Emerging Hip Hop talent and songwriter, 301 Pacs, recently released a two-track EP, titled Cyclical Nature. The record, including “Breath Out” and “Woke Up,” talks about the daily struggles and physical and mental strain that many young Americans experience due to the demands of the career grind.
In a recent conversation with the up-and-coming rapper, he shared that “Woke Up” was inspired by his experience juggling two jobs with different shifts, while “Breathe Out” was influenced by a trip to Orlando where he took a step outside of his comfort zone. Although the songs were written separately, 301 Pacs found that they fit together perfectly in describing the challenges of the American work-life balance.
Read the full interview below.
Congrats on the release of your EP, Cyclical Nature! It introduces two songs about the frantic pace of a busy life. Tell us a little about how the record came about, the inspiration behind it, and your creative process.
“Woke Up” came from my short time working two jobs with two different shifts. My night shift cleaning metro trains started from 9pm-5am and my morning job was 9am-5pm. That obviously was really draining and taxing on my mind.
“Breathe Out” basically came from a trip to Orlando. I went to the club with this girl down there and got out of my comfort zone a little.
Can you elaborate more on the tracks “Breath Out” and “Woke Up”? Were they written separately or did you see them as a joint project from the start?
I made these songs separately, but after recording back to back, I realized that they fit perfectly together to describe my experience with the American work-life balance.
How does the new release differ from your latest single “Life Jacket”?
“Life Jacket” was about the difficulty of life for some black Americans; this release was about a wider experience that more people could maybe relate to.
You were a poet before becoming a rapper and songwriter, how has that aspect of your creativity influenced the way you create music?
I try not to make songs using a typical formula. It’s more important that I express myself rather than make something catchy. If that makes sense.
Could you tell us the story of how Aaron Charles came to be known as 301 Pacs? We would be interested to hear more about the inspiration behind the name you chose for yourself.
It’s really not that interesting of a story. My brother calls me Pacs after Pac-Man, because I used to eat everything in the house. I just added 301 to represent my state of Maryland.
What themes or messages do you aim to communicate through your songs?
Just expressing how I feel. It’s not always about putting out a message, because I feel most messages fall on deaf ears.
Who holds the top spot as your all-time favorite artist? Who has had a significant impact on your style and sound?
It’s definitely Kendrick (Lamar) or Frank (Ocean), just for their honesty and originality.
Listen to Cyclical Nature below: