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Ashley Nicole

If Detroit were Heaven Album

in WAE Music by

In the fall of 2010 I began working on the ‘If Detroit were Heaven’ album. It started from my writing of the ‘If Detroit were Heaven’ song. I wanted to make a song edifying the Black history, culture, and classic destinations throughout Detroit. I used this song to provide balance for my ‘Teddy Bears tied up to Trees’ song from my inaugural ‘Preaching to the Choir’ album.

IDWH DD ban

A collective commitment of talented artists, long conversations, and hard work produced ‘If Detroit were Heaven.’ It’s my best and most complete work as an artist. The album explores a series of subject matter centered around my belief in self, Detroit, and philosophy. The music is a gumbo of sound accented with impressions of Hip-hop, Jazz, Electronic, and Soul rhythms. Producers Ian Sherman and Engineer Lumumba Reynolds truly brought to life a dynamic work of art. Including the amazing album cover by my friend, producer, and an inspiration for the album, Sterling Toles.

IDWH CD ban
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If Detroit were Heaven by Khary WAE Frazier
Album Credits Copyright All Rights reserved to General Population Music 2015

01. Listen to Cognition
Performed Khary WAE Frazier & DJ Drummer B; Written by K. Frazier
Produced by Ian Sherman; Mixed & Mastered by Lumumba Reynolds

02. This is it (What)
Performed Khary WAE Frazier; Written by K. Frazier
Produced by Joe Black & Ian Sherman; Mixed & Mastered by Lumumba Reynolds

03. If Detroit were Heaven
Performed Khary WAE Frazier; Written by K. Frazier
Produced by Joe Black & Ian Sherman; Mixed & Mastered by Lumumba Reynolds

 

04. It’s So Fresh 
Performed Khary WAE Frazier & Ashley Nicole; Written by K. Frazier
Produced by Ian Sherman; Mixed & Mastered by Lumumba Reynolds

 

05. Been Hustlin’
Performed Khary WAE Frazier & Ashley Nicole; Guitar by Eric Campbell; Written by K. Frazier
Produced by Sterling Toles; Mixed & Mastered by Lumumba Reynolds

06. Hot Summer Nights
Performed Khary WAE Frazier & Stephanie Thornton; Written by K. Frazier
Produced by DJ Drummer B; Mixed & Mastered by Lumumba Reynolds

If Detroit were Heaven 2015 album release by Khary WAE Frazier
If Detroit were Heaven 2015 album release by Khary WAE Frazier

07. Round & Around
Performed Khary WAE Frazier & Lola Damone; Written by K. Frazier
Produced by Ian Sherman; Mixed & Mastered by Lumumba Reynolds

08. Music Thinking
Performed Khary WAE Frazier & Lola Damone; Written by K. Frazier & F. Shabazz
Produced by Ian Sherman; Mixed & Mastered by Lumumba Reynolds

09. Ms America
Performed Khary WAE Frazier; Written by K. Frazier
Produced by Ian Sherman; Mixed & Mastered by Lumumba Reynolds

10. I’m My Own Police
Performed Khary WAE Frazier; Guitar by Eric Campbell; Written by K. Frazier
Produced by Sterling Toles; Mixed & Mastered by Lumumba Reynolds

11. Snowflakes Shine
Performed Khary WAE Frazier & PEACE; Written by K. Frazier
Produced by Ian Sherman; Mixed & Mastered by Lumumba Reynolds

12. Wish You the Best
Performed Khary WAE Frazier; Written by K. Frazier
Produced by Ian Sherman; Mixed & Mastered by Lumumba Reynolds

Song Background: “It’s so Fresh” featuring Ashley Nicole

in Lyric Breakdown & Background by

Most of my songs are about family, Detroit, friends, and hip-hop (I often opened shows sharing this). “It’s so Fresh” captures all of these dynamics, and more. I share names and experiences that have shaped my perspective of family, women, and cool.

I wrote “It’s so Fresh” in 2003. It was originally on my unreleased album “Mama’s Kid.” “Mama’s Kid” sampled exclusively Motown music. Upon advice from everyone I knew (especially my Entertainment Attorney Stephanie L Hammonds, Thank You!) I never released that album. Withstanding the time was the content. I’ve always enjoyed the lyrics from the album, particularly the lyrics used for “It’s so Fresh.” I feel the writing was remarkable. I always remembered the lyrics. I believe if I write a good song, I should have the ability to remember it verbatim. If I can forget a lyric, I should not use it.

Originally the song was titled ‘Baby Boy.’ It was recorded on my Roland 1880 Digital Recorder at the Track Cave Studios. The Track Cave Studios was the recording studio in my basement. The Track Cave welcomed a host of talent from Detroit. Recognizable hip-hop artists such as Off-Rip, Early Mac, Mike Posner, Supa Emcee, Danny Brown, Tone Tone, Finale, Kaunn, and a host of other acts all recorded in my basement. It inspired me to write, record, and produce more of my own music.

