“Young Gifted and Chaz,” “Butt2Butt,” Good Goose and Me.

So I’m releasing a new song from my album, Personal References, every Thursday over the next nine (9) weeks until the full 15-track thing drops on December 14th. The album is entirely produced by my friend and homie Good Goose. You may know him from his group Menya or his numerous remixes as heard on his awesome blog. Our worlds have collided and since last week he explained his side of the story on how we came together, this week I’m giving you my account.

Richard and I first met sometime in Spring, 2008. It was the beginning of what was the most miserable time in my life, so I’m pretty sure my memory has suppressed most of it. What I remember unquestionably though, was my first time seeing Menya perform. It was fall 2008 during one of the early MeNyle shows that would feature Menya, Nyle and friends, with Nyle’s sets predominately being tributes to a certain artists/albums. I had just moved back to Manhattan after a summer in Brooklyn and no-one had really seen me for sometime, so Nyle wanted me to be a surprise guest. I wanted to make it as real a surprise as possible by hiding backstage for the entire night from before doors even opened. The two benefits from this were A) getting to genuinely surprise a typically jaded NYC audience and B) getting to see the absolute frenzy that Menya whips a crowd into. It was just frequent-compadre GenesisBe and myself backstage when I heard something female and vulgar come from the stage and had to investigate. What unfolded before my eyes were Menya members Good Goose, Coco-Dame and Angie Ripe turning into three technicolor balls of energy and making the crowd explode into a human popcorn maker. The only times my eyes weren’t fixated on the ensuing chaos in front of me were glancing back at Genesis to see if she was seeing the same things that I saw.

I spent the next year or so building a friendship with Richard and posting up in the back of Menya shows to see how they turn even the most stoic of concert-goers into a sixth-grade lip-syncing dance party. If you ever get to see them live, do it. Richard and I finally sat down and began working on the songs that would become Personal References in July, 2009. I’ve always believed a changing man was more interesting than a changed man*, and this was the start of a pretty big transitional time for me, which I’m happy to say that the album conveys. Richard and I are as similar as we are different, emphasizing each other’s strengths, covering each other’s weaknesses, and not afraid to tell each other “Chaz, that’s a horrible idea.”

Here’s what we have released thus far –

“Young, Gifted and Chaz”

“Butt2Butt”

*If you’ve seen Nyle’s “Let the Beat Build” video, you’ve heard at 1:14 the line “my best friend said that music comes from someone in transition.” This is a reference to me and that philosophy. The original line was “my n*gga Chaz said…” but I assumed it was changed for obvious reasons.

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