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New Music: Greg Porn feat. Patty Crash – “Molly” (CoS Premiere)

on December 11, 2012, 1:00pm

american junkie logo 1024x1024 New Music: Greg Porn feat. Patty Crash   Molly (CoS Premiere)

Over the last several years, Philly rapper Greg Porn has made a name for himself as part of The Roots’ camp, appearing on each of the iconic hip-hop group’s albums from 2006’s Game Theory to last year’s Undun. Early next year, Porn will strike out on his own with the release of his debut solo mixtape, Amerikin Junkie. But even as he goes it alone, Porn wisely utilizes his connections, teaming up with fellow Roots collaborator Patty Crash for the effort’s latest single, “Molly”.

Musically, Porn has aligned himself with a more sample-driven style off hip-hop, jumping off a beat of tripped-out bongos and strings, with Crash providing a manic chorus about the healing power of molly. But Porn’s rhymes still display the cutting wit and infectious personality that got him a spot amongst the Roots in the first place (“I’m with a dame that give hoes a bad name/Like Kat Stacks I’m half-baked, she half black/In the X5 with my swerve in XL/I fly by, dumb birds chirp like Nextel”). Download it below.

Greg Porn feat. Patty Crash – “Molly”

Amerikin Junkie will be available everywhere February 5th. CoS recently caught up with Porn and discussed the up’s and down’s of going solo, the album’s recording process and lyrical content, the story behind “Molly”, and the MC’s love of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Read our full chat below.

1) Can you talk about about working with The Roots over the last few years? How do you think it impacted you as a rapper/lyricist/musician?

For me, working with The Roots was like going to college for being in the music game. I learned a lot that I wouldn’t have otherwise. When I met them, I was pretty much just raw talent, and they helped me become a more complete artist. I became a better writer, and I learned how to use the skills I had. Working with Black Thought is always a lesson in lyricism, and ?uestlove is basically the conductor of the band—from him I learned things I probably should have paid attention to in music class. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them.

2) You’ve said before that Amerikin Junkie is all about addiction. Is it more a condemnation of addiction or are you exploring it as a natural part of life.

I’m definitely exploring it as a natural part of life. It’s not in my nature to pass judgement on anybody, especially for something everybody does. We’re all addicted to something. With Amerikin Junkie, though, my approach is a self-reflective one. I’m exploring how addiction relates to me, personally, and then, once I have a better understanding of myself, the focus shifts to how it all relates to the rest of the world, and how our addictions affect the way we relate to each other.

gregpornphoto1 New Music: Greg Porn feat. Patty Crash   Molly (CoS Premiere)

3) You’ve also mentioned the mixtape details parts of your daily life. Are you sharing direct details, or are the tracks more inspired by general ideas and things you’ve encountered?

There are definitely details from my daily life, and my friends’ daily lives. And general stuff, too—things everybody can relate to. But it’s all from my perspective—it’s my little TV show. I believe that people today, that’s what they want—they want to feel connected to the artist. They want to feel like they know you. I think that’s just a progression of society. People don’t want to feel like they’re looking at a formula. They just want to receive it, and be cool with it. They don’t want to feel like they’re being sold something.

4) How important is it to be so open and outright with details of your life? How much would you say things have changed for you in recent years?

I don’t know. Maybe it’s a therapeutic sort of thing. I accept my flaws, and I choose to let the world look in. Hopefully they see something that connects with them. My songs deal with what I find interesting about my life and the world. They’re a collection of theses at this particular moment, and I’m sure that, in time, the ideas will evolve into something else. As far as change, I don’t think my life has really changed. It’s always been this way. I think I’ve changed, or maybe I’ve just become more self aware. Once I started seeing things more clearly, and understanding them—especially my flaws, or what people deem flaws—I was cool. The core of who I am isn’t going to change, but I change in small ways all the time—I grow every day.

5) How do you feel sort of stepping away from your camp and going at more as a solo artist now? Anything you’re looking forward to, or not, as an artist operating on your own and not part of a collaboration?

Once you’re in The Roots’ camp, you’re always in The Roots’ camp. Even though I’m doing my own thing now, I’m still connected to them. But I’ve always seen myself as a solo artist. It’s just something I’ve started paying more attention to as my confidence has grown, and as I’ve come to a better understanding about what I want out of it. I feel like I’m able to compete now. I don’t know if I ever really felt like I had it together enough to walk into a room and compete with anybody, as far as making songs. Now, when my music comes on, it definitely makes an impact at a different level. I feel like I’m better than I’ve ever been.

gregpornphoto21 New Music: Greg Porn feat. Patty Crash   Molly (CoS Premiere)

6) How does “Molly” fit in with the rest of the tape? Any stories/secrets behind its writing/recording?

I had done ecstasy for like a year and a half straight—at least once every weekend. The song is a collection of random thoughts and impressions from my little molly binge. It was just something we did for the fun of it. All of my songs are laced with secrets—they all come from some wild experience. The crazy part about it is that you can’t remember everything. So “Molly” is a collection of memories—of flashbacks—from those times.

You mention on your official site about being influenced by TV shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls, The League and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. How did the vibe or aesthetic or approach of the shows influence you and the making of Junkie? Is there some sort of visual element to your own approach, or is it all just sort of inspiration based on an attitude or a certain feel?

To be clear, it’s not that my music is directly influenced by these shows. It’s more that it’s a symptom of the same progression in entertainment, influenced by the same societal factors. Like I was hinting at earlier, the new generation, what they expect and look for—they need to be entertained and stimulated in different ways, ways that are less formulaic. In the past, you would have sitcoms with laugh tracks, but now it’s much more organic. I try to make things feel more organic in this way, and that’s where the similarities come in. These shows influence me as far as sparking my mind and helping me think of different ways to approach my music. It’s all a game of words—the different ways you can use words or comedy or tone or information to get your point across.

You left Larry Gold’s studio to work at another run by Mike Jerz). Is it crucial to “mark your own space” as a solo artist, a place away from the associations and bonds of other acts?

It was just one of those things where I was looking for a different sound. I have a lot of people in the industry who are fans of mine, and I wanted to keep myself open to working with different people and trying new things. If you’re not open, nothing is gonna come in, and that’s not a good way to be. If you aren’t progressing, you’re definitely dying. But working with Mike this time was great—he’s a risk taker. And there was an unspoken understanding—he always seemed to get what I was trying to do before I did it. When you’re in the studio, the communication between the engineer and the artist is very important because you have an idea in your head, and that transfer—it isn’t on paper or anything. It’s not like you can write it down and hand somebody the directions. You have to explain or describe to them the musical idea in your head, and then you have to be able to bring it to life, which is not an easy thing to do. And Mike is good at that.

If there’s one message you wanted listeners to take away from Junkie, what do you think it would be?

Live life like it’s a gift you want to give to yourself.

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Bunny McIntosh
December 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm

This song is SO SICK.

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