By P80 Parks
One producer/one artist projects typically adhere to a sound throughout and the expectations are usually pretty straightforward. However, working on collaborative projects often present with some hiccups and limitations. Usually it’s simply a matter of clashing egos, politely disguised as “creative differences.” With an 8 joint EP, split between two producers, it would seem like Knowledge The Pirate would have somewhat of a challenge trying to maintain a sense of control and keeping a consistent sonic palette.
Knowledge The Pirate:
“This was something I was asked to do by Tuff Kong (Records). They wanted Cuns to produce a album with me so I suggested that Elemnt do half cause he is my in-house producer for my label TCE (Treasure Chest Entertainment) and Cuns can do half so we will have some balance. It was a no-brainer once I locked in. I knocked it out in no time. I never let no one pick my beats, I’m always the executive producer cuz I’m the best knower of the sound my fans want to hear. It wasn’t a hard process; the shit was smooth cause Cuns is dope and Elemnt is home team.. Both of these guys know the sound that me and Roc Marci have brought back to life.. I’ll always bring conceptual albums when I drop so once again I give my fans more great art for the culture.”
With Family Jewels, Knowledge the Pirate shares 4 joints with Italian producer Cuns and 4 with long time affiliate and partner in crime, Elemnt. Knowledge avoids relying on any feature support on the project, aiming at showing his full potential individually. The Pirate brings his braggadocio and his smooth swagger, as expected. He may not be the dude who spits the most complex lyrical wizardry in his rhymes, but the dude can flat out rap. He has a way of intertwining the luxurious fly rhymes with the street tales. He has a knack for storytelling and at times his bars go off on story tangents, to the delight of all listeners.
Knowledge the Pirate’s go-to producer Elemnt was able to give some insight into the creation of Family Jewels:
Elemnt: “Collabing was dope, exchanging beats and ideas. Pirate was the middle man (Executive Producer) giving us both direction since we all couldn’t be in the same studio room together. It wasn’t about out-doing each other but coming together to bring a unified sound/project. A project like this only works when all egos and negative vibes are left at the door. It was a dope experience.”
Known for his cinematic street thumpers, Elemnt provides the triumphant blaring horns of “Pirate Salute.” The drum rolls on “Pirate Salute” are crispy, providing that snap for Knowledge to flow on. Knowledge gives us a glimpse of those mini stories he articulates on Pirate Salute. Elemnt brings a nostalgic feel on “Keep Pushing” with rising strings and thumping drums. On “UG King” Knowledge provides the smooth player persona over some funky guitar riffs.. “Red Beam” stays in the same lane, never veering off course with booming drums and more dope strings loops. Check out “Red Beam” here:
Italian producer Cuns brings his own polished beats on Family Jewels. Having produced beats for A.G., Crimeapple and more, he has developed himself as a solid producer in the game. Cuns lays the solo trumpet on the opener “Chapo.” Check out the echoing horns of “Oni Experience” here:
Cuns creates a crime caper vibe on “Palermo” as Knowledge paints grim images of the grittiness inherent in criminal endeavors.“Valachi Papers” closes out the album with a more subtle flute loop as Knowledge leaves fans wanting more of those detailed narratives immersed in street culture.
Knowledge doesn’t take any of his art lightly as he curates his vision throughout the beats, rhyme-writing, sequencing and even the artwork. With Family Jewels, the Pirate breaks down the historical genesis of the artwork.
“People need to know that the black Madonna and black baby Jesus aren’t fabricated images they’re real. There are over 600 hundred of these ancient holy shrines all over the world. The Pope bows down and kisses her feet while he prays. The original picture come from kemit/Egypt Isis and Horus better known as Auset and Heru which was the original story about the immaculate conception.”
As executive producer, Knowledge The Pirate had to uphold his vision while dealing with 2 different producers to keep the sound he’s developed over his previous releases. As an emcee/artist, Knowledge continues to bring his brand of fly street tales over quality production.
Cop Family Jewels here: