Posts Tagged ‘Ricky Fontaine’

The legitimate production crew or group, as opposed to the group of producers who work individually (eg DITC), is not an¬†aberration¬†in rap music – Organized Noize, Neptunes, Block Beataz, Earthtone III – but it’s not all that common either. ¬†Even less common is getting to hear the group really let their hair down and make music for themselves without serious commercial aspirations getting in the way. ¬†Earthtone III was mainly concerned with producing their own work and that of a few other Dungeon Fam rappers, N.E.R.D. made some great music, but the charts always seemed to be an aim in one form or another, Organized Noize’s closest attempt probably came with¬†the historically snoozed upon Sleepy’s Theme album¬†Vinyl Room. ¬†In many ways Vinyl Room might be a reasonable sonic ancestor for¬†iNDEEDFACE¬†if Sleepy’s Theme had been into psychotropics and irreverence.


iNDEED “Black Tears”

When iNDEED dropped the¬†iNDEED¬†EP, earlier this year, I made the remark in my¬†review¬†,of the also 5PMG produced¬†Paraphernalia¬†album from Burn One & SL Jones, that the EP begged consideration for album of the year despite it’s short length. ¬†Although the EP was an excellent introduction to the members of Five Points Music Group as a standalone band, the “album of the year” contender comment was probably a bit hasty for a seven song EP. ¬†What the seven song EP did display was the ability to make great individual songs, often in completely different styles, from the Neptunes-esque “More Than a Dance” to the pimp meets mosh-pit “Brass Knuckles,” to the RZA influenced “Black Tears” to the trademarked straight-up 5PMG sound on “The Pinkpather.” ¬†What the EP didn’t quite make clear the direction or vision of the band: Would iNDEED have a frontman or just rotate singers and rappers in? Would they have a signature sound or be more like a stylized hip hop interpolation band? ¬†What was clear was that they could make great music and that they had a lot of fun in the process. In typical tireless DJ Burn One fashion, iNDEED is now back just a few months later to bless us all with a full length project to show a more fully realized vision of precisely what it is that they have to offer the music world.

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“Sleep At Night” Rittz featuring Yelawolf

Recently I sat down with Rittz to talk about his approach to song writing, the reasons behind his re-release of White Jesus, his relationship with DJ Burn One and the 5PMG production crew, Yelawolf, 8Ball, and what’s next for him. ¬†If you haven’t checked out much from him yet, I definitely recommend picking up the White Jesus: Revival album/mixtape, which is a great introduction to his work. ¬†

JB: For those that don’t know, talk to them about Slumerican. Who’s on the label and what you guys are about? ¬†What sets you apart from other labels?

Rittz:

Well you know honestly, as of right now, Slumerican isn’t really a label. ¬†Basically Slumerican was an idea that Yelawolf came up with. ¬†You know when I had first got in contact with him, he had talked to me about wanting to do something with me and building up a crew. ¬†You know when he had dropped Trunk Muzik, Slumerican just ended up being the name of the crew that we had. ¬†At one point I think it was going to be label, but I think he just got wrapped up as an artist. ¬†I think he’s still exploring that option, but really Slumerican is just a family man. ¬†It’s really Yelawolf started that shit, so it’s really Yelawolf, myself, Struggle, Shawty Fatt, that’s it as far as rappers go. ¬†There’s a lot of other people that aren’t emcees that are Slumerican too that are just skateboarders, DJs, just friends man. ¬†It’s more like a crew as opposed to a label right now.

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Jackie Chain dropped his Bruce Lean Chronicles¬†this week, which is his second project this year, and is Hardwood Blacktop’s pick for feel good album of the Summer. ¬†I caught up with Jackie to discuss¬†Bruce Lean Chronicles, the follow-up project Bruce Lean Chronicles Part 2, his debut album with Universal¬†Ain’t Slept In Weeks, his excellent production connections, his creative process, and his growth as an emcee.

JB: Talk a little bit about the scene in Huntsville, Alabama.  You guys have one of the best rap scenes in the US these days, just in terms of the number of quality artists that have come out of there in the last few years.  What do you attribute that to?

Jackie Chain:

Man, we kind of got our own unique style man and our own swag because we’re in the middle of almost everything where we’re three hours from Atlanta, we’re an hour from Nashville, we’re right down the street from Memphis, Texas is a very big influence. ¬†So it’s like we get a lot of these different influences and then we kind of formed our own style. ¬†And I just really think it’s starting to come to the light man. ¬†People are starting to notice it.

JB: Talk a little bit about your relationship with Slow Motion Soundz/Block Beataz.

Jackie Chain:

I’ve known them for over ten years man. ¬†Mali Boi has been one of my main producers ever since I started. ¬†A lot of my biggest songs he did, so Mali’s always gonna be family.

JB: Let’s talk a little bit about a ¬†few songs from your latest free album Bruce Lean Chronicles. First up, talk to people about the track,¬†‚ÄúFirst Love,‚ÄĚ

Jackie Chain:

You know it’s a produced by Diplo who’s a good friend man. ¬†A lot of people just know me for my trap music, my hood music, my street music, my down south type music and ¬†I just wanted to show that even though I don’t do it a lot – I can get down. ¬†I really wanted to do something for the hip hop heads and showcase that you know I’m not the best rapper out there, but I can get down. ¬† ¬†So I just wanted something for the real hip hop heads. ¬†I love storytelling rap, I don’t feel like I do it enough, but I love doing it. ¬†And I love when I hear other rappers do it. ¬†It’s a break for the norm for people, because most of my music is club songs or songs about things we do. ¬†I just wanted to give ’em a little bit of everything on this mixtape.

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“Picture Perfect / Numbers” – Jackie Chain (produced by Beat Billionaire & Sonny Digital)

It‚Äôs no secret among those who closely follow quality southern rap, that Alabama has been one of the single biggest producers of quality southern rap over the last four or five years. ¬†Rich Boy probably helped to shed the initial light with the massive success of “Throw Some D’s,” but Slow Motion Soundz’s G-Side has released several borderline classic independent rap albums backed by the Block Beataz, G. Mane has put out some excellent material, 6 Tre G has been a constant quality participant, and Yelawolf has shown enough promise and talent intermittently¬†to land a deal with Shady Records and release a couple of albums¬†with major label support. ¬†Given Jackie Chain’s catalog of material, and track record as one of the most consistent rappers to come out of ‘Bama, it’s a little¬†surprising¬†that his major label debut Ain’t Slept In Weeks hasn’t seen the light of day just yet.

Chain is a rare artist who is as comfortable cracking wise as he is breaking down drug game or writing hooks one major label push away from mass radio and club consumption. ¬†In fact, with little to no support from Universal over the last few years, Jackie has managed to maintain a pretty solid buzz with rap blogs, including earning numerous honors as an artist to watch and accolades for his various mixtapes. ¬†On the surface Jackie Chain‚Äôs subject matter might seem to be some of the most hackneyed in rap, he raps primarily about moving weed, coke, and pills, pimpin’ hoes, driving nice cars, all laced with southern regional slang, braggadocio, and humorous pop culture references. ¬†While the story Jackie relates in his songs is one that has been told repeatedly throughout the course of rap history, there is an important distinction between those who tell the story, and those who tell the story well. ¬†Those who have told it well over time, have become some of the largest figures in rap, those who have told it poorly have generally been flashes in the pan if they crack the industry at all.

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