Torae - For The Record

Lou_CypherLou_Cypher E.L.E.: Everybody Love EverybodyArkham AsylumPosts: 48,170 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited November 2011 in The Essence

01. Intro (prod. by Torae)
02. Alive feat. Wes (prod. by Khrysis)
03. You Ready? (prod. by Marco Polo)
04. What It Sound Like feat. Pav Bundy (prod. by Illmind)
05. Shakedown (prod. by 9th Wonder)
06. That Raw (prod. by Pete Rock)
07. Do The Math (prod. by Large Professor)
08. Changes (prod. by Diamond D)
09. Over You feat. Wes (prod. by E. Jones)
10. Imagine (prod. by Eric G)
11. Only Way (Interlude) (prod. by 9th Wonder)
12. For The Record (prod. by DJ Premier)
13. Thank You (prod. by Nottz)
14. Reflection (prod. by Eric G)
15. Panorama feat. MeLa Machinko (prod. by Fatin)

Album leaked today. havent heard it yet. Shit looks dope tho! look at that list of producers!! oooooweeeee


  • RuffDraftRuffDraft Posts: 4,740 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2011
    Niiiiiice list of producers, enjoyed his last album as well, Torae is that dude…

    Here's an interview with him that dropped yesterday over at
    Brooklyn’s Own Torae Sets The Record Straight
    by ERIN on NOVEMBER 1, 2011

    In an era of a need breed of artistry, the Golden Era of Hip Hop still lives in the heart of Brooklyn emcee Torae. Read on as he “un-raps” the art of versatility, what he would teach at the University of Hip Hop, performing overseas vs. the states, and his friendships with artists from the Golden Era.

    Erin: Your new album For The Record drops November 1. How is this album relevant to who you are as an artist and as a man?

    Torae: What this album does is bring you up to speed. The intro of the album starts at my high school graduation and then the songs chronicle everything that I’ve gone through since then. From my music to some life stuff, it just brings you fully up to speed with Torae, the artist. Some people may have been familiar with me from Daily Conversation or Double Barrel with Marco Polo. But this album is giving you more of the full picture of who I am. So if you’ve heard those projects when you get this one, I think you’ll have a clear understanding of Torae.

    Erin: Interesting. I noticed over the past few years, you’ve shown more versatility with your EP Heart Failure, and your song “Switch.” As an emcee, how important do you think it is to show your versatility? And do you think that can ever hinder you as far as your fan loyalty goes?

    Torae: Well “Switch” was on Daily Conversation—the mixtape I released in 2008, and I did that song because that was my introduction to everybody. I had “Click,” and “Get It Done” with Premiere and Skyzoo. People kept hearing me on all these features so “Switch” was a response to some of the criticism I was getting about not being more than one dimensional and not varying my style of flow. I just wanted to show that everyone has their signature sound. So I took little bits and pieces from other artists and was pleased with the response I got with that record. Heart Failure was done for two reasons. For one, I just wanted to do it—I like making “chick songs,” and the songs that relate to relationships. And two, it was Valentine’s Day and I wanted to give something to people to hold them over be between albums. Heart Failure was a platform for me to show my versatility…I wanted to show people I wasn’t a one trick pony, and that I’m able to talk about things I wouldn’t normally put out in a regular song or project, and give people a different side of me. At the end of the day, Torae the artist isn’t really different from Torae the man. Sometimes I’m in the club, sometimes I’m in the library, sometimes I’m at school with my kid, sometimes I’m in the bedroom. I don’t want to give you and image; I really want to give you me in my music.

    Erin: Do you feel that other artists fall short of doing that?

    Torae: I will say that nowadays, with the Internet being such a good tool, artists are starting to show more versatility because they don’t necessarily have to be contractually obligated. Before, you had to put out a project on your label and you couldn’t necessarily do a Heart Failure type project because the label probably wouldn’t get behind something that was so mono-themed. More than likely, they didn’t think it was something that they could package and sell to their targeted audience. Nowadays, with zip files, you can spread your wings. I think some artists have taken advantage of it, and other artists will begin to once they realize that they have more freedom and flexibility then they will do more of the records that they want to do instead of doing what they think they have to do in order to sell a record.

    Erin: Since you were on Duck Down Records and have worked with a lot of legendary people, what does the Golden Era of Hip Hop symbolize to you? And do you think that your work is a reflection of that?

