Bay Area, California rapper and Distant Relatives member Vocab Slick presents the William Rushton-directed music video for “Flying”, Vocab’s new single produced by Rob Wright. The track features guest vocals from singer/model Tricia Danieli, who was recently featured in Playboy Slovakia and Playboy Africa. Releasing his debut solo album Lyrically Conscious in 2003 following several stints in jail, Vocab formed the group Distant Relatives with his childhood friend Emotionall and rapper Maynee (stream “Celebrate” featuring The Grouch and Eligh). Emotionall was subsequently deported to Mexico, and Maynee passed away in 2014, one year after Vocab’s mother passed and his daughter was born. Vocab bounced back with 2014’s Somethin’ Slick EP (Soundcloud), followed by the Issues & Episodes full-length (stream “Priceless” featuring Opio of Souls of Mischief). Vocab co-founded the Slap Frost Tour, which grew into an annual festival featuring the likes of Planet Asia, Locksmith, and Chino XL. Vocab recently toured with Tha Alkaholiks and Gavlyn following the release of his EP The Day After Yesterday (stream “Pusha” featuring Planet Asia), which “Flying” appears on. ”Sometimes it’s hard to find the courage to put in the work to fulfill our goals or dreams,” Vocab says about the new single. “I find myself looking for that extra push almost daily. This song to me is a positive affirmation to me and people in general to find their wings, and fly to the unknown. No matter how scary it can be, the reward is worth it.”
Describe a day in the life of Vocab Slick.
My days fluctuate since I had kids. In the morning once the kids are off to school I spend a few hours getting back to emails and what little ”office” type stuff I need to do. Then I spend some time writing and if I get inspired that could last all day.
You recently toured with Tha Alkaholiks. How was that?
That was great. Me and my good friend and DJ True Justice were the main support for them. I think we did about a month of shows. Killing it every night. Touring and performing is one of my favorite things about being an artist. Tha Liks are good folks. I’d say we got pretty close on that tour. All the guys were cool as hell. I still talk to all 3 of them pretty frequently.
How long does it take you to write a verse? What’s your process? Do you just start and write till you’re finished? Or do you use a different method?
Hmm well it depends. If I’m in the studio it takes me about an hour to write a verse. I’ll pace around humming and coming up with bars until I get it right. If I’m home there’s less pressure to finish the verse right then and there. So I usually will have a whole playlist with beats I’m currently writing to and go back and forth between different beats until one takes over with inspiration and vibe etc.. If I notice I’m going back and forth too much though Ill choose the beat I have the most done to and make myself finish that song.
Name three artists you’d collaborate with on your dream album and why?
Anderson Paak, Black Thought, and Dres from Black Sheep. Paak because I really like what he’s doing with blending melodic cadences with rapping while creating a soulful sound. I probably listen to Malibu once a week all the way through. Black Thought because I feel he’s one of, if not the best rapper of our time and I would love to just get in the studio with him. Dres because if it wasn’t for Black Sheep I probably wouldn’t be rapping. When I first heard ”The Choice Is Yours” it changed my life.
What have you sacrificed for your career?
Man, probably the better question is what haven’t I sacrificed. I went without paying rent, without meals. Quit jobs. When I first started, every dollar I had would go into the music, Studio time, pressing albums, flyers on and on. It was like I had a sick addiction and had to do those things to be okay. I still make sacrifices but It was those early sacrifices though that showed me I was built for it, I learned a lot about the game and what needed to be done.