Gat$ is an artist I discovered when he played a surprise set at a show in my home town of Fort Myers. He had made the drive from Tampa just to perform and by the end of the set I was so grateful he had. In front of me was this man baring his soul and simultaneously creating some of the most tangible hype I’ve ever experienced.
The energy and emotion in his live show is matched if not exceeded on his recorded work. At a time in his life when he wasn’t sure if rapping was even what he wanted to do anymore, he began to record the masterpiece that became By Any Dreams.
The album was released just a few days ago on November 1st following a live stream listening party for his fans that included song explanations and full album art display. This is by far the most intricate project of his career with each song on the record having it’s own physical artwork in the form of paintings by Gat$ himself.
When asked about the concept behind By Any Dreams he replied:
“The concept is really just me speaking to my therapist about a dream I had. Blood simple. It really just expounds on the black experience, the mental health issues we hide because society shuns us for them, us chasing drug dealer’s dreams because that’s all we get representation wise in the media.”
Following the release he sat down with me to discuss some of his favorite records.
“It’s an album that pretty much shaped my entire childhood. My pops played all soul and oldies in the crib, from the Temptations to the Dramatics, Stylistics, all that. Mostly though, he played his three kings; Barry White, Marvin, and Curtis. Hearing the strings up and down Superfly, especially “Eddie Should Have Known Better”. That was probably the reason I pursued violin and music in the first place.”
Kanye West- My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted, Fantasy
“It was an album I had anticipated for years, and when it finally came I was ecstatic. I followed the full roll out with GOOD Fridays and that whole album was just a moment for me. The honesty in the reality of dealing with depression and fame and love just resonated, even though I myself hadn’t had those moments yet. It’s an album I’ve revisited time and time again as I’ve grown older. Plus, the “Devil in a New Dress” guitar solo inspired my track “Trapping Will Kill You”
Tame Impala- Currents
“This album just came out last year but I listen to it basically everyday, if not once a week. It’s really just such a complete album, that transcends the idea of a breakup. It was in constant rotation as I created my new project, By Any Dreams. ”
Radiohead- In Rainbows
“Arguably the easiest Radiohead album I’ve listened to, it’s also ironically a favorite. Every song feels like it’s own universe, and it has such a lush pallet in it’s compact song set. I wish to create an album so expressive, yet so small.”
Queens of the Stone Age- Songs for the Deaf
“Easily my favorite album from my second favorite band. The whole lofty concept of driving through the desert (a technique of storytelling I’ve adopted myself) is so nuts, and the album is full of rage and lust. It’s the first album I connected color to sound with, and when I discovered synesthesia. It’s pretty special to me.”
Kanye West- Graduation
“I remember skipping school to go to Best Buy to go cop this shit. This album is just fantastic and helped me set a standard for keeping quality control for my own projects. “Flashing Lights” is forever a two verse gem.”
“This album was my everything. One of the first hip hop albums I heard as a jit, it basically inspired me to rap. Hearing the instrumentation reminded me a lot of the music my father played, and I finally found a place in hip hop that I felt comfortable with. The music spoke to me.”
Interpol- Turn On The Bright Lights
“It’s an album that I use to describe my outward interactions to people. Cool, fierce, layered. Still in rotation over a decade later.”
Radiohead- Kid A
“Arguably the hardest Radiohead album I’ve listened to, it’s also ironically my favorite, (he laughs). It’s gotten me through almost every heart break in my life.”
Bloc Party- Silent Alarm
“I can talk about this album all day. From the intricate guitars to the fierce drumming, political messages and introspectiveness, but the most important thing is that it always puts me in a good mood.”
Listen to Gat$’ brand new album, By Any Dreams below:
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