    Torae: Yeah absolutely. I did my last album with Duck Down, which was Double Barrel with Marco Polo. Since then, I was able to secure my own P&D deal via Fat Beats fund distribution and I started my own company called Internal Affairs Entertainment so my new project is going to be released on my own label. So I’m proud of that because that’s taking independence to the next level of being a true independent artist. Every decision that was made on this album…I didn’t have to answer to anyone but myself and having that type of creative freedom is always the best feeling for an artist. To get back to your question, I was influenced by the Golden Era. As an 80’s baby, I came up in the 90’s. I was a teenager when a lot of these classic albums were being made and you know as a teen, music is so important—it kind of shapes who you are as a person. So my influence behind wanting to be involved in music period came from the Gang Starr’s and the Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth’s, the Main Source’s, Slick Rick and EPMD. The fact that I can now call some of these people my friends feels surreal. Sometimes, you get to meet your heroes and their assholes, and sometimes you meet your heroes and their great. And I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a lot of my heroes and they’ve genuinely been great people. From working with the whole Duck Down roster, to being good friends with DJ Premier and Masta Ace, you know guys like that I can just pick up the phone and call. It’s so crazy to me because I was just a kid coming home from school watching Video Music Box and wanting to one day meet these people and have them know my name and now that’s kind of been realized so it’s an ill feeling.

    Erin: I bet. Getting back to what you were saying about being more independent. In an interview you did with TheWellVersed you said, “People who make the biggest impacts are the people who do it their own way and that’s how you become an innovator and a legend.” How have you incorporated that ideology into your own career?

    Torae: Well, as I stated about having the flexibility of being able to do whatever you want, I feel like I built up a pretty solid following, and it can only get bigger. I feel like the people who really support Torae are invested in more than Torae the emcee…they’re also invested in Torae the person and that’s because I’m able to give them so much of myself in my music. I don’t conform to whatever’s trendy or current…for better or worse, I’ve just decided to do my own thing. I’m not doing swag rap, I’m not wearing skinny jeans, and no disrespect to anyone who does…I just wouldn’t feel comfortable. I would feel like I was giving up too much of myself to fit in, get an interview, or get a spin. If I’m going to progress in music, it’s going to be because I make the music I want and people can attach themselves to it and relate to it. If I fall short of that, then by all means I’m fine with it because at the end of the day, I’m able to look myself in the mirror and respect the person looking back at me, knowing that I came from the heart, and I came pure 100 percent of the time and that’s the best feeling an artist could have.

    Erin: Okay, time for a little fun.

    Torae: Just a little bit of fun.

    Erin: (Laughs) If Hip Hop was a University, what would Professor Torae teach?

    Torae: If Hip Hop were a university, I would be a Life Coach. I would be like a guidance counselor. I don’t know if I would necessarily be in front of the classroom, but I would be the person you came to once they drilled all that shit down your throat, to meet standards and curriculum. I would be the person you come to, to make sense of it all. I would be that mentor—that guidance counselor or that life coach you had when you were in school that helped you make sense of all the craziness. I think that’s my position in Hip Hop. I try to make sense of all the things that life throws at you, and give you a full spectrum of what it means and how you can move about playing by life’s rules.
  • RuffDraftRuffDraft Posts: 4,740 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2011
    Erin: This past month, you’ve performed at the A3C and CMJ. And in the past, you’ve also performed in places like Germany and Amsterdam. How would you say the crowd chemistry differs between here and overseas?

    Torae: Unfortunately, and this is no knock because I enjoy my CMJ, and A3C shows, but I feel like the European market, whether it be because they don’t get to see Hip Hop artists all the time or because of their genuine love for the artists and culture, a lot of artists are way more well received overseas. The first time I went on tour overseas, I went with Masta Ace, who is big overseas. Just being in front of his audience and having the caliber of production that I have by guys that these people respect, it kind of put me in a win-win situation. And every time I’ve gone over there since, it’s been a bunch of love. At the end of the day, I’m talented but I do also have soundtracks provided by the Pete Rock’s, the Premier’s, the 9th Wonder’s and the Marco Polo’s. These are artists and producers that these people look up to and really love. They may have had a bigger platform in the 90’s, back before record labels got real corny, and the labels were able to put a lot of dollars behind these people to make dope records. So people may not know Torae but they know Gang Starr because he was on a major for so long. They know Premier from working with so many artists, so they may not give a rats ass about me…they may care about the production. Then once they hear what I’m doing on top of that, then there comes a respect. They checked for one person and got a bonus. Performing overseas is dope and at the end of the day…my music isn’t trendy with what’s really happening right now. So as long as there’s a platform for me, it doesn’t matter if it happens over here or there, just as long as it goes down. You’ll do a show here and the venue holds 500, and 200 hundred people will show up, and I’m thankful for everyone that comes out but when you get a chance to perform in front of 15 or 20 thousand people…I’ve become accustomed to, “Put your hands up” and hands go up, we’re jumping around, and enjoying ourselves. No one in Germany is too fresh to jump up and down. The more you give them the more they give back. At the end of the day, wherever you are, it’s your job to win over the crowd. I won’t say it’s much easier out there but they come out expecting to be won over. Sometimes in the states, people are just too cool, especially New York—I love my city to death but everybody is so cool…you look out and see fifty percent of the audience is an artist, the other twenty percent is managers, ten percent are DJ’s, it’s like seven fans, and they all got a flip cam up because they each have a blog. There are just not a lot of people who want to come out and listen to the music anymore.

