1. The verse for “Afraid To Love”on Emerald Knights 2 was originally written and re-written 5 times. It’s the most I’ve ever reworked a verse, ever. Usually I nail it on first draft but I gave that a lot of energy.
2. The version of “How Do You Sleep At Night” on the album is the 3rd draft. the first beat was by AF THE NAYSAYER, who produced “Mackerel Sky” on Mega Ran’s RNDM album. The next was done by K-Murdock, but it was a little too happy, so then for the 3rd run, we filtered K’s sample and tuned it down to get darker chords to match the lyrics of the song.
3. The inspiration for “Love Is Here” was one of Felix and Ran’s favorite tracks of the last few years, “Why You Hate The Game” by The Game, which ended off his “Doctor’s Advocate” album.
4. I wrote most of the verses for the album in the studio, and the songs in which I rap first on, those are the songs in which I finished the verse first.
5. G1 (https://soundcloud.com/g1totherescue) made the tracks for the album cuts right in the studio with us, which made creation a lot of fun. We all created from scratch together in the lab.
6. I made a pact to challenge myself by not referencing any video games in the lyrics for this album. Why? I don’t know! It was definitely a challenge.
7. Felix recorded and mixed the whole album for us, and his cousin Brian mastered it… They both did amazing work.
8. “If I Could” contains stellar vocals by the San Jose Jazz Progressions General 2nd and 3rd Grade Music Students.
Progressions is an intensive youth development program that is all about changing lives by helping low-income, at-risk youth in our community identify, cultivate and celebrate their gifts through music education and performance.
9. My favorite verse is probably Felix’s on “How Do You Sleep At Night,” it’s just so real. I think the best verse I did is “Love Is Here.”
10. “Get Out The 90’s” was gonna be a solo record of mine called “Support,” I really liked it, but I liked what we did with it much better.
11. “If I Could” is such a great heartfelt song to me, I wrote that right after Charlottesville, and I knew we had to make a statement about the division I saw happening all over the country. The track by U’Nique Music actually was inspired by a Sonic Adventure level, ha.
12. The video for “Heat Stroke” and “Get Out The 90’s” were directed by El-Jay Cinematics, who has done a number of my favorite videos. We knocked those out in a week while I was between tours, and even have one more coming for “Unbelievable.”
13. “Afraid To Love” was a track I had in a folder named “To Wale,” because I planned on sending it to him to feature on. I kinda punked out and decided we could handle it ourselves. One day, there will be a Wale feature…probably on a song about wrestling, haha.
14. The order in which the songs appear on the album is the order that we made them in. It’s the first time the sequencing was done naturally on an album I’ve done.
15. The song “Worldwide” was actually supposed to have a feature from fellow AZ artist “Trap House,” but he blew us off. LOL. Maybe next time!
16. Mega Ran wanted to cut “Rappers In Their Feelings” from the album. Everyone who previewed the tracks on my end felt it was one of the strongest ones on the project, so we ended up keeping it.
18. Mega Ran had to re-record his verse on “Get Out The 90’s” because the original file was lost. *note* I like my 2nd take of it better – Ran
19. I recorded all my own vocals for the project by using a Bluetooth track pad, keyboard and 2nd tv monitor in the booth to see pro tools.
20. The sample “Rappers in their feelings it don’t make no sense” was taken from Felix’s verse from the intro track “Emerald Knights A Go.”
21. This was the first album where I wrote everything in the studio and recorded my verses non-rehearsed. I saw Mega Ran work that way, so I wanted to challenge myself and be able to keep up with his fast work flow.
22. DJ John Blaze did all the scratching you hear on Get Out The 90’s and Emerald Knights A Go.
23. Most of the songs were written, recorded and mixed between 10 pm and 3 am. Creatives work best at night!
24. There are a lot of aggressive records on the project because there aren’t many of them in me and Ran’s solo catalogs. I wanted to see him flex on the mic and go hard on wack rappers! It’s rare because he’s such a nice guy!
25. The guitarist on the end of “Love Is Here,” Jarred The Alien, is one of my childhood friends.
Thank you for reading the 25 facts on Emerald Knights 2 by Mega Ran and Bag of Tricks Cat. Make sure you check out the other 25 facts articles on the site.
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