Consequence Explains "Life Is Short," Balancing "Cons TV"
Exclusive: The G.O.O.D. Music vet describes his growth in one key song, and says he's keeping Cons TV balanced between Kanye West sounds and Q-Tip sounds.Just over a month ago, Consequence released Movies On Demand , his latest mixtape in the road to his sophomore album (and Universal Motown debut) Cons TV. Having eclipsed 60,000 monitored downloads, the Queens veteran emcee recently spoke to HipHopDX about to parralells in leading up to his sophomore with tapes like these, to his early '00s solo renaissance leading up to his signing with G.O.O.D. Music.
"I think Movies On Demand definitely mirrors Take 'Em To The Cleaners," said Cons about one of his breakthrough tapes from 2004. "I think it enhances and accentuates it to the tenth power though. If you look at both of the works, there's a few guest features on 'em, there's no red tape to 'em, and I was just able to go. You can definitely see the growth in Movies On Demand though, and it's crazy that there's growth at this present moment though.'"
One of the songs that really demonstrates Cons' growth is "Life Is Short" . Prior to its appearance of Movies On Demand, the record was a show-stealer within Statik Selektah's 100 Proof (The Hangover) album from earlier this year. Asked about the record and its inspiration, Consequence looked back to the mid '90s when he was recording his demo tape with cousin Q-Tip and seminal Rap engineer/producer Skeff Anselm.
"I used to smoke cigarettes, I used to drink, I used to blow blunts," revealed Cons. "It actually [got to the point] where my voicebox locked. When I was doin' the demo for this record called 'Livin' It Up' that me and Q-Tip had done, and [my voice lost its harmonic range]." The emcee points out that on his early appearance on A Tribe Called Quest's Beats Rhymes & Life, listeners will note a higher-pitched Cons, with more vocal range. "Tip told me, 'You have a really fragile voice. You might wanna consider stop smoking.'" Consequence listened, and the contents of that turning-point play out in the popular song.
The honesty within the song is something Consequence says he's evolved to. The emcee also notes that the serious subject matter does not compromise the record's evident nod-factor. "'Life Is Short' is a record that I hoped I [wouldn't] get hit upside the head for doing," Cons joked. "I think it's so blatantly honest and so blatantly a drop-the-jewels joint that's still makin' you bop to it. [Raps the chorus] 'Life is short, that's why I get my drink on. Life is short, that's why I get my smoke on.' Like with one of the instances that inspired it, Consequence asserted that there's truth to all he raps."Really, it's an answer to myself of the whole pressure of being social, socially-drinking. Some people, like myself, I don't drink and smoke anymore. I gave that up. That was one of the things I needed to give up in order to retrieve my career. It wasn't condusive to me being an artist. For me."
With his sophomore album delayed until later this year, Cons pointed out that records of this ilk are worthy of what fans will hear on the album executive produced by both Kanye West and Q-Tip. "It was supposed to be on Cons TV, but I gave it to Statik [Selektah], because with Q-Tip and Kanye [West] doing the whole album, I didn't want to throw the record away. At the same time, I needed to have that slot for Q-Tip or whatever. 'Cause when I recorded 'Life Is Short,' I had more records at the time from 'Ye at the time than Q-Tip, so I needed to balance it out."
With singles including Rick Ross and big budget videos, as well as "Life Is Short," Consequence recognizes his unique path. The emcee pointed out that Hip Hop is about thinking outside-the-box. "I've never been judgemental about Hip Hop, because I know that the true origin of Hip Hop is to never be judgemental about art. This is an artform that is considered not an artform. So there are no rules and perimeters. There's no 'This is the way it's supposed to go,' 'cause there was never that to begin with. It's always been about being fresh. Fresh has no definition, it's what you like, and what you bring to bring to that table."
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