What’s up? I know it’s been awhile. I’ve been in the lab a lot lately. I’ve been in the studio working. I’ve been working on nothing but music. We got a lot of shit planned for ’08. I’m working on my solo album and I had plans to come out with a couple of more, but time didn’t permit like I thought it would. I’ve been working on a lot of music. I will have at least three different projects dropping next year.
The Caltroit album is done. The only holdup is that we’ve been having a couple of issues with the politics and the labels. It’s the basic stuff that cats have to go through when they’re trying to put out an album. I don’t want to get into too many details, but there’s a little holdup on the Caltroit album. Cats are reacting well to the songs we’ve released so far so hopefully we can get the full-length album out soon.
Other than that, I just knocked out two EPs real quick. Since we don’t have a release date on the Caltroit project I feel like I have to put something out now. I just banged out an EP with my mans Fat Ray. He was on my album Popular Demand and a couple of my other projects. Me and him knocked out a 7 to 8 song EP. I’m dropping that this year for sure. I also just did one with my mans One Be Lo. He’s also on Fat Beats. Me and him just knocked out 7 to 8 cuts that came out crazy. I had a good run since my album dropped but now it’s time for something new and fresh. I’m 100% sure that people will love both projects. Fat Ray is one of the best MCs from Detroit, right up there with Royce and Guilty, so I want him to get heard and get exposure just how I’ve been getting in the last few months.
I started working on my next solo album a little. I have about 3 cuts so far. I want to come out in the second quarter of next year but at the same time I want to take my time with this album because I’m going for a certain sound. It’s definitely going to be different from Popular Demand. My ear for music has gotten so much better in the past few months and I’ve learned new techniques with these beats. It’s crazy. The EP’s that are about to drop sound better then my solo album, in my opinion, so I’ve got a long way to go before this next album is done. I can definitely say be on the lookout for that.
I haven’t heard from Kardinal in a minute. He recorded the song and he sent it to me. The song came out real crazy. I don’t know what the status of his album is or when he plans on dropping his album or anything. I haven’t talked to him in a minute. I’ve been doing my thing. But the song that he did came out crazy. I have to hit him up and see what’s good and see what the status is on everything.
That’s really been it. I’ve been in the lab working real hard. I’m also getting ready to go on this tour on October 16. Me, Sean Price and Guilty Simpson are going out for another European run. This tour should be crazy, man, with all three of us on it. I’ll make sure I bring back a lot of footage. We’ll probably end up making the DVD for the album that the three of us are doing together out there. I’ll have my camera rolling at all times. Look out for that. Check my MySpace page for the show dates.
Another thing that just happened a couple of days ago was the song I produced for Lloyd Banks that wasn’t on his last album Rotten Apple album got leaked. I think it’s on the new DJ Whoo Kid Mixtape. This was the song I talked about a while back, before his last album dropped, so take a listen if you haven’t already.
It really has been all music lately for me. It’s so time-consuming that I really don’t have time to do anything else. When I’m not making music, I’m out of town doing shows. I’ve been keeping up with the home team though, the Lions. We’ve been doing pretty good this season. Our record is 3-2 so far. Hopefully we can make it to the playoffs this year. But besides watching a little bit of football, I’m in the lab making beats.
I’m going to start leaking some of the joints I’ve been working on in a couple of weeks. I’m just waiting for some of the verses to get done for the projects I’m doing with Fat Ray and One Be Lo. Be on the lookout for those real, real soon.
It’s been a minute since I’ve done a journal entry. A lot has happened since the last journal entry. I did a show in the Czech Republic. That was crazy. I just came back from overseas. I had done a festival overseas in the Czech Republic. That was crazy as hell. That was the biggest show that I’ve done so far out of all the shows that I’ve done. They said there was close to 60,000 people there. It was me, Heltah Skeltah, Redman and M.O.P. There were a lot of people and it was a real dope show. I already knew that they appreciated hip-hop a lot more than the people in the States do, but I got a chance to see it again. To rock in front of that many people and control the crowd, it was crazy, man. Actually, they got some footage of the show on YouTube. Somebody’s got footage of me rocking the song “So Wrong.” That was crazy. It was a ridiculous show.
I left there and just came back from the Magic show out in Vegas. I was rocking at the LRG party. The show was kind of weird because we had the show in a titty bar. That was the first time I performed in a titty bar. There were three levels and in the VIP section it was me and my man Glue who’s out of Cali. It was crazy doing it in a strip club. The shit was dope and the shit was fun.
Besides that, we’re basically done with the Caltroit album. We’re still in the process of getting a label situation for that. We’re trying to get that out by the end of the year, but things are going good with that.
It’s been hard to work on beats lately. Any chance I get to make one or two beats, I take it. I’ve been somewhere every day for the last couple of months and it’s been hard to get beats in and make beats. I’ve been trying to make that happen but I’ve still been doing my thing. I just got done hollering at my dude Kardinal Offishall. He’s working on his album and he rocked over one of my joints. It’s a big joint with some crazy horns. Hopefully you’ll be hearing a Black Milk/Kardinal Offishall collaboration. But any chance I get to do a beat, I get it in.
