In Good Company: Thoughts On Collaborations

The further I delve into this whole business/mess/joy of being an emcee the more I realize how unpredictable this art form can be, especially when it comes to the collaboration process. A few weeks ago I released  two songs. Two songs with two very different intentions, each a reflection of the story behind it.

A Slow Death

The track entitled ‘Suicital’ is the first leak from the collaborative EP ‘SLIC 1: Don’t Break The Mirror’ which I am currently working on with Milwaukee artist Airythmatic. We have been constantly discussing, writing, working and fine tuning this project for the past few months as we debated where exactly we wanted to do with this song and as an extension the project as a whole.

The song’s genesis was the chorus, which came to us on a Saturday night that neither of us can recollect,probably due to the number PBR Tallboys consumed throughout the evening. A few weeks later Airythmatic sent me the instrumental he wanted to use for the track and thought it would be best for us to each write a 32 bar verse and announce ourselves with a grand entrance. It took a few days but the verses were eventually written and we finally had a song on our hands.

Fast forward four months later: After much delay (mostly because of transportation restraints) it came time to finally record the song that would serve as the flagship for our project. Our good friend Giam was gracious enough to lay down a last minute outro and ‘Suicital’ was given life.

I Wouldn’t Stress It

It was 2:15 on a Friday afternoon, I had just finished class for day and hoping to get some recording done  I gave my producer a call. I eventually found myself at B-Side Records where Moses was being filmed as part of a documentary on his creative process. The concept was for him to purchase a record, find a sample and make an instrumental in one day. It seems as if a few other emcees saw this as an opportunity and soon enough Maine Event and Airtythmatic were right there with us hungry to create.

http://soundcloud.com/higher-education-records/higher-education-christ-b-1

We headed back to the studio (ie Moses’ apartment) and within an hour the sample was chosen, the beat was made and each of us had a verse ready to record. The song came to life in a matter of a fewhours and we released it just days later. Listening to it again with fresh ears I can sense the spontaneity and freedom of the circumstances surrounding the song. Moses can be heard laughing or reacting to our verses in the background and the song itself has an urgency to it that could only be explained by all the energy that was in the room that day.

There is no exact formula to creativity and these songs are excellent examples of this. Whether it takes six months or six hours each song has it’s own story to show the public and its own history for the artist to appreciate without the need or pressure to duplicate or reinvent.

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