Through no fault of his own, Joe Scudda’s Not Your Average Joe EP probably won’t rank as #1 on his 2010 “Best Memories” list when it’s all said and done. However, coming out virtually unscathed from a frightening car crash will be. With that in mind, it was almost a no brainer to approach Joe and revisit the project where he would go on to reveal the step-by-step process behind each entry in his debut confessional. It’s amazing what a little research will uncover. Like, for instance, this was originally slated to be a six or seven song project and beats submitted via Twitter even made the final cut. And just why he has such an appreciation for overseas producers. There’s tons more where that came from, but it’s probably best we let Scudda narrate his own story.
1. “Not Your Average Intro”–The intro was actually the last piece to the puzzle. I just felt I needed something that would set up the whole thing. Something that when you heard it, you would get a idea of what you where about to hear. I wish I could tell you who is speaking, but like a dummy, I never wrote it down and I have no clue! I was just searching keywords like conforming and average. Eventually, I ran across this audio and he summed up what I was feeling like when I named the project Not Your Average Joe.
2. “Every Man” (Produced By Sid Roams)–This is one of the songs I had completed for a while, but it kind of set the direction and tone for the whole project. Sid Roams blessed me wit this one. It was basically a song I wrote about how I was feeling at the time. Thinking about where I was at in life and what I have done with it up to that point. Just moving forward with it all that’s why in the song I said, “I ain’t gonna bitch about where I went cause where I went just put me where I’m at.” It’s all about learning and moving forward in life! We all have choices to make, so you just have to make them and keep it pushing!
3. “Bubblegum Tuna” (Produced By Khrysis)–This was a straight “go in” type of joint! Chip on my shoulder, poking my chest out type of jam! This was to let people know that I have bars. Khrysis came through with something I could run on so I had to go get it. No pretty, cute flow – straight snappin’! People ask me what “Bubblegum Tuna” means and let’s make it clear. It means NOTHING! Two things contributed to that name: (1) I was listening to Ghostface that day and (2) I watched Ace Ventura and he kept saying “Bumblebee Tuna.” So I just flipped it. Blame Ghost for that one (Laughs).
4. “Cali My Way” (Feat. Diz Gibran) (Produced By Khrysis)–I always wanted a jam that made you want roll the windows down in the car, smoke a joint and drive! Soon as Khrysis played the beat I knew this would be it! Funny thing is I had just came home from recording with Evidence out in LA, so Cali was still fresh in my mind and pretty easy to write. All I had was the verse and the hook because I knew I had to get one of my Cali homies. I’ve known Diz for a while now and we had just came off doing the song with Statik Selektah called “Jaded,” so that was just a phone call and he knocked it out for me! Diz is a good dude. I’m glad I got to have him be apart of the project.
5. “I’m Gone” (Produced By Aurelius)– If you’ve ever been around people, or in a place where you asked yourself, “Why am I talking to you or why am I here?” This is for you! I’m from a place where people will get stuck and never leave. I never wanted that to happen to me, so that’s why I said “I’m Gone!” Sometimes you have to step out and go get it. This was a beat I got after I put out on Twitter to send me beats. After checking beats for close to two hours, I ran up on this from a guy named Aurelius. I loved the organs on this one! You don’t even understand how long it took me to get the ‘I’M GONE’s’ right (Laughs).
6. “Trunk Rattle (Remix)” (Feat. Naledge, Freddie Gibbs & Mistah F.A.B.) (Produced By Khrysis)–Well, I had the “Trunk Rattle” song out and everybody was diggin’ it, so I figured it would be dope to put some of my friends on it! I reached out to Naledge because he is the homie!! We were on tour together tearin’ up the country. He’s just one of those dudes, when we link up and toss a couple drinks back, we always have a party! Plus, he reached out to me to be on the remix for “Rock Top Fashion” so it was only right.
I met Freddie Gibbs at CMJ in NYC and we just chopped it up off the rip. I thought he was dope before I even met him. When I met and got to know him, it only made me more of a fan of his – plus I knew he would kill it! I was thinking who else I could get. I’ve never met Mistah F.A.B. in person, but we all have mutual friends so I just hit him up on Twitter like, “F#ck it, lets see if he’ll do it.” As soon as I asked him, he was with it. So it’s pretty dope that a guy who puts in as much work as him would be down to do it. I was really happy about how it turned out! Something for my people with speakers in the trunk!!!
7. “Playing With Me” (Produced By Wizard)–This was another beat I received from the Twitter blast. Funny thing is I think almost all the cats I got from that were from overseas. This is by a dude named Wizard. He sent a couple dope joints. I heard it and it just sounded so mean! Plus I went through a little money situation with somebody a little bit before I got the beat. When I heard it, the hook came to me in like five minutes! The verses quickly after that. I was just feeling that way, like “Fuck all you motherfuckers. No deals. I don’t wanna hear shit about it. Have my shit and we having problems!” Sometimes when you’re nice to folks they take it for a weakness and try to take advantage. This was one of those, “Don’t let the fact that I’m a cool dude fool you–I’m not taking shit off anybody.” I wanted to get the homie Mike Bigga on it, but after I did the first verse I just wanted to finish it out myself.
8. “Pardon Me” (Produced By Needlz)–Needlz came through on this one! This was basically everything that was going on in the world at the time that was buggin’ me. From people talkin’ shit bout Mike Vick, to those stupid ass tree huggin’ P.E.T.A. people, to the no smoking laws in North Carolina and even Gilbert Arenas getting caught with a gun. I just wanted to talk a little shit and say how I felt about the situation. I guess this was the song I wanted to piss a couple people off. I have to give credit to my manager Big Dho for this one. I never want be in a position to where I can’t say what I want or what I feel, so that’s what “Pardon Me” was!
