featured interview

Cadence The big interview Raw Produce's debut single 'Cycles' dropped in 1995, followed by the six-song EP 'Refrigerator Poetry', issuing in 1997. All those who couldn't cop the Japan-released EP and eager for a full length, were forced to wait until 2004 with the release of their first LP 'The Feeling Of Now' on FemaleFun. One year before, the group's DJ/producer/MC's debut solo album 'Cadence Poisons The Minds Of The Children' hit shelves. Finally everyone was able to hear the the man's craftsmanship on the mic and, especially, behind the boards. In 2004, Cadence released 'State Lines' on Domination Records, on which he invited several quality MC's such as Esoteric, Dooley O, Yesh, Eddie Meeks, Jungle Brothers' Mike G and long-time-no-heard-from Zimbabwe Legit, amongst many others. Big Cade is back with some heat and he ain't goin nowhere...

So how did the album ?State Lines? do, so far?

So far it?s going well. It recouped fast, so that?s always a good sign, right? But there?s so much talent on the album that I want it to keep getting bigger. So I?m not satisfied yet. The response has been great. It?s different from doing an album on my own though. There are 22 MCs on the album ??a lot of different styles?? so even though a lot of people seem to like the album, what they actually like about it is different from person to person. But that?s how it goes when you?re doing something with so many MCs.

It's released on Domination Recordings, how did you connect with them?

Domination Recordings was started by DJ Fisher, formerly of Day By Day Entertainment. He was actually the one who suggested the project to me and he helped me get it off the ground.

It must've cost you a lot of time to match all the artist's agendas? How did things come together as for recording? How long did it take?

Man, I had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into at the start of all of this. I remember talking to D-Tension and Omid, both of whom had done producer records before and they tried to warn me, but I didn?t listen. For me, the hardest part of the process was the waiting. Everyone had albums to finish, tours, all kinds of priorities that got in the way. Then you have to go through finding a beat they?re happy with, figuring out how/where to record them. It took over a year to get everything done and a LOT of help from a LOT of people.

How and why did you come up with Mike G?

The Jungle Brothers have been favourites of mine since ?Jimbrowski? dropped. And ?Done by the Forces of Nature? is like a Holy Grail album for me. One of the best hip-hop albums ever made. From a production standpoint that album was one of the reasons I was inspired to make music at all. Beyond that, I think anyone who?s heard my music can see that I?m a Native Tongues fan. So working with Mike G was a huge honour. I was actually caught off-guard that it happened though. I read an interview somewhere -I think it was actually with Baby Bam- but there was just something about the way he spoke about the music that made me feel like they were a little more down to earth than the average MC, so on a whim, I hit the email address on their website. I guess I expected a manager to hit me back and ask for a bunch of money -or really to get no response at all- but Mike G actually hit me back and asked to hear some beats. Turns out he was headed to Boston for a show not long after that, so he invited me out to do the ?meet and greet?-thing and we built it from there. Even just getting to chill with those guys was cool for me, never mind getting in the studio. To work with a legend was one thing, but to have him really work WITH me, not just knock out a verse says a lot about the man. RESPECT to Mike G and the J Beez.

Were there any more artists you wanted to have on this album?

I always say that for every song on the album there are three songs that didn?t end up happening. I talked to a lot of people about getting down and there are probably a million reasons why each of the other songs didn?t happen. I think people wanted to work for the most part, but everyone has a lot going on. So, I didn?t get to do everything I wanted to do, but at the same time I got to work with a lot of artists I respect and hopefully build some connection that will lead to things in the future. And I got to help out some artists who I think deserve a little more shine.

Yeah, like Zimbabwe Legit for instance. They?re featured on the album and you've produced tracks for O.U.O. (ZL?s Dumi Right is also one half of O.U.O.). Were you a fan of them from the beginning and how did you got the chance to work with them?

