#DaFiveFingerDiscount: INF! – Animal Control [Editorial]

Posted on May 3, 2016 by

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Rochester, New York emcee stopped by Da-What to break down five tracks from his recently released album Animal Control.  The High Caliber Music group that INF! reps so proudly has their fingerprints all over the latest album. Inf grabbed a verses from labelmates D Riggz, Shee Blue, Eastside Ea$¥, Q. Easy, Hundoe Luck, KXL along with Juggaknot, Emilio Rojas, DV Alias Khryst, Emanny, Eaz Da Engineer, Eddie Fingaz & Izreal. All production is handled in-house too! A very impressive effort both as a team and individual.

What’s going on, this is INF!, and I’d like to share my 5 songs off of #AnimalControl that are my personal favorites. “For nothing” I feel is one of the most important solo efforts on my album. This song was originally a beat designed by JD Riggz & Andrew Lloyd, which was sitting in a folder for almost a year and a half. I loved the beat, but I wasn’t sure what to write to it for that long of a time. Months past and we found out some bad news about one of our local hip-hop spots closing down January 14’ for good. Dubland Underground, a place for many forms of music, and indie scenes from Metal, Rap, Dubstep, EDM, you name it….it was the only place that would offer a multi-cultural atmosphere and it felt like home. The last night for Hip-Hop to do a show and the whole HCM Gang rocked out for the last time. After our set, and the show was over, and we couldn’t step foot in that place anymore, I went home that same night….lied in bed, looked up at my sky window, at about 3 – 4 in the morning…I put the beat on…and the song just came to me…the rest was history. A memory I’ll never forget.inf! 2

“Getting Fucked Up” was one of those songs where I wanted to go against the traditional (Club / turn up) record that main stream music seems to always over saturate the radio waves with. During the time it was all about molly and getting so messed up at a club setting, I was just tired of hearing that sound, and wanted to make something for the folks that still party at home.

So I wrote something to a beat sampling one of my favorite Sonic The Hedgehog boards (Sega for life) but after recording it, both JD and myself knew it wasn’t gonna work, and if it did, we’d be sued so bad lol. So we got rid of that beat, and tried a couple other ones, one was okay, but we could tell it wasn’t matching with the mood I had on the song.

So then JD makes this one beat sampling Janet Jackson, and it was so smooth, it was perfect!!!…iiiiif I wanted to put it out as a mixtape record and not make a dime. But despite all of that, one night I had a crazy dream….

I had this dream that I was on a highway during a sunset, and we were shooting a video for “Getting Fucked Up”, and a melody and lyrics came to me in a dream…but the person singing the hook, was sleepy brown…IDK where he came from, or how, or why my dream had him manifest into it, but he sang something, and I woke up and sang the chorus in my phone before I lost it.

I showed JD the melody and chorus and he was like “oh ****, That’s dope!” so now I’m really in tune with this beat he made, and attached to it like idk what else. We ended up putting that beat aside, then going through some of the beats I made…

This one beat I sampled “No Love, But Your Love” by Johnny Mathis, which I was hooked to this sample due to my Uncle Darryl showing me how to make beats back when I was 10 – 11 years old. He made a beat using this sample, and I’ve kept humming the sample for a good 10 years until his wedding a few years back. “Unc, I got this melody in my head but I can’t find the song, you said it was something else, but I don’t think it is” (I hum the melody) “Oh that’s Johnny Mathis!” found that song, made the beat, flash forward to the studio session me and JD are skimming through the beats I made, “put that song to this!” I’m rapping over the beat and my eyes lit up, because I didn’t see what he saw until I was in mid verse…. That’s how “Getting Fucked Up” came about.

Now, “CELEBRATE”, if we could go back to that melody Sleepy Brown sang in my dream that I recorded on my phone so I didn’t lose. Just a few weeks after a good friend of mine Bud passed away of Leukemia, I was on my way back from NYC with Bud’s brother / my homie Mouth (from Keep Pushing video) to the Roc…and I just felt like writing something positive to kind of offset what was currently going on.   He’s driving, it’s raining, and we’re trying to get past time square to get on the Jersey side. I have my white beat headphones on, and I’m playing JD’s beat that I can’t stop bumping on repeat…I keep the melody of what was said before but I start writing “Drinks to the sky….keep your glasses up we’re celebrating life (ooooh ooooh) I need every one to feel this vibe….as long as this drink in my glass, we’re celebrating life”

Then my verse just started coming to me, kind of in the same fashion “for nothing”. I started thinking about my friend that just passed, my Brother that passed years ago, then I started thinking about the good times we used to have growing up, just coming together and seeing my folks at the spades table laughing and cussing, the dance contests we used to have at a party when a dollar meant something. Then just growing up with good friends and catching up on old times. Those moments, that’s what it’s really about, because without those moments, I wouldn’t be who I am.

So I finished the verse, before I spit it to JD over the phone, I did a test run and rapped it to Mouth….he kept on saying “lemme hear that again, okay one more time, alright this is the last time….(20 minutes later)….okay for real this time” I knew I had something. I then rapped it to JD and he was like…YO! This is it!

Again the beat JD made had to be put aside, but he found a producer who’s made a name for himself by producing for The Lox among many other Emcees, by the name of Jimmy Dukes, who had a vibe that matched the feel of where I was going!!!

But to make that dream of Sleepy Brown a reality was something that I thought was way out of reach, but worth a try right?

JD Reached out to Sleepy and he heard the hook, and the fact that he thought it was dope enough to consider was enough for me to keep this dream going. Of course we couldn’t do it, only because it was out of our budget to make that happen, and the rest of the album come out the way it did, so we worked with someone who’s a legend in his own right, and dubbed by JD as “The East Coast Nate Dog” in DV Alias Khryst, and he felt the hook, just like we had hoped, and he killed it!!! And the last touches were to have a supporting cast, my teammates Eastside Easy and Shee Blue to send this track home….

This song was made, and recorded when I used to live with my brother KXL. A few great songs came from that experience alone, “Keep Pushing”, “You and Me”, and “I’m Gone”. Keep pushing came from an Idea that he had originally. He came up with the beat, and concept, and originally was going to be his song featuring myself. He came to me, and was like, I need you to hop on this song, this fits you, and I know you’re going through it, and know how to kill these type of songs. What he truly wanted, was me being 100% myself on the song, as long as the cadence and flow matched that style of Dr. Dre’s a _____ With a Gun.

I first heard it, and wrote the verse in record timing. Once I came to him with the verse, he was sold, then he needed someone with a rock n roll / metal influence, because he saw a something bigger than the song, with crossover capabilities. We hit up, my boy Mouth, who was more than happy to add his voice to the beginning and end of the song.

After the song was done, he was sitting on it, I was trying to get that song off of him because we felt it would fit the album perfectly….at first he was like “nah son…I’m saving it”…I approached him again in annoying little brother fashion, and he still said “NAH SON! I’m saving this!” a year and a half goes by, and JD was like “YO…he needs this for his album” KXL finally gave that track up (lol) and that’s how Keep Pushing made the album.

We were almost done with the album, beginning the final stages, but we needed that last song to give the people, something else that’d reel them in to want more from the project, and JD was able to get in contact with Black Metaphor, a producer known for a whole list of artists (Rick Ross, Jeezy, LEP Bogus Boys, the list goes on & on). This is a big deal to me, and there were 5 beats that I could pick from, all 5 were dope, but there were 2 beats that stuck out of the bunch that I gravitated towards. One was a sample free, trap based beat, that I was writing to, but I wasn’t feeling that it would stand out verses the second beat that had this soulful voice that was chopped to perfection. I wrote down the hook and melody and that was half of the song there. But writing the song itself, I felt like I was forcing myself, and I was growing to be frustrated, and JD was telling me what I already knew, “dog you gotta re-write it, you’re rapping too much…you want folks to recite this, not look in a dictionary” and as frustrated as I was, I knew he was right…so I kept re-writing, scrapping, re-writing, scrapping, for another 3 times, and then I left it alone, because I needed it to come to me. I needed to experience something else in my life for the song to come to me, versus forcing the song out.

A couple weeks later, my older cousin’s 50th Birthday comes up, and I’m hanging around family like the good old days, like the memories that inspired “Celebrate, and Getting Fucked Up”. I played the song “Celebrate” for my family, and just like Mouth in that car when I wrote it, they kept running the song back, and then, I came home, and the song finally started coming to me the way I needed it. I knew that “I’ll Never Fail”, was THE song that was bigger than me, and needed to be an anthem for the people. I’ll Never Fail has become more than just the play off of my name, but a slogan for anybody with a dream. Once I ran the song by JD, he let me know “THERE IT IS! That’s THE ONE WE NEEDED!” We recorded that one, and till this day, folks let me know that though my whole album is dope, it’s hard to get past Track #3 “I’ll Never Fail” without playing that joint at least a couple more times.

Those are the 5 joints that I feel shape the whole album #AnimalControl. Though each song I wrote has a memory I’ll never forget, “For Nothing” “Getting F_cked Up”, “Celebrate”, “Keep Pushing”, & “I’ll Never Fail” are the ones that define where I started, where I’m headed, and how I’m going to get there.

Grab the album on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Rhapsody and follow INF! on all o the social networks: @Infcasso on twitter, @INFstagram on IG and INFofHCM on Snapchat.

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