MC Souleye pens lyrics | SteamboatToday.com

MC Souleye pens lyrics

— After two years of making up his lyrics on the fly, self-styled “conscious wordsmith” and Steamboat semi-resident MC Souleye is going back to write down his rhymes.

For his Saturday show at Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill, Souleye (or Mario Treadway) will perform cuts from his upcoming CD, “Balance in Babylon.”

Dylan McIntosh, who plays drums for the electronica troupe BLVD and is producing Souleye’s new album, said having rap as part of the band was a natural fit for its beat-heavy music. Souleye performs on about half of BLVD’s set and is more of a backing instrument than a lead singer.

“It’s been really cool because he kind of is already in that scene of the electronica and things like that, and we just kind of took it a little farther so he’s rapping over faster tempos as well as hip hop tempos,” McIntosh said.

In between pulling things together for a month-long tour, Souleye talked to 4 Points about freestyling, writing lyrics down and rapping about anything.

4 Points: How will this show be different from when you played in town in June?

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Souleye: Last time I did all improvisation, whereas this show or this tour I’m doing a lot of written lyrics from a CD I have coming up.

4 Points: When you freestyle for most of a show, how do you come at that? I knew a guy in Chapel Hill who would have people in the audience hold up whatever they could get their hands on, and then he’d rap about it on the spot. What’s your style?

Souleye: I just connect to the collective conscience. As a conduit, as an artist, you’re just kind of in tune to the moment.

A lot of people strive to be in the present. When I’m freestyling, a lot of people can’t tell, but if I rhyme about somebody or something that makes people realize that it is improvised, they kind of get excited.

4 Points: How has the transition been to writing and performing lyrics that you know you’ll be coming back to on every show?

Souleye: You really want people to be able to sing along, and you start putting a lot more intention into the songs and the lyrics.

Four or five years ago that’s all I did, so I’ve written hundreds of songs. When my brother passed away, I was like, I just want to freestyle my shows. So the past two years have basically been all improvisation.

4 Points: Working with this band, BLVD – how is rapping over their electronic music different from some of the other unconventional groups you’ve performed with?

Souleye: They play from house to bass beats to hip-hop, and they do really fast tempos.

But it kind of all stems to the same things to me : It all stems to music and being a lyricist.