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Hezekiah - conducted by Todd E. Jones  

Hurrying Up To Wait With Hezekiah

November 2006

Hezekiah, as a name, is defined as one who God has strengthened. As an artist, Hezekiah has been strengthened with the gift of music. He is both a producer and an emcee. Sharing a legacy with The Roots, Bahamadia, and Beanie Sigel, Hezekiah is Philadelphia to core. Hezekiah's production work includes Aaries, Intense, Zap Mama, Grand Agent, and J-live. He is the driving force of The Beat Society, which earned him critical acclaim. On Grand Agent's "Fish Outta Water: The Remixes", he shared remix duties next to the respected producers J. Rawls, Ge-Ology, Illmind, Street Orchestra, Kev Brown, and Shitake Monkey. As an emcee, he made a guest appearance on John Legend's "Ordinary People (Illmind Remix)". His also scored some music for the Showtime series, "Street Time".

After many years of paying dues, Hezekiah finally released his debut album on Soulspazm Records. "Hurry Up & Wait" is a soulfully diverse collection of astute hip-hop. Guests include Grand Agent, Bahamadia, Arlynne Page, Santi White, Chief Kamachi, Scratch (from The Roots), and Aaron Livingston. Although Hezekiah produced a handful of songs, some production duties were contributed by M-Phazes, Illmind, Tony Whitfield, Anthony Accurate, and Rick Tate. Stand-out cuts include "Conscious Porn", "Gypsy Slang", and "Right On".

Hezekiah found his strength in music. As the rhythm moves and the melodies linger, his power grows. In the future, he will create new album, more production work, and more opportunities. When music is Hezekiah's strength, the rhythm guides him.

MVRemix: Your debut album, 'Hurry Up & Wait' was released on Soulspazm Records. Tell us about it.

Hezekiah: Okay, Rawkus and Soulspazm re-released 3 Soulspazm albums, mine being one of them. The album is timeless. That's what we all felt. To me, it's just a reminder to let people know I'm still hustling.

MVRemix: What do you think makes 'Hurry Up & Wait' a timeless album?

Hezekiah: The funk you can never put a time on is the funk from Parliament to Outkast to Badu. Five years from now, it will still be cool. As long as you take chances, you can make classic music.

MVRemix: What song on the 'Hurry Up & Wait' LP took the longest to complete? Why?

Hezekiah: 'Before I Go' took the longest because Illmind had to mastermind the vamp, at the end of the song. He's a crazy dude.

MVRemix: Do you have a favorite track on 'Hurry Up & Wait'? Why?

Hezekiah: 'Children Don't Play'. Then, 'Psycho Chick'. 'Children Don't Play' because of my second ego, Johnny Popcorn.

MVRemix: Who is Johnny Popcorn?

Hezekiah: Johnny? He is the Hezekiah that grew up on punk and skating. This is what I do for fun. Me and my partner, Tony Whitfield hits the studio and wild out. I'll send you some.

MVRemix: Do you still skate? I still have my old school Steve Caballero board by Powell-Peralta.

Hezekiah: I have a 1996 large deck before they went hip-hop. It rides nice and I skate most of the time. I was just out this morning.

MVRemix: What is the meaning behind the title, 'Hurry Up & Wait'?

Hezekiah: Truth be told, the album came out last year. When it came out, it was already 3 years old. That is what I mean by timeless. That's where the title came from, the wait. Also, the labels making me rush just to put me off.

MVRemix: When creating a track, do you have a set theme and pre-written lyrics, or do you start with an idea or the music first?

Hezekiah: I never write to a track. When I do, I tend to write dumb stuff. So, when I make a track, I come up with the hook. Then, comes the writing of the rhymes, when I am out in the street.

MVRemix: How did you hook up with Bahamadia for 'Gypsy Slang'? What was that collaboration like? Was it done in the studio?

Hezekiah: That joint was so fun. Bahamadia is a pro. She did like two takes and it was a rap. Brainstorm did the track. She is a nut. I had a bunch of rhymes. I put down like five verses and kept the best two. Baham? I knew her sense forever. It's Philly.

MVRemix: Was 'Gypsy Slang' done with Bahamadia and you, both in the studio?

Hezekiah: Yes, all but the cuts by Static of Illvibe. He put them down the same day we mixed it at The Roots studio. Most of the guests on the album are from Philly like Scratch, Kamachi. Bahamadia, Static, and Santi White.

MVRemix: You produced most of the album, but for the other tracks, what made you choose the producers for 'Hurry Up & Wait'?

Hezekiah: I wanted a sound that I don't quite do, but would still fit my format. So, Illmind and Brainstorm had what I needed. 'Before I Go' was the first track I ever heard from Illmind. He wanted to play more, but I already hade a hook. We did it on the spot in one hour.

MVRemix: How did you hook up with Soulspazm Records?

Hezekiah: They are from Philly. The host of Beat Society put us together. We've been cool ever sense.

MVRemix: What is the meaning behind the name, Hezekiah?

Hezekiah: It's Hebrew. He was a king, in the bible. The name means 'one who God gave strength to', but I was named after my father and his father. That makes me the III.

MVRemix: Would you consider yourself a spiritual person?

Hezekiah: Somewhat. I'm human. It goes from Gandhi to the strip club… fast. That's why I made the song 'Conscious Porn'. No one is one sided. If they say they are, it's a lie.

MVRemix: On the song, 'Power, Money And Influence' from Guru's 'Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures' album, Talib Kweli remarks that Pro-Tools made producers lazy. Do you agree?

Hezekiah: Yes. Me and my boy were just talking about that last night. You can hear it in today's music. All the cats that make real tracks like Just Blaze, Kwame, J Dilla, Premo, and so on, came from another time. We made something out of nothing sh*t. The SP1200 had 8 seconds of sample time and Pete Rock killed it! These new kids wouldn't know what to do with that.

MVRemix: You are also an established producer. If you had to choose between being an emcee or a producer, which one would you choose?

Hezekiah: It's hard. I love doing both the same. There's a craft to each one that always pushes me to be better. Also, I'm a nerd.

MVRemix: What are some songs you are most proud of?

Hezekiah: 'Yelling Away' for Zap Momma, this joint I did for Redman called 'The Goth', and the Nas remix for 'Thief's Theme'. Oh yeah, my new album.

MVRemix: Tell us about your new album.

Hezekiah: That is why I'm up so early. It features Freeway, Black Thought, Jazzy Jeff and more. It is a Philly joint. It is so much ahead of 'Hurry Up & Wait'. The music is so hard and personal. It's writing well from the battles to the stories into the end. It's a 'play straight through' album. I can't wait to put it out. It's called, 'I Predict A Riot'. It will come out on Rawkus and Soulspazm in February or March 2007

>> continued...

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"I'm human. It goes from Gandhi to the strip club… fast. That's why I made the song 'Conscious Porn'."