Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Child's Play - 3rd installment of the Kickstarter Campaign Collaboration Reward

Here is the 3rd collaboration from my Won Over Frequency Fundraiser Campaign:

Regarding the lyrics: I received a clump of lyrics from Brandon Murphy at the end of October, 2010. The song was to be the story of he and his best friend, Jason, highlighting their dedication to musical collaboration over the years. The first block of lyrics he sent me was very short; I struggled to find a narrative arc that would span several verses.  At my request, Brandon and Jason provided me with a lengthy backstory to their relationship and growth in music together and apart. I spent a fair amount of time paraphrasing their lyrics and story into what would be the first two verses. By the time I had finished the second verse, the music sequencing and sample-based production (which I so rarely employ) was quickly become central to the process, getting me amped the way it used to when I played with my first sampler, the MS-1 (with $189 5.4mb Flash card), back in 1997.

One night when some old friends were at the house horsing around, I played the track for them and told them I was at a standstill with the narrative. We got to riffing and one thing led to another and Brian challenged me to include the tracklist from Def Leppard's Hysteria in the lyrics. Then he challenged me to include the phrase "Tibetan checkerset." One thing led to another and we had formed an entire verse of ballistic stream-of-consciousness... nonsense. The next day I set about to craft a serious verse, but the more I listened to the debauchery verse, the more it made me smile. After a few days of mulling, and adjusting the production to highlight my favorite parts, I have decided to leave it intact because I think I have inadvertently captured the essence of what Brandon and Jason wanted to celebrate, what making hip hop was for me and my friends back in our teens: the joy of lighthearted fun-focused collaboration - no matter how ridiculous or non sequitur.

Regarding the music: in celebration of Brandon and Jason's love of hip-hop, I decided to shoot for a Public Enemy-ish approach to the track, collage-ing the music from a few of hip-hop's most widely sampled tracks (like Bob James' 'Take Me to the Mardi Gras' and The Sugar Man Three's 'Funky So and So'). To make it challenging I tried to cut them up in ways that left them unrecognizable. As a nod to Brandon's most hated horror film (which played a pivotal role in the boys' first impressions of each other), sections of the theme to Child's Play were used prominently. I used a lot of "dirtying" production techniques to give it edge: over-saturation, copious amounts of side-chaining, and drastic automated EQs.

Child's Play
No one knows how it started
cause it started like a dream
with a seven dollar mic, panty hose
for a pop screen
holed up in the Wreckhouse crafting beats
can't hold back, trying not to clip the P's and T's
sick with the disease of first-time rhyme steez
rappin' bout the underage booze n' weed
it was all about the growth, not about the cheese
cutting every note like blood up on the keys  
It was Child's Play

It was Jay on the mic, and Murph on the beats  
On occasion did they trip up? CAUCASIAN PLEASE
but you're never gonna rise if you never take a knee
every stumble was a lesson for a new degree
stayed humble while they the dressing down the wack MCs
what's it take? What you got? check the inventory
they only need a kick and a snare, bass line or a chord 
always about the story never 'bout the glory
it was Child's Play

"When you left for school I felt dead inside
'cause every inch that you gave me made me feel So Alive"
Love and Rocket
plugging sockets
Love Bites
Pour Some Sugar On Me
Armageddon It
Gods of War
Don't Shoot Shotgun
Run Quiet Riot
Bang Your Head 
Cum on Feel the Noize

Don't Wanna Let You Go
Slick Black Cadillac
Love's a Bitch
Battle Axe
Let's Get Crazy, Thunderbird

Tibetan checkerset, 
Depeche Mode sweater vest
better yet, 
Love and Rockets (again)
plugging sockets (again)
Women, Rocket (again)
Pentax Tampon cronics
Nico Icon Cannon Dannon brogurt
put some fruit on the bottom
where's my mic steez at?  
I still got em
bite these Nuttz™

War Pigs got me 
Planet Caravan
Iron Man
Electric Funeral
Hand of Doom
Brain Salad Surgery
S.T.I.L.L... You Turn Me On (to fruit)
Jack the Stripper
Fairies Wear Boots 
and these boots were made for Christopher Walken
no more cowbell, more face/LandCamera/man-blocking
[slap it]

1 comment:

Pat said...

Gavin, this is a great track! The thought you put into every aspect of the composition is wonderful, and it seems like it must have been fun to create!