Get Your Tickets Now For Self Destruction Performed Live At First Avenue's 7th Street Entry (8-1-15): bit.ly/ISelf0801

As mentioned last week with the â??Ice Cold [OG ANT Demo Mix]" leak, while recording â??Self Destructionâ?, I Self Devine recorded a lot of extra songs that didnâ??t make the album. In fact, just last week he confirmed, â??I recorded about 70 songs...â? This is testament to I Selfâ??s prolific nature. Heâ??s driven to write, create and convey his messages. Itâ??s a flow of expression that he canâ??t easily turn off.

That said, â??Self Destructionâ? wasnâ??t the first time he created a wealth of music that the world didnâ??t get to hear. He has unreleased albums, songs, and projects that he's continued to amass since the mid â??90s. While â??Self Destructionâ? was off getting mixed and mastered, I Self continued to write and record new songs that would eventually become the mixtape to be used as a promotional tool to accompany the album. Around this same time, P.O.S was quickly rising as a name to watch on the Twin Cities local scene, and had also just signed a deal with Rhymesayers, prompting an immediate reissue of his debut album, "Ipecac Neat". However, I Self Devine and P.O.S had already been connected. P.O.S and I Self developed a relationship in 2003 based off of mutual respect and a love of music that birthed several collaborations. Most remained unreleased other than "I Play the Matador", which appeared on "Ipecac Neat".

In addition to collaborating, since P.O.S had a home studio, I Self would reach out to him periodically to engineer and record one off projects for compilations, most notably " I Want It All" from Omega One's album, "The Lo-Fi Chronicles" on Nature Sounds. That said, when he decided to make a mixtape, he enlisted P.O.S to handle the boards and from there the tracks were sent to Seattleâ??s Bean One to arrange and blend into a mix, completing the final product. Along the way, I Self and P.O.S collaborated on a song that never saw the light of day, â??This Is That Shitâ?. Over a bare bones and rugged Cecil Otter beat, both I Self and P.O.S spit with passion and vigor, venting frustrations while giving insight into their unique perspectives. At the time, P.O.S was also getting deep into the creative process of writing and planning his sophomore album, so when this track didnâ??t get used for anything he wound up using his verse on the song â??Living Slightly Largerâ? from his sophomore album, â??Auditionâ?. The distinct contrast between the beats of the two songs results in P.O.S delivering the verse quite differently.

On this demo, the openness of the beat gives P.O.S the flexibility to deliver his rhymes loosely with a unique and varied flow, filling in various spaces between the drums, while keeping the flow exciting and unexpected. As for I Self, stylistically, he sounds more in line with his technique on â??The Emperor and The Assassin" than with his approach to â??Self Destructionâ?. The best way to convey the rawness and potency of his verse is with the words themselves:

â??Itâ??s I Self Devine, Savior of Self, hated by Muslims/ And 5% Nation Of Gods, acting like devils/With them I canâ??t associate, house ni**as with shiny dinner plates/Roaches and snakes who canâ??t penetrate/The armor of the raw skin, Juggling nutsacks and foreskin/The type to get a G by using forcing/False confidence, the next second they ill/The first to talk, but always want to stop a second to build/Strictly Minnesota shit, ni**as spit venom with no ownership/Small time mentality, abandon ship/Heavenly and truth and earthly laws/Iâ??m in a world where good and evil seem incredibly flawed/I donâ??t believe in hell and heaven because itâ??s all in your mind/while on earth, what you make of it, seek and you findâ?¦â?

Indeed, this is that shit.

Accompanying Art: Also known for his visual art work, around the time of "Self Destruction" I Self worked on four different collage pieces as possibilities to use for the mixtape artwork that never got used, here's one of them.