Most people never get back to their first love. 4two7 isn’t one of them. After spending the last decade as a talent manager, helping people such as Mystic, Planet Asia, Jake One and multi-platinum rock group Maroon 5 get major label deals, Grammy nominations and song placements, the San Francisco Bay Area-based creative force is back behind the microphone.
“I have worked with and studied a lot of great talents,” says the man who has also been known as Eclipse 427 and DJ Walt Liquor during the last decade-plus. “I’ve seen all that I wanted to see. Now I’m coming back to what I love, why I got into the music business in the first place, to fill a huge void that I feel is out there.”
4two7 (the moniker is pronounced four-two-seven and is a nod to his birthday, April 27) reemerges as a rapper with the explosive “Comedy Central.” Over a percussive, drum-driven beat from producer Knock Squared (EAT Machine), 4two7 in the first verse chides females who sell themselves short by using sex to curry favor with men. In the second verse, he blasts rappers who present an inauthentic persona. Casual finishes the song with a heavy-hitting verse that attacks both targets.
4two7 continues his conceptual work with “Hero” and “Makes Me Weak,” two subject driven songs that highlight his artistic vision. “I’ve always written songs as opposed to just raps for rap’s sake,” he says. “Managing the producers and rappers that I have over the years and having those A&R meetings and seeing some things work and some things fail, I’ve learned that a great song is the key to the game. A song is a great idea that is played out over 3 minutes or so. That’s something I picked up.”
In fact, 4two7 picked up quite a bit of game growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area. The region is famous for its DIY ethos, something that 4two7 gravitated toward as a rapper, producer, and recording engineer with his own 24-track recording studio in the 1990s. He worked with the Mystik Journeymen, The Grouch, Murs and Zion I, among others, helping shape the Bay Area’s independent rap scene on multiple levels. His evolution as an indie talent manager allowed him to see how working with a label with a string of decision-makers can often dilute the music and slow things down. 4two7 benefits by being totally self-contained, an artist who can rap, produce, engineer, promote and manage himself.
It’s this type of freedom that allows 4two7 to make high-quality rap music that focuses on top-notch lyricism and moving stories about life. 4two7 wants to inspire his listeners with his music. He wants to create more than the disposable music that is frequently pushed today.
“I want to be the counter-balance to what’s going on out there,” he says. “It’s too one-sided right now and there’s a lot of perspectives that aren’t getting addressed. Music used to make me want to better myself. So I’m just putting that out there for those that want that, too.”
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