St. Catharines-based E.U. Afool talks new album & 0therWorld-directed video “Feel Alright”
St. Catharines, ON – E.U. Afool comes with the perfect combination of confidence and self-deprecating awareness on the new Yung Nab-produced single “Feel Alright.” There might not be much to the current state of his bank account, name/fame or the opportunities available to him, but E continues to maintain and push forward. And with these types of releases there’s no doubt his stock will start to climb.
The H.O.M.E. Records and Chroom Gang rapper teamed up with 0therWorld Films for the track’s visual support as he looks to promote his new project set for release ‘Christmas 2016.’ Assuming that means Christmas Day, The Cacophony of Christ Consciousness should be available this time next week.
The concept of the video is fairly basic – the 26-year-old artist takes a stroll through a lightly snow covered neighbourhood – but his dance moves and interactions with the song’s lyrics are the stars of the show. They’re a perfect fit for the carefree nature of the record at hand and offers a nice contrast to the overall tone.
Q&A: E.U. Afool
HipHopCanada: How did “Feel Alright” come to be? What inspired you to write the song?
E.U. Afool: First of all, thank you so much for having me! I’ve been going through some mild internal existential crises lately, and right now this is really helping. So thank you. Yes, “Feel Alright” is actually the last song I did for Cacophony, it was never part of the plan. So I’m extremely grateful for it right now, because it kind of just materialized out of thin air. I’ve been working on this album for months, and “Feel Alright” was completely written, recorded, mixed, video shot, edited and dropped, everything – within the last week and a half. I had like 3-4 potential final track lists and I was trying to decide on one, but I just kept feeling like something was missing. So I went to a stockpile of beats I had for the project and stumbled on the only one I hadn’t written to yet, which would become “Feel Alright”… It sounded like a perfect feel-good single/video to me, and I knew instantly that if I had the resources right now, I definitely would have written an ignorant ass track about booty, money, and material possessions to that beat – there’s not a question in my mind. It would have been a lot of fun too. Not to mention how lit the video shoot would have been. I would have still been recovering right now probably. However, I do like to keep it real, and in that spirit I rapped about the truth of the matter – which is that I don’t have anywhere close to any of that stuff, and yet somehow I still feel perfectly fine. That’s a pretty shocking notion in rap, so I’m grateful that this song seems to be making some waves. Good sign for the rest of the album. [Laughing]
HipHopCanada: Is this your first time working with Yung Nab? How did you guys connect on the track?
E: Oh, Nab and I have been in talks for probably over a year now. He hit me up privately when I dropped one of my 2015 videos – “Hollow” – told me he was feeling the work, and was trying to get his sound behind some fresh upcoming artists. We’ve formed a working relationship since then, and we have a pretty good arrangement for production (support your producers!)… In October we dropped “Smoke Out 2K17” with Jo-Rel, and that was the first collab with Nab I released… now there’s “Feel Alright” of course, and I believe one more on the album. Definitely more to come though, I can promise that!
HipHopCanada: What’s the concept behind your new album, The Cacophony of Christ Consciousness? How does “Feel Alright” compare creatively/thematically to the rest of the album?
E: The Cacophony of Christ Consciousness has gone through a lot of phases. Originally I was just going to call it Jesus Christ!, and then it was The Cacophony of Christ, and now I’ve added the ‘Consciousness’ on there which is not even on the album cover… I’m gonna keep it that way too. It really has nothing to do with Jesus Christ the religious figurehead, and as you can probably tell by how the album title progressed, I decided in the end to make that very clear. “Christ Consciousness” is not about Jesus’ brain, it is what I believe to be the best terminology for the silent, ever-present source of all creation… The very fabric of existence itself… The blank slate from which all creation springs… the quiet inspiration behind all art and music. Happiness. Love. God. The universe. It has an infinite amount of names, and none of them are quite right, but I like Christ Consciousness because it not only sounds cool and controversial, but also contains a point of reference which is commonly understood in the western world – Jesus Christ. So this is a cacophony (which is a loud, obnoxious jumble of noises) from the source of all creation. I could go deeper but I’m not big enough to sound crazy and get away with it just yet. Y’all might help with that though [Laughing]. “Feel Alright” is almost a sum up of that entire way of thinking, and you’ll hear a lot of similar subject matter on the album – but being that its a cacophony, I’ll say there’s going to be a few different sounds on there. Your opinion of the work may very well change from track-to-track, so I encourage you to listen to the whole thing. It really is cohesive in its own fucked up way, and Kanye’s Life of Pablo has been a huge inspiration to me in that regard.
“Feel Alright” was directed by 0therWorld Films
HipHopCanada: What other artists and producers are featured on the project?
E: Ahh well, my team is Choom Gang first of all, so any project I put out you can expect to see some names you’ve probably not heard of before unless you follow the crew. They’re my family, so I always gotta put them on! On this one I’ve got Jo-Rel and Xvvixr from the crew, as well as some great support from extended family, Frank Douglas, and also one of my favourite rappers in St. Catharines who I never got a chance to collab with before, Thoby G of Union Gang! I actually just got home from finishing up the track with him, that was a lot of fun. Him and I get on really well as human beings, so it was great to finally put in some work together. As far as production goes, I’ve got Yung Nab of course, some in-house work from Choom Gang’s own STeeVe FRENCH from Vancouver, a collaboration between Wavvegawd and HAUNTXR from Toronto, and a huge one with manitee from Kentucky who is fucking amazing, which I’m really excited about. Also, Roca Beats from Holland, best known for producing “Herb Shuttles” for The Underachievers, are on there as well. That song is already out with a video, “Cloud Surfing”, check it out!
