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Sub-Surface: Get Ready for The Others
By Sean Smith
Fort Wayne Reader
The long awaited full-length album from Sub-Surface is finally here and from the sound of things, the wait was definitely worth it.
Emcees Scripture and RhymeWise and DJ Illiana Jonze have created The Others, thirteen tracks full of honest, raw and intelligent rhymes and hard hitting beats. The album will be available at their upcoming release party on November 24th. Sub-Surface worked with a handful of producers on the album. Enock Root, EDS, Illastrate, DJ K-Tel, and Theory Hazit all provided beats for the tracks. Faces of Mobb Music, DJ Absoul, Roman and Zeal of Nearest Nova, and Tony2Tone of P1/T2 all show up on various tracks as well.
When it comes to the finished product, Sub-Surface aren’t shy about telling the truth. “My view on the whole album is that I feel that while it isn’t necessarily the album that we set out to make, it’s still a VERY good album and I think that just shows me our potential,” admits Scripture, “If we’re at this level now, and this isn’t completely what we wanted it to be, but is still this good, that’s saying something. I don’t feel like right now there is an album out there like this, that’s as diverse as The Others. We put in a great effort and I think it shows through in the work. I think people will appreciate it just as much as we do.”
“I think Scripture and RhymeWise did an excellent job of writing rhymes for the album,” says Jonze, “I just wish we could’ve got a few more hyped up beats maybe. The lows for me were just some of the time constraints we set for ourselves trying to get this out before the end of the year. The biggest high about the process is the fact that it’s actually done.”
“Any project like this is bound to hit some snags along the way and with all three of us having lives outside of Sub-Surface, coordinating all of this has certainly not been an easy task,” shares RhymeWise, “The guy that probably deserves the most credit for making The Others happen is EDS. The album wouldn’t have happened without him, straight up. He handled all of the recording, produced 2 beats on the record, and handled all the graphic design. We definitely owe him BIG TIME. Enock Root produced half the album and Illastrate mixed the album as well as producing 3 of the tracks on the record. They really just helped us out in a major way.”
But in spite of the obstacles, Sub-Surface has emerged all the better for it. “I think the process of making this record also helped us to gel more as a group and I think it shows on the record,” continues RhymeWise, “I will admit we did not plan for the record to take this long to be released, but the time that we were not doing this record we were working to put ourselves in a better position to release it and I think people will really see what I mean after the records out. I really think the album is dope and that people will appreciate it.”
So when it comes to the album, how do they feel about the beats and production?
“Overall, I felt like the beats were good sounding,” says Jonze, adding, “The quality of sound is beyond local.”
Scripture says it comes down to having a vast array of producers, “For me, it’s just better. We’ve progressed since The BoomBox Sampler beat-wise and we have a variety of producers, which I think is good. I think every producer that had their hands in this project did a good job. Period.”
RhymeWise echoes that, “I feel like all the producers we used for this album did a great job. We’ve known Enock Root for 2 years now, but this is the first we got to rock over some of his track. The dude is very versatile and I think it shows on our album. I think he’ll be making major noise very soon. Illastrate also did a great job. I have a lot of respect for him because right now he’s on the cusp of doing some big things in the underground scene in his own right and he took time out of his busy schedule to help Sub-Surface.”
Obviously, the rhymes are a big component as well. “Scripture’s verse from ‘Sometimes’ is so close to where my life is right now,” shares Jonze, “’None Other’ for Wise sticks out because I feel like he was just telling a lot of fake people out here in this music that they need to step their game up or stop bitching.”
“Wise’s verse for ‘The Long Haul,’ first off it was just nicely put together. I felt like that verse was really him. He said what he meant and he meant what he said,” says Scripture, “I thought that was real. ‘None Other’ is another one because he spoke the truth about a lot of people. Some people get caught up in tooting their own horn and I just think it’s uncalled for, so I can definitely appreciate Wise’s verse for that song.”
“’Sometimes’ is my favorite Scripture verse off the entire record,” admits RhymeWise, “It’s just real life. Another verse of his I dig is his verse for ‘Get Your Own Thing,’ the way he describes some of the excesses of what’s considered the ‘right way’ to look, dress, et cetera is hilarious and poignant. Scripture’s really great at that kinda stuff.”
Some collaborations didn’t happen due to time constraints and schedules, but Sub-Surface is already considering those for the next album. DJ Illiana Jonze has a short list of those he would have liked to have worked with on this project, “Lance, Amazin Grace and Sankofa from an emcee standpoint. From a production standpoint, I would’ve like to work with Cola-Zone and HQ. The cats from Burning Leaf Project, too. I would’ve liked to have got down with them.”
RhymeWise has a few tracks in mind that didn’t quite make it also, “There was a track that was slated for the album that would’ve featured Amazin Grace, Roleo and Sankofa. Due to time factors and other miscellaneous things the joint didn’t materialize. Hopefully, we’ll be able to work with them for the next record.”
But for now, we have The Others, and the upcoming release party for it should be one for the ages. “I think it’ll be one of the best hip-hop release parties that the Fort has seen,” declares Jonze.
Scripture agrees, “Whoever comes out should be prepared to wyl’ out, be prepared to have fun and be prepared to see hopefully one of the best hip-hop shows Fort Wayne has seen in a minute.”
That certainly looks to be the case. Everything about the show is hip-hop. From the venue to the other acts taking the stage that night. It’s definitely the place to be for all hip-hop fans.
RhymeWise elaborates, “It’s going to be held at Fort Wayne Hip-Hop Dance, which is located at 4722 Parnell Avenue. Performing alongside Sub-Surface will be Nearest Nova, Mobb Music and P1/T2. We’ll also have DJ sets from DJ K-Tel and DJ Premise One throughout the night. With that sort of a lineup we’re really gonna have to bring our A-game to contend cause none of those cats are slouches on the performance tip. Which is why we wanted them to play. We’ve been promoting the release party since Halloween, so we’re hoping for a pretty decent turnout. I definitely think it’ll be a night of quality hip-hop.”
Truer words were never spoken.
To sample some of ‘The Others’ or to keep tabs on when Sub-Surface will be performing in the future, make sure you check out: www.myspace.com/boomboxhiphop