This week, rapper Sadistik premiered "Chemical Burns" a new song that features what could be the final Eyedea guest appearance we'll ever hear.
Ahead of the July 1 release of his upcoming album Ultraviolet, Gimme Noise spoke to Sadistik about how the track came together and Eyedea's legacy.
Do you recall your first exposure to Eyedea?
Yeah, easily. I was 17 and I drove to Seattle to see an Atmosphere show. Eyedea and Abilities and Grayskul were the supporting act. I'd heard of Eyedea, but didn't know his work yet. His performance that night blew me away. It was easily the most influential rap performance I'd ever seen. The next day, I went to Easy Street in Seattle to get all their albums and couldn't find them anywhere. "Even Shadows Have Shadows" was particularly awesome at that show.
Did you get to meet Eyedea that night?
No, I didn't meet him until after we'd already discussed doing a song online. I met him in Seattle because I opened for their By The Throat tour. We'd already known each other through the computer.
How did you first get in touch with him?
I reached out to him initially via MySpace to explain "this is who I am, this is my work" and he was into it. We discussed the song idea which was originally going to be on my album with Emancipator, but that project got shelved over time and so I wound up giving the song a facelift for Ultraviolet, my new album.
So this was a verse recorded in 2009 then?
I'd say that. We discussed recording it in 2009 and then put it together in 2010. It's in 3/4 time signature and, as far as I know, the only time he rapped in that. I explained it to him that it was a technically challenging track and there were few people I considered to be on it and he was my number one choice.
The lead single off your last album was your Eyedea tribute "Micheal." What made you decide to release that before releasing the song with Eyedea itself?
Good question. First off, I still didn't know what I wanted to do with the song from Eyedea. I didn't want to put it on Flowers because the timing felt weird. It felt uncomfortable and was still really fresh. I was terrified writing "Micheal" and convinced myself it had to be the album. At that point, the song was the original [version] which didn't really fit. I put out the tribute and it was received really well and so I wanted to finally put this song out. I felt guilty having one of the last Eyedea verses, especially one where he killed it. I think it's a lot doper now. I'm glad it's finally coming out, to get it off my hands.
Where did the album title Ultraviolet come from?
It captures a mood. It's very dark with bright accents and '80s influences here and there. I was also reading about color spectrums and how there's all these colors that exist that we can't see as a special that other animals can see, and how ultraviolet rays can kill people and we can't even see it. It makes sense.
Being this is probably the final Eyedea verse we'll hear, looking back on his career, do you think there's anything particularly misunderstood about Eyedea's legacy?
Yeah, but you know what? I would say, and this is unfortunate, people seem to understand his legacy more after he passed away than while he was making it. He obviously caught a lot of flack for artistic decisions he made. He told me "I was on the frontline, taking all the bullets." With Face Candy and with Carbon Carosel, people were attacking him, but with his diehard fanbase, those are some of the songs they like the most. His risk-taking tendency seems to be what people praise the most now, but while he was alive people were pretty brutal about it. It's interesting to look at what an evolution he made in such a relatively small amount of time. Even just his freestyling, one niche pocket of what he did, went from braggadocious stuff to the more conscious type freestyling.
Do you have any favorite Eyedea songs that don't get discussed too often which you consider amongst his best work?
Oh hell yeah. The title song "By The Throat" is amazing to me. The rapping, the writing, the super bizarre production, that resonates with me. One that doesn't get praised enough that's fucking amazing is "Skinny," the Carbon Carosel song. That song resonated with me a lot when I first heard it on MySpace. I was dating a girl who was dealing with severe eating disorder and was for four years dealing with bulimia and anorexia and everything in-between. When I went on tour with him and Kristoff Krane I brought up that I liked that song a lot, and he got this huge grin and said "You like that one? I think that's the best song I ever wrote." He was super proud of that one. On some of the stops on that tour he played a little acoustic set and started playing "Skinny" at a few of those spots. On YouTube there's a video or two of them playing it.
Sadistik. With Cage, Ecid, Maulskull, and Meta. Sunday, July 6 at the Pourhouse. Tickets.
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