Today marks the 3 year anniversary of “Loaded With Pain”. This was the first album I had a distribution deal for, the first album that charted across Canada for me and the first and only album to hit shelves at HMV.
This album was a hard, emotional piece of art to create. I was going through alot at the time in my life. My grandfather had passed 3 years prior, my grandmother had a massive stroke that left her half paralyzed and my father was slowly dying from throat cancer. Loaded With Pain was originally a small mixtape I had done back in 2011 after a bad break up, but with everything I was going through in my life at the time I decided to recreate it from a different perspective. It was a challenge both mentally and emotionally, but I had a great support team that inspired me to keep it going. I wrote “Make Me Whole” for my family and it was super difficult to get through. Later I asked Skylar McFarlane, a member of my father’s former band “The Outcasts”, to do a guitar solo in my father’s style of playing for the song. My father was still alive at the time but wasn’t well enough to play. In the end it was the last song my father would hear before he passed away, we shed tears together listening to it.
When the songs were all completed, MadHattr and myself did the mixing and sent the mixes to Notion to be mastered. During the wait, it was time for the album art to get done. I had a vision for how and what I wanted it to look like, but there isn’t many out there that could capture it so perfectly. I hit up Justin Main of Photified to do the work. When we got together for the photoshoot, I explained my vision. Being a big fan of Frank Miller’s work in comics I remembered scenes from the SinCity comics, one in particular I thought would be perfect for the cover. We discussed visuals and I showed him the cover I was hoping to emulate. With Justin there’s no maybe’s, anything is possible
In August of 2013, two months before the album released, I went to the FanExpo in Toronto and got the opportunity to meet Frank Miller himself. I showed him the artwork for the album inspired by his comic art. I was worried how he would feel about us recreating his artwork but he loved it. He told me he felt honored to be my inspiration for the project and thought the images were “really cool”.
After getting Miller’s approval it was time to submit the album for pressing and choose a release date. I chose to release it on October 4th because that would have been my late grandfathers birthday. He was my main father figure growing up so it only seemed appropriate. I also dropped a video for “Ill Intentions” the same day, one of my most popular songs and put it on the album as a bonus track. My father passed away early December that year, making it the last album he heard from his son.
Though sometimes I do look back and ponder over small details, engineering and having more time to fine tune, I honestly wouldn’t want to change a thing. Any later and my father would have missed it and that would just be unacceptable, after all, I made this album for him. I’m so grateful and appreciative to all those that helped bring these songs together and get this album out at the time we did. To all my fellow musicians and emcees that participated, MadHattr and Notion for keeping with the deadline, and to everyone out there that supported it when it dropped. I love you all and I couldn’t of done it without you!!
So go listen to “Loaded With Pain” today and let it touch your soul. It was my release when I was going through shit and hope its yours aswell.
Much love and respect!