S.O. Breaks Down ‘Augustine’s Legacy’ & Talks Creative Process [Interview]
Rapzilla spoke at length with Lamp Mode rapper S.O. His album Augustine’s Legacy will be dropping September 6th. The emcee broke down some of his yet to be released songs and talked about his creative process.
So you’ve been with Lamp Mode for a minute, right?
Yes, I have.
What’s your partnership been like with them? I know that there’s a lot of depth in the lyrical ability of most of the artists on Lamp Mode. Do you feel like that’s why they’re a pretty good match for you? Or do you just like the relationship you have with them? Talk about that a little bit.
I think more so our relationship, that I have with Lamp Mode, specifically Josh, who is the owner of Lamp Mode. It’s a partnership. We discuss everything that we’re doing together. Make sure that we see eye-to-eye on stuff. And also, I’m free to do a lot of things. I’m free to make decisions. For example, if I went to any other label, and I say to any other label head, “Yo, man, I want a burning cross and a KKK costume.” They might look at me funny, and say, “Nah, man. It’s going to do this, it’s going to do that.” Josh said, “That’s cool. Let’s do it. Let’s go.”
It’s mostly the relationship that I have with them. And really, my situation is amazing. My situation is great with them. I’m always thankful to them, and what they’ve done, and how they’ve been able to help me with my career, and being able to fund my project. People would be sleeping on just how much money it costs to make an album.
Oh, yeah, totally!
A video takes this, this, and this. All that. Who’s going to put that down? Who’s going to fund that? Thankfully, Josh and Lamp Mode have been able to do that. It’s really the relationship that we’ve had for 10 years, probably over 10 years. And it’s going strong. I was in Philly in June. Josh is also the creative head. He shoots the music videos, and also shot the album cover. He takes my vision that I have in my head and brings it to life.
Yeah, that’s what we’re doing. We’re going to ride it, and as long as I’m releasing music, I’m going to do my best to have Josh involved in it.
Do you want to talk more about your album? Are there other songs you want to tackle? I’ve got to say, I really liked the album altogether. I think “London Nights,” I love that song.
“London Nights. “People like that!
It sounds great. Then there are songs like “I See The Giants” and “The Only One.”
“I See The Giants,” I think that’s going to be the concert anthem.
The album, as we were making it, you’re thinking about your old body of work. You’re thinking, “How can I exceed what I did that last time?” I think that’s just the wrong perspective to have. It should be, “How can I just create from a clean slate? How can I create music from the ground up?” And then, think of that… as I was making it, G.P. really had to challenge me, like, “You’re really thinking too much about these playlists, and skip rates, and this and this. Bruh, just make music.”
When I wasn’t thinking about streaming, I was streaming. When I wasn’t like, “Oh my gosh, I got to do this, so I can go on this playlist, and this and this.” Those things were just happening organically. We took that approach. I’m still, at the back of my mind, thinking of those things. That’s where you get songs like “I See The Giants,” which I think is going to be the anthem for the broken-hearted, and the downcast, and those who have gone through things.
I remember someone texting me, and telling me, “Yo, so-and-so happened. There are times when I wanted to kill myself.” I’m like, what can I do? What can I create? To make sure that when they are thinking about those things, they know that God is with them, and they know that there’s the end, that they should keep on fighting.
So those giants – cancer, death, depression, anxiety. Those giants are going to fall. Those giants are not going to be here forever. You’ve got those type of songs. And then you’ve got songs like “The Only One,” and as Christians, sometimes we feel like we’re the only ones who’re going through these things like no one else is experiencing what I’m experiencing.
When I did that song, the chorus is, “You’re not the only one I know. I’ve been trying to get it on my own. I’ve been digging way down low. Looks like I’m out here, all alone.” It looks like just me by myself. It looks like God has abandoned me. And I think that’s really an evolution of my emo-rap songs. Songs where I’m really delving into what’s going on in my life emotionally.
It was literally one of those songs like I need to convey there were moments when I felt distant from God. I felt like no one was understanding where I was coming from. I felt alone. That’s why I wrote that song. I wrote that song because I was like, “Am I the only one that’s here?” So in the hook, I’m talking to people, but in the verse, I’m talking to God.
In the verse, I know you heard it, “I been really out here, searching. I’ve got peace of mind, but no peace of mine.” I need a sign, Lord, help me. Show me what’s going on.
You fast forward to a song like “Open Arms,” where it’s really a story of the prodigal son, where I’m saying, “Yo, the Father still loves me, with open arms, even when I mess up. The Father is still waiting at the door for me, when I come home, even when I mess up.”
And we as Christians in the West don’t understand fully what that means like grace is free for us. Grace is freely given to us. It’s weird for us like our culture is give-and-take. Christmas is, if you do good, Santa’s going to give to you. We’ve been programmed to believe that. When we become Christians, it’s like, “This is a free gift. This is given to me for free.”
So in that song, I’m talking about God is really out there, with open arms, waiting for the singer, and those who are afraid to come home. It’s to come and experience his love.
There is a whole plethora of topics being shared on the album.
Sonically, there’s something for everybody on the album, for sure.
That’s exactly what I was about to say. Something for everyone on the project, which is not to say that it’s not cohesive.
Oh, absolutely. One thing that kind of threw me, though, is here at “Open Arms,” it feels like you’re ending the album, and then you throw “Boast” in, just for fun. It wakes me up again.
To tell the truth, “Open Arms” was meant to be the last song on the album.
And then “Boast” started doing so well, it’s at over two million streams. I was like, this has to go on the album. So originally, “Boast” was not meant to be on the album. But it’s doing so good, I’ll be throwing it on there.
It’s great, I think it slaps though. I actually hadn’t heard it.
“Boast” is probably one of my favorite songs that I made. I made that when me and OB were making the Shine EP. The album was being mixed and mastered, and if anyone knows, that can take a little time. So within that two-to-four week window, I said, “OB, what are you doing, man? Come to my house, every day. Let’s make an EP. Don’t overthink it. Just make a beat. I record. We release.”
We mixed it ourselves. And we sent it over to someone to master it. It was out within a month. We made it and like, “Yeah, okay, cool. It’s out.” That’s one thing I’m also guilty of doing, just sitting on music. So I’m like, “Nah, I don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t want to just sit on music. I want to release as I create.”
At least for sometimes. That’s how “Boast” came along, with “Got You For A Minute,” “Mama Said.” All of those things.
This album, seriously, I think it’s your best work yet. It’s going to be one of the best albums of the year.
Appreciate it, man.
It is so solid. It’s not even that long, either. It’s a good listen. I feel like some people can fill 20 tracks on an album, then you get tired of it. This is the perfect length, I really felt like there was a cohesiveness to it all. You’re throwing out every part of you. It’s terrific. I couldn’t say more about the album. It’s really great.
Thank you, man. Thank you. You’re probably the first media people to hear it, especially in our space. I appreciate you taking the time to listen to it, man.
You going on tour anytime soon?
We are actually planning on that right now. I actually have a meeting today. So I would tell the people who are reading, just to lookout. IAmSOTheKid.com, for all the tour dates. And @sothekid on all the social media, all the dates will be on there and announced.