The Grouch: Well AmpLive is the beat maker of the group Zion I and The Grouch I guess you would say and he lays a lot of the beats out first and they're like skeletons and them me and Zoombi we vibe on the tracks and we get a feeling of where we want to, you know, take the topics or like what the beats are saying to us and what topics we think will fit to the beats and we just start writing. We recorded half of it in Maui, Hawaii that's where I live and we recorded the other half in Oakland. That's where Zoombi lives.
Speaker 2: You got your start in Oakland. Did you go to high school with any of the Hieroglyphics guys?
The Grouch: I had a black history class with Casual. I had an English class, no, no, no. I guess that's the only person I had class with but I definitely went to school with Tajai, A-Plus, Pep Love at some point I think, I think I missed Del he left before I got to that school and I knew Toure. I knew DJ Toure and I kind of ... I knew Casual just from being in class with him but not really. I didn't hang out with those guys I kinda was just watching them you know, their whole career was just starting right then and it was starting in high school and sometimes they would preform at lunch and stuff like that and it was like ... It was a big talk all around Oakland you know?
There would be little tapes floating around of unmastered songs and stuff and people would always be talking. I mean it was lot of anticipation for them to come out and for the hip hop community of Oakland to see oh wow here are some other young kids just like us and they're about to come out on Jive Records and be all over Rap City and everything. It was real inspiring to people that do what we do.
Speaker 2: How has the internet changed your career as far as how you get your music out and what not?
The Grouch:I mean the internet basically makes it so that you know, everything's immediate. You're worldwide in an instant. You make a song, you put it up on YouTube and anyone all over the planet can listen to it. Early on in our careers we did a lot of traveling and that's how we built our grassroots following and our name and we would just go to the actual spot and people would be like oh shit what it this? Because there was no circuit of underground hiphop tours either. This is all been developed in recent years.
Speaker 2: Do you have more projects coming up now that the internet is booming and you can just kinda lay out projects easier?
The Grouch: I mean for me I still put the same amount of concentration into the music and that's what takes the most time with me. Once it's made and putting it up on the internet that's easy. That's a piece of cake because I come from a school where it wasn't a piece of cake.
Speaker 2: What else in new projects do you have?
The Grouch: Well the newest one that I have out is the Zion I The Grouch Heroes and the Healing of the Nation but I'm just working on music. I don't want to put myself, I don't want to put any kind of like pressure on myself to say "you have to come out with this album by this time". I'm just making music because that's what I like to do.
Speaker 2: What are you doing to keep yourself inspired musically?
The Grouch: Just living life. Traveling, being on tour with Revolution right now is inspiring me a lot. Were on the east coast and every night is pretty much sold out. 2000 plus fans every night and this is a group that came from California.
Speaker 2: How's the reggae crown been treating you?
The Grouch: The reggae crowd, you know I show up, I'm doing hip hop and they're first kinda standing there in the front row with their arms crossed looking at me like who's this guy? You know, I don't know he's saying put my hands up but I don't really feel like it right now you know? Then I go through couple songs and they start to warm up. They might start bobbing their head you know what I mean? DJ Fresh tells them to give us some love and then you start hearing the crowd get louder and louder in between each song. By the end it's like essentially I hope I have 2000 new Grouch fans.
Speaker 2: There you go.
The Grouch: You know? Well maybe a little bit less than that because some people already know me here.
Speaker 2: Yeah. I saw some people jump on stage and what not or just ... It reminded me like what's the craziest crowd you ever rocked? Can you recall a certain show where it just was crazy?
The Grouch: Being on tour with Living Legends we were probably crazier than the crowd at one point and I just remember times where we'd throw anything we could throw onto the crowd drinks, waters, I even threw pumpkins a couple times at some Halloween shows and stuff. It was crazy but I don't know and they yeah, people come up and they want to get down with you and jump on stage and we used to have a bunch of fans jump on stage and just do, you know, be part of the show.
Speaker 2: The response is always nice at the end of the show everybody's clapping, everybody's into it. I saw a nice response, it was a great performance close it out with Silly Putty classic song.
The Grouch: Thank you.
Speaker 2: Yeah it was great performance and I appreciate the interview. I appreciate you being here. I'm a big fan.
The Grouch: Thank you my man.
Speaker 2: (singing)
While MF DOOM (born Daniel Dumile) is highly regarded as one of the most inimitable figures in hip-hop, part of his legacy also lies within his collaborative work and in his eccentric half-dozen alter egos. Of those experimental projects, his partnership with Danger Mouse (born Brian Burton) is one of the most celebrated. Their debut project, The Mouse and the Mask, was released to critical acclaim in 2005, utilizing the collective moniker DANGER DOOM. The project was released in the UK through Lex Records, as well as in the United States through punk label Epitaph Records, marking the latter imprint's third foray into hip-hop. Best known for his work with the Gorillaz, Beck, the Black Keys, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Grammy Award-winning producer Danger Mouse handled the instrumentation, while DOOM focused on the animated vocals and eccentric lyrical direction. For DANGER DOOM‘s debut, Danger Mouse chose to sample exclusively from various animated shows airing on Adult Swim, Cartoon Network's late-night programming block—with a handful of cartoon characters from Aqua Teen Hunger Force making appearances on the album, in addition to the likes of Cee-Lo Green, Talib Kweli, and Ghostface Killah. With support from the network and famed comedian Dave Chappelle alike, the project was released in October 2005 and quickly became a cult fan favorite. While the album sparked several noteworthy talking points, MF DOOM's diss against his former collaborator, MF Grimm, undeniably stood out. The Monsta Island Czars (M.I.C.) member later responded with the track "Book of Daniel," during which he accused DOOM of selling out. With many hailing the seemingly unlikely pairing of MF DOOM and Danger Mouse as an undeniable success, DANGER DOOM delivered once again the following year, releasing their 2006 EP, Occult Hymn, exclusively though AdultSwim.com. Although DANGER DOOM has not reunited since 2006, their small-but-impactful body of work remains heralded as one of the most experimental and pleasantly absurdist collaborations to come out of the 2000s.