Chae Hawk hosts live listening party for his long-awaited new record Friday
blog by Ben Kirst • June 12, 2012 @ 7:00am
It’s almost here—it’s so close you can almost hear it. And on Friday, you actually will.
I am referring, of course, to Buffalo hip-pop king Chae Hawk’s long-awaited album, Dance Party for the Heavy-Hearted, a record that has been four years in the making—“since October ‘08, to be exact,” Hawk clarified.
Hawk will perform tracks from D.P.F.T.H.H. and host a special after-party beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday at Theatreloft (545 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo). Admission to the show and the party is $15. Admission to just the after-party is $10.
“Its almost ready!” an emotional Hawk exclaimed in an email exchange earlier this week. “All the songs are completed and now we are in the mixing stage! It’s more than emotional, I put the last four years of my life into this album, literally. When I start something, I always have to see it through no matter what. I’ve sacrificed love, a comfortable living and a lot more for just one album. So I must say, once released, I will feel complete.”
Since his days as award-winning Buffalo rapper Noble Truth in the mid-2000s, Hawk has managed to keep a finger on the pulse of underground American music. He aligned himself with crossover post-punk-pop groups like Forever The Sickest Kids and White Tie Affair just as that genre began to earn heavy recognition. He has an ear for interesting beats, having pulled electro, minimalist and even dubstep elements into his pop-infused hip-hop. On Dance Party…, Hawk believes he completed the amalgamation of the many styles he’s tested over the years.
“I had the vision early,” Hawk noted. “It stemmed from the progressive, forward-electronic production I was presented with. I always loved the dark element and approach with music, and I wanted D.P.F.T.H.H. to be my official chronicle. Once I saw Lady Gaga perform in ‘09, it just encouraged what I wanted to do with my performance and rap.”
Despite garnering local and national exposure, however, Hawk suffered through some negative experiences with what he refers to as “The Industry.” He also had a tough time extracting the right sound out of his previous cast of producers.
“Through the struggles, I was able to drop (the album) Blues Of a Journeyman somewhat as a prelude during D.P.F.T.H.H. process, while collecting and saving potential album beats,” Hawk remarked. “It took so long mainly because it’s, like, soul-searching, and it’s very hard to have everybody on the same page. I needed the right production that complimented my themed vision.”
The production issue was resolved when Hawk teamed with 19-year-old Nick Chiari, an Elma native who performs under the name Grabbitz. Chiari’s deft ability to cut hip-hop with electronica left Hawk inspired.
“The album features a few producers that were involved on Blues…,” Hawk wrote, “but it took me meeting Grabbitz for it to all come together. I feel like I’ve always been ahead of my time, but just at the wrong time. For example, my song Malt Liquor was completed in August 2008, and we just kept that on ice because absolutely no one was familiar with dubstep (at the time), let alone someone rapping on it.”
With his dream album almost ready for public consumption, Hawk appears to be in a confident but reflective mood.
“I talked to Grabbitz last night, and he believes that this album should be considered as my first and I completely agree,” Hawk noted. “I feel D.P.F.T.H.H. represents me in the purest, most honest formI feel it was worth the struggle and experiences because it allowed me to paint the vivid imagery to create the perfect trust soundtrack. I am an artist in the purest form, and I feel God has looked out, and the universe is in sync with me and my team. And I am really ready for what this party brings. Hopefully another album.”