Freeway and Girl Talk released their Broken Ankles EP Tuesday (April 8). The Pennsylvania natives say their workflow in the studio was different to what either of them is used to.
“With my projects, I always like them to kind of jump around a bit, be very precise and I think the beats are kind of like that for you, changes,” Girl Talk says in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. “So in my mind it was kind of working like that where I thought Freeway is a pretty technical rapper and I think the project has this energy where it’s quick and kind of like a metaphor for breaking somebody’s ankle, very shaking someone off sort of thing.
“I feel like Freeway, when we’re in there he’s like a machine like, ‘Go go go go!’ [He’ll] pump it out and move onto the next one," he adds. "So a lot of them, I was like, ‘Well let’s go revisit this one and let’s maybe try another verse. It was great, but let’s see what else is there.’ So I felt like with that it was a different workflow. So that’s what I was particularly talking about there. And there I felt like I was pushing a little bit, like, ‘Let’s just record five verses for this song and see what happens.’”
Freeway admits recording in that manner brought more out of him.
“It was a little different from what I’m normally used to doing, but I definitely like working like that because it brought more out me,” Freeway says. “I’m listening back like, ‘Wow, maybe if I do change it it might make it better.’ Some of the records I did five or six verses for them and then we just picked the best verses and went with it. It was good. It’s like being in the gym like a ball player. When you in the gym, you practicing and working on your J, it has no choice but to get better so I’m with it.”
Although the EP is a collection of six cuts, the duo recorded far more songs before deciding which ones made the final collection.
“We did like 25 records I think and the EP’s going to be five with an intro,” Girl Talk says. “I’m just kind of a perfectionist with all my projects, so I liked all of them and I think the other tracks could go somewhere for something, but I thought we had a few that stood out and a few that blended well. We jumped all around. I mean [with] the production, I came in with leading it off, when I shipped Freeway the beats. I think it was kind of all over the place and he was down to try out on anything. It was just what naturally kind of rose to the top.”
Adds Freeway: “I like working with producers where the music challenges my flow and make me wanna do different things and take it to different avenues. I think he sent me like 100 beats and the first beat I heard I loved, then I’m going through like I picked #1 and #4 and #8 and #57 and #43, so I was all over the place. I was just zoning out. Whatever caught my ear, then I just started vibing out to that and then we took it to the studio.”
In October, Freeway made an appearance on stage during Girl Talk’s Brooklyn Bowl concert to debut their “Tolerated” single. Girl Talk says he hadn’t been so fired up for anything he had done live in a long time.
“It took so long to get to that point, so I think we were both pretty fired up,” Girl Talk says. “That show was like a last-minute thing, I think we announced it like with one day and it sold out within a couple of hours. The night was live. I was actually—I don’t know, I just hadn’t been so fired up for anything I’ve done live in so long. Not necessarily concerned, but I was curious to see how it would go over cause it is a slight departure from what I’ve been doing and I thought it went up a notch rather than—it wasn’t any confusion to me it was like the whole evening got raised.”
Girl Talk also shines some light on their Waka Flocka Flame-assisted single “Tolerated” saying the Broken Ankles cut was a “home run from the start.”
“To me, that was the song that I knew would resonate live,” Girl Talk says. “It was actually one of my favorite beats going in and then I was like, ‘We’ll see what Freeway does with this.’ And then I thought that was one of the first tracks that was just like a home run from the start. I thought everyone was into it. Cause I felt like we had other tracks we did prior to that that worked but they’re not necessarily bangers there more like soul-sample Rap sort of stuff.”