Some of Hip Hop’s most classic releases come via a singular connection between producer and emcee. When the beatsmith and wordsmith hit that zone, well, it’s a wrap. It can be even better when they both rep the same crew and the collaboration can stretch to the stage. That’s the flow of things for BoatHouse and Ajani Jones. The two have been building a musical connection since Ajani Jones joined Closed Sessions in the spring of 2018. Over the last few months that synergy hit new levels, and the two are readying a joint EP and getting set for their first performance at the Empty Bottle on 11/7.
Ahead of their dual headline set and on the release of their new banger, “Futurama”, I talked with BoatHouse and Ajani about their chemistry in the studio and on the stage. Check it out below, and join us tomorrow night for the first rubyhornet party in way too long (also featuring Lorde Fredd33 and Jared Lanell).
rubyhornet: Is “Futurama” the first song you guys made together? How did this session happen?
BoatHouse: Ajani and I had already been in a groove creation wise. We’d been having at least one session a week for about a month and a half. In one of those sessions “Futurama” came about.
Ajani Jones: We’ve done a good amount of records in the last six months. Usually Boat books my time in the [studio] calendar, so we link up and just get it in.
rubyhornet: Was there something different about this song or recording session that made you guys think, ‘we’re onto something here, maybe we should pursue a bigger collaboration”?
BoatHouse: We always go into each session planning to make SOMETHING. What the finished result is or what type of record it is, is always up in the air, but something is going to come from this. We have so many tracks in the vault that it made sense to just start releasing them. Don’t wait on’em too long.
Ajani Jones: I think a few sessions before “Futurama” we started watching in the back ground of our sessions and it inspired me to be more creative.
rubyhornet: What happened first, these songs or the joint headline show?
BoatHouse: “Futurama” definitely came first, the co-headlining show is an obvious step because of the chemistry we both have.
rubyhornet: What can people expect at Empty Bottle on Weds? Without giving too much away, what’s the approach for this set? Is it something new for each of you respectively? Ajani, you’ve performed with a DJ before and Boat, you’ve done countless shows as Kweku’s DJ – what is one about?
BoatHouse: Lots of energy. Lots of unreleased songs. Neither of us have had a headliner spot so that’s definitely new. We’re trying to keep it different from the typical DJ/Rapper on stage combination. It’s more focused on us as artists – The Producer/Rapper performance combo. Also we’re bringing friends out.
Ajani Jones: It’s definitely the meticulous set I’ve done. High energy, and a lot of head knocking. If people have energy they will have zero of it at the end.
rubyhornet: Boat, what is one thing you’ve learned about Ajani through the last month or so of making music and prepping for this show that you maybe didn’t know before?
BoatHouse: We have the same taste in anime. Wing stop is not the first choice in wing based culinary, but it will do if it’s the closest one.
rubyhornet: Ajani, same question for you about BoatHouse.
Ajani Jones: I’ve learned that Aidan has the best lowkey show game. I won’t reveal anything further, we can’t just give the sauce away.
rubyhornet: Are there any details you can share about more music, when this EP might come out, is it an EP?
BoatHouse: EP very soon. Something different from both of us.
Ajani Jones: It’s an EP of great records with high energy and great rap. A nice punch to the face.
rubyhornet: Is there any deeper meaning for you guys being on the same crew and working together? Does that add a layer or even this show being the first rubyhornet party in like 5 years? Is there any cherry on top so to speak?
BoatHouse: Well Alexander, I know first hand from you about the importance of the rubyhornet show. Especially during a certain time in Chicago music history. I’m glad to be a part of the next generation of those and to be throwing it with the squad.
Ajani Jones: It means a lot that BoatHouse is a crew member because I am very much so a team player and I love to work with other energies because we all have different perspectives and approaches to music. The entire process was natural and never forced and it’s beautiful. It’s why I do music.
Ajani Jones and BoatHouse hit the Empty Bottle on Weds 11/7 with Lorde Fredd33, Jared Lanell, and DJ RTC. Tickets available here or at the door.