interview SOUL ASSASSINS (DJ MUGGS) (July 2009) | Interview By: Jose Ho-Guanipa

   Not too long ago Dubcnn got the opportunity to chop it up with the legendary DJ Muggs at his studio regarding his new Soul Assassins album "Intermission" and the status of the Cypress Hill album. Guests on "Intermission" include Planet Asia, RZA, B-Real, La Coka Nostra, Bun B, M1 from Dead Prez, Sick Jacken, Cynic Necro and many more. Muggs also spoke on his love of art and itís inspiration on his music and his need to diversify his artistic output in order to stay fresh and creative. He also told us a few stories about his recent adventures participating in the outlaw cross-country race the Gumball Rally with good friend and visual artist/photographer Estevan Oriol.

Below is the transcript but be sure to watch the full video interview as we sit down with the legendary producer and get his thoughts on a variety of topics.

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 June 2009
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Soul Assassins (DJ Muggs) // Exclusive Video Interview // Dubcnn

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Dubcnn: Whatís up yíall itís Jose with DubCNN. Right here Iím with a man that needs no introduction, itís DJ Muggs. Weíre just gonna sit down and chop it up with him about the new Soul Assassins coming out. You know Soul Assassins, youíve always had a diverse group of artists on the record. Whoís on deck for this album thatís gonna be on it?

Muggs: This album we stickiní close to the family. We got Chace Infinite, Self Scientific, The RZA, B -Real, La Coka Nostra, Bun B, M1 from Dead Prez, Jack from the Psycho Real, Cynic, Necro and Jack, thereís a few more joints on there too. Planet Asiaís on there too, a bunch of motherfuckers.

Dubcnn: When you were making this album what did you do as far as production? What angle did you take to keep things fresh?

Muggs: What we wanted to do is we involve pretty much everybody in the production side of the Soul Assassins. Alchemist did a few tacks, DJ Solo did a track, a new youngsta cominí up called G Rocka did a few tracks on the album. And some of the tracks they did I added in some instrumentation and some of the tracks I did they added in some instrumentation. We pretty much just had a good time with it and just made it a good vibe for everybody involved.

Dubcnn: So tell us about the title of the record, itís called ďIntermissionĒ. Where did that come from?

Muggs: The title of the album came from, we workiní on Soul Assassins 3 right now with the documentary about the crew so it isnít really the third installment of the Soul Assassins series. Itís kind of like a break between the third one, take a quick intermission leading up to the third coming up from the second, so thatís what we got.

Dubcnn: What about those VS. albums you do? You have one with Planet Asia, you did one with GZA. Do you have one of those lined up, do you have another MC?

Muggs: Yeah we doiní one now with Ill Bill, we got a few songs recorded, probably about 8 or 9. I gave him a bunch of beats so itís cominí along good.

Dubcnn: We all know you guys; Cypress, and, you guys individually, your contract with the major label Sony ran out after the last one so youíre free to do your own thing. How are you gonna distribute this album and how is the process different as far as positives and negatives in terms of doing an independent versus a major label release?

Muggs: Well we fulfilled our contract, we turned in the last of our albums. Obviously we all know the business has changed and what itís become. Thereís no need for Cypress to do no major label deal in the essence that the brand has been built and itís well established. Now itís just time to move on it. We workiní on finishiní the album, itís pretty much done. Thereís a bunch of things on the table, a bunch of options. Weíre just talking about having meetings and deciding whatís the right thing to do at this time. A lot of them have great sides to them and a lot of them have just as great things about them as they are as shitty. We gonna see how we wanna move here in a minute.

Dubcnn: Soul Assassins and Cypress Hill and just your affiliates, itís obviously a lot more than music, itís obviously a lifestyle and a brand. Youíre doing everything from visual arts, you know the tattoos, the comics and everything, you got all sorts of stuff. How do you guys organize and manage that movement and keep it focused and cohesive?

Muggs: First of all you take care of yourself. Work hard, stay focused and then we help each other along with our personal goals and whatever kind of goals we wanna achieve on the business side as well as artistically. Everybody kind of lend in a hand whenever somebody has something going on and they can involve one of the homies, we involve each other. Everybody pull each other up, share in the economy, help each along other out here.

Dubcnn: So you talked a little while ago about how youíre trying to reach out to a new generation of hip-hop listeners and kind of turn their ear to Cypress Hill and your music with Soul Assassins. How are you trying to do that with this Soul Assassins record?

Muggs: We just keep makiní music. We ainít sittiní around for four or five years trying to make this kind of records. I think right now itís just a matter of putting a lot of music out, a lot of good music out, just keep doiní what you do. We do this strictly for the art. We enjoy this, itís an art to us, we do it how we wanna do it, when we wanna do it. Itís always been like that for us. We never went out of our way to some shit to you know, ďmaybe itíll blow up for us.Ē Continue to do what we wanna do and let motherfuckers know, ďLook you do what you wanna do, create how you wanna create something, when you wanna create, how you feel like it should be and put that out in the world, and inspire.Ē And thatís what weíre here to do.

