It wasn't until 5 months later that I ended up in Austin. I went to try to make some money working the SXSW music festival and I guess I just didn't have anything better to do after so I stayed. At least that's how it seems, or maybe I thought I was being noble for being somewhere that made me feel so lonely. Either way, a small campaign to drink myself to never-land was embarked upon with no uncertain ferocity, and as it usually does it lead me down into some interesting territory where people and reasons to live resided, and we became intertwined in ways that I think we can never undue.
I met Ben Bazzrea who produced "the Spade Tapes" off the internet, I literally had an alert set to "Austin Hip-Hop" so that if anybody was saying or doing shit I would know about it, kinda dorky, but fuck it, it worked. I met Maya in Texas that same day me and Ben shared our first files, and 2 weeks later we were at her dads house in Mexico where I wrote most of "darkness" and "rainz" and "roll." some of it about her, some of it not. My favorite line of the whole record is with a conversation of ours in mind after I split town to visit Portland for the 4th of July and just never came back,
"I know they're coming for you and you'll come back someday. I hope you beat em good, call if you pass LA. I could meet you there and I could bring your things, you're gonna need your knife and baby you're gonna need your wings."
At around that same time me and Chris Kennedy (future sunz) a producer I had met from LA had been sending back and forth files with Luck-One on 2 tracks, and I wanted him to hear what me and Ben were working on, I think he immediately saw the potential but also that it needed some more work. I feel like everything changed when Ben started bringing Rebecca Tafline into the studio to sing on some tracks, the album no longer just had a symbol for what I was rapping about it had a beautiful strong female voice to go with it. I immediately wanted her on every track and she came thru for me in the most amazing fashion.
After me and Maya got back from Mexico something else changed in me and I couldn't bare to be in Austin even though I had finally found somebody that I could share some life with. When I got back to Portland I started going back to work on the record and over the next couple months I thought I finished writing it, most of it battling death on Chads couch where I was staying at the time or in the stairwell of the alley next door.
I went in to record it where I had recorded "The Orgasm Of A Ghost" and "Bury Me Standing" but the process was dull and frustrating and difficult to stomach, so many hard times and emotional stories put into a room that seemed to have no energy, I felt like I had outgrown Mark as an engineer. I didnt need a wizard I needed a believer. I sent it to Chris and he told me he would redo the whole thing and against everything impatient about my soul I said OK. A few months later I found myself out in LA where we spent two weeks reworking it and finishing it, staring out from his rooftop in Downtown LA I couldn't have felt more satisfied with where I was or how surreal life felt, Chris had saved me from myself. Ben had put together the drawing board, and me and Rebecca had sung our hearts out. What more could I want, I didn't know yet.
I don't really know why I felt the need to write this, I just did. I brought my laptop and some whiskey to a dark corner of Club 21 just to do it, just to finish this chapter and move on. I hope maybe you get some sense of the time that I have been thru to create this last record, that maybe you can see that the overdoses, gunshots, suicides, and plane crashes are real, that the kidnappings were more than metaphorical. That this isn't just my music, that this is our story.
So salude, here is to those memories on The Spade Tapes, and making new ones without the worry of recording over them, they have been set. Rest lovely.
I really feel like the "roll" and "lonely planets" videos incapsulate some of those feelings I was going thru very well, while I think the video for "rainz" will get misinterpreted, it wasn't supposed to be about being a ladies man and I am not trying to come off like a dick or make people uncomfortable. It was supposed to be about when you have something overwhelm you and put in your face suffocating you and taking all your attention when all you want is something more meaningful that's right behind it, but you've become too weak to grasp it, not so weak though that you cant be responsible for giving into your weaknesses.
Anyways, none of this would have been possible without Ben, Chris, and Rebecca or the love, presence, and absence of Maya, Erin, and Amanda.
THE SPADE TAPES (download/listen)
Lonely Planets Video Link-
Lonely Planets Video
Rainz Video Link-