Chicago critical favorite Tree's long-awaited sequel to last year's acclaimed Sunday School, Sunday School 2, drops Wednesday, May 15 through the Closed Sessions label. So far, we've heard the Roc Marciano-featuring "Trynawin," solo track "Devotion," and Danny Brown feature "No Faces." Now they're letting one more go before the full mixtape is released. Check out the latest Tree cut, "The King." We also spoke via Email with Tree about recording this song; check out our brief Q&A below.
Tell me, what went into creating this song?
I created this song after coming to the realization that I've personally never heard an Elvis sample used in hip hop. I wanted to incorporate his legacy into my music. After going through YouTube videos, I found Elvis' "I Cant Help Falling in Love With You," and after hearing it sped up, I knew I had a hit on my hands, even before I added drums and claps. As I crafted the beat, I began contemplating the cadence of my flow to it as I finished it.
Is your production process the same now as it was before?
Yeah, I find a sample via YouTube, I chop it and distort the original by speeding it up or slowing it down. Then I layer the track with 808 drum kicks and hi-hats.
Are you doing all the production on this project?
Naw, I made some great songs with a few different producers in my hiatus over the last year including Frank Dukes, Tye Hill, Illinois Jones, Bobby Johnson and Bink! But I did produce 12 of the 18 joints, with 2 being bonus joints.
What artists have you enjoyed working with the most on this project?
Well, Roc Marciano is a cool guy. We hung out in the studio for 12 hours almost dropping 2 joints—I got one and he got one. That was a good experience. Honestly, most of the people i worked with on Sunday School 2 I've never met personally, including Danny Brown, Teddy Caine, Bobby Johnson, etc. They knew of Sunday School and just volunteered their services due to the fact that my track record is impeccable.
What music have you been listening to lately?
UK bands, Lucy Rose, Augusto Pablo, Ruth Etting (1920's singer with more than 50 No. 1 hits), Ralfi Pagan, Barbara Mason, Billy Stewart, etc.
Who do you see as your competition?
I'm my own competition. I'm the only one alive that makes the music I make. Making this project better than the last is more competition than you can get from any freestyle battle or popularity contest. I do SoulTrap. Reality rap. I don't dance. I speak how I feel and my fans love me for that. I'm my best and worst competition.