Interview With Dub L – Everybody Gather Around – The Dubs In Town
Tags: United States
Enter the strange world of Dub L. Here’s to one of the most innovative albums of 2003 and we speak to the man who is responsible for it. Take a read as we in-depth into his latest album “Dub L’s In Town“.
So dub-L, where does that name come from?
It’s kinda deep. See my last name is Delaney, so when I was doing Graffiti back in high school I made up the name Dell to be my tag. Adding an extra “L” so it wasn’t just the beginning of my last name, I didn’t want it to be too obvious. So everyone started calling me Dell. People started to play around with the letters like “Yo, D-E-Double-L! and so on. “Yo, Double-L” or “Yo, it’s the Double”. So basically when it came time to put my credits on records, it just made sense, “dub-L”.
What’s it like living in New York?
I was born here and lived here all my life, I love this shit but you can get caught up in some scenes that can f*ck with you. We got a lot of hot girls and a lot of bars and clubs, you do the math. There’s also a large talent pool here, which can be good and bad. A lot of people to work with but a lot of competition, it keeps you sharp though. You gotta be about your shit 100% cause there’s always someone else working while your sleeping. New York is the freshest but the rents are too high.
Your album “dub-L’s in Town” is one of the highlights of my hip-hop listening sessions this year. How many kilos of cocaine did it take for you to complete the album?
I don’t know, but a couple of those songs definitely had some fuel behind them. You can here it in the voice, it’s fresh though. I think it’s okay to experiment with changing your moods when recording, the tape catches that shit and it sounds fresh. The only other guys I here with that 8 ball voice sometimes are Old Dirty Bastard and Eminem. But you can here examples of drug use with many artists’ recordings. Rappers will smoke weed and maybe drink, rock guys maybe like weed and Heroin. Look at Hendrix on acid or Aerosmith on smack, I don’t think smack is cool but Aerosmith made some real fly records when they where on that shit.
On the title track “dub-L’s in Town” who are those weirdo’s singing “everybody, gather around, the dub-L’s in town, gather round now?” Especially the one who sings, “gather round now!”
HA, that’s the flyest part right? I died when I heard him do that. That’s my man Phillip Levi on lead. Also I got my man JER and that nucka BLOCKHEAD from the Party Fun Action Committee helping me out with that singing too. That hook turned out real hot.
On “Girl You 2 Fly To Kill Yourself” what goes through your mind to come up with a song like that? Was that based on a true-life experience?
Yeah, I was just always intrigued by fly girls that I was going out with who where always depressed and acted like they wanted to kill them selves. In the years from like 15 to 19 or so I think that happens to a lot of girls, weather fly or not. But I hate to see a fly girl sad, ya know. Me and my man Niles kinda made that hook up in the street and I remembered that shit for months before I even recorded the song. All my shit is based on my true-life experience, I try not to write fantasy type shit, it comes across wack on tape. People can here the realness, believe it. I also try not to approach song concepts in average ways. If I write some love shit it might be disguised as a song called “your ass is my shit!” meaning I love her ass and at the same time knowing that shit come from the ass so it’s a word play kinda. I totally try to come at song writing with no rules, free my mind from everyone else’s style and opinions and do it like I do it.
My grandfather (RIP) always told me that if she smells like hake (a type of fish) then she’s a catch. But if she smells like snoek (a type of fish with a very sharp smell) then I should run. I could definitely relate to your song “Smell You On My Hands”. Do you eat beavers often? And the singing at the end, where was that sampled from?
Yeah, I’m “down” with the twiz. But yeah some can be a little funky. Me, I like a totally shaved twizmo, I’ll lick that all day. I notice a lot of girls gravitate towards that song on the album, I think cause they get a kick out of it cause it’s one of there body parts and they can really relate to it. Whether it’s funky or not they get the picture. That’s a sample from Weezer, I love Weezer so hopefully they won’t hate me for using it. I’ve heard they’re cool, I think they would find it entertaining.
What is your relationship with Professor X?
We met at this studio where I use to work at like 3 years back. He was up in there talking to the studio owner about some recording shit. I’m an opportunist so I started making a beat on the side while they where talking. He sorta jumped in with some records he pulled out of our library there and started to make a beat with me. Then we would meet up and just make beats and shit and then go out drinking and acting crazy. He had been in the game forever and had a lot to share so it was cool. He’s sorta Mr. Miagi style with me. He fits real nice on the album.
Where would I get a copy of Perspexus? Any chance of a copy landing in my post box?
Wow, how do you even know about that shit? I can send you one for sure, that shit is real rare. That was the name of “the controls” before we got signed. Only four songs where ever made under that name and it’s only on cassette. Profile/Sm;)e records guys wanted us to change our name. “the controls” is much better.
So can you tell me how you got started in Hip Hop? What was it that influenced you to get involved?
I think that it’s almost like that’s what you do if your from the city and you love to make music, hip-hop just makes sense for us. Jemini The Gifted One said something once that I remember now he said “I started rapping because you can do it all the time, you don’t have to be anywhere special to write raps or think up lines” That’s fresh. It’s true in many ways, if you got no money for a mic, you can still do it, night or day. You can beat box if you got no music or clap you hands. The need to create makes me do it, the format or type of music that you fuck with depends on what you’re exposed to. If I was stuck on an Island I would of made up my own new type of music. I love it.
