interview DAE ONE (April 2009) | Interview By: Jose Ho-Guanipa

   Dubcnn recently linked up with one of the hottest production talents in Hip-Hop; Dae One. A name familiar to many of our visitors but not yet by the wider Hip-Hop community - we want that to change and so sat down with Dae for him to talk to us in detail about his work so far, the challenges and decisions he has been through and of course what he is currently working on.

We have the transcript below however producers, artists and fans alike will be keen to watch the video where Dae One showcases new music exclusively to Dubcnn readers and also takes you around his studio set-up.

As ever, you can read this exclusive interview below and we urge you to leave feedback on our forums or email them to jose@dubcnn.com.

Interview was conducted in March 2009
Exclsuive Audio

No One (Noni Spitz & Dae One) - Not Able To Do It
Dae One // Exclusive Video Interview // Dubcnn

Download The Video: Windows Media | Quicktime

Press Play to stream footage (Fast Connections Recommended) 

*Dae One plays exclusive new music*

Dae One: This is some exclusive shit right here. Nobodyís heard this shit. I just want you to hear a few tracks; I donít want to give you too much.

Dubcnn: Whatís up yíall itís Jose with Dubcnn. Weíre in the studio here with Dae One. You might know him as a producer but he actually does some other stuff. First off, tell me about what you guys are doing with the album [The Substance].

Dae: For a while I had been feeling like hip-hop music was going in a lane I didnít really like, respect or care about so I felt it was right that me and my boy link up and do a record that was inductive to the times that we in. I linked up with my boy Noni and I came up with the idea of doing a duo record. I wanted to get into the mode of rapping again but also I wanted people to understand that me rapping was not me just trying to do some faulty rap stuff just because I see all these other producers that rap. I actually was rapping before I started producing. I kind of just took it upon myself, hit my boy up, and told him, ďYo I want to do this record, but I want you to come on with me and do the record with me,Ē like Outkast or Dogg Pound or EPMD, that had an element of two emcees going back and forth. I also wanted them to respect my pen game so I got one of the best dudes on his pen game and told him I wanted to do a record with him [Noni]. Thatís how the idea came.

When we went into it we started out doing it in the mode of doing a mixtape but my conception of the record became bigger so I wanted to do it more like an album and have it feel like a real conceptual album, not just a bunch of songs of me rapping over other peopleís beats, I donít like that anyways, I wanted it to feel like a real album. Thatís where ďThe SubstanceĒ came from, thatís where the title came from. We kind of felt like a lot of rap that was out at the time had no meaning, it was just songs for the time or whatever, so we wanted to make a record that had an idea of having something to talk about within.

Dubcnn: When are you guys looking to drop the album?

Dae: Good question, weíre in the middle of a couple situations so we donít a release date yet, so in the meantime, while weíre trying to figure out a release date weíre gonna drop the Pre-Substance, which is more or less a mixtape. They can expect that by the end of this month, they should have that for free download and Iím gonna try and have that everywhere. And if we figure everything out with the talks you should see the album out soon after that.

Dubcnn: So on the producing front, I saw you worked with Xzibit and Lord Finesse on Be Cool. What was it like working with two veterans of the game? Did Finesse talk to you about producing?

Dae: No, you know what, though, Lord Finesse is a good dude, and me and Xzibit go back albums. I was getting mentored by Sir Jinx, and he was already working with Xzibit at the time. I came in like right after the "Restless" record was done and ended up working on his next album conceptually. We did all the skits and composition for his album ďWeapons of Mass DestructionĒ, so I been on Xzibit for a while. But at the time, when I was doing beats, it wasnít up to par with everything else he was getting. So it was kind of like me trying to find my way in. We always had that connection from way then. But at the same token, that was years ago, so for him to still jump on a record that was mine was big. And he didnít even know that I did the record until he was done with the song. Bishop was just playing him beats and whatever beats he liked he would jump on. So when the ďBe CoolĒ record came on he was like, ďI wanna rap on that,Ē and he still didnít know it was mine, and I didnít know it was laid until later on that night. I came to the studio and it was already laid and Xzibit was like, ďWho did the beat?Ē And thatís when Bishop was like, ďHe did,Ē and he was like ďDamn.Ē That was a pretty cool experience.

