The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place -lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good- so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week's Rapper(s)/Producer(s): The Bama Boyz This Week's Subject(s): The Neptunes; namedropping; Beyonce's "Why Don't You Love Me" Ask A Rapper: So, we hear you all have a new EP. How's that work? Are you all performers as well; like Pharrell but way less annoying?
Jesse [laughs]: I don't feel like Pharrell is annoying, but yes, we are performers as well as producers. We come up with concepts for all of our records, so being on stage is not much different then the studio, except people are watching us act crazy and have fun.
Eddie: Yeah, the EP is called Socially Awkward. One reason, if you have ever seen us in social settings it's quite obvious that we spend a lot of time alone in the studio. Also, being producers we usually concentrate on helping other artists interpret their vision musically while at the same time making sure the records are "commercially satisfactory" so the managers and labels are happy enough to pay us. With our EP, the only people we have to satisfy is ourselves. We can go far left and say whatever we want and we really take advantage of that freedom with our EP. We may be just as annoying as Pharrell, possibly more. Jonathan: We are producers, artists, businessmen, etc... have no plans on stopping now. So we would love for people to one day be able to compare our success with that of [the] Neptunes. AAR: What other projects do you all have production-wise? Any other big Houston acts you can name-drop? Bama Boyz: There are great things going on in the studio right now; you'll all know soon enough. We're being kinda selfish at the moment while we're working on the second volume of our Socially Awkward EP and simultaneously our full-length slated for top of 2011. Plus, we are performing a lot more. Bama Boyz, "A Tale of a Balling Gentleman"
But we are producing some dope electro remixes for a few labels, including country labels. As far as Houston, we're probably going to do tracks on a few of Music World's artists, such as Solange, Tiffany Evans and T57. Then we can come do another interview with bigger pictures [laughs]. AAR: Talk a little about the aforementioned Beyonce song. How'd that come to be?
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BB: That track was inspired by our travels to the UK. The whole time we were there we felt like Jason Bourne or like we were in Ocean's 11 or something. The feeling stuck so when we returned back to the studio we wanted to make an instrumental that felt like theme music; something with attitude, up-tempo, exciting but cool. So we made that track with no intentions except using it as walking/driving music. When Solange asked for beats for Beyonce, we almost left that track out. We added it on there anyway because we know Solange appreciates weird tracks but we never expected her to write to it for her sister. But she did. Fast-forward a couple of months, Beyonce popped up in Houston at the studio and played us a few new songs off the soon to be I Am...Sasha Fierce. After she played "Halo," all of sudden our Bourne Ultimatum track came on with her vocals. We were ridiculously excited but we played it cool; at least we think we did [laughs]. This song has been a rollercoaster because some weeks we were hearing it made her album and other weeks we were hearing it did not. It ended up barely making it as a bonus track, so we celebrated that but thought that was the end of it. Fast-forward to May 2010 and she personally releases a video for it out of the blue. We feel though that the timing is right for the song now. When we first did the track it felt futuristic and retro at the same time. It stood out amongst her other songs on the album. Fast-forward to today and it still stands out, but the commercial market has become more experimental and the audience is more open-minded. The timing is perfect.Download the Bama Boyz's Socially Awkward EP here.