Cut Chemist: Force Is Yours


fter years of holding down as producer and DJ for Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli, Cut Chemist’s love of music is hard to match. However, anybody who spends time with the record collector knows that his love of ‘60s and ‘70s dynamite Soul compares to his affinity for Star Wars. The Hip-Hop George Lucas shares his love for the light-sabre in all that he does.

On the heels of his debut solo release, the years-in-the-making The Audience’s Listening, sat down with the self-described “sandy, blonde-haired kid named Luke” to discuss the trilogy and discover what Hip-Hop cats he thinks resembles the main characters. What was your first memory of Star Wars?

Cut Chemist: I remember seeing it when I was four in Los Angeles, in 1977, and it was seeing that ship, the Star Destroyer, and I was just like, “S**t, when is that thing gonna end? It went on for miles.” How many times have you seen the original trilogy?

Cut Chemist: I couldn’t guess. I remember there was a time when I could count. But it’s off the scale at this point. Which one of the three is your favorite?

Cut Chemist: Star Wars. It has the best dialogue and best direction. Okay, great, [most people] like Empire [Strikes Back] ‘cause it’s darker, but that doesn’t mean it’s a better movie. With Star Wars, the music and scenery were very sparing, which means the dialogue had to be that much more poignant. Is there any connection to your Star Wars obsession and your music?

Cut Chemist: Definitely. I grew up listening to the soundtrack so often that I started to get the image of the movie burned into my mind. Not only watching the movie, but as I started just listening to the music. I think that kinda trained me to make music with visuals in mind as I was making it. I don’t think music is complete without a visual accompaniment. When I make music, it is very narrative and visual because [Star Wars] is how I learned to listen to it. Does this apply to The Audience’s Listening as well?

Cut Chemist: Oh yeah. Totally. There’s definitely a visual in every song. I’d love to do a movie on the whole album that has a video for each song. This is the first attempt at sharing a dialogue with anybody that’s so personal. ‘Cause everything else is either diluted with other members being involved or maybe it’s a mix that I did. People think they might know who I am and what I do and we’ll see if they can stick with this because this may just throw them off. Does being on your own now make you nervous at all?

Cut Chemist: Yeah, this could just blow it for me. [Laughs] Like, I won’t have any more remix work. The main dialogue I like to have with my audience is that they stay open-minded and keep exploring. Cool. You ready to do some Star Wars/Hip-Hop match-ups?

Cut Chemist: [Laughs] Bring it on. Luke Skywalker.

Cut Chemist: Cut Chemist - He’s the dreamer. He’s looking out at the sunset wanting to explore and venture into the unknown and that’s exactly how I feel. I want to explore new music and it’s out there somewhere, I just got to go out and find it. C-3PO/R2-D2.

Cut Chemist: Zaakir aka Soup/Marc 7even [of Jurassic 5] - The way they interact together. Marc’s the computer literate genius that can put anything together and Soup just keeps dissing him and hitting him over the head. It’s hilarious watching those two. It’s like a sitcom. Han Solo.

Cut Chemist: Nu-Mark [of Jurassic 5] - The ladies man. The Bad Boy. Han Solo’s a meat-and-potatoes kinda guy. That’s totally Nu. He’s the guy driving the ship or working the MPC and telling these side-busting jokes. Princess Leia.

Cut Chemist: Amanda Blank [of Spank Rock fame]. She won��t give in to the influences of corporate world-America – The Empire – and sign with a major label. She just wants to go out there and have fun so there’s a noble cause there. And she raps like a motherf**ker. Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Cut Chemist: DJ Shadow - Very well-spoken. Very articulate. And just knows the most, out of everyone I know combined, about where everything has gone and where it’s going. Yoda.

Cut Chemist: Q-Bert [of Invisibl Skratch Piklz] - Along the same lines [as Shadow], but his skill is so extraterrestrial. I rarely see him get down, but when Yoda gets down, he gets down. In Scratch, when he’s sitting next to his fountain and everything’s real Zen, I’m just thinking, “This guy’s Yoda.” Darth Vader.

Cut Chemist: [Laughs] Chali 2na [of Jurassic 5] - The deep voice. You just get seduced by his voice. Ewok.

Cut Chemist: Akil [of Jurassic 5] - He’s so adorable. He’s just such a cute little guy. Jabba the Hut.

Cut Chemist: Fat Joe - Just ‘cause he’s fat. Although he might actually have a girl tethered to his belly that he licks or something.