FROM THA JOKER'S PERSPECTIVE:
On how song concept came together:
I told Big Fruit, the producer, I wanted a heartfelt sample for the intro but with some down-south kicks and that’s what we came up with. It was a good way for me to start off The Explanation by giving my fans something personal as the first track.
On if there will be a “Chapter 2” to “The Explanation Chapter 1”:
Chapter 2 is also one of the tracks listed on the tape [The Explanation], called "Hey Mama Chapter 2"
On fake friends:
With this music shit you experience a lot of real and fake. The two separates each other when everything becomes do or die. A lot of people that started out with me at the beginning of my career [are] not here with me anymore due to differences.[I] kinda don’t wanna go into detail directly but if you’re listening to the tape from front to back you will see my story.
On where he’d like to be in a year:
In a year I plan to be way more successful and heard than I am today. I would like to work with a few more artists on a bigger scale as well. Other than that I’m just perfecting my craft and staying on the road as much as I can.
On his Southern influences:
Yea where I’m from we grew up on a lot of Boosie, T.I, Jeezy, Pimp C etc ... So sometimes you have to go off what you know even though I have my own unique style, it’s still glossed with a southern feel.
On how he’d classify his sound:
I guess that’s all left up to you, the blogs, the fans etc. I would think I would be place as a Southern artist being that I’m from Mississippi, but my flow is very versatile so sometimes it can be very hard to tell.
On his favourite line/verse:
"I use to do it for fun until I had kids" -- basically stating I used to just rap for the hell of it not thinking 'bout the longevity of the music business until I got responsibility.
FROM BIG FRUIT'S PERSPECTIVE:
On how the beat for “The Explanation” came about:
It was just a normal day in the studio working on beats...nothing for any particular project. I was actually in the studio on YouTube watching videos honestly. Sometimes I get inspiration that way. The funny part about this beat is that I actually heard the song while I was going through episodes of "Miami Vice" on YouTube. This song was in a clip from Miami Vice and it caught my attention. It had a dark sound and that's what I was looking for at the time.
On the sample:
The song I sampled was Phil Collins "Long, Long, Way To Go." Anybody who follows my production knows I'm not a heavy sampler but I do from time to time if I find something that I haven't really heard done before. I'm a huge Phil Collins fan, and I remembered hearing that song before but couldn't recall anyone ever flipping it. As soon as I heard, I already knew what I was gonna do with it.
On how he first connected with Tha Joker:
I met Joker back in 2006. He was actually the first artist I signed to Family Ties Ent, an Independent label I co-own. I've handled most of his production since day one. I feel like together we built our own sound over the years. I honestly feel like our success really goes hand in hand. A lot of people know me because of him, and vice versa. He's no longer signed to me as an artist, but we still work closely together and I'm sure we always will. His fans are my fans, my fans are his fans. They root for us together.
On where he’s from and his sound:
I'm from a small town, Aberdeen, Mississippi. I grew up listening to blues, gospel, R&B, and mostly southern hip-hop like Scarface, Eightball & MJG, 3-6 Mafia, Outkast, etc. So I definitely think my sound is southern influenced with the 808's I like to use, but I also like to add a lot of melodic elements to my beats just like most of the production was back then.
On equipment used to create “The Explanation” instrumental:
I used FL Studio for that track and all my tracks since around 2007. I used to be a hardware/workstation producer but FL Studio workflow is so much faster. It compliments the way I work because I like to lay a lot of ideas down, and come back and finish them later.
On his go-to equipment:
FL Studio and a Midi Keyboard..that's about it. Give me that and a Pro Tools set up and I'm good.
On if he recorded in-studio with Tha Joker:
We were for most of the records I did on the project. For this particular song, he told me how he wanted the tape to start and I knew I had this beat already and it just fit. The name and theme of the tape just matched perfectly with the sample. It was all coincidental that I had already did It. I played it for him and he was like "Perfect." He took the beat and recorded his vocals and sent it back to me. I went back and tweaked the beat around his vocals and came out with what you hear on the tape. I think it came out pretty dope..one of my favorites on the project.
Giving you the direct perspective from Tha Joker and Big Fruit, "Track Breakdown" is an HNHH series that highlights a specific cut by speaking to both the artist and producer about the song's creation.
Tha Joker has been steadily grinding alongside producer, Big Fruit, for some time now. The two southerners first linked up in 2006, when Joker joined Big Fruit's independent label. Although the two have since parted ways label-wise, they have remained frequent collaborators. The chemistry between the two is obvious on any Big Fruit record that Tha Joker hops on.
Tha Joker has released mixtape after mixtape, and his most recent effort, The Explanation, shows his growth and maturity as an artist. The Explanation, of course, featured production from Big Fruit, and we thought the two worked so well together that we had to line them up for a feature on Track Breakdown (formerly known as In The Cut). The track we chose to breakdown this week was a stand-out cut from the mixtape, and also the title track, "The Explanation." It sets the pace for what's to come on the rest of the project, and as well as serves an introduction to Tha Joker for new fans. All this, over banging production from Big Fruit, which has a distinct southern flavor.
Check out both sides of the story on how "The Explanation" came together by clicking through the gallery above.
If you have yet to hear "The Explanation," click play below. Cop the mixtape in it's entirety here.