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Harry Fraud on 'High Tide,' Recording In The Kitchen, Acid Trips And More

Life’s a beach for Harry Fraud. The Brooklyn native has been hibernating somewhere in Florida for the past several months, meticulously finishing his new EP 'High Tide' (Presented by ScionAV). The five-track offering (Released 5/7) features an assortment of old friends like French Montana, Action Bronson and RiFF RAFF and unexpected new collaborators like Tech N9Ne and Earl Sweatshirt, all trading verses upon a lush, ambient sound bed. One release down, the prolific producer is already on to the next project. Harry spoke to VIBE about 'High Tide' and what’s on the horizon after. --Sowmya Krishnamurthy

You’ve been hibernating down in Florida, which I imagine influenced 'High Tide.' What’s a typical day recording on the beach?
Get up, do some yoga, go check the waves. Get up real early, like 7 or 8, with the birds and shit, and probably go in the water if there are waves. If there’s not, come back and start working. I have random people come through like the homies, like rappers and shit, and we record in the kitchen. It’s a pretty good, loose environment.

You’re recording in a real kitchen? How are the acoustics?
Vocals in the kitchen! It’s dope. The house is a big A-frame house, so there’s some natural reverb. I’ve never been one to be too particular about that type of stuff or I need a totally dead sound, even though I’ve always had a vocal booth and stuff. I’ll do open room recording. I’m cool with whatever, so I actually like the sound a lot.

Who has come through the kitchen so far?
I don’t want to say everybody that’s come through because it’ll ruin surprises, probably, but you know, different people. Um, Jae Millz was down here, so he came through a couple of times. [Smoke] Dza is going to come through next week to do some work and finish up our stuff for his new album. I had my artists down here, Eddie B and Adrian Lau, they both came down and we worked on kind of like a Surf School project.

So let’s talk 'High Tide.' Sonically, it’s much different from the sample-based fare people have come to expect from you (e.g. French Montana’s “Shot Caller”). Was that intentional?
Yeah. Definitely. It’s fun when you can do projects that live on their own and just take them and do a whole different style. I’m the type of person that I write in all different styles and I listen to all different styles. Certain producers probably don’t like that but I’m the type of producer that does like to make all different stuff. With this, I knew it was going to be five songs and it wouldn’t be the jump out the window type thing. I wanted to try and do some different sounds and stuff.

Does it bother you that people put you in that sample-based producer niche?
No. I don’t think it bothers me. I’m not one of those people who’s insecure about using samples because I also know that I can turn around and do stuff like High Tide with no samples. Producers who get insecure about that kind of stuff are you know, they don’t trust themselves to be able to live without it. They use it as a crutch, whereas I just like to manipulate different sounds that I hear.

How did you select the artists for High Tide?
I wanted to do cool combos. Certain ones were ones like, French and Bronson, I just really wanted to do that because obviously, those are my bros and I always thought
that would be a great record. Tech N9ne, that was my manager Reef. He deals with Tech’s people. I was trying to think like, “What would be the craziest intro ever?”
Who is just that dude that destroys shit? I knew he would be the one and he was with it.

Can you explain to me the appeal of RiFF RAFF? I still don’t get it.
[Laughs]. I just think he’s an acquired taste. It’s not for everybody to love but it’s to provoke reaction from everybody and I think he achieves that no matter what. He’s definitely getting a rise out of people. When we put the song out, somebody who didn’t like him called me like, “Man. I can’t even hate on him anymore. Like I just love that song so much.” I think he’s that type of artist who wins people over. He’s himself. You got to give him that.

When we spoke last year, you mentioned working on an ED-inspired project. Is that still happening?
Oh yeah. I’ve put out this song, with DJ Wonder, “Base,” which was the first little like, taste of it. Me and DJ Wonder are going to put out this song with TrapZillas called “Down Down,” that’s probably more towards that direction. It’s weird, with that type of stuff, I sit down to work on it and I make so much progress into another space that it changes so much. It’s hard to explain. Like, I haven’t created that much of that genre. Every time I make such leaps and bounds, I scratch the whole thing like, “Nah you have 10 new songs.” It’ll come out. The good thing about that style of music is that we can release it singularly too. We’re just going to put the song out on SoundCloud and let the need and the demand for it grow itself before we like jump out the window like, “Here are 20 joints.”

