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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos

S.A.B TAKES US THROUGH HIS MIXTAPE 'WELL MAYBE I AM'

WELL MAYBE I AM is out now!

Image: Cat Sorensen.


Meanjin-based hip-hop artist S.A.B has delivered his new mixtape, WELL MAYBE I AM. To celebrate the release, the musician is taking MILKY through the release track by track!



I MADE A LIST FEAT. CHIGGZ

This is not a song about Santa Claus...that’s still to come in the Sabby catalogue. ‘I MADE A LIST’ was a chance for me to recite all of my wins and future goals into song. It’s the opener to the mixtape, so I wanted to set the tone for the rest of the project.

This was one of the beats I made in a 15-minute challenge with the homies one day. I instantly gravitated towards it and started writing to it. I sent the beat to ECB’s Chiggz and the first thing he described the song as was ‘chunky’. I couldn’t think of a better way to put it. He sent me back a feature verse and the track was done!


GONNA GET GOT

For me, ‘GONNA GET GOT’ is as much of a track as it is a public service announcement to air-headed globetrotters who flaunt their cash and jewellery overseas.If you’re not local to an area, but enter a poor community’s space only to unwittingly flaunt wealth, you’re going to stick out like a sore thumb.

I’ve had this song idea and the lyrics for it since 2020. I literally have a demo with the same title from June 1st 2020, but that version of the song will never see the light of day ‘cause the beats I was making in that era were trash lmao. After a few tweaks to the original lyrics, the beat I ended up using was one I made in iso during my 14-day COVID break in June ‘22.


BUOY

This whole song is a play on one of Muhammad Ali’s most famous quotes “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see.” In many ways, that quote became shorthand for describing yourself as “the greatest”. The chorus for the track “Sting like bee, float like buoy” was my own spin on that sentiment.

This song was produced by my good friend and musician, Tom. We did a 3-day writing camp in an air-bnb in Southbank for fun and ended up walking away with a few good songs, but this was the stand-out track of the trip.


ORDER INTERLUDE FEAT. TOM, MELROSE. & ELCID FLORES

Meaning: This is our reunion interlude as Order Sixty6. I wouldn’t want anyone else featuring on this track but the team of artists who help me get my music and artistry to where it is today.

This is the first time I’m releasing a track where I’m rapping on a straight piano. It was different but definitely a fun experience and made the drop mid-way through the track even more impactful. After making the demo, I sent it through to the boys - Tom laid down a verse, which really set the bar for the rest of the track. After that Melrose. Came through with a banger hook and Elcid Flores steezed out, as usual.


WELL MAYBE I AM

This song is all about blocking out the noise. Each year that I grow in my music and creative process, I have people giving their unsolicited guidance, so learning to approach advice with a grain of salt has been a new learning curve. An old quote from J Cole inspired this song, “If they don’t know your dreams, then they can’t shoot ‘em down”.

Alongside GONNA GET GOT, I made this beat in my COVID isolation. I showed Tom and Melrose. First and they were geeked off of it, so I knew I had to write to it. Post-writing and recording, I sat down with Matt Soro, an amazing musician and artist. He laid down some strings and staccato synth plucks and the song was done!


PUSHA MAN

At the start of 2021, I began work as a part-time nurse. Most of my days are filled with medicating the sick, which oftentimes is a great thing. Over-medicating communities comes with this as well though and in a more covert way, drugs pushed in hospitals can sometimes cause more harm than good. The idea for PUSHA MAN was created from this reflection of my work outside of music.

You guessed it, another COVID iso beat! With the song concept down, a lot of the lyrics for this track came naturally once I had the beat. I looked to Tom to add some guitar spice in the hooks as well, so once that was tracked, the song was finished.


BASQUIAT FEAT. BOLER MANI & MELROSE.

Jean-Michel Basquiat was Black/Puerto Rican artist and tagger from Brooklyn, New York. A lot of his art centered around his experience as a person of colour in White America and its art scene. I think this song has a different meaning for each person on the track. I can speak for myself and say that I tried to channel the rebel and revolutionary sentiments of Basquiat in my verse.

Melrose. produced this one, and the hook came paired with it. It was initially meant to be an Order Sixty6 beat, but I ended up snagging it for myself! The hook inspired my verse and led me down a path of playing on the the names of my favourite painters, like Van Gogh and Pollock. I sent the track to Melbourne-based rapper and producer, Boler Mani, with an open verse. I thought he’d fit the mood of the track super well. After chatting online, he sent me back a killer verse and the track was ready to go!


FIGHT MUSIC INTERLUDE

This was just a chance for me to go crazy on a beat Tom produced. So I decided to just bar out.

This song was written last out of all of them. Tom and I had just come back from performing at a No One Network Warehouse Party at the end of Feb, ‘23. We arrived home at around 11:30pm and just as we were about to call it a night, he asked if I wanted to write a song. I was like “Only if we finish it by midnight”. Safe to say we didn’t finish the track by midnight, but it was worth staying up for ‘cause it ended up being one of my favourite tracks on the whole tape.


EISH FEAT. Y.V.

The word “Eish” comes from one of the native languages in South Africa, Xhosa. It is genuinely one of the greatest words of all time. It can express anything from excitement and happiness to disbelief and horror. It fit perfectly in the hook so I just rolled with it throughout the rest of the track.

Besides GONNA GET GOT, I had this song the longest. The beat and lyrics were written at the start of 2021 and still stands the test of time in my opinion. I was gassed to have Y.V. featured on the track, he’s dope songwriter and good friend of mine in the Meanjin Hip Hop scene.


SOMETHING SCARY FEAT. Z. LEWIS

The only way I can describe this song is that it reminds me of those nightmares where you’re being chased by a demon but no matter how hard you try, your sprinting is at a walking pace. It’s ominous in both its mood and lyrics delivery, that’s why it’s “SOMETHING SCARY”.

Melrose. produced this joint as well. You showed me a couple of beats in a session and this was the one I instantly gravitated towards. I pretty much wrote to it the week I got the beat and attacked it with a faster and more versatile flow, while still trying to hold my own with my writing. Z. Lewis has always been a rapper in the scene I’ve looked up to, especially in my infancy of learning about the Meanjin rap scene. He’s now based in Melbourne, so after some back and forth online I sent him the beat and I was geeked that he was keen to lay a verse down.



WELL MAYBE I AM is out now!

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