NOTES TO SELF’s first ‘shot’ is the product of much hard work from determined and talented rappers Swamp Donkey and Roshin, producer/rapper Bronze One, and 2003 world DMC champion DJ Dopey. These artists are in the classic sense, a true group – devoted visionaries who thrive on collaboration to further their goals.
There is something about hip-hop that demands that one participate in its culture. Bronze picked up on this demand when he purchased DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince’s classic sophomore production “He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper” on cassette in 1988. This convinced Bronze of the need to balance entertainment and groove at very early age. Releasing their debut with bbe, who work closely with DJ Jazzy Jeff, now bring Notes to Self full circle.
In the groups own words, “A good song is cool, but a good album, an album rich in content, you can just press play and let go – this has always been the type of album we’ve listened to and wanted to make.”
A SHOT IN THE DARK is a testament to this ideal. The album is all about originality. In the song “Nobody”, Roshin raps “I was just a little crony/ tryin’ to kick it like my favourite rappers/ just a lil’ phony/ I was busy tryin’ to go party/ ten years later I don’t sound like nobody.” Songs like “Lifelines” and “Yellow and Grey” tell of the importance of NOTES’ resilience and stability, the group’s moving forward against immeasurable odds. “Yellow and Grey” boasts a remix with US recording artists DILATED PEOPLES – it’s all about true colours for NOTES.
The album flows easily thanks to NOTES’ attention to detail. Crowd anthems like “Shrink Rap” and “Throw Your (Hands Up)” move seamlessly into the smooth head- nodders bbe fans are accustomed to, such as “Jetlagged,” “Heirlines” and “Days Like These.”
NOTES co-founders Bronze One and Swamp Donkey comment that “it was important to find a label that would give us full creative control over our own projects… bbe’s run by DJ’s; they’re familiar with playing and releasing good music. NOTES’ DJ brand of rap just fits.”
“We need young determined hustlers” says Peter Adarkwah, founder of bbe Records, “we are looking for good music full stop and I really like what I hear in Notes to Self ”
With a fully-developed sound and a fully-realized stage show, members of NOTES TO SELF are ready to take their ‘shot’ – watch for a single flare, it’ll be a signal flare, it’ll be NOTES’ A SHOT IN THE DARK.
01. Yellow & Grey
02. Midnight Oil
03. A Shot In The Dark
04. Shrink Rap
05. Days Like These
09. Throw Your (Hands Up)
10. Don’t Try This At Home
11. Nobody [with Evidence]
12. What I Am
13. Yellow & Grey [Remix with Delated Peoples]
14. Hidden Song: Negative Space