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Creative Process: True God's Root For The Villain Album





Tracklist
1. Life Is A Movie(Intro)
2. Fully Loaded
3. Legends Never Die
4. Hallucinations
5. X-Men: The X Factor feat Dugee F. Buller, Speed On The Beat, and Shokus Apollo
6. One Of Those Days
7. America Is Beautiful(Interlude)
8. Reality Is Grim 
9. Promises Of Diamonds feat Black Ax and Shokus Apollo
10. Implantation feat Black Ax and Shokus Apollo
11. Freedom Of Finding Self
12. What A Beautiful Time To Be Alive
13. Eternal
14. Searching For The Queen
15. Zuri Summer

INTRODUCTION
I've been working on music for years. Writing lyrics since 1998-1999. I wasn't any good back then when I started and I attempted to find my calling and identify via writing with others styles. DMX influenced, Cash Money influenced, I was not good at all back then. I knew one day I would find my path and things would be fine, however I never envisioned myself releasing an album truly at the time. Years later, I hit the studio at a hectic time in my life. Friendships were changing, my relationship was getting much more serious, I had a lot of stress around me as well. My first album Soul Revival arrived on November 3, 2011 and at the time, I wasn't sure what to expect or if I would even make a second album. That mini backstory was just to set the tone for the release of my 6th album "Root For The Villain". In the last 4 years, I've released 6 solo albums, a soundtrack to our wrestling brand(Eyes On The Ring), 2 group projects(Genesis and Exodus with the rest of the DAR team), and a duo album(Upper Echelon, the HS album with @ShokusApollo). Needless to say, musically I've been busy the last 4 years. Recording an album for me has never truly been a challenge, but there are stories within the making of this album that now gives it a special place not only in my catalog, but my life period.

CONCEPT
Initially, the album was going to be called The Ammunition For Retribution, and set for a December release. I went in with a plan, as the album and the atmosphere around me was dark due to personal situations that were occurring. Somewhere in the recording process, I had said this line "Root For The Villain, that's me..." and it stuck. I kept hearing that line in my head, and eventually, the concept of my 6th album changed. There were moments since my 5th album "Pursuing Happiness" was released in November 2014 that I was painted as a lot of things, most of which were bullshit anyway, but the idea became intriguing to embrace the role of a villain. In reality, I may have embraced that role years ago when I first dropped my album.

With the new direction and title, I scrapped every song I had recorded up until that point except "Fully Loaded", which made it. This was around June 2015. At this point, I was recording with the engineer at Apex Studios in Baltimore. I had been recording with them since May 2014 and the engineer had used our connections to help him get a few performances for his budding rap career as well. We helped to keep his studio afloat and even helped build his new studio with him. So, it was a shock when all of a sudden, this dude disappeared and moved away, shutting the studio down effectively out of nowhere. Essentially, he fucked the team over, as he pretty much left Baltimore and no one knows where he is at. If we find him, well.... That will likely not be good for him, but I digress. Considering how things went, we were skeptical of using another studio, so in turn, we began working and recording with our own squad and taking a DIY approach instead of paying someone to do the work and fuck us over again. Thus, what is known as DAR Studios was born. Speed On The Beat began learning and handling mixing and mastering of the albums, and he's improved since he began on Exodus with the mastering. As the recording began in July for RFTV, I knew I was on the verge of creating something special.

ALBUM
The album plays out like a film essentially, hence the intro "Life Is A Movie". The beginning introduces you to the villain, as the first seeds are planted for his dark side taking over. A sample of Heath Ledger as the Joker kicks off the album, which was fitting considering the actual cover. With lines like "The cops keep shooting niggas, homie they ain't killed ya yet/ better walk a straight line, man fuck all those familiar threats/ been feeling disrespected, so fuck your politics, respectability?/ I been clouded in negativity/" lets you know where my mind is as we begin. I address everything that's been going on in my life which led me to this point, starting off the song with my trademark "They saying True, what's good" opening line(this is how I start off every album). The villain touches on the disheartening situation with his daughter and the mother of his child, as he acknowledges the fact that his baby mama is trying to keep him out of his child's life unfairly. We stay on that scene for a while early on in the intro to paint the picture of what is truly tearing the villain apart internally. After the intro closes with Joker letting you know about bringing chaos, we go right into "Fully Loaded", an extremely soulful yet aggressive song that is the villain planning and plotting his next move while checking his artillery.

