Local hip-hop emcee and producer Rob4Real speaks with us about his new album "L.D.D.L (Love x Drugs x Dreams x Lust)."

Music isn’t all that much different from a first sexual encounter — the first time doing it might not go as well as anyone plans, but it’s still a relevant and beautiful thing. Likewise, looking forward to more practice of each, over, and over, and over again keeps the process desirable …

The release of the debut album from local producer and emcee Rob4Real was kind of like that. Through the process, Rob4Real found nothing was necessarily going as planned, but he knew the end result would be worth it. After countless days of self-destructive internal critique and debilitating doubt, he finally settled on releasing what he wanted, when he wanted and how he wanted.

And from it all came “L.D.D.L (Love x Drugs x Dreams x Lust)” — a self-made collection of work that features some of his favorite artists in the scene. It’s a proclamation to the hip-hop world that “he’s got next,” and is a genuine jump out of the blocks into local emcee prominence.

You use multiple cadences and voices throughout the album. Does this happen unintentionally or does it serve a greater purpose for you/the album?

I'd say that it was unintentional. With this project I was still finding myself, so to speak. Up until this point, I had only done features on other artists projects, collaborated with DealzMakesBeats, or the Welcome To It project. This was really the first time I had full control and everything I was creating … I WAS CREATING! My new project will be more dialed in on one sound or style and not as across the board as "L.D.D.L." is.

What was your favorite part about creating such a free, independent album?

Honestly, it’s the only way I'd have it. I don’t think you can truly express yourself if your art is being held to restrictions or pedestals. Whether you’re on a major label or whatever they want ‘that radio song’ or tell you ‘you can’t say that’ or ‘you can’t name your album that.’ The whole point of creating art is expressing yourself, freely. Free of judgment, free of standard, free of the accepted norm and shit.

You have some interesting features on the album. Not just the features, but how and where you use other artists. Can you speak more on this and the importance you see in features?

Real shit: The features are all just artists from the Denver scene that I’ve wanted to work with that have showed me love and wanted to work with me. Heavy is the only artist not Denver based. I also wanted to work with artists that you wouldn’t normally expect together. I wanted to show people that I’m versatile. Like, ‘Yo, Rob did a soulful pop-ish track with Lily Fangz, then turned around and did some dark shit with Mr.Midas?’ I also love that southern, ’rappin-out-the-bando-rap,’ so I just had to get the Kang Mojo feature. He’s one of my favorite artists right now!

What is the overarching concept or theme of this album?

Love, drugs, dreams, lust (laughs). But if I were to stamp an overall theme to this project, it would just be life. Not life for everybody — certainly not everybody engages in molly, cocaine, weed and the such; but a lot of people do and a lot of people have. And to me, that’s life music – not everyone's life is the same, not everyone’s views are the same — so in turn not everybody’s gonna relate, identify … or whatever with my music. And that’s cool … I don’t give a shit (laughs). But at the same time, for you readers out there in cyber land, there is definitely way more to the album than just drugs.

What were some of the unknown facts about this album? What is your plan as you move forward from “L.D.D.L”?

This album took me over a year to make. I recorded nearly 50 songs for it and 22 of them made the album. It took so long because I kept changing the direction and getting over critical or self conscious and shit until I was like, ‘Fuck it. .. pick the songs you like the most, and the ones your people been fucking with, and then put the fucking album out. Establish some sort of catalog first and then you can be an artsy, weird, picky bitch.’ As far as future plans, I’m dropping two more free projects in 2015 and hoping to drop a free EP by the end of summer at the latest. I also just finished shooting the video to "Fuck 12,” which was the most popular song off the album. That video should be out soon. Other than that, I plan on NOT oppressing positive energy and staying trippy, lifted, yet grounded …

– by Luca DelPiccolo