About six years ago, during my senior year of college, I created several (super) no-fi mixtapes that, in some ways, were the root of the upcoming Baltimore Commercial Break duology. On one of these tapes, GRADUATE F (God Really Agrees Dat Unless All Team-Up, Everybody Falls), I linked up with a friend of mine, Southern Child, to crank out the predecesor to "iWitness," a track with an identical name (thus allowing me to refer to it as "iWitness OG"). The song had a similar chorus, but a different feel.
Instead of focusing on a narrative, I focused more on rapping on a hot beat. To be honest, I wasn't saying much other than "I'm hot so listen to my music." Because of this, I felt my verses fell flat. They were solid, with some decent punchlines and schemes. But they just "existed," a problem I noticed with many of my older songs. Lyrically, they were cool. However, many didn't have cohesion/connection to anything. My mixtapes played like, well, mixtapes.
Fast forward five years to the announcement of Baltimore Commercial Break: From Juke Joints to Greatness album. As I ran through ideas, I thought to myself "hey, this beat never got used in the way it should've been." I mean, both Southern Child and I were in our early twenties, so we spoke on life from the perspective of people in their early twenties. It's not bad, but it just felt...incomplete. After working on "Good Feeling to Know," I started writing to this beat again. And, unlike that time in 2009-2010, it came more natural. Lyrically and sonically. I felt, for the first time in a while, on fire while working on this track.
I combined the "uber flanger" effect the original had with some better mix-downs, paying homage to no-fi, but still possessing a crisper sound than a lot of my earlier work. I created a politically charged song without being pandering or preachy. I, in my humble opinion, created one of my best songs to date. So, when you hear "iWitness" and, hopefully, get "hit you in the head with this breaking news..." stuck in your head, know this. This track took about six years to truly craft and perfect. In other words, perfection can never be rushed. It just comes to you when it comes to you.
And when it does, bear witness and go hit someone in the head with your awesomeness.