The Wonder Years, which finally drops on the 27th of this month and 9th breaks down his new LP track-by-track…
Make It Big (feat. Khrysis)
That was actually the first rhyme that I actually wrote myself and you know Khrysis jumped on the joint, that was actually recorded at Khrysis crib and we did that track and there is another version of it that’s going to be on the Itunes version of the album. So that’s ‘Make It Big’ that’s how that track came about. So I did that track for it and Khrysis jumped on it, and it just talks about basically my climb up to where I am now.
Do you rap on most of the tracks on the album?
Band Practice Part 2 (feat. Phonte & Median)
‘Band Practice’ is a track with Phonte and Median, and there is another version of that as well. And that first version of ‘Band Practice’ was Phonte by himself, but this one is Phonte and Median together.
And this was the first track you put out from The Wonder Years, what made you make the decision to make it the project’s lead single?
I mean it’s just something because Phonte just put out ‘Not Here Anymore’ that’s on his album and I wanted to kind of keep that going, so therefore that’s why I wanted to put out this one.
Enjoy (feat. Warren G, Murs & Kendrick Lamar)
Enjoy is kind of a ‘West Coast’ track everybody on it’s from the West Coast. I was going to name it ‘Past, Present & Future’ but I didn’t because I didn’t want to feel like Warren G is in the past, I think he lives forever. So I changed that to ‘Enjoy’ because the sample is saying “enjoy” and it’s like that’s what it was for me. So it’s Warren G, Murs and Kendrick. Like a legendary West Coast cat, a present day legend with Murs and a future legend with Kendrick Lamar, and they all West coast.
Streets Of Music (feat. Tanya Morgan & Enigma of Actual Proof)
‘Streets Of Music’ is a joint with Tanya Morgan and (Enigma of) Actual Proof, which they’re kind of like one of the last remaining stances of groups in this era, groups is not very prevalent in this era when it comes to hip-hop, you know you got Pac Div and you got cats like that, but with Tanya Morgan and Actual Proof that’s kind of like descendant of the Little Brothers, the Slums, the Tribes the De Las, you know. And I wanted them to talk about what was going on in their street, it can be a residential street, a suburban street, a hood street, whatever, but I wanted them to talk about what was going on in their streets at the time.
Hearing The Melody (feat. Skyzoo, Fashawn & King Mez)
‘Hearing The Melody’ was actually a beat that I was working on in the movie ‘The Wonder Year.’ But ‘Here In The Melody’ has Skyzoo, Fashawn and King Mez on it, and I wanted to kind of change up the song format starting off with the hook, with no drums in the background. It’s kind of like the formula that’s going on right now where they’re just playing a sample or playing some ambient sounds while the hook is going on, with no drums in the background, and I wanted to try and do that with this track. So that’s where the inspiration for ‘Hear In The Melody’ came from…
Loyalty (feat. Masta Killa & HaLo)
I named it ‘Loyalty’ because that sounds like the way the Wu-Tang would name a track, you know it’s just usually one word. And if anybody on Jamla was in Wu-tang it would be HaLo, so that’s why I put HaLo on a track with Masta Killa. And it just works, it works out, it’s a dope track. I really like that track a lot, it’s a real grown up track, that’s where the inspiration came from.
Now I’m Being Cool (feat. Mela Machinko & Median)
Now I’m Being Cool is a track that kind of reminds me of a 1965/1966 it’s kind of my tribute to Motown track it has that feel to it. I think it’s a track my Mom would love; that’s where that track comes from. That’s why I really like that. That has Median on it as well, but the song is actually by Mela Machinko who sang back-up for Pharoahe Monch on a lot of his tours and also has an inspiring music career herself.
Never Stop Loving You (feat. Talib Kweli & Terrace Martin)
‘Never Stop Loving You’ is one of the three collaborations I have with Terrace Martin who is a saxophonist from the West coast, he comes from a musical background, and that’s kind of like the marriage between Jazz or instrumentation and sample hip-hop and that’s also featuring Talib Kweli, so I’m excited about that track. I think that’s going to be one of the standout tracks on the record.
