“Ira Glass” is now available for a buck
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In a lot of ways, “Ira Glass” was the first time I ever believed that I could do all of this. Up to that point, it all seemed like just a goof, something I did on top of the other stuff I was doing online. It was the first time my music stood for something more than just being a fun thing. It was the first time I tried to really say something. Within a week, I’d gotten thousands of hits to the site, had the CEO of PRI blogging about it, and had the attention of a much bigger audience. I can only hope I’ve done it justice up to this point.
When I spoke to Ruckus about making the original beat, weirdly we both immediately threw out the general idea of Jay-Z beats to each other. I imagined something like “Show Me What You Got,” and he imagined something like “Roc Boys” (that was the beginning of a beautiful working relationship). Originally based on a warm piano-loop focused Pete Rock beat, the new beat had to be something warm, something nostalgic, something that, and I’m quoting from the email as I read it now, “celebrates life,” as much as I knew back then how “insane a request” that was. Ruckus delivered in every way imaginable.
I knew from the moment we agreed to do a single that I wanted Benjamin Birdie to do the cover. His strong lines and great facial art in The Rack were the first things that sprang to mind when I thought about what the single should look like. I knew I wanted Birdie’s version of Ira Glass on the cover. Birdie had the idea to model the text and theme after the This American Life TV show, and he absolutely knocked it out of the park.
“Ira Glass” is the easiest thing for me to point to when people ask me what my music stands for. It’s a funny, cheeky concept, making the name of the popular public radio host into a slangy catchphrase. But it’s a serious, sentimental song about the art of storytelling, and how that art is changing. It’s a metaphor for the process of taking our life experiences, both the triumphant and the painful, and creating art. It’s about striving to do something with your life that’s greater than yourself. It’s about being as classy and intelligent as the man himself (whom I have spoken to via email, and is ever as classy and good spirited as you could imagine).
This is “Ira Glass,” and it’s a song that I am very proud of. I hope you enjoy it.