Posted by: Amy – Dec 11, 2015
One of the hardest working hip hop producers in the Richmond music scene right now has just delivered his latest masterpiece for our eager ears and souls.
Ant the Symbol, real name Anthony Gillison, just released his ninth album Tempus Fugit Dec. 8 via blocSonic and its some of his best work yet in my opinion. The 11-track album is packed with a ton of local artists laying down some of their baddest rhymes and wittiest lyrics along with Ant's sick beats to back them up.
The artists on Tempus Fugit run the gamut from Joey Ripps & The Honorable Sleaze, Reppa Ton, Graphic Melee, Drano, BenFM, Millz, Johnny Ciggs, BCMusic1st, and Noah O. It's a bit of Richmond's hip hop scene all in one place.
I love it because the songs range from heavy hitting hardcore rap to tracks that are little lighter. Everyone is bringing their own style and a little something different to the table.
Here's a little taste from his Soundcloud:
I recently chatted with the man behind the music to find out how the album came together. If you remember RVA Mag sat down with Ant for our RVA 22 issue a few months ago to talk to him about his latest work, his separation from Just Plain Sounds and what was on the horizon. And apparently, all this time, he had this up his sleeve.
"This was actually the quickest and easiest album I've worked on," Gillison said. I started it back in April right on the heels of "The King of Nothing", which was supposed to be my last hip-hop album as a solo artist, but I felt like I had at least one more in me. I just put all of my focus into it instead of excessively multi-tasking."
Gillison said the album began as acompanion piece to "The King of Nothing", but as it started to take shape he let it take on a life of its own. And with so many artists its a wonder it came together as cohesive and wonderful as it did, but Gillison said picking who was going to be involved was the easy part.
"I just chose artists I respect and mesh well with," he said. "Artists with great versatility. Of course, I chose some collaborators that I've been working with since the very start, such as Sleaze, Joey Ripps, and Millz. Most of the collaborators are those who I started working with starting with my album, What Did You Expect?"
He added he also got to work with some artists for the first time such as Noah O.
"Very enthusiastic, humble, and communicative on top of his talent," he said. "Everyone was extremely easy to work with. I plan on working with all of them again soon."
As I mentioned before, there's a lot of diversity and no matter what your taste of hiphop, there's a little something for everyone in this album. Tracks like "YOu Aint Nothin" really go hard and make you feel the heavy hip hop that's coming up from the streets of RVA and then there are some like "Stayin Clean" that have a lighter, jazzier vibe. Gillison said he wanted to mix it up a bit with this time around.
"I went into it wanting a mix of moods, and I trusted the artists to approach it however they felt was necessary," he said. "It worked out perfectly. Sometimes, it was even better than I had hoped. There's not a single song I'm only content with on this album. Every morning when I'm getting dressed, I'm singing "My Shoes"."
Gillison said he's proud and happy with the final product and hopes to ride this wave of energy to carry him to his next cretive project.
Now, as for those who are like me wondering about the name Tempus Fugit, I just had to know. When looking it up, its translated to "time flies", but here is what Gillison had to say about it:
"Well, the theme of time was very important this go-round," he said. "The album was originally supposed to be titled Clockwise. You can't go back and get what was in the past. Time only goes in one direction. I had been thinking a lot about how fast everything happens in life. On one particular day, when I was thinking about how fast everything completely changed and how it scares the shit out of me, I got an email from BCMusic1st with a subject that said "Tempus Fugit". I didn't have to open it. I just knew. This is the title. It's the most fitting for these times."
To download Tempus Fugit, check it out on blocsonic, a label Ant the Symbol has been working with for a few years, here.
Words by Amy David.