The crimeline’s been long upon us and the Arts are the scraps of beauty chipped off Detroit’s fighting faces. The bills spill corruptly and the faucets all been damned. The Man tell them to filter their tears and they been—they gotta. Only a concentrated sadness the salt of the Earth is left with. But there are still the most beautiful gritty scores from these torn straits where blood and sweat are still abundant. Rare minds are still led strong and extra ordinary beats still mettle tough through the air. The D battles on with Lions and Tigers emblazoned fitteds even whilst the leeches and candirus make ado with the spoils of works.
These are the grounds of Detroit Lord Jessiah walks a crimelined path through. This year chronicling the impeccably soul’d voice of Phillie (of the Wisemen) with the illest merging of tracks—chopped and looped vinyl, live arrangements and added MCing elevation. Crimeline Chronicles is this year’s real times LP, a work of humanity from a talented warriorship class. I had the honor of building with my brother again on his sophomore LP…
SUNEZ: Since our last build [Jessiah’s G.O.D. LP review HERE & G.O.D. LP feature interview HERE] you officially left Sun Tzu Cadre and solely are part of the Black Day in July family—that is part of #BronzeNation? Tell us about that.
JESSIAH: My brothers is still going to be my brothers. Business matters shouldn’t affect personal build. Some people feel a certain way and others don’t. I still have love for Sun Tzu and they’re still dear to my heart. As how business is moving I found it more effectively to move a different route. When you’re dealing with a group you have to deal with the entire group and may not agree with each member. In order to move freely leaving was the best thing to do. Now me and Most High still working and we have an album, Highly Decorated, about to drop soon. I put lots of energy and its still nothing but love. I still build with my brothers.
SUNEZ: Crimeline Chronicles has lots of features. How did you work those in so well fitted?
JESSIAH: When I hear a song, the lyrics, to me, are instruments. I see how they each will fit into certain elements. A lot of the shit that I got put on I just was moved by the track and said, ‘I gotta write to this shit.’ A lot of the music just came together organically on the fly. We’re in the studio cooking and my brother Most High might pop through. And with Most High I was very pleased to give him the opportunity to have him the chance to shine. He’s very talented. He came up under my wings so to see your fruit get picked off the tree and bless them with the nourishment. Actually, no verses were cut from the album.
Introducing an orchestra that plays the notes of acid rain collected for lemonades. Conducting the wails of despair into chopped measures and the configuring the impact of migraines into breaks. God’s gift is God himself right there with his Arm, Leg, Leg, Arm and Head steering the currents of despair into aural hopes. Willing a future on wax as if all this suffering was tailor made.
SUNEZ: A very great synergy with the MCs on these songs. I also have to make note of your basslines.
JESSIAH: That’s my signature. After I chop my samples I don’t put my percussion. I put my bass next. Then I put my drums in the pocket of my bass. Another difference between Crimeline Chronicles and G.O.D. is what I lost. I lost so much of my catalog of music over the last ten years. I basically had to start fresh twice. The second time everyone was hearing the remnants of what I lost on that Grounds of Detroit album. A lot of the music was older and with Crimeline is straight off the hip. A lot of it was made right there. Phillie came and I made the beat and he would write his verse.
SUNEZ: How are these beats made? Are you digging completely, playing it live or recreating basslines, etc.?
JESSIAH: At first, I didn’t sample anything. I started making beats in 95 and I never sampled anything until 2004. For nine years I basically played all of my own shit. I had some musical training. I used to play horn but I was so young when I had those lessons I still don’t know how to read music. I really play everything by ear. I got my first MP in 2003. From there I started sampling. Originally sampling myself and chopping it. Then I started to delve into the vinyl. It’s a mixture that’s on the album. Some of it is found on the internet and a lot is found off the vinyl. A lot of it is the samples and then putting the basslines in. That’s what’s gonna give the beat its own life. It’s gonna give you that mood. Once I have that I put the percussion in and then we’re good.
JESSIAH: I started off rhyming when I was nine (years old). That’s what really drew me in to the music. I was captivated by rhyming. With that “Night Crawlerz” or with any verse, I’m real hard on myself, very very hard on myself. Sometimes I sit on a couple of bars for a minute. I don’t rush it. You might hear something and think he was flying through it but some things are like wine. IT has to sit and ferment with the juices spinning round and round. Then it gets ready and it’s time to put it down.
Three Card Monte
Listen. Her sweet round bass, her sultry lips vocalizing and the breaks bounce with lovely snares. The cleavage pounds heavy in the mind and your eyes work to find the lady. Jessiah has the ears play “Three Card Monte,” letting his lady come in tough on us. His bassline reverberates through the room, a thickness so profound we can smell the perfumes of richness on her. MCs gotta go in and when he isolates the elements, her moans stutter us and the breaks walk toward us. Jessiah produces some fine women in these wax. And even when you can’t choose the right card they all will bang lovely.
SUNEZ: Once the vocals are done are there more arrangements done as drumrolls and bassline amplifying was at the end of many bars for the MCs on the CC LP?
JESSIAH: That’s all in my production arrangement. When I first make a track for the album it’ll be kind of dry. Maybe just a sample that I may chop. When I hear a verse that’s when it possesses me to put a drop there, a roll there, let me change up the bassline there. Things I do to bring up the verses as I hear them and highlight certain things they say. That comes along with having a trained ear to hear if it’s missing that seasoning. Let me splash that with a little bit of garlic powder [laughs]. Bring that spice out.
JESSIAH: Right. And I don’t rush anything. I’m meticulous with the production process
SUNEZ: This is a great album and you put a great pressure on Jade Josephine to introduce herself on the end of all that. Tell me about her.
