Big Splashes talks creating original rhymes

By HermineBloom

Most variations of rap and hip-hop are electro-infused these days, especially judging from the Top 40 charts. Chicago’s hip-hop trio Big Splashes is no different, using 8-track tape decks and computers to produce beats. After primarily rhyming in the kitchen drinking beers or in the park, Samuel “SP” Piazza said he and his friends Alex “Mart14K” Corona and Greg “Flamingo Papers” Floyd began collaborating and recording their material at home. Sticking to performing at intimate, local venues for now, Piazza caught up with The Chronicle to talk about their summer release titled “Rain Damage,” the process of writing rhymes and where they hope to be in

the future.

The Chronicle: When did you decide you wanted to record material?

Samuel Piazza: It was probably about three years ago. Our friends had a gallery called Quennect 4. We met a bunch of people and the energy was so live and we’d just be hanging out to have fun and we decided to record. Everyone was down for it. The motivation was because we had a stage at Q4. So [the tracks] were just rough recordings, [then] we got better and better recordings over time.

The Chronicle: What was recording “Rain Damage” like? What was the inspiration for that album?

SP: Everyone’s inspiration was different. There were so many ideas stirring. For me, it was trying to be a decent person but saying different things that are happening in life—more serious politics to more chill. [Like,] making fun of yourself, saying different things about the world and things you observe. Just trying to express a whole spectrum of ideas and sound. Sometimes you record something and you learn about yourself, like, “Hey, that was me?” And then you’re different after that. It changes you because you get to meet yourself the first time you hear yourself on a track.

The Chronicle: What kinds of technology do you use?

SP: Blank CDs, CD players, computers … old school 8-track tape decks, a real drum set, a bass guitar, keyboards. The only thing we don’t have is an actual vinyl turntable. Nobody really has any vinyl. I think we sold our turntables a long time ago. I’d still like to have one. I think it’d be pretty cool.

The Chronicle: What is your process when it comes to writing rhymes?

SP: Every beat will speak to you differently. I think sometimes it’s just what your friends are saying [that] affects you. I got my feelings hurt by this girl and I was trying to be decent, so I just had to lash out and say some bogus sh** on a track. Not saying her in particular, but that type of girl [is] in that track. It just hit me hard. I didn’t even have to think about how it was going to rhyme. It was just so real that it just came out. It was like, “Oh man, I feel really good right now.” I didn’t have to think twice about that. But then other times you want to write more of a fun song. So what’s some goofy sh** that happens when you’re out? You lose your wallet, you wake up the next day and feel like an ass**** ‘cause you were acting crazy. Let’s paint a picture without a camera or any way to draw. You’re painting a picture with words. You start indirectly referencing people, too.

The Chronicle: What do you hope to achieve with Big Splashes?

SP: Definitely getting to see other parts of the world. I think we’ve opened ourselves up a little more as far as what we can do artistically—to create music that filters our experience. The simple fact is people have to make music. Right now I’m working with different people than just in Big Splashes. [And] not only that [but] reaching out to people you don’t even know. I can have a best friend in like who the hell knows—Argentina—some cat making good-ass music, you don’t even know. Just to get to that point where you can bring people together.

For news pertaining to Big Splashes, visit They will be playing a show at “The Pulsy” in Palmer Square on March 25th with Jams Dean.