YZ – Taggin’ It Up

YZ tape cover

So, I already published the interview with Tony D that was part of a big Trenton retrospective that I wrote for Hip-Hop Connection. I’d forgotten until I saw the cuttings the other day, but it was a spliced up piece containing quotes from Tony, Wise Intelligent and YZ, rather than separate interviews. Which makes me feel even better about disinterring this stuff and presenting it wholesale.

For me, YZ didn’t quite hit the heights on the albums that his talent deserved. Sons of the Father and The Ghetto’s Been Good to me were more than solid sets, but just slightly held back by a touch of filler, not uncommon for albums back then. However, the YZ EP, for me, deserves to be discussed in the same terms as Intoxicated Demons or All Souled Out.

Of the three Trenton interviewees, I think YZ was the trickiest to pin down, set a date with and then actually get on the phone. But it was worth the effort, even if we ran out of time with about 15 questions left. Still, that’s a sign that he wasn’t monosyllabic. Of course, I was the ideal person to interview YZ because, with the weight I’d put on at this time, clearly the gateaux had been good to me.

Stay tuned for that Wise Intelligent piece coming soon to round off the Trenton Trilogy of Terror.

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Posted by drewhuge in HHC Classics, Interviews, 0 comments

The Regulator Show with Rob Pursey & Superix… and me

I had a fantastic time dropping down to London last week to make an appearance on Soho Radio’s excellent The Regulator Show. Basically, I could talk about hip-hop for about 17 years straight with Rob Pursey and DJ Superix without getting bored.

We kept it strictly 80s – Peso, Just-Ice, Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince, King Tee, Disco Four, Fresh 3 MC’s, Jamose, Afrocentric classics and more – while talking about my book, experiencing hip-hop in the north in the 80s and how we fiended for rap radio. Yep, this is some foundational business, so we tipped our hat to some UK classics as well.

Peep the show, and follow those dudes over here. Basically, it doesn’t matter what genre or era they cover, they’re authorities on it.

Posted by drewhuge in Audio, Interviews, Wiggaz: The Book

Trenton Where We Live: Tony D interview

Hip-hop heroes seem to be dropping like flies recently. I prefer them when they’re droppin’ funky verses. I spoke to Trenton, New Jersey producer and rapper Tony D not very long before he died, in an interview for Hip-Hop Connection. I spoke to YZ and Wise Intelligent in the same week and it was nice to join the dots between the three, even after a lot of not always smooth history.

Tony D reading a newspaper

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Posted by drewhuge in HHC Classics, Interviews

The best of Prodigy by Dan Greenpeace

Infamous Mobb Deep press photo

We’re still celebrating the life of Prodigy over here at Wiggaz. If you missed it, peep my piece written after a sleepless night here.

But the best way to remember P is definitely through the music. My brother from a nagging mother Dan Greenpeace has put together some gems for the peeps at, and you can catch it below. He’s sidestepped the super-obvious joints for some curated classics – and a couple of things you won’t hear anywhere else. A killer 2004 radio freestyle from Dan’s late All City Show on XFM, and a 2006 interview from the same show. And ‘Cop Hell’, obviously.

Posted by drewhuge in Audio, Interviews, Rest In Peace

The RZA: Unpublished 2007 Interview

Gravediggaz press photo

A vintage interview. A ‘vinterview’, if you will. No? Yeah, me neither.

I had the fortune to interview The Wu-Tang Clan’s The RZA on a handful of occasions. Once on the phone for a very long piece about The Gravediggaz second album, once on Bobby Digital business (bong bong bong) and once about The Wu. He was always thoughtful, good value, engaged and punctual. Of course, the same can’t be said of certain journalists who decided they weren’t going to stick to their time and decided to have 2 hours instead of 45 minutes. Yes, you, Dele fucking Fadele. Don’t worry, you can soak up all of our time too so you can write up all of 400 words in NME.

On this occasion I was intervewing him for The Guardian Guide, for the release of 8 Diagrams, and you can read the published piece here. The Guardian being the The Guardian, they own the rights to those words, which is why they’re not in this piece.  However, Robert Diggs is quite the prolix fella, so here’s all the stuff that didn’t make the cut. I think the plan was to use this in Fat Lace issue 6, but that issue never happened. It was a time of turmoil in the Wu-Tang, with some public squabbling over the group’s direction. RZA was pretty diplomatic, it has to be said. And there’s a bonus Prince Rakeem video just because it’s great. Continue reading →

Posted by drewhuge in Interviews