Wednesday, March 25, 2015

iBeast: Interview [2]

I like to think I'm blessed to know the talented people that I know. Writers, poets, singers, and rappers. Once again I'm speaking to #NewGA affiliate iBeast, a man who has released the monstrous new tape Cadillac Diaries. Like his previous project Pimp Said So...: The 1st Supper, this one is pure banger. This time I talk to him [iBeast] about the tape, the inspirations, and the coup of getting Big Sant involved.

LUCIUS: Once again, it’s good that you took time out to do this interview with me. I truly appreciate it.
IBEAST: No problem, bruh.

LUCIUS: I think at this juncture there’s no point in asking you how your year is going thus far. Right now you’re sitting on a monster of a tape. I jam it while I'm at work, personally. How does that feel?
IBEAST: It's crazy because I didn't know if  Cadillac Diaries was as good as Pimp Said So but I'm happy you dig it enough to jam it while you work. Hopefully others feel the same way.

LUCIUS: What track has been the most widely liked on the tape? 
IBEAST: "N.O.M.B. (None Of My Business)".

LUCIUS: Explain to us the choice of Cadillac Diaries as the title.
IBEAST: I wanted to name it Cadillac Chronicles but my teammate Grip told me he was dropping a tape called Fleetwood Chronicles so I decided to go for Diaries instead.  The tape is really more of book than a tape, more of a diary than a book. It lets you see and feel life and its ups and downs from the seat of my Cadillac.  My father told me as a youngster his priorities were as follows: car, clothes, family, home.  My daddy was a Cadillac man, my first car was a Cadillac, and since then I always had a Cadillac. Hopefully this tape shows people that just because you ride big it doesn't mean you don't encounter ups and downs.

LUCIUS: How is this new tape different from the last one? 
IBEAST: This tape was just supposed to be something to hold my fans till i drop Triple Gs (Give Good Game).  It was just supposed to be something pointless to put in and ride to but it ended up being something bigger.  I feel like my production was a lot different on this tape and I was able to use more of my own producers.  These beats were more my style.  I'm very simple. I like strings and bass. I showed that on Cadillac Diaries.

LUCIUS: OK, how is it similar? 
IBEAST: Same shit, different tape. Ya dig? All I can do is kick trill shit and India Catrice is still blessing the songs with her presence.

LUCIUS: Big Sant is featured on the tape. Congratulations on that, man. How did that even come about? 
IBEAST: My dawg RJ Mitchell of Lyricist Corner contacted Big Sant through Twitter while shopping "98" around and he [Sant] liked the track. I was able to pay for the verse because of my supporters and investors so I have a lot to accomplish due to the high expectations people have for me.

LUCIUS: Did you get a chance to meet and/or talk to him [Sant] at any time? If so, what did you guys talk on? 
IBEAST: Never talked to him personally. Just talked through email. I asked him if I could open for him and K.R.I.T.  when they are in the Southeast. He told me that they don't control who opens for them. He also liked the production of my tape and would like to work with us more in the future.

LUCIUS: How was it having him on a track alongside you?
IBEAST: It was pretty cool being on a track with one of my favorite artists.

LUCIUS: Speaking for myself, I’ve been a fan since Pimp Said So. How many new fans have you gotten because of the release of Cadillac Diaries
IBEAST: Man, that's a great question. I could not tell you the answer to that question, which is a failure on my behalf. I should be keeping up with those types of statistics but it's hard to market properly when you're working twenty-one hour days. I can tell you Scrap DeVille of Snowcone Addiction (creator of GorillaDrank) is responsible for hundreds of my new listeners.

LUCIUS: Let’s talk on the music from the tape a bit, OK? One of my favorites is “Poppin’ The Trunk” featuring the always talented India Catrice. Explain the process on this one from conception to recording.
IBEAST: I was listening to a Pimp C song with lyrics that said "Ridin’ wit me/She's holdin’ the pistol/While I'm flippin’ and poppin’ the trunk". I just took the last three words and made the hook with it.  The other part came from an R&B song "Before I Let Go" but I forget who sings it. It just fell into place from there. It was just supposed be a song showing women why men splurge so much on the toys they own.  When you work hard you want to play hard, even when it is a bad investment.

