It’s finally happening again. The producer is getting the recognition and power he/she deserves in Hip-Hop. Hit-Boy, Statik, and Mustard led the way with some phenomenal compilation projects. Now it’s time for Chicago’s A-Villa to take that torch. For the next single off of his upcoming Carry On Tradition (11/4), A-Villa enlists some of the greatest storytellers to share a day in the life of their earlier days. The project via Closed Sessions will also feature Killer Mike, Lil’ Fame, Action Bronson, Big K.R.I.T., Roc Marciano, N.O.R.E., Fashawn, Freddie Gibbs, Kool G Rap, and many more.
A-Villa reveals how the track came about below:
When I originally made the beat, it was just a main melody loop of strings and keys with some programmed drums over it. Sonically, I was inspired by Raekwon & Ghostface’s song “Heaven & Hell”, but I wanted to make it an introspective record about a hustler’s come up from the street life to the rap game. And as time passed, I kept going back to the beat and adding more elements. I chopped the melody up more, I played live drums over it, and I wrote a hook that I felt required a female vocalist. So I reached out to the best female vocalist I knew, Macie Stewart, formerly of the popular group Kids These Days. She came to the studio, re-worked the hook, and added some beautiful harmonies throughout. I then sent the beat to AZ, who I knew would set off the track in a classic way. He rapped from the perspective of a hustler that survived the game, did it his way, and is now living the good life. That same approach and theme continued on with Havoc of Mobb Deep and Freeway, both of whom added their own personal narrative to a day in the life of a hustler. Lastly, I orchestrated even more live instrumentation into the track with Graham Burris playing some bass guitar and some live horns at the end by Nico “Donnie Trumpet” Segal, also formerly of the group Kids These Days.
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Bryan Hahn believes that this breed of Hip-Hop will never die and it shouldn’t. He’s on Twitter (@notupstate).