The one producer in Los Angeles who broke the titanium wall of Hip-Hop namesake producers on the west is Fred Wreck. Like Dre and Quik, Fred has garnered success putting music behind a variety of people in an array of places. From MC Eiht, to KRS-One, to Snoop Dogg, to producing Game’s first track, Wreck gets around.
But amidst his busy schedule, he finds time to devote time to his own views on the forthcoming election. His second and newest installment, “Dear Mr. President” (featuring Dilated, WC, B-Real, Everlast, KRS, Defari, and a host of others) premiered at AllHipHop a few weeks back, and received critical praise and consideration. Around that time, we covered the issues with the key organizer. Though he remains silent in the song, Fred Wreck has to much to discuss.
Join us as we talk election, Guerilla Black, Kurupt and Death Row, as well as some expectations and surprises concerning the near future of your favorite artists.
AllHipHop.com: A couple years ago, there was a strong buzz building concerning an album from you. Never happened. Why?
Fred: I’m still doing it. I’ve been so busy doing production, I haven’t had a chance to like really commit [time to it]. I make beats for it and somebody will call and be like, “Lil’ Kim is working on album, you got any beats to play her?” Aw f**k, I wanna give her the hot s**t. Then that s**t goes. I have a couple songs that I’m using for whenever. I have one Eastsidaz song that has everybody and Snoop on it, and they’re never gonna get back together and do anything new. It’ll be nice to have to on there.
AllHipHop.com: Let’s talk about “Dear Mr. President.” What specifically made you do it?
Fred: It’s not just an anti-war song. We did one last year, I have a lil’ organization of people that have the same ideas, that I work with. It’s called the STOP Movement. Stop Oppressive Politics, that’s the banner I’ve been doing. The one last year was called, “Down With Us.” That one had Defari, Tray Dee, Daz, Soopafly, Dilated Peoples, RBX, WC, Bush Babees, Everlast, it had a gang of people on it. That one was against the war, after [it] started. This one’s more geared to, “Mr. President, you’re f***in’ up type s**t.
AllHipHop.com: I want to put you on the spot. You’ve got a dozen or so verses on the track. As the producer, which jumped out at you the hardest?
Fred: Hmmm. I don’t know, man. Each one has something in it that makes me say, “Oh, that was tight.” I couldn’t say, dog. KRS-One, he said some dope s**t. Mack 10 said some dope s**t. All of ‘em. I like that. Each person touched about something different too.
AllHipHop.com: Do you expect radio response?
Fred: The last one, I didn’t really give a f**k. There was no [real] chorus. It was boom – say what you gotta say – next. This one, I made it more radio friendly. The beat is more radio friendly. It’s really lettin’ ‘em have it. I’m gonna try to get it to different stations. It’s such a specialty item, once people hear it, I don’t think it’ll have a problem getting rumored around. I took the last one we did, I took it to Michael Moore for Fahrenheit 9/11, because I guess they’re doing a soundtrack for the DVD. I played it for them, “Oh no. We don’t want any songs where it directly names Bush. We want songs like John Lennon’s ‘Imagine.’” What the f**k? Everybody’s scared about the s**t. People that want it will get it. We didn’t charge no money. We did it for the people.
AllHipHop.com: You produced a joint on Guerilla Black’s new album. You’re a critical endorsement to this dude. He’s fighting for West credibility. You’ve never dirtied your name. How hard was it to get down with him? Because, I actually like his record.
Fred: I appreciate that, dog. Originally, Soopafly worked with him. Me and Soopafly always go fishing together. We were driving up to the lake to go fishing and he was like, “Oh, you gotta hear this dude I did a song for.” His song never made that album, I don’t know why. When I first heard him, I was like, “Damn, that motherf***er sounds just like Biggie!” [I thought it was a Biggie remix.] I just had to argue with Everlast about this today. Everlast, he’s an old school Hip-Hop head. He’s like, “When I grew up, that s**t was called biting, dog. That Guerilla Black motherf***er is a biter.” I lived through the time of Biggie, as far as being a DJ playin’ his records. I was distraught at first. But hearing Soopafly’s mix was so bangin’, I couldn’t say no. Yeah, he sounded like him. He talked about a lil’ different s**t. It didn’t get me mad. Virgin asked me to do a song for him later, I was a little hesitant. I try to be more selective of what I work on. I’d rather have more quality than quantity. But, his A&R reassured me that he really wanted to work with [me], just let him come down to the studio-house.
AllHipHop.com: So then you brought Nate Dogg to the table?
Fred: They came down to the house. I played him some s**t. He liked it. He was a real cool-ass dude. He played me some of his s**t that he had, and I liked it. Why am I gonna hate on dude? Cause of Biggie? That’s not fair. I ended up doing three songs. Two of ‘em didn’t make it. The other one I had hate Nate Dogg on it. They’re not gonna use two Nate Dogg songs, so I think 50 Cent’s gonna use it.
AllHipHop.com: I have to say, Streetz Iz a Mutha was Kurupt’s best album. It was also, in my opinion, your best work. I know Kurupt angered a lot of your peers with his move to Death Row. But that record made you known to people like me. Why have you followed suit, why did the music have to stop?
Fred: You have to know the history of how all that s**t came up. Kurupt took me under his wing and he gave me a chance me a grow. I owe a lot to him for that. I see him. We’re cool. “How you been? How’s your family?” I know his momma by name. His little brother, I got his little brother a deal. I’m not speaking for my other homies in the crew. There’s more history there, and what he did goes a little deeper. At the same time, the history of that s**t is, like they call John Kerry a flip-flopper, this dude really flip-flopped. The thing about Daz is, Daz never left Death Row. Daz always has been on Death Row. Me and Kurupt used to go to Daz and say, “Nah, Snoop didn’t say that about you. He’s your cousin. We love you. Come off that Death Row s**t and come with the crew.”
To get him to leave, and have Kurupt go back to that s**t, it’s wow! Forget the fact that Suge did videos showing people where Snoop’s kids lives at, where Dre’s family live at, and all that s**t. I’ve never met the man, I ain’t do no business with him, but I’ve witnessed what he’s done to other people. To go back to that? I understand you gotta feed your kids. But straight up, I’d work at Guitar Center before I did some s**t like that. I don’t care how much money. It’s your homeboys, dog. I owe a lot to him. He made a bad move. His record still ain’t come out. That s**t ain’t gonna come out. It sucks ‘cause he a talented individual. Nobody’s gonna wanna work with him.
AllHipHop.com: Nas is no longer doing full albums with Premier, Large Professor, and Pete Rock, but he wants another Illmatic. Like Salaam Remi, you’re facing the challenge of crafting another Doggystyle with Snoop. How is that burden, especially considering you weren’t a part of the original?
Fred: I don’t try to look at that. You can’t gauge the record your doing with that record. You can hope that you’ll make a classic everytime, but that record is not able to be topped. Well, you can’t judge the work you’re gonna do by that. The situations are different. I wish I could do a whole record with Snoop like Dr. Dre did, that would be incredible. I just try to look it at as, you take a little bit of each thing that he does and you just try to make something that’s ahead of it’s time. He’s always gonna have that Doggystyle-ness to him. Gangster funk. You wanna do something that’s the next level s**t. I still work with him as a fan. He knows better than anybody what he wants to sound like. The best thing we’ve ever done, we’ve never done it.