Breaking Habits - Song Break Down

This is a break down of the lyrics and themes from my song Breaking Habits off of my new album Drive. Erik Lamb and I joke about how writing songs is the easy part it's everything else that's hard. This song is a real reflection on that. 

88 BPM written in the Key of E. 

Album Art by the one and only Leif Kolt! I think it captures me pretty god damn well. 

No Gimmicks, No Disclaimers/

I'll save My explanations for later/

You can try to copy the flavor/

But an understudy role won't help you meet your maker/ 

Short and sweet this was the first hook I've written in 5 years. I'm not trying to dazzle you with some cool hook, some catch phrase or twisting some idiom into a meaning for life. This song is very heart on my sleeve no bullshit, you can try to copy what I do but you will never be able to actually duplicate it. Every duplication is flawed in some way. Sitting and studying someone else's moves and waiting to find a way in will not get you any closer to your truth. You have to just do. That's what this hook means to me. 

I'm breaking all the habits I learned from my social status/

trying to find a balance between the passion and madness/

Growing up underprivileged, and disenfranchised in my experience creates some bad habits. I've quit smoking cigarettes since my last album. I've tried to quit these bad mind sets I've developed over the years. Mix that with becoming an autonomous adult I'm really trying to find a balance between, the passion and the madness. 

mindfulness meditation living in the practice/ 

doing what I can to avoid death and taxes/

I've since my last album picked up the practice of mindfulness meditation, every morning for at least 10 minutes I use the app  on my phone called Headspace. I love it and it maybe one of the best decisions I've ever made. I was reading Walden Pond, at the time of this so a little bit of HDT snuck in. Trying to avoid death and taxes should be my next tattoo I think.. 

turning pro, growing up and fighting the relapses/

Self destruction's seductive, a pheniox from the ashes/ 

The word replace was intentional, I wanted to build the imagery of how everyday is a struggle with what I think of as the chocolate cake, I don't really like cake but it was good metaphor for my personal struggle. Having a struggle with a weight problem diet and exercise is one of my main focuses. Everyday is a struggle and the temptations will rise like the ashes of a pheniox.

and my discipline cracks, when I work for reactions/ 

I guess that's what happens when you tempt a book of matches/

I am a spontaneous and impulsive person I know that, if I don't try to structure my self and force a discipline I know I will never get anything done. As Jacko Willink says in discipline there is freedom. If you haven't read his book Extreme Ownership I highly suggest it, if your in to self help that is. 

This is a recreation of self, put my apathy on the shelf/ 

Shuffle the cards that I'm dealt, play a hand for good health/

Not much to in unwrap in these lines I'm going to a self transformation (constantly) and I'm working with the cards I was giving and trying to stop bitching about it. 

Good time spent wasted in a battle of mind/

crush the minuets into grains to see what I can find/

Who hasn't wasted time beating themselves up over a bad choices. It's a real waste of time. When my last album didn't blow and get me famous. I was crushed I really thought it would happen. I had to do a lot of reevaluating and figure out what I truly wanted to do. 

I'll Pick apart the pieces, won't speak of what happened/ 

rearrange the fragments till they look like I imagine/

These are a couple of throw back lines to some older material. Like one is a throw back to my song burn and the second is throw back to a song I did with Leif Kolt! I love that dude and the lines fit both flow and meaning so I ran with it. So I go a little deeper with the self examination and pick out the prices of my self that I like and take out the pieces that I don't like and rearrange them in to a whole new person. Have you seen my new hair cut? This is chess not checkers 

standing on the shoulders of Giants feeling like atlas/

carrying the weight of the works but I flipped it off its axis/

A little head nod to Newton, Tim Feriss and my father and law here. I guess I did flip an idiom into my lyrics. Oh well get used to that. It's the first thing I do when I get stuck. This a little ego stroke I do feel like I'm on top of the world but feel like I'm under so much pressure as well. 

I'm pretty happy with this song, I used some punk rock influence on the structure chorus verse chorus. One and done, I love a quick song they are espically good as openers to get the crowd going at shows. 

Now streaming on every service! Leave comments and reviews you have no idea how much it helps artist get higher in the ratings. 

 

 

Style Over Substance - Song Break Down

This is the song breakdown for “Style Over Substance” Featuring Erik Lamb. This song was inspired by the logical fallacy that says; just because you say fancy words doesn’t mean your argument has any validity. I liked how it seemed to be easy to apply to rap music. How everyone’s a rapper but are they really saying shit? Is that car in the music video theirs? Or is the out of state license plate a dead give away that it’s a rental? 

As always I’m stoked to have my brother Erik Lamb featured on this album. Erik and I have been working together from the beginning, and he seemed up to the task of this song.

“Same shit, different rappers mouth/ 

Living a life, you can't brag about/”

I’m a true believer that your art is a reflection of yourself. If you’re spitting bullshit, I can smell it from bar number one. I have been fooled and I’m sure I will be again. If you say you’re hustling and you never do the work, you’re full of shit period.

