After years of collaboration and other high quality separate projects the duo of Homeless & Big Cats have finally put their best hand on the table with The Polar Bear Rug. They’ll celebrate it’s release this Saturday at Icehouse in Minneapolis.
The duo’s sonic perusals of life between maintenance and and enjoying the search for the solution culminate in this seven song EP. Homeless delves into his melancholic thoughts but continues to push beyond hopelessness on tracks like “Seeing Double” and “Well Wishes.”
Homeless continues with everyman style over the opening banger from Big Cats “Forklifts” where he asks himself ‘Do I do enough?” and argues with himself “I probably don’t; I know I do.” The polarity that carries through much of the album culminates in it’s title.
“It’s the duality of so much that goes on in rap music where you just want to fucking do it because you love it but also the only shit that gets any airplay is shit that has to do with luxury and (this record) is the perfect intersection of those things.” Homeless said.
Another sentiment of the title is illustrated on “A Thousand Thousands” where he ponders mega-success without forgetting his family and friends. “One day they’ll see that I wanted every last penny, never wanted it for me.” he raps at the end of the first verse. If the record does see a thousand thousands a portion that will go to actually buying a polar bear rug. “We promised (Big Cats’) wife we’d get her a polar bear rug because we called dibbs on the one that his great aunt owns for the studio and she was like ‘fuck you guys’ if the rugs goes to anyone it’s going to me and my house.” Homeless said, laughing.
A quick google search shows that there are a few obstacles they’ll have to worry about. 1) They cost a lot of money 2) they are illegal to import to the U.S.
Before TPBR, Homeless and Big Cats had not released much music together. Only two singles “The Food Chain” and the first song they did back in 2012 “Get Gone.” The lack of singles doesn’t mean they haven’t been working; they’ve racked up twenty-some songs aside from the seven on the project since 2012. For Big Cats (and likely Homeless too), It is the longest time he’s spent on a project.
“There were times where we could’ve released music and it would have been good but not as good as the stuff we ended up putting on the record.” Big Cats said. “The stuff that ended up on the record is some of the newer stuff we’ve been cooking up. I feel like when you start working with a group or an MC or a new producer that you haven’t worked with before. It takes a while to figure out what that process is like and what kind of music you’re actually going to make it.”
The amount of time spent creating and number of songs they’ve created together can be attributed to their pressure-less writing process. “Our process is basically what you’re seeing now; except with beats and rapping.” Spencer said while winning the first of what would be a four game winning streak on a N64 version of NFL Blitz in the lounge of River Rock Studios ,where the recorded was written and recorded.
While writing, they’d spend a few evenings a week at the studio playing Blitz and making songs when it felt right. “Sometimes it’s just Big Cats being like ‘hey bro, I made this beat over the weekend. I don’t know what the fuck I made it for; I just made a beat and it’s really dope.’ and I’m like ‘fuck yeah! I want to write on that right now.’ or it’ll be like me being like ‘Hey man, I wrote these bars to this Meek Mill beat and it’s fucking terrible; we should fix that.’ It’s not always a rhyme or reason to our process.” Homeless said.
“It just feels like a much more genuine form of collaboration than sending a beat and rapping it on it and putting it out. ” Big Cats said
The collaboration does not end with just the two. The project has a great lineup of features including P.O.S., Toki Wright, Mally that are featured on the track “Hawk Spit” and Lydia Liza on “Well Wishes” and the un-official third member of the group Eric Mayson is featured singing on three songs and featured playing keys on another three. “Mayson is something unlike I’ve found in this city,” Big Cats said. “You can throw anything at him in a studio setting and he’s going to be able to handle it.”
Mayson will perform alongside them at the release show at Icehouse on August 1st (TOMORROW!). Mally, Chantz Erolin, Tony the Scribe, DJ Last Word will be opening up the release party and the Wag Wizard Franz Diego is hosting.
TPBR doesn’t mark the end of their collab; There will likely be many more games of Blitz and more bangers from the two. “It’s more than likely you’ll hear more shit from us in the next year.” Homeless said.