Chapter 13: - conducted by Todd E. Jones  

Rashid’s Memoirs Of The Hip-Hop Asylum

November 2005

Hip-hop is an insane asylum where music is used for medicinal purposes. The label executives are the doctors. The emcees and the listeners are the patients. Although the emcees create the music, everyone benefits from the medicinal healing of emotional ventilation through rhythm and melody. Guru once said, “Hip-hop acts as a safety valve in society”. Unlike a mental hospital, the emcees & producers create the drug that everyone takes. The executives (or doctors) just try to control and profit off of the pharmaceutical art. Like an asylum, hip-hop is a sanctuary for both emcees and listeners. Lovers of the “golden era” will never lose their passion for true hip-hop, but they often feel a sense of depression when faced with the current state of the culture. Chapter 13 is a hip-hop duo that uses the medicinal quality of hip-hop to heal themselves and their listeners. They want to increase the potency of the hip-hop drug with their love of the culture.

Chapter 13 uses their love of the “golden era” as the foundation for their music. Consisting of Rashid Hadee (from Chicago) and Young Valentine (from Mississippi), Chapter 13 mixes an underground down South flavor with a Mid-West style. Although their music has a contemporary sound, the energy of “golden era” shines from within the music. In 2001, they recorded an album called “Legendary Aspectz” without the help of a label.

Chapter 13 began the healing process when they started their business relationship with Neblina Records. Known as the world’s first independent on-line hip-hop label, Neblina released the stellar “Definition” compilation featuring Chapter 13, Panama G.A.T., L.E.G.A.C.Y., K-Hill, Splash, Medinah General, DJ A-Beats, J-Gunn, Manov War, and others. For a label’s debut compilation, the LP possessed top-notch production from 9th Wonder, Khrysis, DJ Forge, and more. The single, “Da Instigator” by K-Hill (known for his work on Kaze’s “Spirit OF 94:Version 9.0”) was the #2 record on national college charts. Chapter 13’s “Demonz” and “Watching My Moves” introduced the group to many hip-hop fans. Neblina just released the 2005 Chapter 13 full-length album, “Nevermore’s Asylum”. Rashid Hadee and Young Valentine produced 90% of the album and only included guests from their tight circle.

Currently stationed in Chicago, Rashid Hadee is a very busy emcee. He just produced a majority of the new album for the male / female duo, Abstract Mindstate. Hadee also just completed his debut solo album, “Dedication”. Neblina Records signed a deal with P-Vine Records to release “Dedication” in Japan. The hip-hop mental patient has been extremely productive. Of course, this can only happen in the mental institution known as hip-hop. Let the healing begin…

MVRemix: Tell us about the new Chapter 13 album, 'Nevermore's Asylum' released on Neblina Records.

Rashid Hadee: ‘Nevermore's Asylum’ is like a mix-tape of material that we did from around 2001 up to and until early 2005. This CD is just a little something to introduce our music to the world, let everybody know who Chapter 13 is and how we get down.

MVRemix: What is your favorite song on 'Nevermore's Asylum'?

Rashid Hadee: My personal favorite is ‘Only The Start’, produced by Gensu Dean. This is my joint because it is just right there in your face, letting cats know we are just getting started with this. We are only warming up. ‘This is only the start of this. We about to tare you niggas apart with this!’ I get amped up every time I hear that shit.

MVRemix: What is the meaning behind the title, 'Nevermore's Asylum'?

Rashid Hadee: Alright. ‘Nevermore's Asylum’ is what me and Young Valentine used to call our original studio that we used to record in, back in Jackson, Mississippi. Me and Young Valentine produced under the name Nevermore Productions. So, the title just fits the CD perfect. It is like the listener is stepping into ‘Nevermore's Asylum’, our own padded cell of hip-hop. [Laughs]. I guess the studio was like a padded cell where we would just go up in there and go crazy.

MVRemix: Describe the overall recording process of the album.

Rashid Hadee: Well, some of the joints were recorded here in Chicago, at my crib. The others were in recorded in Jackson at Young Valentine’s crib. The joints that Young V produced were recorded in Jackson. The joints that I produced were done here in the Chi. ‘Corner 2 Corner’ was the only joint that was put together kind of crazy. Analogic sent me the beat from New Jersey. Young V recorded his vocals in Jackson. Then, he emailed the files to me. I just recorded my part and mixed the joint down here in Chicago. [Laughs]. Yeah man, that was crazy.

MVRemix: What song took the longest to complete? Why?

Rashid Hadee: Well, it does not take us long to get a joint done. We usually jump on the mic and get right on down to it. So, nothing on there took a long time to complete. The really hard part about it was picking out the songs to put on the album and the order we wanted them to be in on the CD.

MVRemix: What is the meaning behind the name Chapter 13?

Rashid Hadee: Well, Chapter 13 started out as a crew of cats who would freestyle during lunch period, back in high school. There were four original members and that is what the 13 represents. You know, 1 and 3 added together equals 4. Simple math. Me and Young V clicked since day one. We would chill after school, over at my crib. We would make beats, record freestyles, or just listen to some ill shit that was out back then. We just have a good chemistry. It's like we are different, but the same. Plus, we were broke as hell at the time. [Laughs] Now, I just look at the name Chapter 13 as something to remind me of those days. So, no matter where I'm going in life, I won't forget where I came from.

MVRemix: How did you get involved with Neblina Records?

Rashid Hadee: I was posting up some of my music on a message board. Jerry Juliano happened to check some of my stuff out and liked it. This was before they started Neblina Records. We would just build every now and then on instant messenger around that time. He was one of the very few people who actually gave my shit a listen. I respected him for that. It's funny how other cats post up music and get a tons of feedback while I'd put my stuff out there and get only 2 or 3 responses. [laughs] Anyway, Juliano was one of those 2 or 3 cats who actually listened to my shit. Around 6 or 7 months later, I got an email from him saying that he was starting a label called Neblina Records. He was putting together a compilation called ‘Definition’ and he wanted me to send him some joints for it. So, I sent him like 5 songs. One of those songs happened to be ‘The Rebirth’, which ended up on the b-side to K Hill's ‘Da Instigator’ 12-inch. So, the rest is history. We have all been tight ever since.

MVRemix: When creating a song, do you have a set theme or pre-written lyrics? Or, do you write to the beat?

Rashid Hadee: I prefer writing to a beat, just so the feel of my rhymes can fit the beat perfectly. I used pre-written lyrics too. It is either way for me. As long as whatever I'm doing sounds tight over the beat, I can't go wrong.

MVRemix: Favorite sampler or drum machine?

Rashid Hadee: Of course, my favorite sampler is Cool Edit because there are no limits to that shit. My favorite drum machine is the TR-808.

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"I just look at the name Chapter 13 as something to remind me of those days. So, no matter where I'm going in life, I won't forget where I came from."