featured interview

Xing N Fox Makin' it hot If you're lookin for something different and pretty much mind-blowing, you definitely have to check out Tame One's new album 'Spazmatic', dropping March 14. Brains behind the break/electro/big bass-line beats are Xing N Fox, a production duo from New Jersey.

Wassup Xing N Fox, first of all, how did you connect with Tame?

Just through workin in studio?s around Jerz.

Do you think many other rappers would try to rap over these beats? Because it really seems a challenge to rap to your production...

Real MCs love the challenge. Fake ass MC's don't! We don't sit around all day worrying about appeasing the artists. We want them to always step up their game. Our sound gives them a unique opportunity to do this in a new way.

The album really sounds different from anything else, but can you name some hip-hop producers that influenced you for makin this kind of beats?

Nobody in hip-hop currently has really influenced us in any way. We look within ourselves and our record crates to create something new, each time we make a track. We started this because we felt hip-hop production was weak and stagnant.

Have you always been making this kind of productions?

From day one!

Do you make jungle/drum n bass tracks?

Not currently. We have a deep appreciation for the music, but right now we are focusing on making hip-hop. Never rule it out though!

How do you feel about the ?Spazmatic? album, does it sound like anything you wanted it to sound like?

We are definitely proud of it, but neither Tame or us really had a particular vision. Instead it grew organically between the three of us.

What are some of your favourite cuts on the new album?

?Hot (The A.D.D. Mix)?, ?Dibby Dibby?, ?Acid Tab Vocab Pt.2?, ?Turnitout?.

The track ?Let?s Get F*d Up? issued as a B-side to ?Da Muzik?, wasn?t it suppose to be on the ?Spazmatic? album?

Initially, but we decided to keep it exclusive to the single.

Do you think a lot of hip-hop will sound more like yours in, say, 5 years?

We just hope we inspire people to step it up with production, to start bringin bad bass lines and strong breaks to hip-hop, which we feel has been missing for too long.

When did you start producing?

We started working together in ?98, but both of us have been DJ-ing way before that.

What?s your set-up?

The MPC 3000 is the sequencer; we use Cubase for recording and mixing.

How did you meet?

Engineering at a recording studio.

Why did you decide to work together instead of doin productions on your own?

It just makes the best sense for us. We each have different strengths and when we work together they shine. To really do this, entails a lot of work from both a business and production standpoint. Having two people involved makes it a little less tedious.

You also founded Ahead Recordings, what?s been released on the imprint already?

So far, just the ?Da Music? single and the ?Spazmatic? album, both by Tame.

What are your future plans with the label?

Basically to keep it productive, active, and at a high level of quality. Our next release will most likely be a various artist LP, with new and established talent. TBA.

You worked with Cappadonna, how did that come together?

Got his phone number, called him up, and made some bangers!

What can we expect from those breaks and rare groove mix tapes?

When the time is right we will venture into that, however it's not a current focus.

Is there any music genre or artist you don?t sample?

We look at sampling more from a sonic standpoint, as opposed to what artist or genre it is. Most of the artists sampled on the album, for instance, were incorporated after Tame dropped the verses.

What rappers do you wanna work with in the future?

C.L. Smooth, Lil Wayne, Jeru the Damaja, Dip Set, M.O.P, Ghostface, Mobb Deep, Nice & Smooth and K-Solo.

I saw there?s a picture of X-Clan?s ?To The East, Blackwards? album on your Myspace page, why?s that?

Cause X-Clan is the shit!

So you liked it more than their second album ?X-Odus??

Fox: Actually my favourite was ?Years of the 9?. (Professor X?s 1991 solo album, ed.)

In a certain way, your production is comparable to X-Clan?s, if you consider throwin in breaks and such...agree?

I guess you can say we're the Professor X of beats- Brother J what u say?

There?s a few Eric B & Rakim samples and quotes on the ?Spazmatic? album, what?s your favourite Rakim joints?

?Juice (Know The Ledge)?, ?Aint' No Joke?, ?What's On Your Mind?, ?My Melody?.

There?s also a sample of Debbie Deb, big fans?

That's a classic!

How much are you influenced by 80?s electro? Can you name some of your fav electro acts?

We have a big place in our hearts for that era, but definitely are not into the whole electro-revival thing. As for people we love: Mantronik, Jelly Bean Benitez, Tee Scott, Arthur Baker, Strafe... All the usual suspects plus tons more!

What other old school/early 80?s stuff are you feelin?

Just love the whole era, whether it's some On-U, post-punk shit or up-tempo RnB. It was a great time in dance music that cannot nor should be replicated. We could go on and on about our favourite records, but we won?t!

What era in hip-hop do you appreciate the most? Early 80s, late 80s, early 90s, mid 90s,...?

Late 80's early 90's is when hip-hop truly formed the totality of its identity.

Were you Tame One fans since the beginning?

Damn Straight!

What Artifacts album do you like most and why?

They're both timeless!

Which other New Jersey rappers were you feelin back in the days?

Redman, Lords of the Underground, Naughty, Queen Latifah, Hardwe're.

Can you imagine Xing without Fox or vice versa?

Don't really think about it.

What?s your future plans?

To keep pushin hip-hop forward, with no one gettin in our way!


All of North Jersey & Half of South Jersey!


POSTED 02|01|2006
conducted by cpf

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