JESSIAH: My cousin Jade Josephine–All praises due! I can’t get enough of my family. I love my family. We got a lot of talent in our bloodline and I just wanted to be able to give them an opportunity just like I got an opportunity. As an MC, she’s a monster. I gave her a call one day and she said, ‘Guess what? I’m rhyming now.’ I said ‘what the fuck?!’ And this was when she was like 17-18 (years old). She spit some bars, bro, I was like ‘Oh shit!!’ She said you didn’t know I was a monster. I been taking notes.’ So she’s already been through a little gauntlet. She’s ready to go. My brother Phillie seen the opportunity for her to get in and that’s how that all happened. Phillie genuinely wants to give people the chance to shine. He saw me on the rise and I already was a fan of the Wisemen, gave me this opportunity and I answered.
SUNEZ: And you’re also related to Rome.
JESSIAH: That’s Jade’s brother. Rome learned it from me and Jade learned it from me and Rome. Music is in my family. My uncle was Mike Cherry out in Motown. He played on [records for] the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Bill Cosby, the Detroit Opera House. One of my other uncles is James McPherson, a Jazz drummer. Music is in my blood and it was inevitable that I would do something in it. I’m just happy to open as many doors for my family. And Rome was first on my G.O.D. album on the “Night of the Living Dead” track. In due time I’m trying to get them out as solo artists so look out for that.
Dead no more. And now on the sinister organs of fallacy I hear a muted and filtered walking break pattern I will march with. Today is the first day the horrors we know can be the wisdom of the era. A little mistake here, an error there, a savage turn there–all summon up a sage built of perfectly crafted scars that architect a Pharoah’s face so smooth you can’t even see where Phillie’s mind cracks and spills his Blues forth.
SUNEZ: Now Phillie said he was very content with all the guest MCs adhering to the theme so well on Crimeline Chronicles. Still, between you two I’d say I get the feeling that this adherence to theme is natural and didn’t have to be outright said.
JESSIAH: You’re a hundred percent right, man. Some people it just works like that. It’s rare but you have to capitalize on that otherwise we’d be foolish. We didn’t really have to go out of our element to make this album happen. Everything went organically. There were no real kinks in the process. Everything flowed real smooth.
SUNEZ: Why “In My Mind” as a video?
JESSIAH: We had “Night Crawlerz” first and with “In My Mind” are two different songs that all still keeping that concept of the theme. We tried to give you two different ends of the spectrum. We got this real rugged Hip Hop track first then this smooth Hip Hop track but it’s still all accomplishing the same ideas of the whole albums. That’s a real critical part of releases – figuring the order of singles. What’s going to capture people? There’s also a contrast of the scenery. One you got the gritty street life and then you got the second one, “In My Mind,” you got Phillie with his babies. So even though brothers have a criminal background and history, they still are family oriented.
SUNEZ: Tell us about making “Balboa”?
JESSIAH: Bronze heard the finished product and said he’s gotta hop on that. Originally, it had two verses from Phillie and one from me closing it out. Sonically, the sample, the horns are so infectious. I really try to find the best part of the sample, that’s obscure and then exploit that. When you sample people think you’re cheating so you have to be creative. There’s a real art in this. It ain’t as easy as it looks.
SUNEZ: “Lost Art of Criminology”
JESSIAH: That was Phillie’s way of paying homage to Raekwon. When I first made the beat I told Phillie he better come through. After Phillie did his verse I felt something was missing and we got Illah Dayz on there. There still was a missing element and it was the hook. I took the title and one day while I’m at home I finally got it. With this whole Crimeline Chronicles album the idea sparked an updated version of classic Mobb Deep music. So Rae is from that era and we were paying homage to that.
These are gavel drumrolls that relay a sentence. During the moments when the Sun’s worth is judged through the light of the Moon. When over the suspenseful strings and fate finding bass rhythms, the thudding snare violently educates. Abducted ears judge Phillie not by the contents he lets tumble to the concrete but the integrity he rolls back into his paper of verses. The crimes were extravagant in their intended vengeance yet ill in their necessary splendidness. A revered remorse stains the stanzas these crawlerz of night reprise.
SUNEZ: How did you finish the work knowing its done?
JESSIAH: We had to just put a stop to it. In the beginning you’re getting warmed up and once you get loose you’re in your groove and it’s hard to stop. We just had to put a cap on it at 16 [tracks]. We would have loved to keep going but today people barely appreciate what you’re giving them.
SUNEZ: Most of the writing I do really becomes music appreciation. And even those that like it are obsessed with massive quantity.
JESSIAH: What fucked the whole game up is this information age and the “now” mentality. Not being able to appreciate things but instead, “what have you done for me lately?” So I just dropped this project. Okay, what’s next? Now with this internet any johnny-come-lately is coming out releasing shit and it makes it harder for us who perfect the craft. It’s hard enough trying to get people to buy your music when it’s already hard to get them to just click on a link. It’s so saturated with this bullshit and there’s no regulation on it.
In My Mind
A horn lifted from Allah’s mind—that is the Father when he devised Supreme Mathematics. An art of intelligence that sprinkles the worth of contemplation. Years and years searching for a mystery and the crate was found that scored the jewels perfectly. A bassline comforts the love as it goes through the hell into a drum pattern that has an impeccable snare scratching it smooth…and right. Alone, a drumroll shouts Knowledge, Wisdom, Understanding again and again and again…In My Mind.
Please knowledge the Crimeline Chronicles LP Review HERE
& the Phillie (of the Wisemen) interview on Crimeline Chronicles HERE