Exclusive: Gorilla Zoe Peels Back Album-Making Tips

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011 9:45PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

With the new release of his third solo album, King Kong, Gorilla Zoe recently chopped it up with SOHH about the difference between putting together his retail projects and underground mixtapes.

Admitting he can easily turn out mixtapes, Zoe described his delicate approach to album-making.

"The difference between my mixtapes and my albums is that mixtapes can take me anywhere from 15 to 18 minutes to do a song," Zoe told SOHH. "Hook, verse, you know what I'm saying? But if it's for an album, it might take two or three days just to do one song. Meaning we're coming up with a subject, you do your research on the subject and say, 'Who's gonna f*ck with this subject? What are the said demographics?' Boom. Then you go back and see how popular the subject is. Then you look at how can you lay it down sonically. You have to think about what kind of vibe you want to give the subject. You can take the subject ice cream and put a lot of energetic stuff around it. It's all about how you want to put it together and then you go into the lyrics, then go into the breakdown, pre-hooks and find out how to make it addictive." (SOHH)

Last April, G-Unit's Lloyd Banks said his crew heavily influenced today's mixtape game.

"We changed the mixtape game. We had a movement in 2001 and 2002 that turned the mixtape into a demo. And I think we were the first people to take a mixtape serious enough to format it in song structure and be able to play our rendition behind whatever was playing. We just found the humor in older records and the aggressive content in the records that were less aggressive. So we just kind of took it and flipped it our own way, and went from being black-balled. So we had to make our own lane and force our way into the industry. I'm not going to say any names, but we didn't have a welcome mat laid out when we came into the game." (All Hip Hop)

Earlier this year, Dipset's Freekey Zekey said his team helped popularize the mixtape movement.

"We started the mixtape regime," Zekey promised in an interview. "We started all of that. Everybody's got their mixtape things through the Diplomats because we actually was giving y'all free albums. A lot of times when you do a mixtape, it's called a mixtape because you're mixing the lyrics you have on a song that's already played. It's a mixture of new raps and old beats. For us, we was giving you new beats, new raps and we was killing the streets and that's how we got on and popped off so hard and 50 [Cent] followed suit and then it was a domino effect from there." (Dr. Jays)

Mixtape talk aside, Zoe's new King Kong album debuted on the sales chart last week.

Atlanta rapper Gorilla Zoe's King Kong debuted on the chart this week at No. 56. After one week in stores, the project has sold 10,300 copies. (SOHH Sales Wrap)

Check out some recent Gorilla Zoe footage below:

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