M-Dot continues his barrage of steady music with brand new visuals for his single Pain and Haste. With this latest video off his most recent release, egO anD The eneMy 2: a dissolute paradise, the Boston emcee taps into the struggles and suffering that dominate the headlines and our lives today. Production from Pro Knows pairs well with M-Dot’s flow, full of frustration and concern for the current state of our world. M-Dot aggressively addresses these concerns while weaving in his own personal struggles, showing vulnerability and range in his songwriting.
Preferring ambience and atmosphere over traditional melody and structure, Fatboi Sharif dwells within that gray area. In the “noise;” content to bask in its oddity. After lacing underground staples like Nack and Divino, YL and Starker, producer noface links up with oddball Fatboi for some hip hop psychedelia. Surreal subconscious might be a better way to describe how Fatboi Sharif develops his unique lyrics in his own unorthodox ways. Deeply Rooted Hiphop reached out to the pair to see how it started and how it evolved into Preaching in Havana, out now via Purple Tape Pedigree.
Fatboi Sharif on his songwriting process: “I usually sit on production I choose for a while and sleep to it on repeat for various nights. Within that process I’ll usually have dreams of where the beat will take me content wise, something as I’ll see certain colors and shapes or even lots of time will be in a certain scenery and thought patterns and once I’ve conquered all those different feelings and emotions song wise I know it will be a hard hitting body of work on all levels.”
It’s as if the music he creates provides a glimpse into his mind, his dreams, his manufactured realm. Maybe this explains how he transports us. His lyrics and delivery grab us via our cerebral and visceral reactions. His tone, energy and cadence all appeal to our emotions, the visceral elements, while the content of his lyrics provoke thoughts, stimulating cerebrally to our intellect. It’s as much how he delivers his lyrics as what he’s saying. And, as equally important are the beats, the canvas for Sharif to unleash upon.
noface: “My intent was to transmit my soul. It goes back to the subconscious, I’m trying to release what’s in there. I’ve been making music for almost 10 years, with that goal in mind. This is very raw free-form expressionism. This is like free jazz. I was thinking about all the things I was thinking about at that time, talking with Sharif about a lot of that, and watching movies, and also it’s like 1 year into covid and the whole world seems to be collectively kind of in a paranoid haze… all that just comes out in the music. Preaching In Havana is definitely an album about fear, and life, and death, and soul searching– finding god in babylon. This album reflects noface and Fatboi Sharif, or a part of us and our worldview at least. So I pretty much just threw together a bunch of samples that I had in my house or on my computer… old gospel records.. stuff I had been saving but never flipped. Sometimes l’ll hoard a song I want to sample for a while and then I can just feel when I should use it. It came very clearly and organically. Me and Sharif had recorded most of the tracks and then in one day we fleshed out the message of the album. I was eating a good amount of mushrooms back then, and getting really focused on music. We figured out pretty early there was like a religious, or spiritual undertone to the music, and the rest manifested… the interludes especially.”
Fatboi Sharif on the creative genesis of his projects: “Every project is always a different journey for me, it always starts on a blank canvas with lots of discussion, analyzing things going on in my life at the moment and the world and me finding the perfect beats that could bring those thoughts to life.”
DRHH: You’ve worked w Nack and Divino, Starker and YL. How’d you get put onto Fatboi?
noface: “Most of the artists I work with are my friends or people I’ve actually spent time with, and the music tends to come pretty organically. Honestly, I first met a lot of those people just through my music– they hit me up to work. With Fatboi Sharif we met randomly… I remember the first 2 weeks of January 2021 I was sleeping on the floor in Lungs’ living room and on Phiik’s couch, and Sharif was coming out to both of their cribs at the time just to kick it and record or whatever… I would be in another room making beats with my headphones on or some shit and eventually he just heard me playing a beat out loud and bugged out lol. And I think that same night we started Preaching in Havana.”
