|05-24-2006, 12:29 PM||#1|
The Birth Of A Prince
Another Dreddy Kruger interview
Art of Rhyme - this may be a bit older but couldn't find it posted anywhere here....he talks about how:
*He's the one that knew Jim Jarmusch 1st & then introduced to RzA (which led to producing the 1st score for GhostDog in 99)
*That it was RzA who produced Biochemical Equation (not DOOM)
*That all WU members should be having successful projects to build on the groups success before doing any more clan albums
What's your role in Wu-Tang?
I was signed. I was an artist signed to Wu-Tang Records. Right now, I'm the Vice President of A&R of Wu-Tang Corporation. I'm no longer an artist anymore, at least I don't look at myself as one anymore.
Does your new role fit your personality more?
Absolutely. I definitely feel happier and in a better place where I am in the music business now versus where I was as an artist.
For those who don't know, what part did you play in Wu-Tang Meets Indie Culture?
It was my idea, it was my concept. I picked out every beat, every artist, it's on my label. I arranged the sequence of the album, A&R'd the album. Also, I co-produced every song on there as well. All I did was get RZA's backing. I just needed his blessing with the project. I wouldn't have been able to do the album if I didn't get his blessing to do the whole Wu-Tang vs Indie Culture thing. He was feeling the idea. I told him I wanted an old beat from him, one of the sounds from '93 to '97. He asked, "you want samples or no samples?" I said I wanted samples. Basically, I put the whole project together by myself. I had one beat from him, I picked out all of the other beats. I A&R'd and sequenced the album on a production standpoint before I had all the vocals. I knew exactly how I wanted the record to sound from a production standpoint.
Which collaboration was the hardest to get done?
MF Doom and RZA. I think it was a combination of both of their busy schedules. When I first told Doom that -- he'd been trying to get RZA on a song with him for like 5 years -- when I first told him that I got him and RZA to do a song together he was really excited. Initially, he knew he was going to be on the project, but he didn't know that I was going to put him on the RZA beat. When I finally told him I was going to put him on the RZA beat he got a little bit excited. He said, "yo, send me the beat now because I'm real busy and I want to knock this shit out before things get all crazy." I told him that RZA just sent me the loop, but we didn't have the drums added. He told us not to worry about it and to just send the loop. So he did his whole verse with just the loop.
From listening to the album, that track is dope...
Doom just now heard the finished version himself. You know how I now have the drums coming in through the whole RZA second verse, he didn't hear any of that.
I'm going to name a couple artists from the album, and you tell me something about them that impressed you enough to get them on this album:
GZA - Oh, GZA man. You know my history with GZA. I've been touring with him since his first album Liquid Swords. He's one of my favorite MCs. He's one of the top five MCs to ever rhyme on the planet. It was a no brainer for me to use GZA. I wanted to mix GZA up with someone he never did a song with, but someone that has lyrical skills up there with his. The only person I that I really thought of was Ras Kass. I felt that people would love to hear GZA and Ras Kass. First of all, Ras Kass spits like he's from the East Coast anyway. I knew it would be an ill combination. I also knew they had never met. They were familiar with each other's music, but had never met.
Casual - I've been a fan of Casual since his first album in the early 90's. That was definitely a no brainer too. I love Casual's flow, his voice, his swagger on beats. I knew he was going to sound crazy on a Wu beat because of his swagger and flow.
We recently interviewed Casual and that swagger comes through in the interview as well.
I guess that comes because he's been in the game so long and done seen it all. His longevity is a testament of his skill level. He's been in the game 10-15 years easy.
Bronze Nazareth - Bronze Nazareth is RZA's top disciple on a production tip. He produced two songs on The Birth of a Prince, RZA's joint. He's also signed to my label. Me and him had never discussed him having vocals on there, but I knew I was going to use his beats. But he impressed me with the song. He kept just coming with different songs, I probably turned down about 5 songs until I finally let him get the Back Down solo cut. I wanted that to be the last song because I wanted people to remember his name and his production because I'm coming with an album from him at the top of the year. People will remember Bronze Nazareth's name. His production is definitely the highlight of the album. There's a lot of great lyrics and verses on there, but the highlight of the record is Bronze Nazareth.
RA The Rugged Man - I'm a big fan of RA. He's one of the nicest, and he's probably one of the first real Caucasian rappers to get a deal. I knew I wanted RA on the project, but I wanted him on a song with somebody you'd be like, "get the fuck out of here." He was on a song with who? So I knew I wanted to put him on a song with J-Live. Even in the song, RA said it, "Never thought I'd be rapping with a school teacher." When I brought the idea to him, he was like, "Get out of here, you're putting me on with J-Live."
RA's real smart too. When you talk with him, you know he's smart, but in his music he likes to portray that he's...
...trailer park trash. Like he's real stupid and ignorant. But RA knows exactly what's he's doing. And his verse was phenomenal. It's the illest shit in years.