I’m also still working on my solo stuff, staying on the road and trying to get these beats out, collaborating with other artists. This whole September is basically going to be my chill month because I don’t have too many shows coming up. I only have a couple of shows coming up in September so I’m really going to get it in and knock out a lot of music. Me, Guilty Simpson and Sean Price are doing a European tour in October, so for the whole month of September, I’m just knocking out music until me, Sean P and Guilty get on the road. That should be a real dope tour overseas and hopefully we can bring that to the States. So everybody overseas look for that. We’ll be out there from October to November.
Last week I was in Toronto for a show at a spot called Revival. There was a bigger turnout there than I thought there was going to be. It was me and Phat Kat and I was the headliner. There had to have been over 700 people in the venue. I was surprised that that many people came out to see a show that I was headlining. That kind of shocked me. That was a real good look. Toronto supports Detroit hip-hop anyway, so it was definitely all good.
I’m definitely getting a lot of mileage out of Popular Demand. People are definitely asking me when the new material is coming, but I’m getting new fans every day. Fans area like, ‘I just found out about you’ or ‘My boy just put me onto you.’ The units are still selling and that’s always good. Popular Demand is just going to get bigger, day by day and week by week. I’m working on new music, but I’m still a new artist to a lot of people. I’m definitely going to get bigger.
Pharoahe Monch’s Desire album is a solid album. I look at that as being one of the top albums that’s going to be released this year. He came back strong and hopefully that will show in the numbers real soon. The music is great. Denaun Porter did his thing executive-producing that project. That has to be in the top 10 albums released this year. It has to be.
Bishop Lamont and I are actually done with Caltroit. We’re recording a few more songs just in case we come up with some more bangers, but we’re basically done, man. The songs are done and now we’re in the process of just figuring out who’s going to put it out. We’ve got a few people who are interested, we just have to figure out what label we’re going to have release it.
Regarding the album with Sean Price and Guilty Simpson, I’m holding off on recording for that until October. Guilty is finishing up a lot of his part. I don’t want to do too much with that because I know that’s not coming out until next year. We’re going to probably finish that up in October and then we’ll start leaking a few songs. We have one joint called “Run” that might be the first street single. That should be coming, probably this year.
I’m also just working on some new music. My plan is to come out in the first quarter of ’08 like I did this year. I want to really knock out a good amount of songs so I can try to meet that goal. I really want to release the record. I’m trying to get my songs done in any time that I have free.
Scribble Jam is coming up soon. I think it’s August 9 or 10. I have to check, but it’s Scribble Jam and I’ll be out in Ohio performing. And Sean Price will be out there too. So to all my people in Ohio, come out and check me out.
hat’s up, everybody? It seems like it’s been a long time since I’ve done a journal. It has been a minute. First off, let’s pick up where I left off. I went out to Cali to do a show out in Cali. That show was dope. That show was crazy. It was out in LA. A lot of people came out to the show. It was more than I expected. They oversold the show. It was crazy to have them show your boy love like that.
Then I did the Pharoahe Monch release party in New York. That was crazy. Shout out to everybody that came out there to show love. I was also out in Europe for a show. Europe was crazy. It was ridiculous. The European fans over there are way more in tune than a lot of fans in the United States. They appreciate hip-hop so much more over there. To see the different cities and the different places over there was a good look and I’m glad I got to see it. We hit up Amsterdam. We hit up Sweden. We hit up Norway. It was just crazy. I think one of the craziest places was Norway. The show was outside. It was my first outside, daytime show. The show was crazy. Then after that there was a crazy G-Unit party. Then the next day in Norway there was a party where my man Questlove was DJing. Talib Kweli was in the building with Black Thought, Frank N Dank and myself. We were all basically on stage and everybody loved what Questlove was doing on stage. Then all of a sudden Tony Yayo just grabs the mic and starts shouting out everybody. He shouted out Kweli and me and said it was real hip-hop. It was crazy! A lot of people separate G-Unit hip-hop from the people like Kweli and Black Thought, so for him to shout us out was a good look.
There was also this festival called The Dour Festival. The shit was bananas. I rocked for 5,000 people. I’ve never rocked for that many people. Just to be on that stage and see all those hands up in the air and hear the blast of the speakers, it was crazy. I almost stage-dived. It was crazy. We had a real, real good time in Europe. Shout out to everybody that came out.
Another crazy thing is how many of the fans over in Europe knew about me. I knew I had a nice fanbase over there in Europe, but to hear the people saying the words to the songs and to see them know the words, that was crazy. Norway and Amsterdam was live as hell. I had a show in Amsterdam and I went on after Wu-Tang. They went on around 8:00 or 9:00. The venue was three or four levels. After the Wu-Tang show, the club let everybody out of the spot and I didn’t go on until 12:00 or 1:00 and I’m like, ‘Damn, everybody done left.’ I’m thinking that there’s not going to be too many people there and that it was going to be a light night. But to my surprise, when they let people back in, I didn’t fill up the whole venue like Wu-Tang did, but I had a nice group inside. Just to see that for me, it was like, ‘Damn, this is wild.’ That was dope.
Unfortunately somebody got their hands on the joint with me, Bishop Lamont, Guilty Simpson and Busta Rhymes. They leaked the rough copy. They leaked the wrong version of the song. That happens sometimes. I’m going to leak the mixed version myself. That song came out earlier than it was supposed to. But we’re still going to ride it out and now we’re really trying to hurry it up and put it out. It’s a real good look for me and Guilty to be on the same song with Busta Rhymes. He’s legendary. I’m real excited to be able to do a song with him and be able to put it out.
