Wednesday, May 2, 2018

All-around Breakdown: DJ Chong Wizard Breaks Down Fantastic Intergalactic 2017 Star Wars-themed THE LAST MIXTAPE (Episode II, Tracks #13-25)

"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 II of DJ Chong Wizard's THE LAST MIXTAPE track-by-track breakdown consisting of Tracks #13-25! For practical purposes, here's a handy-dandy link to Episode/Part I, breaking down THE LAST MIXTAPE Tracks #1-12, as well

13. DJ Chong Wizard & Killa Kali - "Decapitate Lord Sith" (Prod. By: sadhugold.)

"The story behind this joint is that Killa Kali had recorded a dope verse that was supposed to be on the "Imperial Star Destroyer" joint with Tesla's Ghost... but something happened when he recorded on it and the beat was slowed down from 120 BPM's to 90 BPM's. So, I decided to just use various phrases from Killa Kali's verse on this scratch interlude over this sadhugold. gem. Look out for several dope Killa Kali projects this year. He just dropped a new one with DirtyDiggs that y'all need to look out for called Volume 84."

14. The Commissioner & Killa Kali - "Boonta Eve Classic" (Prod. By: DirtyDiggs)

"This one was another joint that the homie Jordan pretty much, lined up with the help of DirtyDiggs. He told them about a particular album to sample for this beat and then, they ran with it. They got The Commissioner AKA Montage One up on the beat first. After that, Hus Kingpin & Rozewood were supposed to get down on this joint, but they were out in Atlanta for AC3 and were just too busy, at the time. So, we got Killa Kali to jump on the second verse."

15. Lou Hefner & Jos Rockwell AKA Dope Product - "Lazer Swords" (Prod. By: sadhugold.)

"Lou Hefner & Jos Rockwell are a duo known as Dope Product. Once again, my homie Jordan put me up on these guys and reached out to them. Lou was supposed to jump on that other joint with Jos Rockwell, before King Magnetic and Recognize Ali recorded. Then, I was like, "well, we still have some dope beats from sadhugold. left over. How bout you guys go in on one of these?" So, they picked the beat and recorded it like the night before I finished the project. These guys are just a few the countless dope new artists emerging out of Massachusetts. Act like you know what the f**k I'm talking 'bout muthaf***as!"

16. Chronic Tone & Paranom - "Sith Lord Steps" (Prod. By: Chronic Tone)

"I remember getting at Chronic Tone months before the project deadline and he was into doing some beats for the project. He sent a couple beat previews that were kind of half-a$$ed and I figured he just wasn’t into it or having trouble with the Star Wars samples, like so many of the producers I asked to be involved with this project. Trust me, these Star Wars samples weren’t easy to work with. Anyways, months went by and when I announced the line-up for the project online two weeks before the audio deadline, Chronic Tone got back at me like, "my bad, I forgot about doing beats for this." He then, did three dope beats and we agreed that this "Sith [Lord] Steps" beat was the one. Then, him and Paranom recorded and sent me the song the night before the deadline. At the time, I told Jordan and he was like, "Paranom from Tragic Allies?" I was like, "I don’t know who he is." When I looked into it... it was indeed, Paranom from Tragic Allies. Needless to say, the track was amazing and a great last-minute addition to the project."

17. Pure Math - "The Sith Code" (Prod. By: ChinaWhite)

"Pure Math AKA Jis The Future is my homie from way back in like, 2001. He, along with Ro Data, Jon reX, Raa Daddy, Nick Dynamo, and Big Pauly, made up the group 108. They were the first Rap crew to ever show me love in Vancity [Vancouver]. We been tight ever since. The homie ChinaWhite did several beats for the project, but nobody picked any of his nutty all over the place beats, other than Pure Math, who had first dibs on his beats. Pure Math ended up taking the Star Wars knowledge and references to another level with stuff you won’t find in the movies. Even I don’t know half of what he was referencing, but I’m sure it came from a mixture of Star Wars novels, comics, and the animated series. If you’ve never heard Time Will Tell or The Friendly Serpent albums I did with Jis The Future and Jon reX, then, you need to check my AudioMack page out."

18. Jon reX - "Order 66" (Prod. By: Ro Data)

"Like I mentioned in the last track break down, Jon reX & Ro Data are both part of 108, a Vancouver rap crew that I’ve been down with forever. This track was a reunion, of sorts, because Jon reX & Ro Data weren’t really on speaking terms, but I had played Jon reX some of Ro Data’s beats that nobody had chosen for the Star Wars mixtape and he was like, "damn, Ro Data still got that heat!" He asked me to see if Ro was down with him using one of the beats. Ro Data said it was all good. Rex then, came [through] with the track the night before the deadline for the cassette tape edition, but the song wasn’t mixed down properly. So, this song ended up missing the cassette tape edition and being only on the CD and digital versions. Regardless, Rex brought his signature furious rhyme style to the track and took it to a different place, topic-wise. He compared The Sith to The Illuminati and made various references that paralleled real life events to Star Wars storylines."

19. Raa D - "Padawan Son" (Prod. By: Ro Data)

"While I would have liked to just have one big 108 posse cut with all the members, it was good to get three individual solo cuts. When you get old, it’s not easy to get everyone in the studio at the same time or on the same page. Especially, when you’re the father of a new born baby boy. Congrats to Raa Daddy on becoming a father. Obviously, from the song title, you already know Raa D had to make a joint about his new son. This joint missed the cassette tape deadline and barely squeaked its way onto the CD and digital versions. I’m glad Raa D picked this beat because this was a beast of the beat by Ro Data. I added some last-minute cuts and I think, the track came together nicely."

