Wednesday, May 2, 2018

All-around Breakdown: DJ Chong Wizard Breaks Down Fantastic Intergalactic 2017 Star Wars-themed THE LAST MIXTAPE (Episode I, Tracks #1-12)

"First and foremost, I want to give props to the homie Jordan Commandeur AKA Jordan C. Without him, this project wouldn’t have happened. I gave him an Executive Producer credit, but he was also the A&R for the project. He coordinated and lined up most the features on this project. He even handled the design of the Aurebesh Obi-Strip for the cassette tape. Also, big shout-outs to my homie Ro Data. Not only did he produce four of the joints on here, but he also, damn near mixed and mastered the whole project. Sonny Wong is another man that deserves a lot of credit. He’s been one of my main graphics guys for over a decade. While Dan Evans did the cover art, Sonny actually, handled all of the layout and promotional images. There [are] a lot of behind-the-scenes people involved in making these projects. So, I before I got into the track-by-track breakdown, I had to thanks those men. Now, let's get into this sh*t!" DJ Chong Wizard's Ras Kass-hosted, Star Wars-themed THE LAST MIXTAPE is now available to stream, download, or purchase in a multitude of formats. Here's Episode I of DJ Chong Wizard's THE LAST MIXTAPE track-by-track breakdown consisting of Tracks #1-12! For practical purposes, here's a handy-dandy link to Episode/Part II, breaking down THE LAST MIXTAPE Tracks #13-25, as well.

01. DJ Chong Wizard, Ras Kass & Black Ryan - "The Last Mixtape" (Prod. By: Ro Data)

"Usually, when I make mixtapes, I want the intro to jump off with high energy to get the listeners hyped up for the mixtape. After all the songs were recorded, I knew this beat by my homie Ro Data had to be used for the intro... but let me Rewind back to before any of the songs were recorded for this project: this beat was one of the first submitted. I originally had sent it to Tash from Tha Alkaholiks. He loved the beat and was down to record on it, but he didn’t really want to rap about Star Wars. So, months later, my homie Black Ryan picked that beat. Me and Black Ryan go way back. You might remember him as Phoenix Jones. He’s from Cleveland, Ohio and we’ve been collaborating since back in 2005.

We did The Family Guy Mixtape, Machine Killers, and Machine Killers 2 together. So, he recorded a full song on this beat by Ro Data called "War Machine" and I liked it, but he didn’t stay on the Star Wars topic 100%. At the time, I was worried about the concept not coming together, if the raps weren’t about Star Wars. So, I asked him to re-record the song with different verses. Ryan ended up doing a new song called "The Emperor." Eventually, I decided I wanted to use this beat for the intro. So, I ended up only using Black Ryan’s second verse, which is a f***ing dope verse: "James Earl with the world in his finger tips." Aside from the Black Ryan verse, there [are] also, the Ras Kass hosting pieces I scratched in, along with some other Star Wars Rap phrases. Overall, I was very happy with how THE LAST MIXTAPE intro turned out."

02. Ras Kass, Planet Asia & Willie The Kid - "One with The Force" (Prod. By: Biddim Riddim & DJ Chong Wizard)

"When Ras Kass picked this beat, I felt bad because my homie Adum 7 AKA MeccaGodZilla AKA Ravage had picked the same beat. Ras Kass liked this beat by Biddim Riddim AKA Boogie Flaha from France, but Ras was like, "it needs better and harder drums." So, I told Biddim Riddim to re-do the drums. He re-did the drums and sent the beat back to me. I sent it back to Ras... and nothing... so, I listened to the beat and I was like, "f**k, these drums just need to hit harder!" So, I got Biddim Riddim to send me all the beat files and I went in and replaced the kicks and snares. Then, sent it back to Ras. He liked the updated version and was ready to record, but at the time, he was out in Las Vegas and needed somewhere to record. He ended up recording at Supreme from Wu-Tang's studio. You'd never guess who happened to be at the studio, while Ras Kass was recording his verse. None other than Tash from Tha Alkaholiks was there. Coincidence?