The status of the Caltroit album right now is that we’re trying to get it done so we can at least put it out by October. We have Ras Kass, Royce da 5’9”, Kweli, Pharoahe Monch is coming in, Slum Village, Phat Kat and Busta Rhymes. There are a lot of people. The songs are coming together nicely. We should be wrapping it up in a minute. I’m not focusing on any other projects right now. I’m focusing on Caltroit right now and I’m real confident in how the shit came out.
This week, I wish I could work on some more Caltroit shit but I’m going out of town tomorrow to do a show in Toronto. I hope people come out. I think the venue is called The Revival. I’ll be out in Toronto. The show is on Wednesday. Shout out to everybody in T-Dot. Come on out and support your boy and holler at me. I’ll be out there this week.
hat’s up? I’m back once again. I’ve been hard at work these past couple of weeks trying to finish up these two albums. We’re making a lot of progress. My man Sean Price was just in town. We got a lot accomplished. We knocked out about nine, ten songs while he was here. That’s more than half of the album. Guilty wasn’t here because he was out touring, but we’re going to get the best of the best on this. It’s all good. I can’t leak anything off it yet, but the main thing is I want people to hear this. We got some joints.
Recording with Sean Price, that was crazy! The first three days we were in the studio, we really didn’t get any work done because we were just kicking it and joking. Sean has so much energy. He has a lot of life and energy when he comes to the studio, so it’s nothing but jokes and stories all day. On the fourth day, we recorded our first song. After that, we were just knocking shit out. It was cool. It was a dope experience working with him. He was on his Sidekick all day, writing 16s to the beats and then it was a wrap. We were knocking it out.
Guilty just got back from Cali, so he’s laying his verses now. I drop some verses on a few songs and my nigga Khrysis sent some beats over too. It’s coming out dope.
Sean said he was done recording in the HipHopGame interview, and I believe him. He’s been doing it for a minute and if a bigger opportunity doesn’t come his way to put him on an even higher level then he’s already own now, I think he will lay low for a minute. I doubt if he’ll stop doing music for good, but I can see him falling back for a while.
Caltroit is almost done. We just came across another idea for the project. We’re still finishing it up. I was talking to Bishop and he was telling me that so many people were calling him, trying to get on the project. So now we have the idea of doing a Caltroit Metropolis album. We’re still working on the official Caltroit album, but since we can’t involve every artist from Detroit and California on the album, we’re still going to work with them on the Caltroit Metropolis album. The album will be in stores, but this will be more like a side project. I want to do a side project with the other artists that didn’t make the mixtape because there are just so many cats that are trying to jump on it right now. We don’t want to leave any artists out. There’s a lot of dope artists out here and a lot out in Cali and we’re just trying to make it happen. We don’t want to miss anybody that deserves to be on the project. That’s what we’re doing with Caltroit right now.
I’ve been working with my man Pharoahe on some side stuff too. I’ve been sending him beats and he’s been recording over them and sending them back to me. We have a nice amount of songs cut outside of his album that’s about to drop, so hopefully we can make something happen and drop a side project with Pharoahe on the rhymes and of course me on the beats.
That’s about all that’s been going on these last couple of weeks. I have a couple of shows coming up. I have a show coming up in Cali. I’ll be in LA. I’m doing a show at a venue called The Temple Bar that’s on June 24. Then after that I’m going out to New York. I have a show on June 28 with Pharoahe Monch. The Polyrhythm Addicts and the Cool Kids that will be at the High Line Ballroom. If you’re out in LA or New York, come through.
haddup, everybody? It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done a journal, but I’ve been working, grinding it out as always. The newest update is that we have about three weeks left to finish Caltroit up. That’s me and Bishop Lamont. The self-titled song “Caltroit” leaked already. We got that out now and it’s floating around the internet and making a nice little buzz for the project. We might have an even better version of “Caltroit” when we do the remix. The feature would be a big surprise and I don’t want to say the name if it’s not going to go down, but it could fuck everybody’s head up.
Don’t worry about me doing a drastic change with my beats. Just because I’m working with a West Coast artist doesn’t mean I’m going to give them Dre sounding beats. I’m still doing me but with some of that West Coast vibe to it. Only on a few joints will there be a variety of different sounds of hip-hop with Caltroit. I did what I do, but I took a different direction with the beats just a little bit. It’s not too different than from what I usually do, but I wanted to come with a different sound than people are used to hearing me do. The beats that I have on Caltroit are a little more polished. It’s not the usual that you would expect from me. That’s why I like doing this project. It allows me to experiment with a new sound and a different sound that I can do. If I wanted to do commercial music and mainstream music, I could do it and make it dope. All the beats on Caltroit, you probably think I wouldn’t have done, but it’s a different sound but you’ll be able to tell that it’s me. Each project I do is going to sound different than the last. None of them are going to sound the same because I experiment with different sounds with different artists. The project with Sean P and Guilty is going to sound different from the Caltroit project. That’s why I like doing these compilation projects.
My man Sean Price is coming into Detroit tomorrow. I’m going to try to knock out that whole project with Sean Price and Guilty Simpson this week. He’s going to be out here for a week. I’ll try to get some footage of some of these sessions. These projects are really coming out. I’m not just talking shit.
