MVRemix: How long did the album take in total to record?
J-Zone: I brought it up in the summer of 2004, right before "A Job Ain't Nuthin' But Work" came out. The B-Side was with Celph off the first single from my album, and I was reading reviews saying "These guys should be a group." So I called him up and I told him, "Yo, lets just do this." So right when the album came out - December/October - I sent him a beat CD and I was like, "Start picking from these." He sent me a couple of beats and from that first exchange we got maybe about five songs done.
Then I went on tour and came back, then after that it wasn't anymore beat CD's. We were comin' up with concepts. He would make a beat to match a concept, I would make a beat to match a concept - we were just sending shit through the mail. He would say "I wanna do a song about thick chicks," I was making fun of thick chicks so I made a beat like that ("The Weight Debate"). We were just doing it on a song to song basis. We really started it December 2004 and we finished the final mix of the album in November 2005, so a year to fourteen months in total for everything.
MVRemix: And now that the record is complete, do you reckon you'll be doing any follow up Boss Hog Barbarian albums or is this just a one off?
J-Zone: I would love to because I had a blast. This album we just didn't give a fuck. I would love to... I don't know what Celph has planned. I know he has solo projects, he's doing stuff with Ap[athy] he's getting into other shit outside of music. So he's busy doing a lot of things. There's nothing on the table and I don't see there being a follow up or a one off idea. But I would love to. I always think of people I would love to do a whole album with that I know and that's Celph Titled and Al Shid. Those two guys I love to do full length records with. Those guys have their own things and I'm not gonna expect it; they have other things going on. In the mean time, I'm just trying to focus on being asked afterwards.
MVRemix: Everyone knows, Three 6 Mafia won the Oscar - is that a good or bad thing?
J-Zone: That's a good thing man, come on!
MVRemix: I'm kind of mixed; I'm really kind of mixed. I interviewed Juicy J and he's a nice guy, got some good music. But it's the Oscars - "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp" just seems completely out of place - you know what I mean?
J-Zone: Yeah, my only beef is that "Whoop That Trick" should have won the Oscar because it's a way better song.
MVRemix: And on top of that, I know they wrote the song, but Terence Howard performed it not only in the film but on the single that was recorded and released! It's just kind of odd...
J-Zone: I can definitely see that, but I'm a huge Hypnotize Minds fan. And as everyone knows, Project Pat is one of my top five rappers of the moment. The good thing is that they're finally getting their just dues. They were always a regional hit in Memphis and they even caught on big when they signed to Loud and stuff and they've had hits. But even if you don't like their music, you've got to respect somebody who started independent. I've got Project Pat's CD, like the "Murderers And Robbers" EP which was independent; out of the trunk. You can hate Cash Money or No Limit all you want, but those guys worked their way up.
MVRemix: Oh, definitely.
J-Zone: I'm from New York and I'm proud of it. I hate to sound like a traitor, but while New York rappers where runnin' around sayin' "Please listen to my demo," these dudes were getting doors slammed in their face and sayin' "Fuck it," pressing their CD's and lockin' down their territories.
Then the majors came and you don't have to like their music, but you have to respect them dudes. That's why Boss Hog, we pressed this ourselves. This ain't on no label. We pressin' the CD ourselves on Mount Hog, Mount Kill-A-Ho, Hog Havin' Records. Gettin' distribution and we're shipping it out ourselves.
I'm a huge fan of anybody that comes up independent and ends up gettin' paid. Talk bad about Cash Money all you want. I remember when they were puttin' out albums by Pimp Daddy, UNLV and just selling in the south. Master P was puttin' out "Mama's Bad Boy" and "Getaway Cream" and all that shit through independent distribution and then got his deal. Whereas New York rappers are like "Please listen to my demo," gettin' on labels and gettin' shelved. Can't clear the samples, goin' through all that crap and they just became playground legends. Fuck that, those dudes took that shit in their own hands and I hope they get a fuckin' presidency nomination.
MVRemix: It's just phenomenal when you see an album one day only in obscure mom and pop stores to the next day seeing Three 6 Mafia performed on Ellen? It's just a really crazy transformation between the two.
J-Zone: It's just apples and oranges, but Atmosphere did the same thing. It's totally different music and people can say what they want but I respect them dudes because they started with nothin' and they did shows and tours in places where I wouldn't even walk into. So they got it done hard, went around and built their fanbase. You can say what you want about any of these people's music, but anyone who hustles and takes it into their own hands... That's how I came out. My first record I pressed myself, I didn't even have a barcode. No 12" single, no video, no guest appearance, no posters; no nothing. That independent attitude, I respect that.
All these other regions, New York was always spoon fed first. So all these other dudes like the Bay Area, Miami, New Orleans, Houston; all these places that have come up - they all had to do it themselves first. That's why, say what you want about the music, but all them dudes that came up hustling - everybody in New York was lookin' for a damn deal. Then when they get jerked they get mad at the label. From a business standpoint, I respect them dudes and even musically, I love 3-6. I think that was a good victory and fuck all that hate, they deserve it. They deserve respect.
MVRemix: So what about the production you've been doing recently? I saw you've done some stuff with Del, A-Plus and Tha Alkaholiks. How did they come up?
J-Zone: Tha Alkaholiks - I've always had that connection because I've worked with J-Ro in the past, but that came up through Dangermouse and his management Waxploitation; they have the same manager as the Liks. I did two remixes for "The Flute Song," they haven't come out yet but I'm cool with those guys over there. Hiero's been supporting me for the last couple of years. I did the single for Casual's last album and they got really good feedback. I work really quickly, like when they send me a Pro-Tools session, I'll turn it around in a week.
They're another, just like I said I work with Hiero 'cause I respect them. They came out on Jive and Elektra respectively, they sold to their little niche audience and stuff... Toured like hell and they got dropped by the majors. But instead of folding into a ball and signing another bullshit deal, they came out independent and did it themselves. I just love and respect dudes who... They were doin' independent when nobody was doin' independent. They were amongst the first in terms of this style of Hip Hop, so I respect their hustle, their ethic...
Lâ€™Orange and Stik Figa â€“ The City Under The City album review
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