“In a group dynamic, you have multiple opinions to consider, which can complicate things. But we somehow created a record that embodies all three of us.” -Alpha Faktion on creating their new opus, Creative Control
Creative Control is a hard-hitting musical statement from the upstate New York rap crew, Alpha Faktion, who passionately eschew the compromise that often comes with trying to reach a bigger audience in the music world. Instead, they focused on staying true to themselves and the culture they love so deeply-and the end result is 14 tracks of all-killer, no-filler Boom bap from the trio of rapper/producer Azwun, rapper Kraze ILLA, and DJ Enyoutee.
The three artists began working on the album nearly four years ago around the release of their 2013 released EP, Truth, Lies & Audiotape. It was then that they realized they didn’t want to cut corners or be forced to fit into a box. “We wanted to make the type of LP that we grew up listening to,” the group says. They add that they knew it would take personal and financial sacrifices, which often led to late-night recording sessions and pulling all-nighters after rocking shows in NYC.
According to Alpha Faktion, “The process was stressful and a blessing at the same time,” and it certainly paid off with Creative Control. That much was evident with the release of singles such as the Nottz-produced title track, and the hard hitting, “System Shutdown,” produced by Marco Polo. The record’s inescapable energy shines through elsewhere, too. Like on “The Shining,” which tackles issues of depression and personal struggle, and the epic closer “The Lineage,” which is produced by living legend, Marley Marl.
“This record was born out of being told that we couldn’t do things our way, and that you had to compromise in some way to attain success,” Azwun says, reflecting on the importance of Creative Control’s message of putting yourself-and more importantly your art-first. And it was in doing exactly that that Alpha Faktion created what some may call a sleeper hit, but others will simply recognize as one of the year’s rawest Hip-Hop albums as we edge into the second half of ’17.
Creative Control will be released on CD on May 19 exclusively via UGHH, and hits digital retailers and streaming platforms on June 2, via East Rock Entertainment.