Jason is a hip hop artist with San Francisco based Froth’n Records. The newly released 7 track EP consists of chilled out hip hop tunes. Throughout the EP tracks are mellow, introducing soft vocals and concise rhythms in different ways. This relaxed vibe is perfect for chilling out to during the soon to come warm summer evenings. Why not take some time out to read the 2,500 word essay he wrote in answer to our two questions. We haven't got time to go through it and correct it.
Listen to this stream of the EP while you read...
1. What inspires your music?
Whoa talk about broad. I’ll truncate this shit or it could become an epic like Gilgamesh. Hmm, the weird the random the genuine… Riding the bus to work. So like I ride on the bus with all these kids from UCLA and Santa Monica community college and just coping the scene is nuts. Like for example, UCLA kids are all like poorly sophisticated like trying to look fly on a budget, and then the SMC kids are like DIPPED, fucking fresh to death head to toe, and crazy ‘not having it’ faces on.
Everybody just shitting on you with each glance, like psh you ain’t shit, I’m like dressed like Chris Brown. Yeah I said it. Chris fucking Brown. Community College kids in west LA apparently think Chris Brown’s fashion is like mind boggling. I mean no one has ever said it, but you just look at everyone there and you want to fucking barf. So that’s inspiring. Mix in a couple homeless people with shit on their pants still and like a standing room only bus packed full of people going nowhere with life and you have inspiration galore.
I have this ipod shuffle I bought used for like 20 bucks that I put the beats on and just ride the Big Blue Bus with this like 1000 yard prison yard stare-fucking not having it to the max-biceps exploding out of me sleeves which is hilarious because the beats are like “It’s gonna be alright”. Hahah. Just happy shit. Music I made because it was like stuff I wanted to listen to and nobody I respected or was down with was like making it. There was like this void. The abyss, ever see that movie?
Where like in the end some fucking alien spaceship platform raises out of the Mariana Trench or some shit. FUCKING SEA ALIENS. Yeah they inspire me. Did you know squids are like the smartest ocean animals. Everyones on this like dolphin, oh the Navy has them trained to defuse bombs bullshit, but it you were like legit with your information you’d realize Squids are above and beyond the smartest animals. Seriously. Google it. After the world ends they’ll most like inherit the earth.
My sister has a paranoia about sea animals and I just like dropped this fucking gamma ray burst of squid FACTS fiction science fiction whatever on her and legit changed her life forever. More than likely leviathon is a squid, and yeah yeah yeah also the ancient reference to a period in time of destruct seas aka tsunamis like now. Lifting weights inspires my shit. My life is pretty concise at this point. I live super on the low. I sleep on the floor. No mattress none of that bullshit.
I don’t wanna get comfortable in life you know? But yeah just nestled between piles of records, some fucking janky recoding equipment which consists of some cheap desktop speakers I legit bought for 20 bucks in a craigslist ad that I use for mixing and mastering (if you can call it that), a computer and an M-Audio controller. Oh yeah some really bad usb turntable so I can import shit. I’m not into the whole hi-fidelty thing. Before we paid someone to master these, which consisted basically of me just turning the levels down below zero, I would pump everything super hot like 8db plus. I’m into that. Poor sound quality that is. Hiphop is raw. It’s fucking sloopy.
It’s all emotional. I feel like that’s why it can be transformative when used correctly; like that “Its gonna be alright” cut last track on the A side, which isn’t the name of it, there are no names, fucking labeling sucks dick, but yeah that song to me…. Man I made that like 8 years ago. I STILL bump that on the regular. It’s a timeless emotional message in that way. I always felt like, fuck, if Mos Def got on the beat, it would change the world. Hahah, bedroom illusions of grandeur, but who cares you know?
