NASA’s Marshall Space Center isn’t the only celestial phenomenon hailing from Huntsville these days. Riding over soulful, dirty-south-meets-Mos Eisley cantina-on-Mars production from Block Beataz, regional heroes G-Side toe the line of 8Ball and MJG’s space age pimpin’ and smoking L’s in a stained wife-beater by the curb. The duo, consisting of ST 2 Lettaz and Yung Clova, weave intricate everyman tales of struggle and insecurity with the brass ring dangling in and out of their clutches. “Maybe my life’s cinematic, no camera’s on, just livin’ the average, maybe our time ‘bout to end, maybe we just won’t win?” hits hard on the excellent track Cinematic from their latest iSLAND. Even a boastful jam like “Staycation,” laden with the best cars and weed, is a stark representation of the fact these dudes aren’t taking girls to the Caribbean. Still, “the leather was so tan it’s like she sittin’ in sand,” is an acceptable compromise reminiscent of BIG’s 8 tracks and 6 packs in the best way. Far from dour, G-Side don’t preach, judge, or proselytize, they just do them to the fullest which is refreshing in the world of MC thespians.
We caught up with the duo and Block Beataz this week to preview a few tracks as they embark on a nationwide tour. You can catch them this Sunday at DC9 with Lyricss and Ardamus.
G-Side: Atmosphere was originally supposed to be on Kristmas’ W2 Boy album, but didn’t really fit the mode. The track actually sets the tone for iSLAND because it was the first song we actually recorded that we knew was going to make the album. The vibe and the experimental production is why it’s my favorite. It doesn’t sound like anything I’ve heard before.
block Beataz: Its my favorite because of how the song came about. We had just come home from Norway and we were on a spiritual high. We were hearing a little talk here and there attempting to discredit our accomplishments. So it was our answer back. I dug up the sample and pieced it together and while i was working P.H just started humming a little tune. Clova manifested the hook, we recorded it and let it sit until 2 days before the album release. I didn’t know what to do with the track and had planned to leave it with no drums, but it just slowly morphed into something else at the last minute..
G-Side: The beat for Stay-Cation came from The One…Cohesive (January 2011) session and was probably reworked 5 or 6 times before it got to where it is now. The idea is to go on a vacation in your own town. A lot of people where I am from can’t afford to even take days off work so we go on a vacation around town. Burn some gas & some green with a pretty young thing and forget life’s worries.
G-Side: Cinematic was built from scratch a little ways into the recording process. At that time the media had been sendin cameras to Huntsville to record our lives and document our struggle and we felt like we might as well be actors since we in front of the camera so much. We got comfortable being us on film and slowly but surely our lives were being turned into a movie. But it’s the life we asked for so we can’t complain. Life looks better in Slow Motion.
Block Beataz: Mali just finessed the hell out of that sample. Our studios were next to each other and when he would open the office door that connected the rooms i heard some crazy, voices singing this incredible melody…i actually left my session in progress to go see what that was! He worked that track for weeks. That drum pattern is sits perfectly in the groove. It definitely had that big stage feel.
Block Beataz: R.dot and Cees definitely beasted this track. I had listened to the Tame Impala a few times and I couldn’t figure out what to take from it but they definitely found it. I like how big the drums are and its real noisy but controlled. The track just builds and builds and its almost like your waited for it to explode into something else…just real suspenseful. Joi started humming something operatic in the studio and I thought she was just playing around, but she was able to really hit those notes… Stalley was in Huntsvile recording with us and he definitely finessed that last verse perfectly. Great beat, great verses, great hook, great song