20.Tesla's Ghost - "Imperial Star Destroyer" (Prod. By: TXDD VILLAIN)

"Let me start by giving props to the producer: TXDD VILLAIN, but better known as multi-platinum producer LT. Moe. I met him through working with Phoenix Jones & Donny Arcade. LT. Moe doesn’t just do beats for anybody, so I was honored to have him bless me with this banger. He’s done joints for Ludacris, DJ Quik, Tha Dogg Pound, Ghostface Killah, MURS, and several other big name artists. As far as finding Tesla’s Ghost, I once again, have to give credit where it’s due; the homie Jordan put me up on him and got him to record. When he told me dude's name, I knew he had to be dope. With a name like Tesla’s Ghost, you can’t be wack. Like I mentioned before, Killa Kali was supposed to be on this song, too, but for whatever reason, there [were] technical difficulties. Regardless, Tesla came correct with that thick English accent over a Hardcore Southern-style beat."

21. Jermiside, Zilla Rocca & junclassic - "Comic Book Recommendations" (Prod By: Biddim Riddim)

"Let me start by saying that Biddim Riddim probably should have had way more beats on this project. He submitted at least 10 dope beats. I bet you're wondering where I found this dope producer from France that you’ve never heard of... Well, way back in 2009, I was working on this A Tribe Called Quest tribute project [Eclectic Relaxation]. I held a beat-making contest for producers to re-make classic Tribe beats on Kevin Nottingham’s blog. Biddim Riddim did so many dope beats for that project and ended up getting like, at least six beat placements on that mixtape. One of those tracks was The Lessondary posse cut, which was helmed by none other than Jermiside, who is still my personal favorite member of The Lessondary crew. Guess who else was featured on that Tribe mixtape?

None other than junclassic. That’s one thing about me - I always try to continue to build with artists for years and include them in as many of my projects as possible. Okay, here's some 6 Degrees of Separation sh*t to connect that last piece of this puzzle: emcee/producer Has-Lo made a beat for that same Tribe mixtape... and how did I find out about Zilla Rocca? From a collaboration he did with Has-Lo. It all comes back to A Tribe Called Quest. Anyways, earlier this year, I saw this guy posting on my Twitter feed with a Moon Knight profile picture. I was like, "dope Moon Knight profile picture" and Zilla was like, "you’re the only person who knew who that was." From then on, we would talk Hip-Hop and comic books on Twitter and Instagram. The song title came from his pre-verse intro talk, which was hilarious. Shout-outs to Damon Stoudemire."

22. Yamin Semali & Lazurus - "Know That" (Remix)

"Speaking of staying in touch and continuing to build with artists who’ve been featured on my mixtapes over the years: Yamin Semail used to go by the producer/DJ name of Amdex. He did some great remixes on my old Thick Remixtape series. Over the years, I tried to keep him featured on my mixtapes, but at some point, I lost contact with him and he changed his name. Then, I think, I saw Lil' Sci AKA John Robinson online giving props to Yamin Semali and I was like, "is that Amdex?" So, I reached out and sure enough, it was him and he was down to get down on the mixtape. I knew I wanted to use this Mos Def beat and include the first few intro bars by Mos because he said a bunch of Star Wars references back-to-back. Then, Yamin was a perfect fit because I knew he was a Mos Def fan. What I didn’t realize was how much Yamin’s mic skills had improved. He absolutely crushed that beat with a incredible verse. Then, he got his homie Lazurus on the second verse. They hadn’t actually done a song together, before that. Chong Wizard mixtapes bring people together!"

23. Bigg Tae, Eddie K, Myke n Ikye & DJ Pause - "Forcin'" (Prod. By: Biddim Riddim)

"I somehow, found out about Bigg Tae from White Mic from Bored Stiff. He had posted a Z-Man track off an upcoming Bigg Tae compilation on Facebook and I loved the song. So, I reached out and sent him some beats and he got his guy's on the joint. This song was one the first songs that got recorded and I really appreciated these guys staying on topic. If you're in The Bay Area, you probably already been knowing about these guys."

24. Nump - "Han Solo" (Prod. By: DJ Chong Wizard)

"For those of you not up on your Bay Area Rap, you might not have heard the hyphy weed anthem "I Gott Grapes" by Nump featuring E-40 & The Federation. Go check that on YouTube ASAP, if you haven’t heard it. It’s one of my all time favorite smokers anthems. Anyways, over the years, I’ve used some of the drops I got from Nump back in the day as my signature DJ sounds. He’s just a character with so much personality. That’s probably why they made him the host of Thizzler News. Guy belongs in front of the camera. When I made this Han Solo beat out of Frank Ocean’s "Solo," I knew I had to turn it into a smokers anthem about smoking weed solo. It also, had to be somebody from The Bay because the song was also, an obvious tip-of-the-hat to Mac Dre (RIP) who had done a song by the same name. While it was definitely a different beat than you’d normally find Nump on, he did his thing and the song came out great. This was the first song made for the mixtape and we released it way back on May 4th [Star Wars] Day, accompanied with cover art painted by legendary Vancouver graffiti artist Soak; a painting that was one of many works of art created exclusively for this project’s art show and release party."

25. Ras Kass - "Outro" (Prod. By: Brice Luther)

"Like I said before, Ras Kass did a great job with the hosting of this project. The guitar solo in the background was by the homie Brice Luther. I originally, asked him, "can you play the "Star Wars Theme" on guitar, but make it sound like you're Jimi Hendrix playing "The National Anthem?'" That is exactly what he did. I was trying to turn it into a beat, but it sounded great on its own and I’m glad I found a place for it on this mixtape. I really wanted to do the bonus after-credits hidden song on this project, but didn’t have time to mix down the joint by Sach from The Nonce. Who knows, maybe, one day, I’ll re-release this joint with bonus cuts."

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