Halifax-based MC Ghettosocks went from updating his Facebook profile and Twitter account with his "treat of the day," to basing the concept of his new album, aptly titled Treat of the Day, around the idea.
"I was kind of compelled to do this treat-of-the-day thing," says Ghettosocks, AKA Darren Pyper. "For albums I get on a loose theme which sort of just propels me, the whole album is really anchored in it...I don't know if it's an OCD thing, but I just get weird little fixations."
From Nerds to Ultimate Burgers at Henry House, chowder and candy pizza, treats of the day have influenced a good portion of Pyper's creative output over the last year. Springing from the online updates, Treat of the Day also spawned a hilarious series of webisodes currently advertising the album.
After his I Can Make Your Dog Famous mixtape---"I just started thinking more about treats, and I did the Facebook status and Twitter thing," says Pyper. "It was just a fun thing I was doing and then I was trying to think of a name for the album when I was 10 songs deep. I was originally going to go with Not Impressed, but I felt it was too negative and I wanted to stay away from that. I did a contest on my website and I was, in the back of my head, thinking of Treat of the Day, but someone else wrote it and that verified it."
The album features appearances from his former Alpha Flight cohort Apt, D-Sisive (see him next Wednesday at the Halifax Pop Explosion), as well as Cesar Comanche, El Da Sensei, Timbuktu and Edgar Allen Floe---all of whom Ghettosocks has either brought here, toured or collaborated with in the past.
Frequent collaborator Joseph Serra, better known as Jorun Bombay, whom Ghettosocks met back when Alpha Flight was hosting hip-hop nights at the Khyber, appears on the album as both producer and DJ.
The difference between Treat of the Day and the last album, according to Serra, is simple. "I am not saying the last one didn't have it, but it's more clear, the theme. Some people don't get it when you make a theme and it's too over their head. This one is more obvious of a theme," he says. "Get Some Friends was a theme, but not everyone's that smart. They like the music, but they may not get the theme of it. This one is more like, you look at the cover and you get it."
"I'd say this album is more aggressive," Pyper adds. "More battle-y and it's solid hip-hop..."
"The beats are upgraded," interrupts Serra.
Pyper describes the album as "more fun" and "kind of like junk food." According to Pyper, the production is also stepped up: "With Get Some Friends I produced all the tracks except one and with this album it's sort of the reverse." Stephan MacLeod of Windom Earle summed up Treat of the Day as "You're not going to want to sign up for the UN and end wars overseas..."
A tour in support of Treat of the Day, with Jorun, kicks off this Friday in Fredericton with First Words, and then comes back to Halifax on Saturday night at The Seahorse Tavern, before heading out to central Canada for four release parties.