CANTIDAE (Mantis The Miasma, Jouquin Fox) - The Mantis And Fox Are Friends

BearTooth Collective presenting “CANTIDAE”, a collaborative album by Mantis The Miasma & Jouquin Fox.

Two of BTC’s longest-standing & highly-prolific artists have come together to bring you a rap music experience unlike any other. Expansive, clanking, industrial drums over dusty, swirling instrumentals lay the backdrop for this thought provoking rap album where Mantis & Fox explore the past present & future through a cosmic scope, deeply poetic rhymes laying the breadcrumb path that they leave behind for you to follow.

A foreword from Jouquin Fox:
“”The Mantis and Fox are Friends” by the newly formed duo of Mantis the Miasma and Jouquin Fox named ‘Cantidae.’ The name ‘Cantidae’ comes from a fusion of both a Mantis (Mantidae) and a Fox’s (Canidae) species types.

The album is a coming-of-age story set during college, where two indie rappers meet on the internet living many states away from one another (California to Kansas) and blossomed a friendship based out of honesty, relation, having someone to talk to and similar interests. None of this is in the sense of your best friend and you feeling the same all the time, but more so, the Mantis and Fox’s friendship is the type where one might feel down while the other doesn’t, and then the other lends a helping hand. Their rapping styles stem from varying inspirations as well, but they’ve found themselves at the same place at the same time, supporting one another and their dreams.

‘Let’s take a walk,” said the Mantis to the Fox, holed up under three comforters and avoiding his homework.

Which is to say, Mantis the Miasma hit me up on I think Instagram in late 2020, and we became friends. We’d chat about music, and whenever I wasn’t consistent in being a good friend because I was busy or depressed, Mantis would always hit me up with a “Hey man, what’s up?” and some sort of update on what music he was working on. This was one of the first friends I had like this– where a music peer and I shared each other’s art but made the priority just being friends. Most of my music friendships prior tp this were based around being artists and wanting to collaborate first. In March of 2021, we agreed that that bands and rap duos/groups with the best chemistry ended up assisted by being close before creating together. I can’t speak for Mantis, but this was a key realization in my music career, in seeing that I didn’t have to collaborate with everyone of my music friends, or at least all the time, to have a connection established. A lot of the time just being yourself and being kind can get you a long way. It’s funny because the two crews I run with now are both because of being friends with the captain of BearTooth and head chef of the Cookie Store respecivley, and before I joined either crew.

So, The Mantis and Fox had many conversations about life which enlightened them both,and aided their successes. They each graduated college while knowing each other and remained hopeful, healing during trips which has been topic of conversation a lot during their friendship. You can hear that psychadelia on the mostly spacey beats by Mantis the Miasma, occasionally guitar driven but mostly synthy, out-there goodness. These are laced by some of Mantis and Jouquin’s sharpest work, esoteric thought processes on working conditions, god, spirituality, and breaking through. It’s crazy that this album has been worked on for three years, and yet, the album still sounds fresh. Let’s credit it to Mantis and Fox’s long talks and mutual excitement for the renaissance state of rap music. The highs are here but lows make their way onto the album too, don’t worry, equally out there as the rest of the bunch. This album is a story of the Mantis and Fox’s friendship.

Along for the ride we find Chicago all-star Defcee show up three times, effectively beginning and ending the album. His verses highlight the key motifs of the songs he’s on, “Green Roofing” which is about playing the cards your dealt while trying to make a difference and “The Feeling of Being Taken Over” which is about being your own worst enemy and fighting that lower self for self-control. But starting and ending the album like he does helps give the first Cantidae album a book cover to hold everything in, grounding the listeners a bit. Similarly, a unifying track of the album can be found on “God’s Abode” featuring Big Flowers where Mantis, Flowers, and Fox trade verses about the song title and expanding that idea. Is it a place? Is it in the mind? What/who even is god? Flowers’ verse doesn’t just fit perfectly, it helps complete puzzles for the Mantis and the Fox that’ve kept them moving forward.

Come take a walk with us.

‘The Mantis and Fox are Friends’ is completely produced by Mantis the Miasma. Mixed by Jouquin Fox. Mastered by MJC. Written + performed by Mantis the Miasma and Jouquin Fox. Defcee features on tracks 01, 07, and the bonus track. Big Flowers features on track 04. TV-MA features on the bonus track. Andrew Mbaruk features on the bonus track.”

Lyrics written, performed & recorded by Mantis the Miasma & Jouquin Fox.

Featuring Defcee, TV-MA, & Andrew Mbaruk.

Produced/Mixed by Mantis the Miasma.

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