On January 26, A.Dd+ threw an album release party like Greenville Avenue had never seen before. For the debut of their highly anticipated sophomore album, DiveHiFlyLo, the Nawf Side of Dallas' dynamic duo packed 776 people in the Granada. With supporting acts -topic, Tunk and Brain Gang rounding out the bill, the DiveHiFlyLo release show was one of the toughest local rap outings this city has ever seen. For months afterwards, the city's hip-hop scene was on cloud nine, buzzing with excitement and wide-eyed with hope for the future. There was only one problem: The album never really came.
In January, a single pressing of 1,000 physical copies was sold at the show. Until the summertime hit, the leftovers were stocked at Good Records and CD Warehouse Arlington, and since then it hasn't been available anywhere at all. Today marks the official release of DiveHiFlyLo nationally and in its digital form, with new tracks recorded this summer, 10 months after the release party. You'll be able to get it on the duo's website later today.
"Of course with the delay of DiveHiFlyLo, questions always swarmed us," says A.Dd+'s Paris Pershun, "It's not like we were on an actual hiatus, we were just trying to get shit right."
The Granada show happened to come at a time of great change within the A.Dd+ camp. The duo has seen a number of personnel changes this year -- new management, a new recording studio, and a new backing DJ. A spring trip to Atlanta led to recording at Outkast's legendary Stankonia Studios. There, the duo recorded five new tracks for today's national release, including this summer's digital single "Where You Been?"
In honor of the long-awaited occasion, Slim and Paris talked with us to give a behind-the-scenes look at how the previously unreleased tracks came to be and what it was like recording at Stankonia.
Every Man Is King (produced by Blue, The Misfit)
Slim Gravy: The beat was from [Blue, The Misfit]. He sent me a few at the beginning of the year and I was going through them. This one stuck out because the sound was very classic and simple. I felt like I could get my point across. In the end we decided to make it the cornerstone and foundation of the project. The chanting element was inspired by MIA. Blue did this really dope chop up, and it sounds really dope.
Paris Pershun: This song is pretty much what we call the title track. It brings together the entire DiveHiFlyLo concept -- "Every Man Is King" just describes how the common man deserves the respect a king does. ... Every man is king means we are all the same. We all go through the same pains and strife, the same happiness, no matter how rich or well off you may be compared to the next person. Every man is king in their own right. Homeless, rich, white, black, no matter what. Every person deserves that respect. We all have the right to question things, to wonder and to receive answers.
Dirty Cotton Candy (produced by Anthem)
Slim: We went to Atlanta to build onto and upgrade the sound of DiveHiFlyLo. When we rolled up, the first thing we saw was the big Outkast logo and Paris was real tripped out. I was too. It was kind of overwhelming. ... Everyone always tells us we remind them of Outkast so to record at that studio was kinda crazy.
So we were in the studio on one of our first days out there. [Our manager] had an idea for how it should sound and I was like, "I'm gonna do what the fuck I want to on this." The hook goes, "Fuck the rules and the laws/I'm gonna do what I want." ... I'm saying I'm gonna do whatever the fuck I wanna do creatively.
Paris: It's a quirky, yet definitive, A.Dd+ tune. We like to call this "that A.Dd+ sound." The beat is really what fueled the title -- it sounded like a carnival. In this song we pretty much speak on standing out instead of standing by, about being one of a kind and unique.
Break Bread (produced by Selasi)
Slim: This beat was made from scratch. We were in the studio with an engineer and beatmaker, Selasi. ... He actually made us that beat in the same studio that Kandi worked in on Real Housewives Of Atlanta.
Paris: This song is reminiscent of "Plus Sign Is Silent." We felt since the project was getting all these new additions and judging by the fanfare of [Plus Sign Is Silent], we kinda wanted to go for a second song with that sound. ... Something to just really jam out to. Of course the main idea was money, and more money. But we also touched on the negatives of money. ... It's still just an overall up-tempo fun track.
Change (produced by TrakBoy)
Slim: Trak Boy did that beat. As matter of fact, that was the first new song we added to the project. We were at his house going through beats and he skipped it! I heard literally one second of the beat when he passed it up, and I made him go back. I just loved that sound of it I heard. I wanted to make the song really personal, that's why we added the choir harmony in the hook, so you can really feel it.
Paris: This was a more serious, personal track. I spoke on a mixture of encounters with females I've had in my life. The part where a female puts her all into someone, but its not reciprocated, or vice versa. The point where someone is doing wrong and all trust goes out the window, the cause of growing insecurity. ... Slim spoke on everyday trials of trying to live up to the idea of a man that he wants to be.