Also, another thing that’s supposed to be dropping is the Popular Demand instrumentals. All the music that was on my album, Popular Demand, will be out in the instrumental version. This is going to be for the DJs and beat heads out there. Fans were asking for it and now they’re going to have it in a minute. Plus I threw a couple of other joints on there that aren’t on the album as a bonus. Another one of the tracks, I kind of remixed it a little bit and did some live percussion on it as well that’s not on the album. I mixed it up a little bit on that. That should be coming out in a couple of months, so be on the lookout for that. That’s all I’ve been working on these past few weeks.
A lot of shit has been happening and a lot of shit has been opening up for me. I might have another project with my man Ras Kass. It’s not 100% sure, but I was kicking it with Ras Kass at a show. We were talking about it and he was down to do it. I’ve always been a fan of Ras Kass. I think it would be real dope if we could make something happen. You would hear another side of me on this project. He’s a ridiculously dope MC. We need his style of music on the scene right now. It’s all talk right now and I know schedules can get hectic, but it would be a great look to put another dope project out.
Popular Demand has been doing well. I have some more spot dates to post up for June and July. I’ll be posting some more dates up for that. Also, for the instrumental version of the album, I threw a couple of extra tracks on that that weren’t on the Popular Demand album. Don’t forget that! We also just dropped the second single on vinyl, with “Shut It Down” on the A-side and the “Sound the Alarm (Remix)” with Royce da 5’9” and Guilty Simpson on the B-side.
That’s it for now. Next time I’ll let you know how the sessions with Sean P went.
hat’s going on, everybody? It’s been a few weeks since I did a journal entry. I’ve been out doing some spot dates and whatnot. It’s been real good. The first place I went was to ATL. They were holding me down out there. It was a real live show. It was for the A3C Hip-Hop Festival, shit was crazy. There were a lot of people out there who supported the music and they had the album.
My second spot date was Beat Society in D.C. That was real live too. The Beat Society is an event where producers showcase some of there beats on stage for the crowd. It was me, Khrysis, Picasso, J-Thrill and Slim Kat 78. We did a few rounds with each person playing one beat at a time. Then we had a few cats get on stage and rock over some of the beats.
We also had a round where we were given the same sample to chop up and use the beat over the accapella for the Air Force 1 joint “Classic” with Kanye, Nas, and KRS-One. The sample they gave us to chop wasn’t something I would usually sample. There wasn’t one part of the loop where I heard something that was dope like, "Yeah, I can fuck with that part," but cats made it happen. Towards the end of the night I performed a few songs off the new album. The homie Freeway came through and did his thing too. Hands were up. That was my first Beat Society. I always wanted to experience it. Shout out to D.C. and everybody that came out.
I also just came back from North Carolina where they had the hip-hop festival jumping off. The lineup was Masta Ace, Wordsworth, Souls of Mischief and me, of course. It was dope. It’s good to see people supporting the music and that there are people responding well and loving the album. It’s real dope to get that type of feedback. Each city I went to, there were a lot of people that were up on the album and supporting the album. I can’t wait for the actual tour to start. Right now I’m just doing spot dates.
Phat Kat’s album Carte Blanche is about to drop. He’s about to go on tour also. I think he’s going out on the road in a week or two with Slum Village and Dilla’s brother Illa J So go check that out when they hit your city up. I have four beats on his new album. Go out there and support my man Kat.
Hopefully we can put together a tour with all of us from Detroit. A tour with Detroit artists on it would be great. A lot of us have been looking forward to that for awhile. I was hoping we could do it for Phat Kat’s album but there were a few issues preventing that from happening.
I haven’t gotten a chance to hear the whole Bar Exam mixtape from Royce. They put the “Sound the Alarm (Remix)” on there. That’s dope. I have to go get that mixtape because I know it’s crazy. Go support my man Royce.
I’ve been back in the studio since I got back. I’m trying to wrap up some projects now as fast as possible. Everybody has different schedules and they are out on their different tour dates. It makes it hard to finish up the projects when our schedules conflict sometimes. We’re going to get it in though.
It’s been good seeing the response from the people that copped the record. To see their response to Popular Demand has been crazy so far. Soundscan is good so far on Popular Demand. Each week the numbers have been keeping steady. Shout out to everybody that picked up the album and shout to the people that are going to pick up the album.
We have some new shit in store. I’m about to leak a few of these joints. I know I’ve been saying that for the last few weeks, but I have to mix them and make sure they’re right. Be on the lookout. I’m going to probably leak a song off the Sean Price and Guilty record and something off the Caltroit project with Bishop Lamont. Be on the lookout for that.
And as for the other project I mentioned in the last journal entry, I can’t say anything yet on it. It’s not official yet. I don’t want to put myself out there like that and put my foot in my mouth in case shit doesn’t work out. Right now I’m just recording and trying to put as much music as I can out here with different artists and a variety of different sounds that sound different from my album. That’s what it is. I’m trying to stay as creative as I can and think outside the box with all the future production that’s coming up.
hat’s up? I want to start off touching on the subject of the new age and new wave of beatmaking. The way cats are making beats nowadays is changing with more computer programs and less drum machine beat making. Everything has gone from analog to digital now.
Me, personally, I don’t have anything against the cats who go digital and use Fruity Loops or the Reasons or whatever programs they use to make beats. I’ve heard some comments from other producers that use the MP and they kind of have something against producers who use computer-type programs like it’s cheating. I don’t look at it like that. I look at it like you still have to have talent to make good music when using Fruity Loops, Reason, or whatever programs you work on. The program is not going to make the beat for you. Some cats make dope shit on the MPC and some producers don’t. The same thing goes for the programs. It’s all about knowing how to flip what you got and make it work best for you.
