Questions & Answers with J-Live

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Coming up in a time where the underground was purposely brash and pretentious (i.e. some emcees thought making money equated to selling out), J-Live turned Hip Hop on its axis as something new altogether. He made it cool to be smart (boasting “I got Allah’s street knowledge plus a college degree”), he was lyrical while being comprehensible, he was witty and he just seemed to have the time of his life representing the culture with his earliest work.

J-Live’s debut The Best Part featured production from DJ Premier, Prince Paul, Pete Rock and a new at the time 88 Keys. The album was shelved, bootlegged, and finally released in 2001, as he surprisingly bounced back just a year later with the equally potent All Of The Above. Bridging the gap between the ages, J-Live’s True School concept pays respect to his influences while simultaneously remaining relevant making music that feels good in this modern age. On the road promoting his brand new LP Around The Sun, J graciously took time to speak with me regarding his legacy as a veteran who’s still in demand and what it means to represent the Nation Of Gods & Earths (Five Percenters) in Hip Hop, along with other tidbits.

As a bonus I’ve made a mix of 15 songs for newcomers and old fans alike to enjoy. As a long time supporter, it was an honor to speak with one of my favorite acts.

To start, what can people expect from the new album Around The Sun?

The meaning behind it is continued growth. I have a sort of niche and a style and I’m not really trying to deviate from that so much as let it evolve as I grow. They can expect what they’ve expected from the last few albums, really dope Hip Hop, ill flows, I’m dropping jewels along with great beats. It’s just a good album to ride out to and play the whole thing non-stop.

When you came out with The Best Part and All Of The Above, you had so many creative ideas. Where was all of the creative energy coming from at that time?

“Braggin’ Writes” came about because the break was so perfect and there was nothing to do with it. I didn’t want to just loop it so I just decided to go back and forth on double turntables with it. “Stir Of Echoes” was inspired by the movie and just the concept as a whole. “Them That’s Not” was  a story that evolved out of an old song, and when the beat switched up like that I wanted to progress like that with the beat.

On this album there’s a couple of moments like that, there’s a song called “Eight Minutes” that’s kind of a play on Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick’s “The Show “ [“Six minutes Doug E. Fresh, you’re on”], but it’s talking about how the light you’re getting from the sun is eight minutes old. The song “Not Listening” plays on the idea that rappers aint got nothing to say and it’s hard to garner attention, but I wanted to flip it in a creative way that was playful with the crowd and that’s been going great on the road.

As a NBA player progresses, it becomes less about athletic ability and more about knowing the game and trying to win. Jordan’s not dunking all over you as much as he’s killing you with the mid-range, I haven’t been as concerned with inventing a new style as much as polishing mine and making sure the lyrics have that much more weight behind them.

What have the challenges been of going 100% indie with Mortier Music?

I’ve been 100% indie since the whole thing with [my original labels] Payday/London flopped, it’s just that rather than being in association with another label, I’m taking on that role as the label. It’s been a great challenge, I know the ropes pretty well but I’m still building my team as far as people I can depend on and the best practices for the things I like to do along with maintaining a certain schedule to stay on.

With each project life gets in the way. I would have dropped an album every year if not twice a year in some instances, but the last album was in 2011 which seems like eons ago in today’s times. I’m trying to evolve as far as the way the industry evolves. Things are more digital now, the news cycle is a lot shorter, access is a lot greater, applying those ethics into today’s market and atmosphere has been the biggest challenge.

How has would you say Hip Hop and the business changed since the days when you first came out, especially in the internet age?

It’s a double edged sword being that the playing field is a lot more level, but there’s a lot more competition for people’s attention. Coming up, it took so much to make a record, if you wanted to have a DJ spin your breaks at the show, once upon a time you had to press up instrumentals on vinyl or go ahead and make temporary dub plates. If not that, you had to be creative with recreating the production method on stage. Now you got Serato, you can pretty much bounce your instrumental and you’re good to go.

In that same way, people can publish themselves now. They’re not depending on a label like the big and successful labels that have a machine and marketing dollars behind them to stand out. Anybody can do this, but you really gotta do it well if you want to make your mark.

You’re based out of Atlanta now, what is the Hip Hop scene like there compared to your home town of New York?