A man can dream can’t he? So that’s a source of inspiration too, when you make a beat like FUCK if Ghostface was on this, or Jay electronica, or Shabazz the Disciple (most underated emcee possibly ever), like fuckkkkkkkk we’d be bumming people out. But that isn’t the case. It’s just me laying on my floor bed like its some fucking grade school slumber party staring at that Alice Coltrane album cover from Lord of Lords where she has that fly afro on the cover (to my right), my fine girlfriend naked splayed out as an inspirational muse (center) and a bench press, curling, free weight station (to my left). I always lift weights when working on beats. It’s like lay some drum tracks, set, play a lead, set, scour some records for ill shit, set, grab a tit, set, read a page of Grunch of Giants, set… Mind body spirit all in one little vessel. My humble bedroom. I had this whole period where I got rid of everything I owned and lived with nothing, on some ascetic St Anthony in the desert type shit. It was like being in solitary confinement by choice. After that I just became my own best friend. I like would just make beats (the only thing I kept, seriously no fridge or stove).
It was a dialogue with myself. My musings. My sanity, or lack there of. It was all I had. This invisible collage of the world inside my head. It’s like on some Hannah Hoch Kurt Schwitters shit. I’ve always approached making beats that way. From a fine art perspective. I went to Calarts out here as a design major. For some reason, even before I went to art school I was always approaching beats as this sonic collage. Grab some like 500 pound marshian chick from the cover of national enquirer, an ad for an escort from the back of la weekly, some paint, some pencil drawings of horses kissing, who knows and just compose it. Make it happen. That’s my approach to beats. You could replace any of those things I just mentioned with like ehhh whistling record, prophet
keyboard, random vocal styyyyylings, it’s all the same shit. It’s how you chop it. A lot of times, shit doesn’t even need to be chopped. I know with people like Primo and really everyone, 4th disciple, Rza, it was like chopping it, flipping it, etc. And yeah I do that, but really sometimes that loop is just so ill. Say James brown orchestrated that, who am I to fuck that up? Oh its suddenly fly because I pitched it at the end of 2 bars and added a drum roll from some jazz record? Neh. A lot of times I feel like I'm this archeologist like finding shit and trying to teach a class of disinterested community college kids whats up. Like man this fucking track you’d totally overlook because its not overcompressed with super simple synth lines, man I’ll just put some fucking hard ass drums and replay the bass out thick and just add some of this and that from so and so. Sprinkle some rosemary in this bitch. Blam. It’s kinda how I hear the songs in my head when they play. Like fuck if I had been Curtis Mayfield I just would have chopped it right there looped that out 4 bars, done a horn section toward the end, done this really great drum roll rev crash splash combo thing and shifted into a section from something else. Just take the whole mood to the next level. Fucking invisible dimensions. I’m trying to loop up infinty man. Saul Williams on the track telegram said,
Damn, that loop is tight
That nigga found a way to sample the way the truth the light
Can't wait to play myself at the party tonight
Niggas are gonna die
Like fuck! How many times have YOU felt like that making beats. Fucking people are gonna DIE. You’re just up in your room, lab, studio, hot box, sweat lodge, sex party whatever is your steeze and you just fucking loop up truth and light for that moment…. And its captured forever. Save. Export. Fucking copy it to like 50 cds incase it gets lost someday. Distill all the wisdom of Egypt or the Buddah into a sequence of chops from some records, drums patterns, fingers and mind states. That’s the goal. Sitting in my room. Alone. Staring at the heaviness of matter in some 45 plates. Staring at the monuments of time, records platters, like Saturn’s rings surrounding me. Vinyl testaments to the power of sound. Word sound. Nada Brahma and all that. And here we are full circle. This became Gilgamesh except its like a flood of words. I'm Sorry. I’ve spent tons of time alone ya know; then someone is like oh how’s your day? And your like well I’ll tell you sir, I’m about to drop Jodorowsky, Buckminster Fuller and Alexander Pike in a blender and serve it on a platter of Rza circa 1994 to you up in this BITCH….hopefully… maybe…
2. Who do you look up to?
Sun Ra primarily. Everyone is on the like Space is the Place, Astro Black tip, but I’m really fucking feeling God is More than Love Could Ever Be and The Antique Blacks. Even his early doo woop shit. I mean I love Sun Ra. My girlfriends always have dreams that Sun Ra comes to them as their spiritual guide. I take this as a positive sign, being that none of them knew about him prior.
