An All-Star line up, featuring many of Detroit Hip-Hop’s finest accompanied by production from French producer Astronote. Listen and download this project below. Originally slated for release in 2013, learn why it’s finally being set free after almost 5 years of waiting. (For Adult Ears Only)
Around 2010 it seemed like most of my friends in the Detroit Hip-Hop scene had albums out. It was the blog era, and my people were getting love everywhere. Of course okayplayer, Nah Right & 2dopeboyz were holding us down, but less hip-hop centric spots like Pitchfork and Rolling Stone were regularly supporting too.
We had somewhat rebounded from J Dilla’s death, and most folks were back to creating, touring, and getting more media love than I’d ever seen. Usually an artist here or there would break through, but it felt like this was Detroit’s time to shine.
I reached out to Astronote, to be the creative force behind the project.
He told me he was inspired and influenced by J Dilla and Detroit Hip-Hop. I thought this would be the perfect way to collab and make sure everyone I know was aware of his talent.
On paper I ‘manage’ Astro. But honestly, he’s always managed himself. I occasionally help coordinate paperwork and negotiations.
Since many of the artists that I asked to get on board were busy doing shows and enjoying the shine created by their successful albums, we decided to create Re-Delivery.
A project of remixes and original tracks, so Astro could remix artists who couldn’t easily get in the studio to drop something new.
Astronote is the best remixer I’ve ever known. A “good” remix keeps the best characteristics of the original. Astronote’s remixes can make you forget the original altogether.
That’s not to say he outshines the original track. He takes a vocal to such a different place that you’re not even concerned with comparing it to the original.
He did the hard work of producing, mixing and mastering every track. I was the connect; on the ground here in Detroit collecting acapellas, giving feedback and coordinating studio sessions.
It should have come out in 2013.
First the project got shelved because of some music industry politics. Then, I got to work building my digital marketing agency Overflow. I was still DJing, but wasn’t as focused on releasing projects.
Time passed and the industry was changing. I didn’t want to drop a disposable album that would get a half-day of fanfare then disappear. But that’s just what the game is now.
For a minute it was going to drop as a special collaboration with Faygo (thanks Josh B!), but I dragged my feet and before I knew it my boy who was supporting things at the brand had moved on to another position.
A few labels wanted to release it, but coordinating contracts and publishing for a collab project like this can be a nightmare.
Finally, we were going to put it out following the buzz of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly album, but in the final hours the Astronote produced track didn’t make the album (it came out as track 03 on Kendrick’s Untitled Unmastered instead).
Shouts to Kendrick for noticing Astro’s genius, Rapper Pooh for introducing us to TDE, and Dave Free for the late night calls to make sure Astro got taken care of.
I was upset the song didn’t make TPAB, but I believe Kendrick’s live performance on the final episode of The Colbert Report was so explosive that he had to wait a minute to give the studio version its own lane.
Set It Free
In 2015, I told Astro we just have to put Re-Delivery out. He was hesitant. At that point his production style had changed somewhat, he’d started to focus mainly on jazzier, non-sample based tracks like his more recent EP O.B.E. Dropping Re-Delivery could leave people wanting more of a style he was no longer inspired to create.
That being said, this post is the release… no heavy promo or big rollout. The music is no less amazing than it was back in 2013, and it deserves to be heard. I’m sorry Astro, gotta set it free!
Thanks to Astronote and all the Michigan artists that got down on the project. All the managers who helped coordinate, and especially everyone who fought off the urge to leak the records on their own. A few additional thank yous…
- Phat Kat for introducing me to Astronote
- Astro for not being mad at me for putting this out 😇
- Street Justice for being the first to finish their track (Redd I see you taking over the film game in ATL!)
- The A-Side Worldwide fam, especially Jackson, Josh, Jamall & KT who listened and gave support all along the way
- To all the artists who were already working with Astro. Remixes were on deck without me even needing to reach out…
- Houseshoes & Nick Speed for Danny Brown’s Shoes Grind acapella. Danny recorded the song at Nick Speed’s studio many years back for a Houseshoes project. Shoes’ laptop was stolen with the original session, so Astro’s version is all that remains.
- Special thanks to Fatt Father (& RoSpit) for dropping an ill track! The studio recording quality of the vocal was a little distorted, so I’m sorry it didn’t make the final project. Plans were to release it on a B-sides EP with a couple other tracks you can download them here.
- Clear Soul Forces for being down to become a recent addition… I’m sorry it didn’t go down at the last minute, but I’m glad we got to make that collab happen with CSF, Astro & Idris Elba
- DJ Dez for inspiring my scratches on ‘Nyquil’. I went to Dez’ studio and recorded his scratches for ‘Face It’. He did all the cuts in 5 minutes. I went home and did mine in 1 take too, trying to be like my big homie!
- Josh at Kingship Creative for the artwork
- JD for brainstorming with me on the Faygo stuff. That idea still has legs…
- Rapper Pooh for being an adopted D-boy on V-Styles Clash of the Titans
- All the producers that got ethered! Just jokes! Thanks for letting Astro remix your work. (Had to throw that in for Vaughan T who said, “How come he’s always picking tracks I produced to remix?” 🙂
- To all the Detroit artists that wanted to contribute but logistics just didn’t work out…
- Anybody I forgot, I’m sorry. Charge it to the mind, not the heart!