EXILE (February 2009) | Interview By:
Dubcnn reached out to Los Angeles
artist Exile to talk about his new album, "Radio", amongst other topics.
Exile, most known for his critically acclaimed "Below The Heavens" album
with Blu, tells us about his path up until now, his work ethic, why he
chooses to produce entire albums for artists and how he picks the artists he
He also tells us about his numerous
group projects, why he chose to sample off the radio for his "Radio" album
and what else we can expect from him in 2009.
As always we have both the transcript and the audio for you to
check and please feel free to send any feedback regarding the interview to:
Interview was done in January 2009.
Questions Asked By :
Exile Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That
Full Interview In Audio :
Sound Is God
Dubcnn linked up with Exile to get
the latest on his new project. What's going on with you man?
I'm good man! I've never been busier but never been better too.
Dubcnn: I was introduced to your music through your album with Blu, "Below
The Heavens", so for those such as myself who slept on you before, introduce
yourself real quick and let us know what you're about.
I'm just about living out my childhood dreams, sharing with the world what
I've learned and trying to stay humble, trying to approach fame in a
non-fame type of way, you know? To where I can just connect with people,
that's all it's about. I'm about breaking artists that are my people, new
That's what I'm about right now, producing whole records, in the vein of my
past heroes such as Marley Marl and Primo and stuff like that. I want to
break new artists, produce whole records and do it how I see true Hip-Hop or
true music, period.
Dubcnn: What were some of your main projects before "Below The Heavens" came
I did a lot of tapes when I was younger with Aloe Blacc as a group called
Emanon. I would make mixtapes on one side with other peoples music and my
turntablism, and then I would put our music that we made on the other side.
So it kind of gave an opportunity to people who bought the mixtape for the
music that was on the A-Side, to check out some cats they never heard of on
From there, one of the fans pressed up a wax for us, it got played on major
radio like Power 106 Friday Night Flavors and we just kept on making music
ever since. I've worked with different artists from Blame One to the people
at Sound In Color, working with Slum Village, Ghostface Killah. Aloe [Blacc]
had met Oh No! on his own travels and started building with those cats out
Then later meeting Blu and making a whole record with him, to getting
placements with Mobb Deep, Jurassic 5, Kardinal Offishall and Akon, even
with KRS One. I just kept it moving, trying to connect the dots with who I
feel is relevant to work with me.
Dubcnn: You mentioned that you like working with an artist on a whole
record. It's visible that you and Blu have a great chemistry together, can
you describe the way that you work in the studio when you produce an artist?
I approach it just like a learning experience, getting to know a person and
how to work with them in the studio. I think it's very necessary for me to
know the artist and for them to know me and for us to connect on many
different levels, whether it be musically or spiritually. I try to bring out
the best out of their true spirit on the records.
I may encourage rappers to rap about certain parts of their lives, just to
really tell their whole story. I like to make records with people and help
them tell their story and help them communicate what they have learned, in a
way where they're ok with doing it. But it's also, of course, mostly their
work being brought to the table. I kind of nurture it in some aspects, guide
it and make sure it sounds correct to the beat and the production that I'm
Dubcnn: Would you say that that's something that's missing from today's
music? As far as artists giving insight into their personal side and being
Definitely. I think records nowadays, at least for the mainstream world and
Hip-Hop heads coming up, think of that as some sort of guideline or some
sort of way to be successful and are just worried about being successful, as
opposed to just being worried about being a true artist and truly expressing
themselves. I think that a lot of people approach it with motives that are
financial, instead of motives of just making great music. That's what
missing, the motives behind the music. That's what's missing from Hip-Hop,
like, what is your motive?
Dubcnn: When you were making "Below The Heavens", did you expect it to
become the success that it was?
When we were making it, we thought that we might have a classic record. We
wanted it to be, there were times where we thought it was gonna be and there
were times where we just got sick of the record. But it definitely met and
exceeded what we expected at the same time, if that makes any sense.
Dubcnn: Now you also have different projects on your plate, I know your
album, "Radio", is coming out January 24th. Tell us about that!
I just knew that I wanted to make an instrumental album and I knew I wanted
it to be different. So I was just thinking about how I could make it
different and I thought of sampling everything off the radio. I have made
beats off the radio before, but never the whole song and never a whole
record. So I thought that would be a good challenge for me and a good way to
keep me excited about it.
It was a way different approach than ever before, cause when I'm digging for
a record, I'm looking for a certain type of record. But when I listen to the
radio, records that I would never dig for just appeared. My goal was to
utilize everything that the radio has to offer, the static, the frequency
noises, the people speaking, just trying to capture humanity!
Radio really represents the voice of humans and as much bullshit that's tied
into the radio, there is still some balance and some great ideas that humans
have to offer. I just tried to fill both sides on the record, tried to show
the evil and the good and tried to convey a message with the vocal samples
that I ran into.
Dubcnn: It definitely sounds like an interesting project. I believe you're
also releasing an artist by the name of Blame One?
Yeah! I executive produce his new album and I produced most of it, along
with Black Milk, Oh No! and it's a great album. It should be coming out in
February as well.
Dubcnn: I just received the promo copy off it and it sounds like a great
record! I know you're also involved in different groups, can you give us a
I'm involved with Emanon, I started a group with my man Johaz called Dag
Savage, which is kind of a darker take on Hip-Hop. I'm also doing a record
with this cat Fashawn, it's not a group though but he's part of the DS Crew,
which is Blame One, Blu, Aloe Blacc, myself, Fashawn and Johaz. Me and
Fashawn have a whole record together called "Boy Meets World" and I think
it's another classic record.
This is one of the times where I already think it's a classic right now. I
mean, making the Blu record, I made some records that I thought would be
classic but never got the praise critically, but this time around, after
doing that classic album, I believe "Radio" is a classic too, if I may toot
my own horn, and I think the Fashawn is going to be as well - and the Dag
Savage! I'm very excited for these projects. And the Blame One! So...
Dubcnn: Who are you personally listening to right now?
Black Milk, Flying Lotus, Jay Electronica as far as new stuff. And then the
homies, Blu, Coss. I'm also doing some work on Coss' album, he's featured on
my Dirty Science album.
Dubcnn: Are there any specific artists that you wanna hook up with in the
I spoke with Jay Electronica on the phone a few times, we talked about doing
a whole mixtape together. *laughs* I haven't heard from him in a while so I
don't know what's up with that, but I really wanna work with Jay Electronica.
Dubcnn: Sounds good, we'll definitely be looking out for all those projects.
Is there anything else you'd like to let everybody know?
Cop the album on iTunes, cop it on physical and soak it in!
Exile Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That
Full Interview In Audio :