I’ve got another surprise for you! Looking to hear some brand new unreleased music? Well here’s the place. Cloak the Scribe has a brand new EP, A Little Music While You Wait, available everywhere July 17th. However, you can check out the project exclusively on Spice on the Beat today. I also got a chance to talk to Cloak about his outlook and experience in the music industry, as well as how he feels about the current state of affairs.
Cloak the Scribe, who previously went by “Da Cloak,” has been killing it in the Chicago rap scene since 2004. His lyrics were always packed with hard to swallow truths, showing not only the beauty of life, but its struggles as well. He was known in the scene for his recorded music as well as his battle raps and freestyles, showing his versatility and strength as an artist. He knew that music was his calling, and that his purpose in life was to be a poet. By 2008, he was fully invested, releasing his first ever mixtape, Life Music Vol. 1 from the Life Music series which he performed all over Chicago, determined to make his name known in the Windy City.
Prior to writing this, I got a chance to listen through Cloak’s brand new EP. As I’ve written in other reviews, I love a project that holds those nostalgic Dat Piff vibes, and this definitely does it. You can hear the Chicago influence in a lot of the production, but a lot of the verses gave me Curren$y vibes. The seven-song EP features tracks that all have their own style, but seem to connect over some common motif that I haven’t been able to figure out in terms of production. It just really works. One of my favorite things about Chicago artists is the fact that they have their own sound; being neither East nor West Coast enables them to take attributes from both sounds, and this encompasses that beautifully. The flow is so easy-going in a way that doesn’t take away from its impact, but rather makes this for a really comfortable listen. Despite having some strong and powerful messages, it’s a project that you can enjoy in its entirety without being overwhelmed.
I also would be remissed if I didn’t comment on the cover art. It’s really fucking cool. The colors are beautiful, and I think the third track, “Clouds,” really represents it. A lot of the production has some very sophisticated elements, with that song in particular being my prime example. The 007-like piano and sensual saxophone juxtapose amazingly with the theme and flow, although Cloak in this song sounds particularly cool, rapping with ease. The cover art does a great job of embodying this different idea of being a gangster, and it’s really cool to see it in this context.
I think my favorite song off of the EP is “Chicago On My Mind.” The title is perfect because that’s exactly what this feels like. I can name at least one song by Common, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Rhymefest, and Sir Michael Rocks that can conjure up a similar feeling. There’s just something about that sound; it’s gritty and real and expressive and soulful. It takes on gangster rap themes, but has more corner store vibes. It just feels like the history and the beauty of a Chicago neighborhood, especially as he recounts just how exactly the town functions. The increments and chords of the piano remind me of “The Corner” or even “Glory,” the muted trumped embodies Miles Davis, the scratching makes me think of Blackstar’s “Definition,” and those vocals… Man those vocals on the little bridge are absolutely beautiful. Just that little bit of a feminine touch absolutely finishes the songs. It’s a really strong opening track.
“Yo” is another really strong song in my opinion. Cloak comes in fucking hot on this one. I think in regards to flow, this is his strongest track on the EP. The imagery is jam packed, and I love his rhyme scheme in the sense that it’s a more traditional take, without being overly simple. It’s also just really catchy. It finds a middle ground between old school and new school, and I could definitely hear this being blasted by different generations. The production is fairly standard, but I think in this context that’s great because it provides enough depth without overshadowing the lyrics.
You can check out the exclusive first look at Cloak the Scribe’s brand new EP, A Little Music While You Wait below.
I also got a chance to talk to Cloak the Scribe about his story in the music industry as well as what inspired the project. You can check that out below.
Thank you so much for letting me interview you! I first have to ask, what inspired your name? It sounds so sophisticated.
CTS: “Starting out, I was DaCloak. My high school friends and family said I use to wear hoodies like a cloak so it was just a given. Once I matured, I developed a love for actually crafting songs instead of just trying to be the most clever rapper.”
Who are some artists that have inspired your sound?
CTS: “I’d say Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., Big Pun, Common and Twista.”
What really inspired you to get into music? Have you been making it for a while?
