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The Takeover Podcast

Hosted by Whitney Peyton & Mike Francolino

Listen to The Takeover LIVE every Tuesday at 8pm EST on Toxic Radio

A FAN BLOG FROM AN UNDERDOG

Monday
Jan112016

Break The Frame Track By Track

Whitney Peyton likes three word album titles. Keeping with the theme of three, I have provided a three sentence review of each song from Whitney Peyton’s badass new record Break The Frame.

1. "Intro" - Whitney Peyton comes in with verbal guns firing in an adrenaline-fueled opening track that kicks the proverbial door off the hinges. Peyton sets the stage for what’s about to come with a lyrical smackdown on all of her detractors. This intro banger is a work of absolute devastation. 

2. "Broken Road" ft. Allie Santos - This emotional piano-driven track has two heartfelt verses, followed by a spoken word outro. WP opens up and pulls the heartstrings and it's impossible to not feel the raw honesty in her lyrics. Peyton packs more depth and true sentiment in two verses than most rappers will produce in a lifetime.

3. "Red Light (Funk You)" - “Red Light” is a fun song with an insanely catchy hook.  Watch for this cut to be a live staple and crowd favorite. Give ‘em that Red Light (Funk You)!

4. "Too Far Gone" ft. Jonathan Padilla - Produced by Ali “AMAC” McGuire, this track is an inspiring call-to-action against our culture’s continued spiral into the bleakness of pessimism and negativity. Songs with deeper themes are nothing new for Whitney Peyton and she kills it with fierceness and passion. It’s time for the rest of the world to take note.

5. "Sticks and Stones" ft. Jelly Roll & Rachael Rota - This dope track has a smooth-rolling beat that really plays well with the lyrical flow. Rachael Rota is perfect on the chorus and Jelly Roll’s verse actually compliments Dub-P’s verses. "Sticks and Stones" is top 3 material from this album.

6. "Wake The Neighbors" - Holy shit, Whit! "Wake the Neighbors" is the anthem track on this album and an instant classic. Peyton runs verbal laps with her wordplay, cleverness, and clarity of delivery, as she continues her rapid evolution as an artist.

7. "Word of Mouth" ft. Kung Fu Vampire - Whitney Peyton rapping in an old-school style is something to behold. Breaking the creative frame, indeed. "Word of Mouth" is the perfect example of the wide spectrum of references and puns that WP drops into her verses that leads to even greater appreciation on repeat listens.

8. "Gasoline" ft. Allie Santos - “Gasoline” is probably the sexiest track on the album. Meaning you can totes bone to the groove. Peyton’s flow is deliberate and restrained, while Allie Santos, featured earlier on “Broken Road”, delivers a beautifully haunting chorus.

9. "Flatline" ft. Misfits & Matt Good - Mix Whitney Peyton rapping over chugging guitar riffs and exceptional drumming and you get "Flatline". It turns out to be a fantastic concoction. The song begs to be performed live.

10. "It's All Good" ft. Sounds - “It’s All Good” feels like the summation of everything Whitney Peyton has had to say up until this point in her career. Peyton has never sounded as confident as she does on these verses and there is a definite sense of growth and maturity to be felt here. Yes, you can exude the wisdom of maturity and drop “purple nurple” in the same song and it still applies.


Tuesday
Dec222015

Nerding Out with Whitney Peyton

Whitney Peyton – rapper, PA native, underdog – is an independent artist of immense talent, both lyrically, and in live performance. If you have never been to a Whitney Peyton show, make it happen next time she is in town. You are in for a treat. The direct, matter-of-fact way Peyton engages with an audience in between songs is unparalleled in today’s live music scene. Intimate hip-hop. Is that a thing? It should be.

Do not mistake my use of the word “intimate” to imply that a WP show is lacking in energy. During a typical set, Peyton will no less than crowd surf, crowd walk, rap on top of the bar, rap within the crowd, dance, borrow a phone from the front row and record from her POV, wear your hat, and dance some more, all while never missing a beat on vocals.

Peyton delivers arena-sized excitement.  The performance is just as important as the music.  But it’s not really a performance. This is Whitney being Whitney.

If this interview gives off a subtle fan-boy vibe from yours truly, it’s because I’m that impressed with Whitney Peyton.  She is that gifted. 

