Whats up everybody. I, very rarely, get the urge to write a quick blog post to communicate things that are hard to relay through music and/or social media. I released my album, “Bulls vs Sixers”, on Dec 11th (yes, the day the Bulls played the 76ers, cool right?). It was only a stream with no way to download or purchase it. I just wanted everybody to hear it. As an artist – an anxiety-filled OCD perfectionist at that – sometimes I have to force my self to release music or it will probably never see the light of day. Mainly because I always come back and mix it different, get new ideas, re-record something, etc. I have tons of songs that I felt at one point were my greatest ever collecting dust because I eventually made something else that replaced the feeling.
Since a kid I’ve always wanted to do a concept album. Its hard, though. Not only creatively, but as an aspiring artist still trying to build a brand and fan base, whats the point? How much will it actually be appreciated? Who cares. Really. Im a basketball fanatic. Im in love with music. So, why not do a concept rap album about a metaphorical basketball game? In-came my tunnel vision. Im usually one who accepts input from everybody and I genuinely appreciate and consider peoples constructive criticism. Since my very first project at the age of 17, thats always been the case. Not this time.
I locked myself in the studio for weeks leading up to the set date. Mixing, re-recording, adding verses, figuring out art direction. People in my camp felt I should push it back, capitalize better on some singles, position myself to make more money from it. Nah. Even the producer of the album – Keef Boyd – had some gripes about a song or two. We actually had our first, i’ll call it, “major disagreement”. It was about our vision for the purpose of the album. Close friends thought I shouldn’t even be releasing an album at this stage in my career. Just release singles. Usually this is the stuff I would acknowledge and take into consideration. Not this time.
I left communication at a minimum until the album was done. Nobody, not even the people who contributed, even heard it until the album came out. This is, in my opinion, a very dangerous and unprofessional process – but I didn’t care. You have to understand, the company I keep in Atlanta, whom I consider friends and some even family, have success in this industry. Its hard not to be influenced by my surroundings. I pride myself in creating respectable music that any Hip Hop fan can appreciate, if not love. But its hard not to want to sit down and try to write a auto tune-trap-radio-smash single. Its harder than you think. Especially when you and everybody around you feels you’ll succeed if you decide to go that route. Hell, I have a few in the vault. What does having integrity do for you anyways? Would you walk 50 flights of stairs if the elevator door was open, ready to give you an easy ride to the top?
Anybody who knows me in the slightest knows I don’t make music for money. They know I’m not chasing fame. I love music with all my heart. I do this for me and for you. I want to make the soundtrack to your life. The soundtrack to stuff that interests you. I made this album my way. I didn’t try to sound like anybody. I didn’t chase any big name features or producers. I didn’t ask for help. I didn’t ask for input. We’re still rolling out the process of what we planned for the album, since I kind of forced it out without preparing for promotion. Who really cares, though? New rules – there aren’t any rules. All I can do is hope it works. The point of this whole article is, almost 2 months later, my album is on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, etc. Im not begging for your money, there is a free stream on my soundcloud, and if you ask for a download link I will probably even give you one. But, if you do want to support hard work, support an artist who cares about what he is delivering to the listener, and somebody who has dedicated his life to this, it’s available. Thanks for reading.