With the release of Family Business rapidly approaching (and let me assure you that the involuntary pushback will have been worth the wait), I thought I’d provide y’all with a “cheat sheet” of sorts for the album.
Warning: These could be considered spoilers, so if you want to make these deductions on your own you might not want to read this until after you have the record.
Much like with I Am Hip Hop, the goal was to assemble a cohesive project from start to finish as opposed to a collection of random tracks. Some of the cuts that were on the mixtape did not make the album for the sole reason that they did not fit into the general storyline. I wouldn’t really call Family Business a “concept album” in that it doesn’t follow a strict narrative, but there are definitely underlying themes that keep showing up, and the album is sequenced in such a way that there is a story to be told from track to track. On my first album, karma was the focus. On Family Business, it’s all about dreams and nightmares (often represented by references to Hell). I just typed up a partial list of these references throughout the album, including abstract concepts in the subject matter, direct lyrical references, and imagery in the actual song titles, but I thought that was giving too much away. With this concept in mind, you should be able to catch most of it on your own.
The other point to remember is that the “characters” on the album (and I put that in quotes because they’re really just us at various stages) and their perspectives are constantly being shaped by the events that are being described. You’ll get more from each song if you listen with an appreciation of what happened in the previous songs. With that being said, even if you didn’t realize any of this, and just listened to each song as its own standalone record, you wouldn’t know you were missing anything. In my opinion, that’s the beauty of a good album. The songs build on each other and are connected by common themes, but they also hold up individually. If you don’t want to think about cryptic meanings on an album and just want to jam a dope record, this album is perfect for that too. I’ve said it before, but sonically, musically, and lyrically, this album is by far the best work of my career — as well as Timid’s and EJ’s.
They say great artists don’t reveal too much and let their creations speak for themselves, so I won’t go any further. I just hope you’re as excited as I am that Family Business, an album that is now over two years in the making, is finally coming out. We plan to have the cover art, track list, and release date revealed very shortly.