Everybody knows the Rza, the Gza, ODB etc, but you might not know the man behind the turntables and the originator of the Wu-Tang logo. Mathematics has been a part of the Wu family from the beginning, to being the studio during “Enter the 36 Chambers” to chopping it up on his own solo album, he is forever Wu. He recently released a compilation of unreleased gems called “Mathematics Presents Wu-Tang and Friends: The Unreleased LP” on Nature Sounds and his own “Beat Kings” DVD, so the man has been busy. I got a chance to talk to Mathematics about his affiliation with the Wu and their humble beginnings and what he learned talked to great producers while making his DVD. Even someone who has been down with arguably the greatest hip-hop group of all time can learn a thing or two from the greats.
HipHopSite: What up man, how are things with you?
Mathematics: Everything is good man, you know. How’s everything with you?
Can’t complain, everything is getting back to normal after the storm.
Before we jump into it “Respect Mine” is one of my favorite 12″s from 05, just wanted to give some props…now on with the interview.
I appreciate that.
Some people know while other do not that you drew the original Wu logo, where you trained as an artist, or is it just a hobby?
I used to do a graffiti back in the day and I actually did go to school for graphic art. A little of both really.
Which you love more Music or Art?
Music. I love them both but I haven’t really been drawing for years. Production is really my favorite at the moment. I really prefer DJing over production, but sometimes I get in the mood where I want to just start cutting, but right now production is really what I love right now.
I have two different versions of “Respect Mine” one through Quewisha (your label) and one through Nature Sounds. The compilation CD and DVD are coming out through Nature Sounds, so are you signed to them as an artist?
Basically yes. Originally it was all done through my production company, Quewisha. You probably have one version that I pressed up myself who was also through High Times. That didn’t really work out and Devin started Nature Sounds and I have been dealing with him every since.
We’ve got two things to discuss, first the “Wu-Tang and Friends: Unreleased” compilation, these are unreleased tracks that you produced correct and is in stores now?
All the tracks are my production so yeah. It dropped February 6th.
This isn’t the first time you have dug in the vaults. What do you have, a vault of unreleased Wu that you are hording in your hall closet? (Laughs)
Over the years being a producer for Wu-Tang we recorded a lot of joints. All the producers have a lot of joints whether it is True Master or 4th Disciple and I know Rza is sitting on crazy stuff that you have never heard.
So the flood didn’t destroy everything?
He lost mostly beats in the flood.
What are your thoughts on Wu-Tang dropping the new album this year on SRC? Are you going to be a part of that project at all?
Of course, I haven’t submitted anything for that just yet. I have a few other projects coming up soon and I’m getting my gems together for the Wu album. I know Rza is in his element right now. I have been hearing the stuff he has been doing so I’m just getting ready so when I come through I will definitely have some heat.
Why did you decide to put out the Unreleased CD as opposed to your follow up to the “The Problem”?
I had started working on the follow up to “The Problem” called “The Solution”. During the time of me working on that album I had wrapped the “Beat Kings” DVD. Sitting down with all those producers I learned a lot from doing the DVD. My intentions were to teach up and coming producers some history of hip-hop from a producers stand point. I wanted to give them the experience of me sitting down with all these producers, but in doing that I learned a lot myself. So when I got done I felt my new beats were on another level after the DVD. I had the new recordings I had for “The Solution” and thought to myself; let me get all this out of my system. So I went to vaults, grabbed some unreleased joints and some remixes and there you have it, the unreleased LP was born.
Now the DVD is something I’m looking forward to seeing. Break down the “Beat Kings” DVD.
It came out January 23rd and what I did as a producer myself is I interviewed other producers. I talked to greats like Marley Marl, Pete Rock, Premier, Prince Paul, Easy Mo Bee, Rza. Plus got a chance to talk to the up and comers like Kanye West, Just Blaze, I got up with Trackmastersâ€¦there are a lot of producer interviews on the DVD. Basically what it is was is an educational video for the wannabe producers. There are a lot of cats trying to produces. You can go online and use Fruity Loops and buy these machines that will practically make the beats for you. So it’s about schooling these young cats about what they are getting themselves into. Giving those pointers, letting them know the dedication and hard work it takes to make as a producer in hip-hop.
So as a producer, what is your weapon of choice?
Most of the names you spoke on are east coast producers, is there a west coast version of this DVD in the works?
Oh yeah definitely. There are a lot of producers I didn’t get a chance to talk to on the east coast and didn’t even make it out west. Dre is one of my favorite producers of all time along with Quik and Battlecat, so yeah west coast version is in the future.
How difficult was it to get time with all those producers and what was the general feeling about the DVD as whole?
Once we got started it really started moving. Producers I had worked with in the past were more than willing to do it and it was all love.
Do you feel that the producer is now in the forefront of the music industry?
Some. That’s another reason I did the DVD. A lot of producers don’t get the light that they deserve. Everybody knows Kanye and Just Blaze, but they don’t know Ski Beats who did a lot of “Reasonable Doubt” or Mark the 45 King who has been around forever. Easy Moe Bee did “Flava in Ya Ear” and “Warning” and people know their work, but not who they are as producers. The longevity of these producers needs to be recognized and that’s what we did with the DVD.
We know Gza has an album coming out this year and “Cuban Linx Pt II” is supposedly coming, can you tell us anything about those projects? Are you going to be a part of either project?
Actually I did a track with Gza and Inspektah Deck called “Mean Streets”. The album is banging, it’s going to be a classic album. With Dre and Rza on the boards it’s going to be crazy.
So have you heard the album, honestly?
Not in it’s entirety but I have heard a lot of it. Everything I have heard from it makes it worth of being called “Cuban Linx II”.
What’s the rest of 07 hold for Mathematics?
I’m working on a few things. The Wu album of course and I just started working on this soundtrack and I have a few scores coming up. I have few artists that I’m trying to get in position and so honestly it’s just going to be a lot of work. The DVD taught me a lot and you are going to see that reflection in my work this year.
Thanks for the support from the people and be on the lookout for the future Wu-Tang projects and go pick up that “Beat Kings” DVD. You can also reach me at www.myspace.com/mathematicswutang
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