MVRemix: Which Little Brother album do you enjoy more? ‘The Listening’ or ‘The Minstrel Show’?
Kazé: ‘The Listening’. That LP is the dream come true. Some cats from N.C. made an album with no deal and it blew. They were all broke and maintaining at the time. That album got them out there.
MVRemix: You and 9th Wonder were never actually together, in the studio, for ‘Spirit Of 94: Version 9.0’?
Kazé: Nah. I handled it. I gave him some a cappella stuff. He was at my crib and I was at his crib. I gave him the a cappella joints. He called me back 4 days later and told me that it was halfway done.
MVRemix: How would you say your production is different from 9th Wonder’s production?
Kazé: There’s a huge difference between my version and his version. 9th likes the soul of sampling. He has that classic hip-hop soul. My version has more keyboards. It was made from the MPC. My version was me, producing the whole album. I hooked up the keys and the beats. My production style is influenced by people who don’t sample.
MVRemix: On the song, ‘Money, Power & Influence’ from Guru’s ‘The Street Scriptures’ album, Talib Kweli mentions that Pro-Tools made producers lazy. Do you agree?
Kazé: Yeah. I would say this. I’m one of the few cats around here who really knows the MPC. It’s been around. For me, it’s like Pete Rock, it goes back that far. All these new school cats, hardly none of them use it. I have nothing against them, but it is a different tool. Are you are a craftsman who is making the Eiffel Tower out of scalpel and a sledge hammer? I don’t knock the cats who program, but I came up on the MPC, SP-1200, and ASR. Those were the tools you used for production. I want to make my own style. I make all my shit from scratch. My keys, everything! If I’m putting an album out, I won’t be able to afford the samples.
MVRemix: In one phrase, how would you describe your production style?
MVRemix: Even though 9th Wonder produced a majority of the tracks on ‘Spirit Of 94: V9.0’, Khrysis and others produced a few. Why did you choose them, as opposed to just 9th Wonder?
Kazé: That was 9th Wonder. When I gave it to 9th, that was what he came back with. He told Khrysis to do a couple of joints too. I was cool with it. Khrysis is as cool as 9th. It was something that I didn’t have to ask for. Khrysis wanted to get that and came back. Even when I talked to Khrysis, I told him that I liked what he did with the remixes. He said, ‘Yo, I didn’t know what it was for or what was going down. 9th called me and told me to give him 3 beats.’ Then, he hit him up.
MVRemix: What are your favorite songs on ‘Spirit Of 94: Version 9.0’?
Kazé: My favorite song is ‘Should’e Been Here’ because it is a piece of me. That includes real facts and real stories. It’s right out of my life. I felt that song helped me deal with myself. I knew that I wasn’t the only one. It may be your mom, your grandma, or your brother.
MVRemix: What song took the longest to complete?
Kazé: That song. ‘Should’ve Been Here’ took me like 2 weeks to write. I wanted that to be as perfect as possible because it is a memorial to my moms. I wanted that song to be as tight as possible. If you are going to dedicate a song to somebody, you want to make sure it is tight and accurate. I wanted to make sure my feelings were accurate and that I wasn’t talking in a childish way, off the subject or insincere. I just took my time and wrote the way I felt. You get to a point with yourself where you don’t want to divulge certain info. I would stop myself. It was a point where it was like man verses himself. I didn’t want to put it out on record. At first, I didn’t want the audience to know that much about me or know I have feelings like that. At that point, I was like, ‘Fuck it!’ If you want a song to be as hot as you want it to be, you have to let your guard down.
MVRemix: There are 2 remixes of song, 'Soul Dojo' on the album. Which one do you like more? Why?
Kazé: There are 2 just because 9th did the first one. I wanted to make a grimier remix version.
MVRemix: What inspired the song, ‘Locked In Chains’?
Kazé: My job, at the time. Pretty much every job that I ever had, the bosses and managers dealt with me in a subservient manner. They never saw my job as being on the road to somewhere else. It’s like ‘You are my bitch. This job is your life.’ I’ve been fired for missing work to go to a mic battle, when I worked on Hip-hop Nation. I always had ideas that were close to the culture and street because I lived it, yet the executives don’t know shit about the music, art, or culture. They want to dictate what they feel should be expressed. I always had a governor put on me when I had great idea.
MVRemix: When creating a song, do you have a set theme or pre-written lyrics? Or, do you write to the beat?
Kazé: It depends. Ever since I worked with 9th, I get a lot of submissions. I get a lot of beats from cats with style. Sometimes, I’ll write to the beat. Early on, I would write songs without the beat and then, piece the song together. You know, sit down and write to get it all in. I would write out a concept. It’s really 50/50. It depends. A lot of times, I will pick the topic or what I want to write about. I know the type of song I want to do. Then, it’s a matter of just looking for the right beat to put it on. It has to be a beat that matches the feeling or it has to be a beat that makes me feel like it is the right song for those words.