FL and I released our first endeavor as the duo Mister Freedom this past weekend. The process of creating this album and getting it out has been a long and tedious one but over all it has been well worth the effort. I wanted to break down the history of the album for you and give a little incite into what it’s all about.
I began creating Mister Freedom two years ago while I resided in Oakland CA. I had a concept in mind to create a montage album, where every song went into the next, focusing more so on the entirety of the album itself rather than individual songs. Therefore, the song structures are not your average hip-hop or pop song structures. This is mainly due to the strangulation of the music industry. Everything sounds the same these days and people are mainly into singles rather than albums.
I was listening to “We’re only in it for the Money” by Frank Zappa a lot at the time and was highly influenced by Zappa’s masterful thought process.
As well, since viewing the film many years ago I had been obsessed with “Mister Freedom” a film by the brilliant director William Klien. “Mr. Freedom is a pro-American Right superhero who fights for God and country by beating, robbing, raping, and killing anyone who looks like they might disagree with him. When he hears that France is in danger of falling to the Commies, Mr. Freedom heads overseas to set things right. When the welcome he receives isn't quite as warm as he expected, he gives up hope of steering the French away from the Reds and decides to salvage what he can by destroying the entire country”(Rocher,n.d.)
I had wanted to create an album based off this film but take this concept into my world and mold it into something feasible for my generation. Thus, the Mister Freedom album was born. Taking freedom back from the political and social arenas, the big business of music where everything must conform to what sells, and the outline of modern day America would be the theme.
FL and I were acquaintances on social media but did not know one another. One day had seen on Facebook that FL was in need of a DJ. Whenever I visited Denver I tried to book a DJ gig or two to make my vacation a working vacation. I messaged FL and told him when I would be in Denver and if he would like to meet up and get some gigs moving. Unfortunately this did not happen but FL sent me his first solo album “Limbo.” I listened and was thoroughly impressed. The man has style; finesse and can rap his ass off. In return I sent FL my solo album “Teenagers.” He enjoyed it, so I thought why don’t I send him this crazy Mister Freedom shit and see what his reaction is. I sent it, he responded, and Mister Freedom was in the works.
For the next eight months we would send each other versions of songs back and forth via email and talk on the phone about concepts and how we felt about what we were working on at the time.
After that eight-month period my girlfriend and I made the decision to move back to Denver in hopes of buying a house. Once in Denver, FL and I got together every Wednesday to record, talk, and plot. The recording took another eight-months and then it was onto mixing and mastering. A few months later we had a finished product.
During the recoding sessions certain parts of the songs would come up and FL and I would converse on what to do. If it seemed that we needed someone’s input in the creation and development of the song we would reach out. Sometimes reaching out did not work too well, which led to better collaborations than first intended. Over all, the album formed into its completion in a very organic manner and I could not be happier.
Featured in the album in order is Deca on the song “Zenith.” An original member of the Life Crew here in Denver and currently living in NYC.,this man is such an amazing MC and writer, if you have not heard him please check him out, one of the best. Fast4ward laid down the masterful scratches on “Hello it’s me” giving the flavor most needed to take this tune to the next level. CRL CRRLL is featured on “Mister Freedom” presenting his calm, clean, astounding vocalizations over the chorus. My brother from another cupboard Mark Clifford played vibraphone on “Suites For Smalls” adding that last layer of sweetness and Vast Aire of Cannibal Ox raps a verse on “In America Today.” I have to say, Vast Aire has been such a huge influence on my music making over the last decade and it is my belief that he is one of the best MC’s to ever bless a mic. I am honored to have such an amazing artist on the album.
As of now, Mister Freedom is streaming on Souncloud and will be available for digital purchase on September 22nd, 2015. Click the image below to check it out and be on the look out for our Indie Gogo campaign in the next few weeks. We’re looking to raise $5000.00 to release the album on vinyl, hire a PR firm, supply the production of CD’s and tapes, and produce merchandise, that’s right, t-shirts and stickers. If we receive $12.50 donations from four hundred individuals, we will meet our goal. Easy-peasy!
Thank you to everyone who has supported, contributed, and enjoyed the Mister Freedom album. There’s more to come and we look forward to sharing our music with you.
Click the image below to check out the Mister Freedom album
Artwork by Chelsea Chorpenning Photography