Phoenix Rapper FACES Is Aggressive and Confident

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Maybe west side rapper FACES chose his moniker because that's the place he's most comfortable: in the faces of listeners.

Along with his partner in grime, producer/percussionist YAWNING BOY, recently dropped a new record that continues to showcase an abrasive style and staccato deliver. With an aggressive flow and slow, head-banging beats, he's on pace to get in the faces of hip-hop heads everywhere with his latest release and music video.

See also: Rapper Faces Explains "BMO," Set to Play Newly Minted Wall Street Venue

Up on the Sun: Can you talk about the making of this new album? What, if any, were some differences in your process this go around?

FACES: Well the Prototype album has songs that aren't just rants all the time and had tracks that actually have a decent message behind them. This album took a lot more time and preparation even though it was an eight track album. We thought of this as a new first step. We, as in the producer YAWNING BOY and I. I didn't have a specific production choice, I kinda just picked whatever felt right at the time. The album was released under the label "Sewage Tapes" (not signed) that we've worked with before, I'm glad he wanted to help out. They're good dudes.

What kind of record did you set out to make? What influenced the tone of this record?

It's a first impression. I wanted the first track to be like an, "in your face" track but not in a dumbed down way. So the first track "Prototype," which is where the album name comes from, is more of a "banger" and I wrote as if we are just prototypes to an elevated race. I speak on a bunch of stuff about how I feel and what I believe in along with some facts and current events. Over time I've developed a lot more flows and tones to add into my music due to new production styles and current influences. More aggression and confidence with the mic, I guess. This album is more aggressive than anything I've put out but it's still subtle, if that makes any sense.

Supa SortaHuman makes a couple of appearances on Prototype. How'd you guys hook up for this release? How do you think their style compliments yours?

Oh, Supa's a homie. I've been listening to Sortahuman's music for a while now and really dig their style. But it wasn't so much Supa's style that made me want him on the album. Of course his style had something to do with it, but I respect their work ethic when it comes to making music, and their topics are on the same page as ours when it comes to writing. One day I just hit 'em up and sent 'em a beat produced by YAWNING BOY and he basically just said, "let's do it" which is the 'King of Style' track. Then we talked more and got together on the Shawn Kemp production ("Frenemy") and used that on the album, too. I'm glad we worked together and have more in store for the fans in the near future. You also dropped a pretty gnarly music video for "Talk." Can you explain the track and how the video ties in?

I love visual art effects and really visual music videos, so I thought after we recorded "Talk" and after hearing how great of a production XXYYXX made, I felt it was perfect for a music video. That song is another in your face track with an upbeat production but with dark lyrics influenced by the sample in the song. That explains the normal FACES and the demon FACES idea. The video is probably something I'm most proud of, and I'm glad I have such a talented friend that was capable of making what we brainstormed come to life on camera. All thanks for the video goes to XXYYXX, and D. Cano for the choreography, filming, and editing of the video. Dude's a wizard. His work is great.

Lastly, when can we catch another FACES performance?

As of right now, I couldn't tell you. We have plans to set up shows eventually but are in need of some equipment before we start doing shows again. By the way the next live performances aren't going to be the same as the last sets we've done. It's gonna be more, "live." I'm not gonna be the only one in front of the stage anymore and Yawns is gonna be doing what he loves, actual DJ'ing.

As you may or may not have noticed, I represent .Cult or dotCult now behind the name FACES. .Cult consists of three artists out of Arizona that just recently formed a group. YAWNING BOY, Yung GungHo, formally known as Sir Pressure, and myself. Now that my album is out an finished, the .Cult album is next. You've been warned.

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