Brother J (X-Clan) - conducted by General Baker  

Brother J of X-Clan

October 2006

MVRemix: Thank you for saying that, man. Thank you for saying that, because I've done interviews with a lot of artists, both new school and old school and it seems like a larger tendency from a lot of old school artists, is that they really don't understand why the music shifted, and you're right, I think it seems to me that there were very concrete social and political events that shaped the political trajectory of X-Clan as well as other black consciousness music that was happening at the time, and there was a shift, not necessarily away from that, but there was a shift in thinking, there was a movement that shifted, and so it seems like the popular music began to reflect sort of the new ideas or not necessarily new, but they started reflecting different ideas.

On the pop-thug tip, going back to that a little bit, are you familiar at all with Chamillionaire, his new single, the "Ridin Dirty" song?

Brother J: Yeah, I heard the remix that DJ Quik did. We just worked with DJ Quik, so I heard the remix he did in LA and then I heard the original one he did with Bone Thugs.

MVRemix: Right. Ok, well it seems like in a lot of the conversations I had with folks that seem to be kind of stuck on the old hip-hop, the old political hip-hop, they seem really dismissive of that song and that artist because of really trivial features like the fact that he wears fronts and he's riding in a Chevrolet, they kind of dismiss it as thug, but it seems to me that maybe it takes kind of the appearance of that, but what's at heart there, the whole song is about police brutality. And, I find that really interesting that we often think that those are kind of submerged in popular music. So do you think that, I mean, what's your kind of take on that? Do you see any possibilities in any popular forms today?

Brother J: Let me give a point to you. When N.W.A. was out they were talking street knowledge. You know what I'm saying? It wasn't a thing were they separated the X-Clan from N.W.A. because it was knowledge from just two different specifics on street ethics and street rules. You know I'm saying? Now, when I look at Chamillionaire and I listen to the song, everybody who feels threatened when their riding and gets harassed should support that song. I don't knownow, when you go deeper to the content and a cat talking about, "I got this blunt in my hand and I'm drinking," and so on, it kinda takes away from the support of the song in full. You know what I'm saying? It could mean something if the content was thorough, but when homeboy starts busting and the words are a little fast for other people, some people don't understand that shit. You know what I'm saying? There's a content conflict, you know what I'm saying, where these artists would be some of the greatest conscious artists that exist, brother. Trust me, man, I know. You know what I'm saying? I groom artists for a living and I have to kind of break them out of trying to sound like everybody cause they think that's where the ticket is and its not.

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