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Prodigal Sunn - conducted by Todd E. Jones  

Prodigal Sunn Returns To His Hip-Hop Home

August 2005

MVRemix: How did you hook up with Free Agency Records to release this new album?

Prodigal Sunn: I met Marc Copeland about 6 or 7 years ago. Priority Records was his home. We were working on ‘Wu Chronicles Chapter II’ with 12 O’clock and Shyheim. He called me up. At the time, Rza and Priority were doing business. At the time, business was crazy. Rza gave me the connect. He said, ‘You got a hot single over there and cats are requesting it hard’. I met Marc Copeland.

MVRemix: How difficult was it to release ‘The Return Of The Prodigal Sunn’ compared to the release ‘The Last Shall Be First’ or ‘Saviorz Day’?

Prodigal Sunn: ‘Saviorz Day’ was more like, if you can’t safe yourself, don’t talk about saving others. That was what that LP was about. We were just showing the world the refinement after ‘The Last Shall Be First’. We came back to the table. It is what it is. We were saved like that. Killah Priest wasn’t with us. He’s a world traveler. He had deals going on. We had to take time and sit down at the table.

MVRemix: Will Killah Priest ever return to Sunz Of Mann?

Prodigal Sunn: Yeah. There’s no beef. We’re brothers. We laugh and joke like kids when we’re together. Business is business. Business is a cold game. He came to the album release party at The Lemon Lounge in Manhattan. He popped up.

MVRemix: Can fans expect another Sunz Of Man album?

Prodigal Sunn: Sure. They can expect it, but there’s nothing planned in the future. I’m in my corner now. I’ve been in this game for so many years and have been featured on so many records, but I still feel that I haven’t fully developed. Right now, I’m scoping that up. I’m shining me up.

MVRemix: What is your all time favorite collaboration so far? What is the one you are most proud of?

Prodigal Sunn: I like the one I did with Junior Reed and Guru on the ‘Jazzmatazz Street Soul’ album called ‘Mashin Up The World’. When I went in, I had the opportunity to be myself. It wasn’t like I had to write a certain way or for the certain song or video. I just had to get on and do my thing. It’s freedom. A lot of cats don’t have that.

MVRemix: You were featured on many Wu-Tang Clan collaborations. Out of all of the Wu-Tang Clan collaborations, which ones are you most proud of?

Prodigal Sunn: I love ‘Street Chemistry’ from the Ghostface album ‘Bulletproof Wallets’. I love ‘Do You’.

MVRemix: Many of the Wu-Tang Clan records now are recorded in California instead of New York City. How different is the vibe in California as opposed to recording in New York?

Prodigal Sunn: The only thing that is different is the space and the lack of people. As far as family and the people you grew up with, you know? Out here, in California, you do your job. People know you and you may know a couple of people. There are less distractions. At home, it’s different. New York is a melting pot. When we started, we were grinding. It was raw. Now that we are young men, we are smoothing it out. The words are clearer.

MVRemix: On some of the other Wu-Tang Clan albums you were on like ‘Bobby Digital In Stereo’ and ‘Killa Beez’ compilations; you were labeled as ‘Prodical’.

Prodigal Sunn: That’s was a mistake. Right here? It’s me. Something like that always happened. There were songs not being added to albums. ‘Street Chemistry’ on Ghostface’s ‘Bulletproof Wallets’ had a problem too. The song wasn’t listed on the album. That’s why he left the label. I don’t get caught up in stuff like that. On the Jazzmatazz CD, they spelled my name right. I was there like that.

MVRemix: How did you hook up with Guru for that collaboration on the ‘Jazzmatazz Street Soul’ album? What was it like?

Prodigal Sunn: Guru? He’s a classic. We always connected from back in the day. Bed-Stuy! Just came through D&D Studios one night. He told me that he wanted me to jump on a compilation he was doing called ‘Bald Head Slick’. I saw him up in this club called Cheetah’s. We partied together. We used to party all the time. He told me to come by D&D. I slid though there. The same night, Junior Reid from Black Urehu slid through. 8-0ff Agallah The Assassin came through. He was there. He produced the track. It’s street song. It’s the perfect title for that compilation.

MVRemix: For the Guru and Junior Reid collaboration, you guys were all together in the studio but for other collaborations, some artists do not even meet face to face. Some collaborations are done via mail. Were any of the collaborations on ‘The Return Of The Prodigal Sunn’ like that?