RZA - Oh, RZA? You know I had to get the Abbott. To some level, I wasn't going to use the RZA production in some sense because he's beyond that. It would have been a hassle to go through all his old keyboards to find these beats. So I knew I only wanted to use him on one beat with MF Doom. I knew that'd be a big deal to get MF Doom and RZA together produced by the RZA. Not produced by MF Doom, but produced by the RZA.
Now, I also notice that RZA has been doing a lot of movie scores. That seems like a new venture for a hip-hop producer. What do you think that helps with?
It frees up a lot of opportunities for me to bring the soundtrack onto my label if he's already doing the score. We've actually had this discussion already. He can't focus on doing a score and a soundtrack because everyone knows that a score takes so much time. It can take a week to lay music under one dialog. So, it opened up a door for me with my label and this project showed that I can put a record together on my own, that people will like, not just Wu-Tang.
Del - I've been a fan of Del from back in the day, "No Need for Alarm" and all that. He ended up on two songs - he wasn't suppose to be on two - the solo Del is on, he loved the beat so much he ended up spitting a whole song to that beat. He said, "you can take that first and third verse off, I just did it because I was in the zone that night." After I gave it a few listens I really liked it myself. So I decided to keep that track and the track with Aesop Rock.
Aesop Rock - Him and Devin, Devin from Nature Sounds introduced me to Aesop Rock. They went to school together and they were actually in a group together back in the day. When I told him I wanted Aesop, we were brainstorming about who we wanted to put Aesop on a song with. Basically, Aesop has already done a lot of songs with a lot of the independent cats. Then I thought of Del, and Aesop is like the white version of Del. I couldn't believe they never did a song together. The more I looked through it, I was amazed that so few of these guys did songs together. This was like a fresh breath of air for hip-hop. That's why I call my shit Think Differently music. I try to do stuff that's different and not what everyone else is doing.
The biggest thing that I have to compliment you on, is the fact that almost every artist on this album is an artist that we've followed ArtOfRhyme.com. They are all highly regarded from our point-of-view, so to put them all on a project together was great to see.
We spoke about this earlier, but this album features all artists who are in some way unsigned...could you elaborate?
RZA's not signed to a major label. You're talking about RZA, who does movie scores and started Wu-Tang Clan and major labels aren't hollering at him. Then you got GZA, MF Doom, Aesop. All of these guys sell consistent units and all they would need is the opportunity to go to the next level. They all have major label talent, that's undeniable. It was mind boggling to me when I was putting this together, that all these niggaz are putting out music themselves. I can't believe the major labels are looking past Ras Kass, or GZA; all these top MCs. I could have had bigger artists on their like Redman or Mos Def, but I didn't want to deal with any major label politics. So I stayed away from a certain artists that I would have wanted on here, but you've heard Ghost and Redman on songs together and I wanted to keep it with the whole indie culture theme.
What's more satisfying, creating music yourself or putting together an incredibly difficult project like this?
I would definitely have to say this is more satisfying. Anyone can go to the studio and act like they put something together rhyming and making beats. People don't understand the work and process it took to put this together. From an A&R standpoint, the paperwork, all the things you don't realize go into the full process. The easiest part is going to the studio and laying your rhyme and the beat. It's 99% business 1% music.
Are you considering doing another one of these for collaborations you might not have had time for?
Nah. No volume two. I have some other things planned that are concept driven, but no volume two. You can definitely expect to see me working with a lot of these artists though.
What are your plans for your own musical career?
I left that behind. I don't even consider myself an artist anymore.
What do you think Wu needs to do to make it back on top?
They just gotta buckle down and let me handle the A&R. I know what the sound needs to be. And all these brothers still know how to rhyme. It's just a matter of getting the everybody on the same page. It's 9 individuals. You know the Wu-Tang manual? You gotta read the manual. I basically introduced Jim (Jarmusch) to RZA to do the whole Ghost Dog thing. That's how our affiliation with Jim Jarmusch came into play from back then, the Ghost Dog thing. RZA mentions in the manual, his whole plan is that the Wu-Tang was a 5 year plan. They didn't make it that far, but he knew after that five years there'd be a lot of egos crashing and different things where the Wu would crumble a little bit. They should have had another two albums out since the last two, but with so many solo projects and so many managers it's crazy. RZA knew this was going to happen, that Wu-Tang would separate. His whole thing is that everyone should have successful projects after the Wu to build on. That's where it's at right now, but the talent is still there and ready to be tapped.
--Joel & Andy
Last edited by IronSheik; 05-24-2006 at 12:32 PM.
|05-24-2006, 01:18 PM||#3|
Join Date: Jan 2003
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how come he says no volume two in this, but he was talking about doing one in another interview, plus m-eighty was in here asking for suggestions? is this an old interview?
|05-24-2006, 01:34 PM||#5|
Join Date: Jul 2005
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|05-24-2006, 01:49 PM||#6|
Join Date: Nov 2003
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That's why we do the do, just know who is who, acknowledge me all day, and understand Wu is Wu - Chef Raekwon
I'm hood ornaments, junkies win awards in my tournaments - Chef Raekwon