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Are you hotly anticipating the as-yet-untitled project from DJ Spinstyles, drummer Billy Johnson, guitarist Mike McGrath and rapper Vertigone? How about lukewarmly? Coolly?
Well, this track
ought to crank up the anticipation by a few degrees. It's called "Either Way," a shout-out to the Nina Simone sample
that Spinstyles tweaked for the beat.
"Spinstyles chopped out a few loops, time-stretched them and reorganized them," says Vert (who is also known as Clarence Draper,
or that guy who makes my drinks at RecordBar)
. "He put in original synth lines, a bass line, a guitar line, programmed drums and live drums, and that's what completed the track."
As for the inspiration for Vert's lyrics, it's deep and, um, wet.
"The overall idea is excess, and the madness of addiction and substance abuse," Vert says.
"I initially thought I might do a feel-good track, since the instrumental is so upbeat and vibrant," Vert tells us. He did a little research on Simone, reading about her history as a singer, speaker and activist in the civil rights movement. The verses came to him after he hit upon an interview with Mary J. Blige
, who has been cast as Simone in an upcoming biopic
"Mary J. Blige said in her interview that she didn't know that she and Nina Simone shared some of the same demons and called her a drug addict. I don't know how rooted in honesty that statement is, but it helped me determine a direction to write the song," Vert says. "I tried to make it fun and accessible, but it's still serious, to me at least. The first verse is my interpretation of drug culture based on people who I am -- or have been -- close to. The second verse is about my drinking addiction. I threw in a few funny punch lines to distract from the theme."
The rest of the album will be a continuation of dubstep beats and hip-hop vocals, including contributions by Tech N9ne
-- what project isn't
he on? -- and Krizz Kaliko
. Spinstyles tells us that he expects to release it by summer's end.
Summer's not nearly at an end, thank heaven. In the meantime, you may as well polish your own drinking habits and pester Spinstyles about the album (and its lack of a title) at his poolside residency at the Jones