Thursday, 15 September 2011

Bronze Nazareth interview

We Do It Right magazine is lucky enough to be speaking with Detroit emcee and producer Bronze Nazareth for its very first interview. Bronze is known as an integral part of the new generation of the Wu Tang family and his production credits include Raekwon, Gza, Rza and Immortal technique, as well as having a solo career and being part of the group Wisemen. 

Firstly, Bronze thank you for taking the time out to answer our questions!! What’s up with you at the moment?
Right now I’m taking a break from mixing out the 60 Second Assassin album, also finishing an album for the 67 Mob, some cats from BK who linked up with me for their album. I’m also recording my solo School For The Blindman and working on a new Wisemen album. Quite busy at the moment. 
For those who don’t know about you, tell us a little about your background and how you first became affiliated with the Wu Tang family. Did Rza mentor you to an extent?
Born in Grand Rapids, MI, which we call Gun Rule. Got with Cilvaringz who led me to Rza. Rza heard some joints and gave me five minutes to speak to him, I splashed him with some heat and he asked me to join the Wu Elements! Moved to Detroit some years ago, and began diggin in with the Wu camp. Nah Rza didn’t really mentor me, more so he gave me a push, so I could take my car to the gas station and fuel it up myself. 
As far as producing records, what is your mindset before you go into the studio?
My mindset is on nothing really, I may be in a certain mood or feeling some way and that will drive what I’m looking to make. I don’t ‘try’ and make Wu sounding beats or anything, I sit at my board, and find something I like, chop it, play it, cut it, do whatever to get the sound I want to get out of it. I don’t go in trying to make a hit, or whatever, it’s simply me feeling the music.
I know that you don’t go by many aliases which is definitely a good thing. What does the name Bronze Nazareth mean exactly? 
If you’ve ever seen the 18 Bronzemen movie, my name is symbolic of the struggle they went through to exit the temple and go into the real world. Nazareth is symbolic for the Prophetic Jesus of Nazareth, I see myself as a sort of prophet or soothsayer for my people who listen.. so really it’s all symbolic and can be compared to my modern struggles.
As Hip-hop is constantly evolving do you find yourself having to adapt in order to stay relevant or do you believe that your message/music is so deep that there will always be an audience for your particular style? 
Yeah, you will always have to adapt in this industry, times move fast, fans are fickle, sounds change and fads hit so you have to really stay in touch with what’s going on, without selling out your style or making yourself sound outdated.
There may always be an audience for my style, but if I don’t nurture that audience, then my music won’t spread to new people who can appreciate my sound.
I heard that you are going to be producing the new Keith Murray and Canibus project, have you guys started yet and if so how is it going? 
Kind of true, I will have some production on there….it has not started yet no. Recording begins in April sometime. Sound Records is releasing it and they are capable of really standing behind their products and pushing them the correct way, as well as being a respectable, honest and real label. Much love to VP and Kenny!
You produced two tracks on the GZA album ProTools, what was it like working with him in the studio? 
I didn’t work in the studio with Gza for these. I sent beats to Dreddy a long time ago and Gza had held onto the Groundbreaking beat since around Legend of the Liquid Sword, and they happened to scoop those up for Pro Tools.
Although many people see you as a producer you definitely have some incredibly deep lyrics and can hold your own as an MC. What is your main inspiration in terms of writing? 
My main inspiration is really just what I’ve seen. You’ll never hear me say I’m a big gangsta, or holla thug life, but I’m a city boy and I’ve seen a lot and done a lot. I’ve lived in the blocks, I’ve run the streets of Gun Rule, I’ve become at home here in Detroit. Seen sad points and high points, so all I’m doing is narrating my story.
I just try to come natural with my words, it’s like how I never really picked up on the word swagger, I just don’t use it in my everyday life so I’m not gonna be in my rhymes talking bout it. I’ma do me!
Tell us about your most recent album in the works, School for the Blindman, who’s featuring on it and are you producing the whole album like your previous one? 
The new album is banging, updated sound, fresh chop ups, diverse flows and deliveries. Real instruments. I have a joint called ‘Farewell My Darling’ about a situation where you HAVE to say goodbye. I’m planning on have two heavyweights on that one with me. Ummmm of course my Wisemen gon be on it, got a song called ‘4th Down’ with my Wisemen, HEAT. I’m have Razah on there somewhere, maybe KP but as far as Wu artists that’ll be if I can contact niggas in time. Some are harder to get in touch with than others. The beats on School for the Blindman are a little different from GM but in a good, good way. Still soulful for sure tho…a lot less vocal samples, really no more sped up vocals…its just fresh modern hip hop 
How do you feel about the people who choose to download your craft instead of buying it?
It’s fucked up, because literally this is what I do to live. I don’t have a job, so this is how I get it. Downloading is cool as far as a quality test, if anything. If you download something and you really like it, then simply buy it! That way the pressure is on the artists to give you a completely quality album. But unfortunately, even folks with plans to buy the material, may have downloaded an album with plans to go get it, but since it’s right there that lessens the urgency to actually go buy it, even if you like it.  I read somewhere that ISPs may start working with the RIAA to charge downloaders for songs they download, even on interfaces like limewire, they would attach the downloads to your bill. I’m interested in seeing how that would go, it would take back the music to some degree, but I know there’s other ways to DL it….but I think it would benefit the artists and let us get our deserved piece of the pie… 
What do you see in the future of your career, at the end of the year, in ten years?
The ability to pay the bills for my whole family and nobody has to work anymore, or hustle or whatever. I want to take care of myself and my family, by the end of this year and at the end of ten…..I’d also like to have enough money to build some really strong independent programs for inner city youth, some programs where when the state needs money, it can’t just cut the program as I’ve seen happen. 
Did you ever meet Ol Dirty Bastard (R.I.P) before his passing?
Yes I did, Rza wanted me to do some beats for ODB around the same time we were working on Birth of a Prince. I met Dirty at 36 Chambers (the second one) we kicked it surface level, and just hung around the studio. Then later that night, myself, Rza, ODB, and Kinetic all went to the Copacabana club together. It was fun, I remember ODB entered the club with two queens on his arms already! RIP ODB.
Are there any other artists reaching out to you or that you may reach out to in the near future to do some records with? 
We’re in the talks for a few projects, I don’t want to name names due to the changing course of the industry and if it’s not set in stone it may not happen. Ill def be around for years to come, you will see me….much love and thanks to We Do It Right mag for this piece! Thanks for your time man, we really appreciate it.
By Jimmy Ness 

