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Young RJ (BR Gunna) - conducted by Todd E. Jones  

BR Gunning In The Dirty District With Young RJ

December 2005

MVRemix: You are also doing production work for Proof of D-12? How many songs? How is working with him different than other artists?

Young RJ: I did two songs. It was cool. I dropped off the CD. When he was listening to the beats, he already had the hook to them. So, he called us back at three o’clock in the morning to dump the beats. He finished both songs that night, flew out the next morning, and mixed. The average emcee takes 5 days to complete a song. That was the difference.

MVRemix: Who are some of the other artists who you recently produced songs for?

Young RJ: J. Issac, who's signed to Universal. He also sang the hook to Slum Village's new single ‘EZ Up’. So, look out for that.

MVRemix: Some songs you produce alone, while others you produce with Black Milk. How are sharing production duties different in as a duo?

Young RJ: There isn't much of a difference. We are both self-contained producers, but we work well together. Sometimes, he may hear things that I don’t and vice versa. That s the only difference.

MVRemix: How did you hook up with Slum Village?

Young RJ: I hooked up with Slum Village through my dad, who Slum is signed to. But, that didn’t make it easy for me. The first couple beats I played, when I first started producing, they (Slum Village) laughed at my beats. But, two months later, I recorded two songs with Kurupt. Then, three months after that, I was mixing on ‘Fantastic Vol. 2’. Seven months after that, I was working on ‘Dirty District Vol. 1’. After that, ‘Trinity’, and so on and so forth.

MVRemix: What did you think about Baatin leaving Slum Village? I actually interviewed him right after he left. Actually, Elzhi rhymed about my interview in ‘Reunion’. Have you seen Baatin lately? How is he doing?

Young RJ: I mean, it's still family so, you know. I wish him the best. I saw him about 2 months ago. He's doing okay. He’s still dealing with health issues.

MVRemix: Baatin told me that he will never do business with Barak Records again. Why do you think that is? Has the relationship with Baatin and Barak Records changed?

Young RJ: I don't know because he was just up here 2 months ago. But you know, whatever works for him. It's been the same since he left the group. There are no hard feelings on this end. Once again, he is still family.

MVRemix: You and Black Milk have been handling more and more of the production for Slum Village. Why? How did this happen?

Young RJ: Because we work good together. After doing so many albums, our chemistry just increased.

MVRemix: How is working with Slum Village different than other artists?

Young RJ: With Slum, it's definitely more of a family atmosphere, a more relaxed scene.

MVRemix: You have been working with Slum Village from the start. They have changed members, labels, and even styles. Through the years, how has the chemistry and creative process changed?

Young RJ: Well, after Baatin left, we had to find chemistry between the two guys, instead of it being three. That's the only difference.

MVRemix: You were basically were involved with the entire production of Slum Village’s self-titled 2005 album released only on Barak Records. How were these sessions different than past Slum Village sessions?

Young RJ: It was easy because we just went back to the basics, the classic Slum Village sound.

MVRemix: Was producing the entire album “Slum Village” LP by Slum Village intentional?

Young RJ: No, it wasn’t. People were sending tracks in, but I was just coming with that heat. Slum picked the best of what everyone had to offer.

MVRemix: What song are you most proud of from the self-titled Slum Village album?

Young RJ: All of them! Everything is hot to me.

MVRemix: For the song, ‘O5’ from the new Slum Village album, you use live instrumentation. How difficult or different was it working with live musicians as opposed to your usual creative process?

Young RJ: There wasn’t really a difference. I already did the track for ‘05’. We just replayed it over with live musicians. The musicians were DJ Dez, myself, and Carl B. So, it wasn't like I was working with a live band. It was more like working with family.

MVRemix: You worked with other Detroit artists like Phat Kat, Mu, and MC Breed. Do you have a different approach for every artist?

Young RJ: My approach is to give each artist their own sound and still make it sweet.

MVRemix: You are the son of RJ ‘The Wiz’ Rice. He is the former leader of RJ's Latest Arrival and operator of the Barak Records. What is it like working with your father in the music business? What problems do you encounter?

Young RJ: It's not like I'm working with my father, because he treats me like he treats everyone else. Business is business. The only problem I run into is if I don’t get the album on time.

MVRemix: You worked with The Dramatics on the song, ‘Something Good’ from ‘Dirty District Vol. 2’. How did this collaboration happen? What were they like? What this song recorded together in the studio?

Young RJ: We had already had the beat done for ‘Something Good’. The Dramatics are good friends with my father. He called them. They came up and jumped right on the song. We put the rhymes down and the song was done.

MVRemix: When creating a track, do you have a set theme or idea, or the music first?

Young RJ: We have the music first, usually.

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"I hooked up with Slum Village through my dad, who Slum is signed to. But, that didn’t make it easy for me. The first couple beats I played, when I first started producing, they (Slum Village) laughed at my beats."