I was doing college radio back when they dropped on Hollywood Basic and I used to spin their record, but I had no idea we would end up working together. I met Dumi Right through Peter Agoston, who runs Female Fun Music, the label that put out the Raw Pro album. At the time, he was looking to remix some O.U.O. tracks so I sent him some beats. As we got to talking we just found a lot of common ground and we kept on working on stuff, to the point I produced or rhymed on damn near half of the O.U.O. album. In fact, I gotta plug that album; it?s called ?Of Unknown Origin? and it?s out on Domination Recordings NOW. Everyone should BUY IT! I love the music they do!

Yeah, they?re dope. 2005 has been a busy year: you produced on O.U.O., Shed Light, QuiteNyce albums?

Yeah, I hope people check those albums. I?m proud of the work I did on them, but really even outside of my involvement, all of those guys are working so hard to make dope music. I hope they all have a lot of success.

So what's up for the rest of the year?

I?m trying to STAY BUSY. The two main events right now are my next solo album, which is about 2/3 done and a new group project in the works called Alternate Reality, which is me and Dumi Right from OUO/Zimbabwe Legit. I?m also working on something with Hen Boogie, putting the finishing touches on another mix CD and doing a few other stray production projects here and there. I?m trying to work as much as I can, be it collaborations, producing, remixing or just making my own music.

CADENCE: THE ARTIST

In the early days of your career, you were in a crew called The Coalition, alongside DJ Revolution. Do you still have contact with him?

Yeah, we had a bunch of MCs who mostly recorded on their own, but we all did shows together. Pitch and I did all the beats for the crew and I was the DJ, but we pretty much stayed behind the scenes. Revolution was rhyming back then and we had Mike Ladd in the group too. I haven?t seen Rev for a long time. I think the last time was when ?In 12?s We Trust? dropped. No good reason for it it.

The track 'State of the Art' appeared on Rev?s ?R2K? album (1999) but you were never credited for it, right?

Yeah, not sure exactly what went wrong. We originally did the track for 7L&Eso?s album ?The Soul Purpose? and Rev just happened to call us the night we were mixing it. We played it over the phone, he loved it and said he wanted to use it on the album. I guess he was pretty much done with it at the time, so he added it on to the end. We submitted full credits for the song, but they didn?t make it into the artwork. We didn?t get credited for making the beat and Akrobatik, CheckMark and I didn?t credited for the rhymes. On the album it just says ?State of the Art - 7L&Esoteric?. It was too bad, because we were really struggling to get stuff out at that point and it would?ve been nice to get our names on there, especially since so many people were really feeling the track. They said they didn?t have time to fix the artwork. To his credit, M-Boogie offered to put out a 12?? with the proper credits on it, we even did a remix, but 7L&Eso?s people didn?t want to have them dropping a 12?? on another label so close to their album release. The right credits are on the 7L&Eso album though. And we eventually released the remix on an EP in ?03. But still I think there are some misconceptions about who did the beat. I?ve heard everything from Rev himself, to the Vinyl ReAnimators to 7L, but it was Raw Pro. Believe it.

Raw Pro was about to do a record with the Dream Warriors, but it was never released, what happened?

Back in the Coalition days, we did a show with the Dream Warriors, Michie Mee and La Luv. That must have been ?91 or so. We did the typical opening act thing of passing them a demo, since they were on a major label and we were still trying to get a foot in the door. They hit us back and started talking about us doing some beats for what would have been the second Dream Warriors album on 4th and Broadway. King Lou from Dream Warriors was a good guy and I think he really wanted to make it happen, but I guess their relationship with the label started to go bad and they got dropped. They eventually did another album on Pendulum, but we had long since lost touch by then.

What's the deal with Raw Pro?s 'Selling Celery To Make A Salary' album? We've heard about it but never ever seen it. Was it ever released officially?

It doesn?t really exist. Well, not exactly... It was the title we used for the demos we used to shop to the majors in the early 90?s when we were trying to get a deal. We literally duped them one by one on a tape deck. We had a 4 song-version and a 6 song-version with little photo copied covers with the track listing and a logo. I guess a few people still have copies of it, but it was never an official release. Most, if not all of the songs have appeared in some form or another, but except for ?Grey Skies? none of them made the Raw Pro album.

Did some of those demo songs made the 'Refrigerator Poetry EP' (1997)?