Now one thing I did want to clear up is recently I read that you left Babygrande records for Seattle label Sound Records and Entertainment. What made you decide to move on? 
Yeah let me definitely clear this up. I left Babygrande Records.
Chuck Wilson, the CEO of Babygrande Records put out a press statement saying  “BABYGRANDE DROPS WU-TANG AFFILIATES BRONZE NAZARETH, ALMIGHTY & THE WISEMEN”……This was nothing but some blackball low blow shit to put out there and is absolutely untrue. 
Babygrande called regarding my second albums, which trust me they definitely wanted. They agreed to a certain amount for the advance of this second album when I signed for Great Migration. When they called wanting my album for sometime around May, they wanted to renegotiate and asked if I’d take a 50% cut for the advance. So of course I said hell no.
As far as Chuck Wilson saying these projects (Bronze, Wisemen, Almighty) were not profitable is also an outright lie. I was once talking to Chuck Wilson when he said directly to me, “artists like you don’t come out and sell like you did on the first album.” I’m not saying I went gold or no shit, but when I got a chance to see some numbers, the first six months GM was close to $100,000 in profits. Then of course they failed to send out accounting statements so they could hide all the profits and keep in for themselves. Also why would Babygrande ask me for the sampler for my next album to release with internet purchases of thought for food 1&2 if they didn’t plan on releasing my second album? 
So we weren’t dropped, they couldn’t honour the contracts because they couldn’t afford to pay the advance anymore, therefore we were free agents. They wanted to pay us paltry amounts for the advances. If we agreed we’d still be on Babygrande.
So who got dropped?? 
When you have flagship artists like Vinnie Paz calling Babygrande slave drivers in interviews, then I see they released Jean Grae and Blue Sky Black Death, and I read up and both Jean and BSBD never authorized the release, they failed to pay $300 to G-Clef at for some artwork. $300 dollars????!?! They owe me for GM, Thought for Food 1&2 (in which they royally messed up the credits, then when I didn’t approve they art they put it out anyway AND didn’t pay the artwork guy again). They still owe for Wisemen, The Unknown, Almighty, they still owe me for beats on Gza album, and the instrumentals, and royalties from projects like that ‘soundtrack from the Shaolin temple’….it goes on and on. I’m not the type to let it slide either, I’m coming for it all too! Like Jay-Z said “If you owe me 10 dollars you’re NOT giving me nine.”

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