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Los Angeles rapper/producer Terrace Martin shares the break-up story that inspired his latest EP, Here, My Dear. My idea came from the Marvin Gaye record Here, My Dear, which came out in December 1978. He had gone through a crazy divorce with his ex-wife, and the whole relationship was just crazy. He did the record [under] an agreement to give his ex-wife the proceeds and the publishing from the record. I was going through a crazy relationship myself, so basically I patterned the whole project off of that [idea]. It was a very public relationship and it was open to everybody in L.A. Everybody knew about me being with this crazy girl and everybody had witnessed a lot of bullshit throughout the course of the relationship. One of my friends that witnessed some of [the bullshit] is a girl named Devi Dev [who is also a radio personality]. That’s how Devi got involved, ‘cause she came to my house one night like, “The girl you’re with is crazy. She’s causing scenes. You’re gonna end up doing a record like Marvin Gaye if you continue on with this woman.” Anyway, I got back with the girl, but when we broke up again, I went through a crazy ass depression. I hadn’t been doing any music and then I called Devi, like, “I want to do my own Here, My Dear project.” It was the first project where I really poured out my heart on the project. It’s very sincere. I did it not caring about radio, not caring about politics, not caring about niggas or girls or what anybody said about me, just not caring and really doing music that hits me in my spirit and my soul. The whole project isn’t about this one girl, but that kicked off the whole thing. At the end of day I believe God put that person in my life so I could take a closer look at myself in the mirror and learn some things about myself that I’ve been running from, as far as insecurities, and a lot of other stuff. So I really did this whole project as in Here, My Dear, saying I’m giving the girl this last conversation. I’m giving my old management this last conversation, and I’m giving the old Terrace Martin this last conversation in this body of work called Here, My Dear. I put hundred and five million percent [into the project], and this was the first project where I reached out to a few other musicians. We have Marion Williams that played guitar on almost every record, we have Andrew Boucher, he played with everybody, he’s my favorite bass player in the world. He’s the one that put me on, and he’s a huge guy in L.A., so he’s playing all over the project. A good friend of mine named Mr. Kenneth Crouch, who is a part of the famous Crouch family, is on the record. He’s a famous producer; he played with Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Mariah Carey, everybody you could think of. I wanted to reach out to everybody cause I was trying to mold this project after a lot of Quincy [Jones’] records. It wasn’t just Quincy producing all those records, he had a team. And that’s what I wanted to do. The biggest ego in the room on this record was the music. I reached out to other producers, other keyboard players, other horn players. I just sat back and put the pieces of the puzzle together, and we have Here, My Dear. It was a beautiful process, ‘cause I also learned how to do a whole body of work, and try to appeal to as many people as I possibly could. [My ex-girl] called me after she heard the project. There are a few songs that are aimed at her, ‘cause that’s how I felt at the time. And those are the songs she said she was extremely hurt by. And there were other songs that made her smile, ‘cause at the end of the day, a relationship whether it’s good or bad, to me, once you come out of it, we all learn something. I like the fact that I learned a lot about myself through that relationship, through her. I don’t like a lot of the other bullshit she put me through, but I’m fine with that right there. At the end of the day, I know we all want to be good people, I’m just not sure if some of us know how to be good people. Devi Dev took care of a lot of the business end and a lot of the concepts came from her, cause I had actually forgot a lot that went on during the relationship, cause I didn’t want to remember that shit. So Devi Dev would be there to remind me. Everybody was happy that I was done with this relationship, dude. (laughs) Everyone was like, yes, now we can get back to work. And I won’t say it was her fault I wasn’t working, I wasn’t focused, ‘cause that’s what niggas do. We get brand new, we get with a new bitch, we cuff up with the bitch. I want to send a huge thanks to Devi Dev for seeing my vision, a huge thanks to Uncle Charlie Wilson, Snoop Dogg, Murs, Bad Lucc, and everybody on the record. Everybody’s that’s on that project is really a close, close friend of mine. Everybody was feeling some type of way about this project and put their heart into it. And I think that’s why the project is going so well. The project is not to bash her. It’s not a bashing project, it’s actually a positive project. ‘Cause I could have went way harder if I was on some ignorant nigga shit. But I didn’t because I’m grown, and I don’t hate her. I don’t hate anybody. So that’s the story behind Here, My Dear. As told to Randy Roper // Photo by D-Ray

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Ozone West #85  

Ozone West #85

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