Video: Beatmaking Documentary Series Episode #53 featuring Tajai, Clip Payne of Parliament Funkadelic

Souls of Mischief’s Tajai Provides Insight on His Music in Beatmaking Documentary Series


The Video:

In the latest episode for G Koop & O-man, a unique beatmaking play-by-play documentary series in which Bay Area musicians G Koop  and O-man create new music from scratch, Souls of Mischief founder and Hieroglyphics member Tajai gives us his insight into his own music ideals. Each episode reveals the creative steps taken to record the finished product and features the artists performing on the final track. The track, titled “Lost in the Game,” features Michael ‘Clip’ Payne from Parliament-Funkadelic throwing down percussion, Omayga on drums, O-man on keys, emcee Izrell on a verse, and Oakland R&B singer-songwriter London on vocals.

The methodically-crafted beat, full with sliding bass licks, tight snares, and vibrato-heavy guitar, switches vibes swiftly after the catchy vocal hook from London. Caught by surprise, Tajai explains how elements within the music are so closely bound with real life situations. “The way the beat switched up, it made me think about how shit switches up really quickly,” explains the veteran Hiero rapper. “You’ll see cats on your block, youngers who are headed for issues in life. Instead of stepping in and being like ‘hey youngster, this ain’t right, you ain’t supposed to be doing this, and that,’ you just kind of watch it.”

Tajai has been crafting intricate rhymes since meeting fellow Souls of Mischief member A-Plus in elementary school. Their nascent rap careers eventually blossomed after meeting other SoM members Phesto and Opio in high school, ultimately leading up to their debut album ’93 Till Infinity on Jive Records in 1993. “We’ve always put out what we wanted to,” expresses Tajai in the episode. “Probably to our detriment, but in the end when you die all you got is your catalog…so why you gonna put out weak shit?” With over 20 years in the hip-hop world, the Bay Area legend has very conversant, almost omniscient sentiments about his career. “Your catalog will last a lot longer than you and your physical form, so nobody is gonna understand that you needed to feed your kids when you put out that terrible ass song. They’re gonna be like ‘damn, he fell off right here.’ Make some slap. Don’t stop rapping. In the end I make my music for me.”

Watch the “Lost in the Game” episode:

G Kool & O-man

Please contact Michelle or Rory if interested in talking with members of The Hieroglyphics.

Hiero Imperium Records:

Founded in 1997 in Oakland, California, Hiero Imperium Records was founded by artists Del The Funky Homosapien, Casual, Pep Love, Domino, and the group Souls of Mischief, consisting of members A-Plus, Opio, Phesto and Tajai. After releasing albums on several major labels, the collective established their own independent Hieroglyphics Imperium label, website, and merch company in 1997, and are credited as creating the blueprint for independent rap labels. Few other rap collectives have withstood the test of time and are still considered as vibrant, respected, and talented as when they first stepped on the scene 20+ years ago. They are also credited as being one of the first hip hop groups to work with skate, snow, and surf companies. Created by Del the Funky Homosapien, their “third eye logo” is considered the third most recognized music logo according to Rolling Stone Magazine, and has been seen tattooed on fans all over the world.


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“Lost in The Game”:

The CREATIVES Capsule Series:

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