HipHopCanada: Aside from “Feel Alright” and “Cloud Surfing,” Will there be more videos dropping in support of the album? If so, which single?
E: Absolutely, we’re gonna keep on moving! Next video is “Young Shaman” which we shot the same day as “Feel Alright,” that’s the collab with manitee I think could be huge. That one is on pace to drop alongside the album this Saturday/Sunday (the official plan is Christmas day, but it’s likely to go up a day early), so please look out for that! I’m pretty excited about it. We shot it at a genuine Buddhist temple, I wore a kimono. It’s very cool. That will be it for 2016, then we’ll see what songs get a good response and plan our next videos for 2017. It’s gonna be fun.
HipHopCanada: Which Canadian artists are you checking for lately?
E: God damn, Canada is the shit right now, isn’t it?! It’s so fucking awesome. When I was a kid thinking about being a rapper, in my mind being from Canada was always gonna rule me out. Now the biggest hip-hop entertainer on the planet is from an hour up the highway. The floodgates have opened in unimaginable ways. We have so much to offer and it’s amazing that the world is finally getting to see it. My team has ties in both Toronto and Vancouver, so I’ve seen a lot of great artists coming up on both sides. Over here we have dudes like Sean Leon and his people who I honestly believe have the power to take over the world, and most folks even in my close-by city haven’t heard of him. Out west there’s dudes like Brevner, incredible artist, probably can’t walk through a mall in Vancouver without signing autographs, but only handfuls of people know him over here. So even though there’s been this huge expansion and we’ve made so much progress, there’s still so much room for more. This is a huge country, and the hip-hop community is relatively tight. Together we could take this thing to the stars, honestly. In my city alone we have Sayzee blowing up right now – big shouts out to Sayzee, great guy, great artist, and always been highly supportive of our squad. Then we have cats like Thoby, these guys are at the forefront of the new wave, then at the same time we’ve got crews like Free Ill who have absolutely mastered the golden age style of hip-hop and cater to that whole audience beautifully. I like to believe we in Choom Gang are all over both sides of that spectrum. So there’s a very very diverse pallet just in the Niagara area alone, let alone the massive diversity in Toronto, then Vancouver, and everything between the two. That’s without even mentioning Quebec and the East Coast provinces where hip-hop is a huge part of the culture. Canada IS hip-hop. It’s an absolutely beautiful thing right now and I can’t wait to see it grow, and hopefully be a part of that as well.
HipHopCanada: What’s in store for E.U. Afool in 2017?
E: I’ve got a few collabo projects I wanna start working on low-key, but before that I’m gonna let this Cacophony thing ride out its full potential and take it as far as it can go. The absolute ideal situation would be to do a tour of some sort, we did one in Southern Ontario in 2015 which was a great time and a lot of fun, but 2016 was dry as hell. I’d love to do something Canada-wide in 2017. Promoters, holler at me! We do an extremely hype live show. People seem to really enjoy it. I’d love to work some of this Cacophony material into a new set. Get some more videos out to go with it. Just live! I work a 9 to 5 still, so there’s that. I’d love, by the end of 2017, to have a loyal fan base who love and support my team’s work. From there we’ll be able to give the music of Chuck Nyndees – our late great founder and my best friend, who tragically lost his life at 24 in 2014 – the exposure it truly deserves. He is the artist we all should have been paying attention to, and sadly he was taken from us too soon. Luckily, it’s still not too late for the world to be brightened by his creations, and our creations together, before and after his passing. It’s all I’ve ever wanted really. Aside from that, as long as everybody I love is good and I get to see them smile and they get to see me smile, I’m golden. Or, I feel alright, I guess. Hey do I have a catch phrase now? I hope not… “Young Shaman” drops this Saturday by the way.
Last question for now, how did you get your name, E.U. Afool?
E: I’ve been doing this rap thing for a while now, and I’ve gone by many names – all of them starting with E, because my name is Eric and I’m super original. People in my life call me E, I always said if I could my rap name would just be ‘e’ but that would be like the least Google-friendly idea anyone ever thought of. So I was just gonna keep my previous name forever, till one day me and the homies were listening to my all time favourite Wiz Khalifa song “Good Dank” off one of the greatest mixtapes of all time Kush & Orange Juice. At the end, he says to his homie in the studio “E, you a fool“, and it just clicked in my brain. J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, R.L. Stein… The list goes on. E.U. Afool baby, holler at me. I love you. Thank you.
Tags: 0therWorld Films, Choom Gang, Chuck Nyndees, E.U. Afool, Frank Douglas, Free Ill, HAUNTXR, Jo-Rel, manitee, Roca Beats, Sese, STeeVe FRENCH, Thoby G, Union Gang, UTVMG, Wavvegawd, XVVIXR, Yung Nab
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