That actually has a few tracks from the demo. ?Tried and True? and ?Nervous?.

That?s a hard-to-find album, man! Was it only released in Japan? What?s the deal exactly?

We did our second 12?? in ?96, through Fat Beats. They were trying to sell it in Japan and helped us broker a deal to do an EP, which was basically an expanded version of the 12??. I think Fat Beats sold a few outside of Japan, but it was primarily a Japanese release. We?ve always had strong interest in our stuff in Japan. We did an alternate version of the Raw Pro album, with some different tracks, through Handcuts/Universal Records and we?ve done two singles in Japan in the last year or so, including a ?Cycles? 12?? with a new remix produced by Grooveman Spot from Japan.

What's the link between Raw Produce and vegetables and fruits?

Raw Produce IS vegetables and fruits.

Right, I was asking this for people who?re not that familiar with the English language. (Damn, where?s my dictionary yo?!) So why did you chose that name?

I?m not even sure if I can answer that. It was a long time ago. Although we used to like to tell people it was an acronym for ?Really Awkward White People Rocking Our Dope Underground Creations Everyday?. And then someone pointed out to use that if you rearrange the letters of ?Raw Produce? you get ?Rap Crew Duo?.

You still have a day job. Is it really necessary for you or is it for the extras? Could you live of your music alone?

That?s the million dollar question, right? Or maybe the $30,000.00 question? If I were trying to live solely off the music right now I?d be in trouble. The kinds of projects I work on tend to be low/no budget projects that sell to a dedicated but small fan base. Having a day job lets me do those projects without worry because I know I have the bases covered, so I can make music without worrying about whether it will sell. In some ways, I like it that way because I don?t feel any pressure to compromise the music just to get paid. But in other ways, having a day job means I can?t devote time to music in ways that might allow me to make more money. I?d love to be able to make a living off the music, but I also think having a life outside of hip hop gives me more to talk about in my lyrics. It?s a blessing and a curse I guess. Although if I had my way, the kinds of projects I work on would be the ones that blow up and all these big name rappers with nothing to say would be the ones scraping by at their day jobs.

As a side note, I think too many people look at the independent hip-hop game as the minor leagues. Like you have to be preparing for a major label career in order to justify your involvement in hip-hop. They act like if you?re not building up your street team, getting more and more radio play or moving more and more units, you must be failing. Yeah, selling more records and being able to feed myself off of music would be cool, but that?s such a narrow definition of success. I?m not saying I don?t want be considered professional, or that I would turn my back on popularity and sales, but that?s not the whole game. How many people out there are the best ballplayer in their area, even though they have no intention of becoming pros? Just because those dudes aren?t playing on TV doesn?t mean they can?t serve you in no-time-flat if you went down to their court. Is anyone looking down on them for not being rich and famous? NO. Because being at the VERY top of the game is a rare occurrence.

We ALL know that there are plenty of skilled MC?s out there who will never be famous or rich. Not because they lack the skills, but because the circumstances don?t always line up like that. Or because for them it?s not about being famous and rich. And beyond that, we ALL know that selling most and being the best are two different things. Is Hammer a better MC than Kool G Rap? He sold more records. I?m saying, there?s other ways to measure success.

You made a 90s compil as Cade Money, called ?Built For The 90s?. Is that your favourite era? Which are your favourite artists from that era?

Yeah I did a mix CD called ?Built For The 90?s?. But its subtitle is ?rare remixed and overlooked joints from hip hop?s second best decade? so I guess that tips off the fact that I think the 80?s were a little better for hip-hop. But the 90?s did a lot for hip hop too. I think no matter which era you look at you can find a lot of great records. Sometimes you might have to dig a little deeper than others.

As far as favourites from that decade, I like the Native Tongues obviously, DITC, Large Professor, Organized Konfusion, Pete Rock and CL, Nas, all the classic stuff. And a lot of the indie stuff from the mid-late 90?s, Siah and Yeshua daPoEd (Yesh is on State Lines too, another guy I was happy to get to work with), J-Live, Unspoken Heard, Lone Catalysts, all the people from around my area, like Lif, Akrobatik, 7L and Eso, EdO.G, etc. But with the mix, I felt like people have heard all the classics mixed together a million times, so I wanted to get to some of the remixes and non-album tracks people may have missed, or some artists that people SHOULD know, like Freshco and Miz, Supreme Nyborn, Kwest the Mad Ladd, Resident Alien, there?s a lot more music out there than a lot people realize.

