#DaFiveFingerDiscount: Tope – BROKEBOYSYNDROME [Editorial]

Posted on January 14, 2015 by


Da Five Finger Discount v3

Have you grabbed Tope’s incredibly dope new album BrokeBoySyndrome yet?? We caught up with the man himself to give our readers here at Da-What a behind the scenes look and Five Finger Discount from the Portland emcee.  If you are already loving the album then this will be the perfect accompaniment for you to find out where Tope’s head is at during the creative process.  If for some reason you are still on the fence, then this interview and album preview rolled into one should be more than enough to convince you to hit that PURCHASE button.

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This was one of the original #BBS songs that I wrote in July ’13 before my first trip out to NYC. As soon as I heard the beat, I knew I wanted it. This is also the first song I said “BROKE BOY SYNDROME” on and helped shaped the whole theme of the album. Lyrically I was talking about the come up, the grind and growing yet staying the same person deep down. Farnell was the first feature on the song and I knew I wanted him on the project from the jump. I’m pretty sure Farnell knocked out his Trumpet parts in his hotel room while on tour with Jill Scott haha. After that I knew I wanted a male vocalist on the hook to help round it out. Rob Milton came through huge for me and knocked out his layers in a matter of days. Rob really helped add that extra element and bring out the soul in this one. From the beginning, I knew I didn’t want to have a lot of features on this project. But if I was going to get one I wanted it to be big. I came in contact with Blu through working with Co$$ aka CashUs King on TROUBLEMAN plus producing some songs for [Co$$’s] new album. I had been wanting to work with Blu since my very first album, SOUL MUSIC but looking back, I really wasn’t ready then. It funny how timing works, 2014 I was ready for the Blu feature and had built a relationship to make it happen. Blu and I talked for weeks before he sent the verse and when he did, it was on point. It didn’t feel like he just sent me some random verse, it felt like he was really talking about some of the BBS themes on there. This is a special song that I hope people will enjoy for a long time to come.

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Theory sent over a batch of beats over and they were all like: 20 – :30 second snippets rolled into one mix. I had put the beats on but wasn’t really paying attention and as soon as I heard the Rocky snippet I stopped what I was doing automatically. I knew I wanted that beat. Funny thing is, I sat on it forever and I wrote the third verse first when I was down in LA in December ’13. I owe my homie HANIF some credit on this one, because after hearing one of his recent joints I knew I wanted to add Dizz to the hook. This is probably my favorite song on the album.

Trox had sent me a whole batch of beats for the project and again, I automatically knew I wanted this one. I just started chanting Broke Boy Syndrome on the chorus and knew I wanted to format it that way. This song didn’t take very long to write, just a few hours. I talk about a lot of real stuff in this song though; my dad being a drunk, my mom getting our lights and power shut off… This song represents coming from a dark place and being able to create something beautiful still. I linked up with Lindsey in PDX after playing a show and I have to say her timing couldn’t have been better. I knew I wanted female vocals but I didn’t have anyone in mind specifically – Lindsey emailed me and few weeks later she had booked a studio session and was knocking out rough versions of BBS and UCOULDO right away. We scheduled another session to tighten everything up together. I wanted Trox to add a little more to this song because after Lindsey jumped on, it felt big but still needed another element musically. But Trox is a busy man so I reached out to my homie Beau Bryan. Beau is an incredible piano player that I first saw rock in PDX with Thorn City Improv back in the day. Beau had put the offer on the table to play on some of my stuff, and again his timing was great – he knocked out his parts in a matter of days and finally this song felt right.

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This song is really important to me. I feel like it’s definitely one of my most diverse songs to date. Shout to Dupre for the crazy ass beat on this one. Once I said the first line to myself then the rest of this song just flowed. To me this song represents all the crazy things people do for money and how we all need money for something. The hook was a throwback to the Jay-Z/Puff Daddy era. For some reason I was listening to a lot of 90s Bad Boy stuff when I was making this album. Also Spike Lee’s He Got Game was influential to this song. For some reason I just kept playing the Big Time speech when he’s driving Jesus to school, about all evils that can bring you down once you make it.

This song represents the grind that Verbz and I put in the last year opening for multiple acts, in multiple states, big shows, little shows and all of that. I think the drums in this beat really drove the emotions in the song. Shout out to CashUs for coming through for me again in the clutch. We did Good Riddance together on TROUBLEMAN and people really like that joint so I was happy we could link up again for another one. This song has quickly become my new favorite song to do live.