The recording process
WowGr8: We have gotten better at songwriting. Every Spill Vill project is lowkey like a time capsule. We do one and all go off and work on what we want to work on and then we come back and do another one. We see how much the music has evolved from the time we were apart to the time we come back together each time. [Spilligion] is gonna be a grand cultivation of that shit. We’re all way more mature and writing about reflections on the times around us right now. This is more in tune socially because we got the chance to sit down and make this project together.
For real for real, I dunno how we’re gonna do another one. Every time we do one of these projects we become progressively busier as artists and we’re all over the world. When we first started conceptualizing this project, we didn’t know how possible it would be because we didn’t know if everybody would have time. It’s like the universe gave us time because we were talking about it. I don’t know when we’d have another time to be able to come together like this, so we had to take full advantage. COVID-19 is our Thanos.
J.I.D: I can’t even cap; I bet nobody told you this but I like to toot my own horn. [Bears Like Us] started with me saying, “I like these songs. Everybody get on these songs, we’re about to put out a project together.” I had, like, seven songs and then everybody got on ‘em, we got what we liked, and sent some stuff out and put a project together. At first, we really didn’t think that we would have installments. Maybe by the third [Spillage Village project] everyone was involved—me, 6LACK, Mereba, EarthGang—we had the full collective involved in the project. But the first two? That was all the kid. That was all me, I ain’t gon’ hold you, bro. All me putting it together. Then the third one, we all worked together and put our efforts together on our Avengers type shit.
Those were the best projects, when we all did them together group project style. [Spilligion] is the best out of all of them because we had the most focus to work together and live. We were at the same crib during quarantine, so we got the chance to make music and have something to focus on while the world was burning down.
Mereba: Even from back then to working now, I think the common thread is that natural camaraderie and pushing each other. I don’t know how it is with everyone else working individually, but it’s very fast-paced when we work together. That’s one of my favorite things about it and it’s what I always remember about it. When we get together, it’s very no-nonsense. What idea is that? Boom. We’re laying down harmonies, we’re doing this, we’re doing that, boom. That energy is consistent but this time it meant so much to be in the same space being like a family as we made the project.
We had been trying to go somewhere for a while but it felt like every time we thought it would work out, something would come up for one of us and keep us out. I like to believe it would’ve happened regardless. It might not have been the same dynamic with us in the same place though. We wanted to do that but it did take this whole crazy ass situation for us to be stationary enough to work together. It was kind of like a blessing in disguise, in that case.
“I think the common thread is that natural camaraderie and pushing each other. When we get together, it’s very no-nonsense. That energy is consistent, but this time it meant so much to be in the same space being like a family as we made the project.” – Mereba
The Spilligion commandments
J.I.D: I had never thought about that before. Commandments are intimidating. You got rules and then you got commandments. [Laughs] This is the greatest question. It’s gotta be something about love.
Mereba: Yea, I’d say it has to be about communal love.
J.I.D: You have to have a weapon. You gotta protect yourself, men, women, and children. It’s like the conscious n***as that will beat you unconscious.
WowGr8: Family, awareness…
WowGr8: Yeah, definitely happiness. I’m just trying to think of things included on the project. One thing I noticed when we dropped the cover—I don’t know if this happened to everybody—a lot of fans came to me and said we’re going to hell for the cover. [Laughs] Majority of people were asking what we were trying to say with the cover. On everything, that’s what art is supposed to do. I want people to come up with their interpretations. I will always ask people who come up to me what it means to them. I could paint a picture of seven apples and to some people, it would just be seven apples. To others, it might be the seven deadly sins or the first seven years of their life turned into fruit. That’s the main thing we wanna get from this opportunity.
Benji: That’s kinda how we made the album, too. It was everyone’s lifestyles and musicality and personality, each individual part that made up such a great whole. That’s what we want people to take away from the album. There’s no clear-cut message other than the one you get out of it for yourself. I think it naturally shows who we are individually. That’s how you’re able to get the album we made.