To tell you the truth, I want to test out the Reasons and that type of stuff. I know people say it’s less work than working on the MPC so I’m going to test it out and make a couple of beats on it. I’ve been on the MPC 2000XL for a minute and I don’t really see myself changing over anytime soon. If I do change over, it would probably be to the MPC 2500 or the MPC 3000.
When I make beats, I’m all about the drums. The drums are the most important part of the beat to me. I’ve never been on another machine where the drums have the same feel, punch and warmth to them. The 3000 is the grandfather of the MPCs. There’s a certain sound that the MPC machine gives you and I like my beats to have that sound. It also has good filters and lets me chop samples a certain way. I haven’t used Reason or Fruity Loops or any other computer program enough to judge if it’s good or bad, but at this point, I can’t see myself leaving the MPC for any other machine.
I’ve talked to a couple big producers in the game and they say they’re giving up the MP and going straight to the computer programs. Some producers make there beats on Pro Tools too, but I’m good with the drum machine.
The bottom line is that you have to have talent to use those machines and programs. 9th Wonder is a dope producer and he uses Fruity Loops. His beats sound like they come out of the MP. The way he programs the drums and chops the sample sounds like some MP shit. It’s about the person behind the machine and the brains behind the machine. It doesn’t matter what a producer uses because at the end of the day, if the outcome you’re getting is great music, then you can use whatever you want.
On another note, changing subjects, the “Sound the Alarm” remix is floating around the net. It’s a totally different sound from the original and its getting a lot of good responses. I just wanted to do something different with some breakbeat shit and a sample that I wouldn’t normally use. The shit came out crazy though. I’ll also be doing more stuff with Royce da 5’9”.
I have more new shit in store too. I have a collaboration project with another dope artist coming. I don’t want to speak on it just yet, but I’m working on something right now that I know niggas are going to go nuts when it comes out. I’m going to wait a little longer to tell what it is, but it’s coming.
This Saturday, April 14, I’ll be out in Atlanta at The Loft for a performance. I’ll be rocking with Souls of Mischief and a few other artists. It’s going down this Saturday so any of my Atlanta heads that’s reading this, come out and holler at your boy.
I just finished the remix to “Sound the Alarm.” Royce da 5’9” came through and blessed me with a verse. We’re about to put that out on 12” with “Home of the Greats” and the A-Side “Shut It Down.” It’s up on HipHopGame now and it’ll be up in a few different places. It’s hot. It’s different from the original but it’s just as dope.
With the beat, originally Royce rapped to the original beat that I did for the song. I was about to just put it out like that, but I then I was like, “Nah, I’m going to flip the whole thing.” I thought it would be better if I flipped the whole song and did a new track. That’s why I did that. I wanted to come with the new beat and come with the cuts. Guilt came through too and there it is.
I knew Royce was going to bring it too. I wasn’t feeling the pressure when I was laying down my verse. I was still going to do me. I already knew what Royce and Guilt were going to do. I’ve done a lot of songs with cats that are crazy with the lyrics. As long as I do me, I’m good.
So far, Popular Demand is doing good. I like the reviews I’ve been getting. I think I’m in the top-100 hip-hop releases that came out recently. That’s a good thing. It’s doing well. I can’t complain.
I was out in Cali for a little bit last week. I was working with my man Bishop Lamont on the Caltroit project. It’s a real dope project. I’ll have to go back to finish it up. It’s sounding real good so far. Let me put it like this – we’re going to change the sound of mixtapes because it’s supposed to be a mixtape, but I can already tell it’s going to sound better than mixtapes. We’re going to make niggas step up their games. It’s going to sound so dope.
Bishop Lamont just put out a mixtape a month ago called Nigga Noise and that was better than most people’s albums. Just imagine what we’re coming with for this Caltroit project. It’s going to make a lot of noise in the underground.
Right now, we haven’t set a date on it. We’re just cutting a lot of songs on it. Then we’ll go in and decide what’s going to make it. He’s got me working on a different work ethic right now. We’re just banging out a lot of songs right now. We’ll put it out in the summertime. I told him I wanted to set a deadline for the end of April as the cutoff time for recording joints. A couple labels are trying to holler at us about putting it out. We don’t know what route we’re going to take on it, but we’re going to make some noise though.
Sometimes the music switches up on me when I go out to Cali. It seems like every time I go out there, I come back inspired. We let each other hear the stuff we’ve been working on and we just feed off each other’s energy. Every time I go out there I’m hearing something new. I have a whole new inspiration right now.
Look for the songs to be leaking soon. We’re going to be leaking them very soon. I just picked up the files when I was out there so I’m going to be mixing it. Look for that in the next couple of weeks. Be expecting that shortly.
Look out for the tour dates. I’m going to have those real soon. Hopefully I’ll be in one of your cities and you can check out the performance.
hat’s up, everybody? I want to say what’s up to everybody and thanks for staying with me through these journals. Thanks for keeping up with it.
Today I want to address the whole Dilla thing and all the comparisons. I get a lot of questions and a lot of people ask me what the relationship with Dilla was and how much of an influence he was to me. They ask me if I’m trying to fill Dilla’s shoes. I think this is the perfect time to clear up a lot of those questions and make it crystal-clear for the people. I know a lot of times words can be misconstrued.
