Nowhere is Wrekonize’s utility belt of incredible talents more apparent than on a song like “Here” from ¡MAYDAY! and MURS’s collaborative album ¡MURSDAY!
From the song’s dream-like production to the hook which reaches to the sky in a grand declaration of independence, Wrekonize blesses “Here” from top to bottom. For a song that seemingly came out of nowhere in his living room one lonely night in Miami, the ¡MAYDAY! emcee/singer/producer sure knows to tug on the heartstrings of listeners and give you something to think about.
We talked to Wrekonize to get his story on how the song was created, what it means to him and what it means to the fans.
As I understand this song is a close song to you. How did it start?
It started at my crib. I have a little spot in my crib where I make beats when I can’t sleep and try to scratch out some ideas. I’ve been trying to get hands on with the production a little bit more and help add to what Gianni’s doing and what Bernz is doing. It started one late night when I couldn’t sleep at the crib at 3 or 4 in the morning and that was just the vibe. The feeling of that music that ended up coming out was how peaceful and serene the middle of the night or the early morning was.
I wrote some of the lyrics – just like the basic concept of the hook. It really just came out of nowhere. It didn’t really come from a certain specific thought or anything I was feeling at the time. It just felt like that’s what the music was saying. I wasn’t 100 percent on all the lyrics so I took the lyrics and the basic skeleton of what I had made for the beat into the studio the next day and Bernz and I worked on it and carved out what ended up being the final hook. Then we brought Gianni in to build upon the beat a little bit and add onto it. It all came together very organically. What I like about it is that it has a lot of emotion to it but it didn’t have a lot of thought into it. It just came out of nowhere very naturally.
So it wasn’t some predominant thought like “I need to get this off my chest.” It’s just the feeling of it that brought out those words?
Yeah. I’m definitely one of those people where I don’t like to write without music and I don’t like to take something that I’ve written to a certain kind of music and put it to something else because I always feel like the mood of what’s in the lyric is coming from the tone of the music. I felt like that’s something where the music really led the charge and it all came from that time of night that it was and how peaceful everything felt at the time. It just felt reflective and that’s where everything ended up going.
So the beginning part where it’s that arpeggio part, that was all you?
Yes. It was actually a new plugin that I’d never used before. I was just experimenting and ended up coming up with that sequence of notes.
I would assume that your understanding of production and music has expanded greatly since joining ¡MAYDAY!
Yeah. My thing with production has I’ve always been low key about it. I’ve been making beats since almost I started rapping. I had an MPC 2000 XL. The first group I was in called the iLLiteRats, I was making a lot of those beats. I almost made all the beats on the projects, but I’ve always been super critical of my beats.
After years started to pass I started hanging with more producers that were better than me. I just started to be like “Ah man. I dunno.” I just took a backseat and focused more on the rhymes. I always made beats just for fun until I started working with Plex in the office a lot. I started to study under him and peeped game and learned as much as I could from him making beats. When that started to happen I got the hunger back for it and then Gianni coming back in also brought it in. With his production it really took it back for me because Gianni used run in the same circles back in the day.
When I was doing emcee battles there would be producer battles and for a minute I was trying to do both. One of the first times I met Gianni he was coming to do beat battles in the same circuit that I was trying to do them in and he was coming in like a slick kid, with a fucking 4000, roasting people and shit. I was like “Who the fuck is this slick kid coming with the ill beats with the crispy 4000?” Years later it ends up being Gianni.
What is this song about to you?
That even though you tried to run in a certain circle or be in a certain arena, at the end of the day you can’t really fight who you are naturally and what you’re about. Everybody can put some camouflage on and run in a different circle from time to time but at the end of the day when you let your guard down you’re still going to be who you are. There’s no running from that. I think the faster that you’re able to accept that is the faster that you feel naturally right about everything that you’re doing. It’s really just about being who you are. That’s the fundamental foundation of it all. Just be who you are and be proud of that.
Is that a theme everyone was able to naturally gravitate towards that wrote on it?
Yeah I think so. I think as ¡MAYDAY! we’ve had our trials and tribulations of trying to be accepted because we’re coming into certain circles and we might seem a little bit like the outcasts of the group because we’re doing the different stuff. We’ve had to fight through some adversity there. I know MURS definitely relates because he’s like an underground champion. He’s definitely risen through the ranks and has always been a little bit anti-establishment and counterculture, especially in hip hop. I feel like definitely the minute he heard it he was on board with the concept.
Do you guys think signing to Strange was a good fit looking back and being on it still? Being your own thing probably works really well with a label like this.
Yeah. I think in the beginning it was weird because before we released any music we were opening up on an all hip hop show with a full band and having people come out and look at us very puzzled as to what we were. So at the beginning it definitely had its hardships in terms of getting people’s attention. Once we released music and people realized that the foundation of our music was rooted in the same thing they were looking to already, I think it was a little bit easier to accept. Now it’s just been a journey for us to show that we can get down with everything that most fans are about and at the same time try and introduce them to some new shit.
What’s the response been like on your end about this song?
It’s been really good! I think initially we wanted to release another song before “Here”. The kind of talk was that we wanted to put out another song that was a little more uptempo because a majority of the project is very uptempo and fun. It definitely has a lot of energy, so to take it down so fast we were a little concerned about doing that, but the response so far has been great. Everyone seems to really enjoy the song and it hits them on a level similar to some of the past songs we’ve done like “The Noose” or “Fragile”. I think yeah, so far so good.
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