DJ Muggs: A Mean Muggin' Soul Assassin
Since the inception of the Soul Assassins
movement in 1992 the artist collective has birthed clothing brands,
radio shows, records, internet ventures, and the most general parturition,
a movement. Starting in 1997 the Soul Assassins took their artistry
to the recording studio, crafting Chapter 1, which became a classic
Hip-Hop acclaimed compilation. Now, in 2009 the group has reclaimed
the spotlight with the recent, Intermission, an LP highlighting
their new school protégés and their old school roots. AllHipHop.com
sat down with their fearless leader, DJ Muggs, to pick apart the creative
brain of the Soul Assassins and to find out the future of the west coast
AllHipHop.com: I wanted to start
with your point of view on the progression of the Soul Assassins from
the inception in the early 90s to the present year?
Muggs: Well when we first started it was a bunch of rappers and
producers/DJs as our extended family of Cypress Hill. It just grew into
a collective of artists that got together to help with our career goals
and personal goals in our lives. You see it too many times when somebody
helps someone in their career and they go and blow up and never get
back to pass that back to you. So at a certain point we decided that
weve got to look out for each other and create our own economy within
ourselves. As an artistic collective we reach out to all those artists,
everyone from Mr. Cartoon to Alchemist to myself.
AllHipHop.com: As the years
have progressed and artists grown would you describe yourself now as
more of a loose collective?
Muggs: Well everyone is pretty much a good person and everybody
keeps themselves tight. We just grow and grow and everyone is working
their hardest to do what theyve got to do so that they can contribute.
Weve all been friends for a long time so we keep pushing it.
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of present
Soul Assassins, you recently dropped Intermission. The title
isnt fitting with the previous chapters, does this serve as a break
between Chapters II and III?
Muggs: Yea, weve been working on Part III so this is actually
the bridge. We didnt want to keep people waiting until next summer
so we decided to put this out right now. I dont consider it part
of the three chapters. I consider it like an interlude and a break from
the other two. A lot of music we had sitting around on the computer
so we wanted to put that out instead of letting it go to waste while
we work on Chapter III.
AllHipHop.com: Since you dont
consider it part of the chapters catalogue, couldnt you have
released it as a mixtape? It seems that is popular for artists who have
material sitting in their computers to drop it on the net for free.
Muggs: Well thats because I dont like mixtapes. I think its
a waste of time and I think it cheapens music. I think theyre good
for new artists if you want to put your demo out though. If I wouldve
done that it would have disappeared after two or three days and be gone.
Putting it as an album it will be there forever. It will be on the shelves
of record stores and magazines take it seriously, but most important
people take it seriously. When its a mixtape, its just
a mixtape and it gets overlooked on the desk.
AllHipHop.com: One thing that
people may overlook on the new record is your addition of your past
musical endeavor, Dust. Why did you choose to include the Dust record
for the album?
Muggs: Man Ive got about eight or nine songs Ive never used
from Dust and I loved that record right there. I was playing it one
day in the studio for the homies and people were like, man lets
put that sh*t on the album. And others were like, na, it doesnt
fit the album. Honestly thought, it fits the album because it is
what it is and this is what it is so we put that sh*t out there. Thats
actually a four track. Its a four track demo and we actually tried
going back and recording it in a big studio and cleaning it up and separating
all the tracks but it didnt sound right so we left that sh*t as a
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of Dust
and your range in production, where do you feel you are at and will
be at with it in the near future?
Muggs: Really now this year, Im jamming shit. Im gonna start
making a little more music in a minute but for right now Im just
taking a break from music. Weve got about three quarters of Chapter
III done so Ill take a few months off and just DJ. Whats inspiring
me right now is Ive been doing a lot of shows so Ive been practicing
everyday and letting these motherfuckers in the tight pants out there
stand at the screen and think, look at this is art form man, youve
got to put in practice, youve got respect this. You play a professional
sport you cant suck, you cant be wack. Music seems to be like
the only thing you can suck and be wack but dress up and be successful.
AllHipHop.com: Again, looking
ahead, what is in store for Chapter III
in the Soul Assassins catalogue?
Muggs:Chapter III is coming with a documentary that Im
doing right now with Soren Baker. Chapter III
will be more like the soundtrack to the documentary history of the Soul
Assassins. Weve recorded music for it and were looking for the
release next year.
AllHipHop.com: Along with the
documentary weve heard rumors of a possible memoir in the works
Muggs: No that was a mistake in print; I dont know who printed
that. Its just a lot of time and energy and it wouldnt get enough
return. Im definitely gonna do it but probably in about ten years
though. Weve got so much more to do so I want to finish up everything
first. I think some things come to early, artists put out two albums
and their already writing their life story. I think we need to go and
do a little bit more.
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of a
decade, what do you think the Soul Assassins will be seen as by then?
Muggs: Ill see Soul Assassins as the number one artistic movement
ever out of Los Angeles. We accompany any kind of artist there is; visual
artist, graphic artist, photographers, video producers, some of the
biggest rappers and rap groups. I dont see us slowing down. We own
clothing lines, international businesses, and theyre all climbing.
Well continue to grow and maximize our full potential and most importantly
continue to help each other with our personal goals and our artistic
goals. In the end, were pretty much artists that just want to create
art the way we want to create it and not have to conform to all this
commercial stuff that were not really into. We want to continue to
inspire the youth to push forward and create the kind of art they want
to create from their heart and not from their pocket book.