Posts Tagged ‘teachers who rap’

Song Title: We Beautiful People

Artist: Divine Suns 

Song Produced by: Dan Johns

Video Directed & Edited by: Daniel Johnson & Laquan Davis

For the People. By the People.

Video Description: If God were an artist, he’d paint in vivid, dripping, and swirling colors. He’d embrace imperfection and find the beauty in our collective ugliness. He’d paint you in front of a mirror, admiring all your flaws and embracing how they come together to create the picture of you. He’d sculpt you as a giant, towering over your piles of bills and stepping over your mountain of regrets. He’d hum blues tunes about the struggle and belt gospel songs about your triumph. He’d paint and sound just like you. He would look like us.

Fresh off the seamless patchwork, Chaos Theory, and a sanguine visual for Scarlet Letter; Divine Suns return with We Beautiful People, an homage to what is perfect within us all. Be advised: this really is a Movement.

The Suns are in rare form. Sporting their We Beautiful People t-shirts and b-boy swagger, the Suns trade bars in the W.A.L.L.S. and along Atlanta’s Beltline. Street art and graffiti cross-cut with scratches from South Carolina’s DJ Prince Ice fit perfectly with the song’s message and the video’s gentrified setting. Think the Humans of New York blog set to a thumping bassline and sharp, introspective lyrics. Best of all— they brought friends and family along for the ride.

The message should be clear. We are scarred. We are flawed. We’ve been branded; and yet, one thing remains true: We Beautiful People. Even the intentional absence of “are” acts as an announcement (a la The Declaration of Independence). For the People by the People.

In preparation for their new album, inCOREporated, Divine Suns also present webeautifulpeople.com, an interactive website where fans can keep current with new releases and custom design their own We Beautiful People apparel.
We Beautiful People is the lead single for Divine Sun’s next project, inCOREporated.

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In 2007, I told you all that “the world keeps spinning; there’s no rewinds or going back to the beginning.” In 2015, it still holds true. Still, while we cannot go back in time, we can definitely handle unfinished business from years gone.

The Divine Suns (or DME as we were known then) formed WAY BACK in 1997, when we were all freshmen at Morehouse College. Spirited freestyle ciphers, low(no)-budget studio sessions, and epic emcee battles help us all forge a bond that has survived life and its many twists and turns. Ironically, despite all of our individual successes as artists, we have never completed and released a project as a collective before.

So, as ANON The Griot calls it, “Chaos Theory” is the ‘reunion album to the album that never happened.’ The album title lends itself to the creative process when 9 (and sometimes more) different opinions and views are thrown into the mix, blending into a creative stew.

The music reflects the natural growth of men. The fierce emcees have become fathers, and the ferocity once reserved for dismantling another emcee is now dedicated to providing for and protecting our families. Conceptually diverse, “Chaos Theory” showcases our various skill sets, without ever sounding forced, or as if someone had to TRY and fit onto a record.

A solid 19 tracks of music, ideas and theory (see what I did there?), this is project that we are all proud to share with the world. So proud that we invite you all to not only listen to and/or download the project, but we are confident that you will contribute to the cause. We understand that your contribution could come in the form of a monetary donation (where you set the price) or by spreading the word about the Divine Suns movement. Basically, there’s no reason that like-minded individuals should not have “Chaos Theory” in their collections!

We welcome you all to embrace the chaos, and join us at divinesuns.bandcamp.com

Anon had already broached the topic of a ‘love song’ with the Triad (an unofficial name for Hunch, Anon and myself) in a discussion. Croup, who has produced several of my solo songs over the years (“Day One,” “Suicide II,” “Ring Rust”), were having a conversation where he asked me why I didn’t let him do the extended version of my song “War Cry.” He actually already had a beat for it and everything. I told him to send me the beat, and asked if it would be cool if the Suns used it…and it is still hard to imagine that the “Love Languages” production was originally intended for a battle-rap song! (Even harder to imagine, now that I know that croup absolutely despises hip hop songs about love)

We had been having an ongoing discussion about the “5 Love Languages” that couples use to communicate, and we decided to use that as the inspiration for the record. What’s funny is that after the three of us had recorded our verses, we realized that each verse focuses on a different stage in the progression of a relationship.

Musically, we were all working on getting the perfect hook for this record. I reached out to my boy Gino Brown, Anon and Iris Isis put down their vision, and we asked Trice to get on the record. The funny thing is that pieces of all three contributions ended up on the final version, with Iris Isis and Gino’s parts being combined for the song’s intro.

Having written about my marriage on several different occasions, I thought that this would be a great opportunity to get into a little bit more of the backstory around how we met, and why our love has flourished. I know that I have done something right when Mrs. Johnson gives her stamp of approval!

The video treatment for “Love Languages” is currently being worked on by Mark Magnesium.

Additional Commentary:

Plex Long: “When I 1st heard this it took me back to when I 1st heard “Camay” on Ghostface “Ironman” album.  Love Languages is the only song on the album that I’m jealous I’m not on… Lol. Definitely one of my top 3 favorite joints on the album. The smoothest song on the project hands down.”

 

ANON The Griot: I just knew that we had to have an almost typical Hip Hop love song on the project; you know, like Round The Way Girl, Mahogany, You Got me? And I had recently been reading about the 4(?) love languages and I thought it would be a perfect jump-off for the song. I even wrote what I thought to be a dope hook for IrisIsis to sing. But, Trice Be PhantomMagnetiq came into town and smashed his hook. Thankfully, Dan Johns was nice enough to add IrisIsis’ part at the beginning. It still makes me feel like we’re in a scene from School Daze.

 

Trice Be Phantom Magnetiq: “now you speakin my language baby baby baby…” chants Dan Johns over the first reference… that along with the verse was super inspiring.. i immediately thought early 90’s feel with the R&B soul group INTRO’s style and texture should flavor the hook…I remember recently taking the love languages assessment to determine my love language, and instantly began applying what i had been learning about love languages and communication and the words came forth… i recorded it on my iphone’s garage band and put the efx and sent to Dan..

 

Little did I know, there was a hook written by Anon and performed by IrisIsis that ran concurrent with, if not prior to, the hook i submitted. I am glad we were able to incorporate the innergy of both, together they provide a great scope on the topic of love languages..

 

loved hearing how ANON the Griot and The Hunchpunch Champ echoed the sentiments and bring forth the innergy to round this joint off as a bonafide Hip Hop Soul banga..

 

The Hunch Punch Champ: At this point we were seeing our true potential. It was a turbalent day for the suns personally and and as a group so some steam had to let off. That night i want to say we wrote one song and recorded two..that evening all i remember was ‘mail!’. We were sending each other our verses as we recorded them at our individual spots. Essentially we were recording simultaneously…

 

Song Title: “Divine Suns”

Artist: Divine Suns ft. ANON The Griot, Dan Johns, Felix the Black Cat, The Hunch Punch Champ & Trice Be Magnetiq

Song Produced by: Dan Johns and Trice Be Magnetiq

Video Edited & Directed by: Magnesium

Video Description: Some of the greatest stories have never been told. Some of the best songs have never been heard. At least not on radio. Such is the case with the Atlanta collective of Divine Suns. A narrative that began in heated cyphers on the campus of Morehouse College sees the light of day with a crisp and humble visual treatment. And while not household names, they are hardly new to the game.