Definitely!

CADENCE: THE BOSTONITE

Boston actually had a strong scene at the end of the 80s and early 90s; TDS Mob, Almighty RSO, Ed OG. Were you a fan?

I was a big fan. Even before people really started making records out of Boston there was a local radio show called Lecco?s Lemma, hosted by a DJ named Magnus. He used to play tapes from local crews and make up a chart of the best local songs. That?s where I first heard most of those artists, even before they had wax. I taped the shows religiously and bought all the records I could when they started dropping.

Did those local artists influence you more because of the fact that they're from Boston too?

Of course the local connection made the records more interesting, but the music still had to be good to capture my attention. You look at a record like ?TDS Scratch Reaction? and it?s just a dope record. Whether it came outta Boston, or NY is irrelevant.

But the first local person to really influence me was a guy named DJ Jesse Jes -he was from Cambridge, like me- he was big locally doing a mix show and a lot of DJ battles and he toured with MC Shan for a while, which was the first time I was aware of someone local who was getting props outside of the Boston area. He was the first person who really made me think I could actually do this myself. We worked together at a summer job one year and we used to go back to his crib and listen to records; hip-hop, breaks, all kinds of stuff. His roommate at the time was Dave Mays (founder/CEO of The Source) too, which is kind of bugged. He really opened my eyes to what a producer did in hip hop. I was a DJ too, but not on the level he was at back then. But Jesse got killed in 1990 and never really got to see where his career would?ve gone. I really think he would?ve done big things. He was one of the first people I heard really break out beyond break beats and funk and mix in all kinds of other styles of music. We weren?t real close or anything, but getting to know him a little, really inspired me to pursue my own career in hip-hop.

Edan, 7L, you, all tend to go back in hip-hop history with old- & mid-school mixtapes, compilations. I guess they play a lot of old-school/mid-school in Boston clubs?

I wouldn?t know to be honest. Unless I?m on the bill, I?m not out in the clubs that much. But honestly, I think it?s a product of the kind of music people are making here. I think we have a lot of artists in the area who, in one way or another, are following in the traditions of classic hip-hop. People are coming at it from different angles, so it expresses itself differently in the different records, Edan doesn?t sound like 7L&Eso, or Raw Pro but all of us are influenced by the past, so it makes sense that people want to show their respect for the music that inspired them.

Do you feel like gettin the props you deserve in Boston?

I don?t know if you can ever say anyone DESERVES props. You get what you earn, right? I do think I get overlooked a lot though, in Boston and everywhere else too. But that?s how it goes.

Part of that has to do with my life circumstances in the mid-late 90?s. While the current incarnation of the ?Boston scene? was building, I was taking care of my Mom, who was dying of cancer. It definitely kept me from doing everything I wanted to do with music. As much as I would?ve liked to play a bigger part in development of the scene, I just couldn?t do it. I mean, maybe I would?ve been one of the bigger names coming out of Boston or maybe I wouldn?t. Who knows? But I definitely think I missed a lot of opportunities to make a bigger impact.

Then again, from day one I?ve never been one to make music to please the masses. I?m not TRYING to exclude anyone with what I do -I wish it spoke to EVERYONE- but I don?t make party records and I don?t follow current trends in music to try to maximize my sales or radio play. I talk about politics and real life stress and struggle. It?s not all gloom and doom, I have fun on wax too, but I don?t make fluffy records. I know I could do things differently and probably sell more records, but I don?t do it like that. The result is that the people, who do connect to the music I make, seem to make a very strong connection. I may not have the MOST fans of anyone out there, but I?d lay down good money that I have some of the most dedicated fans and they let me know that on a regular basis, which means a lot to me.

Did you see the movie 'Boston Beats And Rhymes' with Mr Lif, Insight, Edan, Edo G? Where the hell were you?

