PHOTO CREDIT: BUTTONPUSHA
Releasing a cassette is nothing new to Drewtradition. He released a tape in the mid-90's with his hardcore band known as Strife. Since then, he has dabbled in the world of hip hop production with credits for a few notable rap acts. Fast forward to now and he is still making magnetically friendly music. This time he recruited a few legends to accompany his raw funk-driven boom bap production. Place all of that under the banner of his streetwear shop Tradition and the end result is an album that demands your attention. Not only will the roster of talent capture your ear but the bang-related beats may require a neck brace.
Strictly Cassette had the opportunity to sit down with the Andrew Strife (Drewtradition) to get the scoop on how the project came together. Don't forget to download the whole album after reading the feature! But you should also cop this sick ass limited cassette too. To get a copy, click on any of the tape photos.
(SC) So what gave you the idea to release a tape?
I was thinking about different ways that I could release my project... Everybody makes a CD, and quite honestly I dont know how many people are buying them or even playing them. Everything is MP3 based now, and my project was already available online. Vinyl is very expensive to produce, and the minimums are high... I wanted to make something with the collector's aspect of a record, and I felt that a cassette was the best option.
People can download the music if they want a CD and burn their own, and a cassette to me is almost like a vinyl toy from Kid Robot... You can sit it on your shelf and look at it, and it takes you back to a different era in music.
PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF DREWTRADITION
The red tape was an obvious nod towards Raekwon's legendary purple tape, I just felt that the red worked better with my artwork. The color tape also gives the piece the same collector feel as a piece of colored vinyl. I grew up in the hardcore scene, and collected limited 7" records my whole life... Some of my favorites are the strange and limited colorways that you would seek out because they were so limited.
It's funny because I think alot of kids have never even seen a cassette, let alone play one! It almost feels like how an 8 Track was when we were kids. My hardcore band, Strife, actually released our first Cassette which was clear blue way back in 1994...
PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF DREWTRADITION
(SC) You got some legendary artists on there. How did the project come together?
I have been producing hip hop tracks for awhile. I got my first placement with a track on Sen Dog and Mellow Man Ace's "Reyes Brother" album, and followed that up with a track called "Biggie Bang" on Sen Dog's solo album...
I made a conscious decision that I needed to release my own project in order to build my own buzz as a producer, and handle my songs my own way.
I had been working with Young De for awhile (I had a few songs on his Homeland Security project with Shady Record's Ca$his), and I started hanging out at B-Real's Temple Studio.
Once I decided I wanted to work on my own project, I spoke with their Engineer Jay Turner and told him what I wanted to do. He was instrumental to the release of this record, and I owe alot to him. We just started tracking beats, and getting verses from MC's that would roll through the studio. I had some contacts with alot of the younger cats, and all of the OG's were coming through the studio to work with B-Real, Xzibit, or Young De.
I'm blessed that on my first hip hop project I was able to work with legends like B-Real, Ras Kass, Apathy, Ryu, Chace Infinite, Planet Asia, Sick Jacken and more...
The project took awhile to finish up, because we were tracking on the weekends at the same time Cypress Hill was recording their "Rise Up" album... We would have to wait until the weekends or until they went on tour to track our verses.
I linked up with Shake at 2Dopeboyz.com, which happened to be my favorite hip hop blogsite, and asked if they would release the record with me. I sent him over a few tracks and he was with it!
The rest I suppose is history!
Man, the first day I picked up the tapes I was bugging... I knew they were going to look good, but they looked even better than I thought. Apathy was a guest on Soul Assassins radio that night, and I was headed to Muggs' spot anyways... I showed Ap and Muggs and they were flipping. It was nice to see artists that you look up to and respect really digging your work, especially one that I spent almost two years working on!
(SC) Do you still own a tape deck yourself?
I'm a pack rat... I still own tape decks, walkmans, tape recorders, etc... I have a gang of old cassettes as well, but most of them are old demos from Hardcore bands. But I have a few hip hop gems, and definitely some classic hardcore cassettes... I go through storage and post old photos on my Instagram (@andrewstrife) and twitter (@Drewtradition) from time to time.
(SC) So what's in the future for tapes? Do you plan to release any more?
For now I plan on releasing a few of my new projects on cassette... I got a great response, and I want to move forward with that momentum... But I also know that we are going to see alot of other artists releasing their music on cassette... When it no longer feels fresh or new, I will move onto something else! Maybe an 8 Track if I can find a spot to make them, and definitely some vinyl... For now though I am Strictly Cassette!
(SC) Any last shouts or comments?
I definitely want to shout out Jay Turner, Young De, B-Real, and everyone at Temple Studios... They were a big part in making this project happen. I definitely want to shout out my Soul Assassins family, and Ramon from Bloodbath Project who helped out with the artwork! I want to shout out every artist that I've worked with and that believed in me... I also have to shout out StrictlyCassette.com and the whole #TapeKingz movement.
CLICK ON ARTWORK TO DOWNLOAD FROM 2DOPEBOYZ.COM
"High Enough" featuring Chace Infinte, Ryu, and Ras Kass here...