J WELLS & KURUPT "DIGITAL SMOKE" FEATURE (September
2007) | Interview By: Justin|
Dubcnn has linked up with J. Wells for a track by track breakdown of his
recent release with Kurupt titled "Digital Smoke". We get the chance to take a
look at each track, and find out the story behind some of your favorite songs.
J. Wells talks about working with Kurupt, Kokane, DJ Quik, Knoc-Turn'Al, Butch
Cassidy, Tha Liks, and more. Make sure to go out and purchase Kurupt & J.
Wells "Digital Smoke" at your local record store. Dubcnn will also be having a
part two to this interview which will be released soon.
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Dubcnn: All We Smoke
"All We Smoke," well as far as the beat, I had the idea of the horns. I
had the horn progressions and the bass line. Me and my homeboy Chanz, we
collaborated on that. He kind of brought it out bigger. He's one of my
production partners that I work with down south from the Dungeon Family.
From that, I put my verse on it and we had the hook on there. Kurupt heard it
and went crazy. He jumped on it, mixed it up, put it on the SSL. It was a
classic. That was the first song that really started the whole "Digital Smoke"
idea. I had that song like two years ago. It was like "Alright, we need to do
a whole album together." He supported it and we just put it together.
Dubcnn I'm Just Saying
That was just one of them records. When I did the beat, it was just like
let me just make some simple banging, epic type shit. Kurupt he heard it, and
he just jumped on it and spit that "What is this? a fucking game you're
playing? / Cuz I donít understand a fuckin word you're saying / I'm just
saying / This ain't the way to get rich / By making the money and trickin it
on a bitch." It was just a classic line to open up the album with. That's
classic Kurupt. We don't love these hoes.
Dubcnn: Get It
That record is definitely a symbol of being in Atlanta and working on
music and feeling the whole vibe. I did the beat on that, and put my touch on
it. It was just inspiration. Goodie Mob they always come by the house. Khujo,
thatís my homeboy. Come through. Kurupt was in town at the time. We were just
in there vibin' and boom the record was made. Roscoe was there too. We all did
that in Atlanta. I threw a verse on there. It was just magic. It just came
Dubcnn: I'm Too Gangsta
"I'm Too Gangsta" is a track we did couple years back. I think maybe three
years back. It was just all these records, we were feeling them. The beat was
on, I made the beat. Kurupt came up with something, Gail had something, Styles
was there. We were all just vibin', and it just came together naturally. We
actually did that around those days when we were at Wolfpac. Shout out to
Wolfpac and my homeboy Wolf.
That came together with my homegirl Nire, she came up with that hook, that
"Summertime". I had the beat with the leads and the pianos on it. It was just
a feel good record. We used to have these sessions where everybody was there,
the whole Y.A. crew. Tri-Star, Roscoe, Gail Gotti, Kurupt, all the homies,
cats that just come through, be stopping through. We used to just collaborate
and do songs not thinking about what the radio thinks, or what this person
might think. Songs that just felt good, and thatís how it came together. It
was really just a BBQ song, picnic, lets get it crackin, summertime. And a
classic is made.
That track right there actually was produced by my homie Blaqtoven. That
was at a time, we were working together on a lot of stuff. Shout out to
Blaqtoven. He is one of the best producers out here on the west coast. James
Debarge is on there just spittin crazy. It just came together. Roscoe pounded
on the track. We had a girl on there, Drew Sidora, and she came in blowin.
Everyone bouncin off each other. It was just a natural progression. Classic.
Shouts out to the homeboy YG. He's doing some long consecutive sentences right
now in the penitentiary. We pray for him to come home. He on that record. He
spit. YG. Free YG.
I had that beat, and we had the song done. Me and Kurupt did that around
the time when we was working on a lot of records for his solo album. We ended
up using some of these for our project. I had the verses and the song, and
hooked up with Butch Cassidy. This dude come through permed out, with the hair
in the net, with not a hair out of place, with the crispy creased slacks with
the gators on. He's so pimpin. He just came through and just laid it down, and
that just blessed it.
That just made it a west coast anthem. Shouts out to the homeboys Damizza and
Butch Cassidy, all those over at Baby Ree, much love to them. It just came
together. My homegirl Kimmy is on there singing the intro part, basically
introducing the record. She's from Compton. that's one artists I'm really
trying to push. She a female singer, she's almost like the female Kokane. She
got her twist on it. She came in and set the precedent for the record. We just
took it. Butch, it speaks for itself. Digital Smoke. History.