I know, right? I actually haven?t seen the movie, but I know I?m not in it. I think that?s a product of the kind of stuff I was just talking about though. I?m not a part of everyone?s collective memory of the birth of the Boston scene. I wasn?t at every show, or every studio session or radio show. You?re not gonna hear a lot of stories about me tearing up the clubs in the mid 90?s because I was bouncing between hospitals and nursing homes and trying to maintain two households. It would?ve been nice to be remembered, especially since we dropped our first record in ?95, before a lot of these other cats had wax out. Privately, a lot of people have told me that seeing us drop a record really inspired them to keep going. On top of that, even though we may not have been rocking the clubs every week, we did do some damage with the records we dropped back then, so some recognition of our place in the history would?ve been nice, but I understand why my name doesn?t jump to everyone?s lips too. Not being in the movie doesn?t mean we didn?t do it.

CADENCE: THE MUSIC LOVER

Listening to your music, you can easily reveal your love for jazz. Who are some your favourite jazz musicians?

I love Jazz. I?m, all over the map with it too. I like all the classic stuff, Miles, Coltrane, Monk, etc. The geeky-white-guy melodic stuff, like Dave Brubeck, Gerry Mulligan, Lennie Niehaus, funkier stuff like Ramsey Lewis, Herbie Hancock, all that Verve stuff with all the Bossa Nova influences. Vocal stuff, like Sarah Vaughn, Dinah Washington, Gloria Lynne,? I can range from absolutely cheesy stuff to the real jazz snob stuff and I?ll find something I like.

Do you listen to contemporary jazz?

Not too much. And when I do I tend to like the stuff that goes back to the classic styles. Guys like Branford Marsalis or Avery Sharpe. There?s a vibraphonist named Cecilia Smith who?s done some stuff I really like. But I can get with the occasional weird ass experimental album, or some Medeski, Martin and Wood too. But the stuff they call ?Smooth Jazz? irritates the hell out of me.

When did you start diggin?

When I was about 11 or 12 I guess. I loved music and I figured out that if I went to the used record store I could get a lot more stuff for the same amount of money. That was the science behind it at the beginning.

Where do you go diggin? Boston, NY, Europe?

Lately, I haven?t been digging as much, I?ve actually been spending a lot of time with the stuff I already have, going back and re-discovering a lot of things. When I do dig, I?m more likely to buy a stack of records at a thrift store or something. If I?m travelling, I?ll usually try to hit the stores wherever I am ??seems like different cities tend to have different stuff in the shops- but it?s not like it used to be, where would need an extra suitcase just for the wax I would get.

How big is your collection?

I?m not really sure to be honest. I say 6000 when asked, but I have no idea if that?s accurate at all. Bill Walton once said that when people asked how tall he was he used to say 7 feet??even though he knew he was taller, because when your 7 feet tall you?re VERY TALL, but when you?re over 7 feet you?re a FREAK. 6000 is like being VERY TALL. But I?m probably a freak.

Can you name some rare records in your collection you're proud of?

I don?t know. I mean I have a lot of ?sought after? records just cause I?ve been at it for so long. Like I know all the hip hop diggers now look for that Lord Shafiyq record, or ?My Melody? on Zakia with the orange label, or the ?Mecca and the Soul Brother? remixes. I have a lot of that kind of stuff. And I have a fair number of the classic break beats that people look for and some rare funk, soul and jazz. I still enjoy finding a loop from a hip-hop song I loved, but I?m not really trying to get the rarest, or most sought after stuff anymore, unless I happen to really like the songs.

What was your first record?

K-Tel - Hit Machine. I made my parents buy it for me because it had ?Disco Duck? on it. I was about 5 or 6 years old at the time.

From listening to your beats I guess you're a movie lover?

A few people have said that. I guess because I use a lot of strings and orchestration and they associate that with movie scores. I guess from a music standpoint I do like some of that stuff, but honestly; I think people assume that I?m more into it than I actually am. Just from a personal standpoint, I used to be a huge movie buff ??not the music so much- but the acting, and directing and especially the writing. I was always interested in that. But nowadays there aren?t too many movies that can hold my interest. I usually end up wanting my two hours back at the end.

