I named the album 'Otaku' to poke fun at myself and my love for anime/Japan. It also falls in line with Lofi Hip Hop's obsession with the anime aesthetic. I always joke with my friends that I'm a step away from getting a body pillow. I also wanted to explore the stigma behind it and question its definition. I don't think people should judge each other so harshly.
The album is inspired by many things: Anime (Mob Psycho 100, Re:zero, Cowboy Bebop, Golden Time, Durarara!!, Seven Deadly Sins, Neon Genesis Evangelion), TV shows (Freaks & Geeks, Stranger Things), certain genres like future (Quickly, Quickly, Lido), lofi hiphop (Knxwledge, sleepy eyes, O.S.L., ohbliv, bsd.u, SwuM, wuntwo, mt. marcy, Josh Hey, Beat Haus, Paxico Records, Stones Throw, dil withers, a.bee,), Funk/soul (Sade, Milton Wright, George Duke, Prince Phillip Mitchell), Jazz (John Klemmer, Shigeo Sekito, Larry Willis, John Coltrane), 80s/90s rap (Eazy E, Ice Cube, Queen Latifah, AZ, De La Soul), 80s acid house (Phil Fearon & the Galaxy), and 90s/2000s R&B (Xscape, Musiq Soulchild, Lalah Hathaway, Alicia Keys, Silk).
Certain rappers (Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Kanye West, Earl Sweatshirt, Max B, Skepta/BBK, Lord Apex), certain albums (Blonde by Frank Ocean, Freetown Sound by Blood Orange, JEFFERY by No My Name Is Jeffery, P3 by PARTYNEXTDOOR), food channels and respective foodies/chefs (Munchies, Matty Matheson, Eddie Huang, Sean Evans, First We Feast's Hot Ones, Gordon Ramsay, Morimoto's 'Momosan' on Lex), and other things like Akai, reel to reel machines (Akai 1720w), cassette culture, Roy Woods, Rihanna, Rick Rubin, Sven Libaek, Zen Buddhism, and a lot of other things that inspired me in one way or another. The album art is done by zomkashwak (instagram.com/zomkashwak) and is inspired by a past muse..
I took the summer off to study beatmaking and this is the culmination of that effort. I would watch videos for seven hours a day every day of the week. I probably watched upwards of 300 hours of video tutorials from legends like Matt Weiss and Echo Soundworks. I also read the Art of Mixing by David Gibson. I dedicate this album to my family who continues to support and love me unconditionally — more than I deserve. Thanks to everyone who helped make this album, especially dylAn for getting the interlude in on time and ISBA for providing dope background vocals. Big thanks to Jux Chemist for the art direction/helping me find the aesthetic of the album. Thanks to the Grifo Tapes family for putting me on, sponsoring my broke ass, and for being patient with me haha. Thanks to Inner Ocean Records for pressing the tapes and big up to zomkashwak for providing the trill album art. Finally, thank you to the fans. You guys telling me you vibe with my songs is the reason I do this <3
1. luvsick intro Contains elements of: “Walk With Me My Love & Dream" by John Klemmer; 'Like Crazy' by Drake Doremus
Notes: RIP Anton
2. irl Contains elements of: “Am I Dreamin'“ by Xscape; NWA on the Arsenio; "The Muthaphukkin Real" by Eazy E feat. MC Ren
Notes: RIP Eazy
3. the.plug Contains elements of: "ザ・ワードⅡ / セキトウ・シゲオ" by Shigeo Sekito; "Black Hand Side" by Queen Latifah; 'Paid in Full' by Charles Stone III
Notes: Shigeo the vaporwave goat
4. swim Contains elements of: “Learning to Swim“ by Lalah Hathaway; 'Freaks and Geeks' by Judd Apatow;
Notes: Bring back F&G pls
5. ✿sakura✿ Contains elements of: “Thoughts of Regret“ by Sven Libaek; "Hive" by Earl Sweatshirt; Kendrick Lamar x Rick Rubin Interview for GQ Magazine; 'Golden Time' anime;
Notes: Koko and Banri cutest couple 2014
6. under ur spell interlude (interlude) [feat. dylAn] Contains elements of: Rihanna behind the scenes of "Work"; Features dylAn; Background vox by ISBA.
Notes: Very excited that this got completed in time. Last track to go onto the album, I knew I HAD to get an interlude from dylAn once he hit me to connect on something and he blew it out of the water. ISBA killed the backing vox and it ended up blending super well. I was really happy with the final product.
7. swordfish Contains elements of: “Fools“ by George Duke; Max B 'Come Up' DVD Interview; "New York" by AZ
Notes: Swordfish is the name of Spike's spaceship in Cowboy Bebop.
8. mind☯body Contains elements of: “Mary go Round“ by Musiq Soulchild; "Unthinkable" by Alicia Keys; "The Realm" by C'hantal
Notes: "The Realm" sounds like a cult initiation. welcome..
9. evian Contains elements of: “Still Thinking of You“ by Phil Fearon & Galaxy; "Nasty" by Skepta
Notes: shoutout BBK
10. dragonroll Contains elements of: “Friends & Buddies“ by Milton Wright; De La Soul documentary
Notes: Technically the first song I made for the album. Shoutout De La Soul
11. good 2 u (demo) Contains elements of: “Make It Good“ by Prince Phillip Mitchell
Notes: Zen buddhism is a big influence for me and I learned about the concept of wabi-sabi. Imperfection. First take. I thnk it's kind of cool just leaving unfinished/flawed things how they are, especially if they sound decent.
12. final fantasy Contains elements of: “Lose Control“ by Silk
Notes: Play it in a car with good speakers. Also, u KNOW ffxv looks dope *eyes emoji*