I was chilling with Raury at rehearsals in the legendary Maida Vale studios in London ahead of his exclusive listening session. We broke down some of the tracks on the album ‘All We Need’, some of the key moments, most of all the Rap based joints.
The albums finally here…
Yeah man I’m super happy about it, I can’t wait to see how the world reacts and what happens to music because of it. Because I made this album and shaped it, really to shake things up and impact the way people listen to music.
Lets talk about ‘Peace Prevails’ that’s the joint, you’re rapping hard and it’s not like a traditional Hip-Hop track, but it’s kind of got that Marvin Gaye ‘What’s Going On’ vibe about it. Not many people have been able to do that but you pulled it off…
Yeah I was actually studying Marvin Gaye, I was studying alot of artists in the process of making this album because everything comes from inspiration, well Peace Prevail and beyond what just happens to it musically, topically it’s a part of the chapter in the album that just tells the truth about what it’s like growing up in Atlanta and the reality of the whole Trap scene and the true drawbacks and the true results of it. I had a friend that wanted to, like the 1st verse starts off with about me wanting to fit in back in the old days when Franchize Boyz was popping off and I’d wear white T and an aluminum foil grill cos I wanted to fit in. In the 2nd verse I’m a little bit older and I have a friend that also wants to fit in because music influenced him just as strong as it influenced me back then. The only difference is that he was heavily influenced by the Trap stuff, he chased that, he chased that so hard. He ended up losing his life, because he wanted to sell drugs and someone robbed him and all those things. So that song and ‘Trap Tears’ showed the reality of that whole Trap scene in Atlanta and what’s really up.
‘Trap Tears’… I didn’t expect that from you…
No I didn’t expect it from myself, I almost didn’t even put it on the album, like honestly like, this album I had to push myself in so many levels, when it comes to writing and telling these stories, it’s not really that easy to come out and just write a song like ‘Devils Whisper’ about where how I felt like I was almost jaded. Or write a song about ‘Trap Tears’, just come at a certain angle that just doesn’t seem like too resentful towards the thing, because at the same time I have to talk on the reality and that’s all I wanted to give, is the reality this trap lifestyle that so many people chasing, they don’t really know it’s about. So we sonically and the things we did and how we married it into ‘All We Need’ it’s crazy, I’m so proud of myself, proud of my team, that we just managed to figure things out.
With ‘Trap Tears’ you know some people aren’t going to get the message and some people are just going to be ‘Turning up’ to it.
Hopefully they just keep listening eventually they’ll know, but honestly all they need to hear is ‘Tears in the trap, there’s nothing but tears there’.
The first verse of ‘Forbidden Knowledge’ got me because I’ve always said that about aliens, and people look at you like your crazy, but Alien technology and all of that…….before people think I’m crazy do you wanna break it down what you said in the verse?
Yeah I wanna talk about how me and my person that is very introspective, I spend large hours of my days alone, I study things, I study life, humanity, where we’re going and I just don’t believe technology and the stuff that we have is just discovered by us alone. I believe that aliens exist, I believe this universe is infinite and I wanted to let people know that they’re not the only person that thinks this way and it’s ok to think that way. With ‘Forbidden Knowledge’ and the whole plethora and the hurricane of just theories and just concepts that I’m hurling at people, it’s just things that are in the back of my mind, I was just excavating the back of my mind and letting people know what’s really going on in my brain sometimes, because it’s a million things. It’s so hard to talk about ‘Forbidden Knowledge’ but it’s best to just go listen to it.
It’s very reminiscent of an ‘Outkast’ track…
Oh word, I just think people always, especially when it comes to like, when it came to recording that track, I was purposely going into a direction, I was trying to make sure I sound like as much as my normal voice as much as possible and it is what it is, but I just think that, people and the media have all decided that I’m Andre. No matter what I drop it’s like “yep yep that’s Andre, that’s Andre vibe, Big K.R.I.T, yeah I know what’s going on, Andre and Big Boi, yeah yeah”, so you know what I’m not mad at the comparison but I respect the guys above me.
That’s in a good way though, because it’s like the spirit, it’s not even like homage or something like that, but it is a vibe that’s missed…
Lets face the reality, I’m a young kid from Atlanta, people from Atlanta have this vocal tone, people from Atlanta see things the way that I see it. Andre’s another guy from Atlanta and so is like Big Boi or from Savannah to be more exact, but still like just like how people study classical music and they play the same stuff that Bach played, I studied Outkast. People study reggae, and love to make music along the lines of Bob Marley, I studied soulful music and folk stuff. Why not immortalise this genre and this sub culture of Hip-Hop, so yeah I’m just a student dude.
On the album, you featured an MC that’s one of the rap gods from one of the greatest groups of all time, along with The GZA, Old Dirty Bastard, Method Man, U-God, Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Masta Killa – the RZA’s the Master…
Oh woah, actually dude, you’d be surprised at how ignorant I am about like so much stuff from the 90’s and the past, but I didn’t know that I wanted to encompass that energy of this Hip-Hop from the 90’s, cos it’s from those beats and those patterns from lyricists from that time that I learned my favourite flows and I just started rapping myself you know. So when it came to getting features for this album, I’m a new artist, not only am I a new artist, but nobody knows what I’m going to make next, so I’m somewhat of a wild card, and it’s not really easy for me to get features right now. Like alot of the higher ups and the established are just waiting ‘aight we’re gonna see what this kid does’. But this album the features were about who understood me and genuinely liked me and wanted to be a part of what I was doing and RZA did and I really appreciate him for this verse and I didn’t have to pay somebody $50,000 to hop on.
He raps differently, I’ve never heard him rap like that, its soulful…
Yeah its a whole different track though, so hey it inspired something else out of him, lets just be glad he’s out here kicking ass.
U.K rap is taking so many steps forward into Hip-Hop
So last time I caught up with you in the U.K, you were in the studio with Novelist, Little Simz, how you feeling about what’s going on in the U.K right now?
I’m so digging the Grime scene, dig Skepta, love Little Simz new album that she put out, man I’ve been listening to it on every flight, cos like earlier on alot of people especially in America where I’m from, they didn’t take U.K rap that serious but now in the past two years that I know of, people are like respecting it, I hear Skepta getting bumped around places, I hear Simz or like Novelist from like alot of my old high school homies that are on all the things coming up. So yeah man shouts out, cos U.K rap is taking so many steps forward into Hip-Hop and into being extremely respected and revered in Amercian Hip-Hop culture too.
Raury’s debut album ‘All I Need’ is out now.
Catch DJ Semtex live on BBC Radio 1xtra every Friday from 10pm