Swooty Mac and Devin Burgess have gifted fans their first joint project: Sunday Morning. The eight-song offering houses some of Swooty’s most honest and direct lyricism ever, not to mention some truly excellent beats by Burgess. The project also includes an ample amount of vibe-y bangers (opener “Function” and “Twenty” are my favorites) and the boo’d up “Bath Water – Extended.”
Cincinnati rapper Swooty and rapper/producer Burgess first linked up on Swooty’s 2018 debut EP, Jolie: The Swooty McDurman Project. Since then, Swooty says he and Burgess have teamed up together on roughly 20 songs – some released, some still in the vault.
“It was different [making Sunday Morning] mostly because [Devin] didn’t rap on the project. Usually we’re trading bars, but he didn’t rap on this at all or even do a background vocal. That was the biggest difference,” Swooty explains. “We have a pretty good chemistry, though, so it’s kind of hard for us not to come up with something.”
The beat Burgess made for “Bath Water – Extended” is what kicked off Sunday Morning. After hearing the instrumental, Swooty co-wrote the sensual cut with JayBee Lamahj and set out to make a full project with Burgess.
Swooty explains that initially, Sunday Morning was set to be a four-song EP. But, it was Burgess – who also mixed, mastered and engineered the project – who wanted to turn it into an album. Swooty agreed to record four more songs, but then he learned he was going to become a father for the second time.
“I’ve got a 7-year-old and [now] a 1-year-old and, you know, I had to handle my responsibilities before I dive too much into being a rapper,” he says, taking some time off to focus on his family before returning to finish Sunday Morning. “But, it worked out,” he continues, “because two years later we came out with a dope ass project.”
Learning he was going to have another child also made finishing Sunday Morning “even more special,” Swooty said. The album tackles several vulnerable topics that the rapper had previously steered clear of, for the most part.
“The stuff I was going through, the stuff that I was talking about on the project, it [took] time for me to express that stuff,” he confessed. “A lot of my music is personal, but it’s like surface-level stuff. This was, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and see what’s going on. Like, I feel this way, and now I’m telling you why.”
Swooty dabbles in love on the pleading “Teach Me” and insecurity on the self-reckoning “blue af,” but he pushes his boundaries the most on “Neo.” On the stripped-down cut, the rapper examines co-parenting and juggles anxiety with ambition in an intensely personal, yet sharply relatable way, making it a standout track. Amazingly, though, it was almost cut entirely from the project.
“[‘Neo’] was just me being open and it’s one of the most vulnerable tracks on there,” Swooty says. “I wasn’t really rapping; I was kind of just talking and saying how I feel. Me and my daughter’s mom were going through some stuff at the time – arguing, breakups, and that’s pretty much what I was talking about on that record. And the reason everybody likes it is the reason I almost didn’t put it on there – I was thinking, don’t nobody wanna hear me be all sad and shit.”
Because of the song’s success, Swooty said he’s become more comfortable being vulnerable in his music. “I can do more stuff where I’m being sensitive,” he says. “I don’t gotta stick my chest out and be the big bad guy all the time.”
“I’m extremely proud of Swoot for delivering and executing such vulnerability and emotion,” Burgess adds. “I know how much that can take out of a person.”
Looking ahead, fans can expect some visuals from the project – possibly merging with companion clips for Swooty’s 2020 offering, Do4Luv. Devin Burgess, on the other hand, is set to release his live EP, 2018, on Valentine’s Day, followed by his rap album, That’s Unfortunate, next month.
“I really put thought and effort into other people’s music as if it was my own,” Burgess says of Sunday Morning. “I try to make everything as special as possible and this felt special to me.”