Simply by being a lifelong ‘student of the game’ artist Freddy Reynold carries a hip hop pedigree which belies his years. Working with Auckland producer Abraham Kunin (who just last month featured across the world’s music press with the groundbreaking release of The Dalai Lama’s album), Reynold has sculpted a hybrid hip hop/pop sound, showcased on a mixtape released on August 21. ‘Pre Party’ is about letting go of insecurities, pride, ego, doubt and fear and picking up the ball and running straight through obstacles. Appropriate is the lead single from his richly detailed new mixtape, and here at NZM we thought it would be appropriate to ask Freddy Reynold to put together a playlist that would make him almost as happy as having a ‘Pre Party’ does.
I’ve always been a Tom fan, ever since buying the 2012 Home Brew album back in high school. Back then NZ hip hop became a special thing for me and my friends because we were all from South Auckland, so our go-to guy was Papatoe’s very own David Dallas. I don’t remember who put me on to Tom Scott, but ever since my first listen I became an immediate fan. I even had people comparing our voices back when I first started rapping, which showed he was one of my inspirations without me even knowing so.
This particular song though, Blowing Smoke, to me is the perfect Tom Scott song for my ears. It’s right up my alley, there’s nothing more hip hop than a Mobb Deep Shook Ones II sample, snapping drums with a smooth vocal sample loop and of course a no hook, one long verse from Tom that keeps your head ringing. This song is way too fire, I could bump this anywhere, anytime.
This track right here to me was the game changer! I know everybody in NZ has heard this song because everyone SHOULD have heard this. It’s such a chill track which brings nostalgic vibes to my mind even though this song is like five years old.
The first time I heard this song I was studying at AUT, barely making lectures just so I could train to Glen Innes to record music at a Youth Creative Arts Community Centre. At this time I was focusing on very bar heavy technical rap tracks which were solid for my hip hop heads/nerds, but I wanted something that would appeal to women too.
That’s why this was the game changer to me, because it was far from the bar-heavy razzle-dazzle because it didn’t need to be. Kings showed me through his music, how to make feel-good bops that don’t always require high tech raps, sometimes less is more, which is perfectly fine. This song served as a radio hip hop pop smash and that’s what inspired me to make songs like Money Money (we will get to that)
Just like every other Kiwi would say, I absolutely love this song and for many reasons to! My good friend Shaq put me on to Benee’s music because he knew I would like it, he was very right. I love my pop music it’s been a goal of mine to create incredible hip hop/pop music that resonates everywhere in the world and this song is definitely the benchmark and the standard, so it’s super inspiring knowing that Benee is from NZ, and she’s making incredible music that represents her in the best way. Goals for sure! I hope to one day in the future make a song with Benee.
On a personal note this song always reminds me of my ex (in the best way possible, no heartbreak story here). We would always have a great time driving around in the sun blasting and singing this song, it was great time to be alive. These memories will forever stick to me like glitter, thank you Benee
It’s funny how this song strikes as a hip hop pop feel good bop, but in reality I wrote this song out of pure frustration. Reason being I was super broke at the time and I couldn’t even buy my girlfriend a Christmas gift for financial restraints.
I express my thoughts with an empty pocket perspective but tailored with an expensive taste, detailing that when you have nothing you can’t help but fantasise about everything you don’t have, and in my case it was not having a lot of money. It’s just in our human nature. After all the glamorisation of what the big bucks can do for me it’s not until my third verse that really hits home and sums up my message.
This is where I come to the conclusion that I know money isn’t everything. “Don’t get me wrong this ain’t no sell out pitch, I’ll never sell my soul just to make me rich.” I know money will come through eventually and it’s important I state that money ain’t the reason why I do this. I’m not afraid to be one hundred percent vulnerable on a track because that’s where I feel I can connect with my audience more.
During the process of making ‘Pre Party’ and especially this track I was heavily influenced by UK artist Octavian. The way he sings on track sounds so electric and chill to me so I wanted to project my voice in a similar way. Fun fact if you listen to Mura Masa ft Octavian – Move Me, at the end of the song Octavian sings the words “money money money yeah,” so as soon as I heard that I ran with it, and that’s what birthed this track.