Posts Tagged ‘the hunch punch champ’

HomeGrown” Song Perspective

Dan: When we got the ball rolling, Hunch and Anon started sending out a TON of skeletons that they had done together that were unfinished. I wrote and recorded a verse to “Home,” and we dug it. However, Billy had lost all of his beats from this time period due to a hard drive crash, meaning that there was no way to properly mix this version of the song with an unmixed mp3 as the only files for the production.
 

We decided to send out an acapella of “Home” to different producers, asking them to remix the record, so we could include it on the project. Two DOPE REMIXES came back from Maverick aka Adrian Wilson (another fellow c/o 2001 Morehouse Brother) and Encore (who produces a ton of my solo stuff). Anyway, we decided to use both of their beats, but for different tasks. We re-recorded Home to Encore’s beat, and did an entirely new song to Maverick’s beat on the upcoming “inCOREporated” album.

I put down my re-record first, taking some liberties with the hook that Hunch had originally written by editing out just a tad bit of the profanity. When I sent it to Hunch and Anon, they decided to leave my first as the lead off (I was originally in the second slot).
 

Hunch: Billy had sent some beats to Anon for a session we were about to have. Cycling through a beat came up that instantly grabbed me. Anon started muttering something about home and I urged him on. Before we knew it the framework for the hook came through and I assisted on the adlibs, soon after bars came down. Fast forward a year and a half we were struggling to find a replacement for the beat we originally had because stems were not available for mix. When we found the beat we decided to each do a new hook and pick the best out the three. Dan dropped his first and the competition was over. Didn’t even get off the starting line. Can’t lie, I’m still a bit tight about that as I type this.

Anon: Tight? Let’s be honest, Dan went body bag on us! I felt like the one-hit wonder whose single gets so hot that a legend gets on the track. Problem is— a lot of guys don’t rewrite their verses and the additions outshine their originals.
 

Lemme explain: Dan takes the idea of home and home improvement as the parallels for his whole verse.
Mind you, these were bars Hunch and I worked on like 6 years ago. So I guess it shows staying power. Honesty, it was one of the best moments for me; knowing that as good as I aspire to be, I’m still ripe to need CSI when my brothers get to eating. And that original Billy beat was monster, but Encore came through in the clutch!
 

Hunch: Anon’s place in the space time continuum is never fixed so he perceives time a bit different than the rest of us. We came up with the premise for this song on my son’s second birthday. He’s four now. Four.
 

Dan: Might I also add that no one felt like I caught a body on the original version. It wasn’t until we did the re-record over Encore’s production that I started to hear this body bag talk! I will concede the fact that the chemistry that I have with Encore’s beats is undeniable. I let my homie DaCaptain hear this when we were filming for the Divine Suns video, and he said “there is something about when you rhyme over Encore’s beats.”

Hunch: I think it was the crispness of your delivery and the bravado you bought on you second try that sealed it. And that hook? Had me asking for you to adlib my verse with some of that flavor. The beat gave room for a better attack than the original laid back beat. Instead of getting in the pocket, we were forced to rip out of it

Dan: What’s crazy is I still feel like your verse is the perfect bookend for the song. The underlying theme of your rhyme being that you never strayed too far away from ‘home,’ yet intruders came in and got comfortable like your spot belonged to them covers a lot of ground! Think about it from the perspective of a man trying to get things accomplished for his family, or an emcee who steps away from music to deal with everyday life issues.

Hunch: That’s what I love about this song; we all had a different but relevant take on it. I was listening to this song late one night when I realized how big of a record this was. I thought this was truly showing our growth as a crew. I think this is when I also realized we might have gotten bodied. Lol

Mikchek: Though I’m not on the song this was the joint that set it off.  There have actually been several circles of divine talking about reuniting over the years but Hunch, the Griot, & Billy were the only ones that actually put something down.  and didn’t tell nobody I might add.  It was dope to hear Hunch again because he kind of went MIA on some grown man stuff early in college and this music is and always will be home for us.  I love this joint.

