One Of Sean Price’s Last Ever Freestyles Was Powered By The Sounds Of Bogota (Video)
Over the years, DJ and producer Mr. Green has released a series of videos titled “Live From The Streets.” The visuals feature Mr. Green traveling to various locations around the world, where he records sounds from the streets which he then uses to create beats. In past episodes, Green has gone to places ranging from Houston to Hamburg.
Today (July 21), Green releases a special edition of his show that is bittersweet. Two years ago, he traveled to Bogota, Columbia, where he captured a number of exotic sounds, including a man beatboxing, a street flutist, a singer and even Flavor Flav in concert with Public Enemy. After Green fused the elements to create his beat, he invited Sean Price into his studio to freestyle over the track, and P obliged. What resulted was a magical moment that happened to be one of Sean’s last ever freestyles captured on video, as the MC would tragically pass away on August 8, 2015.
Early in the video, Green explains that he held onto the footage out of respect for Price’s family and with a desire to use it at a time when it would be most helpful to them. Now, with the upcoming release of Sean P’s Imperius Rex album (August 8), it seemed like the right moment.
The first half of the video shows Green taking in the sights and sounds of Bogota and explaining how he used what he captured to construct the beat. The second half of the episode features Green and Sean in the studio discussing Price’s creative process. From the top, Sean P’s one of a kind sense of humor is on display. “I’m bringing back jeans shorts. I don’t give a f*ck what nobody says,” P asserts with complete deadpan. When Green asks when Sean first started rhyming, he replies “I don’t have a date, but I was like everybody else. You listen to music. You tape sh*t. We memorized people’s rhymes, and then we went from just memorizing people’s rhymes and saying them to ‘Weird Al Yankoviching’–make a funny verse and change some words around. And, then it went from that to rapping.”
Price also detailed why he was never at a loss for rhymes. “I will never, ever have writer’s block. I’ll have bad rhymes, but I won’t have writer’s block. It was a movie, ‘Finding Forrester,’ with Sean Connery. He’s teaching the kid how to write, and [the kid] says ‘Why you write so good?’ [Sean Connery’s character] grabs the paper and just puts it in the typewriter [and says] ‘Just write. Whatever. The first draft should have no thought.'” P explains that he takes that approach to writing rhymes, hence the unorthodox nature of some of his verses. “Like ‘Figure Four,’ where the first word is a bar, ‘Botswana.’ I wrote that on the paper. Those rhymes where I just [say] like one word, and it sounds like a random word, that’s just what I wrote on the paper and downloaded from that. Know that I wrote that one word and downloaded the rest after that.”
When Price steps into the booth to record his freestyle, he seems to reference the earlier conversation. He begins his verse with “P. Off the top rapping. Unorthodox. Often off your top, rapping.” Indeed.