Interview via Platform8470
1. ‘You don’t need a big studio to do it’, you say in the intro – pointing out it’s only the love for the art that counts. Does this album serve as a statement for this? Please explain the concept behind the title?
Well this is the labor that I love. I love what I do. If you don’t love what you do, it will show. I try to put my all into what I do. You just gotta freak what you got. It don’t really matter what you use, whatever works for you. I’m saying though, you gotta make it sound as good as possible though. I did all these tracks in my room, dropped em into Pro Tools and sent the beats out by e-mail. I don’t like to clean up my beats to much though. Sometimes that will take the feel away from it.
2. You produced the whole album, without picking up the mic? How was it leaving the mic?
I make beats everyday, it wasn’t hard. I did a chorus on the Tajai track and that’s pretty much it. But besides that, I just stayed on the boards. I can make beats all day when I’m in the zone.
3. The line-up of features is really tremendous. Which guest was the hardest to get or to match schedules with?
Well, it all came along pretty well. Most of the peeps on the album I knew already like Blu, LMNO, Opio, Moka Only, Tajai and Aloe Blacc. I met Guilty Simpson in San Diego where I’m from. I used to help throw a monthly out here and bring artists out here and I just built with him, gave him a beat and blessed it. Diamond D hit me up on Myspace about a sample on a beat I had up. He said he likes my beats and to send him something. That’s how that happened. He actually came out to Diego to DJ and came by the pad. He went through my records, letting me know some jewels he used on some joints he did. That was dope! That’s a legend right there.
4. Diamond’s indeed a remarkable feature; tell us more about that bonus track?
That track was first gonna be on his newest album but he let me use it for my compilation. He actually did the bass on that track too. I just sent him a few tracks and he picked that one. He asked could he do the bass over. Of course man, that’s the OG. He also killed the track he did with Blu on my album. That’s a classic combo.
5. Have you been able to jump in the studio with some of them or did you mainly use file sharing?
I recorded Opio at my spot. He had a show in San Diego, I picked him up, he dropped his verse and I got him back in time for his show. Sha Dula recorded at my spot too. Everybody else I just e-mailed them the beat. It worked out alright just e-mailing beats out. I guess it gave them the privacy to get creative on their own.
6. The single with Guilty Simpson: wow! We must say he really fits your trademark beat on there. Was that like a natural match you had in mind even before it was recorded?
Thanks man. Yeah, right after I made the beat, I might’ve played a Guilty a capella over it and it would still sound crazy. The beat is raw and he always comes with that rawness so it was a perfect fit to me. Only other person I wanted on that track with him was Johaz for that one. I knew they would sound good together.
7. If we are correct you launched a competition for illustrators to draw this album cover? Tell us more about it and who got the final pick?
Yeah, everything for this album was real grass root. I had the album done but I didn’t have any art work so I just put it out there on Twitter, whoever can draw the dopest cartoon of me, I’ll use it for my album. I got a few of ‘em and my peeps Mo and Hex from El Paso and AZ laced the dopest one. Or the one that fits the best. They also did the promo video. Talented cats, man.
8. Just like the last Deep Rooted album, this one is going to be released on Tajai’s Clear Label Records. Tell us more about it and how the connection was made?
Well, I’ve known Tajai (Souls Of Mischief, ed.) for a while now. I moved to the Bay for a while in ‘97 with his older cousin Donny Bo. He brought me through his pad and A-Plus‘ pad. I used to go to A-Plus’ house a few times to make beats because he had an ASR-10 because that’s what I use. He showed love and let me make a couple of beats because I didn’t have any equipment then. I used to just go to different cats’ spots I knew that had an ASR-10 or EPS and I would just bang out beats and save them. But Tajai knew I did music. He’s seen my grind. I used to be out in Berkeley like everyday on telegraph, slanging tapes. A lot of cats used to buy tapes from cats back then. I would slang tapes, buy a slice of pizza, have some money for tomorrow to re-up for more tapes. That’s how I did it. Getting my name up and all, you know. Tajai is a good dude. I got to go on tour with them last your too in the States and overseas. Souls are fam to me now.
9. What’s up with Deep Rooted? Johaz as well as Brea are featured on ‘Labor of Love’, but can we expect other material from y’all as a group in the near future?
Yeah, they’re both on the album doing their thing. We’re about to start recording some new raw stuff for you guys soon. We’re already been building about it. We’ve put out like three Deep Rooted albums in like four years so now everybody is just finishing up solo albums and side projects. So look out for a Johaz solo album and a Brea solo album. Both of em are done already. But yeah, there will also be some new Deep Rooted joints soon. I got a few albums. I just dropped an album with LMNO on Up Above records called ‘Banger Management’. I produced it all and rhymed on it too….real dope on the beats and rhymes…
10. You obviously have a good work ethic. It can’t be a coincidence you matched up with mister work ethic himself LMNO? How did Banger Management got together?
Well he put 10 albums out this year, that’s crazy! And he got more heat coming. We’re both the same way. We like to live in the studio. We are both workaholics. Me and LMNO go way back to the 90’s. But we recently went on tour together with Prince Po and while on the road me him and ld were just building. We talked about doing an album and soon as I got back I sent him some beats. As quick as I would send the beats, he would send em back with verses on them. And I would send them right back with my verse. Nothing was forced, it just worked right. It felt right, you know. That’s family right there, him and ld.
11. You been in the game since the first half of the nineties. How did you evolve as an artist over all these years? And how has your relationship with the industry been changing?
I believe you gotta remain true to yourself and your loyal fans and know how to reinvent yourself. Don’t stay stuck in the same spot, you gotta evolve. I always been on indie labels so it’s been alright because I can do what I want with my music. I try to stay away from the industry but I’ll take some of that dough though. (laughs)
12. Now, this album is released just before winter. But based on the snippits I tend to feel it brings in the summer. You don’t ever seem to make pessimistic music? Is this a reflection of your personality?
I think there are many moods on this album. I guess all the music I make reflects me. I don’t consider myself to be a pessimistic at all. I consider myself more opstimistic. I’m glad this album is being released in the winter, it has that feel to it to me. Most of my past albums have been released in the summer so it’s dope to have this one in the winter.
13. What was the last hip-hop album you heard, that got inspired and made you run to the studio with an urge to knock some beats out?
That’s a rough one. I hear stuff all the time that gets me hyped.
14. 5 reasons why our readers should buy Labor of Love?
– I’ve put a lot into it.
– Some of the dopest emcees are on it.
– Beats are crazy
– You’ll enjoy it
…and I’m a crazy guy behind the boards (laughs)
15. What’s next for Mr. Brady?
Just pushed this compilation, about to release a solo EP I did with other producers on the beats, I didn’t do any of the beats. Mr Brady and Moka Only album ‘Mr Mista’, ‘Left overs vol 3’, all those are done. An album I’m working on with this cat name Kas One from El Centro. New Deep Rooted stuff. ‘Labor of Love vol 2’, I’mma start on it too. Lots of stuff. Oh and a few suprises i can’t speak on yet!
We can’t wait! Thanks for this interview.