Hunch: Funny you say that, cause when me and Anon went with this round of recording I sent the track out knowing it was going to spark cats. Nope. No responses. I remember thinking “Ok..this might be whack.” Lmao

Dan: I know that the first time that you sent me this, I really was going to hop on the record, but I was in the middle of a ton of recording, mixing, and just LIVING. Everything does indeed happen for a reason.

Anon: Yes. Time space continuum never fixed.  Always changing. I guess its cause we had so many joints in the bag, I got lost. Bottom line— I was happy with my verse; I felt like I let loose with delivery and content! So— yes, Encore helped with the bodying, but on re-listen, everybody get blood on their hands with this one!

Hunch: Anon’s verse was probably my favorite. It was colorful and descriptive and I felt he got a lot off his chest. It ran a little long but personally I didn’t care, it was the perfect set off initially. With the new version Everyone essentially switched spots which made his verse a perfect bridge to me and Dan.

Plex: My favorite lines:

“I wasn’t even home; I was with this jawn around the co’ne (corner)…”

“So I’m looking at my phone, no ring, Karl Malone…”

“Just squatting til the King reappear, man I’m standing right here, get out my mutha fuckin chair!!!” 

That verse gets me amped every time, no lie.  

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Today’s song perspective comes in the form of an open conversation, discussing “Black Magnum.”

Dan: “Plex, we had really just met a couple of months (maybe even weeks) before we decided to do a Black Magnum song. But we pretty much vibed instantly. I remember pitching the idea to you about doing a record with you and Diligent, over some of my production. I didn’t even have an idea for how the beat would sound, but I knew that it had to have some of the common elements from the catalogs of Black Box ENT & Magnum Opus Records: heavy low end and a ‘poetic’ melody/sample.”

Plex: “Yeah, I remember this song idea coming up right around the time we did “Scarlet Letter”, so coming off of my 36 bar original verse I was feeling like I was in a nice zone.  When you dropped the beat in the group & said it was for Me, You & Diligent my eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas.  I remember asking you what the concept should be and you said something like “Let Diligent decide, but I already have an idea about what he will want to do lol”

Dan: “And like clockwork, Diligent came out, both barrels cocked, and letting off shots! Diligent and I hadn’t done a song together in over 10 years before “Better Left Unsaid,” and in that time, we both, in different arenas, had made a name for ourselves as battle rhymers. When I chopped up those strings and keys for the “Black Magnum” beat, I already knew that Diligent was going to take it to the arena. In a way, I hoped that he would, because even back in college, that always brought out the best in both of us. We pretty much all wrote our rhymes for this one in seclusion, right? lol”

Plex: “Lol… Yup!  We all wrote at the same time and I don’t think anyone heard anyone else until they were all recorded.  Me not being a battle rapper or a punch line king, knew I had to step my game up to stand out amongst battle tested emcees like You and Diligent.  When I heard the final song and how well it went together, I knew we had to do a visual.  So I hit Diligent up to see if he was down and used it as an opportunity to get us all out to South Carolina so me and you could finally meet face to face and vibe out.”

Dan: “What was dope about the process of crafting the visual to me, is how much input Dan Hunter (the director) allowed us to have. He did a great job of making the trip from Atlanta to SC make sense in the visual, and the Tarantino homage fit perfectly. It gave a perfect explanation for the ANON & Mikcheck cameos, and Hunch’s appearances on the hook.”

Anon: “The best part was seeing Dili get his wings. Like…. he was like I’m bout to drop these bars and Dan ain’t gon be ready! He was like ready to cause a brawl. He was feeling that champion music. The subtlety of his verse is what makes it dope. It’s like the first part of the verse is just more emcee….. Then he say “for time sake” and went in!!!!!”

Dan: “How about at the video shoot, when we were pressed for time, as we were trying to do all of my scenes for the video, and still have time left to shoot footage for “Hungry Arms,” and Diligent was making sure that he was “Sunday morning fresh” before coming out of the house?  Everything he does has a purpose, and a reason behind it.”

