What’s going on, it’s Defcee
Let’s get right into it, you are almost finished with a new mixtape, “A Mixtape As God Intended Vol 1”. What inspired this project?
I was inspired by the radio and mixtape freestyles from the ’90s and 2000s that made me step my game up as a rapper from people like The LOX, Crooked I, JR Writer, Beanie Sigel, Nas, and Cam’ron. The school I work at was on spring break, and I was on the bus writing raps to the goldenbeets beat that opens the tape, and when I’d finished that verse, I pulled up another beat on my phone and kept writing. The goal was to finish writing a mixtape by the end of that break–it didn’t happen, but it planted a seed for the direction the project headed in. I’m pretty bare-bones in my approach on here. I just wrote really good bars and all the other minutiae that comes with making music fell away so that my sole focus was making sure the writing was on point. I also did a lot of writing over the summer, and by about the middle of September, I went through what I’d made since the spring and started kicking verses to beats. I put together a mix of instrumentals I wanted to rap to, went in the studio, and laid the whole tape in two hours.
In that first track, your last bars are, “You from the chi? got bars? You got Adam to thank. Give me fathers day cards and a platinum tank”. You feel like you’re sonning some people out here?
Short answer: yes. Long answer: Hell yes, and I’m sonning people older than myself, too.
What caused you to make Five Courses the single off this project?
It’s got the most range subject matter-wise on the project, it’s the longest song, and it’s going to carry people into the next project, which is fully produced by knowsthetime. It also moves like the mixtape does in five minutes, and is reflective of the themes, moods, and language of the tape in its arc. It works as a fitting preview of what the mixtape will be about.
For this one, you decided to make it a single stream. Why was that?
The songs are relatively short, and it didn’t make sense in my head to have the songs split up when they move through the beats so quickly. I’d rather people fully immerse themselves in what I’m trying to do, then go back and re-listen from the beginning if they’d like to, instead of jumping around from song to song.
How did you select the beats to sample?
I wanted to aim for beats that: a.) not a lot of people have done freestyles over and that people wouldn’t expect me to rap on. I also tried to pick beats that would force me to experiment with different flows and expand my own artistic range.