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I’m a little behind on blog updates on the projects we’ve been working on. I haven’t had much time to write lately, as creating and producing the aformentioned projects have kicked my ass in a multitude of ways. I also have a beautifully chubby four month old baby named Elijah, who has basically not slept since he entered this world. Yeah, that’s right I played the baby card. There is no chance at a normal life with a screaming colicy baby. I’ve got good money that says the biggest bloggers and writers are single and without kids. Just a hunch. Yes, Andrew Sullivan can amazingly pull off 100 brilliant posts a day with his eyes closed, but he only has to take care of two fat beagles. I digress.
First project for the Fall has been the release of our hip hop comedy track Wine Country. The response has to this song has been overwhelming. We got awesome love from my hometown paper the SF Chronicle, the Huffington Post, and SFist to name drop a few. I had no idea people loved drinking wine and acting like gangstas so much. But it has been a great feeling to hear how much everyone loves the track, and has been a great feeling to represent for Northern Cali.
I’m originally from San Fran, but lived in NYC for a while, and go back and forth often. On a recent trip back to NYC, we were at a bar in Brooklyn, and this rap group onstage were spitting a tune, and would not stop talking about Brooklyn. About two minutes through the tune - they had said “Brooklyn” about 275 times - I snapped. I yelled back “San Francisco!..Represent”..Another friend yelled “Oakland, son!” And so we carried on. Then we started to be dumb and esoteric, shouting back wine country cities and hamlets. “Sonoma, mofo!” “Glenn Ellen for days!”...”Healdsburg. Holla”
And the idea for Wine Country was born. I thought it would be hilarious for a hard core hip hop group to represent for Sonoma and Napa and Northern California.
I met up with my boy and producing partner Taylor Ryan out of Brooklyn to work on a beat. We thought the harder the beat, the funnier the track would be when these dudes were rapping about wine. We settled on a track that had a kind of early 90’s rap vibe, a la early Snoop, and Dre. A track you would want to bump while you cruised around Compton lookin hard. We nailed it.
Then came the flow. A big group of us sat around, listened to the beat and came up with ridiculous rhymes. I’d already written the 1st verse, which we set the beat to, and then I fleshed the song out with the funniest stuff from the session. Lots of great lines didn’t make the cut...perhaps we’ll have to do a Wine Country remix? Then it was back to SF to nail down our hop hop crew.
I wanted people for the track who really represented for the Bay Area and Northern California. I picked myself for the first emcee for purely selfish reasons. Next up was Jairo Vargas of the Bayonics, one of California’s best bands. Jairo is an unbelievable singer and emcee, and you should check out Bayonics when they are in your hood. After Jairo, I called Vallejo’s Moe Green. This guy can spit rhymes like nobody’s business, and we were luckily enough that he was into some comedy for this track. The session was recorded at Gulch Alley studios in SF. In was an incredibly fun session; we laughed the entire time. Rapping about wine. Redonk.
We shot the video for Wine Country in San Fran and in Sonoma. One of the highlights of the video is the hilarious Wine Country hip-hop girls, played by Allison Page and Ally Johnson of Killing My Lobster fame. The brilliantly funny ladies were not available the day we shot in Sonoma, so we shot their part the day before in Golden Gate park.
The main part of the video was shot in Sonoma. I would have loved to shoot all over Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino, but time just didn’t permit. So we filmed all around Sonoma - the square downtown in front of City Hall, Bartholamew Winery, Ravenswood, Buena Vista, and Sebastiani.
Although on surface this is just a silly comedy tune, I hope it captures a little of the magic that is this place we call Northern California.
Enjoy the video and the song! Don’t be the last loser on your block to get the track, download it on Itunes immediately!
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Now on Itunes and Spotify and Facebook!