What equipment do you use?

I keep it simple. I have two 1200s, an MPC 2000XL and a Roland VS840. I?d like to upgrade from the VS840 because I don?t have enough tracks to mix things the way I want to. That?ll probably be the next investment I make.

Do you still buy a lot of hip-hop records?

I?ve had a lot of older hip-hop records stolen from me over the years, so I?m always digging to try to replace those. As far as new stuff, I don?t buy nearly as much stuff as I used to, but I still buy some stuff.

Which are the latest hip-hop records you've bought?

Last one I bought was Common?s ?Be?. Before that I got MF Gimm?s ?Scars and Memories?, the new Large Pro 12?? and the ?Impeach the Precedent? 12??

Just to name a few... Which hip-hop artists of today do you like?

I?ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of the people I like recently. J Rawls, Yesh, Word Association, Binkis, Prophetix, O.U.O., in fact everyone you see on ?State Lines?. Other people I like, let?s see?? Asheru and Blue Black, J Live, Grap Luva, Count Bass D, basically people who show some appreciation for production and lyricism. Fundamentals are important to me, good beats and flows, but I also look for stuff that has some real lyrical content to it.

Top 5 hip-hop albums?

In no particular order:

JBEEZ - Done By The forces of Nature
De La - Buhloone Mindstate
Nas - Illmatic
Public Enemy - Nation of Millions??
Big Daddy Kane - Long Live the Kane

Nah, make that:

Steady B - What?s My Name?
Just Ice - Back To the Old School
Lakim Shabazz - Pure Righteousness
Kool G Rap - Wanted Dead Or Alive
Eric B And Rakim - Follow the Leader

No wait, I meant to say,

Tuff Crew - Phanjam
O.C. - Word??Life
Main Source - Breaking Atoms
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five - The Message
Ultramagnetic MC?s - Critical Beatdown

Or maybe

Ice Cube - Death Certificate
Tribe - Low End Theory
Common Sense - Resurrection
KMD - Black Bastards
Run DMC - Raising Hell

See how this works?

And euhm??Top 5 non-hip-hop albums?

Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life
Rotary Connection - Songs
Al Green - I?m Still In Love With You
?John Coltrane & Duke Ellington?
The Beatles - Rubber Soul

Or

Thelonious Monk - Brilliant Corners
Aretha Franklin - Soul ?69
Jimi Hendrix - Axis:Bold As Love
Bob Marley and The Wailers - Rastaman Vibration
Buddy Guy - I Left My Blues in San Francisco

I don?t know man, I have 6000 records, maybe more, you trying make me have a nervous breakdown here? 5 is to few to list. I could go on for DAYS??

It?s only right! Aight, but before we wrap up, a few words/names:

Condoleezza Rice
Looks like a 12 year old. Did she get her job by winning the National Spelling Bee?

Bill Clinton
Doesn?t know the meaning of the word ??is.??

The night time
INSOMNIA

Sallie Mae
Used to own me. But not anymore.

Joe Mansfield
WAX. Seriously he has records I?ve never seen anywhere else.

Pitch
Who? Nah for real, he?s one of the most talented people I?ve ever worked with.

DJ Cade Money
I know that name from SOMEWHERE??

QuiteNyce
Hard worker

Mike Ladd
Spaaaaastic!

The Bulldogs
EdO.G. and the??

Crazy Wisdom Masters
Crazy slept on.

Cheers
John Ratzenberger (?Cliff?) did the WORST fake Boston accent I?ve ever heard in my life.

Snook Donkey Donk
Ignorant co-workers.

Any more shout outs?

Shouts to Pitch, O.U.O., Zimbabwe Legit, the WHOLE Domination Recordings fam, EVERYONE who got down on ?State Lines?, Female Fun Music, Quite Nyce and SEEK(RADIx), Shed Light, DJ Next and the Early Spotter fam and everyone trying to keep hip hop creative. And to Platform8470 for supporting good music!

Thanks very much Cadence!!

 

POSTED 11|05|2005
conducted by cpf

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