Dubcnn: As far as your stuff whatís inspired you lately to create new music and new art?

Muggs: Man everything, from movies, I go to a lot of art shows, I have a lot of intelligent friends I talk to about different things. I listen to a lot of classic rock lately, a lot of really late 70s, early 80s hip-hop. Just different things as far as music, I listen to different things, get into different sounds, and go through different trips at different times and shit.

Dubcnn: Whatís on the other front? Whatís the status of the Cypress Hill album as far as it coming out? I know everyoneís waiting on it.

Muggs: I donít know when Cypress is gonna come out right now. You know itís pretty much done the record. Like I said itís just a matter of talking to a few people to see what the best way is to present it to the world. Weíre not just gonna slap it on the fuckiní internet. Let that be, so weíre just getting the right things in order, lining it all up so we can present it to the people.

Dubcnn: I was actually talking to B-Real a little bit ago, he recently dropped his solo album and he forayed into production. He told me you were the one who helped him along that. How did you help him develop as a producer and just get his own style?

Muggs: What I probably did for B was, he was around me a lot watching me make a lot of records and he saw how I did it and how I followed through and my work ethic. B-Real has a hell of a tenacious drive and I donít see too many people Iíve met in my lifetime with a drive like that. He has the will and want to learn so I think he got to the point where he started hearing beats in his head and was like, ďI can do that I wanna do that.Ē And he just picked it up, it wasnít nothing for him to pick it up, heís natural at it, heís got the music in him. As soon as he applied himself to doing it, bam, he got it crackiní.

Dubcnn: Definitely and his album was really sick so it definitely showed up in the work. You did some movie stuff, you scored some stuff for Street Kings and you did another one before that. Howís that aspect of your career? Are you looking to do more work in that area?

Muggs: We doiní it all. We DJing, doing 150 DJ shows a year, we makiní albums, we doiní soundtracks, we do our radio show. We do it all and it all helps each other. If youíre doing one thing all the time it gets boring it gets redundant. So being able to score a movie, being able to make a record, being able to shoot to Europe 3 or 4 weeks and go out there and do some shows and come back home do our radio show and jump back in and do an album, it keeps the process alive. It feeds off itself and it keeps you creative to be able to do all these different things as opposed to just doing one thing all the time when it gets really boring. Especially when youíre a creative motherfucker, you get bored quickly. Once you done seen it all and did it all 150 times your attention span and your interest for it can dwindle a little bit so you gotta create these different ways that keep you pumped up to keep wanting to do things and to keep want to stay on top.

Dubcnn: Speaking on that, is there anything else youíve started getting into as far as creatively thatís kind of done that?

Muggs: You know we do the music, with the clothes, the garment industry is like weíre really really heavy into that right now. Our philosophy is that records really arenít selling; shirts sell for us. And the profits are 700 times better than a record would be for us, and you canít download a t-shirt. We pushiní fashion really hard, across the globe, though, not just here locally. Across the globe we go hard. We built a network over the last 17 years of travelling thatís unmatched by any around this globe so we tap into that and we just keep it moviní as just a big company. Every album, every music, radio, clothes, itís all just a different branch of what weíre trying to do here.

Dubcnn: So tell us about the Soul Assassins clothing line and you also have retail locations right?

Muggs: Yeah we got some stores and our affiliates got stores too, and itís all good for us and we just keep pushiní it. Itís a lifestyle and a lot of motherfuckers around the world are drawn to it and we bring it straight to Ďem.

Dubcnn: I heard you did the Gumball Rally going to Miami. How was that? Who were you riding with when you did it?

Muggs: Me and the OG homie Estevan Oriol. We had a Range Rover, we mashed out from LA to Vegas, to New Mexico, to Arizona, to Dallas, to New Orleans, to Orlando to Miami. And in between we stopped at the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, different things like that. It was great man. All the people was great, really interesting mixes of people, Russian billionaires, sheikhs, pro snowboarders, BMXers, skaters, DJs, photographers, eccentric billionaire fools from around the world. It was a good time, Iím definitely looking forward to the next one. Itís like ďCannonball RunĒ live.

Dubcnn: Yeah I heard that Xzibit did one and he got pulled over by the cops for going 120 and they took his license away. Were there any crazy stories like that for you guys, any adventures or stuff?

Muggs: Motherfuckers was going 170 getting they cars taken going to jail. We only got one ticket so we did aight.

Dubcnn: So tell us some closing remarks about when the Soul Assassins album is going to drop and what to look out for.

Muggs: June 23rd new Soul Assassins album called the Intermission. Production from DJ Khalil, The Alchemist, DJ Solo, my man Cynic, G Rocka, DJ Muggs, a bunch of the homies on the mic. Be on the lookout for it, itís June 23rd. I think yíall enjoy it for all the Soul Assassins fans. Appreciate everybody man.


Soul Assassins (DJ Muggs) // Exclusive Video Interview // Dubcnn

Download The Video: Windows Media
Download The Drop: Windows Media

Press Play to stream footage (Fast Connections Recommended)

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