”I finally learned the difference between being lonely and being alone/
And the difference between a house and a home” these words hit hard anyone that’s moved out their parents’ house. The author is none other than a young man who fearlessly dived into the darkest memories of his existence, and put them all superbly into a haunting, realer-than-life, song. Today ladies and gentlemen, we’re getting to know Sill, a chronicler rapper from Houston, Texas.
I can’t help but quote some of the lyrics, as they are uniquely raw and absent of any sugar-coating whatsoever: ”I used to run away from all the violence, drugs, and drama/ The karma while watching mama when searching for a new partner/ Must’ve started writing bars while my father was behind bars/ I looked at the moon from afar/ With these dreams of being a star”. I must ask ”What’s the story behind the lyrics of Ego Death? They seem terribly personal”, to which Sill says ”This is a song written about both physical and spiritual death and transformation. I dive a bit into my upbringing, which keeps me humbled and inspired. I also tell tales of some deaths that I have witnessed.” tragic, and yet, worthy of all the respect in the world. When the human mind experiences traumatizing events, it goes in 2 ways: you either develop PTSD, or you process the facts through therapy. And songwriting is very much therapy in the form of artistry. There’s a reason why you, just like me, won’t remain immune to the song’s message. It’s because it is REAL.
Now if we look into the technical aspect of the Ego Death, we observe a most interesting flow adaptation to the beat: ”I naturally started riding the steady pace of the drum pattern when I wrote this particular song and did my best to focus on channeling powerful content.” says Sill. And he did the right thing by sticking to the drums, as the monotone flow enhances the whole message and depth of the song overall.
”Who came up with the instrumental?” goes my next question, and we get to discover who’s been the mastermind behind Sill’s latest body of work: ”The instrumental was made by $outh$ide Hippie also known as Chamathoy Holmes for Wavehouse Studios in Austin, TX. He actually produced every beat on the Kill Sill album.”
At this point, I am curious how Sill approached Ego Death and if he had to revise it: ”I believe I wrote the first verse and hook one day, and the second verse – the next day. It was a stream of conscious process from top to bottom. I kept pretty much everything I wrote initialy and made small edits along the way just to tighten it up and smooth it out until the final tracking” shares Sill.
One last, highly important detail, is clarifying why Sill represented both the criminal and the victim in the music video, and he offers a detailed answer: ”I originally had the idea to be multiple characters in the video. How it played out, is thanks to the director, Eric Sattler, who guided me in working with my “other self” and sprinkled in movie magic and multiple takes/layering to get the end result. I wanted to be fighting my own ego, which is what me killing my other self symbolizes in the video.” What I like in this instance, is that Sill, despite writing realistic, raw bars, has an acute sense of art and symbolism, proven by what he just shared with us.
Now let’s get to know the man himself. ”How old are you and where are you from? you seem very, very young” I ask genuinely, as his face is not betraying not even a single wrinkle, and if I had to base my assumption just off the way Sill looks, and not his complex bars, I would have went with not a single day over 20 years old. ”I’m actually 29 and I’ve been writing lyrics for over 10 years and recording music for almost just as long.” – wow! now the life experience transpiring through the lyrics makes much, much more sense.
”Who gave you the needed boost of confidence for you to pursue your skills as a career? what was the decisive moment?” and Sill goes to share: ”I’ve always had confidence and determination to pursue my passions and dreams, however, I feel that signing with College of Hip Hop Knowledge records (CHHK) in 2018, gave me the practical education, tools, and platform, to progress further in my music career.” And here, we must credit College of Hip Hop Knowledge as they were the ones that made me aware of Sill’s existence on the rap market.
I also want to know if there’s any rap idol behind Sill’s influence, but he proceeds with an unprecedented answer ”Honestly, I’m careful not to idolize anyone as I strive to emphasize who I truly am in my music. However, I will say I have a deep love and respect for Kanye West’s music and he’s been a great influence and inspiration for me throughout the years. I remember bumping College Dropout in my CD player on the bus, riding through the City of Houston with my Grandma while I was still a kid.” I find this fascinating. I would have never guessed that behind such meaningful lyrics like Sill’s, there’s an admiration for Kanye freakin’ West. I guess, at the end of the day, he truly is, a genius. I would say I now have more respect for Kanye thanks to Sill, than viceversa.
”What’s the bigger purpose for what you do?” I ask inquisitively. And I must say, I like what I’m hearing: ”I use rap almost like a journalist, chronicling the things that I’ve seen, experienced, and felt in my life while growing up in a large American city. I also feel that my overall goal is to change the world for the better somehow, so if I can touch someone through my music, or even just provide some entertainment, I think I’m doing my job. Overall, rapping has been quite therapeutic for me and hopefully my work can serve others just as well.”
I conclude our conversation by asking Sill if there’s any special thanks he’d like to give: ”Of course! As already mentioned: CHHK, Austin’s premiere record label for Hip Hop artists. I’d also like to thank MIDAS, a special group that I work with, that you’ll be hearing more from soon. Thank you.”
And we want to thank Sill for having allowed us to dissect his music, lyrics, and creative process.
Make sure you support Sill by sharing this article on your social media, also by following him directly on Instagram HERE, on Twitter HERE, and by adding his songs to your Spotify Playlist below:
Interview conducted by Mariana Berdianu
Blue Rhymez Entertainment ©2020