Dubcnn: Los Angeles
I came to Kurupt, he basically was like "You need to do a solo song for this
album." I'm like "Alright, cool..." He executive produced the album, oversaw
everything. I went back to the lab, and cooked something up. It just came to
me, all the stuff I've been through. From coming up with Wolfpac records,
hooking up with Kurupt, going on tour with Snoop, watching all the stuff that
went on between Snoop, Kurupt, Daz and Tha Dogg Pound, Kurupt going back to
Death Row and rolling with the whole Death Row thing, and everything coming
back together on the west coast when Kurupt & Tha Dogg Pound did "Cali Iz
Just being a young cat who was very influential in all this stuff but just
played his position. That was really just my take on who I am, and really just
growing up in Los Angeles. I'm from Chicago but I spent a lot of time rolling
through L.A., selling my CD's out the trunk, being a real hustler. I walked
through a lot of different areas, seen a lot of different stuff. That was just
my ode to a place that really influenced me a lot, whether it be the streets
or the rap music scene. so Los Angeles, Digital Smoke.
Dubcnn: Got Me Goin'
Knoc is a talented artist. That is one dude that is really a songwriter
even in his raps. He's just a talented dude like that. Dr. Dre saw it in him
first. Shouts out to Knoc-Turn'Al. He blessed it. He told me to jump on the
track, and we just did that together. Kurupt heard it, he loved it and just
wanted to leave it like that. It was classic like that. I liked it because to
me it reminded me of some Alkaholiks shit. It was drunk, we was both drunk. It
was just a fun song to do. It wasn't about making a perfect radio song .. it
was just "Girl you really got me going!" Some straight drunk, party/boogie
down shit. It fit perfectly for a Likwit nigga.
Dubcnn: It'z Nothin
Well first of all that track is very famous. All of you all out there
thatís playing "Fight Night 3", that song is on there. That's one of the main
songs on there, "Roscoe - It'z Nothin". If you ever got your ass kicked or
wooped some ass at "Fight Night 3", just to let everyone know Kurupt is the
king of "Fight Night 3". I've seen him, he almost got with me, but I had to
give it to him. He got the award right now for the best in boxing at "Fight
Night 3". Anybody want to challenge Kurupt y'all got to hit up Dubcnn for a
game match off!
"It'z Nothin" was in there. That was just a record that me and Roscoe made
where he was just spittin. The beat is all about him spittin. It was all just
about something so he can just spit and tell people "Its nothing, you all want
to talk shit, its nothin, you all got something to say about us, its nothin"
because we going to keep on. Its just one of them songs where he's spittin,
spittin, spittin. You got to have that. Being that's Kurupts brother, and
that's part of the crew, it fits. It's all about me and Kurupt letting our
homeboys shine, and letting what we doing shine. That's what "Digital Smoke"
is all about. West Coast.
Dubcnn: I Came In The Door
Well actually, "I Came in the Door", Quik played the piano on it. He had come
by my studio when I was up at Sony. I was just vibing around with some ideas.
I had the bass line and the drums. Quik was like "Man!", and he played some
stuff. It was just a vibe. It wasn't nothing that we planned out. That's why
"Digital Smoke" feels so good, because it was all natural. It was all just a
lot of west coast talent in the lab, grinding, getting down, and that's how I
like to keep it. Kokane came through once the track was done. Kurupt and
Kokane went back and forth. It was all about the Rakim "I came in the door..."
Paying homage to Rakim. Shouts out to Rakim, that's my homeboy. "I Came in the
Door" is a classic. It's really a lot of folkís favorite song. Big Boy from
Power 106, it's his favorite song, he called me personally and said, "This
song is banging with Kokane!" "
"I came in the door, said it before, I never let a hoe...". Kokane is
crazy, and that's all I got to say. Shouts out to Kokane. Thatís one of the
most talented cats on the west coast to ever do it. Hands down. He's been on
millions of records. He's been around before I was even doing music, so to
even have that cat on my record is an honor. The same with DJ Quik. We just
put it together and it just became a classic.
Dubcnn: Let Em Know
Once again, Kurupt came in and said "This album is dope. You got the solo, we
got this song, we got the single, we got this, but you got to have the Liks on
this album." I said, "Yeah you're right," I put together a beat. I wanted
something that was hittin and open, that displayed my talent as a Likwit crew
member. I might not make the typical beat that is essential for the Liks. I'm
the new generation. I'm the bridge between the DPG and the Likwit crew. My
sound is an assimilation of both.
I came with the beat. J-Ro heard it and went crazy. He came down from Sweden
just to get down on the track. So that's how special this album is. We got
people flying down all the way from across the country. It's crazy. It's out
of here. Tash came through, and he got down on it. It just stuck. I came and
spit my verse. Everybody was like....Tash heard me and said, "Damn, you
spittin like that man?!" When you hold back and just let loose, it's like a
tiger. You're just fierce. All this stuff I've been seeing through these years
now, I'm rapping and telling people what I'm thinking and I'm seeing
Related Media (Video)
Kurupt & J Wells -
All We Smoke (Music Video)
Kurupt, J Wells, Tri-Star, Tash, G. Malone, 40 Glocc, & Bishop Lamont:
Impersonating Each Other
The Scenes Of "All We Smoke" Video Shoot
Kurupt & J Wells -
Summertime (Music Video)
From The Set of All We Smoke