The cabbage patch is truly sauerkraut/ 

Overcompensate till they're blackin'-out/

Are your really making that money? Are you trying so hard to hang with the homies that you’re killing yourself? Cabbage being a reference to money, I though it would be fun to make a joke about how things are not always as they appear. I also love sauerkraut and when I finish this album I’m going to treat my self to some beer brats. 

Cultivated, from the golden age/

The new wave makes you disengage/

This line goes out to my thirty something, those stuck in 94’ rappers. Clinging to the past like it was the one that got away. I love “old-school hip hop” but I truly thing that for hip-hop to stay relevant it’s going to have to evolve and grow. I could spend three paragraphs bitching about how a lot of “new” rap sucks. How that style makes me wonder if you are on the spectrum?

No stage presence, no substance/

All wordplay, but no function/

I had an idea that I wanted to write a formula for hip-hop. Like A+B over C+D= Style Over Substance. I basically wanted to write all the shit you shouldn’t do and put it in a verse. I can’t tell you how many rappers, stand like The Statue of Liberty on stage and don’t move around. Erik Lamb and NME the ILLEST are in my opinion masters of stage presence, and not just because they are my friends. Come to a show and see for your self.  

I think you need a healthy mix of stage presence, substance, wordplay and a reason for why you’re doing it. What is your unique perspective that you can bring to the culture? While I’m still ranting, please for the love of Buddha stop rapping over your own vocal track.

No heart, and all the ego/ 

Starve the art love the placebo/

Vocals peak with a lo-fi buzz/ 

Talk is cheap, saying you get shit done/

This line is dedicated to the rappers that get gassed-up in the studio. You think your takes are perfect and are the next big thing. You quickly post an un-mixed track to soundcloud. You sound like you were too drunk or too high and it sounds like shit.

You rap because you want to be famous and think it is a get rich quick scheme. There are people that have done it yes. The real truth is they worked their asses off, you just didn’t see it.

I’ve never rapped this much about rap. It was a fun departure, but I felt like I wanted to get these ideas out there and this song kinda of just worked.   

Beats bang but the crowds all comatose/

Lyrics mumble like you just overdosed/

Just a little something to get off my chest/

Got the whole crowd shouting out S.O.S./

Growing up I idolized (still do) my favorite rappers. I though that being a rapper was like being a professional athlete. I remember seeing flawless sets and perfection. Like they cared if they didn’t do a good set. I have bombed sets, and just fucked up, I think everyone does. The great artists take serious time with trying to put on a good show. I guess I just feel slighted when I see acts that don’t take it seriously. I will definitely give them the benefit of the doubt but get out of here with your bullshit.

 

 

 

 

 

Beats by Skobie - Lens of Crisis

Beats by Skobie

This is one of my favorite beats I have posted for sale. This is my attempt at being a beat sommelier. I had a lot of fun writing a break down of one of my own songs. I will be doing a break down of each song. so expect to see more of these types of blogs.

This is a royalty free, exclusive hip-hop instrumental. This is an original composition, no samples.

This hip-hop instrumental blends elements of electro, complextro, and trap. The Drums are simple straightforward hip-hop influenced rhythm. That also uses traditional electro bass kicks, snares, and high hat. For the verse the synth leads, back up instruments and bass instruments are written in the complextro style. The arrangement changes ever quarter note. The leads have lots of wobble and depth.

The hook is a full soundscape of high saw tooth synths and strings. That is both dirty and clean to please the ear.

Written in the key of C

At 88 Beats per minute

There is only one of these beats; once it is sold it is gone forever. 

All Beats By Skobie are hand crafted with Skobie's signature sound.

 

N.M.E. The Illest - Hate Me Quietly

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Hate Me Quietly is the third solo release from my friend and collaborator, Connecticut's Hardest Working Emcee N.M.E. The Illest. Hate Me Quietly (HMQ) is the second album of NME's I've worked on. 

Dreaming is the second single from Hate Me Quietly, featuring guest vocals from Daphne Lee Martain and Noah White. Dreaming was a blast to create, when I produce for NME I like to challenge him. I'll throw in things like bridges and breaks to see what he makes of it. Dreaming has a break after every hook and builds into the beginning of the verse. Daphne and Noah fill the breaks with a creative call back to the title and main theme. Am I dreaming? 

A conscience Reflection on building a career in music. NME realizes that while he was out making goals and pursuing his full potential, he actually started living his dreams. 

Over the life cycle of the HMQ We faced many challenges, some were real show stoppers. In late 2013 our studio in down town New London, CT flooded. I lost most of my record collection, and I'm still rebuilding to this day. Our insurance refused to cover potential damages to our equipment, and we decided to move for what would be the third time in three years. We are now sitting fat and happy in our new location The Danger Room!! 

The good still out weights the bad. In December of 2014 NME and I finalized our crazy idea to crowd fund the production and tour for Hate Me Quietly. I was at first pretty hesitant to try to crowd fund so close to the holidays. With our true DIY mentality We decided it was now or never. After 30 days and 134 backers, we raised $6,440. Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported us over the years!