Throwback album: Tokyo Cigar & Depeche Mode “Kill the Violator”
So here it is a play by play breakdown of the album. You tucked in … Yeah!….Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere we go…..Once upon a time not long ago….
Enjoy the silence was one of the first songs i REALLY loved back when i was a kid. Back then i hated music ( comic books and video games were my shit ) but there were always a few joints that i would hear that would haunt my thoughts. this was one of em. So for the intro i figured just let it rock and yell out some shit.
2. It aint complex in my eyez.
I went through like 3 different incarnations of the beat. This was the third. When i took the one note and played the pattern i was like “YO”. It mixed perfectly with the drums and when i laced the synths on top it was money. I kept elements of the second version for breakdowns and ………BONG BONG BONG
The rhymes were old. I used em on “complex” on the Megaman Theory. They were reflections of my current mind state. Things i went through, goals, a shout out to Obama, hip hop blogs, stress, a few things i felt on the birthday of my sister that passed away ( R.I.P Ivy i love you ) things i read about, paranoid shit etc. Lines like “some cats work hard graduated college/ and the still ain’t getting paid for they knowledge” came from an article i read in XXL bout and up and coming Middle eastern mc that was a college graduate but was driving cabs in DC and selling his music. Shit like that makes me think that Karma fall’s short sometimes. The hook just sumed up life to me “I guess/ it aint that complex/ Life aint nothing but God and satan playing chess” cause to me shit ultimately comes down to doing good or bad and depending on what you do it’s ultimately a game to God and Satan. Both of which represent good and evil. As yall can probably tell i was blunted as hell when i wrote it.
3. Ritual Perfection.
Kane in 88 was the mindstate for this joint. I wanted to take it back to when rap niggaz were doing the running man and spitting ill rhymes. Just that wild energy but updated. The closing snare at the end of the original song sounded ill to me so i drummed it up and chopped another piece of the song for the hook.
The rhymes are on the same shit. Just spitting some shit and showing off the vocal dexterity. This track is more about the delivery thats why i did a calm and hype take and layerd them. Just to show how locked in the flow was. Random thoughts, autobiograpical lines and a Biggie homage sum up this one.
4. Personal Radio
I loved personal jesus. There was just some thing about the beat of the song that stuck. For some reason it just sounded like good sex with a white girl. Something about it just would activate the image of fucking a fly blonde country chick when ever i heard it. So when i flipped it i kept it raw and hard. It went through about 3 chops before i laced the pattern i used for the beat. A few breakdowns here and there completed it. For the hook, the idea just came to me. I been loved the butch vig remix to Hoise of Pains “shamrocks and shenanigans” One day around when i made the beat i was watching the video on youtube and remembered that Danny Boy’s part was always my favorite, that rhyme stuck in my head for years and i would just kick it to myself at the most random times ( dude just kicked that fly shit and he got that superlive personality, reminds me of some of the livest cats i used to know in Dublin ) so when i heard it. I sampled his voice and layerd it and everything was like ZOINKS ( whut up shaggy and scooby doo )
The rhymes continue the vibe of the last track. Just kicking fly hella ignorant shit. Then i dropped a little jewel at the end. Spoonful of sugar for medicine type shit.
5. Halo in reverse
This is my favorite track off the album. I laced the drums first then was playing patterns with the sample then when that pattern came together i was like “WHAT THE FUCK” The whole thing came together mad fast. I tried to add more to it and nothing fit cause the raw loops just worked. The vocal sample of the hook just went with the story in a wierd way. so i spoke about it at the end and named the track that.
The strory was one i had. Honestly speaking i rarely write to any of the beats i make. I just make them then i pick the rhymes that i have that would fit. when i write stories i always try and give the characters backgrounds just to fill it in more. It was a dark joint i wrote during one of the few times i let the morbid parts of my mind come out to play. Funny enough i got one of the best compliments i’ve ever got for this joint. A freind of mine hit me up and said that when he heard this song it made him think about his life and re analyze things. Hearing that really hit me in the heart cause when i wrote it i was hoping to get a strong reaction that would get people to think. Plus i threw on the slick rick shout out at the end to try and offset the morbidness of the whole story a little.