Alejandro Jodorowsky. Holy Mountain is probably my favorite movie ever, hands down… El Topo was a bit too long, I felt like it could have been edited 45 mins shorter and been way more powerful but whatever. I fucking love that dude. I’m also pretty sure he married Marilyn Manson at Gottfried Helnwein’s castle in Ireland. How can you beat that?
Frank Zane. I love how he emphasized aesthetics over sheer mass. Yeah Arnold was like a fucking crazy overall specimen who ushered in the era of just like general monstrosity, and lou ferrigno was always too stocky and short for my interest, but there was this moment in time, this belly button window in the profressional body building world if you will, when all the planets aligned and Frank Zane just like nailed it. Total eclipse. Google him. That photo in black and white with the fucking beard is hilarious.
Wolfgang Weingart. Probably my favorite designer ever. His step typography forever changed the way I viewed swiss typography. I was hating on it, all that JM Brockmann grid bullshit. Like fuck power structures. How did Michel Foucault feel about Brockmann’s fucking grids? That’s what I want to know. Visual power structures. Bakunin would have shot that guy. But then out of nowhere comes this dude with tortoise shell shades and a crazy sidepart combover thing and just broke free from that, while still prancing all over its conservative tendencies. If you don’t know him man, google his shit. THAT is graphic design. Just bumming people out. Primarily typographic shit too. I want THAT dude to design for me in life. Real talk.
Buckminster Fuller. I mean if anyone has shaped my world view, its BMF. I’m not even talking all his eco shit that is so trendy to be into nowadays. Read grunch of giants then like his opus critical path after that. Then Britain and the British Seas by Halford Mackinder, father of geopolitics, heartland theory all that. Then maybe the Secrets of the Federal Reserve by Eustace Mullins and after that Morals and Dogma by Alexander Pike. Then shoot yourself, because you’ll be just like fucked. You’ll be sleeping on the floor too. Laying low, hiding out, waiting to turn the tides.
Supermodels for having the determination to not eat and not feed their minds either. It’s fucking nuts.
Slinky, this cat my parents had, for being a survivor. Seriously. My parents had like 75 pets, well not really but like 20 in my life and they basically all got eaten by coyotes EXCEPT slinky, this unassuming Russian blue cat. Now initially I wasn’t into him but overtime and the fact that he attacked me as if he were feral basically everytime he saw me, led me to develop a profound respect for him as a MAN. He was the Tookie of the neighborhood.
One time he beat up our pitbulls so bad they’re faces were healing from scratches for fucking weeks. We had to keep him inside away from the dogs. Talk about LEGIT. Then one day I serendipitously cruised down to San Diego only to find out that my dad had put the fucking cat to sleep because he was bored of him. How fucked up is that? This cat that lived like 15 years and out lived every pet ever, my dad is suddenly like, “neh he doesn’t respond when I call him anymore, I think he’s senile, lets put him to sleep and get something new.” So fucked. Dad I know you’re out there in the ether, and that was so weakkkkkkk. But when you hear the word Slinky, don’t think awesome metal thing that can saunter down stairsteps with ease, think SURVIVOR.
And I’ll leave it at that, because this could really go on forever. I hope you guys cop the EP. I made it in my bedroom. Laying on the ground talking to myself about pretty much everything I just wrote. A veritable cornucopia of self indulgence, perverted wisdom and boundless love for hiphop. I never thought these beats would come out, Ive got piles more, but this guy I work with was like “Yo, you should share this shit man…” So I did. Maybe some kid laying in his room like fuck my life will hear these tracks and be like, you know what. Fuck Jason, his beats aren’t even that good. I can make better. And they get up and do it. And put that shit out. And I pump it like fucking YES. Finally I can stop doing this and focus on like, lacing up a Victoria secret model and building that castle in Grenada I’ve been planning… If you’re in LA, hit me up, we’ll get wasted.
Errors all over. If it doesn’t make sense go cry to someone who cares – like God.