Meyhem Lauren & Daringer Break Down Their New Album

Less than two weeks ago, Queens, New York MC Meyhem Lauren partnered with producer Daringer, architect of the Griselda Records sound, for Black Vladimir (embedded below). The 15-track album involves Action Bronson, Westside Gunn, Conway The Machine, Flee Lord, Elcamino, and Hologram and finds brilliant chemistry between two artists that go back years as friends.

Meyhem and Daringer appear together on the latest episode of the What’s The Headline podcast (embedded as video and audio below). On their way to dinner in Queens, the two New York City-based artists describe a slow-cooked album that was carefully seasoned over the last several years. Meyhem, who has made previous full-lengths with DJ Muggs, Harry Fraud, and D.I.T.C.’s Buckwild, created new chambers with Daringer’s sinister accents and dirty drums. The producer, known to helm albums by WSG, Conway, and Benny, handled a full-length with an artist he says the Griselda crew always admired.

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In the interview, Daringer says, “For the album, we had a few things to start and we just started putting pieces together and kind of figuring out the puzzle once we started cooking. We had those first few [tracks] it was, ‘Oh, aight. We see where this thing is going.'” Meyhem adds, “The first three we did in [Daringer’s] crib in Buffalo. I happened to be there—I was there for a show, right?” “We just knocked out literally three joints casually. If I recall, I think it was ‘Chicken Chinese,’ ‘Broken Rubberbands,’ and [‘Raspberry Crush’].” Hologram, who is Meyhem’s brother and another Muggs album collaborator, was added to the third selection later. “Broken Rubberbands” became a recent video single from the Black Truffle Enterprises LP.

Meyhem continues, “It took years. We did three joints. There we were filming, doing TV things, so I was gone for almost a year. Griselda was blowing up; he was going touring. Then we would just lock-in whenever we got a chance and chip away—knock out another two or three joints. Now we’re here.” The sessions began before the 2020 pandemic, and ahead of Daringer’s relocation to New York. “We were gonna put it out right before COVID, and then we were like, ‘Oh, we’ll wait ’til this flu passes.'” A three-week delay turned to nearly three years. “We added another song or two [and] swapped some things out,” says Meyhem, in regards to refreshing one of the biggest albums of his dozen-plus-year career. “The outcome is beautiful.”

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Later in the conversation, Meyhem corrects a misconception about the LP’s title inspiration. He also breaks down some of the standout lyrics from the collection. Daringer describes moving from Buffalo to New York City in recent years, and reveals that he comes from a musical bloodline. The acclaimed producer also speaks about creating opportunities for other beat-makers. However, on Black Vladimir, it’s Daringer’s music bound seamlessly with Meyhem’s punctuating flow.

The time codes for episode #88 of the What’s The Headline podcast (with hyperlinks to skip around):

0:00 Intro
0:22 Daringer discusses the project that put him on the map as a producer
2:00 Meyhem Lauren and Daringer detail the making of their new Black Vladimir album
5:10 How to make music that’s timeless
7:00 Daringer’s approach to sampling music
8:30 Producers who influenced Daringer
10:30 Meyhem names his favorite Queens MCs
15:00 Daringer explains how he and Westside Gunn created the Griselda sound
18:20 Meyhem Lauren speaks about getting into the food industry
20:00 Meyhem Lauren explains what “million dollar conversations” are
21:12 Daringer discusses how he makes beats
24:00 Black Vladimir is just the beginning for Meyhem Lauren and Daringer
25:10 Daringer has productions in the vault that sound very different than what he has released
26:50 Meyhem Lauren apologizes to Michael Jordan for a lyric on the album
30:00 Daringer and Meyhem Lauren name the MCs they most want to work with
31:38 How they’ve both stood the test of time in music
33:40 Daringer on how he is able to be so prolific in making beats
36:00 Who Meyhem Lauren and Daringer make music for
40:00 What keeps them motivated
41:40 The meaning of Black Vladimir

Several selections from Black Vladimir are currently on the official AFH playlist. It also includes new music from Action Bronson, Black Soprano Family, WSG, Conway, and Roc Marciano & Alchemist, among others.

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AFH readers can catch regular discussions about the culture on our What’s The Headline. The podcast also has interviews with Diamond D, Joell Ortiz, AZ, Blu & Mickey Factz, Kurupt, Evidence, Skyzoo, Pharoahe Monch, Prince Paul & Don Newkirk, Statik Selektah, Lyric Jones, The LOX, MC Eiht, Havoc, Duckwrth, photographer T. Eric Monroe, and Lord Finesse.

#BonusBeat: Stream Meyhem Lauren & Daringer’s Black Vladimir album, featuring Action Bronson, Westside Gunn, Conway The Machine, Flee Lord, Elcamino, and Hologram: