As Minnesotans, the Seasonal Affective Disorder is an issue that we all know too well. The amount of sunlight that is available can influence the minds and emotions of thousands of people. That’s why summers prove to be so joyous compared to other states. Residents flock to the closest body of water to utilize its watery potential as scenes of relaxation and exercise. The air is filled with the appetizing aromas steaming from the nearest grill aside the mesquite allure of campfires that reflect the stars on a clear summer’s night. A time when classes are suspended for to students to make the memories that they will resonate in their mind longer than any lesson learned in class and weekends are overrun with countless outdoor parties and shows. Summer is a magical time of year that allows positive vibes to be as infectious as a gentle breeze on a humid day. It is this sentiment that inspired Minneapolis MC Axel Foley to create his latest EP, M00D.
“M00D is the mood of my life right now. It started as just 2 songs that I just happened to use the word mood in a lot and it inspired the concept that I wanted to keep going. It helped shape the project, already knowing the title I kind of wrote around it.”
Following up the success of his True Mutiny partner and longtime friend, Manny Phesto, Axel Foley proved that he was ready to take the torch and run with it on his latest EP. But before he could go any further, he knew he needed the help of Long Doe’s Mike The Martyr to help craft the ‘rooftoppin’ soundscape.
“I just kind of pestered him a lot. I’d see him at shows and just ask him for beats. Not pressuring him for beats, but just saying ‘what’s up.’ It took me hitting him up a bunch for him to eventually just say ‘to come through.’ I just went over to his crib, recorded over there and it became more comfortable every time. Now we are good homies and shit…He has that composer mentality. I feel like if he was born in the 70s, he would be an arranger for big studios. He was really helpful too as we would record and then we would sit and listen to them. From there, he would throw me more beats to write and listen to, which helped with the blendings of beats.”
With Martyr’s sage advice and soulful productions, inspiration struck and gave way for Axel Foley to tap into his positive pen game. He began by writing both “Feeling Like” and “I Think I’m” on a porch, inspired by the vivacious lawn and the warm wonderment of the summer. But due to a busy traveling schedule, M00D went on hold until the leaves changed and faded into the cold grips of winter. With a fresh batch of Martyr magic, he channeled back to the inviting sunny season in the Cities and gave an honest voice to the principles of Quantum Physics as well as the benefits of partying with positive people.
“It seems like I promote drug use. I don’t intentionally do, but that’s just my lifestyle and I just happen to write about it. I don’t condone drug use and I wouldn’t suggest for kids to do that shit, but I see weed as a medicinal thing. It can definitely be abused like any substance like coffee or food, but I think all substances have their purposes. As long as you use them as a tool and not a crutch, it can be a positive thing. And I believe partying can be just partying as well as network building and friendship building where magic things can happen that wouldn’t otherwise when you’re just sitting at home and sleeping, It’s all about energy and people’s vibes. You can definitely have fun without any drugs going on, but good vibes and having good people around makes the mood. I wouldn’t start using to have fun, but it’s more of an enhancement to the fun that’s already occurring.”
With the mood set, Axel Foley and Mike the Martyr kept pushing forward and enlisting the help of some of their favorite local MCs such as Muja Messiah, Manny Phesto and Tek. After over 9 months of creating and recording, the project felt incomplete to Axel Foley as he was one song short of an even ten track EP. Restless, Axel felt that he would search the web to find a song that mentioned the word “mood” a lot to help round out the concept. He stumbled across the ragtime classic “In the Mood” by The Glen Miller Band as well as an accompanying female quartet that sent chills down his spine. The Minneapolis MC then brought his new finds over to the Lake Street Store Front for Martyr to give it a listen. In what felt like .2 seconds, Martyr had chopped the samples and created the beat that would later be M00D’s intro “Good Vibrations,” which they wrote and recorded only moments before sending the project to mastering.
Now after touring the East Coast and performing at the prestigious platforms such as Soundset and the US Social Forum, Axel Foley is back to “partaayy” at Honey Nightclub for the M00D Release Show on Wednesday, July 1st. With the help of Alibaster Jones, Big Dylan and Devon Reason on the mics as well as Frank Castle, Travis Gorman, DJ Peaches and Mike the Martyr holding it down on the decks; the mood has been set for a night full of possibility with great Hip Hop as the backdrop.
As these airy summer nights turn to the sultry summer days, Axel Foley continues to draw inspiration as he is already at work on this next project as well as keeping his bags packed for the next summer adventure. While the summer is beginning to reach its midpoint, it is clear to see that Axel Foley is standing high on top of the world and is ready to help you share in the mood.