P.M. DAWN may come across as spacey, psychedelia-tinged rappers, as evidenced by the latest Gee Street/Island single, “Looking Through Patient Eyes,” but lead rapper Prince Be (aka Attrell Cordes) says a down-to-earth reality pervades “The Bliss Album…?,” which sits at No. 35 on this week’s Billboard 200.
“It’s called ‘The Bliss Album… ?’ sarcastically because there isn’t any in it,” Prince Be said.
“It’s about the need for bliss rather than examples of it. People need to know why I want (bliss) so desperately, which is why the album has the subtitle, “Vibrations of Love and Anger and the Ponderance of Life as Existence.”
Joined by his brother, DJ Minutemix (Jarrett Cordes), the Jersey City, N.J., natives broke through on the British scene four years ago with their album “Of the Heart, Of the Soul, Of the Cross: The Utopian Experience.” The album generated the No. 1 single “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss” and attained platinum status.
Yet success breeds familiarity, and “The Bliss Album” also tackles the pigeonholing of P.M. Dawn into one of two diverging hip-hop camps. “Everyone is choosing sides, which bothers me because there aren’t any sides,” Be said. “I enjoy alternative hip-hop as well as hardcore. Yet people tell me it’s impossible to enjoy both and that’s ludicrous.”
There’s also a specific purpose behind the group’s cover of the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood.”
“It’s the only musical statement I really wanted to make,” Be said. “Sampling artists catch flak because sampling is thought to be non-creative, so we cut a legitimate song that’s totally composed of samples. People don’t realize what it takes to sample. From composing the form to adding the sample, it’s a lot harder to make a song that way than from out of nothing.”