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released June 1, 2006

Next to Universal, 48 Seasons was the most well-received project that we had ever released, but it seems like most listeners never had the opportunity to understand the importance of that album, and how it charts the course for a lot of music that many of you will be introduced to in the near future. It was probably the most labor-intensive project that we’ve worked on, even more so than Universal. Over 3 years in the making, it originally went through a couple of different incarnations, including us completely scrapping the original version.

The objective of 48 Seasons was to create the most inclusive body of work that we’d done to date; a listening experience that incorporated the talents of the artists that we’d been working with for years; the very people that we relied on for inspiration and support. The result was a collaboration that spanned the globe and brought a heightened focus to the tight-knit group of musicians that we work with day-to day.

One of the points of criticism that we received in the past was that so much of our music sounded the same. Even though we knew that all of our releases were of the highest caliber, we owed it to ourselves to network and feed off the talents of others; so this was our first true effort at using outside production on an album. In the past, we went to our good friends Kay and Cozmos for additional tracks, but they’re so much like family that it still felt like an inside job. Fortunately, Illmind, Loptimist, Symbolyc One, Moonshine, Slop Funk Dust ,and Soul Supreme chipped in to give the project a well rounded sound.

From a vocal standpoint, we used to limit our projects to one or two collaborations. This time around – to hell with it. We just got on with everybody that we’re down with and turned it into a timestamp of our own “who’s who”. The crowning achievement was the 18-man grand finale, “1st team All-State” which presented everyone on a united front.

The original retail version of the album, which was pressed to CD, contained only about 14 songs with a few interludes. The original plan was to quickly follow it with a “Volume 2″ that would supplement the material offered in the first volume. But as we listened to the “extra” cuts more, we started to weave a web in which the second batch of songs started falling in line with the first. When it was all said and done, the Deluxe version was born. Quite honestly, the song arrangement on the deluxe version is second to none. It was formatted so that you could listen to an album the way that it was meant to be - as a single stream of consciousness. Most albums of the day have a group of standalone songs that don’t mesh well into a cohesive unit. We dare you to say the same about 48 Seasons. The fact that the songs blend so well together is a testament to the like-mindedness of everyone involved.

1. 48
Produced by: Illmind

Illmind is one of the most diverse beatmakers out there today, and we had the pleasure of working with him and DeLoach on the Art Of One Mind album, on a track titled “Hands Off”. Before that, he blessed us with the track for “Miracle (feat. Kay)” that appeared on our C.I.G.A.C. mixtape. This may have been one of our strongest lyrical offerings at the time; the track screams at you, and you have to scream right back at it. Personally speaking, there are very few album intros that go harder than this one.

2. Drop That
Produced By Loptimist

We came across Loptimist a few years back while we were working on the Ethos project. He was a young kid from Seoul, Korea who emailed us a collection of beats and said that he wanted more than anything to work with us. We instantly fell in love with his tracks at first listen, and the rest is history. You probably heard him first on the remix to “Remain Cautious” that appeared on Ethos. Mark my words – he’s going to be one of those guys that everybody’s talking about pretty soon.

3. 2nd Coming (World Premiere)
Produced By DJ Cozmos

Many of the great artists maintain a mantra or recurring theme throughout their bodies of work, and we just happened to fall into that tradition. The ‘world premiere” motif signifies to the listener that whatever they’re listening to is new and original; not recycled or stale ideas. This track has been a crowd favorite at shows, and has already made its way to countless mixtapes and mixshows. Cozmos did his thing on this one!

4. Long Time
Produced by: Symbolyc One

This project started when we were 12 years into the game (hence, the 48 Seasons title.)Looking back from that point, we realized that we had dedicated a significant amount of our lives to make the music that we love. We ran across our fair share of obstacles along the way and still managed to persevere. During our travels we came across Strange Fruit Project at a show in Dallas; we were on the same bill as they were. I think both groups were instantly impressed by the other, and we hit it off immediately. Symbolyc One is one of the most versatile and consistent producers out there, and we just had to have a piece of the pie.

5. Untitled II (featuring V Zilla)
Produced by : Moonshine

There are very few people out there who personify the “grind” mentality as well as V-Zilla does. He’s truly one of the rawest pure talents in our extended family, and always brings out our more aggressive side when we record with him. This track features three of the strongest verses on the record (probably because everybody was competing against each other.) Moonshine’s work on it was truly ridiculous.

6. Stand Down (Featuring The Niyat)
Produced by: Loptimist

The 3 MCs that make up The Niyat are honestly some of the best lyricists that we’ve ever heard. Period. They were among the very first artists that we ran with when we first started making music. At the risk of sounding like a pole jockey, it might be safe to say that they have continued to inspire us over the years. They’ve kind of been the bar for lyricism in our minds. The last time that we collaborated with them was over a decade ago, so the time was long overdue to get back in the studio with them.

7. Talkin Bout
Produced by: DJ Cozmos

This is another one of those “crowd favorite” tracks. We tried it out while we were on tour in Europe, and it always got a good reception. Once we brought it back home and tweaked it… it was magic. The version on the album is the 3rd version. There are two versions of the video for this song available online.

8. For The Part 1
Produced by: DJ Cozmos

If there’s one thing that we’re known for, it’s our occasional sarcastic wit. “For The…” typifies this better than any other song we’ve ever done. Obviously, it makes light of the fact that most popular music is geared towards preying on whims of the female consumer. We knew that this would be either one of the most popular or most hated tracks on the album. Ironically, almost every woman that has heard it… likes it.

