With ¡MAYDAY! x MURS – ¡MURSDAY!, the actual album is only half the experience. Until you see these songs performed live, you ain’t heard or seen nothing yet.
In part II of our two part interview with ¡MAYDAY! producer Gianni Ca$h, we uncover the fact that ¡MAYDAY! and MURS will be touring the states this fall to spread the gift of one of the best live shows in hip hop.
We also had Gianni break down his favorite tracks on the album and how they were made. Get inside the mind of a hit-maker and learn a few things.
What are your favorite tracks on the album?
“Brand New Get Up”, “Spiked Punch”…man there’s so many dude. “Beast Out The Box”, “You Again”, “Hey Love”. What else…“New Years Day”. There’s a whole bunch. I really love the whole album, but the my favorite tracks are “Brand New Get Up” and probably “Beast Out The Box”.
Let’s go into “Beast Out The Box” because this song is epic, from the production to the structure to the chorus and everything. So you guys have had this one in the pocket for a little bit?
Not for so long, but yeah we had it in the pocket for about six months now.
How did this song start?
I stayed late at the studio and was messing around with the guitar. I started riffing out on one note and it kind of just developed itself. Then I started looking around for some vintage drums from my arsenal and I came across this grimy drum loop that had a very small drum roll and I chopped the shit out of that to make it fit to go along the guitar stabs. That became the intro and it eventually fleshed itself out into the body of the verse. Then I grabbed the bass, then I grabbed some synths and I went in man. It was just one of those things. I took the skeleton of what I had done and went home and developed the bass line a little bit more there. Then I brought it back into the studio and had my homie Keith Cooper come in and do the sax line. It was a bunch of us in the studio and ideas were flying around. My homie Danny Keys suggested a rough melody line, from there we fleshed and edited a more solid melody line and boom! That was it. Once he put that sax line down it was like “Whoa, this shit is on some next level Amy Winehouse meets Cee-Lo.” I was just like “This is fucking amazing.” Like “This is the best shit I’ve ever done in my whole life.”
After that we left it alone for awhile, we began working on other tracks and rehearsing our live show so it kind of got lost amongst other beats. Then when MURS came to record in Miami, we kind of had songs in mind that we wanted him to record to. We kind of forgot about “Beast Out The Box” and then Bernz was looking in the folder for more shit and all the sudden he’s like “Yo, we got this fucking shit? I totally forgot about this shit!” Then when MURS heard it he’s like “Yo, this is some crazy next level shit. This is our fucking hit song.”
Who wrote this hook?
Big Brooklyn Red. We brought him in. The dude has a strong voice that can sometime be mistaken or resembled to Cee-Lo’s voice. His voice is so strong and warm it’s fucking awesome. He’s been in Miami for a long time. He’s from New York and is a blues singer in the Miami scene. I had never met him prior to us working with him. I knew of him in the scene and I knew his name but I never really met him. It was cool man. He came by and went in and freestyled some shit. We told him “It needs to be big. This is like our triumph song to our championship. We need you to take it there.” We were all in there and we were just talking about topics and I think “beast” came up. He ran with that and went in the booth and kind of knocked it out. That’s how it happened. Kind of freestyled that shit. We fixed a few things here and there and it was beautiful. Then I brought him back in because we needed a bridge to and kinda have another section in the song and that was right before the album was done. Then NonMS came in and blessed us with bongos and I did the scratches.
Let’s talk about another one which also gives off an old school feel: “Spiked Punch”. There’s a rhythm in that which you don’t ever really hear in hip hop. It’s kind of like a jump blues.
That was just me just trying to be different within the lines. I didn’t want to be too left field or abstract, but I wanted to create something different within the lines. I just kind of sequenced those claps up and the kicks. Then we put some shakers in there. Then I put the bassline and piano in there and then We had Keith Cooper come in and play the sax. He basically did that riff in One take. We were like “Yo, thank you. This is amazing.”
What’s evident from both of these songs and just the whole album in general is that you guys had a blast making this album. What can you say about the overall vibe during the creative process?
It was fun man. It was very laid back. We weren’t really forcing ourselves. It was very fun and genuine when we made this album. It shows in the music that we had a blast making it. It was very in the moment. Everything that was talked about was rhymed about – the stories, topics and shit like that. It was all a very spontaneous as well.
What production are you the most proud of on this record?
I would say “Beast Out The Box”. That’s a big record for me. I feel like “Man, this is what I want to be as a producer.” I want to be able to produce things that are big and sound amazing. “Beast Out The Box” is probably my moment in the album that I feel proudest as a producer. “Brand New Get Up” too. It’s such a turn up song. At shows that shit is bananas. It’s just straight up like “Let’s have fun.” Just to capture that emotion is an accomplishment because it’s hard to capture that hype and make things that make you want to go crazy. If you try it you’ll probably be like “Damn, how do I do it? How do I get this emotion out?” That was just one of those things where I was just like “Man, I gotta make something hype because I want to be able to perform these songs with MURS in a live setting.” So we knew we needed to make songs that were hype. That just put me in the mind frame of “I’m going to make something hype and this is going to be hype. I want this to be crazy.” Boom, that’s what came out. I work well under pressure! I always try to out do myself. The chorus is amazing too. These guys did their thing on the chorus.
Now you guys did your first show of the tour you have going on. Obviously we were all down there for SXSW. None of us knew what to expect from the ¡MURSDAY! record. I was like “Okay, it’s ¡MAYDAY! plus MURS.” Then we were all completely floored once we saw the performance, it was like a whole new energy. What’s it like to perform this music?
Just to have the ability to make something and know that when you perform it it’s even better is such a triumphant moment. It’s like “Yo, you did it. You executed this shit just like you wanted it to.” All the music transitions itself so nicely to a live setting. “Here” – fuck man. We thought since it was so emotional that it might not move but man we did it yesterday and whoa, this shit was instant. I saw the future with that song. I saw us performing in a stadium to that shit. Then we finished it off with “Brand New Get Up” and it was just amazing. “Here” to “Brand New Get Up” back to back is insane. On top of all that, the energy these guys bring on stage, the three mc’s just going in and jumping – people don’t get bored. Then you have NonMS and me in the back and we’re constantly moving and doing our thing. There’s mad shit going on. Its like a zoo up on stage.
I almost feel like with this album that the album itself is just half the package. If I could choose a setting to hear all these songs it would definitely be at a live show.
It’s a parade bro. Our show is a party. Seriously it’s a fucking party. The crowd last night in Seattle was fucking amazing and we were there by ourselves. We weren’t there with Tech, which is so awesome. Obviously I love Tech and love going on Tech tours but to be able to do this on your own is like “Damn, we’re doing it.” This is really happening. People are really absorbing what we’re giving them. The energy that comes from the fans at the live show is amazing. They were singing all the words and the album just came out.
The songs are those kind that you just want to repeat.
Yeah man. It’s fucking fun man. This whole project has been a very fun voyage. Now having it done and really performing it for people is amazing. It’s been full circle from the very beginning.
Is there going to be further dates after this run?
Yes. We’re working on them. We should be out September and October. Fall tour. The fans need to know that we’re going to be out there again because we get hit up all the time like “Yo, when are you coming to” so and so. We’re definitely working out a tour for you guys, the Believers.
Good. It’s a show that everybody has to see. What do you want to say before we get out of here?
I just want to thank the people for really supporting what we’re doing and our movement. I really appreciate it. It never goes unnoticed. I see everybody’s posts. I see the tags. I read the comments. I just want to tell the people thank you. Thank you for letting us do what we do and support what we’re doing. It’s so lovely to know that people support this new project and I can’t wait to see them at the shows!
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