After reigning victorious at the EMP Sound Off competition, Seattle Rapper Campana, backed by his band COSMOS, dropped what could be looked at as a musical masterpiece, Eviction Notice. Long awaited, the project tells the story of how Campana lost his best friend and musical partner, and got evicted from their living situation the same day, and other series of events that happened regarding those adversities.
How did you choose the title of your project?
The title “Eviction Notice” was chosen simply because it coincided directly with the life situation I was experiencing at the moment. The title of my prequel project was “First Month’s Rent,” and the title for this follow-up project was always up in the air, but due to a situation that led to my actual Eviction, it made the title of the project concrete and coincidentally fitting.
Can you explain the story behind your artwork and who is the designer?
As with the title of this project, the cover art for Eviction Notice was also a direct play-on from the First Month’s Rent album cover. My First Month’s Rent Cover Art pictures a seemingly unopened box within a desolated forest area. With this Eviction Notice cover art, it’s a change of scenery as the box is placed alongside a deserted roadside. This cover art presents a constellation within the stars in the sky reading “Long Live Thee Ruin,” which is an ode to my brother in music, Nickolas Thee Ruin, who passed away from a natural death in July 2014. This situation tied with other aspects took part in the process of my Eviction. Also within the sky is a transparent “COSMOS” planet. COSMOS is a collective/band that I am currently involved in and were the Executive producers on this project. I wanted to show a direct sense of “progress” thru the cover art alone, and I feel that the concept of going from one environment to another within the cover art theme reflects figurative progression as I press throughout life. The designer of this lovely painting/graphic art is George Anderson.
How long have you been working on this project?
I’ve been working on this project since July of 2014, literally amidst Nickolas’ passing, so for almost about 2 years.
Where was it recorded?
I recorded the entirety of the project with the exception of one track, at the Ruby Room Studios in North Seattle. Engineered (Mixed) by Nima Skeemz & Elan Wright of The Zillas
Who are the producers?
A lot of really talented producers came together in order to make this project possible. This includes COSMOS members Meno, Mantelope, and I (Pants), as well as Seattle producers Nima Skeemz, Tyler Dopps, and Samurai Del. It also features beats from Brasco Noir, a rapper and fellow member of our collective PLCBO.
The thing that I feel separates TJ from other aspiring rappers is his ability to bring together different musicians with a diverse range of backgrounds all while keeping a cohesive style and sound. He develops a meaningful concept that transcends all the parts of the project. It allows producers like me, with an electronic background, to fit seamlessly with producers of different genres and vice versa.
The beat for Kama was actually one of the first songs we knew would be on the project. I found a way to make this whacky UFO sounding synth and wondered what I could possibly do with it. Once I added some heavy 808’s and hi hat rolls, along with the dripping water sound I used for the snare, I shot it off to Campana. He wrote the 1st verse and the hook, so Tyler and I recorded some back tracks in my basement, allowing Campana and I to use it when we preformed live (this was before COSMOS when I was his DJ). Later in the studio, we rerecorded Campana’s verse and got some vocals laid down by the talented singer Shayhan. I’m very happy with how it turned out.
While I made the beat for that song, I was also lucky enough to mix and master some of the tracks, adding small tweaks to a few songs beats while sitting along side Campana in my shoreline music room. It was a great experience to be involved in the making of this project and I am looking forward to seeing where we go next.
Who is featured?
SamNelly (Samantha Nelsen) | Brasco Noir | MistaDC (David Chaney) | Luna God (Caleb Talbert) | Daniel Leong | Shayhan | Saint Thomas (Henry Burgess-Marshall) | Alla Kocheryan | Samantha Hoshin | Liliana Van-Sickel | Torin
What was your favorite track?
My favorite track on the album would have to be “House Warming,” because it carries some of the most sentimental value to me; from the writing, production, and actual experience tied into the song. It was the first beat that Meno, Manteloupe, and I worked on collaboratively for this project.
Who would you like to thank for helping with this project?
I would personally like to thank everyone listed above within the producers and featured artists. Without them, there’s no way my vision for this project could’ve been properly executed. I would also like to give a huge thanks to the voice actors: Charles Talley, my mom, and Ricky Deffert. As well as the web and graphic designers who lended a helping hand to the process: Dylan Fout, Tyrelle Phillips, and Jacob Zimmer.