Tucson MC Big Meridox celebrates the release of his new album Knuckle Rap tonight at Club Congress. The cover is $5 and the first 50 people get a free copy of the album. The show kicks off at 9 p.m.
The Weekly talked to Ox about what he calls his opus for this week's music feature, but also got this song-by-song rundown of the album:
1. Leap of Faith
"'Leap of Faith' is basically me taking a plunge into what I’m introducing you to. Let me jump off, let me take a step forward and submit myself to the masses. You get someone who’s taking a plunge off a building. He’s been involved with all this stuff in his history and he tries to impress everybody with the drug scene and tries to be a goon, tries to be part of a crew. But nothing really works until he takes that leap of faith and kills off his old self. "
2. Whiskey Breath
"That’s about getting grid of the old liquor habits. Everybody knows I love whiskey, but it’s about moving away from that drunken state, that liquid state. It’s getting rid of old."
3. Pipe Dream feat. SAVANT
"Along with my fellow rhyme constituent SAVANT (a Chi-Town based emcee) this song sends a message to those artists who think it’s easy to just enter this local scene with the same accolades as those who have persevered to build Tucson into what it is today. It takes more than performing a few Club Crawls, with dreams and aspirations of becoming 'the king of Tucson Hip-Hop.' There is no 'king' and for those who think it’s easy to just jump in and take over what moguls such as Isaiah, Jivin Scientists, Shaun Harris, Black 1 and myself have built... they are living a serious PIPE DREAM!"
"You’re a fool for thinking that I care any more. I’m not worried about how I look in your eyes. Thank you for giving me props, I’m doing it so you can enjoy it, but if you don’t like it, don’t listen to it. "
5. Pen of a Titan
"'Pen of a Titan' is a mixture of a story about me and about what goes on in Tucson. I’m trying to bring it back to the 1990s boom bap hip-hop. With the video, we did the old-school Cadillac, we did the grimy streets of Tucson. I just wanted to capture that essence of hip-hop, that rugged feel."
6. Serpientes en el Mota
"'Snakes in the Grass.' That’s the climax of the album. A cat is looking back and he’s been to jail and been through all these hustles and drugs. I’m storytelling about cats I know. He’s coming out of jail and looking around and he doesn’t trust people. He needs to change, come towards Allah."
7. Set It Off
"I started 'Set It Off' about my girl. We’ve all had our struggles with women and who we meet. I meant to start it off about my girlfriend. The first verse is how I met her. Writing the song I went away from the song and I’d meant it to be about her. I don’t know what happened, but I lost touch with the song and I made it about something else. It’s about how you meet a girl at a bar, and everything’s cool you’re trying to be smooth, be seductive and you take her home after a few shots of liquor and all of a sudden her boyfriend bursts in and catches you. That’s not from life experience, that’s just how it came out."
"You define codependency as the act of relying on someone else’s life for your well-being. That song is kind of close to me because we all are codependent as people. We all depend on something to get us by. 'Codependency' is getting rid of that thing we base ourselves on. It’s about getting back to me, getting focused."
9. Never Scared
"That features Planet Asia, a well-known rapper from LA. It’s basically just that I’m not afraid anymore. I’m letting go of what I’m afraid of. It’s raw, head-nodding hip-hop, dope lyrics."
"'Wise' is basically my opus song, basically everything I've been through this past year and a half making this album rolled into one song. If anything “Wise” gives me goosebumps. That song gives me a lot of strength. It’s about what I’ve been going through, what I’m going through still and how I’m gonna emerge out of it. I don’t want any more deceit in my life. I don’t want any more lies. I don’t want any more fake people. I just want what’s real. I deal with that on the daily."
11. Assault & Battery
"It’s basic Big Meridox, getting you hyped and letting you know you still ain’t shit. It’s a dope beat. I love that beat and the transition from “Wise” to “Assault & Battery” is my favorite transition on the album."
12. Nose Bleed feat. DRUGATTI CASTELLANO
"This song personifies the meaning of 'Hardcore.' Drugatti is my brother in Allah and when we get together it’s like a rhino with a wrecking ball. This song is straight thunder raw."
"'Godbody' is a song paying homage to my birth into Islam, with segments from brother Malcolm X’s speech to some 1,200 Muslim men and women underlines the construct of the song.
14. That Raw Shit feat. JERICHO DAVIDSON
"If God & The Devil decided to join forces and wreak havoc on a small town called Tucson, Arizona, this would be the theme music to it. Jericho brings a delightful yet warped sense of humor to me and I wanted to bring a bit of the old craziness that sets an undertone to my life."
15. The Affirmation
"This is my profession of faith, my shahada. The shahada is the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of God."