Real Dreams Episode 16 – Rasco & Flow'etic: From ZH to SF
Rasco of the Cali Agents is one of the pioneers of the Bay Area hip-hop scene. One day, I went to the studio, having listened to many boom-bap, old school tracks. Usually, I don’t go into the lab, already precisely knowing what I want to have by the end of a session. And when that (rarely) happens, I usually end up with a totally different result than what I had set out to do in the beginning. So as a basic rule of thumb, I never really go into the studio with a pre-conceived idea or goal that must be reached no matter what. However, like every rule, there are exceptions. This time was different.
Having vibed to the golden-age hip-hop records of my youth, I felt that one of the reasons I fell in love with Hip-Hop music was the realness of the artists, the sincerity of the lyrics, the story-telling, picture-painting delivery from true Emcees of the game. These were people with a real passion for music, where the music business mattered, but in that order: first the music, then the business. Unfortunately, as every popular music genre, Hip-Hop ended up becoming a victim of her own success. Once the raw, authentic and appeal of this culture reached the “mainstream”, that’s when things started to change.
Recently, however, a lot has been done to revive the new generation of Hip-Hop and keep the “roots” and the essence of the culture alive. Political events such as Ferguson, Terrorism & the Economy definitely made artists more socially conscious and provided Emcees with topics and fresh content to talk about, which affected almost every socially active artist. People like Kendrick Lamar or J. Cole have sold many albums recently, without putting any commercial songs out. That being said, my thought process on this record was to make a record which I could give to the Hip-Hop community, not to be politically or socially correct or anything. I had already produced a few club tracks, and trap beats, but I really was looking for some authentic hip-hop sound, which was how I experienced it as a fan growing up, but also as a DJ and Emcee performing live on stage.
With Flow’Etic, Merlin Alexander, the One Hustle Crew, we opened up shows for Redman, Method Man, CNN, M.O.P, Freestyle of the Arsonists, and many more great emcees. That’s also why I reached out to none other than Rasco himself. Not only did he love the beat, he was also really responsive. Although he was on the road at the time, he still found studio time in his busy schedule to write, record and finish the track back in record time. As soon as I heard it, all I could think of was that we needed a great boom-bap rapper from Switzerland to complement this and make it another classic international collaborative hip-hop record.
So I initially reached out to Merlin Alexander and Flow’Etic, who as a duo go under the name of Flow Manners. I really wanted to make them both shine on my project, because we’d been on the road for many years all across Switzerland. Unfortunately, at the time, Merlin was not available for recording, and only Flow’Etic had time in his schedule to jump on the project. It was just one of those unfortunate timing situations. Despite that, the end-result was what I more than I had hoped for: when I presented my CD to record label A&R’s, this was one of the favorite cuts off the album. You can pre-order the full album here #realdreams