LUCIUS: Another track I really dig is “Grey Poupon” featuring Grip. Mind shedding a little light on that one for us? 
IBEAST: Simple, I poured up one day and started moving around while let the beat play on repeat. So I end up just said exactly what I was doing in the hook.  I basically described my self and my rides over the years in the verse. It was just a riding song that will hopefully motivate people to get off their ass and move around. That's the only way to have things.

LUCIUS: The intro of this tape was on some next level depth and realness. How did it feel to live that? What even made you bring that to the forefront as your intro?    
IBEAST: The intro is basically the intro to my diary which you are about to start reading.  I just went in the booth and started talking. I was supposed to talk some shit about big cars, thick broads, and big houses. But that didn't come out. What came out is what you heard.  A number of people told me they cried while listening to the intro. Some even said it was the best song on the tape. Thing is, it’s not even a song

LUCIUS: Now, last song. I was originally about to talk on “NOMB” but I have been knocking with “White On White”. Same deal as before. Speak on it a bit.  
IBEAST: It’s basically #NewGA's take on the bullshit that's been happening in our communities as far as crime and killings are concerned.  I feel like the phrase "black on black crime" is thrown around too loosely.  When people kill our boys instead of focusing on the tragedy at hand, people tend to say, "The whole world stops when a white man kills a black boy but what about all this black on black crime".  I feel like there is no such thing as black on black crime. People have segregated black people in every other way and now we are segregating ourselves when it comes to crime. I call bullshit on that! When our black gangs kill each other we call it black on black but Italians didn't call it white on white when they were killing each other in mafia days of the 30s-70s.  If you chose to be in the game, that's a choice you made knowing the risk. Which is why you make so much money so fast because high risk yields a high reward.  It's not black on black. It’s just crime.

LUCIUS: As always, I have to ask you: favorite track(s)? Least favorite? 
IBEAST: In no particular order: “Duly Noted”, “Gorilla Drank”, “Supposed To”, “Jimmy Fallon”, and “Iron Man”.

LUCIUS: How does it feel to be being mentioned in the conversation with people like UGK? 
IBEAST: It feels great but I'd prefer to be mentioned in conversations with a check. If you want a tape you can order your copy through my PayPal and I'll mail you the hard copy.  My PayPal is

LUCIUS: Not to go too deep into it but what’s next for you this year? 
IBEAST: I plan on working with three more legendary artists this year. Also I want to travel to Texas at least twice on business and I'm planning to dropping another tape in September.

LUCIUS: Man, when can we get a tape or an EP from India Catrice? She is really talented and I as well as all those who’ve listened to the tape are digging her sound.  
IBEAST: She's actually working on an EP set to release sometime in November. Just in time for cuddle season.

LUCIUS: Now that you’ve linked up with Big Sant, are we going to get any other big names on the next tape? 
IBEAST: Yes, you will.

LUCIUS: Any last shout-outs and/or words of wisdom you want to drop on us? 
IBEAST: Shout out #NewGA, #TeamGorillaDrank, #LC, #HipHopShitTalkers, and all my supporters

LUCIUS: Thank you once again for the interview. I’ll be keeping an eye out and an ear out for what comes next, brother.
IBEAST: Appreciate that.

'Cadillac' Tells The Story Well

Originally I had a long and rather pointless introduction to this review in mind. It involved sequels, sophomore projects, and a whole bunch of nonsense that I decided to scrap in favor of this.

Hope this one works better...

My mother has a 1988 Cadillac Brougham. It’s gray and my grandfather (God rest his soul) helped her pick it out and even gave the car his stamp of approval. Since then it’s been through a lot from being stolen, wrecked, and getting us all from point A to point B and back again.

Oh, the stories that Cadillac could tell.

iBeast, probably not for the same reasons, has given us the amazing Cadillac Diaries as his follow-up to the impressive debut Pimp Said So...: The 1st Supper. As with the previous project there is some strong storytelling and damn good music on this one. Despite this tape being, by his own admission, a throwaway Diaries has taken on a life of its own.

A few songs on here give you an idea as to why.