Ian & his brothers: Casey, Khalid, & Robb; Ian; Ashley ; Ashley & her son Ray
Ian & his brothers: Casey, Khalid, & Robb; Ian; Ashley ; Ashley & her son Ray

Working on my soon to be released “If Detroit were Heaven,” album with producer Ian Sherman, I wanted to include a song that had an offering of a past styling in which I wrote lyrics. Listening through Ian Sherman’s music I landed on the music to “It’s so Fresh.” I feel the texture of the synths and drums used capture an optimism that’s reminiscent me of the joy of my childhood. Matching this music to a story about my childhood is sonically balanced. Ian challenges me to create with a purpose. Therefore “It’s so Fresh” is one of the greatest pieces I feel I’ve made.

The chorus for “It’s so Fresh” was originally written for a song I was making with Lola Damone. We drafted a series of songs in the summer of 2012 (Lola, if you’re reading this we still need to do a 5 song project ASAP). One of the best ideas to come from these drafted songs was the idea of playing with old hip-hop sayings hence: fresh; dope; flyy; phat; and def. These adjectives are dated, but match my childhood in which the story I’m telling takes place (though I still use flyy … I’m a fan of Ron O’neil). That foundation matched up to create the chorus for “It’s so Fresh.”

Soon after writing the chorus I invited General Population band vocalist Ashley Nicole to sing the chorus. She delivered an amazing performance which is what you’re hearing. One of the best things about the performance was Ashley brought her son Ray to the session as well. I always feel children are the best ears for music. Ray loved “It’s so Fresh.”

WAE Music: “It’s So Fresh” featuring Ashley Nicole

in WAE Music by

It’s So Fresh featuring Ashley Nicole

Vocals Recorded at John Brown Jr. Studios by K. Frazier, Vocals performed by WAE and Ashley Nicole, Lyrics written by K. Frazier, Music Composed and Produced by Ian Sherman

Chorus
It’s So it’s So it’s So Fresh
It’s Dope it’s Fly it’s Phat it’s Def
… Sounds So Marvelous
Your ears are mine just be my guest
It’s So it’s So it’s So Fresh
It’s Dope it’s Fly it’s Phat it’s Def
… Sounds So Marvelous
Your ears are mine just be my guest

Verse 1
Growing up I had it good from my father and my mother
My big sister Dara and I was little brother
Motherdear was always round’ she was my favorite grandmother
Though I still love my Granny she would watch us in the summer
That’s when family was my friends the only 1’s I talked too
Raised me up’, fed me up, bathed me down and fought too
Got too much attention wasn’t young I was the youngest
Out of nine grandkids .. got the most loving
From no job retired pay/ They could baby sit me
I sat around all day and heard the stories they say
From uncle who? Aunt what? and cousin huh?
Coming over making plates and talking Southern talk
I was the baby boy I was the pride and joy
I got spoiled with the love cause I ain’t need no toys
And that was way, way back in the day
When life was fun things were cool those were the best of my days

Verse 2
I got a family full of women/ Each and every 1 different
But they all fed me up full of hugs and kisses
From Aunt Shirley number 1 to Aunt Shirley number 2
To trough my Aunt Mattie Aunt Francis and my Aunt Ruth
… these was my true teachers how I learned life lessons
Cause without my Aunt Shirley wouldn’t have a street presence
And without Aunt Darla wouldn’t know of true blessings
And Aunt Mattie show me that some people stay stressing
While my fine Aunt Avis always kept it the freshest
From her hats down to her dresses always left an impression
And they taught me whole life cause I learned men too
How they chew you up and spit you out after they befriend you
How the lies of a man can truly start to get you
And learned women as I watched and that was real too
drama saw the crying saw heartache and pain
Learned to listen learned to watch learned to learn the game

Verse 3
Older Cousins was the coolest ever/ Swear no 1 could do it better
LL, Moe D, Kwame or Salt and Pepa
Could step to my cousins in they Prince’s purple pleather’s
And a name charmed necklace
And a Dobbs with the feathers
With a jheri curl juiced like I-hop breakfast
And some kangaroo kicks just to put it altogether
Cause you couldn’t tell me that my cousins wasn’t cold
Made me want to be a teen and just stay that old
And my cousin Leon had 1’s and 2’s
Saw him doing hip-hop and it was so cool
To me he wasn’t Leon but DJ R2
And that’s 1 big reason why I do what I do
Right through him me and hip-hop got introduced
So the more that I listened the more the love grew
Seeing scratching seeing mixing seeing flipping the faders
He made Gemini’s like Techniques swear he was the greatest

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