    Erin: Yeah, I’ve seen that a lot in LA as well. But now… back to more fun!

    Torae: More fun, more fun.

    Erin: (Laughter) A lot of artists have a favorite verse growing up. What is your favorite verse done by yourself or any other emcee and why?

    Torae: Oh wow! As a true fan of music, that’s not a question I can answer. Just because I’m inspired by so many different artists, I think a lot of the greats have way too many great lines to choose one. I couldn’t even narrow it down to a specific artist. As far as me, it varies depending on my mood. I’m real excited about For The Record; I opened up a lot more and made myself a lot more vulnerable. I’m opening up about a lot of things that I wouldn’t before. In this project, I have a lot of slick lines, and double entendres, but I also say a lot of real shit. This song called “Panorama”, which is the last song on the album, is probably one of my favorite joints right now. I just went in the booth like nobody would ever hear it, and like nobody was in the room, and I just let it go. I think when people hear that record they will feel attached to it, because it’s a bird’s eye view of my life ,instead of me just being a cool ass rapper from Brooklyn, I give you a different side.

    Erin: People love vulnerability.

    Torae: Yeah you know I’m like six foot two hundred and thirty something pounds. I do a push up here and there (mutual laughter)…I wanted to strip down from all of that and just be Torae–be who my family sees, and the other people that really know me. That’s my relationship with my audience; I want them to be a part of who I really am…like the people who grew up with or hang out with know me. I wanted to give them some of that because at the end of the day, no one has to buy a record, song, or album again as long as you have the Internet. I think people buy music because they are into the artist and buy into the whole package…the whole brand of the artist. I want to try and give people as much as they can relate to so at the end of the day I want them to want to be a part of it.

    Erin: If you had to recommend a song to someone who has never heard you off For The Record, which one would it be…besides ALL of them? (Laughter)

    Torae: Yeah, besides ALL numbers 1-15. (Mutual laughter) I think I’m just in a “Panorama” type of mood. It gives you enough lyrics, enough substance, enough flow, and enough overall song crafting. It may not be your favorite record I ever did but it would make you at LEAST inquisitive about me. That song is definitely for everyone but it gives you enough to want to listen to something else.

    Erin: Very nice. In your song “Reflection”, you said that the three things you wanted as kid were a Primo beat, a Pete Rock beat, and to be signed to Def Jam, and that you have succeeded in getting two out of three. So at this point what’s next for Torae?

    Torae: I mean, if Def Jam wanna come and get involved… (Mutual laughter). Nah, I mean I don’t know man, I’m so happy with being an independent artist. I won’t say that I don’t want to be a household name. I don’t, but mostly, we all want a certain amount of mass appeal, fame or success. But it comes at a cost and I’m not necessarily willing to give up anything to gain that, so for now being independent is great. If I just can continue to stay on the road, build my fans, and genuinely earn my fans, then I’m fine bustin my ass. That’s what makes for a real career…to get people to support you no matter what label you’re on, what time you drop, or any of these other variables. If you have real genuine support, they are going to support you regardless and that’s what I’m after.

    I'll drop my thoughts in 10 minutes when I've read this and check this record out at the weekend! I need to make a list!!!
  • a.manna.mann Posts: 19,079 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2011
    coppped it yesterday from Amazon for 7.99

    another dope release

    Premo, of course, steals the show with the production on the title cut
  • RuffDraftRuffDraft Posts: 4,740 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2011
    a.mann wrote: »
    coppped it yesterday from Amazon for 7.99

    another dope release

    Premo, of course, steals the show with the production on the title cut

    Good price, may cop the disc if it's as good as his last one… looking forward to checking it out.
  • Lou_CypherLou_Cypher E.L.E.: Everybody Love Everybody Arkham AsylumPosts: 48,170 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2011
    Ah good ol premo. Thanks for lettin us know tho, I only had his mixtape from way back in the day, cant even remember what it was called. It was before Double Barrel (Which ive never heard :( )
  • RuffDraftRuffDraft Posts: 4,740 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2011
    Lou Cypher wrote: »
    Ah good ol premo. Thanks for lettin us know tho, I only had his mixtape from way back in the day, cant even remember what it was called. It was before Double Barrel (Which ive never heard :( )

    Lol @ the unhappy face, worth checking out :tu I'm not the biggest fan of Marco Polo's beats though.
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