Dubcnn: You and Bishop have a pretty good relationship and do a lot of work together, do you know if youíre going to be working with him on ďThe ReformationĒ?

Dae: Yeah, well actually the ďBe CoolĒ record was actually for ďThe ReformationĒ, it was gonna be on there. Dre wanted him to change some things and I guess Bishop didnít like how that was gonna go because he didnít want to change the record. Dre had some other ideas for the record so Bishop was like nah. That was one that was gonna go on the record but itís not now. But now I have two on there now that for sure heís keeping and now he just called me yesterday before he went to New York and told me that he got another beat of mine that he's politickiní on so that might be three.

Dubcnn: Who so far in your career that youíve gotten to work with that you idolized as a kid and hip hop fan growing up and who havenít you gotten to work with that youíd like to in the future?

Dae: Well, the Xzibit shit was good, that was someone I looked up to as a kid. I bought all three of his previous albums. Me getting that record with Butch and Snoop was kind of fun. That was of a surprise, Butch actually just surprised me and played me the record. That was fun getting a record with Snoop. Someone that I havenít work with that I wanna work with might be DJ Quik. Iíve sat with Quik and he gave me tips on mixing, how to use certain frequencies to get sounds to sound a certain way. Iíve sat with him in that respect and I love him for that, heís a big bro for that, but in the future I do wanna do a record where itís a record with him and me.

Dubcnn: You recently started a blog. Can you tell us a little about that and what youíre planning for that?

Dae: My blog is about me trying to reach out to the fans and let em know what Iím doing, what Iím working on and try to be more insightful of what I got going on in my day to day environment. Although it does get a little hard to do it, because Iím usually running behind schedule or doing too much stuff to even preoccupy myself with it. Iím trying to find a way where I can have it where people can be more interactive with me. So far Iím using twitter real good and itís working out very well because itís like instant blogging so I can just real quick go on what Iím doing and Iím out.

Dubcnn: Tell us a little bit about LNS Entertainment, your company you run with Taje. Howíd you guys hook up in the first place back in the day?

Dae: Me Noni and Taje all pretty much grew up together. Taje used to live across the street from me, so weíve been on each other for years. In high school I was always into music and Noni was doing music too. Taje got into the music a little bit later, maybe a year or so later. Later on as we went through our business ventures with other cats and involved people within our movement we decided that we had to get something kind of stabilized so me and him got something together and decided to make a company so we could have an outlet to get music out and put it out. It stems from us being friends form way back, weíre pretty much like brothers and weíve been brothers for years so it was only logical for us to get together and do a business venture because you canít do business with people you canít trust.

Dubcnn: You recently did a beat for the Ill Skillz clothing line ad. Are there any new ventures or sponsorships you guys are getting onboard for in the near future, kind of away from dropping traditional beats?

Dae: Shout outs to my boy Erck, he hooked that up. Yeah we just left the Magic Convention and went out there to meet a couple sponsors, and a few clothing lines fuck with me heavy like Makaveli Clothing Line, they get down with me tough, Streetwise Clothing they get down with me tough, Ill Skillz Clothing, they always look out for me, Hooded Stylez and Running they look out for ya boy real good, they hook me up with the kicks and all that, gotta keep ya boy fly. Sponsorship is a real big deal out here because as an artist, especially if youíre a starving artist, itís hard to get support from other outlets besides music. I try to extend my hand out to whoever really needs it. Iím willing to get with whatever sponsorship I can to keep myself going. But in the future Iím looking to get sponsored by and am talking to a couple of electronics companies like Akai and M-Audio, a few companies thatíll sponsor me in terms of equipment. You goní see a lot more of that, a lot more sponsorship. Apart from that I do a lot of producer panels and show up for the one on one conferences, it goes hand in hand.

Dubcnn: How do you and your management work together to get the most out of the opportunities you have and get the most bang for your buck as far as your work is concerned?

Dae: We donít settle for less! Me and Bishop have the same management, so it kinda goes hand in hand and with my company as far as me and Taje when we work out we always split that 50/50 down the middle. We basically donít settle. We know our worth so when you know your worth itís harder to settle for less unless you feel itís worth it. I just try not to settle for less. If someone comes and they want to cheat me out, itís kind of like cheating, you canít really cheat me out of what Iím worth because I know my amount. I just make sure and I stick to my guns on what I want. And in certain situations you have to give up something to gain something too. Itís kind of like a catch 22, sometimes you canít always win. Sometimes you gotta bite the bullet and get it later.

