Kris Kross is the reason I rap. Easily. I don’t know too many people in my age range that CAN’T cite them as a major influence. They were just a little older than me and I and my friends idolized them. I had posters in my room, cassettes in my little boombox and I’m positive my career was birthed in the bathroom mirror trying to lock down the Miggedy-Miggedy-Mac Daddy/Dax EFX flow. EVERY kid in our grade school was a rapper after Kris Kross came out. I wore my clothes backwards, too. I’m sure of it. I’m sure anyone older than me thought they were a gimmick (they were), but the trick with Kris Kross is that they could rap their asses off. And shit, people discount “The Bomb” as a flop, as they may have been aping the west coast hard, but that album, for better or for worse, is a big reason I hopped into the Snoop, Dre & G-Funk Universe. “The Bomb”-era Kriss Kross, Da Brat & SoSoDef were the kid-safe Death Row that led me proudly over to the dark side with the quickness (I still have my ‘sneak-around-my-parents’ Maxell tape of “Doggystyle”). But anyway…
This week, my friend Illogic drops a new record with NY producer Blockhead. I’ve been a fan of Blockhead since hearing Aesop Rock’s “Daylight” EP, one of the key ingredients in my youthful indie hip-hop exploration period that left me hungover somewhere in the middle of “Cold Vein”. I never recovered.
Even moreso I’ve been a fan of Illogic since high school and actually did an album with him as well.
I’ve heard this record through pretty much every stage, and it’s great to watch it see the light of day and get such a great response.
I know it’s been a very long time since I’ve written anything on this site. For the past few months, I’ve found myself on the other end of the spectrum, tearing through books at a pretty rapid rate. It’s been a really amazing experience, as each book has led me naturally to the next book. I haven’t been this excited about reading in ever. It’s rejuvenated my creative spark to a level I haven’t felt in years. I’ve found myself letting go of the cycle/addiction of reading online articles and music blogs, and using that time more effectively reading these things that open up and have words in them instead. Plus, they’re free, as there is apparently a place that lets you borrow them for as long as you want. It’s a pretty awesome deal, and I’ve been taking full advantage of it.
My partner and label-mate HuntorPrey has been waiting a LONG time for this moment. We all have.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time here talking about what an amazing artist I think HuntorPrey is. I don’t have to. There’s a video below for that. And an EP coming around the corner. And release parties. And touring. So you can see for yourselves.
For those who aren’t familiar with HuntorPrey but are familiar with me, you’ve heard Huntor on Illumination’s“Imagine Reality”. You’ve heard him along myself, Piakhan & Illogic onThe World is Ours’“As I See It”.
Before I get into this new song, I want to thank everyone for the ongoing support you’ve given the “Synesthesia Yellow” EP. From the press write-ups to the touring, to the label deal and video shoots, it’s awesome to see the beginning of this vision catch on. Thankfully, we have WAAAAY more to bring your way. Which brings me to “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.
Up top, we have the front cover piece done by Jennifer Hunt. I met Jennifer on the Aloe Park Tour of 2010. She had some amazing pics and agreed to let me use this one in particular. I initially planned on using the woman below as the cover, but the symmetry and imagery in this pic just stuck with me. It felt more like what “Synesthesia” looks like to me.
A couple weeks ago, I dedicated a post to the singers featured on “Synesthesia Yellow”. This time around I wanted to highlight the musicians who helped make these records possible as well. One of the ideas that makes this sound so special to me is the fusion of funk/soul musicians from the 1970′s Ohio Funk era with modern era Ohio-based musicians. We wanted to merge together both eras of the Ohio sound but not in the corny “hip-hop/funk crossover” way most people would expect. This sound needed musicians who really understood that concept and knew how to play into it. So here goes: