Return Of The Hustle
Ok, hate me for not posting for the last few months (!), but a dude been switching speeds to get my foundation in my new Editorial Director position, having more kids (hey lil’ mama T) and getting my rest on. That five-year run as E.I.C. of KING took a toll on me, but I’m stronger for it. Will try my best to stay on a schedule with these posts. I have nothing but respect for y’all that do it on a daily basis.
With so much to discuss like, Don Imus getting his rapper talk on (whoa), Barack Obama collecting money with his mouthpiece like a true pimp (25 mill) and the Knicks killing me softly, I’m going to set off this new run with a quick interview I did over email (JJ was in Europe- good looking Gamall) with one of my favorite Djs of all time, DJ Jazzy Jeff of Fresh Prince fame. I just got the album, rocked it and felt good about hip-hop again. If you are searching for some hotness to pump while cleaning your kicks, car or grillz get The Return Of The Magnificent and let the music playâ€¦if you don’t believe that it’s fire, listen to a couple of selections I’ve streamed here (but only a couple!) or do like me and head over to iTunes and check out some tracks. See ya in a few.
DT: Why did you go with the road trip theme for the album?
Jazzy Jeff: I felt it was the perfect setting for story…it allowed for all of the things that needed to happen.
Do you feel that this album has a harder neo soul feel than the last project?
Noâ€¦not really…I never really think about stuff like that when I’m making music.
When you finish beats do you know the artist that you would like on it right away?
Sometimes…I felt CL [Smooth] would be perfect on his song (“All I Knowâ€). A lot of people just picked beats I had.
Who comes up with the topic for the song? You or the artist?
The artist mostly…I want them to be them, so I give the freedom for the artists to express themselves.
Seems like you grabbed up some rappers (Method Man, Rhymefest, CL Smooth) that have had some hard knocks as of late in the hip-hop game, did you select them for this project for their skills as well as statements on present day hip-hop?
These were some of my favorite people in the game…Just by coincidence a lot of them share in the same opinions of the businessâ€¦A lot of people are not happy with the way things are…I just gave a platform for them to speak their peace.
The Will Smith skit is hilarious, did you prep him for it before it was recorded? Cus it sounds kinda set up but then again it sounds like it could be real.
Will and I have a natural chemistry that all I have to do is give him the scenario and just let it happen…That was all done with one take…I did have to edit out some of the laughter in the room…lol.
The last album has a joint called “Know Ur Hood” that is a warning shot to cats that try to floss too much around the way, which song on this album would you say has that same type of concept feel?
“Run that Back” talks about the hood and how it was coming up back in the day…”Come On” talks about how it is today.
Glad to see you are still bringing out the turntable skills (“Brand New Funk 2K7 ft. Peedi Peediâ€), how has all the new technology helped/hurt your cutting and scratching game?
I think it has helped a lot with the introduction to digital audio like Serato…now dj’s can carry a lot more records to the gig and its easier on the back to carry…but you still have to have skillz…just because you have the records…don’t mean you know how to play them.
What do we have to do to save the art of creative DJing?
We must make people feel like they can’t live without the DJ…take people on musical journeys…make them feel like they need you otherwise you will show up to a club…and there will be a iPod in the DJ booth.
Lastly, why do you feel that this is the best record that you’ve ever done?
Because I have to…just like “The Magnificent” was…the next one will have to be also…That’s my motivation.
Listen to selections from The Return of The Magnificent
“All I Know” – DJ Jazzy Jeff Feat. CL Smooth
“Run That Back” – DJ Jazzy Jeff Feat. Eshon Burgundy & Black Ice
Will Smith Skit – DJ Jazzy Jeff Feat. Will Smith aka The Fresh Prince