Erick The Architect is all set to drop his debut solo album early next year, and its latest single will give the Hip Hop community another reason to tune in when the tracklist finally goes live.
I’ve Never Been Here Before will consist of 16 songs and is currently scheduled for a February 23 release. In addition to working with James Blake on the production of several cuts, the package includes guest contributions from Westside Boogie, George Clinton and Channel Tres, among others.
“I’ve known Joey forever!” he said about the new joint. “We’ve worked on so many things together, but this is the first time we officially have put out a song as a rap duo. I’ve always admired Joey’s ability to tell stories and he came to mind as soon as Linden and Romeo played me the demo of the record. I think people look at Joey and I as true lyricists. Through him and I never want to appear as one-dimensional, we’ve garnered a loyal fan base that expects us to give them substance.
“I loved bringing both of these worlds together, as I’m a huge fan of FARR as both producers and writers, and ‘Shook Up’ is the perfect marriage of Hip Hop and soul in a way only we could create. I feel like we can all relate to songs about relationships, especially ones that pose a question: ‘Lust, or life? You can choose.’”
Joey Bada$$ also shared his thoughts on the new release, saying: “Collaborating with my good friend Erick on ‘Shook Up’ was a creative whirlwind that felt like catching lightning in a bottle. After all these years we are finally dropping our first collab together that features just the two of us. This single is more than a song — it’s the fusion of our distinct styles, a testament to the endless possibilities when kindred minds that like to push boundaries meet.”
Check out the visualizer for “Shook Up” below:
In announcing the album’s release date, the rapper and producer took to social media to share a heartfelt message about the emotional process behind his upcoming project.
“I still haven’t cried yet,” he captioned an Instagram post that revealed the cover art. “I promised myself i would allow myself to, to let the emotions fall as they came to me— but for some reason i’ve just picked up my head and continued to work. as exhilarating as completing/announcing an album is, i can’t help but to think about what this album represents not only to myself, but also people just like me. i really, really, really love this music shit. i really love diving into the work. i never understood why people praise being nonchalant. i used to feel so insecure when i went into studios and i’d see people sit in front of all this shiny gear and i had no idea what any of it did. shit…i still don’t know what some of those buttons do.”
He concluded his post: “This is the most i’ve cared about anything i’ve made, and i want to thank every single person that listened to me speak when i felt crazy. i love you all so much and i promise this album will make some of your favorites think twice about what they put out. that’s my word.”
Prior to the Joey and FARR crossover, Erick The Architect dropped the album’s first preview with James Blake, “Parkour,” and explained: “It speaks on what it was like to make that move and why I did it — but not forgetting that where I’m from is integral to my growth.”
Though I’ve Never Been Here Before is Erick’s first solo album, he’s appeared as a guest star on a variety of artists’ tracks throughout 2023. He was featured on Jungle’s “Candle Flame,” Whyte Fang’s “Scream” and Kimbra’s latest album.
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