Realizing the reality of what comes and how every film plays out, the villain comes to terms with the possibility of losing his fight on "Legends Never Die", as he declares his own mortality to an extent, but knows that even in a losing battle, a villain reigns in infamy as long as his impact is felt. The triumphant feel of "Legends Never Die" ends with the team in full celebration mode, and the villain buries his stress in partying and drugs until we arrive to "Hallucinations", a dark, slow song with Apollo assisting on the hook to provide the true state of being woozy and hallucinating. The state of hallucination has the villain daydreaming and questioning his motives, envisioning what it would be like to take the path of a hero.

This thought leads to "The X Factor", a X-Men inspired track where Apollo plays the role of Gambit, Dugee plays the role of Bishop, Speed is subdued as Beast, and I play Wolverine. The struggle of the X-Men being heroes that were vilified anyway, brings the villain back to earth, as Magneto's audio clip at the end of the song reminds the villain of the necessary revolution. The villain takes a moment to look around at the things bothering him on the smooth "One Of Those Days", where he touches on the Black Lives Matter movement briefly in the 2nd verse, and wonders if the thought of good police truly is possible in this world. Caught up in a late night stream of consciousness, the villain provides us with the interlude "America Is Beautiful", looking at the country we live in and the issues we face. Politicians and their lies, police brutality, White America and their comfy lives causing them to be out of touch with anyone else's struggle and more. With lines like "naive housewives getting their mani and pedicures/ white man want his country back, but it truly was never yours/", the villain doesn't hold back his words, as he briefly talks Hulk Hogan, racism, and even the concept of Bruce Jenner as a hero in his 2nd verse. Underneath his apathy, it seems the villain still holds hope for society, but that hope continues to dwindle as we near the middle of the album.

"Reality Is Grim" sees the villain accepting the fact that there may be no hope for society and he briefly addresses the situation once again about his daughter, showing that it is forever in his psyche and his biggest goal is just to be reunited with his pride and joy. In the 2nd verse, the villain finally talks about his love life, how the single life is not all it is cracked up to be, and how he hopes to find a woman for the long term one day, but perhaps his focus and motivation make that much harder. This fact is driven home even more on the intro of "Promises of Diamonds", as a former love interest tells the villain that things aren't going well and that perhaps they should separate. The intro gives off the feeling that the former love interest is breaking away from the villain due to the connection changing, while the song itself clarifies that the villain is distant to the women he encounters because of how their expectations and what they bring to the table don't match up. Ax and Apollo appear on this track and on the following track "Implanation", where the team gets back to their roots and aggression, allowing the villain to know that he has support from his brothers always.

With the knowledge that his DAR brothers are always there, the villain takes a moment away from everything on "Freedom of Finding Self", vibing alone in a room and reflecting to do some soul searching. After that moment of soul searching, the villain prepares his final plot on "What A Beautiful Time To Be Alive", as he takes time to celebrate some of his and his friends successes thus far, and finally briefly address the controversy of the mother of his child and her online activities. Though he doesn't dwell on it, the villain speaks his side of it and moves on. The song is capped off with an audio clip of the villain himself from 2011 talking about what his mission was in music and how he wanted to help the world, leaving the listener to wonder if the villain is once again having second thoughts about destroying everything.

