to fall asleep to.
16. The album illustrations were done by Inkymole, the same person who held the “When A Girl Writes Off the World” art gallery show for me in London back in 2006. She also did the illustrations for my Human the Death Dance album.
17. “The Place She Feared Most” was originally titled “Space.” However, since I already had a song called “Grace,” I decided to change the name of the song because I didn’t want to have two songs on the same album with titles that rhymed.
18. The part from “The Place She Feared Most” that made me laugh after writing it is the section where I explain what a phonebook is. I referenced a phonebook and then I realized that some people might not even know what the hell a phonebook is. For the record, it’s basically “a black book for fat fucks who can’t cook.” Which begs the question to the younger generation…”what the fuck is a black book?”
19. My mother was a life guard for a majority of my childhood so she got me swimming at a very young age. The title for “Dead Man’s Float” is based on an actual style of swimming that people are taught to do to conserve energy if they are ever in trouble while in a vast body of water. I wasn’t sure if this was an actual term until I just Googled it right now. Turns out it’s not something I incorrectly remember from my early days (*Phew*).
20. The title for “Over Under” and the inspiration behind it was based on a girl who told me (among many things) to “get over myself.” I’m willing to bet that she has no idea how over myself I actually am.
21. Irena Girlbot did the art design and layout for “Copper Gone.” She laser engraved Inkymole’s “Copper Gone” illustrations into a plexiglass plate and then made a copper relief out of that plate. The album cover is a photo of that copper relief. We then used the plexiglass cliche to do monoprint posters in the kitchen of my home. We’re still trying to perfect that process before making them available to the public. I’ve been working with her on various albums, shirts and website designs since 2004. However, as she lives in Croatia, I only met her briefly while touring through Europe. We’re now touring the world together with her as my VJ. She projects videos that correlate with each song onto the stage. Trying to figure out how to keep her on US soil has proven to be insanely difficult and costly thanks to arbitrary US immigration laws, so I might just have to spend more time in Europe moving forward.
22. Originally I wanted to connect every song in a way where the end of one song would be the beginning of the next song. On some of the songs you’ll notice that the last line of one song rhymes with the first line of the next song. This became a bit messy when I needed to switch the arrangement for the sake of pacing, but I’d like to execute that shit properly one day. And it’ll probably be a in way no one notices so I’m not sure why I obsess over little things like that. Haha. It’s just for me.
23. A song called “Brick by Brick” (prod. by Buddy Peace) was recorded for the album, but we eventually had to leave it off because of a weird clicking sound in the drums that were sampled. It’s a really fun story-style song, but I think it will probably work best on another album or mixtape if I can ever figure out how to recreate it without the weird clicky sound in the drums.
24. Recently a fan from Sweden complained about the song title for “MAINT REQD.” He didn’t understand why I would spell the song in all caps and with weird abbreviations. The song title came from the warning signal on my car’s dashboard that says “MAINT REQD.” It never goes away and every time I drive the car I see it. “MAINT REQD”….that’s how it’s spelled and that’s how I say it in my head.
25. The adlib at the end of “ID Thieves” is 100% authentic and off-the-cuff. Once I was done delivering the verse the extra words just came out of my mouth as I was walking away from the mic. I’m guessing this how ugly my accent always sounds when I’m talking to myself.