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30 August, 2005@12:00 am

By:  Jillina Baxter

The dynamic duo from Duck Down who brought you hits such as “Sound Bwoy Burial”, “Stand Strong”, and “Bucktown” are back and believe me, it’s a blessing to have Smif N’ Wessun on the block again.  I contacted Tek and Steele to find out how they feel about their new material and their thoughts on mainstream music.

TEK:   “Reloaded” is new music coming out from Smif N’ Wessun out of The Boot Camp (Clik).  It’s just great inspirational music, it’s just great listening music and it feels good to be back having that work done again.  Hopefully everybody will appreciate the work that we did on it and what’s to come.

So let’s talk about the first single coming from the “Reloaded” album and give us a breakdown.

TEK:   Oh well right now, it’s this song called “Timz” and that’s just basically saying these boots are made for walking and that’s what they’re gonna do and one day, these boots are gonna walk all over you. But naw, it’s basically just saying how we travel around and just try to take care of the B.I. in the industry and just standing up for what you believe in.

Who did you work with on the CD as far as production?

TEK:      Well, of course, we have our family, Da Beatminerz.  We got a couple of joints from Coptic; he’s one of The Hitmen, Khrysis from Justus League, Roc Raida, Moss.  We got a couple of other beats from this up and coming producer from Sweden so we spread some love around and mixed up a couple, but we stuck to the format for the sound of the album. 

Who are some of the artists featured on this CD?

TEK: This is all Smif ‘N Wessun besides our extended Boot Camp Clik family.  We did a joint with RBG, Dead Prez you know that’s family.  It was been supposed to get done, but the opportunity and the time didn’t present itself until right now which was the perfect timing for “Reloaded”.  We did something with Talib Kweli.  Buckshot, of course, The Boot Camp (Clik), Sean Price, O.G.C., but for the most part of the album, straight Tek and Steel Smif ‘N Wessun.

You were recording under another name, Cocoa Brovaz.  How did that name change come about and what happened that you went back to recording under the name Smif ‘N Wessun?

Well Cocoa Brovaz was just something that they were calling us in the hood so it wasn’t that hard to switch over to that, but regardless of what they call us we’re always gonna be Smif ‘N Wessun.  That’s what we are to the fans and that’s what we are.  It was just an easy transition. 

It’s been like a 3 year hiatus for Smif ‘N Wessun so what have you guys been doing in between that period?

TEK: Constantly working, putting on different artists.  Then PNC still has a video show called “Bucktown USATV”.  We’re constantly on the road, across seas and different parts of town putting on shows, working with different types of organizations.  We’re still with the Shakur Organization out in Atlanta, doing stuff for the kids and just in the studio.  When weren’t not on the road, we’ve just been putting different material together.

Some of these artists you mentioned working with are they established artists or someone we should be listening out for on the come up?

TEK:  We don’t really work with too many established artists.  We try to take it back to where we came from and give back and let some other people get a chance to what this Hip-Hop business is about, this music business.  So we’re all working with up and coming artists.  We give little classes about how to control and conduct yourself in public, how to conduct interviews, things like that, but you know, it’s not on a world-wide level just yet so it’s still under wraps, it’s still in the making.  We’re having fun with it. 

So how has music changed, especially Rap music since Smif ‘N Wessun got on.  Do you think it’s for the better, has gotten worse, how do you view it?

TEK: It’s for the better.  It has to be for the better, because it’s still around and you know, it’s making people’s lives better.  It’s employing whole families, whole blocks where dudes and females were just doing nothing.  Now Hip-Hop has given them something to wake up in the morning early to pay their bills and to afford nice living areas, so it’s definitely for the better.  If anything changes, it should be for the better. 

Any plans for tours to promote your upcoming CD?

TEK: Right now, we’re just knocking out a whole bunch of press work and just getting all the dates in the cities lined up.  Just telling them what to expect from the album, how the music is gonna be coming.  It’s still a lot of venues that don’t want Hip-Hop in their establishments so we just gotta take it easy and it’s gonna fall into place.

So what advice do you want to give to the newcomers trying to make it in the game?

TEK: Just believe in yourself and for the most part, this isn’t a game.  This Hip-Hop music is a business that’s why they refer to it as the music business. At the end of the day, master your art and learn what you gonna learn and know what you’re gonna have to take care of, because at the end of the day, it’s gonna fall on you. 

Steel, share your thoughts about the CD and how it feels to be back on the scene.

STEEL: Well it means a lot.  At this point, we’ve been in the game and our album came out about 10 years ago.  So for us, it’s a 10th anniversary as Smif ‘N Wessun.  We had a problem with our name in between the album.  This is supposed to be our 3rd official release and it’s almost like a second coming for us.  It’s dropping on September 13th which is the day that Tupac was declared dead which was another one of our PMC’s who taught us a lot.  We brought a lot in our knapsacks and in our rucksacks.  About “Reloaded” it’s just perfect, because the timeframe and the individuals that we’re working with it just makes so much sense.  We’re Smif ‘N Wessun we’re named after a gun and “Reloaded” has cogitations to a gun, but we’re coming with the power of verse, the power of verb, the power of music.  It just lets you know that we’re coming with a new, refreshing voice.  It’s the same Smif ‘N Wessun, but a refreshing voice, because you haven’t heard this in a decade. You may have heard Cocoa Brovaz, you may have heard Boot Camp, but you haven’t heard Tek and Steel together back to back giving you jewels, giving you soul food and giving it to you over music which you have been lacking.  You have a lot of party music, you have a lot of Reggaeton, you can have Reggae music vibes and R&B stuff, but then there’s always something more that you can get or something that is missing.  So “Reloaded” is right on point, because when you open it up, it’s gonna be like eating M&Ms, you’re not gonna be able to stop eating them. It’s gonna be sweet and piece after piece it’s just gonna get greater.

  Mixtape D.L.
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