Where did your big break come from?
Profile/Sm;)e was my first break, they signed the controls and bought me equipment. I made the demo on some cut and paste shit on the computer. They bought me my real shit. I love em for that. Shouts go to DB and Gary Pini.
What was it like working with Aesop?
He was good for the controls type stuff. You need like a spacey wordy rapper that people can’t really understand for that trip-hop feel.
When was the last time you spoke to Blockhead?
The other day, that‘s my homeboy.
What kind of equipment/software do you use to make beats?
MPC-2000 is my sharpest sword. I recently copped the MOTIF6, it’s murder. I got the Nord Lead for that Moog space love. I play a lot of shit also, I rock my Gibson Les Paul, my bass, my nylon strings and all types of percussion.
Are you a crate digger? If so what are your top 5 breaks?
I never really used that term, I’m just a guy who likes to find sick old records to sample from. That shit ain’t the key to my life though, I like playing more things and coming at it with some real musical skills. When you can combine both, that’s the key. Most people that try to make beats can’t really play or don’t have an ear for it. So you end up with some out of tune bass lines and clashing samples. Drums are the most important thing in this music. The right Drums for the music, if that means no drums then fine but the music should tell you what it wants.
And the illest album to sample from?
I can’t say that but I can say that the album I sample the most is a CD called Scarface Records, Classic beats and breaks Vol. 1. It’s got like 70 drum breaks on 1 CD. That shit is the staple of my drum sets. But it’s really how you chop them up and play your patterns.
How did you hook up with DJ JS-1?
I met JS at the studio, same spot where I met Prof-X. Me and my man Plain Pat used to record there late and Percee-P was coming into finish up something. He brought JS with him to do some scratches. At the time I was recording the second half of the controls album “one hundred”. I asked him if he wanted to come and do some scratches for us. He ended up doing most of scratches on that album and did all our shows with us. We went from there and just kept doing songs. Now we got Ground Original.
I have to say that I’m a Dub L fan, so the next question has to be: When will the next album be coming out?
Man, I’ve been thinking about that so much lately, I figure I’ll have something finished by spring time 2004.
I read that you also dj. Is it true that you can get a lot of punani from playing behind the decks? Where do you play?
Yeah, I Dj at clubs and I do some Djaying for MC’s like Chase Phoenix. Punani… I’ve met some ladies Djaying. It’s really how you work it, you can do damage at some places.
Do you perform tracks from your album live?
Yeah, I play live. I haven’t concentrated on it that much lately. I want to make sure to expose the records first and build the fan base up to a good point to do some more touring. I really try to make the records hot so that when I do shows even if you don’t know any of my songs they will move you.
Have you ever traveled overseas?
Yeah, been to Holland a couple times. My mom is Dutch. Need to do more things over there, the feed back on all our records out there in Europe is real good. I’ve been to Saint Croix, Brussels and a couple others.
Which country would you like to visit?
Definitely Japan and some of the other Asian spots
What food does dub-L like to eat?
I’m a big food fan, my favorite shit was in Vegas. We went to this sick buffet at Mandolay Bay and murdered it.
I drink coca-cola with every meal almost, Alcoholic drinks? I like Stoli Vodka and Tonic wit a lime.
When was the last time you had sex?
How much do you charge for beats?
It depends on who it’s for and what it’s used for.
I’ve sold single beats for up to $8,000. The more the name gets out the higher the price goes. I also understand that some kids just want to do a hot song and I respect that so they might get one cheap. Sometimes it’s good to do things for some new guys you never heard of cause they’re gonna turn around and promote there song that you produced which in turn promotes you. And who knows, they might be the next hot shit.
Who are your favorite producers and why?
Dr. Dre is the man. He just makes good records all the time. The Neptunes have a real good grasp on a real hot sound right now. We have the same lawyer so I’m trying to get work that they don’t have time to do. I think they’ve done some of the hotter shit in the last 2 years. Premier is sick. I always try to be better than the best producers.
What do you think of South Africa?
Who else are you producing for?
I just finished up the Chase Phoenix album called ”Cut To The Chase”. That’s coming out in January on Battle Axe Records. It features Aesop Rock, C-Rayz Walz, Jemini The Gifted One and DJ JS-1. ME and JS also got a thousand things in the works. We got a record called MONSTERS coming soon. We have a single coming out with Jeru Da Damaja to set up our second full-length release called CLAIMSTAKE. For that I did stuff for J-Live, C-Rayz Walz, Supernatural, Jemini The Gifted One, Common, Pryme, Chase Phoenix, FiveFeet:Perspectives and I got a song on there also.
What other projects are you working on?
I just finished up FiveFeet:Perspectives album featuring Chase Phoenix and DJ JS-1. It’s actually the first album since my own that I have completely produced every track on. We’re just going to shop it around right now to find a good home for it. The controls are also currently shopping for a new deal do to Profile/sm;)e records shutting down. So we’ve been recording new things.
I’d like to thank you for putting out a brilliant album this year, any last words our shout outs?
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