Singled Out: Sims

02/14/2011
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Today hip-hop star Sims, who is also a member of the MN hip hop collective Doomtree (P.O.S., Dessa, Lazerbeak, Paper Tiger, Cecil Otter, and Mike Mictlan), tells us about "Burn It Down" from his new album "Bad Time Zoo," which hits tomorrow! Here is the story:

Its very rare that a song just comes to me. I am a notoriously slow, meticulous songwriter. I spend entirely too much time making sure each word is the right word not only that it makes sense lyrically but also that it sounds right in the context of the song. "Burn it Down" however was a song that essentially wrote itself.

Doomtree, has weekly meetings to update everybody on the work that has been done over the past week and work that needs to be done. They are the dull but essential side of working in this business. We often try to make them somewhat rewarding when we finish with the business and have drinks, play each other tracks, etc. After this particular meeting in the summer of 2009 Lazerbeak was playing me a batch of new beats he'd made. I was sitting smoking cigarettes in his Camry with Paper Tiger when he played he beat for what would become this song. I vividly remember losing my mind hearing it, so was Paper Tiger. Beak sat there ginning, he knew he made a banger. I knew this was the one, and probably the one that would shape the rest of the sonic landscape of my album. I got home later that night and put the beat on repeat for about an hour, then turned on Blonde on Blonde and passed out.

The next morning I woke up and wrote this song. I was looking out my window at the abandoned warehouses across the street and the lyrics started to pour out. I wrote for maybe two or three hours straight; it was one of those rare moments where I stated and finished the song in one session without having to go back and change anything. And oddly enough that night I began to think of a video treatment for it, sort of a basic predator/prey situation but with a classic Shyamalan twist (just kidding). You can check out the video below.

I'm fairly sure the lyrics in the song will do a better job at explaining the song than I can now but basically the song is about people and their environments. About the distinctions sub-groups of people make between themselves that ultimately distract them from seeing the threads of commonality that tie them together. It's about being distracted by our differences in gender, race or sexual orientation or being distracted by commoditized goods or trying to find our place. It is not my attempt at a call to arms so much as a call to open up dialogue. Its about losing your safe place and taking a chance with other people and abandoning outmoded lines of thought in order to get something accomplished. It's pretty much about partying. Its one of the cornerstone tracks on Bad Time Zoo and helps establish the sonic and thematic environment on the album and it's one of my favorite songs I've written. Hope you like it, thanks for reading.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!

Preview and Purchase Sims CDs

Sims MP3 Downloads

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