Friday, April 5, 2019

All-around Breakdown: Alex Ludovico & Jason Griff Dissect Their Collaborative SCARF TISSUE EP (#MedicineMondays2019 EP No.3)

As many of you may have noticed, The Witzard was temporarily shut down for about two weeks until just this past Monday. It was a nice little break, as my beautiful wife and I traveled across Italy for our "second" honeymoon and as expected, it was phenomenal! We were with a tour group and made stops in Venice, Florence, Rome, Tuscany, Assisi, Murano, and finally, Naples for Pompeii. We saw some truly gorgeous sites and had some of the best Italian food and wine I've ever had in my life; quite honestly, I think I've, essentially, "ruined" Italian food for myself here in The States for the time being, at least! While in Italy, I took a much needed break from my 'round-the-clock writing schedule here at The Witzard... but I did get a chance to listen to a few then-newly released albums and EP's while in transit.

One of those select releases being Alex Ludovico & Jason Griff's collaborative SCARF TISSUE EP. It's a quick 5-track lyrical assault, but from what I've heard, this is merely just the first collaboration between Griff & Alex Ludovico. Both Zilla Rocca affiliates I've written about previously, I reached out to Alex & Griff while in Italy and asked, if they would be interested in penning a SCARF TISSUE EP track-by-track breakdown. Now that I'm back home—with all this "sub-par" Italian-American food!—it's been edited together, alongside each corresponding track, down below the break. Griff & Alex Ludovico's SCARF TISSUE EP is now available to stream or download on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Spotify, and other reputable digital streaming services. For any up-and-coming emcees, the SCARF TISSUE (Instrumentals) are currently available on Jason/Griff's personal Soundcloud page, as well.


Matt "The Witzard" Horowitz 🍝
Italian Food & Wine Connoisseur

Alex Ludovico: "When I came across the track for "So It Begins....." I immediately knew it had to start the album. I wanted the verses to legitimately set the tone for the record. I knew once me and Griff decided to do this EP, that it was gonna be me focused on the bars. He gave me so much heat that I had to drop a crazy verse in kind."

Jason Griff: "When Alex told me that this was one of the beats he wanted to use, I immediately assumed that it would be the intro track. It's got great energy and heavy bass, so it sets the tone perfectly. He opens up with "By the way, bro, this is Alex..." and just goes IN on it from there."

Ludovico: "IT'S. ABOUT. THE. BARS. I heard this beat in an even shorter form and I just knew that this was designed for me to go in. A lot of times, as creatives, we're always looking to expand things. I have always been about minimalism, before Marie Kondo was a thing! I wanted to make sure I murdered this beautiful beat Griff gave me. I feel like I stepped up to the challenge; punch listeners in the face and get out!"

Griff: "When Alex sent me the first draft of this song, I asked him when he was going to do a second verse or if we want to do a feature or whatever and he was like, "nah, that's it. That's the whole song." At first, I was hesitant, but, then, realized this is a Rap version of, like, a Charles Bronson song. Just a short intense blast and then, it's over in under a minute."

Ludovico: "This was the first beat that spoke to me from the set of tracks Griff sent. The loop sounded like I needed to have a conversation with someone. I'm a very generous person [in real life], so my immediate thoughts went to people I've looked out for. Plus, It's Always Sunny is a masterpiece of a television show and it doesn't come up much in Rap songs."

Griff: "This is the first track that we completed for the EP. It's also, the most recently crafted beat that was used. I think, I made the beat just a day or two before I [sent] him the batch that started the project. The beat is kind of sparse, but the original version of it had even less in it! I added all the the low-end bass and a bunch of other stuff, after he laid down his vocals. Alex spitting on it really brought it to life!"

Ludovico: "Griff's beat sounded like Black super-hero music, so that's where the bars went. I imagined it was the theme music for [me] anywhere I walked in. The references in the lyrics bring those thoughts to the forefront. It's an immediate party-starter. I wrote the hook, so the crowd can get involved and it's exactly what happens every time I perform it live."

Griff: "When I first sent him the Zip File of beats, this was the one that I hoped he would pick up above all the others. I thought it was the perfect vibe for him to have a lot of fun with and turn into a total bop. He did just that and it's the most popular song on the EP. After he sent me the first draft, I immediately told him he gave me a perfect opportunity to sample two different Beastie Boys songs and that's exactly what I did."

Ludovico: "I've had the beat for "Clock In" for YEARS. A lot of times, creatives think that if something doesn't grab them right away, it isn't good. I've never subscribed to that belief. I know when something [is] amazing when I hear it, but it may not be for me at that moment in time. When I started working with Griff, I remembered that it was sitting in my hard drive; it clicked for me! It was an anthem for my people who are 9-5'ers. We bust our a$$e$ just trying to make ends meet. This is for them!!!"

Griff: "This beat is super-old. I think, I made it when I only had two kids, like at least six years ago. Back then, I was sending out beats weekly one or two at a time in mass emails to all of the rappers, DJ's, etc. that I knew. Shortly after that, I kind of went on a hiatus from seriously pursuing music, so it just kind of sat in the hard drive graveyard, until Alex hit me up randomly in late 2018 and asked if it was still available. And that was the conversation that led to the concept of putting an EP together, so you could say that this track started [it] all."

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