9. “From This Day” (Feat. Carlitta Durand) (Produced By S-Type)–I love this song! One of my favorites on the joint. Another up and coming cat, S-Type, did this. I love the mixture of aggression and calmness that he did with the beat. It allowed me to really go in with the writing. It’s basically a song about where I’ve been and how I really don’t feel like stopping what I’m doing. Almost like I know what I did in the past, but I have to keep on pushing. Then Carlitta came in the studio and laced me with a beautiful hook. We all make mistakes or fall off a little bit sometimes, but its all about getting back on track and moving forward. I love when she said, “So close I can taste it now.” That’s how I feel. I’ve been in the spot for a while, but I feel like I’m right there and it’s mine to take.
10. “Think About It” (Feat. Evidence) (Produced By Evidence)–This is probably my favorite song on the project. From the beat, to the lyrics to hook! Everything just dropped in place and sounded exactly how I thought I wanted to sound. Sid Roams are some of my favorite producers in the game, period. So, obviously, working with them is always fun. As soon as I heard the beat it took me to this place of thinking about what if it wasn’t what you thought? That’s how I think about everything sometimes from politics to church. I’ve seen guys marry a girl, have a kid and the kid isn’t his. Like what would you do if you found out that your preacher was taking your money and blowing it? Or your wife was a hoe?
A lot people hit me up about that Obama line, but all I’m saying is don’t let the polish fool you – look deeper into things! Once that polish wears off, what’s under that? After I wrote the song, I knew my brother Evidence would kill it! I went out to L.A. and sat in the studio with him working on my stuff. We were just vibing off each other because both of us have two different styles. It’s real dope when I get to work with those guys. Plus Cali weather doesn’t suck! We had a good time out there. Drinking, smoking, that fool Ev bought the smallest bottle of Henny I’ve ever seen in my life! I’m joking saying that shit would last me about an hour. I’m out there crackin’ beers at 8 a.m. and getting to work. Great time.
11. “Don’t Make Me” (Produced By Kleph Dollaz)–I actually wrote this verse out in Atlanta with Don Cannon over a Focus beat. But I was never able to get in touch with Focus about recording it, so I sat on these three verses for about six months. Then the homie Kleph Dollaz sent me some beats through and this was the first one I heard. Just so happened I had the three verses from earlier in front of me and it sounded dope over the beat. I was doing it like that because I like to write to the beat. I don’t like taking random raps and putting them over random beats because I use pockets a lot when I rap. This sounded perfect to me.
This was just how I was feeling. I’m out in ATL looking at all these people riding around in nice cars, spending money trying to be stars and I just started thinking “Fuck this! Money don’t make me. I’ll pull up to the club in a fucking hoopty!” I gives a damn. It’s about who you are. Shit, I shop at the thrift store half the time. I don’t wear jewelry for the simple fact that I don’t need it. Then you also have the people that were broke, get money and now, they’re a totally different person. I never want to be that guy. That guy sucks! This was kind of the song that the promo video best summed up.
12. “Stoopid Dope Moves” (Produced By Beatnick Dee)–This jam is hard! The hook came to me in about two minutes, no joke. I had just watched “Fresh” that day, so busting stupid dope moves was fresh in my mind. No pun intended (Laughs). This was just a hard beat, hold my nuts type joint. Beatnick Dee from overseas did the beat. A lot of overseas cats are dope on the production! When I wrote this song, I was drinkin’ the biggest, most stupid bottle of whiskey you have ever seen! And it was bottom shelf (Laughs). Shouts to Evan Williams! If you don’t know about that, then you should try it. Be easy though, the hangover is brutal! I recorded this song stupid drunk, woke up the next morning, threw up everywhere and then saw this on my computer. I was thinking, “When the hell did I record this and how the hell did I get home!”
13. “Robert Downey, Jr.” (Produced By Merlin)–Robert Downey, Jr. is one of the greatest actors of my generation. Dude also used to be one of the wildest! I wanted to write a song about partying and getting fucked up, but not in the normal type of way. So I just wrote it in the idea that I was Robert Downey, Jr. or, at least, thought I was (Laughs). It’s just a loose story about getting fucked up, getting in trouble and trying to get some ass. This is the song I really want to shoot a video for because it would rule! I have the treatment wrote out and everything so let’s do it! Another one of my favorites because I’m a fan of Robert Downey, Jr. and getting fucked up. It’s a win-win.
14. “Catch Up (Bonus Track)” (Produced By Statik Selektah)–“Catch Up” was nothing other than bars. You want bars, this was for you. Close to five minutes of raps. Statik sent me the beat and I just wanted to go in. No hook, no story, no rules–just me snappin’! I figured why not? Who says a song has to have three 16’s and a hook. Rules are wack. Plus, sometimes I read the ‘net and see what people say. I see it, so I was like f#ck it, they want me to rap. Well, here you f#ckers go! Then Statik got it and did his thing on the intro and the drops throughout the song. He is super dope. He is another guy I have a lot of fun working with because we both like to drink. We made this a bonus track just because it was so long. I got a lot of good response from this song though. Oh, and y’all will never know who’s name got beeped out. She would get mad at me (Laughs).
Clearly, Not You Average Joe was cooked well done to a simple recipe. One part dedication. One part hustle. And all the PBR the human kidney could possibly allow. It is also a project which would have never been completed, according to Scudda himself, without the guidance of Chaundon, Khrysis, Statik Selektah, Tobias Rose, Matt Koza, Big Dho and ever artist and producer who left their signature on the release. Don’t expect Joe to ride the wave off this too long either. His next project should be making its rounds later this year.
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