DRHH: what’s different about producing for Fatboi?
noface: Nothing really except I know I can go all out. I know Sharif will bump stuff like harsh noise music (laughs). And I know he loves Prince Paul. I do too. And Portishead. I just know I can play anything for him, and try to make any kind of music. But Sharif also has a really interesting process, he’ll go home and sleep with beats playing in his headphones overnight. Then he starts writing. I think we both already kind of make music from the unconscious. Or subconscious. So we got along, and the music made sense. Like I said, music should come naturally. I don’t think a lot about it. I was just hanging out with my friends. Watching Godzilla and shit, Jet Jaguar, 60’s, and making beats. I was also still in school, and my girl was bugging out on me, very hectic time. At some point I think I started to realize we were recording some really weird and scary music, and that maybe we had the potential to make a more serious or abstract kind of album… I think the concept became fully clear to us around then, and we started putting together the whole thing.”
Although it may not file under your average rap album, don’t try and categorize this music though. While it remains hip hop, the soundscapes are atypical, avoiding the structure of your usual boom bap production, just as Fatboi prefers.
Fatboi Sharif: “I just always like to paint different pictures and worlds with every track experience so I love dipping into different canvases production wise that really speak to me and that I feel will challenge more than just a typical boom bap beat or something that’s more easy on the ear but at the end of the day to me tho if it connects with me it connects.”
noface: “with Sharif I knew I didn’t have to hold anything back at all, which was nice. I’ve made a lot of music over the years and I don’t think all of it can really be defined by a genre… but usually I try to focus myself a little towards certain sounds when I’m working with certain artists. This time it just didn’t matter. No genre.”
Like an alarm clock awakening your ear drums, “Static Vision” jumps off the journey, Fatboi ending the track repeating “I ain’t scared no more, I ain’t scared no more.”
Check the video for the lead single, “Static Vision” here:
“The Hybrid” dials in the tension with nervous piano keys, as it seeps into the frenetic “Sunday School Explosives.” Lungs peppers “John Hinckley” with a delivery that complements Fatboi’s unique flow. On “1999 Hacker Worldwide,” the minimal production creates a quiet before the climax in the journey, allowing for Fatboi to create vivid imagery, inviting us to see in his mind. “Parasite” is like a tick that can’t be shaken off, with clanging bells and piano notes that creep up your spine. NoFace throws in a couple of interludes that sound like a combination of Saturday morning cartoon snippets and cultural homages. “Paging Dr. noface” plays like a voyage to India narrated by muppet characters. “Sugarcane plantation” plays out a bit more relaxed, replete with post lunar landing vibes, but spills into the cartoonish frenzy of noface’s interlude “Smells Like Autopsy.” Perhaps the most melodic, “Nazi Needle Marks,” provides a noir jazz vibe, mysterious and interesting as an obscure 70’s snippet continues the surreal journey. Phiik provides a flurry of rhymes on “5G Celsius Cell Tower,” assisting the radiation in further melting our minds. The album closes with “Fentanyl Firing Squad” as Fatboi creates cult vibes over winding horns and background chants.
If there’s one notable thing that stands out it’s that Fatboi’s imagery is poetic and imaginative even if it doesn’t subscribe to the typical rhyme flow we so often hear.
DRHH: to me your rap often sounds like poetry and less like rap.
Fatboi: “To me it’s honestly rap in it’s purest form but I always say certain things you have to listen to a certain way and see from a certain lense to fully engulf and analyze. There’s a element of poetry for sure but I wouldn’t categorize it. For me I always aimed to be one of the greatest writers ever who’s work could be studied and embraced in all forms of literature from hip hop, poetry, books etc. The words are always the most important element of it all.”
DRHH: You often share your musical tastes from lots of genres.Do you consciously try and incorporate that same spirit (of other genres) into your own music, or is it more of a byproduct?
Fatboi: “I want it to hit as hard as the first time you saw a film like Jacobs ladder or fantastic planet, something you may have not have understood how all the pieces fit but on further viewing it connected it a way that it always keeps you coming back and as powerful as the first time you heard sly and the family stone or black Sabbath where you embrace the overall experience and as time goes on everything else about the listening experience makes you fall in love more with it.”
