In case you missed it…
Jag gillar att Yung Clova släpper ett solo-tape nu, och att han döper det till Pablo Picasso.
Helt rätt. Gud välsigne G-Side och hela Slow Motion Soundz-familjen. Världen är er.
Inte lika förtjust i mängden autotune på första-singeln Murder. Det låter inte ens som det är Clova som rappar. Hoppas de lyckas dra ner på resten av tapet, men ändå behålla den här gatukänslan som beatet förmedlar. Det är ändå när de snackar street shit som G-Side är som bäst.
Great song that you might have missed. If not… it’s worth another spin.
G-Mane biting Nate Dogg so very tastefully, ST 2 Lettaz killing both his verse and the lo-fi camera work, Yung Clova rocking them De-Niro-in-Casino glasses, Mick Vegas laying down a very smooth and relaxed instrumental.
Finna blow three hard earned digital dollars on that Smoke Some Kill tape right now.
Alabama’s in this bitch… like a dog’s dick.
[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/36933265" iframe="true" /]
Main Attrakionz kickar stenat skitsnack över Englands knepigaste flumstrumentaler. Precis vad de bör göra som mellannummer medan vi väntar på nästa kapitel i Greenova-sagan.
Och vänta behöver vi faktiskt inte göra då Greenova släpper grejer lika ofta som den genomsnittliga Brytburken-läsaren tar en dusch: den utmärkta Diamonds Of God-EP:n släpptes förra veckan.
Samma dag släppte även Shady Blaze ett solo tape – The Grind, Hustle & Talent.
Brorsan blir bara bättre och bättre, och nu är det dags för honom att turnera – med ett stopp i Atlanta för att lägga ner lite låtar med DJ Burn One, en av våra favoritproducenter.
Har inte lyssnat igenom ännu, men det ligger en instrumental version och en remixad version av Chandelier ute här. Ett lovvärt initiativ, då det var ett väldigt experimentellt släpp där jag egentligen bara fuxxade med låten I Gotta Youngin Doe till 100 procent.
Avslutningsvis delar jag med mig av den här låten från Huntsville-favoriten Dizzy D – med en gästvers från Shady Blaze.
[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/36944398" iframe="true" /]
Den här hade platsat på The Cohesive. Och det är ett ytterst gott betyg.
ST 2 Lettaz och Yung Clova drömmer sig bort i sina Spaceships (en metafor för både söderns bilkultur och den svarta poetiska traditionen kring moderskepp, gissar jag?) över en piano-baserad instrumental.
Tillsammans med Jeffro, Clams Casino, The Mechanix (… och vem mer?) är Block Beattaz de producenter som verkligen för rap framåt på en musikalisk nivå.
Om du missade vår intervju med honom så gör det en gång till.
1080 Gang kommer från Tuscaloosa , Alabama. Jag hitta dom när jag använde mig av min personliga favorit sökning på utube, Alabama Rap. Vad som verkligen fick mig att fastna för denna var framförallt beatet som minst sagt är futuristiskt och långt ifrån Lex Luger soundet som oftat Texas och Georgia envisas med.
Att 1080 Gang dessutom har gjort en split video är ju sjukt fett. Jag kan bara tänka på Crustband som släppt split 7″.
Finns de fler hiphop akter som släppt split videos?
(Check out part one, with CP of Block Beattaz / Slow Motion Soundz here first…! This interview was done in Malmö, Sweden, when G-Side were promoting The One… Cohesive in February last year. CP is back in Sweden right now actually, networking and selling beats. @alabama187 got some footage when he went over the bridge to Denmark, we’ll see what’s up with that in a minute. For now, enjoy this.)
“Have you noticed a difference in crowd response since when you dropped Cohesive?
ST 2 Lettaz: To me, the Cohesive album is a better album to perform. When we did our first album we were still studio artists, we had never really performed. The shows we did do in Alabama were not good venues for concerts, we were on shitty P.A. systems so we didn’t really know how to perform. The more we got on the road with Huntsville International and Starshipz And Rocketz we learned what worked and how to make songs that are better for performing. I think with Cohesive we have performed pretty much the whole damn album.
Yung Clova: On our first go around we might have had 50 people in the club. On the second go around we picked up more venues and we had more people in that spot.
When you think of hiphop you normally think… the Bronx and ciphers and what not. What were your first memories of hiphop in Alabama?
ST: It was what fed to us through videos and radio. There weren’t any ciphers going on my block. We’re from Alabama, so what we would get was whatever was on YO! MTV Raps or Rap City. And there was the bootleg man who would go around and sell tapes and CD’s out of his trunk. That’s where you would get the new shit. If it wasn’t from him you’d get it from some mom-and-pop shop. We used to go and buy CD’s because of what was on the cover. You didn’t know who it was or how dope it was but you’d just go ahead and take that chance.
