Slaine Confronts His Sobriety While Looking The Pusher Dead In The Eye (Video)

Veteran Boston, Massachusetts MC Slaine has been making noise for more than a decade. In addition to his role in talent-stacked groups such as Top 20-charter La Coka Nostra and Duck Down’s Special Teamz, Slaine has released a plethora of solo projects—all rooted in hardcore Hip-Hop sound that he grew up with. A successful actor as well (The TownGone Baby Gone), George Carroll blends in with Ben Affleck or Kevin Hart just like he does with band-mates Edo. G or DJ Lethal.

The first glimpse from September 23’s Slaine Is Dead EP is “Pusher.” Premiering at Ambrosia For Heads, the video single following a lengthy hiatus is the latest in an extended metaphor of drug dealing and the fight to survive. Since March 3, 2014, Slaine has been sober. After reaching bottom one day prior, the MC has used this time to rediscover himself and make music without the help of alcohol or drugs. “Pusher” is an appropriate return, looking the devil right in the eye. With his raspy delivery, Slaine chronicles the life of a dealer, surrounded by a scratch-chorus. The video, featuring lots of Slaine, also follows the lyrics’ story-line.

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“For years I’d try to get sober and couldn’t. Often times I would break down in the studio and relapse because I couldn’t write anything. The second I had a drink or a drug I was writing verses in 20 minutes. The lyrics would come to me faster than I could write them. I would go on benders in the studio and record material the whole time. This time I was so desperate to get off the drugs and alcohol that I had to be willing to give up music,” said Slaine in a statement to AFH. “The two were so closely tied together that I couldn’t do one without the other. Deep down, I had doubts that I’d ever be able to do this again.”

As Slaine had improved his life, he slowed down his once prolific output of music. “Apparently, two years is a long hiatus between albums in the Internet era. I had people coming up to me on the streets asking me if I still rap. I think the assumption was that I had just moved on to acting. I still do both but the truth is with the music I had to start from scratch again.” “Pusher” is the grand return, following 2014’s The King Of Everything Else. “It was like someone who had been in an accident learning how to tie their sneakers again and walk and finally get integrated back into society. I just kept chipping away a day at a time trying to make a little progress everyday. When I looked up I had four projects pretty close to being done.”


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Photograph by Niklas Weikert.

The eight-song Slaine Is Dead will feature Vinnie Paz, Ill Bill, Termanology, and Demrick. Statik Selektah and DJ Eclipse are among contributors. The Arcitype exec produced the entire thing and produced each beat on the project, Termanology and Deadeye co-produced one track with him.