Every album is different.
I never exactly follow the same path from point A to point B. But in doing a few recordings over the years, style starts to develop and technique becomes honed so that you can rely on it.
Because I had no urge to try to make an album, but still had my MPC, I started making beats one day for fun. Those beats turned into sketches, then those sketches turned into songs.
I had a recording session from a few years back with a one-day band I put together called "All The Kings Men," but those tracks were in HD Pro-Tools, and I didn't have the urge to start converting than editing because the upfront costs weren't really appealling to me.
It is easy to dump money into something. With music, I find I really need very little to get something going. And the MPC has proven to be the ultimate tool because it has limits yet is completely fluid when it comes to music creation.
I jumped into the studio (Skylab) for a day of jamming. I invited my buddy Ryan Alvarez along, and he brought his Juno 6. Dave Kanehann came by with his bass. We jammed the day away, and two of the compositions made it to the album. (MCEES! and Man Has A Dream).
So I turned around and there were a bunch of MPC tracks and two additional live tracks. I added some breaks into the album and realized soon there was 11 tracks - a full album.
Lyric wise, I had some ideas, but with this one it wasn't until the tracks were sketched out that some hooks came to light. Sometimes I'll start singing as I'm working on something, other times I'll just loop the song and start typing away. I type fast, so it is easy to come up with rhymes as I go.
Often times if I get stuck on a line, or a I see a thought forming, I'll write the line multiple times, not worrying about timing or structure. This way I get everything out (puking up puzzle pieces) then in my next revisions, put them together.
I had several ideas for more traditional cut scenes or phone messages, but quite frankly those get in the way of tracks in my opinion, and I'm not De La Soul. When I did a mixdown of the tracks early on, they all just fit so well together it did not make sense to break them up with voice mail messages or other cut scenes.
Mixing in Pro Tools was a supreme joy, and I have to thank Ian Adair (HCMF) and Keith Ruggiero for their guidence here. Ian provided hours of Pro Tools tips and inspiration, and Keith educated me about plug-ins and basic and not-so-basic mixing principles.
After a year of learning Pro-Tools on this album, things came to light. It's Good To Be King hatched and is ready for the ears of the world.
I would not change a thing, and I never feel it is my business to do so. Once I can play the album from back to front and not be bothered by anything I hear, I know the album is done. Where snares are loud, they were meant to be loud. Were lyrics blend with vibes, they were meant to do so. This time around I was able to place things exactly how and where I wanted them.