As we arrive to what was initially the outro, "Eternal", the song kicks off with a very dark Bane audio clip, seemingly painting the picture that this is the villain's moment to execute. The lyrics paints that picture perfectly, and in the 3rd verse, the villain is seemingly writing his final words and preparing for what could be his last stand, as he sends a last message to his daughter and those surrounding that situation. However, as everything gets ready to break down, the villain makes a swift move and disappears to regroup in a bit of a plot twist as the beat plays out for over a minute signaling the end credits of the film to start rolling. With most epic films, as the film nears the end and credits roll, there is a break in the credits for an additional scene or two. In this film, there are two:

"Searching For The Queen" features an intro from another former love interest as she explains to the villain that she can no longer deal with him being distant and emotionally unavailable, while the villain is heard in familiar surroundings looking to start anew with a new woman for the long term(going back to his desires from the 2nd verse of "Reality Is Grim"). The villain revisits previous songs he had made about women("Modern Day Woman", "When We Find Each Other", "Beauty Is She") and looks at his dating history in recent times. The song ends without the queen being found, leaving the story and the possibilities open. As the song nears its close, we hear a close friend of the villain telling him that he should put his search for a queen on hold and keep his focus on getting back to his princess.

The final scene before the film officially closes is the dedication to the villain's daughter, "Zuri Summer", where he speaks of wanting to give her the world and that no matter what the circumstances are, he will never be too far from her. The song is very emotional, as the villain's voice begins to break through verse 1 showcasing the pain he was feeling. Verse 2 is even tougher, as the villain spit the verse completely freestyled with his eyes closed and nearly broke down and couldn't finish. Authenticity being one of his strongest attributes, the villain keeps that moment of vulnerability in there as he can't finish the 2nd verse, but ends the album with a speech about his struggle in this situation and how that nothing will stop him from getting back to his princess. The final words on the album are "Soon It Will All Make Sense, I Love You", as the song fades out and the final credit rolls. Fin.

GUEST STARS

@SpeedOnTheBeat
I wasn't as involved as I tend to be on True and DAR releases. It's probably for the best, since I wasn't in the best mindstate during his recording of the album. Losing a parent will do that to you. But, my presence is known.

Root For The Villain is one of those projects which may go over a few heads. Also, it's a project that is the final farewell IMO to the 2011-2015 True. On my side, it helps that I contribute a boom bap beat (representative of Soul Revival and stuff), a darker orchestra-like beat (representative of 371 and beyond True), and a moody, high energy track (PH era True). Finally, it also symbolizes the evolution of True as an artist, me as a producer, and DAR as a whole.

@ShokusApollo
I've had a first hand account of the RFTV process. We were working on our albums at the same time, so it was only right we appear on each others projects. I also sent True some beats that I knew he would love and that fit where he wanted to go with this album. It was darker than a lot of his previous work and that's the overall feel I get from it. I saw the aggresion True had when he recorded this album and that's what he needed, to let out the anger and pain that a villain shares. I appear on the hook of Hallucinations, where we sound off a little purposely. It creates a hazy complement to the syrupy beat. Promises of Diamonds is provided by a soulful Sade sample by Speed. So Ax and I just went in and wrote our verses on the spot in the studio. My verse was directed to a chick who had expected something more than just casual sex. Something I wasn't gonna do was be in a relationship with her, let alone marry her. I also appear on "Implantation" which is a spitfire DAR laced joint over some old school hip hop shit. Something for the purist crowd. All in all, this is my favorite album from True. The X Factor was a challenging topic because we had to personify X-Men characters. That was the fun of it however, as we matched the characters perfect without being cheesy. I was Gambit, Dugee came in and wrote his verse portraying Bishop, True was Wolverine and Speed was Beast. Speed came in with creepy, secluded like verse that sounded like he was in the base just working, like Beast. I was very glad with how this joint turned out. The songs are concise and razor sharp. The acid jazz tinge of the album and the iconic villain samples make this a movie. This makes you want to cheer for the villain, even if he isn't a bad guy. I'm proud of him and I'm proud to be apart of it.

FINAL THOUGHTS
When I set out to make this album, wanted to create something amazing. Something that would mark this time in my life. This album is it. I hope you all enjoy the album and actually purchase and support it. Six albums in..... Time to change the game with album 7 next. The saga continues.

-True

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