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A Twist of JP Lime: A Peak Inside an Emcee’s Notebook


Greetings, Lime Nation!
A Peak inside an emcee's notebookWe’ve gotten many questions recently as to when new music will be forthcoming from the JP Lime camp and I’m glad to finally be able to answer thusly: soon. We are currently in the pre-production period, a part of our process alive with possibility, exciting in its potential. Each of the three emcees that make up the JPL trio works slightly differently in their writing process so over the coming weeks we’ll each bring pieces to the table – an idea to a particular type of beat, hooks and verses without attached music, concepts, thoughts, and themes for where our new material should go. As we engage in this collective process, here at #JPLMagazine we’ll be offering an inside look at how we create and collaborate to bring you the Lime-flavored brand of Hip Hop you’ve grown to love.

Today we’ll be taking a look inside my notebook, browsing a few of the verses I’ve been working on and maybe providing some level of insight into my artistic process. I am a writer through and through and I frequently face the struggle of continuing to move forward in the moment of lyrical inspiration versus reworking and editing. Often I am struck by verbal rhythms ahead of the words themselves so throughout my writing are blanks and placeholders, signified by [square brackets], spots to either fill or rework later based on the rhythm, syllables, and concept. Allowing my brain the time and space to find the perfect word or phrase yields far better results for me than forcing a choice to complete the line. These spaces can be anywhere from a syllable or two, to half or a full line, even to a couple bars if I know that something I’ve already written fits best at a certain place in the meter (as the beginning versus end of a four-bar measure, for instance).

Perhaps none of what I present below will find its way into our final product but that causes me no trepidation. It is fertile soil on which we now tread, something awesome is about to grow no matter what.

Most often I write having heard the beat first, drawing direct inspiration from its character and nuances. But this is not always the case and sometimes I’ll just begin a piece and attach notes on its tempo, such as the nearly complete verse below:

<somewhere around 90 bpm, can get up to 95>

Dependent on a wind blowing westward today
The whims of my sin
And my whiskey intake
My urge and desire for another mind state
I am burning the tires and fleeing today
Onto a tomorrow that’s tipping my way
All I hear is tick tock in my everyday
But the tip of the iceberg is what you see and say
There’s always another fate
Awaiting in the wings
And everything ends where another thing begins
So pick a place to be
Or make a sudden change
No sense in sitting, waiting
In the sunshine or rain
Whether under [the weather]/[achieving]
Or over [disdained]
I am subject to the will of my bionic brain
Got the verbal skills to bend
But unwilling to break
And I will not descend until I’ve made my stake

As we approach this next phase of the Lime I am eager to push our music in new directions, finding ways of expressing my own fascination with the strange, the offbeat, the alternative. The following 8 bars have no hook or other defined concept attached to them but I know how the track is supposed to feel.

Not but/Only philosophers and apothecaries have need to here apply
We’re peeling back your epidermis to see just what’s inside
What you’re made of, if you will
What Truth you might provide
What vile proof is in your root
And what you can’t abide
Not sounding like your cup of tea?
Then be pleased to see the door
Be sure to tip the barmaid
And the man who keeps the score
From the basement to the penthouse
And on every single floor
We play “Hotel California”
So don’t dare ask for more

Axillus and Open Your Mind… ReAD oN…