Music: Grosser's Wake-up Call
New Orleans-based hip-hop artist Grosser is in no hurry on his first mixtape, calm as things better not to tell. He takes his time on tracks that groove more than they hurry people to the dance floor. Throughout, the tracks' textures are clearly deliberate but they feel organic, like the natural soundtrack for somebody talking as much to himself as the audience as he works out his shit.
What is the idea behind calm as things better not tell?
I was aiming for two things beyond making a dope tape. One, I wanted this tape to be my official introduction as a serious musician and rapper to a global audience. The EP I put out in spring of 2015 was made start to finish in my bedroom, and that lo-fi sound, combined with the intentionally weighty aesthetic and makeshift engineering prevented it from gaining any real traction in the hip-hop community.
Two, I wanted this tape to be a wake-up call for people who have known me previous to Grosser. A wake up call in a sense that, Wow, this tape sounds like real music so one can accept it as genuine art and listen as such.
Who is your audience?
Hip-hop is such an interesting genre in terms of audience because there are such prevalent regional scenes, but the majority of content flow exists on the Internet. I see my audience as New Orleans -- people who know me before music -- and, hopefully, a large-scale global audience based on the Internet. Mainly the blogs where indie rap music lives and thrives.
How did you record, and who was involved in this project?
My audio engineer is a guy named Michael Saladis, whose talent blows me away. He’s done a lot of indie rock work and also plays drums in the band Donovan Wolfington. When we were introduced, I could tell he was excited to work on a full length hip-hop project. We recorded at his house at first, where his studio was located, and then later on in the process he acquired a studio space in the Bywater, where we finished the project, and that has since become home base for our current work. I also got to make beats with two local producers, my friends Brad and Rob, whose talents were both super influential on the sound and progress of the tape.
What is your favorite track on the tape?
I honestly don’t know. I think my favorite track to do live is probably “peaking” or “wallow.”
Why 12 songs?
I wanted there to be enough variety in sound for me to exhibit my spectrum of influence. Having a Dilla beat, a DOOM beat, melodic synth-driven tracks, as well as heavy sub bass, future trap-esque, high energy tracks --something that would stick out to me as a rap fan. Why not aim for excellence on all those sounds on my own project?
Kelley Crawford is a professor, writer, mentor, dancer, and constant questioner. If you would like to contact Kelley Crawford, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.