December 9, 2015 Jason

The Cassette: Side B – Track for Track (commentary)

READ “SIDE A” COMMENTARY FIRST

Like I said in the previous post, the name of the mixtape actually came from me freestyle-talking on the intro track of Side B. Without initially knowing, I said “Welcome to the mixtape…Side B.” I started to delete it and redo the intro, but then it dawned on me how perfect that was. It was that “mistake” that I started to form the mixtape. Alright, enough of the small talk…The Cassette: Side B – Track for Track. Without further ado, I would like to break down to you my thought-process behind each track of Side B:

  1. Jason’s Lyric + The Golden Age of The Cassette
    I was looking for the same intensity and approach for the intro to Side B like I had on Side A. Almost immediately, I answer the question of why I do music. With that chip still on my shoulder, I continued to notify people that I’m not just a graphic designer, but an addict to music (figuratively speaking). The instrumentation is hard and it gives off a live vibe, almost commanding attention without the vocals. Since my name is “Jason” and I’m essentially giving you “lyrics”, I played of the name of the movie Jason’s Lyric (and made reference to the main cast members). On the same track, there is an interview (not by me) explaining the importance of “The Cassette era“. I felt it was necessary to explain to a newer generation the importance of cassette, and also shed light into how I fell in love with hip hop. There is a disclaimer before the interview, letting the listener know that they have the option to skip the interview or stay on the track.
  2. The North (Philly)
    Since I already did an entire mixtape (The 80s) on my days in Philly and representing the north, I didn’t want to linger (hence why this song is the shortest song on The [entire] Cassette). I was looking for grit and grimy and that’s exactly what I got out of the production. The latter portion of this track was a great segue into the next track, which is…
  3. The South (RVA) + Commercial Break
    I didn’t care what tracks made it on this mixtape. This one was important. It elaborates on the track “Full Circle” from Side A, and displays how meaningful Richmond, my home town, is to me. Again, I was looking for grit and grimy, and again, that’s what I got out of the production. On the same track, after this song, are a few commercials that brings some nostalgia to the mood, which leads into the next track.
  4. Throwback Thursday
    Talking about Philly and Richmond in the previous tracks had me in a reminiscing mood, so I started to reflect on some childhood memories. This song is the perfect #tbt or #throwbackthursday picture. Quite a few scenarios on this track should be relatable to some. It’s a laid-back, classy groove that makes you relax and reminisce. There is a hilarious interlude that focuses on men desperately trying to impress women with their words (also known as “being thirsty”).
  5. Thirst Traps
    I am no preacher, but if I had a message that I would minister on, especially to these young boys out here, THIS would be the track to listen to. There are too many cases where guys get caught up by scantly clad girls on social media (and in real life). After they see these girls, they begin to pant on them like a dog in heat, saying and doing stupid things, thus making them look “thirsty” for attention. For the record, the role is vice versa as well. Girls can become just as thirsty online by looking at a guy with his shirt off or posing in his boxers. I am the referee, throwing flags and blowing whistles. I also threw in a oldie-but-goodie at the end of this that leads into the next track.
  6. Just Got Paid
    This soulful track was actually the first track I wrote for this mixtape. When I wrote this song, I had no clue what the other tracks would be like. I went back to my storytelling ways and wanted to put the listener in the driver seat of a guy who is excited because it’s pay day. (Who doesn’t get excited about pay day?) The issue, however, is that he wants to go out with his wife after work and chill, but he forgot his phone, so he couldn’t text her ahead of time. By the time he gets home, she’s in “I’m staying home” attire, ready to call it a night. Check out this track to hear how the evening was saved.
  7. Ranting & Raving
    For those who follow me on social media, especially Facebook, you know that from time to time, I post random rants. I wanted to rant on this track, but also have fun. I took the term “rant and rave” literally. I got to rant on the verses and rave on the hook. A very tongue and cheek track.
  8. Lyrical Fitness 101
    You have now entered the fitness section of the mixtape. This track is the first of three workout tracks. As I took on the role of a trainer, I wanted to blur the lines between weightlifting and lyrical bragging (a la “Lyrical Exercise [Breath Easy]” by Jay-Z), but also take it a step further by switching up the speed of my flow/rhymes while building up the listener’s heart rate.
  9. Clap & Stretch Warmups
    Now that I have taken the listener through a workout, it’s time to bring the heart rate down just a tad. This track is basically preparing you for the finale. The mid-tempo and the hook provides the listener an invitation to join along and clap (when instructed). The intensity briefly increases mid-way through the song, then returns to it’s normal tempo. 
  10. Cardio Jam 101
    This is where it all ends. The verses are basically setting the pace, which is mid to high-tempo. The hook is a full-fledge workout regime, basically placing the listener into an aerobics class. If you’re not burning calories on this song, then you’re just doing it all wrong. My goal was to end the mixtape on a high, energetic note.

I wrote, recorded, and mixed 22 songs for this mixtape. Two songs did not make the cut. One of them, I just wasn’t pleased with the hook or mood of the track. On the other track, I let my close friends hear it and one of them told me that I came weak on it (paraphrasing), so I took his word for it and scrapped it. Well, that’s my summary of all the tracks on Side B. Be on the lookout for the Side A single that drops on my birthday (12/18) as well as the actually mixtape release(s) on 1/6 and 1/20.

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