Intro” is quite possibly the heart and soul of this piece. It’s raw and unapologetic. This is honesty in hip-hop, a quality not everyone has these days. At its heart it’s a man telling us where he came from and where he is now. Also it somewhat sets the vibe that is to be expected from this tape.

RNO” is a track that I’m digging to death. It gives a vibe that cannot be beat. To me its production is dark and heavy. Being proceeded by the clip from Boyz N The Hood seems to add to that. The title is an acronym for ‘Real Niggas Only’. Assisted by South Johansson on this one the two call out fake niggas and stipulate that only the real are allowed around them. I love this because two different timbres, two different deliveries come together to make something rather perfect.

Poppin’ The Trunk” is another stellar track. Once again iBeast has enlisted the vocals of the ever talented India Catrice. Sampling both Hall and Oates (“Sara Smile”) and Blackstreet (“Before I Let You Go”). The amalgamation of the two collides and creates magic. This one touches on why men splurge and the toys they spend that hard earned cash on. In his [iBeast’s] case, it’s his car.

I interviewed iBeast in addition to reviewing this tape and asked him what song was most widely accepted. His answer?

NOMB (None Of My Business”.

A while back Kermit was the meme equivalent of a flavor of the week. Back then iBeast posted this track and here it is on the tape. Here, once again with India Catrice giving good vocals, iBeast is simply pointing to all the lame things that people seem to look past. This translates to be played by a woman who is only after the money or being out cheated on without really seeing. None of these things are his [iBeast’s] business. All of that becomes a rhythmic track that is infectious without being something you’d need to be innoculated against.

Might I also suggest “Grey Poupon” featuring Grip, “Jimmy Fallon”, and “98” featuring Big Sant, Cashous Clay, and India Catrice.

If ever you were going to be an iBeast fan, now is the time. Take a peek at Cadillac Diaries and feel his art.

If you don’t...that’s none of my business.

Two Before The #NationLeaks

The Fly Minds Poets.

A duo of brothers who spit depth and reality into life.

Barz Damu and TrailBlazzorMuzik.

As a duo they are murderous, something akin to uncrowned scions to the legendary Outkast. More to beg that comparison they are just as potent when they do their own solo music. 

TrailBlazzorMuzik is who we’ll start with.

He presents to us “ShoeBoxInTheClosetFlow”, an instant classic to be wholly truthful. It seems ironic that towards the beginning of the track TrailBlazzor starts by saying this: “Let this beat hypnotize you...” when the whole presentation is rather entrancing. Production here is handled by Rene where he creates a looping beat made up of piano, synths, and well placed drums beats and kicks. Although the production is stellar the way he [TrailBlazzor] dances over it with his flows is quite amazing.

It is interesting how the subject matter is presented. The title comes from an idea in many a movie where hustlers hide stacks of funding in a shoe box in their closets. Here TrailBlazzor puts his flow in the place of the money, implying if not screaming that his music is the currency by which he will build an empire, ‘his own monopoly’. It’s a quite the sound and it is an amazing addition to the catalog.

On the other side of things is Barz Damu.

What does he have for us?

Genius Genes

Jackel produces this one and provides us with something that is epic, loud, and extremely catchy. It builds slowly, deliberately and slaps you in the face once the beat drops.

He [Barz] keeps his promise to “fuck the game up” with this one.

As with his twin and hip-hop partner Barz moves across the beat with the stillness of a ninja, hitting the points perfectly with every line that spews forth from his lips to the microphone and onto the track. 

Maybe it’s my interpretation but this is my take on the track: name brands tend to have a hold on the culture. Especially in the shoes you where and the jeans one wears. Barz is “fucking up the game up” in a sense by disregarding the jeans and brands he used to wear, taking it back to basics and rocking genius genes. Here he not steps away from the usual hip-hop prattle about labels but presents some clever use of homophones in the interchangeability of the words ‘genes’ and ‘jeans’.

I love both tracks for their originality, their production, and stellar flows.

Both tracks are to be featured on their upcoming compilation mixtape #NationLeaks. If these two are any indications of the project, we all better get ready.

Do that by checking out the aforementioned tracks here: