The Playlist: Inspirations for The Moment
The Moment Playlist
All the songs that inspired my 2013 album, The Moment
On December 3rd, 2013, I was able to release my album, The Moment. This was an album two years in the making. This album almost came out a lot earlier but on a Christmas trip to visit family in Mississippi, my computer crashed. Since I write on my laptop, I lost all my lyrics and couldn’t remember all the songs I wrote minus a few lines here and there. This led me to having to do it all over again but while doing this, this led to me finding the production group, Stompboxx Music, which changed the whole song of the album and allowed me to let go and write the project you now hear.
With the Run It video a week away (June 19th) and working on my newest album, Good Day, Greater Tomorrow, I would like to go in-depth on the songs that inspired the album.
Following this will be links to all streaming services to the playlist and songs that inspired each song. If you’re reading this, you’ll get to check out the Aaliyah and Timbaland songs that inspired the album. Thanks to a certain label, none of these songs are on streaming. Thank God for YouTube.
Apple Music Playlist: https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/inspiration-for-the-moment/pl.u-NpdaFVqoKG
Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5DGOy7hZEJA9FDBvJTW4TC
The first thing that attracted me to the Epik The Dawn produced, Tabula Rasa, was the gothic horror feel from the organ. It was reminiscing of the early Universal Monster movies like Frankenstein and I knew this is exactly how I wanted to start the album. Cinematic as fuck! It also akin to the theme song of WWE wrestler, Kane. I’m a huge wrestling fan and I always feel like the start of an album should feel like you are walking out to the crowd at an wrestling event.
See my gun is never jamming
Singing the Black National anthem
Lifting every voice when I sing
Cause In VA, you got to balance the beams
Growing up in the Black church in Virginia, we sung this song every day in Sunday school. For those a part of the culture, this is an easy line to get the reference but for those that don’t know, listen proudly to the Black National Anthem.
A million fans that ain't enough
The DMVs some outsiders so pony up
Them Socs better get the money up
Cause they quick to go the broad way so tony up
Danza, who’s the boss of these George Constanzas
References hitting you from every angle like they off the random
Back in the early 2000s, RDGLDGRN then known as The Five Ones, were killing shows all over the DMV, especially in Adams Morgan. This is when I met the crew. This song originally didn’t have a third verse, but I heard this song and instantly wrote it. This was my shout out to them.
You popping bottles?
You popping molly? (Woo)
You popping molly? (Woo)
Well, I guess that's good for you
“Popped a molly, I’m sweating, woo”….you knew this.
Rest in Peace, DJ Screw. The first thing I imagined when I heard this beat was driving down the street with red light reflecting off me in a scene that could’ve been from the movie, Drive. The first voice I heard was a chopped and screwed style voice saying the opening refraining. Still Tippin’s beginning was my starting point and I took it from there.
The famous keyboard riff made it into this Stompboxx Music produced song and gives this emotional song a catchy backdrop.
I met Alison outside of the IHOP near the studio and we sat in my car going over the songs. I rapped to her my part and what I wanted the chorus to convey. In about two minutes, she suggested using this Nina Simone song to get the job done and she was absolutely right. This was exactly what the song needed.
Growing up in VA in the late 90s and early 2000s was a blessing. Timbaland and Missy were changing the landscape of music and he is one of the producers I would love to be in the studio with. Live This Life was such a Timbaland-esque beat that I could not resist not rapping on it. Too bad you can’t stream this song but you’re in for a treat if you’re reading this now.
If you’re following the playlist, then this is the song you got. The reason I picked this for the playlist was Timbaland’s use of vocal sampling. Listen to how cinematic Tim makes it and how its reflected in my song.
All the elements in this prelude before The Love Scene III can be found in the song. This is one of my favorite beats of all time One reason is because for some reason Tim decided to put crickets on the beat. I still believe that he was in the studio and heard actual crickets in the “Bassment” and they were on beat. Once he heard that, he sampled it and we have history. Either way, once I stripped the beat and found out this was hidden in it. I was excited and knew this song would be great.
If you’re on the playlist, this was replaced by Tink’s “Million” since a certain label doesn’t have this Aaliyah song on streaming services.
The Love Scene III in total contains three Aaliyah samples. There are the other two that are throughout the song. Thank you, Tim, Missy, and Aaliyah for making timeless music.
We can do it anywhere
In tune with keeping the 90s vibe throughout the song, Alison snuck this line in from this 112 song. Wassup, Lil’ Zane?
Huh, is that all right with you? Is that aight with you?
Uh, now keep banging
A shoutout to Puffy’s part in this classic Biggie song.
This DJ Premier produced song beginning is flowing throughout this boom bap social conscious song.
I’m singing my Country, 'Tis of Thee
But they telling me to get down on my knees
I say we need a better education system
They tell me that we need to build more prison
Land of the Free, home of the Brave
But it’s the home of the paid, land built by the slaves
Freedom was ringing for everybody but people that look like me. This chorus using these two Patriotic songs was to wave the flag under the hypocrisy that these songs were written and still operate under ‘til this day.
The whistle throughout the song at 00:48 is a melody of the chorus of this Death Row R&B song.
On top of the Kool & The Gang sample, the song contains the chanting of Summertime very, very, low in the song.
Word up, hey
Word up, hey
Word up, hey
This is one of my favorite songs growing up as a kid and I would always randomly say the ending of the song to myself. The end of Self-Improving seemed prime to use it and pay homage to Da Brat.
The Aaliyah sample fills up the whole track and Baby Girl as always takes the song to the next level.
When I first heard this beat, I knew I wanted to turn the song on its head. I wanted to take a hard trap song and turn it into a Women’s empowerment anthem, especially for Black women. The first visual in my head when writing this song were a group of women in the VIP section of the club Dame Dash’ing dudes with champagne. On top of that, I wanted to take an artist that is considered highly misogynistic and turn that on its head making the sample of Luke to be empowering to the women in the song.
Also, this was the first hip hop song I remember hearing as a child in Mississippi. My uncle really didn’t care about what he played around me as a 4-year-old.
Since I always see my songs as movies in my head, the first time I heard this funky 70s Blaxploitation-esque Epik the Dawn produced song, I saw the images of the DJ from The Warriors. This led me to record my own version of this with a high pitch voice and if you watched the video for this song, we emulate it. Rest in Peace, Lynne Thigpen.
Something I heard when listening to chorus was OutKast “Spottieottiedopalicious".” The Sleepy Brown version felt perfect so I flipped to fit the song.
That ill shit, hunger for the money is absurd when a nigga wants a meal ticket
White picket fences, listening to Wilson Pickett
In the Midnight Hour, we just beginning
Don’t need to check the score to see whose winning
One of the most famous quotes from “The Wire.” I was on my Omar on this song.
1 for the money
2 for the show
I was just on my shit on this song.