Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Battle Anybody dropped on DJ Premier's Live At HeadQCourtez 5/10

DJ Premier dropped "Battle Anybody" once again on the Live At HeadQCourtez show.  Check the joint at the 56:30 mark.


The Return/Battle Anybody Digi 12"

These two cuts have been long in the making.  They've also been finished and "in the can" for a good portion of a year.  I was originally thinking about waiting till I had an EP or Full Length finished before I released them, but as May was getting closer and closer I realized that the concept of "The Return" was almost 2 years old.  (returning from Indy to the PNW)  Although the topic would be relevant regardless of when it was released, I thought that because I've been here long enough, it needed to be released.  (along with "Battle Anybody" from the other recording session)

Despite the urge to release them than wait for a full project, these two songs continued to get pushed back as I didn't want them to get lost in the shuffle amongst the "Revisionist History" and Vintage Dope projects.  It wasn't until almost divine intervention in the form of DJ Premier and DJ Eclipse playing "Battle Anybody" that I realized this double A-side needed to JUST... BE... DROPPED.

Both of these beats were made for beat battles back when I was in Indy.  "Battle Anybody" was made when I competed in Skribble Jam.  (2008?)  I was in both the producer and emcee battles and eliminated in the 1st round.  A.C.E.-One was actually doing some of the hosting for the event and I remember after I played my beats, I went out into the crowd to mingle and watch the other performers.  A.C.E. jumped off the stage as they went into a break or another round and came up to me, dropped me a pound and said the beat was dope.  An idea was born that instant, but it would lay dormant for a long time.  (I don't even know if A.C.E. remembers that at all.)

Eventually as A.C.E. and I would cross paths from time to time in the Indy scene, I finally mentioned the beat and the concept I had.  I wanted to do something that was like "Meth vs. Chef" from Method Man's solo debut.  The camaraderie and competition together over a face melting beat was the perfect chemistry to ride a track like that.  He was down, but with our two schedules and as I started planning my return to Washington, the only vocals we were able to record were for "Watchin' My Style".  (I think both of our verses were actually written BEFORE I even moved)

More time passed and I think I was either going to just write a 2nd verse or offer it up to someone else when I contacted A.C.E.  He quickly responded because he thought he already dropped his verse for the track.  Regardless, he didn't want to be left out of being on that cut.  After talking with him, I sent Joe Harvey the inst. version and the two worked on recording his portion.

In many ways you could say that if it wasn't for a Sonics umbrella I got at the Key Arena, "The Return" or "Battle Anybody" wouldn't have happened.  After I moved to Indy, Wiz and I would email each other back and forth.  It mainly started from the postings on the 206proof board and the social media that was bubbling.  I was going through my garage and came across this sealed Sonics umbrella from a game I went to.  By this time the Sonics had left to OKC and Seattle was in the early stages of separation.  I knew Wiz was a HUGE Sonics fan and I reached out to him to see if he wanted it.  Without even hesitating he said yes, but despite that, I never got around to shipping it.  (just forgot to I guess)  

Time passed, I'm back in Washington and started networking to get back into the scene here.  When my wife and I got our place and we started pulling all of our stuff out of storage, I found the umbrella.  When I saw it, I took a pic, sent it to Wiz and asked if he still wanted it.  That re-connection/moment is what got the ball rolling for that song.  I don't remember how or what, but somehow I came across the beat for "The Return" and asked if he wanted to do something.  We exchanged ideas and I came up with the idea of me moving back, talking about how it's changed, but at the same time being a love letter to the city. 

Like the beat for "Battle Anybody," this was made for a competition back in Indy.  It was for a battle that happened during the Broad Ripple Music Fest and after the battle I was focused on "Dub Styles" so it lay dormant along with the other beat.  And even after contacting Wiz, sharing ideas, writing and recording a rough demo of my verse, it would sit for months before we would officially record the song.  (July 2012)

I met up with Wiz at Undercaste Studios because that's where he does a lot of his recording and I didn't want him to drive all the way down to Oly to drop his verse.  It wasn't the first time I had recorded in a studio, but I wasn't prepared mentally.  Take after take after take... I was getting tired, frustrated and left the session rather beaten/disappointed.  Not with the song, but with myself.  Randy, the engineer, also wasn't happy with the mix due to time constraints and wanted me to come back for another session to give the track a proper mix.  He suggested working on another song for the next session, but finish the mix of "The Return" before recording the other track.  (Now looking back, although I felt like I went through the ringer, it was that struggle that made such a great song.)

After that session and letting the song digest, I was trying to think of a track to piggy back on while Randy finished the mix of "The Return".  I'm not sure exactly when, but I got A.C.E.'s vocal tracks from Joe Harvey and had an "ah-ha" moment.  I made a rough mix, scheduled the session with Randy at Undercaste and hit record in October 2012.

