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Headz Ain’t Ready

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Headz Ain’t Ready

Back in early May of 2007, I flew out to Providence, RI to spend 3
weeks practicing with Sage after he had asked me to handle the DJing
duties of his live set for the Human the Death Dance Tour. That tour
was first time I got to spend a good amount of time with Bernard.
Before then, I would talk to him once in a while on AIM but it was
usually pretty brief. One day, a few months before I went to
Providence, Bernard sent me a song that he had done with Sole, which
surprised me, because I had no idea that he made music at this point.
I knew that he was always really busy with, and when I
first met him in San Francisco two years earlier, he made no mention
at all of doing music. I wasn’t sure what to expect when he sent over
the song…all he had said was it was “some rap shit”. The song was
“Young Americans” which was on “The Failure”. This was the first time
I heard Bernard rap. I was immediately impressed. Bernard was a
complete emcee package. Dope lyrics, dope voice, dope delivery. His
raps had a similar vibe to the kind of hip-hop that I really was into
in the mid 90’s. On some Ras Kass, Organized Konfusion, Saafir, Chino
XL, O.C. type of vibe. Not that he sounded like any of those artists,
just that he made you listen by having dope lyrics, a dope voice and a
dope delivery.

One night before tour, we all went out to eat. On the way back,
Bernard was playing stuff in his car and he put on “The Four Horsemen”
by Aphrodite’s Child, one of my favorite songs from that band. I said
“bump this shit!”. He did. We rocked out to the massive drums. Hell

Bernard did a bunch of shows with us on the HTDD tour. He drove his
car because there was no room in the van, so most of the time I would
ride to the next city with him in his car, playing each other crazy
prog rock, psyche soul, electronic weirdness songs. Also during these
drives we talked about working on a few songs together at some point
in the future. I told him I would be down to do some production for a
couple songs if our schedules matched up. He said he had a project he
had to finish first (The Failure). We agreed we’d figure it out.

I moved back to Portland, Maine in August of 2007. I had started an
album, but scrapped it and started over once I got back to Maine. I
worked quickly on my new album (Resurgam) and had it finished by the
start of March. I like to take breaks from music after I finish an
album. So I chilled out for a bit and then Bernard and Sage hit me up
in May of 2008 about producing for Bernard. When Bernard and I had
talked about it months before, we had only talked about doing a few
songs. But now we were talking about me producing an entire album. I
was really excited. I had always wanted to produce an entire hip-hop
album. Some of my favorite hip-hop albums have one producer (or
production team) throughout the entire record. When I worked with
Sole on Selling Live Water, the original plan was for me to produce
that entire album. We recorded enough songs for it, but when mixing
and mastering time came, Sole decided to cut a bunch of songs and
replace them with songs produced by Nosdam, Jel and Telephone Jim

So with “Fallen House, Sunken City”, I’m finally getting the chance to
produce an entire hip-hop album. It’s been a return to form in some
ways. Most of my past releases have been more electronic, with not
much sampling. This album is sample heavy. And it’s been a fun
challenge to chop up samples beyond recognition. The drums are HUGE.
They are compressed the fuck out. They knock in your Mitsubishi.
They have to…matching the intensity of Bernard’s raps is tough
sometimes. So massive drums are in order. The music we’ve done so
far is some of the most in-your-face stuff I’ve ever been involved
with. This isn’t some music you put on to do your homework to. This
isn’t some music to put on in the background while you throw a dinner
party. This is some music Ice Cube would make with a 2009 Bomb Squad
if he wasn’t doing Disney movies now. I’ve played a song or two for a
few people when they come to my studio. Usually, at the end of the
song they say “holy shit…I didn’t know that dude rapped like that.
I had no idea!” I can’t wait to see what other folks say when they
hear B straight killin’ it. Yikes…

Feb 21

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