Odd Future founding member and MellowHype rapper Hodgy has announced his debut solo album, Fireplace: TheNotTheOtherSide, along with the video for Jonti-produced new single “Barbell”. Fireplace: TheNotTheOtherSide will be released on December 9th via Columbia. Album art (designed by Hodgy).
With the announcement of Fireplace, Hodgy shares the following words:
Trade the past for a never ending story.
Trade the end for a new beginning.
Trade hatred for a better understanding.
Trade slavery for freedom.
Trade anger for artistic expression.
Trade like for eternal love.
“I am a wizard, an illusionist. I am a dreamer in a dream without a society. I am Hodgy.”
Fans might be surprised to find a worldlier perspective from Hodgy on his major label debut Fireplace: TheNotTheOtherSide, releasing via Columbia next month. The 13-track LP features guest appearances from Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes and Salomon Faye as well as production from BadBadNotGood, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Knxwledge, 88-Keys Nottz, Rahki, Jonti and more, a diverse array of artists to help bring life to tracks like the Rahki-helmed “Resurrection,” where Hodgy converses with God, and “Laguna,” which sees him expressing his passage way through in life.
“My debut album is gratefully my past to present,” explains Hodgy, born Gerard Long. “Same time I had got my solo deal, around the time me and my child’s mother were at wit’s end, I was in search for a higher ground.”
He began work on the set after he signed his solo deal under the Odd Future umbrella in 2013, but only this year recorded almost all of the rhymes on Fireplace off the top of his head. “I had to do a lot of living and transform in order to feel and speak my truth, to say what I really felt on the album rather than just rap. I’m gifted.”
Fireplace, which includes snippets from a conversation with his mother and a few sound bites from his son Trenton, is the culmination of years of hard work both in and out of Odd Future. Born in Livingston, NJ, he moved to his current home of Pasadena, CA with his mother at the age of nine, developing his musical foundation by listening to the neo-soul music being played around the house. Though he started to rap around six years old, groups like Portishead and Bush Tetras started to attract his attention through his adolescence, helping to develop an accentuated perspective on the variety of music and genres.
It was when he met Left Brain in 2006 that he connected with the founding members of OF (Tyler, The Creator, Casey Veggies and Left Brain), and by 2011, the group had added in members like Frank Ocean and Mike G to become one of hip-hop’s most prominent and forward-thinking collectives. Around that time, Hodgy began to test the waters as a solo artist, releasing a pair of untitled EPs in 2012 and 2013 as well as collaborating with Left as MellowHype and Domo Genesis as MellowHigh. “It was [Trenton] that brought life to my attention,” he explains.
At a heightened mental space in his life, Hodgy is thinking beyond Fireplace. He has a collaborative album with Nelly Furtado in the works and is currently putting together the pieces for another MellowHype project, all while envisioning his sophomore album.
“I am a breathing manifestation, a traveling light; a mirror for humanity. I am Hodgy”