That studio session had a total different energy.  Ryan Fresh came along to hang out in the studio and after just a couple bumpy takes, the song was laid down nicely.

But, even after I walked out of the studio with Ryan Fresh that night, that was all that happened with them.  (they just sat)  Close friends heard the tracks, but that was it.  I finally got the idea I mentioned earlier to let them loose in the Spring, but here we are pushing June and they're finally being released.  These cuts may be featured on an upcoming Dawhud EP/LP, but I'm not sure.  For the moment, enjoy this digi 12".  Hopefully in the near future there will be an actual vinyl pressing.  Till then...

And yes, Wizdom finally got that umbrella.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fleeta Partee - This is Hip-Hop

A little over a month ago I was a extra in a music video.  It hasn't come out, but the track just dropped the other day.  Fleeta Partee - "This is Hip-Hop" featuring Jarrard Anthony, Yirim Seck and John Crown produced by Jake One. 

Check the joint and when the video drops, you'll probably see my British Knights and old cell phones/pagers as props.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Return & Battle Anybody 5/21

The highly anticipated double A-side single from Dawhud will be released on 5/21.  The digital single features the "Battle Anybody" track played by DJ Premier & DJ Eclipse on the "Live at HeadQCourterz" & "Rap Is Outta Control" shows.

The Return (Like This) feat. Wizdom
Battle Anybody feat. A.C.E.-One

Friday, May 10, 2013

Battle Anybody feat A.C.E.-One (DJ Premier leak version)

Here's the version of the "Battle Anybody" single from DJ Premier's "Live From HeadQCourterz" 4/26 show. 

The single will be dropping shortly.

Keep it LOCKED!!!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

DJ Premier leaks Battle Anybody on Live From HeadQCourterz Radio

Dawhud & A.C.E.-One Leaked Primo Style
Big up to Big Fletch hipping me to this because I had NO idea this happened.  This song has been long in the making.  It will be released shortly as the b-side for an upcoming digi 12" And if ANYBODY is going to leak it, DJ Premier can do it.

Check the whole show, but if you want to hear the NEW joint with my homie A.C.E.-One fwd to 22:36ish mark.

Live From HeadQCourterz (04/26/2013)

"Battle Anybody" will officially be dropping shortly!

Watchin' My Style

Friday, May 3, 2013

A.C.E. One, Pacewon, Luvva-J - "Watchin' My Style"

This track, like some of the other "Revisionist History" cuts, has had a LONG story.  And HONESTLY, it's only recently been finished.  For years this track sat with just one verse, then a hook and then finally a second verse, but still only 2/3 finished.  I then moved back from Indy and the PC with the session files sat in storage for the good part of a year.  The project was basically shelved and then through inspiration via DJ Ian Head, the project was resurrected.  There's been a long list of homies and emcees that were slated for this song and as projects, schedules and life got in the way, this track sat on the sideline. 

Like many of the beats I made for this project I wanted to nod to classic hip hop tracks and create something new.  Sometimes this ended up in using material that was reference to a few classics all in one.  This cut is a complete example of that.  Kool G Rap, ODB, Rob Bass... heck CB4 (via Kool G Rap) 

I originally contacted Pacewon to drop a verse and was talking with a few people I knew about finishing it.  In these phone conversations and emails I basically came up with the hook as an homage to what ODB did on Wu-Tang's "Shame On a Nuh" and got Pacewon to drop it.

Then it sat... budget... emcees... life... etc. 

It was a few months before I was going to head back to Seattle and I was talking with A.C.E.-One about working on a completely different track.  He rolled through to work on something and missed my house/got lost.  (which most people did 1st time coming to my place in Indy)  I gave him directions once I found out where he was and then about 15-20 minutes after he didn't show up I looked out the front door to see this 80s style truck that was broke down.  It was A.C.E.  I walked out front and helped him get his truck to the side of the street so he could call to get it towed.  As he was getting his rhyme book, keys and other things out of his truck I remember a .22 falling off the bench seat and he quickly picked it up and put it in his pants.  HAHAHA  We got inside, he made a call, I got him a beer and was ready to work on a different song.  I don't remember how, but he heard this track and was like, "YO, I WANNA DO THIS!"  We did a couple takes to warm up and then A.C.E. decided he wanted to go with this back and forth style, 1 bar on one take and then answer it on the other take.  Just back and forth... it was ill.  Such energy... that's why A.C.E. is one of the illest emcees out of Naptow.  (period) 

So, here we are, 2/3 of the track is finished and the "Revisionist History" project is back in full swing.  It's been too long to sit on it and there's no reason to not finish it.  (Enter Luvva-J)  Picked him up, he sat down, wrote his verse and in two takes was done.  BOOM!!!  That's how V-Dope gets down. 

It may have taken forever to finish this song, but it was worth it and the song came out dope because it wasn't rushed.