DJ Muggs: A Mean Muggin' Soul Assassin

AllHipHop Staff

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.

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

born collection. 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

we’ve 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. 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 they’ve got to do so that they can contribute.

We’ve all been friends for a long time so we keep pushing it. Speaking of present

Soul Assassins, you recently dropped Intermission. The title

isn’t fitting with the previous chapters, does this serve as a break

between Chapters II and III?


Muggs: Yea, we’ve been working on Part III so this is actually

the bridge. We didn’t want to keep people waiting until next summer

so we decided to put this out right now. I don’t 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. Since you don’t

consider it part of the “chapters” catalogue, couldn’t 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 that’s because I don’t like mixtapes. I think it’s

a waste of time and I think it cheapens music. I think they’re good

for new artists if you want to put your demo out though. If I would’ve

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 it’s a mixtape, it’s just

a mixtape and it gets overlooked on the desk. 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 I’ve got about eight or nine songs I’ve 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 let’s

put that sh*t on the album.” And others were like, “na, it doesn’t

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. That’s

actually a four track. It’s 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 didn’t sound right so we left that sh*t as a

four track. 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, I’m jamming shit. I’m gonna start

making a little more music in a minute but for right now I’m just

taking a break from music. We’ve got about three quarters of Chapter

III done so I’ll take a few months off and just DJ. What’s inspiring

me right now is I’ve been doing a lot of shows so I’ve 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, you’ve

got to put in practice, you’ve got respect this.” You play a professional

sport you can’t suck, you can’t be wack. Music seems to be like

the only thing you can suck and be wack but dress up and be successful. Again, looking

ahead, what is in store for Chapter III

in the Soul Assassins catalogue?


Muggs:Chapter III is coming with a documentary that I’m

doing right now with Soren Baker. Chapter III

will be more like the soundtrack to the documentary history of the Soul

Assassins. We’ve recorded music for it and we’re looking for the

release next year. Along with the

documentary we’ve heard rumors of a possible memoir in the works –


Muggs: No that was a mistake in print; I don’t know who printed

that. It’s just a lot of time and energy and it wouldn’t get enough

return. I’m definitely gonna do it but probably in about ten years

though. We’ve 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. Speaking of a

decade, what do you think the Soul Assassins will be seen as by then?


Muggs: I’ll 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 don’t see us slowing down. We own

clothing lines, international businesses, and they’re all climbing.

We’ll 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, we’re 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 we’re 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.