Please forgive the self-centered topic.
We recorded a new song today, actually the first time we've recorded a song for another purpose other than putting it on an album -- more on that later, hopefully. Ha. And with this particular song, I am super excited about the hook that Sentence and I wrote. I was realizing, while we were recording, that writing hooks is maybe my favorite part of songwriting. And I think we are good at it. Never mind the fact that we have gotten a few reviews that do not agree with me. When people have a problem with our hooks, they universally claim they are too simple -- but I've always thought that was sort of the point?
I wanted to put together a list of some of my favorite hip-hop hooks, but it's 2,000 degrees in my apartment right now and it's too hard for me to choose when there are so many I love. I figure this blog was always meant to open a dialogue between us and whoever is interested in what we are up to, so hopefully people will chime in with hooks from other people that they love.
Without further ado, here are my five favorite hooks that we have written.
5. Funk Terrorist
Funk Terrorist was the first song Sentence and I wrote together, way before we ever thought we would be in a group together. Now, admittedly the song is silly -- any song would be, when its entire premise is based around the word "Smackassistan." That's true, by the way. Walking around one day, I started laughing thinking about "Smackassistan." And so we wrote an entire song expounding on that. BAM.
Regardless, the song has always killed live. Especially on tour, we would gauge how well our set went over by the volume of the "Ohhhhh's." It's fun.
Judge for yourself:
4. The Inside
Originally, on our album "Nightlife," Sentence and I were both going to have solo songs. So Sentence wrote The Inside. I didn't end up with a solo song on the album. All of a sudden I'm feeling kind of slighted. Kidding, kidding, kidding. I remember when we were writing the hook, wanting to accentuate the bass hits -- so if you listen, you can hear that Sentence's part is rythmically (how the fuck do you spell that word) echoing the bass. That's what. The inside. Of your heart. Looks like. When he recorded it, it sounded cool. But it also didn't sound like a completed hook. So originally Sentence had me echo what he had said in the gaps. Then I tried it with a little melody too, and we decided that we liked it best. I still love the hook, and I think you'd be hard-pressed, in the hip-hop world, to find a hook that sounds like this one.
3. Shades Off
When we first took this song home as a rough mix, I think as a collective none of us were sure what to make of the hook. Everyone really liked the music, and the verses, but the hook just seemed kind of weird. Then one night, driving around, it clicked for me. And I loved it. Hahaha. I can love the music I make and not seem like a complete egomaniac, right? Anyway -- it's just so simple. And fun to scream. Take your shades off. HEY! Let me see your eyes. Also, Sentence and I joke around about how pretty much every single hook we've ever written is a direct command. This song has also always gone over really well live. I think the highlight, for me, was having a thousand people at Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival scream the "Hey's!" back at us last summer.
2. Don't Sleep
I actually get my revenge on Sentence here. Because while he can take sole credit for the hook on The Inside, this one was all me (because the EP this is on was recorded before Sentence and I were Metermaids, together). This song was written after me, and one of my best friends (and OG Metermaids-family-member) Matt Miller spent a humid summer night with one of our friends in breathtaking New Brunswick, New Jersey. At the end of the night, the two of us ended up crashing on couches. But there was no sleep to be had in the AC-less, sweltering humidity. So we ended up just talking for almost the entire night. And it ended up being a really nice memory for me. No Romo. I won't speak for Matt. Anyway, that was the sentiment behind the song. Hey! Don't go to sleep! We can do anything you want. Stay up with me. A funny moment for Matt and I that ended up being recorded and thrown onto television shows and all over the place. Considering that Matt and I started Metermaids together, there's some sentimentality involved too -- but I also just really like the hook.
1. Planes Down
I could write a long explanation for this hook like I have for the others. But come on, yo. Tell me this shit isn't fun. We've closed every show with this song since we wrote it. Because seeing mad people with finger pistols in the air, screaming "Bang!" at the top of their lungs, is an incredible sight.
Honorable mention goes to Matchbooks, considering that me and my baby have one of the lines from that hook tattooed on us, but that's not so much of a hook as it is a desperate plea to the universe. Haha.
Hopefully some other people will add some of their favorite hip-hop hooks to this, so it's not all about us.