It’s pretty dope. I’ve lived in Atlanta, Philadelphia and New York and it seems like everywhere I go you can find that niche of indie artists that are doing their thing. It transcends where you are, coming up in New York there were so many different venues like Wetlands, Tramps and S.O.B’s which is still there, fast forward today there’s spots like LPR.

In Atlanta you have a similar kind of vibe where there’s always something going on with likeminded artists. Beyond Hip Hop and music people move to Atlanta whether it economically makes more sense or they have family there already. On the music scene it’s a real cool sample size of the whole country, cats are there from Cali, Detroit, Florida, the Carolinas, Boston and New York. Atlanta’s indie scene doesn’t sound like Atlanta per se, as opposed to being Atlanta Hip Hop it’s Hip Hop in Atlanta.

There’s been a lot of talk in the media recently about the Five Percent Nation. As a member, how did you discover this way of life?

When I was going to college at SUNY Albany, a lot of the brothers that I was getting with were just studying life and that happened to be the culture that we gravitated towards. There were about 16 of us at the time, we say many are called but the chosen are few and about four or five out of that group really stuck with it and adopted this culture as a lifestyle and a philosophy. It’s been great for me, it’s helped me keep my life balanced and in order.

Five Percenter ideologies have been found in your album titles. How does that relate to Around The Sun?

The lessons talk about how fast the planet rotates while it’s revolving. All of the text in my album titles are somewhere in the lessons, from The Best Part where they say the babies are the best part and you take the best part for yourself. All Of The Above is caused by the son of man, fast and pray to see the hereafter [the meaning behind the album title The Hear After].

With Around The Sun, I’m trying to find the phrase or term within the lesson to keep the consistency that reflects what I want the album to be about. The album’s about growth and example of continuing to shine the way you’ve been shining and move the way you’ve been moving. Every time you make it another year, you’re basically taking another trip around the sun.

There have been a ton of Hip Hop acts in the NGE. If you could name a few songs that would explain the culture to an outsider, what would they be?

“Wake Up” by Brand Nubian. “The Ghetto” by Eric B & Rakim. “One to 31” by J-Live because that goes into lessons specifically as it pertains to me individually, there’s a ton of Poor Righteous Teachers stuff and I’d throw some King Sun in there.

How do you personally define knowledge of self?

It’s pretty simple, it’s literally that. If you’re studying yourself, you’re pretty much made of the same stuff as the universe. To know the universe is to know yourself and vice versa, as above so below. Whether you’re talking about an electron circling around or you’re talking about the earth revolving and the sun on its path, or just the way the universe works, you can apply these governing forces of nature to yourself and life around you.

If you can acquire enough knowledge or the right knowledge to get yourself grounded, the peace that comes with that makes you rather formidable in my opinion. Nobody knows you better than you, nobody can tell your story better than you can, the more you know about yourself is the more you accept and understand. You say “I’m not gonna lie to myself or the next man about who I am. I know what I can and cant do, I know what knowledge I can and cant acquire.” It’s really just about getting your shit together and putting your priorities in order so that you can really thrive.

What were your thoughts on Jay-Z rocking the pendant?

I don’t really think much of it. He has the Universal flag on, I don’t really rock gold like that but I have a wooden one [laughs]. If someone sees me rocking it and they do a double take because they saw Jay-Z wearing it, if they want answers about it I’m definitely a credible source. That man can wear what he wants when he wants. As far as somebody having questions for him, the backlash and controversy is because that flag has meant something before he wore it and it’ll mean something after he wears it.

Whether he’s wearing it or not, that doesn’t change the meaning behind the Universal flag, the sun, moon and stars or that 7 and a crescent just because he’s rocking it. Now if he can answer those questions then great, more power to him. But at the very least it might just mean that he’s been influenced by somebody who can answer those questions, and you might want to do the same.

You’ve entered into DJ’ing with your series Hot vs. Dope, what has been the concept behind that?

Hot vs. Dope is just about advocating good music, breaking the barriers and trying to blur the lines between indie and commercial. A lot of times people feel they need to ride for one style of Hip Hop, I come from an era where you would pretty much hear all the different flavors at the same time.

On the late night mix shows like Red Alert and Marley Marl, it wasn’t about just playing trap music, conscious music, gangsta music, West coast or Southern music, it was just about playing dope shit. All of that can be dope or wack depending on how that artist comes off on that one particular song. If you lose those rules and try to unlearn those conditions, you end up exposing yourself to some great stuff.

