THE ART OF EXTRAVAGANCE
THANK YOU NOTES
I would like to begin by first and foremost giving praise to the most high. God, thank you, so much. You've humbled me many times throughout the process of this project, from the production to the execution. You've showed me just how frustrating, challenging, and rewarding trying to chase your dreams are. You've gotten me through the toughest of life experiences and provided me with the gift of turning those life experiences into song form. You've taught me to have trust in the process, and that everything won't work out exactly how you planned it. You've taught me to believe in myself. More than anything, you've taught me that your timing is indeed the best timing.
To my brother Ryan in heaven: I love and miss you beyond comprehension. Everything I do, I do it for you, and I can only hope that you are looking down from heaven with the biggest smile on your face watching your little brother grow up. I really hate that I have to do it without you. Since I was born, I never foreseen a world without you right next to me.... You have given me more confidence than I could ever give to myself. I spend a lot of my time endlessly hoping that one day we will be able to reunite. Thank you for the opportunity to know and love someone like you. To my heart strings, my mother and father: thank you for believing in me and supporting me throughout all of this madness. Absolutely NONE of this would be possible without yall. Thank you for never giving up on me and always picking me back up when I fall. You are my biggest supporters and the source of my strength, pride, and drive. I couldn't ask for better parents, and I will forever try to make you more and more proud of me. I love you guys deep.
Q, my producer/engineer, I can't say thank you enough. You've probably been more patient with me than I have been with myself. Once again, without your production my project wouldn't exist. Since we met 3 years ago you've consistently provided me the tools needed to heal my soul. I don't think I could ever fully express how impactful your pure talent has been on my life. Thank you for creating this album with me, all the endless mixing and production arrangement changes. All the back and forth and all the times we both almost said fuck it; it was worth it! I'll never forget flying up to Chicago in February 2015 to meet you and those studio sessions we had after hotboxing in the freezing cold. Wherever I go in this industry, I'm taking you with me and that's on Ryan. To my brother/producer Ju, I can't say thanks enough for your production, man. You contributed vital pieces to the puzzle, as you always do. Coming up with the production for "Supreme (Part II)" at your apartment on the westside of Houston back in December 2015 is an experience I'll never forget bro. Keep making hot shit and don't ever give up! You inspire me.
To Jake Engel, where do I begin? When we first began communicating, I did not expect for you to end up producing damn near half of my album! You are incredibly talented and you too have significantly helped me heal my soul in one way or another. This album definitely would not be nearly what it is without your work. Thank you for pushing me to step outside my comfort zone and find my lane. We've made some pretty dope shit together in the short amount of time we've been acquainted, and I'm really excited to see what the future has for us. To the other producers on the album - Deko, LA Chase, & Kevin Fortune, thank you for those incredible sounds.
To Gerard, my cousin/engineer: I am forever indebted to you. You helped me get started with my music a few years ago and you've never stopped being a huge help and incredible engineer since then. It's so dope to see how much we've both improved. Thank you for all your hard work on this album! Grandma, I hate it every time I miss one of your calls, but I'm glad I did miss a couple of your calls back in 2015. The voicemails you left me will forever be apart of me now. Thank you for your love. To my cousin Brandon (Cartier), man. It's been such a long time coming. It seems like just yesterday we were 7 years old writing lyrics in our composition books and performing for the fam. Now look at us! It's only up from here cuzzo. You have such a gift. Thank you for pushing me when I needed it most. Thank you for being apart of this.
To Matt, Jerome & Kassim: thank you guys for being apart of my first album in one way or another. Whether it was a skit, some adlibs, or just a lyrical mention, having some of my best friends apart of this project means the world. Thank you guys for believing in me. Thank you for sticking by me all these years even when society made it sometimes challenging. To Blackboy (Evan), I can't wait to hear what you think bro! Can't wait until they let you come home and I can tell you that you don't have anything to worry about. I love you big bro and I pray for your strength, safety and serenity everyday.
To Ashley & Quindarius: thank you guys so much for your artistic contributions. The album honestly wouldn't be what it is without them, so I am forever appreciative. I'll never forget those studio sessions together and I can't wait to see what else we come up with in the future.
To my graphic designers, Joshua Drakes in Manchester, Maria Cantisano in the Dominican Republic and Jason Smith in Aussie, thank you guys so much for your dope ass designs that brought my vision to life. Jason, I will forever appreciate you for being so kind to put up with my indecisiveness until we got it right. You have now done both of my covers and they are both incredible; thank you so much for all your help all the way from Australia! To my photographer Alex Rogers, you the best! I couldn't ask for a better guy behind the lens. Thank you for discovering me on Tumblr and reaching out a few years back. I'm so glad you did.
To David & Meg, thank you guys for documenting my life throughout the creation of this album and putting together the short film. You guys showed me a lot about my own life and self that I needed to see. Thank you guys for your superb, hard work. To Will and Jerome, thank you guys for your amazing behind the scenes camera work. To Meeme and Jazz, thank you guys for your endless support and all your help at my video shoots! I owe & love you guys. To Isaiah Jones and Dontell Antonio, thank you guys for your dope ass visuals! Filming my first couple of music videos was quite an experience and you guys really helped to bring my visions to life.
To my incredible family, my brothers Kyle & Rashad, my cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents and everybody else: thank you guys for your endless support! I see it all I appreciate every thing you guys do. I love yall with everything in me and I cherish every moment. To my nephew Nolan and nieces N'Khia & Naomi: you guys are growing up so fast. I love you so much and I can't wait to teach you everything I know when the time is right. To my wonderful friends: you guys are the shit. Yall make life worth living. Thank you for all of your continued support, from the bottom of my heart. You guys know how hard I worked on this project and it means the world to me to finally be able to share it with you all. To Texas, thank you for those colossal life experiences that have shaped my world forever. I grow more and more appreciative every day of those experiences, good and bad.
And to my supporters and listeners, THANK YOU SO MUCH. You guys keep me going. Thank you for your support; every like, RT, share, post, or simple listen means the entire world to me! I poured my heart and soul and all my blood, sweat, and tears into these 16 songs. It has been a hell of a journey filled with numerous ups and downs but I can say that I am incredibly proud of myself. I have dedicated my life to creating music and aspiring to inspire people, and I can't wait until it's time for me to share my next project with the world. Stay tuned, it's only the beginning.
The Art of Extravagance is dedicated to Nolan Ryan Henderson, Nick Colbert, Fernanda Maston & Patrick Patterson. Rest in perfect paradise.