Last week I embarked on a journey with a few of my comrades. We set out to the middle of the desert and what followed was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I grew up wanting to rap. I grew up listening to legends… Not realizing that one day I’d be working with them or calling them friends. We shot a music video last week for a song that I chose to call “The Humble Hustle.”
I wrote and recorded the song with Hittman…. You know, the Hittman who appeared on more than half of the songs on the Chronic 2001 album by Dr. Dre. The same Hittman, who wrote one of the most iconic hip-hop records of all time… The Next Episode.
I’ve been working with Hitt over the last year and it’s been a journey on it’s own… Talking to him about different writing techniques to hearing the behind the scene stories of the 2001 album and the Up In Smoke Tour. It’s kind of surreal. I feel like we captured a lot of that on this new record (The Humble Hustle). For the first time, Hitt publicly addresses his feelings towards his situation with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment from 98 till now.
Without a record label involved we also had full creative control on this project. And blessed with a great crew, we had the privilege to shoot this project with multiple RED EPIC cams. Carlos Haynes took the helm as he directed and brought precise greatness to each shot.
Working with Carlos was an absolute pleasure as well. He’s one of the nicest guys that I’ve met, immensely talented and about as humble as they come, no pun intended. You should check out his website CarlosHaynes.com and check out some of his work! You might even recognize some of his work from Big Boi‘s last album “Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors.”
The Humble Hustle music video will be out soon! Until then, I’m working on a few other projects… I’ll catch you on the flip side!
Playing WWE 2K14 this afternoon as my favorite wrestler… Sonjay Dutt. Check out the sweet tunes! I linked up with RawKey to do Sonjay’s theme. If you don’t have it already, download it by clicking right here!
I know I don’t update as often as some people would like… but just know that if I’m away from the site it’s probably because I’m in the studio creating new music or figuring out new ways to get it out to everybody. That being said, I have some great updates for you!
My new song Win This War (featuring Naia Kete) was placed in rotation on VH1 last month! I know a lot of you have already seen it! I appreciate all of the love and comments through your tweets and emails. Keep em coming!
I’ve also been hard at work on The Remix EP. I’ve been working with numerous producers to give it a unique vibe and I feel like we’re almost there. I’ve been writing and adding to the songs selected for the project. So even though some songs might be familiar… they’re going to be laced with new material.
And lastly, on January 16th 2013, I rap battled Dane Cook on stage at The Hollywood Improv. This was one of the coolest moments in life for me. This guy’s comedy has helped me through some of the darkest periods in my life (including my mother’s illness). And to share a moment on stage with him, was something that I never could have even dreamed possible. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
Music changed my life mannnnnnn…
- Hot Coco – Front
- Hot Coco – Inside
The holidays were a little extra special for me this year… I was asked to be a part of Conan’s Holiday Staff Album: Hot Coco. I appear on the closing song for the album called “The Night Before Christmas in LA.” Talk about a surreal moment. The night they gave me a physical copy of the CD… I just kinda sat back and stared at it in my hands. I’ve been watching Conan since I was probably 12 or 13 years old. It’s an unreal feeling to be a part of something created by his team. Life moments man…
A very special thank you to Alison Flierl and Doug Karo for making this happen!
“Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” – Rumi
The quote above speaks volumes to me. I think every artist can relate to the fact that, we have to do, what we do… It’s not really an option. The art runs through our veins. Welcome to the War of Art! A war that I plan on winning…
Be a part of my battalion. Enjoy the video. Send it in to your favorite blogs, post it on your favorite websites or message boards! Share it on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Tumblr! Email it to a friend! Whatever you’d like! Let’s just knock this one out the park!
Much love and special thanks to: Naia Kete, RawKey, PappaArtwork, and Tec!
Coming out of the gates with my guns blazing! The official first single off “Lions In The West” arrives today. It’s called “Win This War” and features the talented Naia Kete (from NBC’s The Voice). Produced by super producer RawKey!
DOWNLOAD: Win This War – The Asoka featuring Naia Kete (Right Click – Save File As)
I always love going back home to Detroit. I cherish every opportunity I get to spend time with my family, eat home cooked meals, and shoot the shit with childhood friends… It’s where I grew up. Is it sad? Sure. Detroit’s not the easiest place to grow up in. But over the years I developed a bond… not with the city necessarily, but with the people.
I feel equally as attached to Los Angeles, a place where I spent my early childhood, the city that I currently reside in. I love the culture… the liveliness of it, it’s the city that feeds artists! It’s a place where creativity is actually encouraged!
Growing up in Detroit, as a songwriter, was far from easy. Success, especially in the arts, seemed to be a far fetched fantasy to most. I was told that I was crazy. I even had a high school teacher, put in a question on our final exam, that was related to my aspirations with music. I believe the question was worded something like, “The worst rapper in the world is…” True or False. The week I was offered my very first record deal, my best friend told me his parents didn’t want him to hang out with me anymore because I was “corrupting him with my music.” Countless arguments with my father about how I was throwing my life away. If I had a dollar for every time… well, you get the picture.
Going back to Detroit last week made me realize the last few years have been really good to me. I’ve been blessed with a great team of supporters: I work on new music daily with my favorite producer and write songs with artists that I grew up listening to. It’s a trip sitting in the studio with an artist you grew up on!! And then there are those sweet sweet full page write ups from Maxim, Rolling Stone, Blender and even MTV.com praising the kid! One even comparing our work to Hans Zimmer’s.
Anyways, I tend to ramble on a bit. Long story short… I got a fortune cookie in Detroit… and I hope it’s right!
This summer I had the pleasure of working on a song with the talented Naia Kete, though the song is inspired by the humble hustle that so many artists are on, I also found inspiration in Arrow, an American television series. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite shows!
The song featured above is titled “Win This War.” Enjoy the sneak peak for now and make sure you watch the season premiere of Arrow, this Wednesday, on the CW network!
I’ll hit you guys with the official video next month!
Thinking about putting together a new EP full of Remixes. What are some of your favorite songs that I’ve put out? List them in the comments below and I’ll chose the songs that get listed the most and get the acapellas to some very talented producers to get this project underway!
Let’s build this together!
You feel that? I think Asoka Season is about to kick into full gear soon…. #WinThisWar!
The first single from the highly anticipated Lions In The West album is right around the corner….