I could say “oh, all of them are awesome. Support dope music in all its forms.” Where’s the fun in that, though? Today marks the release of my newest (and final) album, Songs For… 2: The Revolution of the Modern Male. To commemorate the occasion, I want to talk about a few tracks from the 12-song project. These are, by no means, in order.
“Letter to My Friends (I Got Y’all)”: This track was inspired by my friendships with a lot of close people. However, it was inspired specifically by two conversations with two different people. First, my homie Shannon, as I mentioned in Friday’s piece, inspired me to not be as self-involved as I was over the years. But beyond her, there’s another inspiration behind this track.
I met Ashley through a mutual friend about three years back and we’ve always had a friendship that she’d also call me out on my BS. So, a few months back, when she said something along the lines of “you’re acting like a jealous, self-centered jackass and not a friend,” it hit me hard. Up to that point, I thought I’d been making progress to avoid relapsing into overly self-righteousness and self-involvement. I took some time, started writing out my feelings about not wanting to be that person, and “Letter to My Friends” came from it. It’s a pledge to everyone I consider a friend that I’m there for them, through whatever they may go through.
“Come With Me”: You can’t spell “Speed album drive” without “luv.” And while I almost threw my back out on that reach, I do love to have a track showing my loverman side. Instead of making another “Se Roquel”/”For Raquel,” I wanted to try something a little different, a little less “you’re the one.” After hearing XHRIIY’s “CC33” and her debut EP for the first time, I wanted to create a sexy-as-hell song that was also dark and in-your-face, but still uplifting: a daunting task for someone who never really sang sang on any of his albums.
I took a beat I created back during my Mister Speed on the Beat days, slowed it down, altered the pitch and crooned (with some Auto-Tune to add some layers to the vocals). I wanted to capture the raunchiness of the 2010s and 2020, mix it with the “baby lemme love you” vibes of the 1990s and 2000s and make it my own without saying “damn ho you gotta phat ass. Lemme fuck or sumn. I’m high/drunk.” One, I’d be lying since I’ve been sober for years and two, there’s enough of that out there. I’d like to think I did the concept justice.
“Quarantine Brings Creativity” (feat. Score|Swayze): I hate the fact that Distrokid didn’t properly credit Swayze when I submitted the album. I did make sure that I credited him/gave him a chunk of the revenue on the track. So when you stream this, Swayze gets his just due. From the first time I heard Swayze, I was like “damn, this guy has a different style to him.” It wasn’t until later that I had the chance to chop it up with him and realized we have a lot in common, down to the fact we’re both City graduates who enjoy the occasional wrestling event.
I originally wanted to include Swayze on BCB 2, but I couldn’t find a track he’d fit on. When working on S4 2, I began writing to a BCB 2 leftover loop about the impact the COVID-19 quarantine had on me and people I knew. Swayze’s verse hammers home that the experiences we go through may be different, but they have impacts all the same. This three-part track brings in the “revolutionary” side of the album heavy as hell because it continues that “working together” aspect of things. Plus, it’s good to (finally) hear someone else on the “Vouch for That” beat (as it was originally intended).
“Tired but Not Broken” (prod. by Benji Armstrong): When finalizing S4 2, I began working with Benji Armstrong to add extra oomph to the last few tracks. I wanted something that, in some ways, was my “The Vent” moment. Similar to the intro to the original Songs For…, “Tired” was an emotional track that delved into what made me want to do this album and ultimately step away from music. I had to put it all out there, but I know that there’s more out there for me than just dropping track every few months or so. I want to use my platform and my audience to help others along their path and elevate those around me. It’s hard work, but it’s work that’s needed.
“Fuck It Up Speed”/”Ready and Willing”: These tracks are two sides of a coin. “FIU” is more subdued and smoother about the revolution I want to be a part (thanks True for giving me the beat for this one). Meanwhile, “Ready” is so abrasive, the beat damn near swallows everything in its path (shoutout J Pegs for his insane boost of the bass on “Ready”). I turned down the vocals on my verse on “Ready” as a literal “this ain’t just about me anymore” move. Blxck Shxggy’s verse was so damn good, so topical.
I hope you all enjoy this album as much as I loved making it. What’s next? I have absolutely no clue, but it’s been fun. The site will remain active, but my career at this point? I’m good on music.
Peace be with you all now and always.