It's been a very interesting and rewarding experience the last few years going back and forth, perfecting a formula of collaboration with someone who I undoubtedly consider one of the most talented lyricists of my generation.
I picked up Mac Lethal's Love Potion Collection 3 sometime around 2005. I was already undeniably a hip hop head, having such underground greats as Sage Francis, Eyedea & Abilities and Atmosphere's albums on repeat in my car for well over a year before I got a listen of one of Mac's mixtapes. From the moment I heard his cadence flow on top a Snoop Dogg instrumental, I knew this dude was something spectacular and unique.
Following his releases for a few years, I came to as many as five or six of his shows on his tours before one day in 2010, I seen he was coming to Macomb, IL...less than an hour from my home town.Using everything in my power to summon the phone number of the venue owner, I realized that opportunities like this come not often enough to skip. I explained to the college student who booked Lethal's tour that I was a long time fan and follower of Mac and that I wanted a chance for an opening spot.
Not only was I rapping at the time, and this was a promising method of forcing a demonstration of my skills to the man himself, but having an opening spot for a Rhymesayers alumni was enough at the time to call mom and say "I made it!"
It was one of the most memorable shows I've played to this date. Almost all of my friends in the area were there to see me shine, and that meant the world to me.
Unbeknownst that things could get any more inspiring, the next day I got a notification for a comment:
And with that, I knew then was the time to make a move and inquire about doing a track together.In the fall of that year, I paid him $150 to write and record a verse for a track I produced and was planning on placing on my next full-length album. At this time, I was beginning to find a lot of new outlets for performing; I was picking up gigs on the regular finally, and getting paid, I was optimistic (and maybe a little overzealous) to rounding out the rest of the album with other features (Aesop Rock, F. Stokes, Blueprint) but somewhere along the road, things took backseat and I didn't get around to officially releasing my feature of Mac called "The Regiment" until 2014, over four years after my first contact with him about the collab.
Little by little, I believe over time my social media presence and the following I had of my own helped me gain his attention, because not long after the release of The Regiment, Mac reached out to me about going full force on an album together. Could. Not. Believe. My. Eyes.
For the next two years, I would go on to take his direction and produce over 200 instrumental demos, some of the best music I've made in my life. From there, 200 beats became somewhere around 30 rap demos. Months and months of emails, exchanging ideas, perfecting demos into actual songs. In the summer of this year, we finally had several amazing and extremely cinematic productions in their final form. It was time.
So here it is. Painstakingly enough, only two of my tracks ended up on the final album. "Supernova" and "Weekly Wage" are two strong pieces that are worlds of style apart.
Make sure you give the album a listen and support and buy if you can.
(On the hush) I'm pretty certain that Mac intends on attacking with a follow-up album more sooner than later. I know for a fact there is loads of material we made that is BONKERS and for one reason or another he's holding these songs back. My guess is this album (Congratulations) is a specific story he wants to tell. I'm sure there was a deep process involved with picking out the right tracks to tell that story. I'm reserving my full excitement for the release of the several other tracks that we've made that still haven't been heard!
This obviously opens a slew of new doors for me. I'm ready to take what I've learned and expand that into my ongoing pursuit of being at the top of the hip hop production game.
As for some of the great tracks I made this summer while waiting for this material from the demos I made with Mac to surface (including a colossal trap song intended to be the Tech N9ne collab) I'll be throwing them together on my own short album called THE ROYALE EP (available Oct 10)
Thank you everyone for your continued support!