There is a high level of intelligence and self-awareness within her lyrics that I connect with, along with her general all around relateability as an artist and performer.

Duane:  The lyrical acrobatics you perform are not only impressive, but they are also story-driven. Every bar is part of a narrative flow that ties into the next line, until the song culminates. You obviously have a love for language and writing within a structure. How much time and effort goes into this part of your craft?

Whitney:  I actually don't think I've hit my pinnacle yet as far as the vocabulary I could apply to writing my songs. I am improving every day and every song is a story that was written based on something going on in my life. I continue to read books and stay sharp when it comes to language!

Duane:  What is your absolute dream collaboration with a living artist?

Whitney:  I would collaborate with Adele! She needs to collab with a rapper and I think we'd make a great team.

Duane:  Do you ever hold specific bits of rhymes over to be used for collaborations/features, instead of using them in a solo song where the lyrics may not necessarily fit within the theme of the track?

Whitney:  No, I would say I work just as hard on collabs as I do my solo work! I write each verse specifically to that song so it's not like I just rip a page out of my rhyme book and try to force it to fit.

Duane:  What current TV show would you most like to make a guest appearance on?

Whitney:  The Walking Dead. I want to be a walker! I think I'm pale and thin enough to get the role! haha

Duane:  You recently performed with a live drummer (Matt Traynor from Blessthefall) at your December 2nd show in AZ. Do you see yourself ever touring with a full live band?

Whitney:  I would love to at least tour w/ a drummer. I have performed with full bands in the past so this was not the first time, but with the right musicians it can add a lot to the live show!

Whitney Peyton performs live with drummer Matt Traynor 12/2/15 at Livewire Scottsdale, AZ. Photo credit Bad Fish Photography

Duane:  You are stranded on a desert island. For some strange reason, you have a CD Walkman and enough batteries for a week. You also have three CDs of your choice. What are your top 3 desert island albums?

Whitney:  Can I have an instructional album on how to build a life raft out of tree bark? HAHA JK. I'd have to say anything by Hopsin, Missy Elliott, and Adele of course (this changes every week I have so many favorites).

Duane:  Your tone and delivery is aggressive, yet vulnerable. I think that’s part of what makes you stand out; the juxtaposition of the two sides. This combined with your lyrical abilities, stage presence, and unique personality truly defines the statement “when there’s a million copies, but only one of you”. This isn’t just a boastful rapper exaggeration. How does it feel to be a singular voice in such a crowded industry?

Whitney:  There's pros and cons. I think because there aren't too many rappers like me it kinda makes it tough when marketing myself because people are always like "who do you sound like?" and I have a very difficult time answering that. On that same note it certainly helps me stand out!

Duane:  Zombie Apocalypse Team: You get to pick 3 fictional characters from ANY universe to be part of your zombie apocalypse team of survivors. The only stipulation is that they have to be human, without any supernatural powers or abilities in the paranormal, psychic, or magical arts. Who do you pick?

Whitney:  Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, Jack from Tekken, Bullseye (Marvel). These guys would make the best bodygaurds!

Pre-order Break the FrameDuane:  Your new album Break the Frame will be dropping on January 5. This is extremely exciting. What other surprises does Mrs. Making Moves have in store next year for the Underdogs?

Whitney:  I will be touring a lot in the new year! I am actually already booked through spring. People can see my upcoming dates on http://whitneypeyton.com/tour-dates/

Tuesday
Dec082015

It's All Good - Official Music Video

Friday
Nov272015

Team Underdog Holiday Logos (and Star Wars)

Tuesday
Nov242015

Nerding Out with Gabriella Meghan

I first met Gabriella Meghan last summer at a Whitney Peyton show in Pontiac MI. Gab was running the merch table and would later run the boards during Whitney’s performance, repping the DIY indie grind with style. But I really first became aware of Gab from her always entertaining appearances on The Takeover podcast, and subsequently, through her Instagram.

Gab is an all around cool chick and a warm, funny, and genuine person. On the creative side, she writes poetry and is working on a novel. She’s done modeling and appeared in several commercials and music videos.

Gab was gracious enough to grant her time and Nerd Out with me on variety of topics.

