By: Carrick Wenke
We’re now almost 8 months into 2017, it’s been over a year since Keezy released his last project Scorpio, a collaboration with fellow Sky Division member Slim Delaphante. That project and the previous No Snow In The Winter were a couple that were in heavy rotation for me at the time of their release and they’re since absent from Soundcloud, which Keezy did as a sort of “reflection” move of sorts to really zone in on the direction he was going and get started on his full length debut album. While keeping sort of quiet this year planning and working, Keezy finally has come back into the fold with an imposing vengeance.
For me, Keezy’s year started in November with his co-headline show with Korean rap sensation G2, at the Clash Of Cultures 2016 show. Keezy is well known for his live performance and support slot repertoire but this C.O.C. show was a career defining high light. Other than a few features here and there and his open letter to police violence “SHOOT!”, Keezy has been fairly quiet this year releasing music, getting his sound crafted in time for the album.
Now, although all of the tracks on this album are not familiar (yet), we do already have a listening relationship with track 2, “Drop Heavy” which was released as the preview single to the album in early June. The album kicks off with the two-part almost Kendrick Lamar-like prelude “The Heavens Will Help”. This track was one that brought chills to me personally, as being a real life friend of Keezy’s a lot of the content spoken about in the lyrics. Starting out with a chilly piano beat, Keezy is asking the heavens for help him push through so to speak, before translating into a crashing gospel inspired sound where Keezy reminisces and rights his wrongs. Over the next few songs, you can tell Keezy has found his sound and left behind the turnt up party sound of his last couple releases for more of a polished, poetic sound with content speaking more on social issues and real life emotions everyone is facing on the day to day. There’s a nice balance of experiment on THWH though. “Stay With Me”, a collaboration with Sky Division members Vespucci Beach (Slim Delaphante & Brain Jonze), features more of a dancy Alterna-Hip Hop sound giving it a feeling of reverie. While the album is short on features, there is a notable feature from Alaska-by way of Texas-native Cartier Cash giving it that throwed feel we’re used to from Cash.
Summing up the album with the last couple tracks “Lifetime” & “Right Now”, you can tell Keezy has perfected his sound. Lots of emotions running through this album that we can all relate to and appreciate. Not only did Keezy drop the album, but surprised us with the launch of his official website and a video to go along with the tale of love lost, “Don’t Skip This Interlude”.
Keezy had a bit to say about the album:
Now that The Heavens Will Help is finally out, what do you think of the project restrospectively?
In my opinion this is my best project to date and I don’t think that can even be debated. From overall production value and mastering down to each and every sound that was placed on this album was pretty much controlled by me which was amazing. I’ve never had so much control over any of my projects whether it was a mixtape or a full length project. I produced a little over 70% of this album just me, by myself. A lot of artists cannot say that for themselves. I also think this is the most proud I’ve ever been to release a project. I worked on this one for the longest amount of time. I put the most effort and money out of my own pocket to fund this project. I also had the most fun creating this project. At the end for the day that’s what it was about for me. This project pushed me to my limits in all aspects, and I got the chance to touch on styles that normally I don’t work on. Which is always dope for me because I don’t see myself as the type of artist to be placed in a box but unfortunately in the past I’ve been in that predicament. I really think this was one of the best albums to release this year just in my humble opinion. I know a lot of music has released and that makes it hard to say but if we’re basing it off of a whole project from the cover art, to the roll out, visuals, singles, we had the listening party which was amazing, and I probably would’ve had a show if I didn’t tear my ACL recently (laughs).
What were your main goals with this release?
My goal with this project was to take myself from a place of “local rapper” to being taken more serious. I feel like I’m taken seriously, but people still think of me as a regular nigga. Kinda like Kanye before he became a real rapper, they didn’t wanna let him escape that shadow of being a producer. I’m in that shadow right now because niggas still gotta get money and maintain a life outside of music but pretty soon things will change. “The heavens will help”. This album will change my life, even if it’s a year, or two years from now. This is truly the start of something amazing.
Is there anyone you would like to thank personally for the help on this project?
Production wise I really feel like this album is up there with some of the better albums that have released this year on an industry level standard. Shoutout to my big homie Jay Battle aka QREEPZ for working relentlessly with mastering this project and making sure it’s up to par. I’m also thankful to have bro to throw some additional instrumentation on a few of these songs! (“Sad girls Club”, “The Heavens Will Help”, sorry if I forgot one Jay, lol). My brother Slim Delaphante who literally helped me mold the sound of this project with his vocals. (“FOES”, “Stay With Me”, “Right Now”) I can honestly say this project wouldn’t sound the way it does if it didn’t feature Slim. All of the features on this album are perfect even though they are minimal. Shoutout my little brother Zay Wonder, & Brain Jonze as well. Also gotta shoutout Brain for his production on the tape. Some of the best beats I’ve ever heard in my life (“Dont Skip This Interlude”) honestly CHANGED THE FUCKING GAME BRUH. To be honest…..Brain slept on, one of the best producers of our time. The world will know soon. Thank you Brain. And shoutout my lil’ bro Tsmirk for producing “Lifetime”!! Man, that’s crazy because as kids, Smirk always had mad talent but was so busy with other shit he never really utilized his full potential. I couldn’t get him to make beats seriously the past few years, but I’m so glad he’s been back into the music! I’m hella thankful and proud to have this beat on my very first album especially produced by him.