05 November 2015

Mic Kellogg – Breakfast [Track-By-Track Breakdown]

posted by: Arjun Artists' Choices and Voices | Interviews
New Mic Kellogg!

With any significant shift in technology comes a learning curve. In our generation the big shifts in technology have been smartphones and the web. I think in 2015 artists are on the brink of fully understanding how to effectively use these technologies and how to carve out lanes for themselves in an oversaturated online music universe.

The most beautiful thing about music in 2015 is that there is something for everyone. The sheer volume of music on SoundCloud alone is overwhelming to imagine. To simplify things let’s separate artists into two categories: those concerned about quantity and those concerned about quality. The quantity group uploads faux freestyles over ripped YouTube instrumentals of the latest street hits, hoping someone important will notice them. This exhibits very short-range thinking. GOOD Music president Che Pope called this type of music “disposable music” at an RBMA lecture in Paris. The quality group, on the other hand, is a slave to their vision. They have an idea, they record their idea, they perfect their idea, they have their idea mixed and mastered properly, and they collaborate with a designer on a piece of artwork that visually represents their auditory idea. This exhibits the understanding I mentioned earlier, and I am seeing more and more artists tending to the quality of releases over the quantity. Mic Kellogg is one such artist.

Over the past year Mic has methodically released singles from his debut project Breakfast. Each single garnered a breakfast-themed cover and usually an accompanying post on Pigeons & Planes. This September Mic released the conceptual Breakfast LP and further proved that he was an artist of substance and thought. In order to kill the mystique of great art, we asked him to breakdown our favorite tracks from the project and give us insight into the making of Breakfast.

Track 2 “Breakfast (Intro)”

Nug in my grinder, just a reminder that if I need to escape I can soar

Wow, I made this song over a year ago! This was the song that inspired my sound… This song inspired the entire project!

Kellogg is my real last name, so it just felt natural to go with a morning/breakfast theme. As a kid my family always collected Tony the Tiger stuff and ate A LOT of breakfast.

I wrote the song and showed it to Katie (Siren), and she instantly fell in love with it. And sounded AMAZING on it. We recorded it, and by the next week everyone in my squad had the song stuck in their head lol. And I just knew I was on the right track.

This track should remind people that even when things are stressful this is still a beautiful life. Slow down, take a break from reality, and enjoy it for once.

Track 4 “Clouds”

Hoping that the day will come when I don’t even need the trees and the wind just speaks to me

I actually wrote this piece for a poetry slam I did in high school, and it always just stuck with me. I’ve always wanted it to be something more because this verse was special to me. I wrote it when I had no direction in life, and I was smoking WAY TOO MUCH WEED lol. Getting in trouble at home and with the law and just overall making bad decisions.

This was a tribute to my mother for putting up with all my bullshit and sticking with me and believing in me through it all. When I made the beat and started singing on it, it just sounded right.

Track 5 “Head Up”

Can’t drive for shit right now, but still I hit the road, don’t encourage you to do the same, I’m only tryna find a lane

Once I found the sample for this joint, I just knew that it had to be some positive, uplifting type shit. This song is honestly about moving weight from Colorado to Wisconsin. It’s a 17 hour drive each way. It’s terrifying. From a time in my life where I was more focused on hustling than music.

I got my friend Eden on it because I wanted the “head up” message to come from a women. Almost like an angel is in your head trying to tell you everything is alright. Les Brown at the end was extremely last second. I was going to write a 3rd verse, but I ended up looking through speeches on YouTube, found him, and he sounded SO GOOD on the instrumental. I ended up listen to like 2 hours worth of his speeches haha. I was so inspired at the end I almost forgot I was just sampling motivational speakers.

Track 6 “Take Me”

You got me melting like butter on toast, laughing at all of your jokes, she said she’s from Cali then rolled up the smoke

“Take Me” has to be one of my favorite songs on the LP. I remember I was just smoking with my friend Kee, and I started chopping up the sample in my bedroom. It was like 11 PM. All the lights were off except this big red, light up letter “C” in my room and this beer light. It just put me in this super relaxed mood. I threw down some super light drums that night because I honestly didn’t want to wake up my downstairs neighbor. I think he had threatened to call the police the night before or something lol.

I wrote the actual song about a week after that. A lot of times I’ll write to no beat, and then scroll through all my instrumentals and find one that fits that particular verse. This instrumental just happened to fit perfectly. In a strange way, the song is about the feeling you get when you’re on MDMA and just want to be with someone. Not necessarily sexually, just that WANT to be touched, to be heard, to be loved. I wanted to express that bliss you get when you’re with someone that understands you and vibes with you.

Track 11 “Sunrise”

Watching the sun rise up over Lake Michigan, right when the water was glistening, turned off the car I was sitting in, got here before all the fisherman

This was the very last song to make the LP. Not a whole lot to say about this one. I just liked the rhyme pattern and decided to run with it. I wanted this song to be a visual experience for people. I tried to use descriptive words that would put the listener RIGHT on the beach when they play it. Eden compliments my voice so well, so of course she had to jump on it.

The guitar solo was super random. We were in the studio recording, and my engineer Charles just jumped on the guitar and tore that shit up! I hummed out the melodies I wanted, and he instantly played it and recorded it. He is sooooo talented.

Track 12 “Heartbeat (ft. WebsterX)”

Every time I called her beautiful, she’d point out imperfections, go to fix her nail cuticles or switch what she was dressed in, check her hair in the reflection, she was scared of first impressions

This song is about the most serious relationship I’ve ever been in. About a girl I still think about all the time. But a girl I had to leave in order to pursue this music career. I think the most important lyric in this song is “I don’t want perfect I want you.” I think a lot girls spend way too much time on their appearance. Fuck all the makeup and heels and all that. I just want the real. I don’t care about any of that. I wanna know who you really are.

I’m not really sure how Web ended up on this song lol. We were prolly just kickin it and he wrote to it. His verse is DOPE, and I feel like he brings a certain “darkness” to the song. It just fit.

Track 1 “Wake Up” / Track 13 “All Star”

I wanted to tie these into each other in a way. And have a smooth entrance and exit to the tape. Plus, I feel like a lot of my beats can be listened to AS IS without me on them. I’m a huge fan of beat tapes and listening to producers (Freddie Joachim is one of my favorites). I feel ’cause I’m a producer I can bring a different aspect into my music. I think on my next project I’ll have a few more instrumentals thrown in there.

Both the samples are really eerie vocals that mesh into each other. And then that old Kellogg ad I found is complete GOLD. “Kellogg Allstar Breakfast Show” !?!? I was sooo geeked when I found that lol.


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