And she makes Nerding Out pretty for a minute. #TeamUnderdog

Duane: Do you prefer to be called Gab, Gabby, Gabriella, Crazy Cat Lady, or Countess Succubus Meow?

Gab: Ohhhh. I really like Countess Succubus Meow! That’s a first! But since that’s a mouthful, I’ll settle for Gab or Gabriella (Gabby is something I’ve grown to dislike as I get older).

Duane: How did you and Whitney Peyton meet and how did that transition to you becoming a part of Team Underdog?

Gab: Oh geeze… I met Whitney years ago when she was performing in Syracuse, NY, through a mutual friend. She ended up becoming a good friend of the family and staying at our house when she’d come upstate. We kept in touch over the years, and our friendship grew- eventually I asked her if she needed help with her emails, because things were getting to a point where she was getting tons daily. I felt it was important for her to focus on her music… and well, the rest is history!

Duane: You played the role of Tammy in the “Better” video, helping to add a heartbreaking visual component to an already emotional song.  What was that experience like?

Gab: Whitney told me one day, “I’m going to pimp you out!” I was a little confused at first… then she explained the video to me and I fell in love with the concept. I think “Better” has such a powerful message, and the visual really captures the audience’s emotions. I have acted in one of her other music videos “Bittersweet,” as well as several commercials in the past. I love acting on a small/freelance level! It’s a nice escape from reality… even if you are playing a call girl that gets shot.

Duane: Would you rather lose all cell phone/internet/social media usage for 6 months, or the ability to drive for 3 months?

Gab: I’d rather lose my cell phone/internet/social media usage. I am a total gypsy, and without my ability to drive I wouldn’t be able to just get up and go. I am spontaneous, and sometimes just feel as if I need to go… it’s as simple as that!

Duane: You are a poet, blogger, and now, currently working on your first novel.  Tell me about the book and a little bit about your writing process.

Gab: I’ve always loved writing. I’ve been a strong writer since I can remember, and have always been deeply in love with poetry and poets (Edgar Allan Poe is my spirit animal). I’ve been writing a poetry blog for several years, which really first gained me my base audience. I have several hundred organic views a month on my poetry blog (may not seem like a ton of people but for me it is!). I am in love with free verse poetry, and how unstructured it is. My free verse poetry sometimes turns into short stories, and has inspired me to write an evil, yet poetic tale. My book, As Told By Us is about a young woman, “Layla”, who gets sucked into a LGBT scene, and discovers how dark the people around her are. Each chapter is named after a person she meets along the way, and how they’ve impacted her life. The entirety of the book has romance, erotica, mystery and murder all wrapped in one!

Duane: A grand event is being thrown in your honor.  It’s the party of the century.  The band/artist of your choosing will play an entire concert at this gala affair.  All expenses and logistical factors have been handled.  Who do you pick to play, and what song do you have them dedicate to the person of your choosing?

Gab: I would have to choose my homies from Halestorm. I’ve always adored their music, their passion for their fans, and their grind. I recently met them, as I was working with Jagermiester at one of their recent concerts, and I couldn’t have felt more welcome by the entire band. I would request they play “Dear Daughter” and dedicate it to my mother. Every time I hear it, I think of my mother saying those exact things to me when I was young.

 

 

Duane: Team Underdog is a true movement in every sense of the word.  At the show in Pontiac, MI, a couple of months back, I met people I already knew from social media.  And I met new people that I added to social media later.  It’s because we all run in this tight-knit underground community.  Everyone is cool and respectful and there is a sense of genuine camaraderie.  How does it feel to be part of something so positive and exciting?

Gab: I couldn’t have asked for a better family… because that’s what ALL of Team Underdog is to me. A Family!

Duane: Zombie Apocalypse Team: You get to pick 3 fictional characters from ANY universe to be part of your zombie apocalypse team of survivors.  The only stipulation is that they have to be human, without any supernatural powers or abilities in the paranormal, psychic, or magical arts. Who do you pick? 

Gab: I fucking love this question! Stef from the Netflix series The Fosters (she’s a badass cop), and Clarke and Lexa from The 100! All badass chicks would be on my squad!

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For more information visit Gabriella's website.

www.gabriellameghan.com