“You can not call yourself an artist, and not reflect the times” – Nina Simone. Jamla Records recording artist Add-2 dropped this quote during the interview we had recently. As he was giving me the scoop on his latest album Prey For The Poor. With this album, he certainly did just that! From love and happiness, to sadness and pain… speaking on the violence in Chicago streets, to encouraging listeners to strive for better despite the odds. Add-2 holds you down, and wears south side of Chicago proudly on his back. With tracks like “Kool Aid”, Add takes a minute, to cool down and express his love for his favorite lady, through his love for his favorite drink Kool Aid. Accompanied by a clip from 90’s movie, House Party, at the end. “Set It Off”, Add goes hard, spitting fiery lyrical bars and gives you a piece of his mind. From his opinion on your favorite rapper, to enlightening you on the type of content YOU SHOULD be looking for. “On My Soul” … if you’ve got a soul, you gots to feel him on this, and know that the hook screams of Chicago! “You know you from Chicago when… you put it on yo soul!” Ha! Producers Nottz, Khrysis, and 9th Wonder came through on this album! PFTP holds features from Sam Trump, Jamila Woods, Raheem Devaughn, Heather Victoria, Rapsody and more. Conceptually drawing inspiration from 90’s movie Do The Right Thing, and doing it justice, Add-2 paints the ever vivid picture, on what happens when you become Prey For The Poor. Check the interview below.
B Roc – Give us some insight on the production of PFTP.
Add-2 – Two tracks that we worked on during the production of Heaven and Hell, “Say Goodbye” and the Outro were both worked on prior to the album. 9th Wonder loved them so much.. he was like”Nah man! We gotta save these for the album.” So we held on to them. We recorded everything in North Carolina. Once I came up with the concept for the album, everything fell in to place.
B Roc – Fill us in on how you came about, with the concept of the album.
Add-2 – I felt like, whenever anyone asked me about the state of Chicago, the state of the world… I always felt like, it’s either you help… or you keep talking about the problem without helping it… and eventually you will find the problem coming back around to you. So like you can keep praying for the poor, in the sense of wanting better for them. Or you end up being prey for the poor! You will end up being a victim if you don’t help make a change… change the culture for the better, change the mentality, understand the culture.
At a time like this when there is some much going on in the world… I remember Nina Simone once said, “You can not be an artist, and not reflect the times.” I don’t want to just touch on a subject. Nah! We’re gonna go all the way in! We’re gonna do songs like “N*ggalude”, “Good Morning Black America”, “Set It Off”, and “Young Black Boy” and we still gonna party! I gotta give you the medicine in the applesauce, you know.
B Roc – We all know intros, skits, and outros, give an added feel to any album. Any backstories on the production of them?
Add-2 – Originally, I wanted Phonte on the intro. I wanted him to sound like a Mister Señor Love Daddy type of character. And for them to start out harmonizing in acapella with Stevie Wonder’s “Love Is In Need Of Love Today”… like an acapella version. And then Phonte would come in like “Good morning boys and girls! Good morning young black man and young black girl!…” I really wanted to embody the entire concept! I have so many ideas.. to the point it’s like, I’m an album ahead of myself. But it all fits in the same theme… that you are in the mist of this chaotic world.
I feel like… a verse from one of my songs… “I’m a good hood n*gga, with a conscious.” Like… Yo! I’m from the hood, but I’m an exception… While your still tryna do the right thing, and you’re still going through it, just like everybody else. But you try to strive for better.
B Roc – With you taking on the theme from 90’s movie, Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing”, what are your thoughts on his next upcoming project “Chiraq”?
Add-2 – I try not to judge it until i see it. Some people have been saying “…its not what you think it is…” I’ve heard some things about the film. But I know Spike has done a good job at visually articulating things like this. But you have to wonder… why is he so protective of this title?.. of it being Chiraq? I don’t like it… I hope the word dies out! It wrongfully give people pride about the demise of their neighborhood. People run around talking bout “Oh! We got the most killings. We’re the murder capital!” That’s nothing to be proud about at all!
I hope that the movie is good… that it shines light and brings awareness to everything that is going on! Because, even though they say it might be a comedy… what’s really going on out here ain’t funny! This is real! People are going to Leak’s and Sons Funeral Home every summer, due to the violence here in the city. That’s no joke!
B Roc – How did you go about with the selection in featured artists for PFTP?
Add-2 – I have to start off with Sam Trump. Sam is one of my favorite people/artist in the city! He has an amazing voice and he is awesome on the horns. Amazing writer, and he is just an overall dope artist. I had to have him on the album! He did the horns on “Stop, Play, Rewind” and he sang on my favorite track “Kool Aid” and “Good Morning Black America.” Heather Victoria… amazing! She did vocals for “When You’re Ready.” Jamlia Woods is also one of my favorite people/artist in the city. She did vocals for “Young Black Boy”… and once she got on the track, I fell in love with it! Rapsody, my label mate… she is an amazing writer, very dope emcee! She came through on two tracks, and laced them perfectly! Some people will say “Oh, she’s dope for a female emcee.” And I’m like …No! She is dope, period! She would put about 90% of these rappers out now, to shame! (laughs) Let’s go verse for verse!.. My money is on Rap Diddy!! (Rapsody’s nickname)
I love the vibe of the album! I didn’t just want people rapping on it.. I wanted more than that. It wasn’t “Yo, you got a feature because of your name.” No! it’s… Do you work? Do you or your style fit within the concept? Or when you start rapping on it, does it somehow separate from what it’s about? … and I’m like nah! I want it to stay within that pocket. They all did an amazing job and complemented everything perfectly!
B Roc – What do you hope the fans get from PFTP?
Add-2 – I hope that it’s the soundtrack to someone’s life! That’s what I want! I hope somebody is like “Yo! I remember back in summer/fall 2015, all I was listening to Prey For The Poor!” I love it! That’s the type of feeling I’m going for… I want it to be a personal classic!
I want PFTP to be to them, what Teedra Moses, Complex Simplicity is to me! I really love that album! I want them to get what they need from it, and love it!
Be sure to cop Prey For The Poor via iTunes now!