There’s a good chance of you owning an E.L.E.M.N.T. production project in your collection. Between placements for Roc Marciano and doing the bulk of Knowledge the Pirates well-received debut Flintlock he has put in some serious work lately. We had a chance to catch up with him to discuss a number of different topics.
RD: I can’t find a lot of info on you, can you give us your background in the music game? How long have you been producing?
E: My first major placement was in 2012 for Grand Puba. I produced “How Long” off of his Retroactive album.
RD: You produced quite a bit of the well-received ‘Flintlock’ album by Knowledge the Pirate, talk to us about your relationship with him and the making of the album
E: Pirate is like my big brother, our synergy is in line in many ways. We had a mutual friend that I was producing a Snoop Dogg record (“Love Around the World”) for at the time and Pirate was digging my production work. After a few months of conversations and beats being submitted, Pirate made me the offer to join the team. The making of the album was an incredible experience on every level. Being able to be mentored by two (Pirate & Roc Marci) of the best artists in the hip hop game is priceless. Pirate is an active hip hop legend and a visionary. He approaches music from such an organic, real place.
RD: Was the project a long time in the making? Knowledge had been around, but it took quite a bit for him to debut
E: Pirate is very much in tune with life and its surroundings. It wasn’t about forcing anything but just waiting for the right time/feeling. Everything just fell into place for his first solo project.
RD: You produced ‘Respected’ and ’67 Lobby’ for Roc Marci’s RR2: The Bitter Dose. Roc generally works with a select few when it comes to his production, how were you able to get your stuff heard by him?
E: Pirate introduced me to Roc Marci and the rest of the fam. To be a part of the production team is a blessing and a honor.
RD: Water To Wine was a collaborative effort by yourself and Tone Atlas. Talk to us about the difference between lacing someone with 1 or 2 beats vs. a full project.
E: I approach music and working with artists as if I’m scoring music for a film. There’s different scenes, chapters, moods that go on when you’re working on a full project. A single song placement is great too, but creative control is just not like working on a whole project. Every legendary producer that has influenced me like Quincy Jones, Bob James, DJ Premier, Dr. Dre, The Ummah, Pete Rock, RZA, Havoc, Alchemist, Just Blaze, Jake One, Large Professor, Marley Marl, D.I.T.C, The Hitmen, Def Squad, Bink, Nottz, Hi-Tek etc.. have all produced complete legendary albums. That’s the legacy I would like to leave behind.
RD: Let’s talk gear if we can, what are some pieces you use? Have you made any recent additions to your setup?
E: I’ve learned simple is always best, especially when working on pre-production. I use the AKAI MPC 2500, MIDI keyboard and my record collection of rare soul/funk, jazz, gospel, psych rock 45’s and LPs.
RD: Who are the first 5 calls you make to start a producer album?
E: Knowledge the Pirate, Roc Marciano, Rapsody, Action Bronson, Panama Dro
Flintlock is available at Bandcamp
Instagram – @e.l.e.m.n.t.
Twitter – @KoncreteJungle_
Flintlock album review By Nick Gauder
IG – @fadeawaybarber & Twitter – @fadeawaybarber2
Barber Nick album review of Flintlock
I was asked to do a review on one of my Top 3 fav albums of the year “Flintlock” by Knowledge The Pirate. Of course I said I’d love to, but felt I was a little biased considering how excited I’ve been for this album for the last year or so and how much I’ve been bragging about it since it dropped. I will never say anything is incredible if I don’t truly believe it. So instead of doing a track by track review, because that would be as long as a novel. Instead I’m just gonna review a few of my standout tracks & then give you my overall review of the album.
The album opener is “Roots Of A Thug” & what a fucking opener it is! The opening verse was stuck in my head for the first month after it dropped even my daughters can recite that first verse word for word. Knowledge paints such vivid pictures with his rhymes, and every bar you feel it like you know he lived this shit unlike some emcees. The prod by Mushroom Jesus is perfect one of the best opening songs of the year.
The next five songs two produced by Roc Marci & three by Elemnt were nothing short of incredible. The song “Wrinkled Feathers” prod by Elemnt is one of the hardest joints of the year & the visuals for this song was great too. Elemnt has been one of my favorite producers for a minute now. I’m hoping after everyone hears his production on this album which were 7 standout tracks, they will start to see & appreciate his greatness like I have. Roc Marci is my all time fav Emcee, and he’s also one of the greatest producers in the game and on this album his production was some of his best work yet.
Another producer/engineer who’s work was amazing on this album was Mushroom Jesus. The dude is so talented. The true star of this album and captain of this boat was Knowledge The Pirate. After all the the dope feature verses on classic albums from Roc Marci this was his time to shine and damn did he shine. Made not only one of the most memorable albums of the year which I think time will prove it to be a classic, but he also made one of the best debut hip hop albums I’ve heard in a long time. He did it his way, independently and with hard work.
This album was incredible front to back and will be appreciated for the next 30 years. So if you haven’t heard this album yet do yourself a favor, buy the album, hit play, turn that shit up real loud. Let Knowledge’s vivid rhymes and the sonic landscape provided by Roc, Elemnt & Mushroom Jesus, take you through the mean streets of New York City on his Pirate ship. Ahoy!