Earlier this year emcee Sadistik announced he signed to Equal Vision Records. Now while the straight-edged hardcore label is well known for its releases of such seminal albums by the likes of Coheed And Cambria, Circa Survive and Shelter, Sadistik isn’t out of place here. He released the video for the first single “Free Spirits” off of his forthcoming album Altars, dropping 4/14/17.
No Photos, Please. That’s the idea I get from this photo of Cody Foster here, better known as Sadistik, the rapper that originally hails from the northwest. It seems apropos because what I get from the Seattle rapper isn’t the sense of narcissism but an idea that he wants to let the music he’s making speak for itself. He has quietly built a catalog of recordings throughout the years, and in 2014 made ears perk up with the Ultraviolet album. Last year saw the release of the 7-track Phantom Limbs with KNO. It was a bit more relaxed, with Sadistik’s steady rhymes. Last week Sadistik dropped a surprise release in the form of the 6-song Salo Sessions, a heady release he discussed with us here.
Ghettoblaster: When did you begin writing material for Salo Sessions?
Sadistik: I wrote Salo Sessions intermittently over the last two years. Oftentimes when I’m working on a full length project, I become really wrapped up in the over-arching idea or message behind it that I’m trying to present in a very specific way. This approach can allow me to create cohesive projects but can also cause me to stay within the creative parameters I’ve kind of set for myself for the project. The idea of Salo Sessions was basically to create another outlet & set of ideas that would allow me to follow whatever creative instinct I have at the moment, even if it doesn’t fit the theme of the album I’m obsessing over. When I was writing this one, I was also waist-deep in my upcoming LP as well as the Phantom Limbs EP with Kno, so it really brought a new set of challenges for me. I’ve been working voraciously these past few years so working on a few projects simultaneously has been good practice for me.
Ghettoblaster: I know this was sort of a surprise release but why/how did you decide to choose this point in time to release it?
Sadistik: While I put quite a bit of thought into the project, artwork & presentation of Salo Sessions, the actual release of it was purposely minimal. I wanted to release it completely as a surprise, do it for free, and without any pieces of ‘the machine’ behind it. I didn’t involve any record labels, publicists, or heavy promotion with this one, it’s just for the fans. I wanted to present it as a gift that I’ve been working on for the people who’ve supported me.
Ghettoblaster: At 6 tracks the EP seems like a lot to take in. Musically it’s pretty heavy, dense and dynamic. I assume that was the intention? The opening “Wave” stands out for me, the timbre just seems so sad here.
Sadistik: Yea, even with only 6 tracks it’s definitely a heavy record all the way down to the title & artwork, but I prefer it that way. It’s 2016, nearly everything has become saturated & marginalized in large quantities, I don’t ever want to be afraid of density or making something that might scare people. The last song on the record alone is nearly 7 minutes & that’s clearly on purpose. There are layers upon layers of things to dig for in the lyrics & sounds if the listener feels inclined, or if they’d prefer to just throw it on & zone out to it, that’s cool too.
Ghettoblaster: You’re right, everything has become so marginalized. But it seems there’s a formula now in mainstream music, specifically Hip Hop, where it’s so one-dimensional. Where do you see yourself fitting in?
Sadistik: The short answer is that I probably don’t fit in. Hip-hop, like everything that’s hugely popular, starts feeling like a series of boxes to choose from & I don’t fit into any of them neatly. That’s not a criticism of anything really, moreso just an observation that forging my own path seems to be the only thing that works for me. I’ve seen comparisons or adjectives describing my music but ultimately none of them seem to capture what I do completely.
Ghettoblaster: Oh and since you did mention the artwork, what was the idea for conceptualizing of it, or rather what was the concept being stressed there?
Sadistik: I don’t want to explicitly give away too much behind my motives behind the artwork since I like people to formulate their own ideas, but I will say that in my mind it’s directly tied to the title of the project. The feeling of the powerful dominating the powerless & our capacity to conceal our true selves behind a veil are recurring themes to me these days & I think Corwin Prescott’s photo delineated that well.
Sadistik: Thank you, I immediately was taken by Corwin Prescott’s photo & knew exactly what I wanted the final cover to look like. I’m glad you find it fitting. Honestly, I just want people to think freely & to feel. In a society that I think is becoming defined by disconnection, I think my music can be a be a catalyst for something more personal for a certain type of person. I spend the majority of my time obsessively developing my craft & a lot of that is weaving hidden meanings in my words. I like when art has something to interpret, feel, discuss, be afraid of, enrage, inspire etc. and I’d like to hope I’ve reached a point in my creative career where that’s present & expected.
Sadistik: My next album is what’s next. I don’t want to say too much about it other than it’s almost completed & I truly believe it’s my best work yet. And touring, of course. There’s always touring.
(“1984” off of 2014’s Ultraviolet