My whole thing with the Dilla thing is that of course he was a big influence and inspiration. To hear what he created musically and the sound he created for music and the space he created for Detroit music is inspiration in itself. Of course I think he’s the best hip-hop producer of all-time. A lot of people may disagree, but that’s just my personal opinion.
With that being said, I’m just glad I had the opportunity to work with Dilla on a few different occasions, from Dirty District Vol. 2 and him spitting on a couple of my joints on S.V.'s Detroit Deli. I felt I basically got the cosign from Dilla. That was him letting me know that I was doing my thing and that he felt what I was doing. That’s all I needed.
But I know a lot of people who are just getting familiar with me and my music and weren’t really paying attention when Detroit Deli came out and didn’t see the connection between the collaborations, they look at me like, “Who’s this new cat trying to do Dilla’s sound?” It’s nothing like that. I’m not doing Dilla’s sound. It’s a Detroit sound. Of course Dilla fathered that sound. There’s other producers in Detroit who have the Detroit vibe. There’s a certain vibe and certain tones that define Detroit hip-hop and I’m one of those producers that has those feelings in my music.
I would never try to act like I’m the next Dilla. I’m not trying to be Dilla. No disrespect to Dilla, but I’m trying to create my own lane and my own space musically. My music will always be influenced by certain artists that inspired me when I first started doing music. That would of course be Dilla, Pete Rock, DJ Premier and a few other artists. You can hear some of those artists inside my music every now and again. There’s not one artist on the planet that wasn’t inspired and influenced by another artist that came before them. To make this simple, the only thing I’m trying to do that Dilla did is be consistent at putting out good music year after year. Whatever artists I work with, I’m creating good records. You’ve really never heard a wack Dilla record. He stayed consistent. That’s the only thing I want to do that Dilla did. I’m not trying to fill Dilla’s void or sound like him. It’s none of that. I’ve been rapping the same way since Dirty District Vol. 1. I’ve been rhyming like this and my patterns have been like this since 2000. That’s what it is. We’re trying to make sure Dilla’s legacy lives on, but I’m not trying to do his sound and do what he did.
Also, I don’t want to sound like I’m disrespecting Dilla in any way, because that will never be the case when answering questions during an interview. I try not to let it get to me, because I do see where the comparison comes from. We both work with a lot of the same artists, plus Dilla was a producer/rapper like me. We're both from Detroit and I’ve worked with Dilla on a few different collaborations, but with that said I feel like I have to let the people know that don’t know about the relationship between a lot of Detroit artists. No one is trying to fill Dilla’s shoes. We all work together here and we're all trying to accomplish the same goals, which keeping that classic Detroit hip-hop sound alive as well as Dilla’s legacy.
On another note, the album Popular Demand is doing good right now. I’ve been getting a lot of good reviews. It’s starting off really good. I don’t know the exact numbers, but I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback. I’m just trying to work hard and grinding it out. I think I’m doing pretty well being a new artist coming from the underground with my first official project. I can’t complain.
To tell you the truth, I really don’t get into the numbers as much. As long as the label says it’s doing good, I’m straight. I want to sell a huge amount of units like every artist, but I try not to stress myself with the Soundscan. I’m about the music. I think if the music is good it’ll speak for itself.
The only thing I wish is that the music would have gone up on iTunes on the first day the album dropped. It is up on iTunes now and you can go find it now. Somebody dropped the ball on the iTunes thing, but it’s all good now.
Hey, everyone. You know I’ve been busy with the album release. The New York album release party was crazy. I didn’t expect it to be like that. They had to turn people away from the doors. The club was packed. I didn’t think about it at the time, but I realize New York really came out for me. I did songs from the new album and Broken Wax. I just started doing spot dates because I’m usually in the studio banging out beats, so just to see that I had the support out here was crazy.
Pharoahe Monch came through. He did his thing. The crowd went nuts when he did the song we did together. It was one of those classic hip-hop shows from beginning to end. DJ Premier came through and I kicked it with him for a minute. That was my highlight for the night. He’s one of my favorite producers and he was one of the ones who inspired me. To have him at my party had me on a high for the rest of the night. I had no idea Premier would be there. That was big for me. It was just a dope party. It was some real hip-hop shit and niggas were showing appreciation and love for what I was doing the whole night. It was just a dope night. It’s one of those nights that don’t come around too many times. Plus we had performances by Guilty Simpson and Skyzoo. They definitely did their thing. Tanya Morgan did their thing. It was dope.
The fans were definitely into it. Their hands were up in the air the whole night. Cats were responding and it was just love. They were giving me energy. It was a dope night. It was nothing but dope shit. I can’t really put it into words. That’s what it was. I was surprised that there were so many cats familiar with the music. I know I did projects that got a nice little buzz, but to see the people behind it and supporting it is great. When you do shows, that’s when you find out who really has your back. It was dope. New York really held me down that night.
There was another party the night of the release. That was another crazy night. I knew there was a lot of talk about people coming through in the D, but I know how the shows are here. When cats say they’re coming through, they might not show up. They came through and there was love in the building. Guilty performed again and Slum Village performed. I got on stage again and did my thing. It was live. I feel like I’m able to do the performance aspect of the music. I’m good at the beat thing and I can hold the rhymes down, but I can also perform on stage and rock a crowd. I think I’m proving another point to people that I’m dope all the way around. If you can hold down a crowd in New York, you can damn-near rock anywhere. I feel like I’m at a new point in my career where I’m comfortable doing what I need to do now.
