Mac Lethal/Seven- Lithium Lips

I've always thought it would be cool to take apart an instrumental, and really dig deep inside to prove what it is about the production of a song that makes it stand out.
When I initially thought of this subject, I really wanted to "Know That" by Mos Def... but since we just did a Mos post, no need to be repetitive. Mac Lethal is a Kansas born rapper, who is pretty much the antithesis of rap music. Still, he has much more talent than most of the underground cats (which is saying something). At times it's amazing to listen to Mac Lethal because his rhyme vocabulary is out of this planet, here's the lyrics for "Lithium Lips" as an example:

I see her sittin at the ice cream parlor with a banana split
Emanatin such a radiant color of amethyst
I can't camouflage the jitters or the franticness
Everything about her fly posture says tantra bliss
The phantoms kiss spills poison from her still lips
That type of class is from a 1950's film script
I'm captivated to the core, it's hard to swallow
She's like a sun-dipped spirit gushing from the foggy hollows
There's condensation on the new bent metal
A conversation with this blue-lipped devil could peel the two lip petals
My fate'll say to me "Be calm and be cool"
But she learned to rule the world in cosmetology school
She's not like a Betty Page, she's like a Bible page
She's like a neon sky filled with a wild haze
I get her name and ask her for her number quite politely
She walks away while saying "If you're lucky then you'll find me."

I have yet to find another song where an artist rhymes amethyst with... anything!

Of course, there's a lot to be said about Mac Lethal's amazing lyricism... but we are focusing on the instrumental here.
The song "Lithium Lips" was produced by Seven... who recently (or maybe not so recently) made an appearance on "Making The Band". Seven is one of my favorite up-and-coming producers because of his extremely unique production style. This song is an exception but throughout the album 11:11 (where this song comes from) Seven uses vocal samples laced in the instrumental a la DJ Premier. He also uses twangy guitar and soft piano throughout the album... so this guy is definitely not afraid to explore.

For this song though the reason I chose it though is because of the great vocal sample used on the beat. They say that J Dilla, Primo, Pete Rock, and all the classic producers could tell songs without words... and this is a blatant example of that. The first 15 seconds are a great opening, to me every time I hear the lady singing in the background it reminds me of the Starbucks barista or the lady from Maroon 5's album. I have a feeling that Mac wrote this song after hearing the instrumental, because the way he describes the atmosphere: "subatomic and barely breathing".... is the vibe given off by the singing. Once the "song" starts, it's a combo of drums and bass that still works, but works best because it always leads to the anticipation of the lady singing again. I really love this instrumental, as it tells Mac's story without any words, give it a listen:

Posted on 3:12 AM by Guy Fawkes and filed under , | 1 Comments »


Praverb said... @ October 13, 2008 at 11:57 AM

wow I forgot how ill Mac Lethal is wow...dang I have been sleeping...