If you've been paying attention to the New York underground rap scene, you've seen the name Timeless Truth before. And maybe you've gone even further and heard their music, or you've seen many of their videos in which brothers Oprime39 and Superbad Solace rap circles over boom bap beats while dipped in Polo (they're also in our Horse Power Polo doc). That's their brand: Polo and a traditional NYC sound mixed with some Dominican flavor; Brugal and quarter waters if you will.
One half of the duo has decided to embark on a solo career. Superbad Solace hails from Queens and has worked his way up the ladder at Steve Stoute's Translation, but he still has this rap shit boiling in his blood. "Wet Cement" shows Solace walking through his hood as he tries to break his writer's block. He also checks out a couple of his peoples for some inspiration. Watch the video for "Wet Cement" up top and our Q&A with Solace below. Sol Controller is out now.
So you're officially embarking on a solo career now? This is your first solo tape, right?
First solo project, first solo anything. Everything prior to this moment was Timeless Truth. As you know, that's myself and my big brother Oprime39. It's been something I've been cooking for a long time, it was just a matter of doing it. I recorded this tape in my dining room while my wife was cooking. [Laughs.] I had my boy engineering it there, too.
Mono En Stereo produced the whole tape. Talk about your relationship with him.
Yeah, he's formally known as rthentic RTNC, he's always switching up his name. His real name is Rich. The song on the album called "Road to Rich's" is an ode to him. He's produced stuff for Timeless in the past and did a tape with Your Old Droog.
Talk about the "Wet Cement" video.
Mono sent me that beat and said he wanted me and Raekwon to get on it. That was intimidating off top but I asked him to let me hear it and the pen just flowed; and, honestly, it's my favorite track on the whole project so I had to do a video for it. In the video, I'm in my dining room getting writer's block, so I leave and explore my neighborhood. I go through Queens, check out some of my boys who are small business owners. My boy Shadow has a small vintage Polo shop, my dude Nelson has a barbershop in Corona which was the Beatnuts' old stomping ground. Then my boy Jaeki's sneaker spot Alumni in Brooklyn.
Why is it your favorite song?
I didn't think I could make a song that sounded like that. And honestly, coming from a group dynamic, even writing entire songs is new to me. In the past, it was write a 16 and then an eight, and then you do the same and we're good. In this sense it was more about telling a story instead of just barring out. That shit gets boring to me. Making a song was the biggest challenge that I had to take on with this project.
You've been at this rap thing for a while and have some important co-signs, like Sean Price, Roc Marciano, and Dallas Penn.
We kinda started breaking through around 2011. We did the song "Priceless" with Sean Price on the Brooklyn Bridge. We had all the Lo-Lifes and Decepticons out there dipped, it was a monumental moment for us. That's when the blogs like NahRight and UnKut started to post us. I also had a radio show called Industry Shakedown when I was at Baruch College. Action Bronson's very first radio appearance was on that show.
Sean Price loved you guys. What kind of advice did he give you?
It was a thing he said that always sticks with me. He used to say: "Use me, whatever you need. You need a verse? You need me to say something on camera? If you can't be used, you're useless." He was always there for whatever we needed. He would take Timeless Truth stickers and put them on his head and on his daughter's head. We performed at this baby shower, that was my guy.
What's next for you?
After "Wet Cement" I'm trying to go to L.A. to film "Eyes Don't Lie" with my dude Reggie Know who creative directed the whole project. He's an advertising hip-hop extraordinaire, he's the guy that came up with the Obey Your Thirst Sprite campaign back in the day. And I'm planning on doing videos for "Patina" and "A Brand You Could Trust." Also, I'm performing at the Queens Get the Money show hosted by Dallas Penn at Highline Ballroom on Sept. 26 with Havoc of Mobb Deep, Big Rapper Noyd, LES, and Onyx.