If you say “I’m willing to listen to an artist I never heard of on a label I never heard of on the off chance that I might like it”, you open your mind up. Part of a DJ’s job is to break records and play not just what you’re dying to hear and what you’re gonna beat him in the head about playing, but to play what you didn’t even know you wanted to hear until you’re moving to it.

What would you say keeps you inspired after all this time?

The fans. If they weren’t clamoring for more music and telling me how the music I’ve made so far has effected them or inspired them to make music or get through life the way I listen to Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder and The Roots, then I probably would have stopped by now. But it’s a beautiful thing to give back the way that something’s been given to you, and Hip Hop shaped and guided my worldview as the soundtrack to my life. The fact that I can do that for somebody else is really what keeps me going.

As a O.G. in the game, Who are you checking for today out of the younger generation?

That’s kind of a blurred line. When you say the younger generation, I’ve been in it so long that you could be talking about Homeboy Sandman even though he’s around my age [laughs], you could be talking about Oddisee even though I’ve been working with him for years. I’m digging what Michael Christmas is doing, I’m checking for TiRon and I actually have a crop of cats that I’m bringing up. One is named Rome Supreme, the other is So Severe, I think people will be pleasantly surprised to hear them once they start to discover them.

Also there’s J. Nolan.

That’s my dude right there. That’s what I mean when I say the lines are blurred, he’s been making consistent records since 2009 and people are still just starting to discover him. I’m just trying to help that along. I’m literally walking Rome and So Severe through how it’s done, on some mentorship. With J. Nolan it’s like “I see what you’re doing, let me help you along”, but he’s gonna be great regardless of whether he gets help from me or not.

There’s never been a shortage of dope artists. As far as who I’m checking for I want to throw Masta Ace in there because I grew up on his stuff and not only is he consistently making music, he’s so damn relevant in the now. If you’ve never heard “The Symphony” and he was a brand new artist to you, he’d still hop into your favorites. I got so much respect for him.

Going back to the skits on The Best Part, in 2014 what do you think it takes to be a great MC?

Proliferation. You gotta be prolific, constant and consistently hitting cats. You cant really rest on your laurels at all, you have to push the envelope. The beautiful thing about that question on that album was people took it from different perspectives. Some people were thinking sales and fame, some people were thinking talent and some people were thinking about the live show. Depending on the angle you’re approaching it from, there’s so many different ways to answer that question. I would just say be consistently great, continue to grow and let people see the growth as you do it.

What That Mouf Do For The Holidays

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(pictured: Nicole Wray)

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A few weeks ago the homie Vandalyzm put out a genius Christmas song (the first one you hear on this mix). My mind absolutely never stops racing with ideas and I got his blessing to use the title so here you go.

Merry Christmas, no tracklist, just kickback and enjoy. If you have a special someone and you find yourselves inspired by what I’ve done here, make it happen.

Best Of 2013 Part 2 likely Friday December 27th

The Almighty Tanya Morgan

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There’s a little bit of history with the group and I. Von Pea says Im the first dude to be critical of his stuff, I wrote some of their earliest press for AllHipHop, my name was in the liner notes of their now out of print debut Moonlighting. I went to a woman’s wedding and her daughter was the subject of a verse on “I Want You To Want Me”, I did a project based off an adlib from “We Be”, with skits from ½ of the group. There wouldnt even be a Go In Radio if it wasn’t for “Funny Ass Hats”, Che Grand said “this is a Go In DJs Exclusive” and I made myself an unofficial Go In Radio host. Im like the cousin you only see once a year if that often, but nothing changes when you do catch up. We’ve all come a long way over the years, to celebrate their new album Rubber Souls, here’s 2 hours of highlights from baby pictures up to the present. I tried to capture their comedic side and the seriously dope aspects that make me a fan aside from being an acquaintance.

P.S. After finishing I realized I “took a L” by forgetting to add one of the first songs they ever did, but I still tried to do well by them here, I had more than 2 hours and cut it short to be mindful of people’s tolerance.

