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Interview: Bun B talks Soul Food

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009


Last week NPR’s All Things Considered ran an interview I conducted with Bun B about one of his (and my, and your) favorite rap albums – Goodie Mob’s Soul Food. As is often the case with radio features the conversation was condensed considerably for time, so I’m bringing you the extended cut over here. Bare in mind that the conversation was originally intended for a bigger-than-rap audience, so forgive me if the questions are a too leading or expositionish. Shout to NPR and the great Frannie Kelley for making this all happen. And to Bun, of course.

Noz: What made you choose Soul Food?
Bun: I picked Soul Food because at the time it dropped I was an artist, I was part of the industry and for different reasons I was starting to become [disenchanted] with the industry. After being on the inside I started not being crazy about everything worked. I was having a lot of issues with sample clearance and being able to promote myself or market myself the way I thought we should have been and I was like “is there still room for an artist to make the music that they want to make?” When I heard Soul Food I realized that [there was]. It was obvious that Soul Food was not made for a record company’s commercial standpoint. (more…)

Local Product: Jake One & Mike Clark (Seattle, WA) Pt. 2

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Sir Mix-A-Lot – “Posse On Broadway”
from SWASS (Nastymix, 1989)

This is part two of Jake One & Mike Clark’s Sea-Town retrospective. Click here if you missed the first part. (more…)

Local Product: Jake One & Mike Clark (Seattle, WA) Pt. 1

Monday, September 21st, 2009


Back again with round two in this series on localized hip hop scenes. This time we’re off to Seattle with producer Jake One, who possesses one of the dopest and most eclectic discographies in hip hop right now (50 Cent, MF Doom, E-40) and Mike Clark, former radio co-host of KCMU’s Rap Attack and writer for The Flavor, the city’s preeminent hip hop publication in the 90s. After the jump the two break down their city’s history to the very last compound. It’s bigger than just Mix-A-Lot. (more…)

AIN’T MY VAULT: Too $hort Interview Pt. 2

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Click here if you missed Pt. 1 of the interview

Getting back to Life Is Too Short, I wanted to talk a little about “Dont Fight The Feeling”. You really put yourself out there and let Danger Zone clown you on that record.
Well that record came about in a natural way because it starts as, lets do a song where a guy is flirting. I’m the guy, and I’m flirting with these little young girls and they’re resisting. They’re like “nah we ain’t fucking with you.” And I told the girls, I said “you can say anything you want about me, I’m not gonna come at you soft, so say anything you want.” And they went home and wrote their raps. And actually their raps that made the record were the first raps they wrote. My raps that made the record were the second I wrote. I was a lot nicer the first time around and we just saw the magic in what they had said. So I went back and just made my raps even more raunchy and it turned out to be a hot thing. And then Rappin’ 4-Tay comes on in the end. He was totally not even on the song [originally]. He was like “these bitches talking about my big homie. Man, gimme a verse!” It was just a natural thing.

We used to be on tour and Rappin’ 4-Tay wasn’t on the tour with us. My homeboys would take turns every night just “I’m Rappin’ 4-Tay tonight.” We were on that NWA tour, and if you told any girl that you were Rappin’ 4-Tay on the song “Don’t Fight The Feeling” you’d probably get some pussy. To this day I still sing that song in my show and people go crazy. (more…)

AIN’T MY VAULT: Too $hort Interview Pt. 1

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009


I meant to weigh in formally on Vibe’s demise, but then I didn’t. But yes, it’s a tremendous loss to the hip hop journalism world. And sure, I’m a little biased, being that my first (and last?) national print paycheck came from the publication and I was an occasional contributor intermittently. I’m also too young to really remember the glory days of the publication, I probably started paying attention around the time of the Pac/Biggie coverage, which is about the time everybody says it started falling off. But as a reader I usually found something to read in every issue I’ve picked up since then, even if there was a lot of filler. As a writer I appreciated Vibe because it granted the celebrity access that comes with writing for a major hip hop publication but wasn’t nearly as hype/buzz obsessed as some of the other similarly sized magazines I’ve contributed to. Which is to say they gave me opportunities to talk about (and sometimes to) lesser known favorites like DJ Snake, the Krown Rulers, Ready Red, Critical Condition and Suga Free without getting that “whodafuckisthatishehot?” response that stayed on the tongues of editors elsewhere. Huge shout to Sean Fennessey for that.

But to the point. Since the end of Vibe I’ve been going through some of the more interesting interviews I conducted for the magazine with hopes of eventually sharing them with you guys. I just spent a few days running all over the East Bay so it seemed appropriate to jump in with this conversation with the father of Oakland rap Mr. Todd Shaw. It was originally conducted for a short piece that ran in Vibe’s August ’08 “Real Rap” issue as part of a 1988 throwback package (hence all the 1988 specific talk near the beginning of the conversation). That issue was quite good and is available in its entirety on Google Books as are many back issues. Hit the jump for the first part of the full Short interview, biiiiitch. (more…)