DO YOU PREFER (OR IS IT EASIER) TO COLLABORATE AS OPPOSED TO CREATING IT ALL ON YOUR OWN? I have grown to love working collaboratively — I am way too much of a head case to produce all my own shit again. Doing another self-produced album like A.D.Dventures would probably result in some sort of Howard Hughes pissing into mason jars with six-inch-long fingernails- type of situation. Not a good look. It is really beneficial to have someone else there to draw lines in the sand and/or tell me to get out of my own head.

WHEN COLLABORATING WITH A PRODUCER, DOES THE BEAT GUIDE YOUR WRITING OR DO YOU COME IN WITH A SPECIFIC PLAN FOR EACH PIECE? Most of the time I am inspired by the beat. A beat conjures certain images in my head, and I try my best to describe those images. I am always thinking of rough ideas and song concepts, but the tone of the beat is what brings the words out of me.

YOUR BARS ARE LAYERED WITH CRAZY WORDPLAY. DO LINES JUMP INTO YOUR HEAD AS ALREADY COMPLICATED, OR DO YOU GO BACK AND PLUG IN MORE COMPLEX WORDING AFTERWARDS? OR DOES IT JUST COME NATURALLY? Naturally complicated, I guess. I barely ever rewrite lines. I take awhile to write and I choose my words very carefully. There is no filler in my verses and they are all pretty dense. I'll just sit there nodding my head for 10 minutes, then like four bars just pour out. Then rinse and repeat. I try to write stuff that you will never fully comprehend on your first listen. My favorite emcees write lines that you could go back to eight years later and just realize what they were talking about. I try to write songs with that in mind.

ESH THE MONOLITH + CESCHI + GRAY STREET + PASSAGE + ORDEAL | Friday, February 22 @ 9 pm | Firehouse 13, 41 Central St, Providence | 401.270.1801 |  fh13.com

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