Once upon a time, when you copped a physical copy of an album, you would dig through the liner notes and find jewels of information about the music you were listening to. Sometimes you would get the lyrics to every song on the album or you’d get an explanation about how the songs were created. For those of us that remember (or, still cop physical copies), reading the liner notes was quite the special and intimate experience. However, with everything going digital, liner notes are a thing of a past.
That’s where we come in.
With our “Anecdope” series, we’ll deliver a digital version of the liner notes of albums from the artists themselves. You’ll get lyrics deciphered and the stories behind the songs on an album.
PRODUCED BY KARRIEM RIGGINS
The idea for “Two 16s” came from people not being up on my old material—my first projects. Some only know me as a person that spits a feature verse or a few 16 bar verses on a track. That was just me kind of flipping it a bit. Oh, they say they want two 16s? I’m going to give them two 16s… but, it’s going to be a story about two 16-year-old kids that get into something and it’s going to be two 16 bar verses.
How has the feedback been for this song in particular?
It’s been all positive. It was crazy… I was in the whip with my friend Paige going over songs and when he changed the radio station, we caught the tail end of the song playing—that was dope. It’s definitely moving around and I get a lot of love on social media about it.
PRODUCED BY SOLEDAD BROTHER
In that process of me trying to think to myself, music was a great escapism. I would light one up and get lost in the music. Just vibin’ to some Slick Rick or some Roy Ayers—or just an instrumental. That’s how it came about—What if I just fell in the music? What would that be like? Just on the other side of the speaker—trapped in the music.
It’s that concept, but there’s a deeper meaning. I’m trying to escape… my troubles, my current situation. It’s just done in a way where I could have a story line.
PRODUCED BY OH NO
This wasn’t based on current reality, but it’s a situation I feel anybody can be in—the “friend zone.” It don’t matter who you are—different nationalities, different ages—everybody got somebody that they feeling and that person can look at them like they the homie or family or whatever. That song is one of the oldest concepts on the record. I did that with Oh No about four years ago.
How was it working with Oh No?
That’s my people! I’m at his crib and he’s showing me all the technical machinery he got in the spot. We’re in room where the equipment was at, we were passing blunts around, and he would play music and a bunch of beats. I liked that beat, so I wrote and recorded it on the spot.
I’m talking a massive blunt rotation—it was pretty fresh.
“THE HEALING PROCESS”
PRODUCED BY JOSELF
My mental state at the time… I was feeling good then and I wanted to write something that was inspirational. I wanted to reflect on all of the audio self-help books I used to listen to and the meditation music I listened to to relax me and get me in a good vibe. It was my take on what that was to me—what those things were for me.
PRODUCED BY BOMBAY
This “dark cloud” that follows you… is it something that’s always been prevalent in your life that you finally decided to get off your chest with a song?
Yeah. That’s crazy. I mentioned a black cloud on the first project I put together on a song called “Scattered Pictures.” It’s always been there. At one point I was on the move so much and touring, I was ignoring it—but it was always there. The first time that I realized it was present was when I was finally able to sit down after all of that and soak in all the things that were happening or things that happened; it’s like wow, it’s here. I didn’t know how to deal with it and it was a kind of a crazy moment for me. When people used to run into me, they could feel or see my glow. But when the “black cloud” came, it was an energy I was giving off to people and they were giving back to me. That was a crazy time and I definitely had to write about that.
In order to get rid of something you don’t want in your life, you got to deal with it head on. If you ignore it, its just going to get bigger, its just going to grow. Sometimes thats how people allow whatever that is to defeat them, so its always better to acknowledge it and deal with it. At least from my experiences.
FEATURING SMITTY SOUL
PRODUCED BY JOSELF
My life was not stable at all at the time and my dream was to move to a certain area in Michigan. So, to get that inspiration, I would walk around those areas. The way that I looked, people would look at me strange and I felt that energy. People who I thought was cool and my mans just flipped and turned on me. I just didn’t get it. I didn’t get how people could treat me that way when I always try to show respect and be honest. I would see those particular people cliquing up and it made me feel alienated, so I wrote about it.
How different is your circle of friends from Out of Focus to now?
Now? My circle of friends is extremely small. Back then, I used to run up in the spot with like 20 people.
My mom always told me to treat people how you wanted to be treated—to be a mirror to people. I was a straight shooter and A1 with everybody and I thought people were that way with me. But then I started realizing everybody is not like that and that’s where the trust issues started. That’s when I had to cut some people off, because they were playing themselves.
Yeah, my circle is mad small now.
Pick up Lead Poison on iTunes and stay tuned for the final installment of “Anecdope.”
Illustrated by N8tivAlien. ArtByShake.