Dubcnn: Can you guys show us your set-up in the studio?

Dae: You can see I use my G5, delay for vocals, Event speakers, 002, nice screen keeps me entertained, watch out for Noni, donít step on Noni Spitz. I use my Akai 200XL drum machine, Mo-fat, Fantom rack, Triton rack, a Nord Lead 2, my Yamaha mixer, some turntables that I use for sampling or whatever, my extra hard drive, my talkbox when I need to get my Roger Troutman on, you know what I mean, if you OG you know about that. Then I go through records and I find whatever Iím looking for, If I can find it I find it on vinyl, if not Iíll get it digitally and get a sample off Limewire or whatever I do.

Dubcnn: What do you like to sample when youíre making beats?

Dae: I sample whatever catches my ear. It can be anything from classical to R&B to pop. It can be rock; Iíve done everything. I really look for whateverís ear catching. It has to have something in it that draws me to the sample; itís hard to explain. Imma show you, thatís what Iím gonna do, Imma show you, itís harder for me to tell you than to show you.

Dubcnn: What have you been working on lately in the studio?

Dae: Iíve been working on the ďNo OneĒ record, me and Noni, been working on that recordÖ

Noni: Itís coming.

Dae: I just finished Stylafornia with my boy Prime; that was a dope record, a dope compilation record. For all of yíall that donít have Stylafornia go get it Ďcause itís hot. Itís gonna be the hottest shit out on the web and on the streets. Youíll see that everywhere pretty soon, hosted by my home girl DJ Backside. Been working on Hotbox 3, as you can see Hotbox 3ís been taking a little longer than we expected because we have a couple of surprises, I donít want to spoil anything but its gonna be pretty big. I recently just met up with my boy Kobe, Khalilís hookmaster. Me and Kobe talkiní about doing some stuff so Iímma link up with Kobe real soon. Me and Stat Quo been talking, I just had to send him some beats last night. Me and Slum Village might be in the studio real soon, thanks to my boy Fuzzy, we gonna link that up real soon, get that poppiní off. And my boy Cashis, I ainít forgot about you, itís just been a lot of stuff going on, I been haywire, Imma send you some ear candy real soon. In the midst of that I been mixing a lot peopleís stuff like right now Roccetís working on a new tape, heís coming out with a new tape I think itís gonna be called ďThe ChronicĒ I donít know, we gonna see, him and EP been in the studio real big, big ups to EP, so I gotta mix a couple records for Roccetís mixtape so thatís pretty much where my head levelís been focused on, trying to get that done.

Dubcnn: Whatís in your iPod?

Dae: Jonette Monet, I think that shitís kinda fire, my ďNo OneĒ mixes, my own stuff, a lot of these Detox submission that we keep sending in, trying to get an ear of what dudeís really looking for so I keep turning in shit that he likes. Iíve been listening to Focusí new record, he has a new record called ďDedicatedĒ where heís dedicating a lot of records to the pioneer producers in the game, thatís pretty much it.

Dubcnn: Shout outs?

Dae; Lemme give a shout out to the whole New West, the whole West Coast Movement, One West, shout out to my boy Mr. Fab from the bay, shout out to Ozone Magazine for plugginí ya boy with the interview what up Deray, whatís crackiní? Shout outs to my boy Noni Spitz, Taje, Bishop Lamont in the house, Prime, Ill Skillz Clothing. Be sure to check out that ďFeatured on the StreetsĒ my boy Noni Spitzí street record, you should see that real soon, I executive produced it, made it, put it all together. Look out for Stylafornia that should be out, it should be the hottest shit out on streets, itís a compilation of all the West Coast music thatís happening out here on the West, gettingí yíall involved with a lot of new artists that you might not know or be familiar with, getting you some new sounds and fans. Shout outs to everyone, whoeverís making great music, shout outs to you, shout outs to all my fellow producer homies out there, yíall know who you are, letís get it in, peace.


Exclsuive Audio

No One (Noni Spitz & Dae One) - Not Able To Do It
Dae One // Exclusive Video Interview // Dubcnn

Download The Video: Windows Media | Quicktime

Press Play to stream footage (Fast Connections Recommended) 


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