The Mavrixx E.P. is essentially some ad-hoc music coalition consisting Cikk0 and Rapsodee. In as few words as it takes to say it, Cikk0 brought the beats, Rapsodee came with the rhymes.
How it started? Cikk0 produced a song that Rapsodee featured on with a mutual friend called illwill. (We’d have put said song here but illwill no gree) Anyway, we came together and decided it would be great to share our music with the world for free – at least this one time. With the exception of “Lovesick” Cikk0 just threw ready-made beats at Rapsodee and told him bust or die! Or something like that. All the songs were mixed by cikk0… except where otherwise stated.
The songs you hear didn’t just pop out of nowhere. We both went through our… processes while making the music and we thought that it would help y’all relate to our sound if we shared some of those stories with you.
Rapsodee: Cikk0 says I went too hard on the intro *sticks out tongue* Well, the curtain-raiser should raise the curtain, shouldn’t it? The beat had a lotta energy. I wasn’t goin to let myself get caught sleepin on a bicycle na…lol…mad concept! Trust cikk0 na…madt boy!
cikk0: Well, the instrumental was done waaaay back in 2010. January I think. I was serving in Gombe at the time and I thought that the O.B.S. signature voice-over was beyond a shambles. So I made a beat. That’s why the NYSC anthem is fused in. But it never got used and once we started the project, I KNEW that it would make a great intro. I recorded my bit with Rapsodee in attendance. It was his birthday and I gave him a good laugh to celebrate his 45th… abi Rapsodee how old are you?
Rapsodee: This was the very first song I wrote for the EP and I came in swinging. Having experienced growth in my art and rhyming abilities, I naturally out-did myself on the track. I’ve always had a penchant for cramming in a lotta knowledge into my verses; guess I indulged that weakness..*grin* Illwill added the Martin Luther King (Jnr.) voice sample at the end of the song. Great finish!
cikk0: Also produced in Gombe during my service year. It wasn’t the most unproductive year in my life. I’ll give NYSC that. Probably the most frustrating, but I did get some stuff done. I enjoyed playing with the percussions on this one. This was the first track Rapsodee recorded (I think) I was blown away by his word play. Made me believe we had hope.
Rapsodee: I had fun with this one. We basically pushed the lid on our collective creative abilities and the outcome was an unusual love song. Sorry, I’m not really the mushy type *tongue in cheek*
cikk0: Ah, my jam. No I was not drunk while taking those vocals and Rapsodee also made me cut out the word ‘stupid’ from where I was insulting him at the end. The beat uses (without permission; as a boss concerned) a sample from Alicia Keys’ “Love is Blind” I took a very cool chant from somewhere in the middle and built a whole song around it at Rapsodee’s behest. I was (and probably still am) learning how to mix. Forgive any inadequacies your trained ears catch. At least it’s free.
Rapsodee: Girl Trouble! Some brothers do have ’em. Apart from being an artiste, (and a good-looking one at that *wink*) my job as a TV Presenter gets me a lotta those *rolls eyeballs*. Trust me, it’s not as fun as u think… especially if you are a Christian. Well, we dey try sha.
cikk0: Nothing special about this song’s conception if I’m to be totally honest. Just a beat I did on a day when I said to myself: “Hmmm, why don’t I make a beat?” It’s peppered with a lot of my favourite sounds and a lot of my favourite movements and such and such.
More remarkable though: the feedback we got when we first made the song! Especially from ladies. Some, to this day, feel yabbed; or insulted. I see why but I honestly don’t ‘get’ it. Is there a smiley for awkward silences yet?
Never Far Away…
Rapsodee: This one is personal. Deeply personal. I had to ride that wave of nostalgia and draw from my private pain. My dad wasn’t perfect but he was a good man. If you’ve ever had someone you looked up to when you were younger and you lost them in the process of time, you would understand how I felt when I wrote those verses. Basically Joan killed the song tho. She took the emotions and the production a notch higher. Nice one, sis. Respeck!
cikk0: Jam after my own heart. The music was originally done for a female artist but she did not like it. Not even a little bit. So I converted it with joy. And I even wrote the chorus! I know… shocking, yes? Rapsodee actually wrote a chorus just as pretty on it earlier but as an egotistic narcissist concerned, I had to overrule him. And make him re-write and re-record.
The lovely Joan Ekpai came to my shop (or shed – pronounced ‘shade’ where I come from) to record the chorus. Father merciful. See shouting! After recording herself, she promptly sat down and mixed the entire song to groovy sweetness by herself. I just provided food, stood in a corner and marvelled.
Rapsodee: A classic tale of a good girl gone bad. First time I heard the beat, I knew what I had to do with it. The boom bap has always been my first love so I was in my element when I hopped on this one. I wasn’t surprised with the outcome: a masterpiece. Thanx to Adele Fadel for adding that floss of femininity to my gritty flow.
cikk0: I rarely do proper hip-hop. This beat was a surprise to even me. If you’re a producer (or a real audiophile) reading this, here’s a fun fact for you: I did absolutely no sequencing for this beat. I didn’t play a single note, or sequence a single drum beat. I got every sound you hear from a bank of loops and arranged them creatively. I took a few drum loops, hat loops, shakers, bass lines, strings, synth loops, the whole kit and caboodle. To be honest, it was probably more work. I still had to automate the filter effect for the intro. Before you people will call me a fraud, legally, it still qualifies as an original recording. Besides, I don’t see you paying me shishi.
Rapsodee: This is my personal favourite: my tribute to my Main Man, my Oga @ TheTop.*grin* I never set out to be spiritual on the song – it just happened naturally. Yeah… and the vocals too. Never knew I had it in me. I guess that`s what happens when you bless God with your talents: He amplifies them…
cikk0: Conceived in the yard of my nikkuh Ises (@xoAfro). Bankole, I don’t know why you didn’t allow me extort you for money so that we could make more great tunes together. For real brother, we birthed some great stuff that evening. Ironically, this same beat was first used to record a song inspired and actually titled “Set Fire to the Rain” by The Ises. You don’t see the irony yet? I show you: This is a worship song right here. One of the early lines of The Ises’ version is “Bang bang… would you let me… bang bang…” still love his take though . I shan’t be unto myself a liar.
Rapsodee: The icing on the cake. I didn’t want to sound too serious on the track. Just do a happy song and hola at my people. But u know Rapsodee na… the verses came spilling out. I had fun with it though..*sticks out tongue*
cikk0: Yet another service year beat. Wow. I should give out all the beats I did in that era. Just because. I was proud of myself after I did this one. Largely because it was sooo difficult getting the guitars to work the way I wanted. I remember that I was in the middle of trying to get myself re-assigned from Bajoga LGA to Gombe town. So I played this instrumental a lot while shuttling between LGAs. By the way, by ‘shuttling’ I mean 70-minute cab rides. Gombe is huge. You have no idea. I’m trying to imagine how giganormous Bauchi was before they cut that state out.
More background vocals by Joan Ekpai. More insta-mix behaviour. The babe is a godsend. Sister J, we shall make it together, emem?
cikk0: Made this the night before the EP was due. Specifically 26 May ’13. Finished at 11.00pm. Wallahi. Not many words to say. Except that I finally admit: I have ISSUES!
So that’s the story behind the Mavrixx EP. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter (@cikk0 and @iamrapsody) and like us on facebook
Hope you enjoy our music.