State Of The Art – Track By Track

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Here we have a little track by track run down of the fulll State Of The Art album.
The run down is done by all three members of the Hilltop Hoods, Suffa, Debris and Pressure. It’s a great read and we’d like to see more groups do the same. Read on…

1. The Return
SUFFA: We wanted the opener to be a punch in the face. I think we’ve achieved that.
PRESSURE: Very much so. We wanted to come back heavy and aggressive and we’ve definitely done that. It’s a big slap in the face.
SUFFA: It’s three years of pent up aggression coming out. There’s no real topic to it.
PRESSURE: Nah, the topic is we’re back – f**k you! It’s a classic hard-nosed Hip Hop track, a really heavy re-introduction to the group.

2. Super Official
PRESSURE: This is a bit more laid-back than the first track.

DEBRIS: It has a pretty typical Hoods sound.

PRESSURE: It’s pretty much a classic braggadocios-style Hip Hop track

SUFFA: That’s the sort of track we like making, the sort of Hip Hop we like. We like rhyming for the sport of rhyming.
PRESSURE: Smart-arse punch-lines. It’s about the flow and the sound.

3. Chase That Feeling
SUFFA: This is the first single that we’re gonna drop. We have a quartet from the ASO [Adelaide Symphony Orchestra] playing on it. This track’s about latching on to a good feeling and keeping that momentum going, pursuing it. That feeling could come from anywhere; it might be the feeling you get from friends, food, life, love, music…
PRESSURE: My second verse is about chasing that sense of freedom. Each verse is about something a little bit different but it all comes back to pursuing that feeling.

4. She’s So Ugly
PRESSURE: This one of the tougher tracks on the album.

SUFFA: A crew called Poker Beats from Germany produced it; they started sending us beats a while ago and one really stuck out. The song itself is about the state of Hip Hop and how we’re frustrated by what it’s become. When we’re saying ‘she’s so ugly’ we’re not just talking about how Hip Hop has become pop music though. In my verse I point out some of the frustrations you have as a Hip Hop producer – in terms of sampling and copyright restrictions. If these restrictions were loosened the quality of Hip Hop music would be so much better right now.
PRESSURE: Yeah it all changed when everyone started suing each other over copyright infringements. The song is also an ode to an old Hip Hop classic by an artist called Common, a track called I Used To Love Her.

5. Still Standing
SUFFA: We love this track – it’s definitely one of my favorites on the album.
PRESSURE: It’s got a real bounce to it. We did this track to show a bit of appreciation to our supporters, everyone who’s been there along the way. We also did it as a way of saying we’re still around and still doing things the right way. We’re still standing.

6. Classic Example
PRESSURE: We wanted to do a vintage nineties sounding track, that’s why we called it Classic Example.

SUFFA: This track features Pharoahe Monch. He’s one of only two guest MC’s on the album. On past albums we’ve had up to 10 or 15 guest MC’s but we wanted to change that this time around. In our opinion Hip Hop records are getting too bloated with guests.

PRESSURE: We thought less would be more with this record. This is produced by DJ Nu-Mark. He sent us a beat CD and this is the one that stuck for us.

SUFFA: And he was super excited about getting Pharoahe on it.

PRESSURE: Almost as excited as we were. We grew up massive fans of Pharoahe Monch. It was really good to work with him. It was very inspiring.
SUFFA: We brought him over from New York and he stayed with us for a week. He’s almost like a hippy when it comes to music. He’ll talk about it in almost a metaphysical sense. I love being around people who are that passionate.

7. Chris Farley
SUFFA: This is our ode to [American comedian] Chris Farley. An ode to how Chris went out.
PRESSURE: This is our party track. It’s about going out in a big way like all the greats: Bon Scott, Morrison, Hendrix… [laughs]

8. The Light You Burned
SUFFA: We’ll love doing this live.

PRESSURE: Yeah, this’ll work well live, even though it’s a bit of a bitter song. It’s about things that should have been beautiful but didn’t pan out that way.
DEBRIS: This track features our second guest MC Trials from the Funkoars.

9. Parade Of The Dead
SUFFA: This is an ode to [legendary Zombie film director] George Romero. It continues on the Dawn Of The Dead/Land of the Dead/Day Of The Dead tradition.

PRESSURE: It’s about us fighting zombies [laughs].
SUFFA: People can use it as an instructional tool on how to survive a zombie attack.

10. Last Confession
SUFFA: This is Pressure’s solo track.
PRESSURE: The idea came to me when Suffa produced this beat with a vocal sample in it that said ‘Oh Lord’. I wanted to make a slightly more serious song and that sample gave me the idea of doing a track like I was in a confessional booth getting some stuff of my chest.
Like I say in the track I wrote this song for my son, and I dedicate it to him.

11. Hillatoppa
SUFFA: It’s another one of those rhyming for the sport of it tracks. We wanted to make it like the Hoods’ anthem. If we had a theme song, this would be it.

12. Fifty In Five
SUFFA: This is my solo track. The sample is from a song called 2010. The original track was written in 1960, it’s asked what the world will be like in 2010. This track is sort of like a response. I had the idea of writing a track that broke down the last fifty years in five minutes – 1960 to 2010. It’s got my brother [Nick Lambert] playing guitar and one of the guys from Lowrider [John Bartlett] playing piano. He also wrote the string arrangements. The lyrics took me more than three months to write.
PRESSURE: With the crescendo at the end, it suited being the last track on the album. The album starts with a punch in the face and is more soulful towards the end.

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