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(Includes download code + hard copy that will be shipped out within 24 hours).
Order before Wednesday, August 1 and you’ll also receive a free copy of the Straight, No Chaser: Volume 2 mixtape by Christopher K.P. Brown.
For those who have purchased or will be purchasing this will be sort of a scavenger hunt for you guys. The album has a heavy hip hop influence. Below, is a list of some of the particular artists who influenced certain tracks.
1. Jay-Z – The beginning of Forever was sort of a remake of 22 2′s from Reasonable Doubt. Okenna came up with the idea on the spot. We knew we wanted the live feel because we needed to create an open mic setting since it was the only joint on the album that was strictly poetry. It turned out pretty dope. Recording it was dope. Everybody recorded their audience member ad libs separately after I recorded the actual poem then we put everybody’s recordings together so it seemed like a huge room full of people. Really, it was four of us.
2. Talib Kweli - Listen to the Eternal Reflection album, I think it’s the last track. That’s where the idea came from to have different voices on the track for Mahagony. I really didn’t have that in mind when I was writing it but it’s longer than most of the other tracks so I felt it needed something extra. Mahagony was actually the first poem written for the album. Each character was based on somebody I knew personally. Almost every event in that poem actually happen to somebody close to me.
3. Outkast - There’s a break at the end of Still Tippin. I was listening to the break down on Ghetto Musick off Big Boi’s Speakerboxx. I thought it would be dope to have a similar break on Still Tippin so people knew from the start the album was going to focus on the music just as much as it did the poetry.
4. Nelly – Looking 4 Love, me and Okenna are kinda singing on the hook. The song Nelly had with Tim McGraw had just came out. That’s the feel I was going for with this track. Looking 4 Love is still one of my favorites off of this CD. It was written specifically for a close friend of mine. As I’m typing this I’m realizing I never told her it was written for her. Maybe I’ll tell her soon.
5. Project Pat – I’m a huge Project Pat fan. Huge fan. Layin Da Smack Down is one of my favorite albums. It starts off with a track called Still Ridin Clean. I wanted Still Tippin to be the poetry version of Still Ridin Clean. So that’s where the hook comes from. Still Tippin by Mike Jones was one of my favorite songs at the time but I wanted to flip the meaning. So I wrote to where still tippin was like I’m about to release this album are you still willing to support financially. It had been a couple of years since I’d put out a project and there’s always the issue of is anybody going to buy your cd. I wanted the first track to focus on that feeling.
6. DJ Screw – Houston music always made it’s way through my hometown. Screwed and Chopped music was pretty big back home. So though I definitely can’t do it like the pros we had a few snippets that were influenced by screw music. The end of Losing Isaiah and the beginning of (WE)alth Part 2 are two examples.
7. Goodie Mob – Though the track was on an Outkast album it always felt like a Goodie Mob idea to me. At the end of Slump on Aquemini there’s this break down at the end where they’re just snapping and humming. I wanted something similar at the end of Losing Isaiah. It turned into sort of a chant with myself, NoTiQ, b.ware, and CDA.
8. N.W.A. – The album cover of course, N.W.A. Greatest Hits. This was important to me because I wanted people to know from the first glance that they weren’t about to hear Langston Hughes do poetry. I wanted them to know they were about to hear something a little more aggressive.
9. Ghost & Rae – The interlude was influenced by the beginning of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. It’s just the conversation of yo, something’s gotta give. That was a pretty honest conversation for me at the time. As we were finishing up the album I really had no idea of what direction my life was about to head in. I’d just gotten my degree but at the same time every option was an option. You can hear the Three Six Mafia influence in this as well.
10. Kanye West – My verse on (WE)alth Part 2 had numerous Kanye references throughout. The summer when we were finishing up the album Kanye had just released Can’t Tell Me Nothing. That song was just crazy. I still listen to it today and think it’s ahead of it’s time. But I knew that particular track on my album was going to deal with college and difficulties that some Black males face in college. I felt it was only right to acknowledge the college dropout and go from there.