You’ve said, “Jump out the window” twice so far. Are you a closet Ron Browz fan?
[Laughs]. Oh my God. That’s so funny. “Jump out the window” is my favorite term the last two days. I don’t know why. Maybe, because I saw that he put out a new mixtape.

Before we started the interview, you said that you were doing drugs and writing music. In light of Chance The Rapper’s 'Acid Rap,' do you think acid is going to be the new go-to drug in hip-hop?
I don’t know. I did acid from like 13 and stopped doing it when I was 21. I never had bad trips. Knock on wood. I had one trip where I literally blinked and lost six hours of my life. I was on the edge of my bed. I didn’t pass out or anything. I went downstairs and my friends were awake and now there were asleep. I was like 21 in college. It wasn’t a bad trip but I felt like I was pushing it now and it was my little warning, like don’t fuck around. Acid’s a powerful drug. Acid’s not a drug to fuck around with. Somebody like Chance, he probably has a grip on it. You can have a grip on it, but acid’s not for everybody. I hope it doesn’t become the new drug [Laughs]. If it works for Chance, good for him.

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A$AP Ferg (L) and A$AP Rocky attend A$AP Mob Yams Day 2019 at Barclays Center on January 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

2019 Yams Day: A Millennial Hypebeast's Wet Dream

It's somewhat fitting that the theme for the 2019 Yams Day is WWE wrestling. While it pays homage to the late Yams' favorite sport and pastime, it perfectly encapsulates today's concert culture for the millennial hypebeast.

After wading in the brisk weather of one of the colder Thursday's of Jan. 2019, 20-somethings and late 90s babies flocked to their assigned sections of Brooklyn's Barclays Center to pay tribute to the founder member and enjoy A$AP Rocky's "Injured Generation Tour."

The crowd is more salt than peppered, even more than a Lil Wayne concert. Puffer jackets decorate the rows of the rickety stadium chairs. And young clear girls donning cornrows, tube tops, cropped shirts, and a rainbow of colored, high-waisted camo pants weave in and out of the aisles. Boys in beanies, florescent skullcaps, and cross-body bags are seen down below migrating in huddles by the main stage and sub-arena masquerading as a wrestling ring. If you needed a gentle reminder of just how influential black culture can be, you found it here.

Rocky, the mob's fierce leader, encouraged the crowd to form a pit in the center of the venue. And just like WWE, a single spotlight highlights the pit as shirtless boys crash into one another, limbs failing and heads bobbing. It surely looks like it hurts, but as mentioned several times throughout the night, it's all for show, and for fun of course.

Each mosh is ricocheted off of one another so much so that from the lower level (which is actually one level above the floor), looked like a violent sea rolling up to shore.

The only thing keeping these kids up, besides the body of the person beside them, seems to be the revolving doors of performers which included a long list of ragers like Ski Mask the Slump God, Flatbush Zombies, Joey Bada$$, Metro Boomin, and of course A$AP Mob.

Weed fogs the air as fans light up to commemorate the fallen members of hip-hop. That includes more than Yams today, as XXXTentacion recently passed away in 2018. And it wouldn't be a night if someone didn't yell "Free Tekashi 6ix9ine." "No one deserves to be locked up," it was stated.

"Millennial" and "hypebeast" haven't always found the perfect harmony, but when they do it produces a unique experience. Black boy joy is one of the better products. A$AP Ferg and a variety of other friends and family partake in a fun-loving game of dance-tag, flinging their arms and bodies around as Lil Wayne and Swizz Beatz's "Uproar" cuts on. Other jams of the present and past like Crime Mob's "Knuck If You Buck" and Kendrick Lamar's "M.a.A.d city" also blast through the speakers, while the n-word echoes through the spot.