This grind is nonstop for the album. I know I’m always going to have to do the interviews and all that to keep the name out there. I’m still new to the game and I’m still trying to reach a lot of people. It’s just beginning. I’m always going to be out here on my grind. We’re going to be working Popular Demand for the next five to six months. A lot of work goes into an album release and at the end of the day, my goal is to gain a few more fans. I want to build my fanbase and I know that takes time, but so far, everything’s been going good. I’ve been getting a good response from the music and I can’t ask for anything else. People are definitely into the music. That’s what it is. When I put out these next couple of projects, it will start a whole new domino effect. I just have to stay consistent and put out dope hip-hop music.
I’ve been checking out a few of the reviews too. People are talking about it and they’ve been cool. It seems like everybody is feeling it. I feel like I accomplished what I needed to accomplish with this record, and that was making a dope hip-hop record that has that classic hip-hop sound to it. I didn’t try to go too far left with the music. I just wanted to make a dope hip-hop record and I think I accomplished that. I think people caught on and they understood what I was doing and they’re feeling the music. That’s all I wanted. Once I saw that I was getting four and five stars in reviews, I was cool with that. That’s what’s up. It’s been more positive things than negative things about the album so far. That’s always a plus.
So far, I haven’t read a bad review for the album. Reviewers seem to have nothing but good things to say about the record.
Right now I’m working on this “Sound the Alarm (Remix)”. I have to finish that this week. It’s going to come out on vinyl with the second single, “Home of the Greats” and the “Sound the Alarm (Remix)” with Royce da 5’9” on it. We’re just trying to get back in the groove of things. The album is finally out and we’re just trying to set up the tour now. I’m about to get back on these other few projects that I’ve already been working on, like the Guilty Simpson project. That’s what I’m going to be putting all my focus into now.
Black Milk on the mic
Black Milk with his publicist Michelle from Audible Treats
hat’s good? I’m back again. Shout out to everybody that gave me some feedback on the first journal last week.
Right now I’m in the studio, like always, working on some beats. It’s the top of the year so I’m on my grind, looking forward to placing some tracks on a few different albums that are coming out this year. That’s where my head is right now. I’ve been focusing on nothing but beats and getting these placements on some mainstream artists’ albums. The sound of my music changed a little bit because I’m trying to go into the commercial range as well. It changed a little bit, but not in a bad way. How can I say it? It’s a little more commercial, but it’s still on some hard shit. I’m just trying to show that I’m a versatile producer. I’m just trying to step up to the plate and conquer the mainstream side as well. The underground is cool, but it can limit you. I feel like I have to show my versatility in the game and that I’m a versatile producer who can do his thing on both sides of the game. I have to tackle both worlds. That’s where my head is at.
I’ve been riding around to Dr. Dre’s 2001 and Game’s first album, The Documentary. I got some Busta shit and Jay-Z’s last album. I copped a couple Mobb Deep songs off iTunes and some 50 to listen to. I’m listening to albums that were dope and did well on a commercial level. That’s what I’m listening to now so when I approach a beat, I pay more attention to what made others successful. I’ve been focused on this beats. I’ll let you hear what I’ve been working on the past couple of days. I think you’ll be able to tell the difference between what you’re familiar with in terms of Black Milk music and the shit I’m on now.
Other than the beats, I’m still doing promo for the album. I’m still going at that real hard. I’m making sure everybody knows it’s coming and that the release date is known to everybody. We put the video up on the YouTube today, finally. It’s up on the MySpace page too.
I’m also preparing for this New York show. The release party is March 8 or 9. I’m preparing for that. It’s going to be at Piano’s in Manhattan. Anybody in NY that wants to check us out, come by. We’re going to be selling the album that night as well. You can come and get the album early. I’m going to do a small performance too. Guilty Simpson is going to come out and do a performance with me and Tanya Morgan should be out there too. It’s going to be dope.
I’m still doing the interviews. I’m about to smack the interviewers for asking me the same questions over and over. I’m getting a little frustrated with that. That’s why I love doing the journal. I get to talk about shit I want to talk about. I’m not saying the same shit over and over in the interviews. This is a nice little release for me so I can talk about what I want to talk about and let you know what’s going on. The album is coming in two weeks, so I’m just preparing for that shit.
I’ve been asked the question “is hip-hop dead?” a few times. You just have to look hard to find good music. A lot of people are too grown to do kiddie shit and it seems like everybody’s making records for 13 year-olds. It’s cool to target that audience, but come with some real shit that hip-hop niggas can enjoy. Make some shit for those niggas. Everything is about the dollar today. I don’t know where hip-hop is going to be in the next five or ten years or what it’s going to sound like. I can only imagine.
The way it’s looking, some days I feel like we have a turn for the best when you have albums like Nas’ Hip-Hop Is Dead or Jay-Z’s Kingdom Come which seemed like Jay-Z was trying to be a little more experimental with the music, and that’s what a lot of artists should be doing right now, and then some days it seems like it’s headed for the worst when I hear almost everyone using the same formula for every record just so it can be commercial and radio-friendly. Hopefully artists will try to push the envelope a little more and find new ways to approach hip-hop so not everything sounds the same and not everyone uses the same melodies, same drum patterns, same hook format for every song. The media doesn’t give people enough shit to choose from. I’m not against what’s being played on the radio today, but there’s only one type and style of record being played. That’s the only formula an artist can use to have a big record and it’s fucked up that I have to make a song about my car or how much money I got for it to get played.
