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I Can't Breathe

It’s been a while since I wrote and posted an entry in this blog. I must confess that’s been a long time since I have been on my own site period. It’s long overdue to be updated but yea that’s a whole different post in and of itself.

I thought a great way to spark things up again would be to write about my involvement and the making of I Can’t Breathe by Miss Edith. If you haven’t heard it yet please do. For those that don’t know Miss Edith is my lady and the mother of my son Lil X.

Miss Edith is in truth a singer with an amazing voice. She has been singing since she could walk. She at one time sang backup for The Elton John Show, which is one of, if not the only cover artist Sir Elton himself acknowledges. Singing for The Elton John Show was a great experience that allowed Miss Edith to tour all over Europe.

After leaving The Elton John Show Miss Edith was happy just recording cover tunes whenever time allowed. She was nursing a vocal chord injury so singing professionally wasn’t really on her mind. She just enjoys singing so doing it in the comfort of her home for herself sufficed. But in 2019 she had a change of heart and decided she once again wanted to sing professionally.

To strengthen up her vocal chords Edith joined and started singing on Smule. Smule is a popular app that allows you to sing your favorite cover tunes and link up with artists all over the world, which she has done. She has sung with some incredible artists and quickly compiled a library of tracks she recorded on the app.

At around mid 2020 Miss Edith and a group of artists joined forces to compete in a competition being hosted on Smule. Over the course of about 10 to 12 weeks the group had to partake in an array of battles covering a slew of genres and styles. Edith’s group chose for her to do what was called the urban segment of the competition. The twist was, she was to rap and not sing. I found this strange for a singing competition to force singers to rap; but Edith loved it. Doing covers of her favorite raps she was holding her own. She won a few rounds. Then things got serious.

Nearing the end of the urban segment of the competition Miss Edith was asked to write and record an original rap song. Mind you she isn’t a rapper and she isn’t a writer. She came to me for some help after she had already picked out a free beat offered on Smule. She also came up with a concept which included the chorus, or hook as some call it. The murder of George Floyd by police officers in the US was all over the news. I actually remember seeing Edith’s reaction as we watched this police officer kneel on his neck, which ultimately killed him. I am no stranger to seeing such acts. But for Edith it was out of this world. I was pretty touched that she wanted to share her feelings on this topic. After she asked me if I could help her put this thing together. I asked her if she was absolutely certain she wanted to speak on this matter. I know all to well that speaking on real topics can be quite unpopular. She said she felt compelled to speak on it no matter the outcome.

There wasn’t much time. I believe she had like 48 hours to deliver the song. She basically fed me everything she had in her heart and I pieced it all together. Within a few hours we were recording which proved to be a bit difficult. It’s one thing to record a cover of your favorite rap tracks that you have been rapping for years. It’s an entirely different animal to rap an original song that was only written an hour prior to getting on the mic. Before long we got it to where Edith was satisfied. She did throw in a little singing on the hooks, which was allowed. I thought she did a magnificent job on that. I wasn’t totally satisfied with the rapping but then again it wasn’t my song and I wasn’t the one in the competition.

I was pretty blown away when the song went on to win first place in the urban segment original rap round. Not only did it win, it garnered some pretty amazing feedback and praise. The judges of the competition gave her some amazing critique. Everyone was feeling the content seeing what was happening in the world at the moment.

All said and done we started thinking maybe we should release the song officially. The only problem was, the music, the beat wasn’t ours. I asked her if she really wanted to drop this track. She assured me that she did so I got to work.

The first thing I did was contact Daniel Cordero who I have been working with for some years. I explained the situation to him. He said he could produce a track that would be similar but yet different. Edith kind of wanted the same exact vibe though; this laid back jazzy piano sound. He assured me he would hook it up.

When Daniel sent us the first version of his production, Edith balked. She wasn’t really feeling it. Daniel said he had a few tweaks to make yet. But he also said it compliments her voice especially during the singing hooks. He was saying we had to hear it together to feel the full effect. I went along with it but at the same time; I was tracking down the producer of the original beat we used just incase. I did speak with the producer but he was saying the beat was sold.

With a bit of doubt we went into the studio to record after Daniel sent us his finished version of the new beat. I liked it but there were some things I was skeptical about until we got to the hook. Once Edith sang the hook we both immediately understood exactly what Daniel had been talking about. All doubt left the studio and we got to work.

I felt like a dictator telling Edith to rap the verses over and over until I was satisfied. The madder she got, the better she rapped. Once we were both satisfied we sent Daniel the vocals to be mixed and mastered. Within days he sent us the masters and we were blown away. The song had taken on a completely different mood and we loved it. It hit your emotions much harder than the first version we did for the competition. All three of us, Edith, Daniel and myself gave the green light for the release. So I went ahead and designed the cover art with Edith standing over my shoulder. She then became the dictator overseeing the final preparations of what would be her debut release. It was still a bit strange to me that my singer girlfriend was releasing her debut to the world and she would be rapping not singing. But the song; it was so powerful. It was so felt that yea it had to be put out there.

I sent the song to my label for distribution. We got an official release date the same day pending review of the track and cover artwork. A few days later it was all cleared and we were good to go. I had high expectations for the release at least within Norway seeing there are not many female rappers in Norway. Those female rappers that are in Norway were not spitting realism on this level. Time would tell how the music world would react.

The release went off without a glitch. We sent out a number of Press Releases all over Norway. People’s reactions to the track were heartfelt. We got nothing but positive feedback. The sad part about it was not one Norwegian media outlet picked up the track. Looking at the tracks they were highlighting and putting out there, they weren’t nearly on the same level. But then again, real rap isn’t always accepted. Miss Edith hit on some real topics and touched upon some real issues including the whole covid-19 scare. Could it have been the timing? Were the fires from the George Floyd riots burnt out? Were the media and everyone else already on to the next bit of news? Was everyone back to business as usual? We may never know. I do know this much. What Edith chose to rap about was real. It’s something we shouldn’t ever forget. Though the song didn’t receive the attention we hoped for we still feel we accomplished something huge. She may have not made history per se, but what she did was most definitely historic.

The fact that the social issues we face in the US on a regular; issues I grew up dealing with affected this young woman all the way in Norway says a lot. What happened to George Floyd and countless others in truth isn’t just a social issue. It is a human rights issue that should be of concern to everyone all over the world. The collective consciousness of the world is vital so shedding more light on the issues Edith did is very necessary.

I am proud of my lady and I am honored to be a part of what she accomplished. I am grateful my brother from another mother Daniel came through with his genius. He’s an amazing producer, engineer and artist and human being.

You can all trust me when I say you have not heard the last of Miss Edith. On the contrary. This is only the beginning. Edith is currently working on a number of projects that will soon surface. Till then we would appreciate it if every one of you that read this would listen to the track, and share the shit out of it. By coming together and raising our voices; raising the voices of those who do speak, and for those that can’t speak is how we the people will be heard. Thank you for reading. Peace, Love and Light to ALL.

You can check out the song here: Spotify.

For those that don't have or use Spotify you can check it out on YouTube.

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