Prodigal Sunn: I had some mailed collaborations, around 2 joints. 12 O’clock was in Florida at the time. I collab’d him in. GK The Artist was out in Florida too. They were working on an album. We used technology and they jumped in. The rest were just live.

MVRemix: Where did you find Madame Dee?

Prodigal Sunn: Madame Dee? I found her about 3 or 4 years ago. She’s on that last Wu-Tang Clan, ‘Iron Flag’ album. She was on ‘Babies’. I met her through a friend of mine. She told me that she could sing and I said, ‘Let me hear something’. I heard it and was cool with it. I was doing the Two On Da Road project at the time. Me and 12 O’clock from Brooklyn Zoo have a project called Two On Da Road. We were doing our record while the Wu-Tang Clan was doing ‘The W’ album. She got on the joint and wrote the words out for us. Did that Luther Vandross song, ‘Woke up this morning…’ We wrote that and she blew it up. We loved it. She dropped it on us. That was before Raekwon got it a year later. That song was originally for the Two On The Road Project. We were at the Ghostface album release party in New York. Rza came up to me and said, ‘Yo, Sunn, that track? I want to put that on ‘Iron Flag’. You killed that rhyme on there’. No doubt? She collaborated on that and ‘Babies’. It was on.

MVRemix: What was it like working with Wyclef and Earth, Wind, & Fire for ‘Shining Star’?

Prodigal Sunn: It was a beautiful thing. Earth, Wind, & Fire actually wanted to remake that song and Wyclef had that dance but street sound. Dirty hooked it up. We blasted that in the limo when we pulled up to the ‘Ghetto Superstar’ video shoot.

MVRemix: How is working with Rza different than working with other producers?

Prodigal Sunn: Rza is family, in-house. We’re like brothers. It’s all natural. We can feel about what a person says. Family can take that. It’s a real person who is telling you something. If you don’t like it, you don’t like it. Rza has thousands of beats. It’s more La Familia.

MVRemix: Who are some producers who you would like to collaborate with in the future?

Prodigal Sunn: I would like to collaborate with The Neptunes. I would like to work with DJ Premier. Whoever I’m feeling, basically. Right now, I got to get in the circle and analyze the person and music. If the music is good, it’s all good.

MVRemix: When doing a song, do you write rhymes to the beat first, or do you have the theme or lyrics ready?

Prodigal Sunn: Sometimes, I write to the beat. For most of the story rhymes, I like my data in my head with all of the stuff I have been through. Word chemistry. For joints like ‘Soul Survivor’, I just flew in. It was pure energy. I can write rhymes in 10 or 15 minutes.

MVRemix: Who are some artists who you would like to collaborate with in the future?

Prodigal Sunn: I like Jill Scott. Jill’s cool. I want to do something with her. I like the eccentric women who are doing their thing. I would like to rock something with Jay-Z and Ron Isley.

MVRemix: Wu-Tang Clan did that joint with Ron Isley, ‘Back In The Game’ for the ‘Iron Flag’ LP.

Prodigal Sunn: Yeah, I was there.

MVRemix: If you could remake any classic hip-hop song, what song would it be? How would you approach the remake?

Prodigal Sunn: I don’t know. Cats already did them. I would like to make ‘What’s Going On’ by Marvin Gaye.

MVRemix: I want to pay my respects for the passing of Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

Prodigal Sunn: Thank you, man. I appreciate it.

MVRemix: Where were you when O.D.B. passed away?

Prodigal Sunn: I was right here in Los Angeles when I got the news. I saw him a couple of months before that at a party. We were chilling. I heard the news and I flew in for the funeral.

MVRemix: What did you think about O.D.B. signing with Roc-A-Fella Records?

Prodigal Sunn: I thought it was a good business move.

MVRemix: Why did you make the move to Los Angeles?

Prodigal Sunn: Well, I’ve been coming to Los Angeles. Wu-Tang has been out here for like 10 or 12 years. I’ve been here for like 4 years. We’ve always been out here. There’s more business out here. We’re more active. We’re more productive out here. Sometimes, in New York, there is so much hate.

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"Well, I’ve been coming to Los Angeles. Wu-Tang has been out here for like 10 or 12 years. I’ve been here for like 4 years. We’ve always been out here. There’s more business out here. We’re more active. We’re more productive out here."