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The End of the Beginning
Label: Definitive Jux
Released: February 2003

I guess the best way to describe this album is to start with the title. I called it The End of the Beginning for many reason. Mainly it was the end of me doing every f'n thing myself. I had a good friend named, El-p who believed in me enough to take the reins of my career and let me "slack off" and be an artist solely. He also provided me with a publicist and proper distribution, bringing an End to any indie rap heads who said they had never heard of me. Def Jux made me visible through every media outlet at their disposal. I was reluctant at first. But I do not regret a day spent working with, and for the company.

Artistically I was so excited to finally have the attention of the indie rap world. I decided to showcase the full spectrum of my talents. So that's why you have songs at 134 BPM's (beats per minute - such as, "You & I") and songs at 75 BPM's  ( "God's Work".) You have darker more serious jams like, "Last Night" and more light hearted fun jams like, "Risky Bizness feat. Shock G & Humpty Hump. I worked with various producers, as always, in attempt to keep both myself and the fans entertained. I actually had about 50 beat cd's and 2 beat tapes (1 from Blockhead & 1 from Ant who both have burners now btw) for this album. I worked 8 hours a day or something like for about 3 months straight at a pace of about 1 song  a day. Some of them never saw the light of day,  some never even saw the light of the recording booth.

The actual recording of this album took place in  Minnesota, L.A. and NYC. The L.A. portion was engineered by my boy Ariel formerly of the Hippos; a punk band of the late 90's. Anyway, he turned out to be an excellent engineer/producer and taught me the importance of having a good dude "behind the boards;" a position I had basically taken for granted up until this point. The NY sessions were done at Definitive Jux.  Engineered by another great dude named NASA,   here I recorded "Def Cover," "The Dance," feat. El-P, and "Happy Pillz," feat. Aesop Rock. "The Dance" was a very memorable song and writing experience for me because I finally got to sit down and write a song with one of my close friends and esteemed colleagues,  El-P. Most of the collaborations and sessions  for this album were easygoing and fun. But when El and I sat down to do this one, it was extremely intense. El is a both a producer and emcee that I hold in the highest regard. And this was a beat he wanted for himself but gave to me and made me promise not to come wack. Not only that, but he also wanted to rhyme on the song, which added much weight to my shoulders. But the end result was one of my favorite songs of all time. And for the record I think my boy killed it.

The Minnesota session with Ant of Atmosphere taught me the real meaning of "producer." Nowadays in hiphop, people tend to believe a producer is someone who simply makes the beat, when in actuality a producer is someone who orchestrates  the song. Meaning, Ant would make suggestions on content, cadence, chorus  and arrangement. He actually sat there while I wrote some of the song, and actually would have probably preferred me to write the whole thing in his presence, running it through with him as I went along.

But the song that sticks out most on the album is "Transitions Az A Ridah," aka the skateboard song. This was actually one of the last tracks added to the album. And the first song to which I ever made an actual musical contribution to. It came to be one day as I was leaving Liberty Boardshop out in the O.C. (where I lived during the conception of this album) and I was searching my creative mind for one more song to throw on this album. Then it hit me: I have to make a decent hip hop song about skating. I had been skating pretty regularly and recognized it was a far end of that "spectrum"  that definitely need some light on this album. So I went to my Patchworks buddies and ask them to make a beat that incorporated skate sounds grinding, sliding, popping etc...as the actual music. Being skaters themselves, it was no problem and I think we did a wonderful job representing both skateboard and hiphop culture. After this album was turned in, I toured excessively and incessantly for the next 2 years straight (300plus shows). God Loves Ugly Tour, Warped Tour, My Way and the Highway, El-p and Murs the Euro Disaster etc....

Track Listing:
  1. You and I
  2. Dibbs did this shit
  3. What do you know?
  4. The Scuffle
  5. The Nght Before
  6. Transitions az a Ridah
  7. Happy Pillz (feat Aesop Rock)
  8. Risky Business feat Humpy Hump and Shock G
  9. The Dance feat EL-P
  10. Gods Work
  11. Def Cover
  12. Please Leave
  13. Sore Losers
  14. BT$ feat Sunspot Jonz
  15. 18 w/ A Bullet feat Ant from Atmosphere
  16. Brotherly love
  17. Got Damned
  18. Done Deal feat 3MG