Outside of EPMD work, what’s going on with you now as a DJ/Producer?
As far as DJing, I’m DJing around the world. I DJ for EPMD also and I DJ for P. Diddy. Producer side I just did the first single for Wu-Tang Clan. Working with Busta Rhymes now. A few different projects. But the main thing is Wu-Tang and Raekwon’s Cuban Linx II.
You tend to work with more conscious artists. What are your thoughts on conscious music today?
It’s still good. It’s still classic. The conscious artists they still performing in front of 50,000 people as you see right now. That’s not going anywhere. I’m not going to think you can get the hit artists that are out right now to sell out an arena this size. So it’s still good. It’s still going.
As far as the balance of commercial music and classic Hip Hop music, what are your thoughts?
The balance is offset right now because of the novelty records we got going on right now. The problem is, the underground circle, which is the conscious circle, we always had the balance. There is off balance in mainstream circuit. As far as underground, true Hip Hop, there is a balance.
How did you come up with your Jason mask?
It’s self-explanatory. Big Daddy Kane, on his record says Friday the 13th I’m gonna play Jason. So get the Jason mask and… I try to do routines that if person never seen DJ perform before, not even a Hip Hop person, I’ll do routines that a person never seen or even in the Hip Hop music never understand. So that was one of the routines because everybody knows who Jason is. You can listen to country music, rock, pop music, folk music, everybody knows who Jason is. Friday the 13th movies. So I can do that routine anywhere and if you hear it then you’ll see it and understand.
What is more important to you personally, DJing or producing?
DJing. That’s who I am. Like producing that’s what I did on the side. Fortunately I became a successful producer. But everything that I do revolves around me DJing.
Producers got a lot of power right now. People listen to beats more than lyrics and producers charge high fees for their tracks. Is it a good or a bad thing in your opinion?
To each their own but I would never charge a $100,000 for a track, unless I’m doing for a movie soundtrack because there’s more of a budget there. I feel like if you start charging a $100,000 and up, there is only 1% in the music industry that can afford it, which is like 3 or 4 people. Once the word gets out that you cost that much, everybody else won’t even call you. So you X’ing yourself out of 99% of artists in the game. Which is why producers they come up, they get a hit record and you don’t hear from them like a year or 2 later. Nobody’s calling them ‘cause they cost too much. They charge themselves out the game. It’s not about the money most of the time when you’re doing tracks. When you get a $100,000 or $50,000 or $20,000 it’s just an advance on your royalties.
What motivates you most right now when you do work?
Listening to my old work. Like old Busta Rhyme albums, EPMD stuff. I listen to Golden era Hip Hop. I listen to Grandmaster Flash and all of that. It’s pure Hip Hop that’s my inspiration. If not that I always listen to my old work. It keeps me grounded.
Is there anything you’d like to add?