 

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$ummer $lam or #YamsDay? 😂

A post shared by Barclays Center (@barclayscenter) on Jan 17, 2019 at 6:08pm PST

Millennials are fearless. What's more courageous than the kids entering the pits of destruction, are the musical acts that run off the cliff of the stage into the audience. They are so certain their fans will catch them, they often dive head first, flipping into piles of extended arms.

The surprise guests of the night, Meek Mill and Soulja Boy, are perhaps the most trending acts in the social realm. Soulja Boy reenacts comedic interview from The Breakfast Club, reciting "Draakee" as he walks from one end of the stage to the next. Meek creates a "moment," performing "Dreams and Nightmares (Intro)."

 

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A post shared by VibeMagazine (@vibemagazine) on Jan 17, 2019 at 10:47pm PST

Bedtime is approaching but there's not a yawn in sight around this crew. If you're looking for the millennials, you can find them turning up at Barclays.

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Democratic Senators Juggle With Whether To Retweet Cardi B's Government Shutdown Video

Cardi B gave her two cents on the partial government shutdown, which is now in its 27th day, in a video shared to her Instagram page. The Grammy-nominated rapper said that our country is in a "Hellhole" and discussed that she is scared of what is to come. She also explains that she feels badly for the thousands of government employees who are working without pay.

Her thoughts held merit, and even got people online talking about how they'd like her to run for President in 2020. Democratic Senators were also interested in what she had to say, with some writing on Twitter that they were thinking about retweeting her sentiments although her language is explicit. Her comments included "I don't want to hear any of y'all motherf**kas talkin' 'bout, 'Oh, but Obama shut down the government for 17 days,' Yeah, b***h! For healthcare!" and "This sh*t is really f**kin' serious, bro."

"(Trying to decide whether or not to retweet the Cardi B video)," tweeted Brian Schatz, the Democratic Senator for Hawaii. Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy replied, writing "Omg, I had the same argument with myself 30 minutes ago!" Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer waited to see if the two would retweet, commenting "Guys, I’m still holding my breath. Are you gonna RT Cardi B or not?"

Ultimately, the Senators decided against the retweet, but wouldn't that have been something?

Omg, I had the same argument with myself 30 minutes ago!

— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 17, 2019

Guys, I’m still holding my breath. Are you gonna RT Cardi B or not?

— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 17, 2019

 

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I know a lot of ya do r watch the news so I’m letting ya know shit getting real .....I ain’t going to say nothing much tho I don’t want mofos to off me.....ANYWAYS TWERK VIDEO OUT NOW

A post shared by CARDIVENOM (@iamcardib) on Jan 16, 2019 at 2:41pm PST

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An Unofficial Documentary About Drake Is Currently On Streaming Services

An unauthorized documentary about the rise of musician Drake can be viewed on video distribution services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Drake: Rewriting the Rules initially dropped on Vimeo in Nov. 2018, and now, fans of the "God's Plan" musician will have a chance to watch it at their leisure on other platforms.

The documentary chronicles the music superstar from his days growing up in Toronto, to portraying Jimmy on the hit-teen drama Degrassi, to becoming a hip-hop star and working with musicians from Kanye West to his Young Money leader, Lil Wayne.

"Discover the untold story of how Drake rewrote the rules and rose from a child actor to become a cultural phenomenon and global musical icon," writes IMDb of the film's synopsis. "He is the king of pop and hip hop, combining many musical styles into one mainstream sound." The film runs 74 minutes long. Interviews from media figures and writers are included in the doc, which was directed and written by British filmmaker Ray King. However, no representatives from Drake's team are included.

Drake has not commented on the doc as of press time. He has been relatively quiet in the news, however, it's being reported that he is close to securing a residency of sorts at the Wynn's XS Nightclub in Las Vegas.

 

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