Bronze Nazareth: Wu-Tang Throws Some D on It

Biblically, there were believed to be three wise men that brought Jesus three gifts—gold, frankincense and myrrh. Since only, these three gifts were recorded, most believe that there were only three gift givers. Yet, the scripture doesn’t exactly specify how many wise men there actually were. Wu-Tang disciple, producer/MC Bronze Nazareth, developed a Detroit based quartet of Wisemen who bring different kind of gifts to the Hip-Hop masses—grimy lyrics, nostalgic beats, and a new spin on an old sound.

Kevlaar 7 and Bronze Nazareth initially teamed up in the late ‘90s, putting out a project with mixed reviews under the name The Unknown. Enough buzz was generated though, as the RZA caught wind of Bronze Nazareth’s production talents and threw his hands on deck for a few Wu-Tang projects.

After his journey with RZA and the clan, Bronze Nazareth turned his attention to the slums of Detroit. Teaming back up with Kevlaar 7, the two were able to scoop up two promising MCs—Phillie and Salute. The group was formed and the Wisemen were born.

In the works over the last few years, the Wisemen’s debut album has arrived in stores. Independent fueled by Babygrande records, Wisemen Approaching is straight off the boat, uncut raw—that Detroit car factory grease, cold steel that doesn’t sound too much like anything else. With GZA, Planet Asia, and Killah Priest stopping by to collaborate with the Wisemen, the seal approval has been permanently pressed.

It’s unlikely to find any gold, incense or myrrh on Wisemen Approaching but you will find depth and emotion—two vital aspects of Hip-Hop that seem to be on the outs. caught up with Bronze Nazareth for an update on his career and the new Wiseman project. You have now begun to make your imprint on the Hip-Hop world over the last couple of years. I want to use this as a way to let people know what has changed, what has stayed the same and most importantly right now—what to expect with this Wisemen project. Your Wisemen Approaching album is in stores now, how do you feel it turned out?

Bronze Nazareth: It turned out beautiful. We were in the lab and sometimes there is a big translation from lab to the stores. But it got through, and it came beautiful. What roles do you think the four MCs in the Wisemen crew: Kevlaar 7, Phillie, Salute, and yourself assume?

Bronze Nazareth: Basically, we compliment each other, but we are on the same thought plane. As far as in that same thought, people bring chemistry to the group but we are all different. Kevlaar is the upper echelon, father level, off the block type. Phillie’s philosophy comes out in the project. Salute, you know, comes with that perseverance and struggle. I’m like street style energy. I’m comin’ from a level of the street poetic scientist. It’s the perfect balance. What have your releases, Think Differently Music and The Great Migration, over the last few years done for this project?

Bronze Nazareth: Basically it’s like, I saw how the release goes from studio to the store. I learned a lot of things going through the first couple of albums. This time I know where to put the strengths at, what parts to highlight. It’s all been a part of the learning experience. For this album what do your guest spots bring to the project?

Bronze Nazareth: Everybody brings their element. GZA is powerful man, a genius and s**t. We wanted to make the album colorful, so people look at it and say, “Hey I want that right now.” We got the upper echelon of the underground and of Hip Hop—period. Elemental for the whole process was Bryan Mark. Who’s that?

Bronze Nazareth: Bryan Mark is the CEO of Kings Row Music. How has it been working with the Babygrande label for this album?

Bronze Nazareth: Their promo is strong, they got a lot of push. I see their ads all over the net. What kind of artists are best-fit for your production style?

Bronze Nazareth: Artists who come with substance. I could see MC Eiht or Talib on something of mine… or Saigon on something of mine. If you’re sayin’ something, and I do a beat that says something, [we can work together]. Whatever I put out has feeling. I could see Beanie Sigel on my next joint. What are some of your favorite moments on the album?

Bronze Nazareth: My Favorite is “Honor’s Promise.” My favorite verses I wrote on there. It’s on some life and personal poetic s**t. One of my favorite verses is from Kevlaar, that first verse [on “Honor’s Promise”] is crazy. Phillie’s highlight was on “Goblins,” he set it off crazy by telling a story. Yeah I felt that one. What audience did you have in mind for this album?

Bronze Nazareth: We don’t take too much of the audience in our heads before we make the music, but basically people that thought like us, feel like us. In music with emotion, a lot of people relate to s**t. You’re gonna instantly connect to something you relate to. What sort of sound style are you trying to capture on this album? Are you still sticking with, “take it back to '92, man. I'm taking it back to the Timberlands and the hoodies, man,” approach that you had the last time we caught up with you?

Bronze Nazareth: [Laughs] Yeah, still rollin’ with Tims and hoodies but changing with the times. I flip on the radio and if I like a snare that sounds current, I pick that instead of breaks now. I chop up the break and I’m taking individual instruments. It’s the same grimy feel but current. Obviously you were influenced by RZA and the Wu-conglomerate through your association with them but what other artists have influenced you profoundly?

Bronze Nazareth: The Geto Boys, Scarface, I love listening to how they’re feelin’. Ice Cube—that was my s**t! Beanie Sigel. It’s just that style. I listen to West Coast, a lot of real s**t, with mood or emotion in it. I feel that raw emotion. In our last interview you mentioned the amount of pain that goes into your music, has that changed?

Bronze Nazareth: Yeah. Anger is still my primary emotion. Like, I see a news clip and feel the pain, it’s a part of the person I am. I feel s**t like that and when I see something I’m inspired. Then I make a beat, throw in hook, with the clip or somethin’, It’s all natural. What’s next? Do you have any other projects under construction right now or any tours planned?

Bronze Nazareth: No doubt, we are planning a tour. We are trying to go over to Europe. I got another Bronze Nazareth project in 2007 in the works; I’m working on a lot of stuff. Phillie and Salute both with tapes out now and a lot of works lined up for everybody. Sounds good man. Is there anything else you wanna say?

Bronze Nazareth: The album—I want people to pick it up. For this, you ain’t gotta worry about wasting your dollars. And if you like it, tell five friends about it.


Shirley Ju
Shirley Ju