El Che, the forthcoming LP by Kanye co-writer Rhymefest, features four songs with beats by Strange Fruit Project producer/MC S1 (Symbolyc One), two of which Fest leaked today on Ruby Hornet to build momentum for the official release.
Both leaked songs also feature Phonte of Little Brother, who S1 says was the link between S-1 and Rhymefest. "Say Wassup" is a soulful slow jam, while "How High" is a motivational anthem urging listeners to overcome negativity and "Fly! How high? How high?" over a funk-rock guitar solo.
Along with his production work for Slim Thug, Chamillionaire, Ghostface Killah and in Erykah Badu's Cannabanoids, S1 has worked with Phonte, who recommended him to Rhymefest when another producer flaked on him, leaving him without a beat for "Say Wassup." Needless to say, Fest was pleased with S1's beat. That would have been the end of the collaboration, but S1 offered more.
"He was supposedly through with the album, but I sent him a bunch of beats I'd been working on," S1 says. "He wound up removing some of the tracks and used four of my joints. My production partner Caleb Campbell also worked on two of them."
Along with "Say Wassup" and "How High," the album--due out in late February or early March, according to S1--also features his work on "Life Is Like a Box of Chocolates" and "One-Hand Push-Ups."
In other S1 news, Strange Fruit Project is about "90 percent done" with the followup to 2006's acclaimed The Healing and should be able to release it in the second quarter of the year--and it probably belongs on this list of most-anticipated local albums, come to think of it.