YC: Or they had block parties… a lot of house parties… so a lot of people were playing music in their cars as they were driving through the neighborhood, so you might hear something that you like, and you’d be like, “Oh, that sounds dope”, and then you’d try to find it.
How did you start rapping?
ST: With me, I heard Ice Cream Man by Master P, I saw the video and heard it on the radio, and it hit me. I knew what I was gonna be for the rest of my life. I’d hear some guys on the corner freestyling or whatever, but I’d be off to the side in my own little world, just trying to hone my skills and get better.
YC: I started from my cousin, he freestyled all the time, playing around. And one day I just felt like taking it to another level.
ST: We had a mutual friend who stayed on us. He was older than us and the rapper on the block, who had actually put out CD’s. I heard about Clova and he heard about me and we just linked up one day after school.
YC: He’d always bring us together and be like: “Let me hear what y’all got”.
ST: When we went to college we started to throw our own parties. We performed, because there was nobody that was gonna throw a show and pay us for it. That’s where we learned the skills of performing, doing it ourselves and performing.
Tell us about the song Blackout.
ST: The day we were set to come to Europe our state was hit with over a hundred tornadoes. It’s the worst natural disaster to ever hit our state. We were fortunate to still make it out, our flight still got delayed, we missed Bergen, Norway. But we were fortunate enough to make it out.
YC: My flight actually got canceled. As I was going up, everything was black, no lights on, no gas stores, nothing. The tornado had torn up one of the cities I was going through really bad. All the cars were thrown to side of the road for all long as you could see. Luckily I made it home. As soon as I made it home the ligths came on in my house.
ST: His city, Athens, is maybe 15 minutes down the road, they had lights. But the biggest city, Huntsville, had no lights for a week. So everybody was going to the nearby bigger cities, but a lot of people were stuck. I was stuck in Amsterdam and heard what was going on, and it was so heavy in our hearts. When we finally came to Oslo a day or so late and got settled we made the song about it. Over 300 people died, a lot of friends lost their houses. It was a learning experience. It let us know that our family can provide, whatever the circumstance is. The only thing we could do is make a record about it. We put it out, it’s free for download, but if you want to donate, you can donate money and that goes to the Red Cross. And when we come back we’re gonna help people to rebuild and clean up.
With that song Aura, do you use the term in a religious way?
ST: Nah… it really wasn’t religious. We all pretty much know what the aura is. It’s you, your inner glow, what you give off if you feel a motherfucker when you walk up to him. Another way to say swag. Swag! Swag! (*everybody starts laughing*) That was even before Lil B and I don’t know how the hell he resurrected the word swag. It died and he resurrected that bitch. We were just trying to find an alternative. I mean the song has that Outkast, divine sense to it. I’m not so much religious, but very spiritual.
YC: I consider myself a Christian. In my city, Athens, where I’m from, it’s so small, and there’s a church on every corner.
ST: It’s what you would call the Bible belt, where they still pretty much base their laws and society around the Bible. It’s a huge part of our upbringing. I was a very religious person, but the more I educated myself on the world and things around me, religion seemed to be more politics and business oriented.
YC: It aint that, it’s the preachers. They’re turning it into a job. They use preaching to make money now. It’s all about money back home now.
Many people would think that the Christian community in the South is extremely conservative. Do you think they are more so than other parts of the country?
ST: Not so much. We clung on to religion as hope, because we were oppressed for so long. Especially being in Alabama. That was pretty much our only equalizer. The fact that we had God and that there was a heaven after this. That’s what they use if for, whereas more of the white Christians use it more as a way to control the people. It’s more politics.
What would you say were the biggest difference between you and New York.
ST: The 808. We make our music more for cars.
YC: One thing with New York – they walk around with iPods and what not. Can’t put too much bass in them.
ST: In the South you don’t walk anywhere. Atlanta make their music more oriented for clubs than for the car culture, but then you have places like Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and Texas, and a little bit of Florida; they pretty much make it for the cars, some shit you can ride and vibe out to.
When you rap, whose footsteps do you feel you are following in?
ST: With the way we formatted our company and our business plan, we feel like we’re trailblazers. Nobody came from Alabama and did what we did. Even those that took the major route, they didn’t do what we did as far as coming to Europe and making a name here. Musically, we have the basic forefathers, like UGK. Outkast and Organized Noise inspired us doing a producer and rapper combo. But we tried to break away from all of that.”
To learn more about this nationally isolated, internationally renowned location and the music it has birthed, we’re going back to february this year, to the city of Malmö and G-Side’s only stop in Sweden on the European mini-tour that followed the release of their exquisitely executed Cohesive album.
