“Is he dissing Eminem?” you might wonder after hearing Ubiquitous’s last verse on “Sound Bite”, the bold lead single from CES Cru’s Codename: Ego Stripper.
We thought it’d be best to talk to the man himself and get his perspective on one of standout bars (skip to 2:35) in a song full of standout bars. Together as CES Cru, Ubiquitous and Godemis decimate a one-of-a-kind production from Leonard DStroy and further solidify themselves as some of the most lyrical and exciting emcees in the game today. The music video which recently came out has fans abuzz as to what the meaning of the lyrics in the hard-pounding track, so naturally we went to one half of the duo to clear the air.
The ways you guys trade off in this song, how do you guys decide how you’re going to do that?
We talk about it. We propose “What if we tried this here?” or “Try that there?” I tend to be the proposition man most of the time. Godemis definitely has ideas as well. I’m usually pushing the envelope of trying the weird shit. Godemis is the one talking me off the cliff. I’m usually like “Hey what if we did this?” That’s how that usually goes.
Speaking of the weird shit, there’s a point in the middle of the song where you fade out and Godemis fades in.
That was one of my weird ideas (laughs).
I’ve never heard that done. Was it just a feel thing for your reasoning behind it?
It’s this….what I’ve come to learn from the fans – they help me hone in on makes us good, what makes us different. A lot of people think that we have this cool effect to where they think we’re low-key telepathic and we like finish each other’s sentences and yada yada. That was kind of one of those things. That was like, for this part of the song it’s not me, it’s not him, it’s us.
How do you feel about how the verses came out on this?
They’re fun man. They’re fun to say. That’s part of how I evaluate my own writing. If I can enjoy saying that shit again and again then it’s probably pretty good. It’s really fun to say and that’s partially because of the wordplay and partially because of the statements and content that I feel like I’ll be able to stand on and say over and over again and still continue to feel it. It’s just one of those songs. I don’t want to speak for Godemis but I like what I’m talking about on there.
There’s references to the Rap God in your verse and Godi’s as well. I know you can’t speak for him but what did you mean with your line “Show me a Rap God”? Some people have misconstrued it as an affront to Eminem.
There’s a part of me that just wants to leave that to debate and mystery because if people are intrigued and want to talk about it then that’s good. That’s a conversation I would like to start. I’m happy to start it and I’m happy to keep it going. So I don’t want to necessarily settle it and put it to bed. That’s one answer.
The other answer is that in truth it is a double entendre and it’s getting at a couple of different things. It’s poking at Tech’s song “Show Me A God” and the song “Rap God” as well. When you put them together it’s “Show Me A Rap God”. In Tech’s song “Show Me A God” he is questioning the existence of a God and he’s saying “Show me. Prove it to me.” So I’m saying “Show me a Rap God’ and I’m like “Where is this motherfucker that feels like he’s a rap God?” That’s not to question Eminem’s claim because Em has clearly proved himself as one of the greatest rappers ever, so if anything I’m paying him his due respect. The follow up line is “Tutankhamen is too uncommon,” and that is to say that it’s a rarity to find anybody that can really fucking rap anymore, or even if they can, has the balls to do it and not just do stupid simple shit. Tutankhamen is a reference to King Tut.
This isn’t a typical first single to release for an album. There’s no chorus. How do you feel about that being the first look of the album?
It’s all good. It think that it’s fine. The first look of our last album had no chorus as well. Some of the best songs on our last album had no chorus.
For anybody that’s concerned about the lack of a chorus on this song, don’t worry I have choruses to blow your head off on this record on other songs. For everybody that’s accustomed to Ubi coming on and doing whatever he does on the chorus, you’re going to hear a lot of that on this record again. So yeah, don’t worry. It’s there, just not on this one.
How about the video? What was shooting that like?
Well making the music video was cool. We knocked it out in one night. It was kind of a weird situation of us being on tour and having to shoot a video on our day off and fly in and fly out. But it was pretty cool man. I had a good time doing it. We got the chance to finally rock out with Jason Cantu on a CES Cru video. We did one on Strangeulation and that was fun but I’ve been wanting to do one for awhile. I’ve been knowing Jason Cantu for awhile. He works with one of my friends Mark Hazel and yeah. I’ve really been anticipating that.
How do you like the shots and how they came out?
The shots look good man. We had great set ups. We were made to look super professional. We were lit well and shot well. Good video overall.
How does it compare with the video you did with Joe Good way back in the day?
Uh…you know. That is the first video we ever did and I expect most people have not seen it. We’ve come a long way (laughs).
How would you describe the video to those who haven’t seen it?
It’s kind of dark. We’re in some dark places.
One of these locations, did it smell?
What was it like to perform amongst the smell?
You get used to it.
Have you done this besides that set?
You mean perform in shit?
Um…yeah. Even in another video called “Gun Titled” we shot in an abandoned school. There were dead animals in it. It was rotten. Rotten asbestos. Rotten death. Just rotten in general. It was a good time though and no I’m not a stranger to rotten death smell on the set dude.
Anything you want to say about the song before we wrap this up?
“Sound Bite” is our awesome single. Check it out. Get a taste. How’s that?