Tash was tripping because he was like, "I was supposed to do a Star Wars joint for this DJ from Canada." So, the next day, I called Tash and he was gonna do the second verse on this joint. It just never ended up happening. Months later, the homie Jordan C. got Planet Asia and Willie The Kid to jump on the joint. Then, I had to arrange this beast of a track and trust me, it was a lot of work sequencing and arranging this song. Props to the homie Ro Data, who mixed and mastered the joint and even helped with some of the beat arrangement. We decided to drop out the drums from the first half of Planet Asia’s verse because it just sounded better that way. Then, for the outro scratches, it was nice to have all the layers of the beat and the vocals. I ended up scratching various phrases from each emcee’s verse, as well as various elements from the beat. Overall, the song turned out incredible and if you told me, when I started the project that there would be a song featuring Ras Kass, Planet Asia, and Willie The Kid all on the same song, I would’ve thought you were bullsh**ting me."

03. Ty Farris & Waterr - "Feeling Like Yoda" (Prod. By: Unjust)

"Before starting this project, I’d never heard of any of the artists involved on this particular song. My homie Jordan from Mass Appeal lined up this joint. He had interviewed Unjust, who, at the time, was doing a project with Tajai from Souls of Mischief called Rap Noir. I believe, Jordan mentioned the Star Wars project and Unjust was excited and he did a bunch of beats, like 8-10 joints to choose from. Ty Farris from Detroit ended up picking this beat and did a killer verse. He later, got his homie Waterr to do the chorus and second verse. Denmark Vessey was actually, supposed to be on this song, as well, but he just didn’t have time to record his verse. Ty Farris dropped two dope albums last year and just dropped another album [2 months ago] called No Cosign Just Cocaine. Ty & Waterr also, have a collabo album dropping soon called Bulls vs. Pistons. Look out for those records!"

04. Eto & Recognize Ali - "Swear On My Pops" (Prod. By: Unjust)

"The story behind this song is much like the previous song; Jordan was really the one behind lining this joint up. He got Eto, who did one of the illest albums of 2017 with V-Don called Omerta: The Film. Then, he got Recognize Ali, who dropped multiple dope albums last year. I did the scratches on the chorus for this joint, which was a Talib Kweli line. Both emcees bodied their verses on this dope Unjust beat. Look out for Recognize Ali! 2018 is gonna be a big year for him. I believe, he’s already dropped two albums this year and has a uncanny amount of collabo albums in-the-works."

05. TED-D - "The Light Sabre" (Prod. By: TED-D)

"I can’t even remember how I met TED-D. We go way back to like 2004-05 [though]. Him and the homie Vinnie The Squid were in a local DJ crew called The Slow DJ's. At the time, I was doing so many mixtapes and I had more concepts than I had time to execute. So, I got TED-D and Vinnie The Squid to do a couple mixtapes for my mixtape label, CGI. They did The Yellow Light District mixtape hosted by Chali 2na from Jurassic 5 and Opio from Hieroglyphics, as well as They Robot II: Caves of Steel hosted by Blackalicious. TED-D cooked up two really fresh beats for this project, but both beats sounded more like scratch interlude beats. So, I told him to do a couple scratch interludes over his beats. He came [through] with some serious turntablist flavors!"

06. Vic Spencer & Chris Crack AKA Chris $pencer - "Ewoks" (Prod. By: Unjust)

"When I first heard Vic Spencer’s The Ghost of Living project with BIG GHOST, I was completely blown away. From that point on, I reached out and started to build with Vic and he’s just a really dope, down to earth dude. Then, I heard his collabo album with Chris Crack called Who The F**k Is Chris $pencer? Loved their chemistry. After getting tons of beats submitted from countless producers for this Star Wars project, me and Jordan agreed on this weird beat that we thought matched their unique style; the quirky beat by Unjust really fit their flows and voices. The track turned out great. Shout-outs to DJ House Shoes, who loved the track and played it countless times on his radio show."

