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The Inspiration Made Itself

The Inspiration Made Itself

On the Culture Thesis I want to be able to talk with different people about the things they do. I ask ten questions. The first five questions focus on the person’s latest project. The last five questions are random and deal with pop culture. With that being said, I started my interviews with an up and coming artist (who just happens to be my brother) by the name of Soulhead Jones.

With his EP, “88 & Shizuo {“the ladies’ man has neither money or fame”}”, Soulhead Jones follows up his first mixtape, “You are (not) Average” with an older and more mature sound. We asked him a few questions about his latest work of art.

Your new EP is out. It’s very different from your first mixtape. What was your inspiration behind this second project?

There were actually four different ideas for the project. At first, I wanted to do a project that sort of juxtaposed “You are (not) Average” just because everyone was saying I ain’t have no bars. So I wrote an entire bar project that was strictly the hip hop basics. The punchlines, rhyme scheme, patterns, but I don’t do that. I think we got three songs in, and I said this is stupid. "Killer" was the only song that stayed from that.

I just kept going until the album made itself. The feel happened first. Then I got this weird, raw essence behind the sound. Everything sounded uncut. It didn’t sound clean. So I kept trying to find the continuity between it all. And what ended up happening was I found this show called Durarara that sounded the same. It felt and sounded the same [as the project]. I didn’t have any kind of control over that. The inspiration made itself.

Tell us about making {88&}.

It’s been in the works since November of 2015. We were in the middle of moving to LA, so I started recording half of it in February. I actually had a finished project at the time, but the idea kept evolving and changing. I hooked up with Dre’es, the main engineer, in LA and rerecorded a lot of the songs I had recorded with ISO, my engineer in Orlando. There was a total of 12 studio sessions, which sounds like a big number, but it’s not. It was a lot of traveling. To get to the studio in LA I had to take three buses and a train. It was a 2 hour and 30 minute trip to and from. It was a lot of work, but it was necessary. It’s what you have to do.

How did your move to LA change the way you went about creating this album?

First off, there was a physical and mandatory change. I couldn’t rely on ISO anymore because at the time he lived in Orlando. Thank God for Dre’es. It took a month and a half to find a place to record. The way I felt about the project became different, so the songs switched up. I met my girlfriend, who’s a musician, and her sister who taught me a lot about process and writing. The quality changed. The west coast absolutely changed the project.

What is your favorite song on the EP?

Do I have to pick one? “Newspaper” has to be one of my favorites because it includes one of my actual favorite songs, which is “A Day in the Life” by The Beatles. The song meant a lot. In that same light, “Blue Square” is another favorite.  I’ve always wanted to make rock music, and I think that’s probably the closest I’ll get for a while. My third favorite is “Killer” because it’s the oldest song on the tape.

What do you want people to take away from this album?

“You are (not) Average” was an introduction, but I feel like “{88&}” was still an introduction. I wasn’t done introducing myself. I want people to take a piece of me out of it and learn a little more what I’m about. It’s still giving you a piece of what this ride will be like once we actually begin.

So let’s switch it up. What are you listening to nowadays?

I always go into a weird mode when I’m working on a project where I stop listening to music. So I just started back a couple of weeks ago. My friend, Aura released a project and that s*** is amazing. That’s been on repeat in my house, not just with me. I’ve also taken a real liking to Curren$y lately. And Mac Miller is on repeat like a mother***er in this house. I’m really excited for Good A.M.

What music video do you consider the GOAT?

Kendrick Lamar’s “For Free?” I have never seen a music video done to that caliber. The way he was talking in the song, it was all brought out by the production and the concept, and at the same time it was hilarious.

You’re sitting at dinner with five celebrities. They must be alive. Who are they?

Dylan (as in the Dave Chappelle character) because I’ve never heard another rapper spit hot fire like Dylan can. The second person would be Jason Derulo. We need to have a serious talk about his career, and I feel like a dinner table is the best way to do it. Just for the record, if Dylan could be all five of these people, it would just be Dylan. Third, would be Lil Twist. I’d like to see what he’s up to these days. Tyler the Creator, so we could both talk to Jason Derulo about his career. I feel like he has a lot to say about that too. Last, Kanye West.

We’re all roasting Jason Derulo by the way. I don’t know if you got that.

What movie do you feel doesn’t get enough credit for being what it is?

I have three. First, Soul Plane. I just think everyone’s expectations were too high. It’s a Snoop Dogg movie. Second, Benjamin Button. Third, Friday After Next. It wasn’t very good but everyone went to go see the same Friday movie, so you should be happy with what we got.

Who won the Meek Mill vs. Drake beef?

Nobody really wins the beef unless you’re Drake this time, because Drake won. But it’s a delicate thing. I thought Charged Up was a perfect response. I thought Back to Back was too much. I think if he had switched the order of the songs, Drake would’ve come out looking better. But Drake will come out on top, as long as he never mentions it again, until he puts out another album and says something like Jay Z does.

Soulhead Jones will be opening up for BJ the Chicago Kid on August 31st. To find out more and donate to his GoFundMe visit http://www.gofundme.com/etdu2bak. And keep up with him on Twitter. 

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