Cleveland born, San Diego based rapper NOTE is letting loose his latest project Love & Indifference today. The 19-track LP is the follow-up to 2008’s It’s Always Sunny in Cleveland EP. NOTE’s debut studio album is a journey through the mind of the self described “Nigga On The Edge”.
Love & Indifference is an infusion of spacey production, street rhymes, and amusing monologues. Note recruited over a dozen producers to provide tracks for L&I including his The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen partner Simon Muschinsky of When Saints Go Machine.
The Danish Electronic beatmaker and the Midwest Hip Hop artist previously joined forces to establish the “Gangsta Electro Clash” soundscape of Superconductor. Besides, Muschinsky, NOTE has also worked with Shady Records representative Yelawolf, EDM maestro Rustie, and other music acts from around the globe.
DZI: The Voice had the opportunity to interview NOTE. The Proximal Records performer discusses Love & Indifference, some of his favorite international acts, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ title chances, and more.
Yohance Kyles: When did you discover your voice as an artist?
NOTE: I was a late bloomer in terms of my vocal development. I was obviously a big fan of rap music growing up. I would fuck around with the wack ass built in microphone on the boom box, but I didn’t get serious about rapping until high school when I joined my first group which was a crew called Beneath The Underground. My late uncle (Andre Deal R.I.P.) paid for our first studio session. Once I heard my voice on a real mic, it was over. I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life.
YK: Do you remember the first rap you ever wrote? If so, what was it about?
N: Certainly. The song that really made me want to try to rap was Just-Ice’s “Going Way Back”. A friend of mine had the 12 inch which had the instrumental on it. I wrote – if you can call it that – my own version which was supposed to double as a Just-Ice “diss”. It was terrible. Shit should have been called “Going Way Wack”.
YK: How would you describe your sound?
N: I call my sound “Space Age Gangsta Shit”. Which is me doing a vocal (a rap or more than likely what I call non-sangin ass sangin) over laid back, chilled out, soulful beats and rhythms. I’m definitely not the most “lyrical” cat out here, and that’s ok. Because I know I can’t be faded on the hooks, vibes, and song quality.
YK: How is Love & Indifference different from It’s Always Sunny in Cleveland?
N: Sunny was different because it was all produced by one production team – Jjak Hogan. Whereas L&I was produced by a variety of cats that I love and respect on the beats. Sunny was a lot more gangsta in the subject matter as well. L&I is still g, but it definitely speaks a little more on the inspirational and educational tips. That means my music has matured which really means that I’m just old as fuck now.
YK: So, why do you talk so much over your tracks?
N: I have always been an artist that makes music that allows the listener to “know” me. I’m a huge shit talker in everyday life, so that is definitely going to be the case in the area of my life where I’m most confident – my music. I’m a jokester and an asshole as well… qualities that will shine through in anything I do.
YK: How did you connect with Simon Muschinsky?
N: I met Simon in the Myspace days. A beat scene taste maker/DJ/producer from Germany named Jay Scarlett connected us. I always credit Jay with forming The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Simon sent me a few beats, I wrote a joint called “Kid & Play” and sent it back to him. He dug it and sent me more. I then wrote “Me, Myself, & I”, “On The Hunt”, and “Danger”. TLOEG was then formed.
I met him in real life for the first time in 2012 when he came to California. We linked up again in 2014 to prepare for me going to Denmark to play shows at SPOT Festival, one of the biggest and best music festivals in Europe. Simon is my friend, partner, and family. I love that axe murder face ass nigga.
YK: You’ve had the chance to work with a lot of producers from around the world. Who are some of your favorite global artists?
N: Obviously, I’m a big fan of When Saints Go Machine. I also fucks with Steve Spacek, Little Dragon, Boards Of Canada, Machinedrum, Freddie Gibbs, and a whole lotta other muthafuckas that most people never heard of.
YK: If you could only listen to five albums for the rest of your life which ones would you have to select? Why?
N: That’s tough to narrow it to five. But I will have to go: Steely Dan – Asa, Dr. Dre – The Chronic, Interpol – Antics, The Isley Brothers – Winner Takes All or Showdown, The Police – Syncronicity. These albums represent my eclectic tastes in music and life in general.
YK: Do you still have a working relationship with Yelawolf?
N: No, unfortunately I do not. Wolf is in the stratosphere now. I reached out to him via email a few times after our collab. Never got any response, but that’s kind of the nature of the business once things start happening in your career. So I don’t take it personal. I’m happy that cat found success and is doing his thing. He is crazy talented and deserving of all the light he has gotten.
YK: What’s your predictions for the Cavaliers for the rest of the season?
N: If Kyrie [Irving] is healthy there is no way we don’t win the East. We can beat every team in the west 4 out of 7 with the exception of Memphis and the Spurs. I hope those old ass niggas get knocked out in the first round. Would love to see a Golden State vs Cavs finals. Cavs in 7.
YK: What’s next for NOTE?
N: Some titties. Then, hopefully promo tour for this album. Also got an EP releasing this year with the gawd Freddy Todd. A new TLOEG video for “Starship Troopers”, and also a documentary film about The League that folks are really gonna dig. I’m also directing my first video for the “Let’s Go Back” single. Then, some more titties.
To Download NOTE’s Love & Indifference LP click it
Check out NOTE’s new single “Be Careful” produced by Co.Fee:
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