9. For The Part 2 (Featuring Cat Corley and Petu)
Produced by: Kay of The Foundation

Surprisingly, this was the first time that we collaborated with any female MCs on one of our tracks. Even more surprising, Cat and Petu have been down since the very early days KO many, many years ago. What better way to pay homage to beautiful, intelligent women than by featuring two of them on the song with us? And if you’re curious – that’s DJ Cozmos talking during the bridge. Sometimes we just turn on the microphone and walk away. One of the funniest people ever. Period.

10. The Nicest
Produced by: Loptimist

“The Nicest” was actually a last minute addition to the album. Loptimist sent the track as we started the mixdown process, and we jumped all over it. That sample is as infectious as any other that you’ll hear.

11. Self-Proclaimed World’s Greatest Tag Team
Produced by: DJ Cozmos

It’s safe to say that we’ve been long-time fans of professional wrestling. Someone joked that each one of our songs made some type of reference to wrestling / beating the crap out of somebody / smashing something across somebody’s foreheads, etc. In truth, we’ve always operated more like a tag team than as a music group. If you look at the great tag teams of wrestling, most notably The Road Warriors, you see a pair of guys who are hell bent on dominating their peers through sheer force of will. That’s always been our thing as well. Without necessarily having to rely on gimmicks and hand-downs to get where we need to go, we’ve been able to achieve a great deal simply by being the absolute strongest at what we do. And yes – we’ve left a few broken bodies in the wake.

The video for “Tag Team” is one of the greatest videos that you will ever see.

12. Paper Champs
Produced by: DJ Cozmos

Because we see ourselves as “tag team champions”, we’re also aware that there will be others who wish to take those titles from us. That’s not going to happen. Many will try; none will succeed.

The video for “Paper Champs” is one of the more… innovative videos that you will ever see.

13. Respect The Name
Produced by: DJ Cozmos

The funny thing about this song is the reference that is made during the opening seconds. Somebody in the crew was supposed to spend some quality with their gal that evening, but was trying to figure out how scheme their way to the club. We all thought it was so funny that we included it in the opening lines of the songs.

OK – at least it was funny to us. At the time. Never mind.

14. Gots Ta Love It
Produced by: Symbolyc One

“Gots Ta Love It” is by far the most controversial song that we’ve done since 7 MCs II. Every once in a while we go into “rant” mode, and this one came years after we promised that we would never do it again. As you can tell, we had a lot of grievances that had built over time. We got a tremendous buzz when we posted the video for it, and still get questions about who /what we were talking about. Off the record, we’ll just say that we’ll never do this again. Be sure to check back soon to see if we hold true to our promise.

15. Forreal Forreal
Produced By: Soul Supreme

As many of you know, Soul Supreme is a very talented producer from Sweden who, at the time, was still riding the success of “Soul & Sense”, which was a remix project for Common. We reached out to him through some mutual friends of ours because we had him in mind for a track that we were working on at the time that dealt with folks who talk a lot about nothing. That song ended up being “Forreal Forreal”. We’d done a demo version of it earlier, but the lyrics and track didn’t fit. This time around, everything fell into place.

The song itself came about because we were growing wearing of people jumping in our ears about what they were going to do / who they were signing to / can we collaborate / we need to do this and get that money / for real / I’m working on some joints with so-and-so / I do the same thing, I’m just trying to put YA’LL on / for real for real…

If you’ve been around long enough, you know what we’re talking about. Listen on and be annoyed like us. For real.
No, for real.

16. Piece Of Mine
Produced By Loptimist

Every (serious) artist has a moment where they forge a song from the darkest depths of their frustration. Successful artists grind that axe as well because a great amount of the torment comes from seeing their success eroded by the wants, needs, and greed of others. This song was written during a point in our lives when we were being pulled in a number of directions… most artists could probably relate.

17. Unemployed N****s (Featuring Starchy Arch)
Produced by: DJ Cozmos

This song really needs no explanation. It’s probably the most heartfelt song on the record. Starchy Arch is a tremendous talent, and his point of view on the song really lent it some identity.

18. Fragile (featuring V Zilla)
Produced by : Moonshine

See the liner notes for “Untitled II”. We weren’t playing then, and we aren’t playing now.

19. Move On Pt III (featuring Kay)
Produced by: Symbolyc One

This is much more than our requisite “Kay” track – it’s the statement song that we’ve wanted to do for quite some time. The first “Move On” that appeared on Ethos was powerful, but it was almost as if our entire message didn’t quite come across. By the time we made it to part 3, all of the pieces came together, especially Kay’s particularly passionate verse about the establishment. We should do more of these on future records.

20. 1st Team All State
Featuring DJ Cipher, Big $ Mic, DJ Cozmos, Mavrek, Rukus, Minus, Kay, D Rose, Symbolyc One, Myone, Leaf, Snap aka Red Cess,
Deology, Starchy Arch, Bavu Blakes, V Zilla, J. Sin, Chip Fu and Damien
Produced By Loptimist

This song is the magnum opus of the album. From the onset of the album, we conceived a single song that would include every lyricist that we were down with. This was one of the first songs that we started on for 48 Seasons, and was the last one to wrap up. Here couldn’t be a better way to wrap the album than with this – kind of a curtain call or an encore that highlights everybody one last time. These are all people that you’ll see us collaborating with in the future – and often.



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