CTS: “Music was a huge piece of my life. From Gospel to Hip-Hop, my family listened to it all. Tupac sparked the flame of Lyricism and Poetry in me. After facing deaths in my family as well as changes in my neighborhood with growing gang violence I started to write about what was going on around me. I started creating music in 2004 and I put out my first mixtape in 2008. So I’ve been at it for a while.”
What are some of the biggest things you want people to take away from your music?
CTS: “Seek a relationship with God, live transparently, and accept you before asking anyone else to. Be accountable for your words and actions, and stay authentically you.”
In terms of the industry, what are some issues within it that you think need to be addressed?
CTS: “Mental Health, contracts that benefits the artist and their investors, and mentors for younger artists. We also need more impartial judges at awards ceremonies.”
Would you say that you’ve faced a lot of obstacles during your musical journey?
CTS: “Yes. Certain features didn’t happen due to arrogant attitudes. Shady music promoters. I had an Indie deal, which unfortunately yielded no return so I had to finance my first album. Other record deals were on the table, but due to an A&R quitting or inadequate terms I desired via contract I declined.”
Who are some of the artists that you think are on top that you’d like to collaborate with?
CTS: “Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Chance, The Game, Rapsody, Eminem, Chris Brown, Jhene Aiko, Anderson .Paak, and T-Pain.”
With the Black Lives Matter movement gaining momentum, would you say artists have a responsibility to use their art for activism?
CTS: “I personally believe they should use their influence to bring change for a better world. Once again it’s just my personal belief though. It’s ultimately on them how they choose to use their power of influence.”
Now about your new EP, A Little Music While You Wait,
CTS: “It actually started out as a demo for a friend of mine in the industry, but my Chief Engineer asked me why I would allow someone else to benefit from my time and hard earned money being spent. I decided to ride the wave of it just being myself and my team.”
What inspired this project?
CTS: “It’s been 3 years since Dreams of a Giant, my debut album. And a lot has changed including me choosing to be a voice of purpose and power in the culture vs being a part of a certain sect of the culture.”
Would you say there’s one reoccurring theme throughout it?
CTS: “No. It’s a very diverse project from me addressing my personal life, addressing talent and ability, showing my shortcomings, having fun, to me speaking on being willing to put in the work to serve the culture and being at the level of success I’m working towards.”
Who produced it? How did you go about picking those beats?
CTS: “Various Producers. Shout out to Jesse Parks, Grungy Boguez, Epik the Dawn, Renazance Beats, Dre Knows, Rmb Justize, Rockit Pro. Jesse and I had been networking with each other for years and we always planned to work together. Grungy is one of my bro’s from the short period of time I was in Christian Hip-Hop who just appreciated me as a brother and artist. I was introduced to Epik’s catalog and Epik through the Indie label I was signed with and we just kept in contact. Renazance hit me up on Instagram. We chopped it up and he really dug my style. And I genuinely appreciate when Beat Makers and Producers study me as an artist before reaching out. Dre and I got introduced by one of my younger bros in Christian Hip-Hop and we stayed in contact. My g Rmb Justize (who’s also an artist) was introduced to me by my bro MrRobotic. My bro Delon Music pitched the beat and song “About Us” to me from our mutual bro Rockit Pro.”
What’s your favorite track off of the project?
CTS: “I honestly don’t have one. They all have a different vibe so for me personally they all hit me differently. Each one depicts a piece of my personality.”
One of my favorites is “Chicago On My Mind.” It really had that old-school vibe, and I must admit, Chicago in my opinion has some of the strongest artists. That’s where a lot of my favorite emcees are from. How has Chicago inspired your sound? Who would you say is your go-to Chi-Town rapper?
CTS: “True, indeed Chicago is vast as far as talent goes. My go to though is Sinatris. He allows you to see him full view no persona, no gimmick, no pandering.”
Have you already started your next project? What do you have in the works?
CTS: “My latest single and video “Unify” featuring Cam Quotes and produced by Marv4MoBeats will be addressing racism, prejudice, police brutality, and us, the black community. I’m planning to release a mixtape this year as well. I’m also working on 3 other projects.”
How can your fans connect with you?
Cloak the Scribe’s newest EP A Little Music While You Wait can be streamed everywhere on July 17th. Make sure to follow him on social media, which I’ll link below, and show him some love. Leave a comment with your favorite song!
Sponsored by James Media Inc.