1) Outta Here ft. Mike Shorey - This is where it all starts from. You're out at whatever function & "she" catches your eye. If you're anything like me you don't let that moment pass you by. So this is where I do my "whatever it takes to get you out the spot with me" and by the songs end it works. This song is produced by the homie Woody. We met back in NY when I was doing the VH1 hip hop honors tribute. I was familiar with the stuff he did with Esso so I told him to send me some joints. The "Outta Here" beat was in the very 1st batch. I did the record but had no one on the chorus, a few weeks later I met Mike at PNC radio & thought he'd be perfect for it. I played it, he liked it & knocked it out.
2) Fresh - This song is almost like a continuation of "Outta Here" now we're out the spot & I'm just telling her whatever she wants to hear so assure I get that next date, phone number or whatever it is I'm after. They say compliments will get you everywhere so that's what I'm on. This track comes courtesy of Vitamin D, and funny thing about this beat is Vita sent it to me & said I could rock it, but then as I was playing joints for Eric G he told me that Thee Tom Hardy had it for his project too. I spoke to Tom at SXSW last year & we were like eff it let's both use it & there you have it. Mine whole project was done last May basically so I didn't wanna start changing beats & what not. I was already accustomed to it flowing the way it did.
3) For You ft. Carlitta Durand - By this point in the story her & I are in a relationship, dating, whatever you wanna call it. So this is more or less me letting her know I'm down for her & she's expressing the same. I got the lovely Carlitta Durand on this joint & she's killing it as usual. She was in NY shooting "Easy To Fly" with Skyzoo & came over to the studio right after she finished filming. Wrote the hook, sang it & got back on the road to NC. She's an amazing vocalist & just a super dope person. I love her energy & spirit. She actually came through in the clutch because the person I originally had on this joint said I couldn't use the vocals after we had a disagreement so I was kinda stuck, but once Carlitta did this Eric G & I agreed we liked it better than the original anyway.
4) Let It Go ft. Mone Divine - Now we getting to the fun stuff. "Let It Go" is me breaking down what it would be like once her & I did the damn thing. I told Khrysis the concept & he said he had just the right beat cause it had moaning in it already. Once I laid it I felt like it needed more steaminess. I reached out to Mone's camp to get her on it cause I figured who better to do a sex record with than a porn star. Mone came to the studio & killed it. We actually hung out like 5, 6 hours at the studio that night & have been friends ever since. She's a super sweet person, that's my girl.
5) Back On The Road (skit) - This is a transitional period in the project. All the dating & sex is cool, but I gotta get back to work. I get the phone call, the tour is on, the flight is booked I gotta go. At this point she's getting annoyed at the constant leaving for weeks and weeks at a time. Nothing good lasts forever....
6) Popular Demand ft. Chris Rob - I always loved the New Edition original and I've had this concept for years. The hook says it all "I'm leaving you again, you gotta understand I'm in popular demand". The song basically writes itself after that. I tried to get 3 different producers to knock it out for me before DJ Spinna came through and nailed it. He just went in there & played it over as opposed to sampling it and it came out crazy. Once the beat & rhymes were done I needed someone on the hook. I thought about asking Mike Bivins, but quickly dismissed that idea. Jesse Boykins III was supposed to do it, didn't happen, my man Wes from Coney Island was supposed to do it, didn't happen, I even called Mike Shorey back to do it, didn't happen. This song took THE LONGEST to complete finally I asked Spinna if he knew someone that could pull it off. He called in Chris Rob & the rest is history.
7) Love Is War ft. Lydia Caesar - This is by far one of my favorite records I've ever done. The concept, the verses, the beat, the hook all very, very dope in my opinion. I've had this beat for like 4 years I always wanted to use it but I never had the project, song idea etcetera so once I decided to do Heart Failure I pulled it out the stash. I played it for Lydia along with a few other but she loved this beat too. She wrote the hook and bridge around my verses & then we tweaked a few words here & there together. The end result is Love Is War. It's been a favorite of men & women since it's release. I guess everyone can relate to being fed up in one way or another. This is the most trying record on the project, and it put us in a place of stick & stay or go our separate ways.
8) Point Of View - This is me expressing that she needs to start understanding where I'm coming from in this relationship. Everything can't be one-sided so she has to see my point of view at times too. A lot of times in relationships guys will let the woman have the last word to avoid an argument. This is me being fed up with that scenario & putting my foot down. Before Eric G. was a big time Soul Council producer he'd send me beats all the time, this is a joint I came across from an ollllld Eric stash & wanted to rock. He said it was available & we went from there. Eric is like my go to guy. Sometimes I just have him send joints just so I can vibe & listen with no intentions on rapping over 'em, he makes those type of joints you can just ride in the car to straight instrumental.
9) Promise - Eric G. again on the beat. By this point I'm realizing that anything worth having is worth fighting to keep. So I'm making her some promises & she has to agree to these things & promise me somethings too. If we abide by these promises we should have less disagreements moving forward. Short & to the point was the theme behind this one. Eric had passed this one & a few others to Jessyca Wilson from John Legend's camp so I had to wait to see if she wanted it or if she passed on it. Luckily for me, she passed.
10) Love You - This was the first record I recorded for Heart Failure, it was actually before I even knew I was making Heart Failure, I was just writing a joint to this dope beat Eric sent me. I always thought it needed a hook, but when I played it for people they said it was fine as is & so I let it breathe. As far as the storyline goes I'm saying look I love you, you love me let's stop the nonsense & be together through ups & downs, rights & wrongs let's be together.
11) This Is ft. Phonte & Yahzarah - Now we've reached the grand finale, I supposed once you say all that to a girl the only thing left to say is will you marry me, hahaha. This is my proposal record. Another beat I've had 4 + years produced by my man Supabad. I always knew I wanted to remake this classic Shalamar jam so I just held on til the right project came along. I figured what better way to end a relationship themed project than with a marriage song. I knew Phonte would kill this, so I sent it to him roughly demo'd, he sent his vocals back with an added extra. The incredible Yahzarah was on it too, I was hyped. I called him immediately to thank him & he was like "yeah man you can't have Howard Hewitt & not have Jody Watley".
This record was really fun for me to make I know a lot of people are hit out of left field by it, but I'd rather creatively express myself in numerous ways than to be what everyone expects me to be and not be who I am. Salute everyone that contributed to the project!
All female narration done by the lovely Tiye Phoenix.