Written by Polo Sho
There are a couple reasons why I chose this title but mainly because I feel like in Rap your debut album should tell your story and that is exactly what I set out to achieve with this body of work. For the majority of the 12 tracks I am highlighting a specific moment in my life, the moment I decided to pursue music as a career. I wanted a title that would embody the drive and motivation needed to make it as an independent artist. Writing with this predetermined concept was challenging but I believe the end product is some of my best work to date. I’m excited to share this new music with you all! Here is a short breakdown of the first 5 tracks:
The Intro samples a Nipsey Hussle interview where he’s talking about his come up in the rap game. He talks about how when he was unable to put out an album, because he wasn’t at that level, he still put out mixtapes and sold them out his trunk. I thought this was the perfect opening for an album titled Determination because really what he is speaking to is the persistence it took to make it as an independent artist. Nipsey Hussle was signed to a major record label, Epic Records, in 2008 but when the label started experiencing financial issues in 2010 Nipsey opted not to renew his contract and left the label. After leaving Epic, Nipsey founded his own record label, All Money In, and began on a trajectory that would lead to him dropping a Grammy nominated debut album, Victory Lap, to critical acclaim. His story is unique because most other artists in his shoes at that time would have given up on a music career if they were no longer on a major label but Nipsey started his own label and stayed determined until he achieved his goals. Huge inspiration for me when I was creating this album. RIP Nipsey Hussel.
I am a firm believer that desire is the starting point to all success or achievements. One must know what they want before they can go after their goals. For the longest time in my life I felt unsure of my purpose. I always knew I was passionate about music but never had the conviction to truly pursue it until a specific moment in my life. On this record I rap about this moment in detail, giving context to the story leading up to this moment. This record is produced by fellow LifedOnes label mate SOY.
This is a record with 2 parts both related to the same theme. The first track, Doubters, is exactly what the title suggests it’s about, all the naysayers who don’t believe I can make it in the music industry. It’s also a middle finger to the voice in my head that second guesses sometimes. In the song I speak on wanting to put myself and also my team on so we are in a better position financially and are able to maintain that by doing what we love. The second part of the record titled, No Matter What (Interlude), is simply about how regardless of what the doubters have to say I will keep pursuing my dreams and kicking a** till I’m on top! The first part of the record, Doubters, is produced by myself and the second part is produced by myself, B. More and SOY.
This record was the first single released off the album on November 30, 2020. It started off as a sample of a Weeknd song I had chopped up in Maschine. I bounced two loops out of the session then continued the production in FL Studio. I invited local producer Lazy Beats for the session, who also works out of FL Studio, to add the 808s and help with arrangement. This was the last collaborative session I had at my home studio before the pandemic in early 2020. The song is really just a declaration to myself to stay on my grind and not get distracted by the gold diggin type. It’s also a banger!
This record was the second single released from the album on March 26, 2021. On the release day the record was reviewed in detail on this site by Angie V. The album version begins with a sample of a voice memo where I say f*ck everything that’s bothering me right now, I gotta focus on this music. That was a real voice memo on my phone probably from a day I was trying to lay down an idea but was overwhelmed by other things in my life. I felt that voice memo ties perfectly into the message of the song which is to stay focused on getting to the bag and achieving my ultimate goal, which is to make it as an independent artist. This record was produced by SOY.
So there you have it! A breakdown of the first 5 tracks from my debut album “Determination”! There are 12 tracks in total on the album, all of which I put so much of myself and my story into! Please check out the album! Show some love and add these songs to your playlists! You can find me on Instagram @poliano_da_don! Let’s grow YYC Hip-hop!
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