88 Keys Tells All

Our White Chicks On Rap columnist caught up with buzz-worth hip-hop artist, 88 Keys.

Buy 88 Keys’ “The Death Of Adam” on:

WCR: How does it feel to get such a positive vibe from the industry?

It’s been amazing to get so much people seeing this project that I’ve labored on over the past 2 years…I tried to make something that would be fun, light hearted but still have you get down with the funkiness.

WCR: Kanye West begged to produce your debut album…how does that feel?
Kanye has been my best friend for about 8 years or so, I’ve always been doing my thing and he’s always been doing mine. Initially I didn’t want him to go near it because it was my baby for so long and I didn’t want to jeopardize our friendship but after a long talk it actually ended up being a cool thing to work together on.

WCR: How did you come up with the concept of “The Death Of Adam?”

It’s a really long story but I’ll tell you the condensed version….In different spurts I believe God always talks to you and tells you how to live and the album was one of those moments when I just had to listen. It started out as a collection of instrumentals I was making for an album that I was putting together, I ended up making one beat called “ There’s Pleasure In It” where the sample was so annoying but hot that I had to figure out a way to make sense out of it…and it kept repeating “pleasure” and after a while I thought about what gave me pleasure…money, cars & bling was too played out and family would’ve been cool but a little corny…so i zeroed in on the “va jay-jay” which made total sense, but at that point was just one song.

Meanwhile Dj Homicide of Sugar Ray and I would always hit each other online to keep in touch, and one day he hit me with a riddle saying “how many names do you know for ‘the punai’.”…I could only come up with the obvious 4 or 5…then he slapped me with 360 different names, one of the “the death of adam” which just looked pretty to me…I put 2 and 2 together and from then God spoke to me again and said…

“88-Keys you’re album should be about this…” and form then on I went about constructing the story.

WCR: How much of your life is injected to this album?

Adam is me, Adam is your brother , your father, the postman that always gives you the wrong mail…he’s every guy.

WCR: You list Q-Tip has an influence, what is it about Q-Tip that inspires you?

Q-Tip as well has been a major friend in my life since the beginning when I was starting out I gotta say his attention to detail, always being creative and never losing he is as an artist has inspired me to hold that at number one.

I’m really into people putting a lot of effort and taking time for the art work for their album. I wouldn’t say half, but that makes up a third of the album for me. I loved everything they came with. I loved the photos, Q-Tip’s rap style and his voice…He has so many rap styles on that one album that have been copied and duped by so many people, his flows and his patterns.

I started buying the singles on vinyl and singles back then had real remixes on there and b-sides and stuff like. I was listening to “When The Papes Come” and getting my mind blown away.

WCR: You released a mixtape called “Adam’s Case Files,” which is a prequel to “The Death Of Adam,” and now you have The Death Of Adam, in what direction do you think your second album is going to go?

Actually The Death of Adam came before Adam’s Case Files which was really more to get people hyped about the project I was working on at the time…it got so much buzz from online and underground fans that it actually pushed up the release for the death of adam. I have about 7 more conceptual albums that I have planned to release, but its all a secret! A magician never reveals his secrets right?

WCR: You have worked and produced for many hip-hop artists, what is it like now to be the artist? What made you want to go from a producer to a performer?

It’s amazing, to be creative and have no limits is what I’ve always wanted to strive for. Many times I would make something that I know was hot, but the artist couldn’t execute or couldn’t get my vision so we’d have to “compromise” or scrap it. Now the only person I have to “compromise” with is me…and we usually tend to get along, (laughs).

Only problem is that if it doesn’t come out hot, I can’t blame anyone…

WCR: Your sound separates you from a lot of hip-hop artists, what goes into your music to create a fresh, futuristic sound?

Really its cuz I’m just so fresh! Ha! (Laughs)

Actually its because I just try to listen to everything and have no bounds, from Lykee li to Portishead to Tribe Called Quest, I’m all about good music. So when I produce it I try to go left of what people expect…


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