Filipino-American hip-hop artist Pretty Pape$ is making a name for himself with memorable live performances on the Power 106 stage during the BET experience, the Power 106 High School tour between 2019-2020, along with placements on Elevator and OnthaRize Magazine. His contagious energy comes through in his cadences and witty punch-lines to form a bouncy form of lyrical Kung Fu which is distinct upon first listen. This raspy voiced wordsmith hails from Orange County, California and has rocked over 150 shows in the OC, LA, IE with a 5 show tour in Texas with Inland Empire staple Noa James. This man is a true entertainer and a work-horse of an artist who is constantly evolving and improving with each release (and releasing consistently). Pape$ just released his latest EP “Everything Soundz Better On Paper”, learn more about it and listen below.
HR: What three words describe your new EP and why?
PP: The 3 words I would use to describe my EP “Everything Soundz Better On Paper” are Versatile, Vulnerable and Hype. First is versatile, with all 4 songs I wanted to show four different sides of myself & my sound. The typical artist who would make a short EP would stress on having all songs have the exact same vibe/sound but with this I wanted to showcase my total artistry & my ability to adapt to any record. Second is Vulnerable, on records like “No Sleep” & “Pronto”I reveal my struggles, fears, life ambitions and things I’ve been taught along with giving you a little insight to my thinking patterns as well. It was a way to share my story and motivate my listener as well as my true self with these records. Third is Hype, I say Hype because my vibe as a human being is most definitely hype. By nature I am an energetic human being, and as an artist I write and record my songs to be performed. Even while recording I make sure my delivery really cuts through the entire record. (even if it takes 10-20 takes) I want my energy to pierce through you as soon as you listen to it. I aim to always bring a strong delivery that you can feel in your bones. My goal is to touch your soul in one way or another. I believe that’s the goal of any artist who’s in it for the right reasons.
HR: What was the most challenging part in creating this EP from start to finish?
PP: The hardest part was definitely narrowing my final track list & opening up about my own struggles and fears. I had about 20 songs in consideration while putting together this EP with songs I had recorded from 2018 all the way to 2020. I decided to cut it down to a final 4 songs. I wanted all songs on this EP to be hits. I wanted to display only my best for my loyal listeners and showcase my versatility for new fans on the way. I felt the need to truly introduce myself on this record. The project itself is actually called “Everything Soundz Better On Paper” for an interesting reason. I had actually notebooked plans for each of these songs as individual singles beforehand at different stages of the past year that never came to fruition due to both choosing other records to invest in as well as simply not following through with further planning. The songs themselves served as life lessons for me and I think that’s why it came together so well. Everything sounds better on paper but it’s only when you follow through with your planning that you can turn your ambitions into your reality.
HR: When did you know the EP was complete?
PP: Alright so the moment I knew it was finished was about the beginning of august. I was with my manager Steven, and my good friend Jetpack Jones. We were on a road trip to the Bay Area to record a Livestream set for @summitsessions. We had all taken a small dose of psychedelics before starting the drive and smoked about 3 or 4 joints on the ride. I waited about 3 hours until I showed them the 4 song sequence I had chosen for “Everything Soundz Better On Paper” and from beginning to end we basically had live concert in the car. Played the project back at least 4 more times before we chose any other music. By the time we were crossing the golden gate bridge I knew I had my final choices down. I loved how they were all different but were somehow on the same energy wavelength.
HR: What kind of ‘sound’ did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
PP: I honestly just wanted to make something authentic. That is my goal every time I go into a session. My moods and vibes change daily sometimes hourly so for it to have one uniform ‘sound’ wouldn’t be true to myself. But I definitely wanted the sound to be energetic and ambitious. I’m a hustler and a grinder so I wanted to make something that people such as myself could relate to and enjoy.
HR: What did you do differently compared to your previous EPs / Projects?
PP: Something I did differently was test myself. I wanted to show that I’m an artist with the ability to do damn near anything. Both with cadences, lyrics, and content I wanted to show that I’m not the average artist nor am I a “one trick pony.” I’m different. Not that I haven’t done that in previous records but on this record I made it a point and I will continue to test myself on further projects.
HR: What are your favourite songs and lyrical highlights and why?
PP: My two favorite songs on this EP are “No Sleep” & “Pronto” hands down. On “Pronto” I say “What you know about coming home after two shifts/ hit a 8 hour session make 4-5 hits then back to the job on a 90 minute sleep/ when they tell you that they workin man what even mean?” This is really how my life is. I know a lot of people who say they work hard but are they really giving their ALL? I personally can’t slack for one moment. On “No Sleep” i have a line that goes “Daddy told me not to get complacent/ I ain’t got no time for no vacation/ I’m your favorite rappers new replacement/ all my dreams is freddy versus jason”.
HR: What overall theme / mood were you trying to capture while writing for this EP?
PP: The theme and mood I wanted to capture is just the aura I give when I walk into a room. I want you to truly meet PRETTY PAPE$. I’m an energetic, ambitious and somewhat emotional individual. I wanted you to feel like you just listened to a short set I had at some intimate venue. I bring ur energy up gradually then send you off with something vibey and memorable.
HR: Are there any ‘crazy’ behind the scenes stories you can share with us?
PP: So the night I recorded “Pronto ” we were all smoking at the studio in San Pedro but mind you the studio doesn’t got no windows. We already laid the vocals we was just chillin and mixing it down. It was myself, my manager Steven, My producer Nobrakesmixx and the lil homie seven. We usually have to air out the studio every 1 or 2 hours or so it don’t smoke up too much. But basically we had the room so hotboxed that eventually the smoke alarm went off. The lil homie seven was passed out he jumped off the couch everybody was tryna figure out how to shut it off. Mind you this facility has a “no smoking” policy. Then the building manager knocks on the door and says “Ay yall know you ain’t supposed to be smoking in there open up!” So we open the door and I kid you not the way the smoke poured out almost look like an avalanche or a cartoon or some s***. So much so that one of our neighbors thought it was a fire. So he called 911. Next thing you know the fire department is in the building making sure everything is ok. The building manager says it cool but they still wanna check it out just in case they weren’t in line with fire code. It basically reaks of kush throughout the hallways. They come in the studio and say “Hmmm i guess this is where the ‘fire’ was comin from huh” and the homie mixx says “Yea we been makin ‘fire’ every night but this the first time we seein yall…” I still ain’t never seen that much smoke in room.
HR: Why this EP and why now?
PP: The reason being is that I really wanted to complete something dope that represented all my abilities with justice & stood the test of time. I did it this year because I feel that we’ve all had a hard time this year and I dropped this for myself. I dropped it so my fans and I could have something cool to look forward to. The world must always go on no matter what. Art can get you through anything.
HR: Now that the EP is out, what’s next?
PP: Well my song “Boomin” has recently had some astonishing success on tiktok approaching 20 million views with the support of verified accounts like @fentybeauty @NFL @NBA @MLB @Redbull & countless more. What’s next is not only capitalizing on this with further engagement and content. I’ll also be dropping a new EP on Valentine’s day titled “Cuddle Szn 2” and a lot of new videos and content to go along with that as well. Oh also I’m getting married soon and I’m very excited about that too!
LISTEN TO EVERYTHING SOUNDZ BETTER ON PAPER BY PRETTY PAPE$