You have some people like Lupe doing his thing. He’s reaching a broader audience than other cats that are on his level for the type of music he’s doing. You have Kanye and Common and cats like that, who have a more widespread audience, but they’re doing music their way and outside of the box and are still reaching a lot of people. So hopefully more artists like this emerge.
The rest of this week, it’s all about the beats and the record dropping. The album drops March 13. So I need all my people to go out and support it, especially because it’s that classic, real hip-hop shit, and you should always support good music.
CLICK THE PLAY BUTTON BELOW TO HEAR A NEW BLACK MILK BEAT
CHECK OUT THE HIPHOPGAME WORLD PREMIERE FOR "SOUND THE ALARM"
hat’s up, everyone? You might know me as Black Milk, straight out of Detroit. I’m a producer first, MC second. My album, Popular Demand, is coming out March 13. It’s my first official album. I’ve put out a couple projects prior to this one, Broken Wax and Sound of the City, but this is the official album. I got a lot of Detroit artists on here like Guilty Simpson and Phat Kat. Fat Ray and BR Gunna is also on there. This is real hip-hop music with a soul and hardened street-edge to it. I’m a new face to the music industry and Detroit hip-hop.
If you’ve never been out to Detroit, the scene out here is crazy because there’s a whole lot of different types of music. You got the big electronic and techno scene. Then you have the soul scene and the hip-hop scene. The hip-hop scene is more underground. It’s not as big as people would think it is based off the groups like D12 and Slum Village that came out of here. It’s a nice size and it’s growing more and more. We have a couple DJ’s known for bringing the crowds out for the dope hip-hop parties. That’s every now and again though. It’s not all the time. It’s cool, but I think it’s going to get better as I come up along with Guilt and Phat Kat. You can come here and find some parties every now and again that are dope. There is so much going on musically though. Everybody is in their own zone and they’re doing their own thing separately.
To promote Popular Demand, I’ve been doing mad interviews, doing shows here and there and just trying to get as many people as I can to know the name, face and person behind the music. I’m reaching out to everybody that’s trying to be a part of what I’m doing. Fat Beats got me doing a lot of press right now, which is more work then I thought it would be, but I’m keeping the buzz going at a good pace. I think people are starting to pay attention a little more to what I’m doing and are really checking for what I have in store and what I can bring to the game. We’re trying to lock down every avenue, from the magazines to the shows all the way to the internet more than anything else because that’s where I got a lot of my fans from, so I have to keep something out there on the web constantly. I have to have people’s attention at all times so they will keep seeing the name Black Milk every where they look. That alone keeps me recording. Everybody has to have that anticipation for the album, and it’s a grind all the way until the release date.
I was happy to see “Sound the Alarm” featuring Guilty Simpson got such good reviews on HipHopGame. I always knew I wanted Guilty on the album. He’s one of the top-5 MC’s in the D right now. He’s been around for awhile putting it down in Detroit and he's known as one of the best lyricists out here. I never got the chance to put him on my previous projects, so I had to put him on the album. I wanted to make “Sound the Alarm” some real uptempo, energetic, grimy, hard hip-hop shit. I cut the beat in 20, 30 minutes and called him to come through. He laced it up and it’s the first single for the album.
We just shot the video for the song and it looks crazy as hell. We’re trying to have it up and running everywhere by the beginning of March. At first we were just trying to come up with a dope little video to put up on the internet and leak it that way, but it came out looking so crazy that they’re trying to service it to a couple different major outlets.
The video director, Anthony Garth, is the illest video director in Detroit. He’s done stuff for the rock group the White Stripes, D-12 and Chevy. We already had worked together in the past when I was doing the BR Gunna shit. He did a video for one of the songs, so it was only right to work with him for my new album. He gave me a video that looks like a damn movie almost. It’s got a lot of action and it’s real animated. If you liked the song, you’re going to love the video.
This next week, I’ll just be doing a bunch of interviews. It’s taking away from my beat time. I’ve been trying to knock out a bunch of beats lately. I’m trying to stay in the lab as much as I can but this is the busiest I’ve ever been and I know its only going to get crazier the more I get in the public eye. My schedule is getting a little more insane I’ve been trying to change my technique a little in making beats, just enough so that now I have a certain formula to knock out beats quicker. I can knock a beat out sometimes in 30, 40 minutes, but I’m at a point now where I’m trying to make ‘em faster than that and still come out with heat.
I’m going to put some new heat out on the net this week too. People will have some new music to check out. I might throw a new beat-CD up on the MySpace page to download. I threw one on the page about a month ago and people were feeling that, so I might put a new batch up there.
I really can’t wait for everybody to see the video. I’m really curious to see how people respond when they see it because I know its going to be unexpected for people to see an independent, underground artist making major label type moves. I want people to be prepared for that and Popular Demand. Hopefully it’s going to be one of the top releases of this year.
My goal is to challenge the sound of hip-hop today by making the production side sound incredible and taking it to that next level, but I feel like I can’t go too far left with the music yet so I’m trying to find that midpoint to have the best of both worlds. But once I feel like I’m at a point where I have everyone’s attention, people will see what I can really bring to the game musically. Stay tuned.