Piranhas (feat. Sene & Sundown of Actual Proof) –credited as Blu & Sundown
‘Piranhas’ is a track actually featuring Sene, not Blu, and when they sent me the verse I thought it was Blu. Blu sent it to me, and I thought it was Blu, you know, theres been a mix-up with the track- but I’m supposed to get the original track from Blu to put on the album. And Sundown is an up-and-coming emcee that’s in Jamla, very very vivid storyteller. He’s a cryptic storyteller, but even with him being cryptic you can see exactly what he’s saying, but that’s Sundown and that’s where ‘Piranha’ came from…
Peanut Butter & Jelly (feat. Marsha Ambrosius)
Peanut Butter & Jelly is a track that I did with Marsha Ambrosius, and the title of the track is funny, but I mean, it just turned into a jam! That’s ‘Peanut Butter & Jelly’, the track is crazy dope! Just a crazy dope track!
One Night (feat. Terrace Martin, Phonte & Bird And The Midnight Falcons)
‘One Night’ is the third release that I had from the the album featuring Terrace Martin, Phonte Coleman, and Bird And The Midnight Falcons, and the reason why it had ‘featuring Bird And The Midnight Falcons’ is because I’m a big The Five Heartbeats fan and Bird And The Midnight Falcons was a group in the movie competing with Five Heartbeats so it’s just kind of a funny twist on it man, and that’s a track that everyone seems to like!
Your Smile (feat. Hollyweerd & Thee Tom Hardy)
Hollyweerd is a group from Atlanta that’s really a Outkast descendant, or could be if Outkast had a background situation or ‘who created the sound of Outkast?’ it’s sounds like, Hollyweerd is like a descendant of Organized Noise or something like that, and I really like them. And Tom Hardy is an Outkast enthusiast, he really loves Outkast, and knows everything about Outkast, so that’s where ‘Your Smile’ comes from.
No Pretending (feat. Raekwon & Big Remo)
‘No Pretending’ is a track featuring Raekwon the Chef and Big Remo, who seem like they come from the genre, the same side of the fence of hip-hop, the street storytellers. So that’s why they got on the track at the same time. And it’s crazy because I made that track actually nine years ago and a lot of people hadn’t done anything with it, and that’s one of the ones Raekwon picked. And it just turned out to be crazy dope.
20 Feet Tall (Remix) (feat. Erykah Badu & Rapsody)
That was a track that Erykah Badu actually did her reference to for ’20 Feet Tall’. There’s her version on her album, but this particular version was the more hip-hop feel version of it, so we added Rapsody on the beginning of the track and it seems to work out. I think it’s dope and I like her rhyme in it. It’s kind of like back in the day when cats did remixes, that’s what ‘20 Feet Tall’ is…
That’s Love (feat. Mac Miller & Heather Victoria)
That’s just typical Mac Miller man, like that’s him telling a story man. Mac Miller is one of the most honest dudes in the game, you like him or not that’s what he is, and this is what he will forever continue to be, and he just tells the story. And it has another artist of mine by the name of Heather Victoria on the track with him so it just works man, it’s a playful song but it’s dope and it’s good hip-hop. It’s light-hearted and that’s one thing I like about Mac Miller, he makes a lot of light-hearted music, which a lot of people take themselves too seriously. I dig Mac Miller for that, we need that.
A Star You Are (feat. Terrace Martin, Problem & GQ)
‘A Star You Are’ featuring Terrace Martin, his brother Problem and another artist of mine by the name of GQ who actually is a former UNC basketball player which it blows me every time I say that because he’s such an exceptional rapper it’s kind of like the end track man, just something that works to be the end. It kind of sums up everything for me. You’re a star in your own right, not by what TV says or what a network may say or a countdown, you’re a star in your own right, and that’s a very inspirational song if you listen to it…