For the official release day of Together/Apart the new album by Grieves and producer Budo, we continue to discuss the new album. We also talk about touring and future plans. However, that didn’t stop us from talking about Mexican tear drop tattoos or from breaking out in unison singing Michael Jackson’s “Somebody’s Watching Me”. I learned that the best adhesive for a homemade triangle would be guano and Grieves doesn’t only play the guitar and keys; he also plays the ladies hearts. It was decided that the best animal to have in your own personal petting zoo would be an Ibex. A little gift from Grieves, youtube “Don’t argue with an Ibex”. You’re welcome. Special thanks to Grieves and everyone at the Rhymesayers family. Purchase Together/Apart on iTunes or from Fifth Element.
Where does this idea of Together/Apart come from?
Together/Apart means two things for me. It’s how I’ve had to live my life the past couple of years. That is the dynamic between the personal relationships in my life, my friends and loved ones and my family. I’m gone all the time and it’s really hard to retain those relationships. Back before I had everybody telling me, “You’re doing what you love. This is amazing.” I had my friends when I was like, this is not working for me, all of this is frustrating. The people who saved my ass at that time were my friends and my family. Being successful I don’t have the time I used to have to spend with them and that is fucking with me. You can tell by listening to the record. I feel like I’ve been living my life together/apart with these people and I’m doing the best that I can.
When you’re on the road and you do these tours and see all these people waiting in line. They file in, they stand next to each other and sing these songs together and they don’t know each other each at all. Most of the people wont know each other. They’re a bunch of strangers in a room with at least one thing in common. It’s crazy to me. Although you might not know it, you could have plenty in common with somebody. That is powerful shit. Not in an empowering way, in an effecting way. It’s a very powerful thing to feel that. I appreciate the shit out of that.
What was the first track that you wrote for the album?
“Heartbreak Hotel”, which was actually written before “Irreversible” came out. I was just never able to sing. I had that song and produced that song way back them. I didn’t have the skills to sing it at that point in time, so I held off on it.
What track are you most proud of on the album?
I jump back and forth a lot because I love all of them. The one with Brother Ali, “Tragic” really is one of my favorites, because Brother Ali is one of my favorite rappers. The song is pretty much about that together/apart struggle. Getting to find common ground with him on that subject, it brings so many things full circle to me. When I hear that song it makes me smile.
Have other people approached you for collaborations?
I don’t really like doing it. A lot of rappers will take money for stuff like that and I did it for a little bit. I was not happy at all doing features for music that I don’t appreciate or belive in. Just for the fact of making a check, is totally not helping me any. As far as branding goes, it makes it look like anyone can get a verse from me. It takes me a while to write these verses. I wanna do songs I care about. I don’t want to do songs just for money. I don’t care about money. Money comes and money goes, those songs will last forever. If Brother Ali came and asked me to do a song I would do it. I want to do timeless music. I don’t want to make pay the rent music.
Do you have any expectations for the Vans Warped Tour?
Make it out alive.
How do you break up the monotony of touring?
I don’t know yet. A bottle of whiskey helps. My MacBook with every movie I have and Netflix. I watched a shit load of Breaking Bad last tour. Dexter has gotten me through several tours. A little Midi keyboard so I can make beats on the road.
They should feature one of your songs.
I would love that. If anyone is reading this, holler at your boy, boy.
How would you define it as you’ve made it?
I think I redefine that every day of my life. I think June 21st is going to be one of those days. Doing this interview is one of those moments. For me that train just keeps rolling. If I find that I’m at the top and can’t go any further, then that is going to be a shitty day for me.
What other projects would you like to work on in the future?
Right now I’m working on some sexy soul music. I’d like to put an EP of that out.
Would you want to produce albums?
Oh yeah! I want to produce a gangster rap record. Not me rapping. I wanna team up with a gangster rapper and make all the beats for it. I’m gonna go by the producer name, The Bass Invader. I would either want a hardcore gangster rapper or I’d like to produce some stuff for Freddie Gibbs. He’s like the Last of the Mohicans of the gangster rappers.