Keen x Sid Talk "Repeat"
Mon, 05 Mar 2012 08:49:16
"Listening to Repeat is almost like watching a movie," declares Sid Wilson of his new collaborative album with Thekeenone.
Keen x Sid is otherworldly hip hop of the highest order. Combining Sid's infectious, invigorating, and incisive beats and verses with Keen's razor sharp rhymes, Repeat blasts off into another galaxy altogether. The Slipknot turntable sorcerer has architected an undeniable collection with Keen that's bound to stay stuck in your head for years to come. Rolling through rap with a completely new perspective, Keen x Sid are a duo to be reckoned with…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Keen x Sid break down Repeat, talk where they come together as artists, dish on hip hop, movies, and so much more.
Where do you two converge creatively?
KEEN: We both really appreciate hip hop music, and we're not trying to make something that's specifically commercially viable so it's honest. He sat down and made the tracks he wanted to make, and I put down the lyrics I wanted. There's no pressure on either side. I think the product reflects that.
SID: We didn't have a label down our throats on this shit either. It wasn't like there was any pressure from anybody saying, "You've got to make a single! You've got to make a hit or anything like that." It was about what we truly felt like creating as artists.
Did you grow up listening to the same kind of hip hop?
KEEN: We seem to agree on all of the stuff we listen to and the music SID makes. We met via B-Real from Cypress Hill. That put us together.
SID: We were chilling out at The Temple, B-Real's studio. I was playing a beat on my computer, while I was looking at pictures. KEEN was on the couch and she barely overheard the beat. It was all tense and quiet playing off my computer. She was like, "Can I rap on that beat?" B-Real said she was dope so I was like, "Alright!"
KEEN: I didn't really give you a choice on that [Laughs].
SID: That ended up being "Legal Drug Addict." Everyone liked it so much. We had to do a whole album at that point.
Did you have one vision for Repeat?
KEEN: SID would sit there and start making beats. As soon as I thought of something that I felt went with it, I would go record it, and he would keep building the beat around that. It was pretty organic. The only thing we planned was how the "Repeat" tracks are split up. We did that to make everything flow together, but it wasn't something we knew we were going to do at the beginning. We didn't put any pressure on ourselves.
SID: For me, it was like I was locked in an underground bunker and I realized someone else was locked down in the underground bunker too. I basically ask, "Whoa, how did you get here?" [Laughs] We had all of this stuff to puzzle our way out of the underground bunker. It's how it all fit together.
KEEN: I like your metaphors.
SID: It's a big help message we're sending out to everybody.
What's the story behind the title track?
KEEN: I felt it summed up the feel of the album. I thought it would be a cool idea to have it looped. I usually listen to records on repeat for a while so I wanted to make a record where you don't hear a gap when you're repeating it. It keeps going.
SID: The song was called "Repeat". It ties everything back together so it's almost like a seamless digital loop you're stuck in.
KEEN: Lyrically, it was a lot of personal stuff I'd been thinking about and wanted to get out. It happened to come out. I feel like everything he made seemed to touch on something I wanted to talk about. I put everything out, said "Fuck it", and let everybody know what was going on.
SID: That's the whole experience when I get with the artist. Nine out of ten times, I've got to be friends with the person. With people you feel close to, you can be really open to them and not have to wear a mask or anything. You can really say what you're feeling, even if it's about stuff outside of music. If you're able to be honest and truthful with people, you can really work together well. I'm dealing with sounds that I feel fit KEEN. Everyone has a sound or vibration to them. You don't necessarily hear it, but you can feel it because there's a vibration off of it. Whenever I work with someone, if it's at the Moonbase, hotel room, or studio, you're getting an honest, truthful example of who the people are. There usually aren't any boundaries for topic or what you're going to discuss or talk about. If it's what we're feeling, we're going to put it out there. We're not going to keep it from people.
What would be the cinematic equivalent of Repeat?
KEEN: I'm going to go with Apocalypse Now, Girl, Interrupted, and Hackers. I said Apocalypse Now because it's a bit violent and a lot of people die on the record unfortunately. Plus, that "Transmission" track made me think of that. Girl, Interrupted because a lot of it is me being batshit crazy [Laughs]. Hackers gives that computer, getting-into-the-system vibe.
SID: I'm going to say Westworld. I chose that because it takes place in the not-too-distant future. A lot of the feel is giving technology life so it's got this analog song when it's actually digital. There's some Western stuff going on there too. I had a West Coast mentality on a couple things so I took it back to a Western idea while keeping it current. Westworld gives me that feeling. 2001: A Space Odyssey also popped into my head when you asked the question. I have no idea why. It's somewhere between the monkeys and the space shuttle [Laughs].
Have you copped Repeat yet?
Watch the video for "Move Back" below!
See our last interview with Sid here!