6. Violent Night
The beat was the second version of the song. I made a slower one but i decided it did’nt really hit the way i wanted. So i upped the tempo and added a bassline. just some basic chops and layering. I went for a bomb squad vibe, fast and urgent sounding but funky.
The rhymes break down violence from the way it’s ingrained in popular culture ( “without the wars nobody give a fuck about jedis” ) to how kids pick it up from abusive parents ( “psycology/ he trying to be/ just like his pops subconciously” ) and different levels to it based on things i’ve seen and learned about.
7. Hide secrets with silence
At first i flipped a beat using the instrumental track that comes on at the end. But i was like “nah”. So i fell back and worked on the drums. When i came up with the drum pattern i went for a tribe/mobb deep feel. Just hard heavy and mean but the sort of shit you could lace a sweet melody on top of it. I decided on the rhyme already so when i was tweaking the track i heard the vocal that went “take me to the top” and when i locked it in it was a wrap.
The dart is years old. I kicked it to one of my homegirls and she was bugging about the fact i made it up. She thought i wrote it about someone i knew. I stay going through my little bookworm phase and when i read a great novel thats when i write some of my best stories. So this was just using a story as a meatphor to say dont judge a book by it’s cover. But yo i saw that flick “deception” and a lot of those chicks reminded me of the shorty i wrote about thats kinda what made me dig out the rhyme. Shit i’ve got TONS of papers and books so finding one rhyme you wrote years ago is not easy but i guess it was meant to be.
8. The Rap Policy
I hated doing this beat cause i loved the beat and lyrics of “the policy of truth” so much. depeche mode were really saying a lot of heavy shit lyrically on the “violator” album. I was like “how the fuck am i gonna flip this?” That beat went through 4 mutations. Once again focusing on the drums first helped make this. I decided to go for an Ultrmagnetic mc’s vibe, something noisy but funky. So i played a pattern kinda similar to synthetic substitution but flipped it and found the sounds that would compliment it. This shit is so chopped it’s ridiculous but it finally came together. Played some keys on top and …….viola!
The darts are just me having fun. Shout out to Oasis and Golgo 13. I was spazzing in the booth off the la and bacardi and just had fun spitting out darts.
9. Blue Armor
Chops and smacking drums. Nuff said. Came together almost a quick as “halo in reverse” i added the bass drops on the turnaround of the loop and that was that. A few added breakdowns and “SHAZAM” it was done.
The rhymes were similar in spirit to “ritual perfection” and “personal radio” just me showing off the talk game. Funny rhymes , random relflections and ignorant thoughts. Super old school vibe on the hook to lock it in and that was it.
10. Clean Soul
I went for a clean alchemist/j dilla drum sound. Chopped the “clean” sample into sections and let them build up. This was the most straighforward sample on the whole project. The song had a very cybernetic feel that built up to a cinematic climax so i wanted to let as much of the original stay intact. The trickiness came with making the tempo of the sample match but once that was done it was a wrap. I went back and forth with Dave’s vocals for the hook cause his words fit the theme. since it was the last song i wanted the closer to be epic so i just let the original play out at the end and dudes lyrics sumed up my worldview.
The lyrics are an abstract reflections of my darkest thoughts. “transform to a bloody archangel/ crawling towards nirvana while he’s getting strangled/” means going through the struggle and getting mentally scarred but your still going for your goals and surviving. It’s essentially a photograph of the darkside of my soul at this point in time. Living in Columbia and watching the suburbs become more crazy and seeing the crazy foul underbelly that already existed but was well hidden. (“we in maryland bitch/ Howard county waking up in the sticks/ wide world of greenery/ cyborg machinery factory/ where all the hallway mirrors/ flashing images of foul dead killers/”)
Well that’s about it. This album was produced in just over a week and a half in between other stuff i was lacing. The album was pretty much a reinterpertation of the “Violator” album. That’s why i kept elements of the original song titles and sequenced the songs the same way they were on their album. It’s just another joint i put out to build up anticipation for “The Eyez Never Lie” my OFFICIAL Solo album. I still consider that my magnum opus.
Peace to those who checked it out and felt it. Thank you for the love.