Today marks a year since my last album "Black Collar" dropped. In my personal opinion, it is my best work to date, & though it's only my second highest selling project (after "Trap Hop"), it is the most critically acclaimed. It got me on stages with Common & Jay Electronica, & it had me headlining my first 11 city tour that I booked myself, headlining/featuring in cities & states I'd never been to before. It was the album that got me on the cover of 225 Magazine (a place where you never see rappers). It was the first project that had me in talks with record label A&R's, it was the project that ultimately led to my current situation with Grand Union.
In one particular interview, I told the interviewer that this album was my first "grown man" project, meaning, I didn't make it for myself, & people like myself, but it STILL was able to translate to people who don't live like me. It was the perfect mixture of Black empowerment raps, battle rhymes, soul bearing verses, fun loving family guy scenarios, and the turn up. I came into this project wanting to make a proper album that reflected who I am and what I stand for as both Marcel P. Black & Bryan Marcel Williams, the teacher, father, husband, friend, son, etc.
I pretty much made this album in vacuum. While "Trap Hop" was strongly influenced by the youth I worked with, and the music they listened too, I didn't care about any of that with "Black Collar." At the same time, I overstand that there couldn't be songs like "Bad Man" or "Break Bread" without "Trap Hop," & no "Revolution on The Radio" or "Another Way 2 Pray" without "Black Soul." "Black Collar" as an album is a sum of it all my 7 previous releases put together, finally finding the voice where I can create with 100% comfort. It was a project I never second guessed any songs, bc I fully felt I knew WTF I was doing. When I saw that the people bought into the concept of what "Black Collar" was an ideology well before the album dropped, I knew the project was gonna be successful.
Now that I'm signed to Grand Union, I now again feel that pressure. Not the pressure, to go platinum, to sell out the first week, not to do a 200 city tour, etc., but I feel the pressure to create a better piece of art that touches people on a deeper level, that people find more enjoyment from, than this album I created from the depths of my soul that is "Black Collar."
Big s/o to all the producers that game me amazing production on the album, & HUGE SHOUT OUT to my engineer Tre Pullen III of Knuance World LLC. We did the whole album, but knew it wasn't bumpin, then went back & made a classic (I couldn't have done it without him). Most importantly, thank you to all my fans, fam, supporters who believed in "Black Collar 5 Point Program," & was able to apply to their everyday lives. There will never be a sequel to "Black Collar," but it's spirit will be in everything that I do from here forward.
If it ain't broke, don't fix eh?