DRHH: How much input did Sharif have in the process?
noface: “A lot. When we were making the song “1999 Hacker Worldwide” at Lungs house, Sharif made me pitch down and slow down the sample so much further than I had it, for like 10 minutes I’m just asking him “are you sure?” and he gets super hype yelling about it. Even when I was adding all the little sound effects and transitions, Sharif was there in the room the whole time. Super involved artist and he takes his own shit seriously, which I appreciate.”
Not likely to be similar to anything you’ve ever heard before, Preaching In Havana is a unique audio adventure from Fatboi Sharif and noface. Open your mind; Embrace your third eye and allow yourself to embark on the spiritual journey with Fatboi and noface as your personal shamans.
Preaching In Havana, courtesy of boutique label Purple Tape Pedigree, is out now. Stream here:
“You know my body, quality over quantity You couldn’t possibly’ve made another quantum leap Top of the heap, ask my colleagues You just tryna get by like Talib Kweli”
This ain’t no Scott Bakula show! For “Quantum Leap,” Roc Marciano and The Alchemist provide the latest visuals off their new album, The Elephant Man’s Bones. Alchemist lays down a subdued, slightly jazzy loop as Roc spits the greasy, slick talk he’s known for. Quantum Leap stands out as one of the highlights on The Elephant Man’s Bones, an album of the year contender.
On the self produced Moroccan Hash, Bronze Nazareth details his journey, and what he’s been through on a personal level while rising to success. Every career has its story, but the life that happens beyond the music is THE story. Radiantly detailed lyrics meet with a soulful soundtrack, that yet again prove Nazareth’s consistency, and intricate attention to detail.
Bronze Nazareth: “Moroccan Hash, a real soulful life tale…detailing a string of stories that went on during my musical quest…life behind the music. I actually had a ‘moment’ after tackling all these obstacles after years of grafting and pushing my music. I found myself enjoying Moroccan Hash in Rennes, France. This was shortly after my brother had sadly passed away, and I was finally on tour around Europe for 2015. As I took in the hash, I looked at the dark skies, the stars, and finally felt like I had made it. We had dreamt that our music would take us around the world. Here I was….”
Melding genres and collaborating with a diverse array of artists, Eyedress constructs a masterfully creative offering with his latest full-length LP. On Full Time Lover, he brings along contemporaries and unique voices to capture each moment. There are instances of pop, alt-indie, and hip hop too, but most importantly, it’s what he generates that falls in between or across genres that really resonates here.
Living in an age of overly defining every subgenre and categorizing each shred of music, it’s artists that eschew those confines and create across differing types of music. That’s what Eyedress does best on this album, showcasing it on a grand scale without ever seeming too profound or serious. Creating a vibe or following a melody down a rabbit hole on a single track or via a suite of songs. Breaking our consciousness of specific boundaries to conjure a mood. While he does give us plenty to listen to, Eyedress never lets you settle into one ‘format’ for too long on this meandering trip. With this ambitious offering, Full Time Lover clocks in at over an hour across 28 tracks. He connects with an array of musical friends on this project displaying his wide musical talents, tastes and influences.
Highlights are aplenty, as are his guest features/collaborators. The dystopian robotic drone of “Break The Law” leads us into the jump off of spooky synths in “Dream Dealer” with Chad Hugo; a head-nodding start to the journey. He croons about his affections on “Still in love” and even brings along his fiancé, Evia on the soft and mellow title track.
He slows the bpm even further on “Spaghetti” and the subsequent couple tracks. On “House of Cards” Eyedress finds the full ambience of vibrating synths which spills into the pleasant fuzz of “Dinner Time” followed by the electronic pulse of “Try another time;” Both of which feature alt-indie band The Drums. “Faith In Love,” with band Provoker, delivers perfectly with echoing vocals, vibrating synthesizers, drenched in gorgeous harmonies.
Rap fans won’t be disappointed by the modern beats and auto tune combos in the latter half of the album. The funky and upbeat gem “Mr Nice Guy” with Vex Ruffin, breaks up the hip hop suites. Stellar guests like Chuck Strangers jump on the floating loop and R&B background vocals of “Don’t Wake me Baby.” Spitter Zero and alt-electronic act Gonjasufi on “Safe with you” followed by the dynamic duo of YL and Starker on “For The Children” round out the final suite of the album with ethereal, hazy beats.
