Slaine Talks Tea Party "Town" Watchers, His Revised Album And "Frat Rap"
Exclusive: The rapper/actor responds to Republicans watching the film he co-starred in as a rallying point and explains his disdain for "upper middle class college students" rapping.
This past Tuesday (July 26th) it was reported that Tea Party-supported members of the U.S. House of Representatives were shown a scene from the Ben Affleck-directed film The Town to help rally Republican support for House Speaker John Boehner’s then proposed legislation to raise the country’s debt ceiling.
“I thought that was funny, man,” replied rapper/actor Slaine when asked by HipHopDX on Thursday (July 28th) for his thoughts on the scene screening. The Boston native who portrayed bank robber Albert “Gloansy” Magloan in the film added, “Everybody knows Affleck is a straight liberal Democrat, so I think it’s funny that the Republicans are watching a Ben Affleck movie to get charged up.”
Slaine Speaks About Ben Affleck Film Acting Roles
While the co-star of Gone Baby Gone and the upcoming Cogan’s Trade can laugh at the irony of conservatives using his liberal friend’s film for motivation, there is nothing funny about Slaine’s own new visual for his conceptual tale of the horrors of addiction, “Trail Of Blood.”
“For some reason I’ve always dreaded making videos,” said Slaine. “I love acting and making films, but I always hate doing videos for some reason. But, that’s my favorite video that I did so far. I think I might’ve been a little bit lazy with videos in the past – just goonin’ up for them and rappin’ for the camera. Moving forward, I definitely wanna bring more of a storytelling aspect – which I do in my music anyways, but I wanna bring that more to videos because people love that video.”
“And then the kid who made the video was the brother of this producer that I work with,” he added. “And he just made the video, on his own. Like, without my parts in it, with all the storyline and everything, and sent it to me. And I was like, ‘Wow, this is dope!’ So, I never intended for [that song] to be a video. But then we came up with the concept that I’m walking down the hall, I’m watching this whole thing – kind of as a spectator but also as a narrator.”
Slaine Explains Sample Clearance Issues With A World With No Skies
The Statik Selektah-produced song was actually first written by Slaine 10 years ago, inspired in part by his own battle with addiction. But after years of looking for the perfect beat to marry his vivid verses to, the track was finally recorded at the end of a marathon recording session with Statik last October to finish Slaine’s The Devil Never Dies mixtape. The tape was comprised in just two weeks time to compensate listeners for his first formal solo album, A World With No Skies, being delayed from its then scheduled release date due to sample clearance issues.
“Two weeks before my album was supposed to drop [Suburban Noize Records] pulled the plug on it,” explained Slaine. “It was pressed, it was actually given to all the digital distributors, it was ready to ship, and we had to pull the plug. … But then one of the digital distributors leaked my album accidentally. They put it up for sale, Nokia Music in the U.K.”
So on August 16th Slaine will be unveiling his revised debut, A World With No Skies 2.0, which he revealed to DX will be “about half different, maybe even a little more” than the original leaked version of his album that boasted some since scrapped sample-driven selections like the Statik Selektah-crafted “The American Way” and “Night After Night" .
“I actually had to go in and replay stuff,” Slaine explained, “and kinda gave new life to some of the tracks. But then some of ‘em just – any of the songs that I felt like the integrity was compromised by doing replays on I just didn’t use ‘em. I tried to replay all of ‘em. … It gives it a lot different feel, the new stuff. There’s no samples on this album. It’s all live instruments. I brought in violinists, piano players, bass guitarists, guitarists, singers. So, it definitely has a much different feel.”
“And I also went through a divorce at the same time that I was recording this,” he added. “It’s basically the album that ended my marriage. So it veered off the original concept that’s on the original album. I think it’s actually interesting to listen to both of ‘em and see how even though it’s half the same it’s so much different.”
The 2.0 version of his debut features underground kings Sean Price, B-Real and Termanology, as well as assistance from his groupmates from Slaine’s two crews, Special Teamz and La Coka Nostra (the latter is currently in the preparation stages of recording an album for 2012.)
And Slaine supporters shouldn’t expect to see any artists that don’t share his same sensibilities appear in the upcoming video for “Borrowed Time” from 2.0 or featured on his pre-2.0 mixtape, the Statik Selektah-helmed State Of Grace (due for free download within the next week.) Similar to the disdain he displayed for fellow Beantown artist Sam Adams when Slaine spoke to DX last year, the outspoken advocate for Hip Hop’s underclass is still waging war against outsiders to the culture, as he noted to DX on Thursday, “The kind of boom bap Hip Hop music that we do has kinda taken a back seat to … even like on an underground level, I think it’s taken a back seat to the frat rap thing. The crowd that used to listen to the lane that we’re in is now listening to upper middle class college students rap. If you look now every single major label has about three of ‘em.”