Brazilian-born, Florida-based hip-hop artist Laws has recently signed with the Grammy-winning producer trio J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. Hypetrak has linked up with Laws and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League for his third and latest mixtape, Yesterday’s Future, hosted by influential DJs Don Cannon and Mick Boogie. Inspired by the timeless music of Paul McCartney, Laws selected 13 of McCartney’s songs and offered hip-hop-infused renditions over to be recreated by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and more. We sat down with the Floridian emcee who shared some insights on the creational process of this ambitious project. Read the interview below and grab your own digital copy of the mixtape here or here.
With your Paul McCartney-inspired mixtape "Yesterday's Future" you are certainly raising the bar for today's rappers as far as creative content is concerned. How did you come up with this original approach and what is the motivation behind it?
It all started with the song "Knocking at the Door." That was me rapping over a loop of an old McCartney record. J.U.S.T.I.C.E League actually suggested that I make a whole project, approaching it the way I did that one record. Honestly, I've been a Beatles fan for a long time. Their music catalog is one of the most impressive in music history. Their music is beyond-words amazing. This also applies to Paul's solo work.
You referred to "Yesterday's Future" as a duet project. How did you relate to his lyrics and how did the songwriting differ from your previous work?
I took the most literal, basic approach to his lyrics. For instance, the song "Happiness in the Homeland" was about my hometown. "Dear Boy" was about previous haters. I drew the lines very bold, and then splashed all kinds of color within them. This writing is my most vivid yet.
When did you start listening to The Beatles and Paul McCartney and where do you see differences between them and today's popular recording artists?
As a child, their music was FULLER. That is actually the best way to describe it. There was more life in it and it sounded ageless.
Do you see any parallels between you and Paul McCartney?
Which song on your mixtape carries the most importance for you and why?
This would be the title track, "Yesterday's Future." That song is, literally, the inside of my head.
Your family's roots are in Brazil – a country with a rich musical tradition. What does Brazil mean to you? Any chance we might hear you working with some Brazilian artists or producers?
Brazil is like this home from a past life that I haven't gotten to visit yet. I was adopted at birth so I don't really recall it. However, I'm open to work with anyone who makes good music.
In your song "Homeland" you pay homage to your hometown Tampa Bay. Can you tell us a little about the music scene there?
It's actually Spring Hill I'm talking about. The music scene there is like every other small town – a lot of talent struggling to be heard.
Tell us a little about your relationship with J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. How did this come about and what is it like to work with an award winning producer team?
We were roommates for over a year, so it's different from your normal artist/producer relationship. They've looked out for me a lot. It's a blessing to work with such talented guys.
What can we expect from Laws within the next two years?
Much more music. Different haircuts. Maybe a suit jacket. Who knows? We will see what happens.
Any last words?