Full Time Lover will certainly strike a chord with fans of Eye’s previous rock/pop work and also his production alongside top emcees. But it’s his forays into the other ‘stuff’ on this album is what really elevates this LP. If nothing else, this endeavor shows Eyedress’s immense range in a variety of formats. And it’s that jack-of-all-trades musicality that shines through on Full Time Lover.
Mr. 31 and production duo The Standouts continue their freestyle series with 2 brand new editions, vol. 22 and 23. The Standouts deliver their always soulfully-selected loops for Jamal to lay his piffed-out, energetic bars on.
Peep the video for Stir The Pot Vol 22:
Stay tuned as this combo keeps bringing the soulful piff!
Hazy, atmospheric vibes, smoked out loops and high quality features show us that The World Famous Lafamilia (Abe Linx and Tully C) are poised to make moves, hedging the indie underground scene with sparks of larger appeal. Hailing from Indiana, Tully C and Abe have put in some work the past 3 years. Tully’s laid back, yet articulate vocals paint a vivid picture while his partner in crime, Abe Linx delivers an energetic, blunted style, oozing through each bar. At 10 tracks The World Famous.. stays focused and shows off their potential with yet another consistent release. Guest verses come particularly sharp with the ageless wonders Willie The Kid, Planet Asia, and the elusive Bub Rock.
From a feature on the diamond selling Fugees’ classic The Score, to a shelved album on Shady records, Young Zee has risen from the New Jerz underground to a humbling from the innate savagery of the music industry. As a Founding member of the Outsidaz, Young Zee saw those successes and trappings more than 20 years ago. After a long hiatus involving some legal dealings, Zee returns reinvigorated on his first official release since his 2012 album with Mr. Green, One Crazy Weekend.
On Scumbag, Young Zee partners with Australian producer Flu for an EP of witty bars over focused beats. With features from veterans such as fellow Outsidaz member Pace Won, Zee calls on other stalwarts like underground heavy Vinnie Paz, emcee R., as well as the highly-respected Flipmode queen, Rah Digga.
Throughout the EP, Melbourne-based producer, Flu brings his brand of moody film score loops and obscure arrangements for Zee to flourish on. Flu provides the eerie tension of a crime scene on “Monkey Bars” and a hazy fog of grime on the title track where Zee aptly spits some pure filth over. Flu utilizes some great drums on tracks like “STFU” while allowing others to breathe a bit more like the strings-fueled “DNA.”
Across 7 tracks, Zee hits you with his off-the-wall, boundary-pushing flows, finding his comfort zone in his humorous bars and playfully extreme content. The only real departure from this, we find a more serious Zee with his thought-provoking storytelling of generations of slavery and racism on “Slave Son.” Here Flu provides a bleak soundscape for Young Zee to speak on real issues.
A pairing of these 2 unique individuals offers us a tight project embodying the grubbiness and those foul emanations from their combined abhorrent tastes, genuinely earning the title Scumbag.
Preorder vinyl and exclusive limited physicals here:
Respected Boston emcee/producer M-Dot, recruits legendary lyricist and Juice Crew member Kool G Rap alongside his fellow EMS crew mate Revalation for the era-spanning concept record “Decadence.” Providing the funky & soulful backdrop is acclaimed producer, The Mighty V.I.C. (Big Pun, Nas, Mobb Deep) with DJ Jean Maron adding the scratches. The song is mastered by inimitable engineer Eddie Sancho (Illmatic, Ready To Die, Reasonable Doubt, etc). The track provides plenty of nostalgic references, harkening back to the golden eras that hip hop heads hold in such high regard. Lock yourself in for a heavy dose of evoked imagery from the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s on this banger.
We here at Deeply Rooted Hip Hop are proud to release our very first compilation album, Sleeping Giant (Awakens), featuring some of the finest emcees and producers. Deeply Rooted Hiphop’s founder and editor in chief, “P80” Parks executive produced/ curated and A&R’d this collection of all original songs showcasing a variety of beats, rhymes, styles and tempos for all hip hop heads to appreciate.