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Ian Sherman

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.

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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.

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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

WAE Music: I Oh My featuring Shiron Denise

in WAE Music by

I oh My

Performed by Khary WAE Frazier & Shiron Denise
Notes of an Artist/Activist album released in 2009
Produced by Ian Sherman
Written by K. Frazier & I. Sherman
Hip-hop Vocalist Khary WAE Frazier
Soul Vocalist Shiron Denise

Verse One
Peace and blessings how I finish off letter
Cousin second tour of Iraq got him stressing
While I try to get better
People in the streets carrying concealed weapons
And moms getting older
And Detroit city push her blood pressure over
Feel like that but a whole lot younger
Praying for each other just to keep on going
While my brother on his knuckles
blew his bail out now he looking for a hustle
100K in a year get spent like nuthin
we grew up we just use to the struggle
and my hood stay changing
seniors passing on grandkids is my neighbors
so my block stay alive like Vegas
my man got strong armed over small paper
on his front porch face to face with a banger
since then I ain’t had a next door neighbor
. . . as we lose hope
politicians get indicted so how can I vote
. . . and my phone been tapped
best friend facing fed time caught up in a trap
and he just had a son so we talk about that
and avoid conversations bout what newspapers said
. . . as I listen to the music
I don’t even get the same feeling when I do it
More I know the business I wish I was I was clueless
Bout to be 30 so it feel like it’s useless
. . . but I hear the rhythm and see the reality of grandma sanging

Bronx NY @ Smart Monkii Studios with Cortland Hawkins
Bronx NY @ Smart Monkii Studios with Cortland Hawkins

Chorus
I Oh My Wondering Why
3x


Verse Two
asking god for less while thanking god for more
reality’s the same couple bucks away from poor
more that I get more I got to pay for
ask me for help situation like yours
I ain’t never had nuthin
I’m afraid of success that’s a different thing to stomach
:put my heart in a art that nobody respect
when I tell you I’m a rapper then you see me for less
own family think I’m wasting time I don’t got left
so I think about survival and I dream success
. . . as I script out lyrics
while searching for the god in the next man spirit
planning for my God Son that’s still an infant
born on my birthday his life gone be different
looking to the future with dreams of fulfillment
while I’m getting use to just living how I’m living

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

My Detroit Story: 2008 Tastefest

in My Detroit Story by

In 2008 the Detroit Tastefest featured five of my favorite performers. Nadir Omowale and his Distorted Soul Band, Khary Kimani Turner (brother in name and mentor in game), Ortheia Barnes (my Godmother), Monica Blaire (another Godchild of Mama Barnes), and Carolyn Striho were all headline performers. It was one of the first times in life I knew enough performers at a big event to get a backstage pass, without a backstage pass. All the performances were special. The most memorable was Carolyn Striho’s. It was the second time we performed together, and a day to remember.

Summer of 2008 was a three month party. My friends Brandon Jessup, Kasey Sherman, Mike Willingham, and Dawon Wooden stayed out and about throughout Detroit. Kasey’s from Detroit, and has spent his adult life in Washington DC. In 2008 he managed a hotel. That Summer he spent in Detroit. Though I was home in Detroit, Kasey was on vacation, and sought out no dull moment. When I mentioned I was performing at the Tastefest, Kasey jumped at the opportunity to finally see me perform live. Kasey invited his younger brother Ian Sherman, and our mutual best friend Loren Braxton. Ian is the co-executive producer of my soon to be released “If Detroit were Heaven” album. Ian also is the best producer I work with. We challenge one another to create better music. In 2008 at the Tastefest we met for the first time.

Carolyn Striho, Ian & Kasey Sherman, Lo Braxton
Carolyn Striho, Ian & Kasey Sherman, Lo Braxton

I always enjoyed the feel of the Detroit Tastefest. It was my favorite Detroit festival. It was held in the New Center Area. New Center is relatively close to my home, and down the street from Northwestern HS where I graduated. I appreciated the mix of culture at the Detroit Tastefest. Foods, music, and people filled the streets of West Grand Blvd, Second, and Third Ave. This in memory is an inspirational sight for me. It was the only festival I’d see many people from my neighborhood and high school as an adult.

Carolyn Striho enjoyed and appreciated the chemistry we sparked on stage before. So leading up to the 2008 Tastfest she invited me to perform with her as well. I gladly accepted. I’ve always felt Carolyn’s performance is remarkable. When I share a stage with Carolyn I only look to keep the energy and passion at the height of which she performs. So for the 2008 Tastefest before a full audience cheering her own, I delivered one of my best performances. At the time Scott Dailey and Carolyn (now married) had just begun playing together. Brandon (Carolyn’s bass player at the time, now residing in Boston) and Ron (Carolyn’s drummer) kept a hip-hop rhythm that I could freestyle to (freestyle is the improvisational style of giving a rap performance while creating rap lyrics simultaneously). Carolyn joined in on the freestyle as well. On stage we went verse for verse in eight bar stanzas four times over. I believe the joy of freestyling on stage keeps my presence of mind. I also think freestyling on stage allows me the opportunity to be more responsive and cognizant to the audience. Tastefest 2008 was the culmination of both advantages I find in freestyling. Adding to my performance was the wit and showmanship of Carolyn Striho. Kasey, Ian, and Loren loved the performance. Soon after Carolyn closed out her set and introduced us to Howard Glazer.

Howard Glazer, Sherman Brothers at Mardi Gras, and Kasey, Ann, and I
Howard Glazer, Sherman Brothers at Mardi Gras, and Kasey, Ann, and I

Howard’s an old school rock and roller in spirit, energy, and action. When Brandon saw Carolyn introduce us to Howard he immediately began laughing and telling us ‘that guy’s going to keep you at it.’ The ‘it’ Brandon was referring to was Jagerbombs (Jagerbombs are shots of Jagermeister liquor and Red Bull energy drink). Howard insisted on sharing shots, and Kasey accepted. Loren, Ian, and I had two or three. Kasey and Howard finished off a fifth. As they continued drinking Howard told us stories about classic Detroit rock, and the best ways to get sound from speakers. Backstage between shots Kasey was dancing, inviting over women from the crowd to backstage, and turning backstage into a party. Eventually we filled the backstage area up to the point security kicked us out. Kasey, Howard, Loren, Ian, six or seven women Kasey just met, and I were collectively escorted out the backstage area during the next performance. We parted ways with Howard, bought tickets, and hung out with women.

Tastefest 2008 was pure Rock and Roll.

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