G-Side named their first release Sumthin 2 Hate, but seeing them in the flesh, shining, proudly surfing a wave entirely of their own creation, there’s nothing to hate on. Even when the warm-up DJ insist on treating the crowd with the same ol’ tired ass boombap raps for a long ass time, and a fair share of squares trail off during the Alabama duo’s set to the more commercially oriented dance floor in the same building, there’s no denying that their majestic Prog Rap works surprisingly well in the club. ST 2 Lettaz and Yung Clova rap their asses off (stage routines might need some work, though), lining up one underground hit after the other. The bass is booming through the system, and fans arriving from far (shouts to Sonny AKA alabama187, Hugo, Sanna, Petter) all have a ball.
Backstage the crew is relaxing, ready to start, as ST 2 Lettas put it, “hanging out with the people”, and we get the oppurtunity to talk with him, rhyme partner Yung Clova, manager Codie G, and producer CP, who starts breaking down the structure of Slow Motion Sounds for us:
“In Huntsville – I don’t know if it’s been done anywhere else – we have a 6,000 square foot facility, and inside that we got eight studios. All the producers are under the Block Beattaz brand. We got R. Dot, ATX, Boss Man, P.T., Cees, 118, Fadel, myself, Mali Boi of course. They come to the studio, and just go studio to studio. There’s always something going on. We have young producers that we’re trying to bring up, but we’re really keen on quality. We’re just trying to give them time to mature and develop… we’re gonna get them in there and make them official.
Talking about other producers, Clams Casino helped you with Pictures.
Clams sent us the rough tracks and we went in there and stripped the beat down and built it back up, with his permission. I love Clams, Codie actually put me up to him. He’s super dope. He got crazy melodies, the illest samples. That’s what it’s all about.
You have a similar sound.
Oh yeah. I think sampling is the corner stone of hiphop. It’s what hiphop is to me. I grew up a big East coast fan: Nas is my favorite rapper; Boot Camp Click. I like the new stuff and all, but I’m a purist. That’s where my heart lies.
If we’re talking classic Southern albums, which would be your favorites?
When Outkast did Aquemeni, I wanted to quit. I loved the Witchdoctor CD, that’s one of my favorites. Young Bleed, I forgot what the name of that album was. Favorite groups… of course G-Side; I’m a little biased. I love Goodie Mob, Three 6 Mafia, of course UGK, all those guys. I’m a huge Project Pat fan… Skinny Pimp, Gangsta Black.
Any Screwed Up shit?
It really didn’t catch on with me, because I’m really not a syrup sipper. I did it one time and was stuck in one place for five hours, and said I’ll never do that again. I like Z-Ro, I like his style. Trae The Truth, he actually just grew on me…
Maybe Block Beattaz should produce for Z-RO?
We got some tracks with Trae. We got some tracks with Slim Thug. We got a couple with Pimp C before he passed.
You produced for Pimp C?
Yes. I think they got recorded but never released. We sent them off. 6 Tre G, he had that song Fresh, he was working with Trae a lot out there.
You got a lot of electronic sounds in your music, but I was listening to you the other day, and I thought, “this feels like a Barry White, Isaac Hayes thing”, the way you organize these sounds. Do you have an influence from this older generation?
Yeah, of course. But what we’re trying to do is get away from those typical samples, that people probably have used, and dig deeper. I’m really into the eurotrance music. I just bought the Katy B CD, that’s dubstep and trance.
So you’re into more electronic stuff, like dubstep?
Yeah, it’s growing on me. DJ Giraffo sent me a lot of stuff to listen to. It’s growing on me. I see how it moves people in the club, so…
Do you think America would accept someone rapping over dubstep?
Right now? No. But if we continue to get stale in the states, I think, yeah, they’d be more open to it.
The way you program your drums, do you have an influence for your complex drum patterns… or do you just take the 808 and freak it?
Pretty much, man. That’s our culture in Huntsville and Alabama and the South. The first thing you do when you get a new car, before you get an insurance and before you put gas in it, is to put speakers in it. You put the 12 or 15 inch speakers in there and let the trunk bang. The 808 is the cornerstone of the whole track. The influences from that are definitely Magic Mike, Three 6 Mafia… just aggressive drums, extreme low end. The East Coast influence comes with the sampling and the nice melodies on top of that, making everything beautiful.
In your music there’s a lot of things going on, while Magic Mike is pretty straight-forward. Is that something you came up with yourselves, or is there an influence?
I learned that from Mali Boi. This whole thing is the element of surprise, sometimes you might hear something for two bars that you won’t hear anytime else in the song. That’s his whole thing, he just wants to keep pulling you in. He got a strong jazz influence. He’s from Chicago, and pretty much well-rounded and well-versed in a lot of stuff.
I read in an interview about your very hectic work schedule. Are you still working a 9 to 5?
No. No no no. I’m actually working 9 to 9 in the studio now. I spend 20 hours a day in front of the computer, recording. We started something and now business is picking up. I just sit and record all day. That’s my job now.
