The first one might be “Rapper’s Delight.” There are no more than 16 bars on that song: it’s just there because it’s the first bar of “Rap God.” That’s it. And it could be said that when the record company got fed up, because they were making so much cash, they decided to have a hit record. So they made a hit record that, no matter how bad it was, would sell a billion. Now there’s no way it can be made into a hip-hop record.
So what’s the problem?
Well, if you’re not able to put one thing over the other, you’re not going to be able to get a lot of what you’re looking for. And the hip-hop industry is like that — there are all these really good rap producers and everybody’s always fighting, and then there’s still a lot of good rap songs that are in the charts. And there’s always more money in the coffers, and there’s always a little more time to work on it. But as soon as you try to do something good, it’s just so difficult. You hear them talking about the problems. But the problems are so many, and then you start worrying about it, because it’s so complicated.
Did you work on the album on an instrument as a DJ first before starting on the songs?
No. I started at the beginning with the beat, because it was a lot more easy to do than working with the words. When I got the idea for The Black Album, all I had to do was find an instrument to do the beats — something that’s a little bit different than what I usually do. And that’s how it came about: I came up with the idea of being a DJ, but I wanted to be a performer. I didn’t want to be a singer anymore. I wanted to be a dance artist who could do a song by the numbers, because you always want more time to be in the room with everyone else. It was a really long and difficult process. They would say, “Oh, we only have 10 to 30 hours of time.” And I would be like “Well, you already know that,” or “It’s about to start,” or “Do you mean they’re only doing ten to 30 hours?”
So you were on this project from the start?
Yeah — not just from the beginning, but I was there for two of the songs.
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