Plex: “Yeah, just like his beard, you know Diligent always fresh, clean and perfectly pressed.  It was amazing that we were able to get so much done in such a short time.  The only thing missing that day was Hunch, I’m glad we were able to capture his scenes back in the A to make both “Hungry Arms” and “Black Magnum” videos complete.  I view “Black Magnum” as the song that truly solidified my contribution and role within the project. But yo Hunch, how di you come up with that hook?” 

Hunch: “Dan dropped the beat and intentions for it which did not include me. I was determined to get on this track, the beat was so me. Throughout the process i would drop subte and not so subtle hints that i needed to get on this song. Eventually i got through cause i was asked to do the hook..had something in mind, then heard the three verses. Original hook went in trash, and new one was hashed out…”

As the countdown to the February 10th release of “Chaos Theory” continues, we are going to give you some perspective on random songs from the album. Today’s entry is the opening song, “Nobody Want It.”

After the group had reconnected via social media, and the decision to work on an album had been finalized, we needed a launching pad: a song that would start the ball rolling, and also allow for us to figure out the best work flow for a project of this magnitude, considering that the Suns are scattered around the country.

Having just wrapped up my solo album, Alpha Writer, I was eager to do more work on the production side of a project. I went through my collection and found a classical violin sample that I wanted to flip into something new. Once I found a suitable snippet for the verse portion of the beat, I built some drums around it and a very simple bassline. I posted this in the Suns private group as a “beat skeleton” for the crew to write to…

…but I wasn’t sure if the direction that I had in mind would translate to the group in the simple skeleton. So, I came up with a verse, and laid a rough recording of it. I then sent that to the group, asking them to check it out and let me know what they thought. I believe it was Hunch who named the song “Nobody Want It,” taking his cue from the last line of my verse, “my mic had bodies on it, don’t nobody want it.”

Next thing I know, the verses started coming in quick, first from Anon, then from Hunch.  Let me back up a second though, because I recorded and produced my portion of NWI in Reaper, the group decided it would be ideal to record “Nobody Want It” in Reaper as well, since I would be arranging and mixing the song. So when Anon and Hunch sent their rhymes, they sent the entire Reaper projects, which made it easier for me to line everything up. Then the record took a dramatic turn…

Trice Be Phantom Magnetiq, or as we call him, Trice Beezy, was tasked with laying down the hook for NWI. What he sent us was an epic, operatic, proclamation of him singing “No, No, No, Nobody Want it!” He left open two bars for the emcees to fill in. That blew my mind. When he sent his files, I placed them after Anon’s verse, and I heard something that needed to be added.  I played an organ in the melody of his chant, with an accompanying bassline, to break the monotony of my beat skeleton. Next, I sprinkled elements of that melody throughout the verse portions of the beat, most notably during the beginning of Anon, Mikchek and Felix’s verses.

Additional Suns Commentary on “Nobody Want it” follows:

The HunchPunch Champ: First song on project, I set out to show the rest of the squad my growth as an emcee.  Sat with the beat for about a week before I actually recorded to it. Definitely was out to set the bar. Didn’t realize everybody else had the same intentions

Mikchek: As we were agreeing on the track listing for Chaos Theory it was only fitting that this was the first joint on the record. While we all worked on other joints, if I remember correctly, this was the first joint that we jumped in the lab together and finished.

ANON the Griot:  I honestly didn’t want the song on the project at first. I was afraid that it sounded too much like that late 90’s battle-rap. In fact, it wasn’t until I let my brother John Baiyewu listen to it that I changed my tune. He kept comparing it to a Wu-Tang song whose title we can’t remember. The one where Meth says, “Like a sandwich ain’t a sandwich without Miracle Whip.” Sometimes it takes fresh ears to hear things anew. The thing is…. that one moment gave me stupid confidence in the project and all songs going forth.  I could truly see the symmetry.

Trice Be Phantom Magnetiq: when i heard the beat, all i could think of was, EPIC… and that’s where i saw fit to bring out one of the weapons in my arsenal.. the OPERATIQ BATTLE CHANT AND CALL (spoken with deep resonating bass voice with reverb) llol… in essence it felt right to come out the gate bangin heads…
Trice Be Phantom Magnetiq: