When Sean Price, Black Milk and Guilty Simpson began working on the just-released Random Axe album, Price decided to change his operating procedure. But he wasn’t used to the way producer Black Milk worked in the studio -- or the type of beats the rising beatsmith supplied him.
“He’s weird,” Sean Price says of Black Milk, who produced each of the 15 tracks on “Random Axe.” “Most of my beats are just straight boom bap. He’s got that, too, but it’s a challenge rhyming to some of his beats. I usually talk shit, but when I went there I just took orders. He was like, ‘Yo, rhyme to this.’ I was like, ‘Are you sure?’ I wrote the rhyme, laid it down and he said I’m good.”
Yet Price wasn’t good in the way he imagined. Typically, when Price has been told he’s good in the past, it meant that the song was essentially in its final form. He quickly learned that it wasn’t the case with Black Milk.
“After I laid my songs down, he was like, ‘When I mix it, the songs are going to sound different,’” Price says with a laugh. “When he said ‘sound different,’ I thought he meant turn this knob, twist this knob and have it sounding different on the mix. No. He changed the whole beat. I usually hate that, but he did it perfect. It sounds like I really rhymed to that beat. He’s a genius, man.”
Even though it was a new process, the Brooklyn-based Price found it extremely easy to record with Black Milk and Guilty Simpson, both of whom are from Detroit. But that doesn’t mean that they stuffed the album with filler. In fact, the album may be considered too short.
“If you like it, listen to it twice,” Price says. “It’s not a complaint to me that the album’s too short. If it’s too short, listen to it again. I can live with it being too short. What I can’t live with is people saying, ‘Ah, that shit’s garbage. They’re wack.’ But I’m not hearing that.”
But even Price was taken aback by the album the first time he heard it. “This is the weirdest album I’ve been on,” he says. “I’m so stuck in my ways that sometimes I don’t take chances. He forced me to take a chance. It came out good. I’m not complaining.”
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