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D-Hype & Cynical Minded | The Lone Wolf Project

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Hip-Hop/Rap: Underground Rap Hip-Hop/Rap: East Coast Moods: Type: Lyrical
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The Lone Wolf Project

by D-Hype & Cynical Minded

Hip-hop lyricist Cynical Minded (of the group Four-In) joins producer/composer D-Hype for this concept album - assuming the Lone Wolf alter ego, on an epic journey of physical and inner battles, complex, cinematic beats and a colorful cast of characters.
Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap: Underground Rap
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Genesis
3:34 FREE
2. Game Ain't the Same
4:10 FREE
3. Precautions
3:06 $0.99
4. Hard Acting Like
3:10 FREE
5. Away for a While
3:33 FREE
6. War
3:58 FREE
7. Lone Wolf Mercenaries
3:31 $0.99
8. Be Without You
5:02 $0.99
9. Gettin' High
4:44 $0.99
10. Dopamine
3:46 FREE
11. Inner Struggle
3:50 FREE
12. Info Wars (Drones)
3:30 FREE
13. Wrong Direction
3:31 FREE
14. Light
4:30 $0.99
15. Crying Over You
4:04 $0.99
16. Itto Ogami's Ambition (Outro)
4:55 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"The Lone Wolf Project"
- Remarks from Producer D-Hype, January 2014:

The Lone Wolf Project was created on a foundation of my beats done over 8 years - the oldest was done in 2005, the most recent 2013. Each time Cynical Minded would come to the studio, I would give him a CD of beats - just to listen to, really - and from 2008 to 2011 I had no idea he was brainstorming an epic - until he brought over the first round of songs: the tracks "Be Without You", "Away For A While", "Info Wars", "War", "My Ambition" and "Wrong Direction". These are the older core of the album, and all appeared on the unreleased Four-In EP in 2011.

In 2013, focus shifted back to the Project, and I began mixing the tracks, adding layers of detail, choosing and incorporating Shogun's Assassin samples, updating the older beats, composing finales and intros, and thinking about a sequence.
My goal as a producer was to create an album, rather than a collection of songs. I do concept albums, because they allow me to do things a single song can't - compose over a large scale. The arc of Lone Wolf begins with Genesis "establishing the outer world" and then outlines the Lone Wolf quest. "Game Ain't The Same" delineates the state of music - CM's metaphorical battleground. "Hard Acting Like" paints the local environment. "Precautions" offers warning, "War" and "Lone Wolf Mercenaries" represent the outward, physical battles along Lone Wolf's mission. Inevitably, the focus turns inward - after the success of "Gettin' High", "Dopamine" represents an overdose, a downfall. We descend into "Inner Struggle", the rigged world of "Info Wars", the bitterness of "Drones". CM gains insight in "Light", arrives at the decision to continue after the conflict of "Cryin Over You", and expresses this redemption in "My Ambition". Still, the journey ends on an ominous, obsessive outro and a cyclical reprise of the intro, suggesting that no battle is truly over.
There is a romantic subplot - "Away For A While" and "Be Without You" lead to the climactic "Cryin' Over You". The celebratory episode "Wrong Direction" is only a bittersweet respite.

On to Cynical Minded: For the Lone Wolf Project, he is
- The initiator of the project, the "Lone Wolf" concept and Shogun's Assassin connection
- Songwriter - the author of his lyrics, as well as the material sung by the singers
- Behind the choice of beats selected for the project
- The engineer for the recording sessions at his studio
- The coordinator for all the collaborations, from rappers to singers and DJ.
Vocally, CM has several different voices to work with - his natural tone is still youthful, making the switches to his rugged, painful voice more visceral.
Lyrically, his endless lists of imagery on "Genesis", "Dopamine" and "Info Wars" widen the scope. The build on "My Ambition" and the dualism of sadness and anger on "Cryin' Over You" show impressive emotional depth and dramatic range, against traditional hip-hop battle styles. The standard mode, though, keeps with the "Lone Wolf" theme - a questioning, observing individualism - this is the thread that holds the album together. We know that "Away For A While" and "Wrong Direction" are temporary. Similarly, the lack of overt humor and pop-culture punchlines makes the content seem mature: they're replaced with something more understated: the wry "the evil inside me provided an anonymous tip", the confession "If hip-hop is a religion, damn near lost my faith", the urgent manifesto "we're the present time-travelers of the atlas", the bleak journal-like "been a year, four months, 22 days....", the wise "...and at the end to be satisfied to still be here".
There are 17 vocal collaborators: the rappers add vivid examples of the central themes, including standout performances. They're Lone Wolf's allies along his road, and represent the community in CM's studio. The singers add color and eventfulness - the finales on "Be Without You" and "My Ambition", the anthemic quality of "Light", the (perhaps naive) bliss of "Gettin' High" that "Dopamine" destroys. DJ Roz provides the extensive and sharply-detailed scratches on "Dopamine" and the Lone Wolf intro reprise, also detail on "Precautions".

The Shogun's Assassin material provides other layers of meaning - it lends commentary, reinforces themes already present in some songs, subverts any commercialism in "Precautions", and heightens the conflict in "War" and "Game Ain't The Same". Goldie Tha Natural is introduced with the quote "1000 pieces of gold". "Cryin' Over You" concludes with the ambiguous "he should have killed her, but he didn't", "Inner Struggle" (the darkest place on the album) ends with "what can we do?", the clip at the end of "Game Ain't The Same" calls current rap "just bad taste".

There are paradoxes - we celebrate in the middle of deep depression, we get high the night before a tribulation. Drugs represent enjoyment then turn on people, ruining their lives and contributing to havoc in society. Various feelings on religion - the church participates in conspiracy, God might not exist or provide answers, yet CM hears a voice from above that made everything clear. We see introverted and extroverted strategies: contemplation of suicide and contemplation of murder. Basking in success yet doubting the future, feeling trapped by unseen forces. Many different perspectives on women. He would be everyman, except he is fundamentally honest and patient, as he doesn't pretend to find answers when there aren't any, making "Lone Wolf" an accurate portrait of the world's complexity.
This content is timely - it is the correct content for the time we live in. As much as I hate conspiracy theories, the paranoia of "Info Wars" is being played out today. The Lone Wolf Project is a corrective to the artificial and amplified colors of most of today's music - this is the constant music of existential life, the music you hear in the distance when the distractions fade and you are again faced with your mission...

On a side note, I consider myself a composer - whether I compose with samples or without, I try to take a similar dramatic approach. The "sample-free" side of Lone Wolf is what I'm particularly proud of - it's generally the newer half: "Precautions", "Be Without You", "Lone Wolf Mercenaries", "Gettin' High", "Info Wars", "Light", "Cryin' Over You" and "My Ambition".

First & foremost I'd like to thank and congratulate all the featured artists on this project. Ya'll we're chosen for a reason -
that I believed in ya'll and respected your craft. Second I'd like to thank the culture of Hip-Hop for letting me find myself a part of this world on a grander scale. Last but definitely not least I 'd like to thank the person who introduced me to Hip-Hop: D-Hype, thank you for everything brother - you’re an inspiration and a big influence on everything I do. You’re a genius, and your work of art shall be recognized. Someone who work as hard as you deserves that and I mean that on everything.
Thanks to CM for the concept, his dedication to this project, his craft and hip-hop in general. We go back 20 years now, I’m impressed by what he’s built. Featured artists - guest MC’s, vocalists and DJ, you add so much. I consider myself a composer, so I intend this album to be a single piece of music from beginning to end, uniting beats made across 7 years.



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