It almost didn't happen.
Singer/songwriter Jon Brown and producer Jack Splash (Kendrick Lamar, Solange, CeeLo Green) formed their new duo when Brown's career was in a bit of a lull. A planned project with Rhymefest had fallen through, and Brown was working as a mail carrier. But then Splash heard an old demo of Brown's.
“When I first heard Jon’s music,” says Jack, “I was immediately blown away and struck by how weird and unique his voice, style, and delivery were. He was singing, but it definitely felt more like hip-hop or funk to me. It reminded me of what I had done with my band Plantlife, or what I was trying to do with CeeLo or Kendrick.”
The duo named themselves Kill the Motherboard, and their album The Legend of Picasso Jones is forthcoming. Complex is proud to premiere a taste of it with “Waaaaay Gone.”
The track, Splash says, is one of the first they started working on together. “When Jon first played me the demo I realized he was a very special dude with a big heart,” he tells Complex. “The lyrics in this song reminded me so much of the strange and eclectic friends I have (from strip club dancers who take their clothes off just to provide food for their young children, to street hustlers, to famous musician friends of mine who are deeply depressed & on drugs trying to escape the pain). The lyrics in this song are so HUMAN to me and remind me that everyone has their own demons they are fighting. It’s really the first song that made me want to do a whole group project with Jon because his poetry really got straight to my heart.”
For Brown, the song is about the search for happiness, and the wrong paths that search can lead people down. “This song is a record that speaks to the pitfalls that come with searching for happiness in things that don't feed your soul,” he explains. “We often try to define ourselves by our accomplishments and our material successes. We're always looking for that ‘next big thing’ and we think that once we obtain it, we'll finally be happy. But it doesn't make us happy. Most people just feel more empty inside and some people try to fill that emptiness with self destructive habits like drugs and alcohol. I've seen too many amazing people I've idolized growing up fall victim to this lie, and I wanted to write about it.”
You can listen to “Waaaaay Gone” below or check it out here.