After first linking up for a sleek collection of summertime Boom Bap tracks on T0 Kill A Sunrise in 2021 – whose name Kota revealed was derived from a well-known tequila and orange juice cocktail – the pair felt drawn together again shortly after, and began cooking up the project’s sequel a little over a year later.
However, this time around, Kota The Friend’s buzz had really kicked off, and the Brooklyn-bred rapper had emerged as a hometown hero. Finally at a solid point in his career, Kota approached To See A Sunset with the idea of bringing fellow creatives together.
“I’m realizing that’s one of my callings in life and one of my purposes,” he said. “I’ve always been the kind of person that brings people together, even in high school I used to put together shows at local venues. Capital Steez performed at a few of my events back in the day actually. Anyways, bringing artists together was just always something that we did. I know in the past few years I’ve been focusing on my solo career, but I just thought about going back to my roots, which is connecting the dots for people and collaboration.”
Most notably, on the tape’s deluxe edition, Statik and Kota brought a plethora of other artists into the fold, and featured new talent like Chicago’s Hannah Got Raps, along with certified legends like Blu.
“It was really just to bring people together,” Kota said of the project. “One thing me and Statik hadn’t done together was get any features. Hearing what other people sound like on a record with both of us was a dope piece, with legends like Blu to people that are newer like Cozz. There is such a range of different artists from different backgrounds with so many different sounds.”
Read and listen below as Kota and Statik break down some of their favorite tracks from To See A Sunset.
Statik: This was one of the joints we did together in the studio that just sparked a new energy with us. We focused on the rest of the album after starting this one, and when we made that record it felt the best to me. I was literally making the beat when Kota walked in the room, so it was one of those things that just kinda happened. It’s not like I made the beat for him, I was just cooking up while I was waiting for him.
Kota: It was really an insane moment to be walking in on that. It was the most fire beat I had heard, and I didn’t expect to be walking in on such fire being produced. I got lucky.
Brick By Brick (Feat. Blu)
Kota: I’m very particular with the beats I like, and I was in such a writing mood and whenever [Statik] and I work together my pen is just always sharp, and it gets sharper as the project goes on. So I just was saying, ‘I feel like we could do more records’ and “Brick By Brick” was one of the first records I wrote to after the album was done, and when I heard the beat I knew Blu should be on this joint. I sent it to him and gave him the first verse.
Statik: I don’t know if you remember but the original beat was actually used, so I had to remix it on the spot. When we had the listening party in L.A. we actually only played Blu’s verse because that’s all that was recorded at the time, and Kota performed the rest of it. So the fans got to hear that song live.
Kota: The beat adds so much to that song it’s crazy.
Statik: It was a guitar piece that, shout out to Dream Life who did a lot of that original instrumentation, and it had such a mellow vibe to it. So I added these big Boom Bap drums to it which gave it a starting energy, and then when the drums come in it kinda tells you we ain’t playing around. That’s a Cali record to me, it reminds me of water and driving on the highway and shit.
Kota: It’s so good to say thank you to the people that support you, and I just love that track because I’m so appreciative of the people that love me and care about me. Especially when I’m writing over a Statik production, it just always flows easily because the music is there. It was like a river man.
Grace (Feat. Hannah Got Raps)
Kota: I love what Hannah did on that man, she gave me Lauryn Hill vibes. One day when I was out in Chicago, she pulled up and we just kinda kicked it.
Free Not Woke
Statik: That’s my shit. That’s another joint Dream Life sent me and it reminds me of some Fugees shit.
Kota: I’m learning that this is people’s favorite as well. I think people like it because they’re tired of the over-the-top woke. Sometimes it gets too much and people would rather be free. They wanna just be able to live their lives and not constantly be under the thumb of what society is saying is the only way to go. Haters kinda stray away from us.
Kota: That beat made me instantly think of my wife. It sounded like a love song, so I just pretty much wrote this long love letter to my wife about all the things we’re gonna do and how much fun we’re gonna have and how we’re gonna spend this whole life enjoying it.
Statik: When I made that beat I was thinking about Drake or somebody like that, and Kota did the polar opposite. Drake woulda been rapping about bitches or something.
Kota: Wait that’s crazy, now I wanna relisten to it and see if I hear that.
Real Ones (Remix)
Kota: There were so many fan entries it was lowkey overwhelming. We just picked people with the best flows and the best content. I just thought it would be cool to let a few people get on with the people, cause we really want people to win. We really want people to shine and give to their community. Now the artists that were on that song are on social media supporting each other’s music, and that’s what it’s all about man.
To See A Sunset is streaming now on all platforms.