Tracklist

Filthier AKA Place

Suntro

Breakadawn

Stay Tuned

Starttherecordover

The Warm Up

Cheesesteak

Waiting For You

Bang & Boogie

Hip Hop Is Dead II

Shad “Rose Garden” Remix

Do It Tanya

Never 2ndary

Oh No

Whatever That’s Mine

Plan B

Che Grand “People Bowling”

She Can Gedditt

Funny Ass Hats

Star From Shining

Buss It Down

Get Me Inside

So Damn Down

Hooks

We Should Be Rocking

On Our Way

Chez Tanya

Che Grand “Star (Pimps In Canada)”

Headphone Rock

We Got Soul

We Be

Gatekeepers

Never Enough

One Love

We’re Fly

The Foreign Exchange Experience

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(Photo by Jati Lindsay)

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The first time I heard Little Brother’s “Whatever You Say”, my mind was blown. This was before they had a record deal, just a random site had that, “Speed” and maybe “The Yo-Yo” up. I immediately obsessed over everything Justus League related I could find, material that’s now all but disappeared aside from someone’s hard drive in North Carolina.

We frequented the same online watering hole for some time, but I first met Phonte at a LB show at BB King’s in New York, I think I was on a date with my girl at the time. 2 girlfriends later, The Foreign Exchange’s Leave It All Behind was the soundtrack to my new relationship fall of 2008.  The next summer there was a brief shot of me in the “I Wanna Know” video (2:56-2:57 to be exact) and a few months later I wound up meeting up with a new interest for the first time at the same BB King’s venue for a Foreign Exchange show. To say that courtship didn’t end well or smoothly would be putting it lightly, as 2010’s Authenticity gave voice to the bad period I was just starting to emerge anew from.

Fast forward through Phonte’s remarkable solo album Charity Starts At Home, this is my second time interviewing The Foreign Exchange this year, a group whose music has served as the soundtrack to my ups and downs. It’s been great to witness their growth artistically and personally, as sort of a parallel to my ongoing evolution. As a bonus, I made a mix of hoping to capture some of their label’s essence (track list after the interview). The Foreign Exchange’s new album Love In Flying Colors is in stores tomorrow.

Phonte, before you knew there would be a Foreign Exchange, what initially drew you to Nicolay’s production?

I felt like I heard somebody that listened to the same music I did, but he was able to put that through a Hip-Hop filter. He was somebody that I could tell listened to Prince, Radiohead, rock music and ‘80s synth pop music, but he still had a love for Hip-Hop and he could make that shit bang. What I heard in him that I hadn’t heard in any other producer was the ability to do so many styles in several different genres, but they all sounded good and convincing.  None of his styles sounded like a stretch and that’s just something you don’t really find, it’s really rare to find someone who can pull that off.

Connected was sort of a Hip-Hop album with some singing on it, everything since has been sort of R&B/Soul with a rap verse here and there. What caused you guys to want to undergo such a drastic change up musically?

Nicolay: Just drastic changes in life, everything that happens in life shapes you. 10 or 11 years after first meeting and creating music, we’re obviously no longer the same people. We’ve evolved, grown, lived and loved, which reflects in the music we make. It wasn’t ever really a conscious shift, every album we’ve done is just a reflection of where we are at that moment in time.

Phonte: The music we make now leans more towards the music that I want to hear now. When I made Connected I was very much into Hip-Hop, but now I’m not in that same place anymore. While I still think Connected is a great album, that is the one I’m probably the most distant from in 2013 because so much has changed since then.

So with Leave It All Behind being the first album on your own label, would you say the title was an extended metaphor for everything from recording for someone else’s label to people leaving behind their perceptions of you as Hip-Hop artists?

Phonte: I would love to tell you that was the thought, like “Yeah nigga, I was a genius, I had that shit all figured out!” (laughs) but I think when writing that album the title just dealt with making a fresh start. In my mind I didn’t really expect people to be as surprised by Leave It All Behind as they were because I had been singing on records doing hooks since (Little Brother’s) The Listening and even on the Zo! And Tigallo Love The ‘80s record that came before that.

To me Leave It All Behind wasn’t as much of a departure as it seemed to other people, but once it came out I saw that people were like “what the hell?” The title signified starting new with me and Nic doing it on our own label, it kind of represented a reset button in my career. I had been doing Little Brother for so many years and that album was kind of like my second wind.

The group’s slogan for each album has been “Never the same band twice”. What can fans expect this time around with Love In Flying Colors?

Nicolay: A different band (laughs), that really says it all for us. At this point we pride ourselves on that, for this record it’s not even a new chapter, it’s a new book.

Phonte: I see how the phrase “Never the same band twice” could be misleading because if you don’t have any consistency then what the fuck are you? If you just release a different album every time (and tell people) “This is a rock album, this is a punk album, this is a ska album, this is a opera album” (laughs), we don’t mean it that literally. We just never run out of ways to invent our formula. If we was a restaurant we’d serve steak and potatoes, but I got a million and one ways to serve steak and potatoes. It’s so many different recipes and ways I could flip it that the steak I cook on Tuesday aint gonna taste like the steak I cook on Thursday.

So with this record I think they can expect to hear us and it will definitely sound like a Foreign Exchange record, but I think people can also hear that we done changed up the formula and made some god damn incredible fucking steak and potatoes (laughs).

Your roster has changed up a few times, who all is in the Foreign Exchange Music Group now?

Nicolay: Right now it’s obviously Phonte and myself, Zo! is one of our mainstay artists and he just had ManMade come out in May and we’re still very much promoting that. We also have Jeanne Jolly whose album Angels came out last October on our label, we have a pretty small roster but that’s always been intentional. Even if we wanted to we couldn’t take on a lot more just because we are very bare bones with our staff. It’s always going to be the direct people that we work with and our own releases.

You’ve developed a reputation for your stage show, tell me about how that’s been a key element to The Foreign Exchange’s success?

Phonte: That’s what keeps you going. If people just wanted to buy your records and listen to them at home they could, but the live show is about giving people an experience to remember. People download albums, listen and dissect them shits within a matter of minutes (laughs). An album can leak and in an hour people will be on Twitter saying it’s classic, or it can leak and people don’t even be talking about it the next week.  Music in our society now has become a lot more transient, but the live show is where people get the experience.

They might not remember all the songs on your album, but they’ll remember “I saw The Foreign Exchange back in 2011, that shit was crazy”. That’s kept us alive because people know that our shows are gonna be a good time and a completely different experience unto itself from our albums.

Nicolay, some of your fans may not realize you worked with Wiz Khalifa at an earlier point in both of your careers. What has it been like to see him become such a big name in rap?

Honestly I’ve loved it, we worked together around 2005 and even back then he had a strong team around him and their goal was to get him to that major level. They really did it and I gotta hand it to them, I have a lot of respect for that hustle. I haven’t seen him since but he’s a really good dude and I’m happy for him. I had great experiences with him and I wish him all the best.

What would you say has been the greatest lesson you’ve learned running an independent operation?

Phonte: There are several. Just knowing that no one’s gonna work harder for you than you will for yourself, the buck has to stop with you. If you’re signed to a label of any kind it’s easy to pass the buck like “The label didn’t promote me”. But when you’re truly indie like we are, it makes you extremely accountable because there is no one else to pass blame to, we are the alpha and omega.

I’ve also learned there’s power in staying small, we may not have the power to get a record on the radio tomorrow but in lieu of that we have flexibility. You can change on the spot and if you want to shift directions at the drop of a dime, you can do that. I’ve found that to be the most rewarding, most people have aspirations of getting bigger but I’ve found so much comfort in working with a small group of people and continually seeing success with them. It just makes your life so much easier and less stressful.

Phonte, you live tweeted Breaking Bad last week (Season 5, Episode 14 “Ozymandias”). As a fan of the show, how do you see it ending from here?

Oh my god, I have no idea. I know that Walt’s last convo with Skyler was protecting her, but he was also saying a lot of shit that he and a lot of viewers were wanting to say to her for a while (laughs). I don’t think he’s going to be able to protect her completely because there’s still the issue of that DVD that Jesse made giving up the whole fucking operation.

I think the Nazis is gonna make their way onto Arroyo Drive, they coming soon. Maybe he comes back to protect Jesse, I really don’t know how it could go at this point but that last episode was one of the best, if not the best episode of the whole series. That shit was incredible.

Speaking of tweets, people appreciate all of the honesty in your music but sometimes get taken aback by your honesty through social media. What do you say to some of how you may be perceived on Twitter?

It happens! (laughs) It’s nothing really that I can say, people perceive you however they want to perceive you. With me it’s not about being right, wrong, good, bad or whatever else, it’s just about being consistent. The same way I talk it on the tweets is the same way I walk it in the streets, there’s no duality with me. I am who I am, there’s some people that don’t like that and there’s gonna be some people that ride with me because of that. You cant really worry about it either way, you just gotta keep being you and all I do is try to present my authentic self.

