Rex World artist Jimy Powers kicks off the year with five-minute-long “1.7.17.” freestyle
Toronto, ON – Rex World artist Jimy Powers started off this month by releasing a five-minute-long freestyle on Jan. 7 titled “1.7.17.”
The freestyle was produced by Drummatic and was released without any set concept in mind. The record was solely based off catching a vibe and riding it out. Jimy kicks off the freestyle with his opening line: “2017/ More 16’s/ Lest we forget Bowie, Prince, and Ali/ Less second-guessing/ More doing me.”
And from there, he locked in about a third of the song on the first take. Jimy then went back in and pieced together older lyrics and newer lyrics until he was happy with his end product. Listen to “1.7.17.” below, and check our Q&A with Jimy after the jump.
Q&A: Jimy Powers
HipHopCanada: Talk to me about the significance of this freestyle to you.
Jimy Powers: It’s one of the first songs I made this year. The finished product is pretty cool. I like how it came out, but it isn’t all that significant to me. I was just creating. I’m making music at a faster rate than I ever have right now. I might listen to it a couple months from now and gain a whole other love for it though.
HipHopCanada: Tell me why you opted to structure this as a freestyle, and how that all came about.
Jimy Powers: I wanted to make something without a set concept. I’ve been making concept-based songs for so long. I didn’t think too much on this one. That’s why there’re moments on the record like: “I’m just tryna make my shit timeless keep the hope alive/ Jesus in the manger keep the Pope alive/ And that don’t make no sense but it sounds alright”. The song is free of a pre-meditated style or concept. It’s just a vibe. It’s just music and ideas flowing wherever they want to flow.
HipHopCanada: Is there any significance to the date Jan. 7, or was this freestyle just titled that because that’s the day you released the track?
Jimy Powers: I was going to call it “Top of the Year Freestyle” but I liked how the date read “17 17”. It’s clean.
HipHopCanada: Tell me about the cover art you used for this.
Jimy Powers: I finished the mix and was about to upload the song but I realized I didn’t do a cover so I made that one. I was actually live tweeting my process. I tweeted when I started mixing it, and then again when I started the cover art (7:13). It was uploaded and posted by 7:23. The song has no concept so I did the cover art the same way. Although I do feel like the cover art looks like how the song sounds. The atmosphere in the production feels very white-ish blue to me.
HipHopCanada: It sounds like this track is directed at someone in particular. Like… as much as you’re spitting to the listeners, it sounds like there’s someone specific you’re directing it all at.
Jimy Powers: I’m talking to myself for most of the song. But the way the lyrics flowed called for me to write about a few moments from the past. I’m at a point where I can look at moments and experiences that happened some time ago in retrospect, and easily write about them because enough time went by to give me a clearer perspective on them. When things are happening in the moment you make a different type of song out of the experience. Or you don’t even put that moment in music until later. It could be two days, two months, or two years. The things written in the last verse are not even from 2016. The line “I feel better than I’ve ever been/ And damn I’m committed to my dreams so I gave that bitch a wedding ring” and some of the lyrics and stories surrounding it are from 2015 or late 2014.
HipHopCanada: Talk to me about the actual process for putting this track together. I’m assuming it wasn’t straight off the dome. Did you have the bars ready to go or did you improvise some of them on-the-fly? Did you know you were going to record a freestyle?
Jimy Powers: I started off with a freestyle. I do that like 90% of the time. Sometimes I don’t even want to hear the instrumental until the mic is hooked up, my headphones are on, and the record button is ready. Because it really is magic when your first expression is what people are hearing on a good record. The first lyrics were: “2017/ More 16’s/ Lest we forget Bowie, Prince, and Ali/ Less second-guessing/ More doing me.” Then I kept going until the beat finished. I’d say 30% of the lyrics are from that first take. Then I listened to what I did and went off of the good parts. I pieced lyrics together, wrote new ones, and turned the gibberish into substance. I’m probably going to start writing more. I haven’t rapped like that in a while and not a lot of people can rap or write that way. It’s a cool alternative to my other stuff.
Twitter: @JimyPowers | @REXWORLD_