No two Cezur III songs sound exactly the same and with a unique fusion of house, punk, and hip-hop, his latest albums is a perfect melting pot of culture and sounds that is going to help usher in the summer music season.
Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, the rapper and fashion model is dropping BK BABY — an ode to the city that he calls home — to close April and to get it out there he offered up a track-by-track for American Songwriter.
“BK BABY, for me, was the beginning of a journey of self-discovery,” he said. “It stands for “Brooklyn Baby,” which is just paying homage to the city that raised me.
“I talk about my successes and failures, dreams, and fears all from my vantage point. The massive amount of collaboration from producers, artists, engineers, and beyond really helped to bring this project to life.”
Be sure to push play his EP, and start adding songs to a playlist where he would fit nicely next to Aminé, K Y L E, Chance the Rapper, Masego, and Jaden Smith while reading about what inspired each song.
BK BABY came together when I flew to Toronto to work with Bijan Amir. I wanted to make a record that was a dynamic rager. I knew I wanted the beat to switch up as soon as we established we wanted to throw people off a bit.
H I G H R O A D S was one of the last songs to end up on the project. Olson and I met in NYC and cooked up some dope samples we thought carried some weight. I was introduced to this kid, Alex Oren from St. Louis, through some mutual friends, and knew I wanted him to add the drums and some vox.
SHIT TO ANSWER FOR is the oldest record on this jawn. Jae Lee produced this record years before I’d even met him, and had never landed it anywhere. Since I knew him, I was telling him that I needed the record for my project. I’m into all of the funky sound design elements of music production, so this was a shoo-in. I’m speaking to myself on this song as I’m treading deeper into my self-realization. This song is accountability in a nutshell.
FEEL IT was one of maybe 4 records me and Jae Lee really honed in on this soundscape. I wanted something 4 on the floor to carry the energy, but I wanted it to be dark. “Got dreams, got nightmares,” is really the lifeblood of this project and an essential line from this song. The video is inspired by my love for fashion with an artistic edge I feel pushed our boundaries.
1&ONLY was another one of those records I feel like was intended to give a little more context to the world I’m living in. The voicemails on this project are all real candid moments, and that’s what I love about it.
TANGERINE is probably one of the most enthusiastic records off of the project. Produced by Jae Lee and Sam Affer, it takes a stab at some alt-rock, indie vibes. I feel like I have a habit of taking on challenging relationships with women. I was inspired by a woman I loved, and the feeling of being paranoid dealing with matters of the heart.
I’LL BE HONEST was fully self-produced, the last song to come in on the project, and the first release. I felt like I wanted to talk more candidly about some of the things I’ve been going through, and bluntly talk about how I deal with them. I take a lot of pride in the fact that I produced it 100% by myself.
WISHES is definitely an important song for me. My guy Don Oskar from Toronto produced this joint. For me, it kind of feels like the point where I really embrace the journey I’m on. “I’ve been wishing on some things, and I’m ’boutta make it happen” is really how I feel. My brother, “Neighbor,” has the feature verse on here, and it took forever to get him in the studio, but definitely happy with the outcome.
BELIEVE ME is another record I made out in Toronto when I locked in with Bijan Amir. Sequentially, it makes sense after WISHES, because I’m planting my flag in the ground here. I don’t really tap into much braggadocio on BK BABY, and it’s because I think the journey here had to be outlined before I could make a record like BELIEVE ME fit into the bigger picture. Sometimes you’ve got to let people know that you’re here to stay.
HIGHLIGHTS is another song I produced. This hook is probably one of the most relevant because it speaks to the fact that a lot of people only show love when they think there’s something you can help them with, or if you’ve already gotten love from others. It’s a real trip — I wanted to talk to the people who love me through thick and thin because that’s the only love that’s genuine. I cited Lebron James on this song because I feel like he would understand what I was referring to due to all he’s accomplished growing up in Akron, and now being the face of the NBA. My father has the last voicemail on this project, and he’s trying to coach me like he always does. I just thought it was dope having these candid conversations throughout the project, and this one puts the cherry on top.