07. Daniel Son, PhybaOptikz, SmooVth & Blizz - "Jedi Force" (Prod. By: Giallo Point)

"When I first heard Daniel Son and Giallo Point’s Remo Gaggi album, I was blown away. After a few listens, I kept hearing like Toronto references and realized that Daniel Son was repping for Canada. I hyped the homie Jordan on it and told him he needed to check out the album and interview these guys for Mass Appeal. From there, I think we started building with these guys. I remember Daniel Son saying that Blizz heard he was doing a Star Wars song and he demanded to be on the track. I don’t remember many other details about the rest of the song, but it turned out great. Loved all the verses, the beat, and the chorus. It really all came together nicely. Then, to add a lil' mixtape flavor to it, I dropped out the original Giallo beat halfway [through' SmooVth’s verse and blended in a dope beat by sadhugold."

08. Ras Kass - "Use The Force" (Prod. By: sadhugold.)

"Ras Kass did a great job with the hosting. It was funny, but not corny. This guy, sadhugold. is a f***ing problem on the beats. If you haven’t heard his Kung -u Island beat tape from last year, you're missing the f**k out; one of the best beat tapes of 2017. This year, he just released a project called Golden Joe dropping on a actual gold USB drive!"

09. King Magnetic, Recognize Ali & Jos Rockwell - "War wit' Da Starz" (Prod. By: Clypto)

"This song was originally, gonna be Jos Rockwell and Rack Lo on a Unjust beat. Rack Lo had picked this janky Unjust beat that reminded me of something off the MADVILLAIN album. Jos didn’t really want to record on that beat. He wanted to record on his homie Clypto’s beat. So, Jos recorded on the Clypto joint, but Rack Lo didn’t want to record on that beat. Little did I know, that Jordan had sent the same beat to Recognize Ali and King Magnetic. So, they also, recorded on it. Around the same time, AG Da Coroner also, picked that beat, but I think, he wanted to do a solo joint on it. After getting all three verses, I arranged the track. Then, I recorded the cuts and the homie Ro Data mixed the joint down. Shout-outs to Rec Ali for getting King Magnetic involved. That King Magnetic verse is one of my favorites on the whole mixtape. He f***ing bodied that sh*t."

10. SageInfinite - "Jedi March" (Prod. By: Ro Data)

"This is yet another banging beat by the homie Ro Data. Reminds me of something Dr. Dre might’ve produced for someone like Xzibit or something. Sh*t's heavy! For those of you who don’t know Ro Data, he’s a Vancouver producer from the 108 Gangsters. He been banging out beats, since before some of you were even born. SageInfinite from The Winners came [through] with a full-fledged anthem on this joint! Word on the streets, these two got some more collabos coming soon. Shout-outs to the legendary DJ Eclipse! He's been playing this joint on his Rap Is Outta Control radio show lately."

11. TED-D - "War In The Stars" (Prod. By: TED-D)

"Once again, TED-D did another dope scratch interlude on one of his beats. I’d also like to apologize to his crew, The Loose Leaf Sessions. They recorded a track for the mixtape on one of the TED’s beats, but it didn’t get mixed in time to make the final cut. They weren’t the only ones: Ralphiie Reese recorded a joint, but he never sent me the vocal files, so I couldn’t mix his song. Sach from The Nonce sent me a song last-minute, but I didn’t have time to get the song mixed by the time the mixtape was finished."

12. Heem Stogied - "Life Is Narrow" (Prod. By: EyeDee)

"This is another track that I have to give Jordan credit for coordinating. He had been building with EyeDee and his pops for months. I believe, he suggested a collabo album between Heem Stogied and EyeDee. So, Heem Stogied came out to LA to record a album with EyeDee and I believe, they recorded this particular joint at DirtyDiggs' studio. Then, later, they had Tha God Fahim mix down the joint. At the end of the joint, I blended in another dope beat by sadhugold."

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