Where do you get motivation to sit 20 hours a day in front of a computer?
Number one: Money. And number two: I filled out an application and now i gotta deal with it. It’s rough sometimes, but I get through it.
Do you and Mali Boi ever make beats together?
That’s how we started. But he records also. What happens is that I lay down the skeleton of the track, give it to him, he’ll do some things and send it back, and we’ll go back and forth. He’s pretty much the beatsmith. I do tracks, but my main focus is the recording, engineering and overall production of the song.
What have you learned touring?
That the world is bigger than my immediate surroundings. As far as music, I was watching the videos on TV in the hotel… Man, there’s some nice music over here. We actually did a track where we sampled Scatman John. Jackie Chain recorded to it, so that should be out soon.
Is that Pimp C stuff coming out?
I seriously doubt it.
How can that shit stay locked down?
Just politics and bullshit.
Can’t you get Obama on the line, maybe The Navy Seals, and just get it out?
Maybe! When we get a little bigger we might be able to pull some strings, but right now I seriously doubt it. One of my partners, I don’t know if you remember a group called Royal Flush, they were on Rap-A-Lot Records maybe 86-87… Royal Flush was the one that actually brought Pimp C and Bun B together to form UGK, they’re from Port Arthur also. And my partner, his partner was actually in that group, his name is Albert Bush, they call him Al-B, and he was really cool with Pimp, man. Pimp made a show in Birmingham, Alabama, and he took me to see him. Pimp used to write Al-B from jail, when he was locked up, so it was really crazy. They called each other by first name, he called him Chad. That’s how we had that connection.
What is your first memory of rap music?
My sister getting into trouble for having 2 Live Crew and I didn’t understand why. She would sneak down and dance to it when my parents were gone. She had 2 Live Crew, she had DJ Magic Mike. Those are my memories from way back.
What came after that?
I think Nas came out in 96, was that 94? Illmatic. I think that was the first time I could actually understand and breathe and… understand the impact of the music. It sent chills down my body just listening to it. How could this young cat know so much and speak so eloquently?
How old were you then?
I was fourteen. I’ve been doing this since I was nineteen years old.
Did you mostly have access to New York rap when you were at that age?
That was pretty much it. I went to store when the music dropped, that what it was all about. First thing you do, get the cd, get the plastic off of it, put the cd in, take the book out, sit in the car and listen to it. That’s one thing I miss: books.
I remember when I bought Doggystyle and it had the comic in it.
Yeah, that was a good record. That was when I was a fan. I didn’t start doing music until I was nineteen or twenty. I was at school playing football and everything. I played drums for a year, but I played football and wasn’t thinking about nothing else. But my brother, Chico, they were actually rapping, and it seemed like they were having fun. I went and bought Virtual DJ, you remember that program? I got that program, started doing beats, stopped going to class. And that’s pretty much how I started doing it first. My parents didn’t like it. My mom bought me a keyboard and she says she regretted it – but she doesn’t regret it anymore. She bought me a $600 Yamaha QS 300.
That was when you started, at nineteen – twenty hours a day?
Pretty much. It was all day everyday, then when I was younger. That’s all we did. Get high, bring some girls to the studio, get a bunch of Hennessey, get a bunch of 40′s, and just kick it and make music. Believe it or not, me and Codie G were the rappers.
How did the scene look in Alabama, when you were coming up?
There was nothing, people were like, “What the hell are you doing? Take your ass to school, get rid of this shit.” There were a couple of local groups. At Ease, J to the third. At Ease actually made it to Harlem to The Apollo, but they got booed of stage. There were three black dudes and a white guy in the group, Mike; actually the guy that got me started on doing production. That was big for us. For a long
time, man, we weren’t nobody really doing anything. We were doing all the industry stuff, we were taking our music to radio stations, they would tell us, “you gotta sound like this”, we would go back and do it, and waste time, and take it back to them, and they’d say it had to sound like something else. We were like, “fuck it, we’re just gonna make the music we wanna make”.
So when you realized that, did you have the same vision that you have today, soft, nice, beautiful melodies, hard ass drums?
Yeah. We’re actually gonna leak some of the old stuff to show you that it’s a derivative of what we were doing. Just don’t laugh at it, we were crazy. We were on some real gangsta shit back then. Calling out snitches by their government names. That was how we were living. But just growing up, being mature; we got kids now. We’re conscious of what they might hear. We’re smack dead in the middle of the street so we can’t avoid it. I deal with jackers, robbers, dopeboys, all types of people everyday, so I’m right there in it. I see everything. But I think we actually had an impact on the crime wave in Huntsville, because everybody is in the studio recording and rapping about it instead of crawling through your window. So, you know, I think we’ve had an impact.”