________

Track list:

Lose Your Way

Greater Than The Sun

I Wanna Know

This Could Be The Night (Tall Black Guy Remix)

If She Breaks Your Heart

Everything She Wants

Zo! feat. Jesse Boykins III – If I Could Tell You No

Fight For Love

All The Kisses

Be Alright

Median feat. Phonte & Big Remo “Turn Ya On”

Right After Midnight (from Love In Flying Colors)

To Be Yours

Sweeter Than You

Dont Wait

Return Of The Mack

Zo! feat. Sy Smith “Greatest Weapon Of All Time

Come Around

All Or Nothing/Coming Home To You

Eyes To The Sky

Zo! feat. Phonte & Choklate “Making Time”

If This Is Love

Make Me A Fool

Zo! feat. Chantae Cann “All Is Well With Love”

Daykeeper (An Evening With The Foreign Exchange version)

Soundtrack To Your Summer

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This was supposed to come out last summer. Some manner of technical difficulty prevented it, but it all worked out for the best because a few of the songs on here weren’t out at the time. This mix is dedicated to good weather, potential romance or flings and the best attempts at enjoying life. I’ve had raunchy summers, depressed summers, summers struggling through poverty, and I’d have to say last year was one of my most memorable as a first time resident of Los Angeles County.

What this season will bring to my life and yours is anyone’s guess, but Im hoping we all come out on top. If I’ve done my job correctly everything you hear will fit the theme Im going for, you’ll dig the sequencing (there’s sort of a story, a little bit) you’ll hear classics, new favorites I’ve introduced you to, you’ll wonder what the hell I was thinking at certain points but most of all you’ll enjoy this and my appreciation for music will shine through. The important part is if you do in fact dig it, tell a friend to tell a friend. Twitter is preaching to the choir, take it to Facebook, email people that dont come online a lot and spread word as far as you can.

Thanks as always for taking the time to check this, satisfying my listeners is what I strive for at the end of the day.

P.S. I didnt play the Kriss Kross song to capitalize on ol boy’s death, again this was all planned a year ago.

Rest In Peace, Kanye West

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Without question, Kanye West is one of the most influential things to ever happen to this culture that continues to shape our lives on a daily basis. Im not out to set off any controversy with this project’s title, but I’d say it’s time we lay our unreasonable expectations of him to rest. Whether Hip-Hop put too much on him claiming to carry the Native Tongue torch, whether he’s lost his mind altogether or his vision is just that far ahead of its time, this is a memorial service of sorts for his once immaculate body of work.

People go through changes (sometimes publicly while having to produce art) and after two listens I’ve taken Yeezus as a full departure from that which we once held sacred. A decent analogy is a person one day deciding they dont want to be in a relationship (Kanye with his old fans) no matter how happy things seemed. You’re left stuck, betrayed,  confused and there’s nothing you can do to change their minds.

Im all for creative expansion, Outkast did it to death and made unbelievably good art out of it.  I just wish Kanye would have maintained soul and a higher standard for quality.  Many critics consider My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy to be his pinnacle, I dont care for much of that album (I also hate most of Watch The Throne and Cruel Summer was a disgrace to his legacy.)

What I’ve attempted here is to be some small solution rather than the umpteenth person griping about his new direction. Everything you’ll hear is either (co)produced by Kanye or it features him rapping. While listening to it once completed, the common thread I found was spirituality in a lot of his work, dealing with the struggle to live righteously despite the insecurities of being famous and losing a parent. It isn’t my place to say he’s gone to the “dark” side in this fight, but his latest work decidedly isn’t for me. A lot of the music here was a big part of the soundtrack to my life from 2000-2008, he was the dude who kept Hip-Hop alive after our heroes weren’t as relevant, and I guess that’s no longer. My theory is his present fans admire his creativity and what he stands for, so they’re willing to excuse the questionable output, but I could be wrong.

Thank you for everything Kanye West, with this I’ll never forget what you’ve meant.

P.S. The rough demo at the beginning wasnt included as a joke, I love it because it’s like the perfect bridge between former and present Kanye with the crazy synths and him just rambling like a madman.

Also, digest this in doses if you need to. I did my best to keep things interesting, but 2.5 hours is a lot to invest. Most importantly, tell a friend to tell a friend if you dig this.

Peace