Insight: Another album.
DJ Sucio Smash: Another album, really?
Insight: We already have an album that didn't even come out.
DJ Sucio Smash: Oh really?
Damu: We're working on a third.
Insight: We're working on a third album.
Damu: And I already did about twenty, thirty beats for the last one. But I scrapped those, and I'm trying to go in a new direction.
Insight: Let me tell you. We got, what? We already have another batch we could do.
Damu: It's fun. We're having fun.
DJ Sucio Smash: Y'all have got the sickest work ethic ever.
You know you killed it on that album. Love the production. Anything else out there that people should - oh, actually [inaudible 00:00:48]. We're talking about the album, we need to let them know what album it is.
Damu: Now today you have both halves of Y Society: myself, Damu the Fudgemunk, and my partner, Insight the Truncator. And the album "Travel at Your Own Pace" on Tres Records, in stores now. You can get it at Fat Beats, anywhere that records are sold.
DJ Sucio Smash: All right. And the [inaudible 00:01:08] was sold out, huh?
Damu: Pretty much.
DJ Sucio Smash: That's great, man.
Damu: Even from Fat Beats.
Insight: Yeah. What up, Fat Beats!
DJ Sucio Smash: Shout out to the Eclipse.
Other than the Y Society, is there anything else people should look forward to?
Damu: Well, you know I got my man John in there. He's been hooking up a lot of stuff for me, working a lot of instrumental albums and also Y Society's "Travel at Your Own Pace" vinyl exclusive.
DJ Sucio Smash: Oh, really?
Damu: And also I have an instrumental album called "Spare Time" that's up for download.
DJ Sucio Smash: All right, and that's for download now, available now?
DJ Sucio Smash: Free?
Damu: On my MySpace.
DJ Sucio Smash: Gratis?
Damu: Yeah. You can find it.
DJ Sucio Smash: Yes. Everybody loves that price: free ninety-nine.
Damu: Exactly. And there will be another one coming.
DJ Sucio Smash: Word? So you're just making beats like a maniac?
Damu: You see those discs over there.
DJ Sucio Smash: Yeah, there's nothing better to do in D.C., huh? I dig it.
I like it, yeah. You have a lot of ... damn! All right.
Insight: What's up?
DJ Sucio Smash: How many solo albums do you have out?
Insight: Ah, man ...
DJ Sucio Smash: You produce as well, right?
Insight: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now wait, can I go back and just -
DJ Sucio Smash: Please do!
Insight: All right, check it. Okay, so I was making my own music for years, you know what I mean?
DJ Sucio Smash: Yeah.
Insight: I work with a lot of cats, so if you don't keep putting music out, you reinvent yourself every single time. So I'm always trying to do my best. Anyways, I was on tour in 2004 and this cat comes - he was a young cat. He couldn't get into the club. He gives me four CDs a piece. I'm like, "Wait, hold up. Four CDs, what is this?" Son told me, "You know what? Check it out. Listen to it." I sent him some feedback. That was that.
Four years later, I get another four CDs. And this time, I pop it in. I'm hearing introduction, then beats coming in, then there's a chorus. Already mapped out with concepts and everything. I'm like, "Wait a minute, maybe this is one track." But it was like nine, ten? And then he called me up.
I was like, "Yo, you really put your work in!" You know what I mean? He was paying attention and studying that whole time, repeating my own lines back to me. I'm like, "Man! I forgot I even said that." And he was like, "You know, it's like how you said in that song." I'm like, "Damn! That sounds familiar." And he was like "Yeah, you said that in this song." And I was like, "Okay!" Then he was like, "I'm gonna send you some more beats." I'm like, "Hold up!" You know what I mean?
And then we started working on the first album. It took us two weeks. He just set more beats. It took us two weeks. We went on to do another one, and that took us ... it just seemed to be -
DJ Sucio Smash: You did the whole album in two weeks?
Insight: Yeah, we did the whole album in two weeks.
DJ Sucio Smash: Wow.
Insight: Well, I never really worked with anybody else. I'm used to producing everybody.
I've been dropping records for a minute. I got maybe sixty different projects out.
DJ Sucio Smash: Sixty?
Insight: Yeah, there's like sixty.
DJ Sucio Smash: Six-zero?
Insight: If you go to insight.fm, you see a good batch of them.
DJ Sucio Smash: Wow.
Insight: How that started was ... When I was at work, I was like, "Damn, I don't wanna do this anymore." I had all these bills, and then I pretty much was homeless. And somebody gave me dough for the first single, and I was like, "Five hundred bucks? That's all right." And then it was just like, "Damn, what am I gonna do next month? Damn, I need to do another single." Next thing you know, I'm sitting there looking at nine, ten singles. I'm like, "Damn, I need an album." And so that routine just kept going on. And it's like, "Damn. It feels whack to have all those releases and nothing to show for it." I'm just getting dough, and basing everything off my advances. Then a release will come out over here, out over there, I license stuff out in Japan.
So now my fan base is all scattered about, and the cats that were following it are pretty much putting the puzzle pieces together. And this cat Damu had always been paying attention, and he's pretty on-point with who's doing what. He was putting the pieces together. That's when I decided, "Okay, I gotta chill." I took my time - just being homeless - I'm never going back there.
So I'm to a place now where it's either all or nothing. I'm not gonna be rapping over thirty and not taking it serious. I'm trying to either kill it or just not do it at all. I'm not seventeen rapping. I'm here to prove a point. And so now that's where I am. This cat is so easy to do music. With him, I can focus on the business aspect and make more wise decisions.
It's all about throwing the passion that I have for music into anything related to it. It's not just - lyrics, I'm passionate about that. It's the beats, it's everything. If I do that, that's the only way that hip-hop is gonna last around me. Now I don't think it's a matter of, "Oh, hip-hop is here, hip-hop is there." Now I'm beyond that. Hip-hop is whatever is around me and my peers. Hip-hop is like, "You're up in here. Me being in contact with you or everybody else in the lab." It's really who you surround yourself with.
So I'm basing everything in my life around what I love and so that, to me, is what hip-hop has become. Working with cats that are on the same page that can take a little bit of the load off of me, that's what I'm about. I don't need to be doing everything. This dude is like a younger version of me. I'm impressed by that. And I would love to work with a bunch of cats like that. That's the goal.
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.
Damu The Fudgemunk
Damu the Fudgemunk (born Earl Davis) is a DJ, rapper, and producer hailing from Washington, DC. Damu began making music when he was 17 years old and bought a Boss Dr. SP-303 sampler. As he worked, he kept saving and eventually bought himself an MPC. Being from Washington, DC gave him a taste of Southern rap. Still, he gravitated towards the East Coast-New York sound, making him a bit of an outcast. In 2007, he released his debut album Travel at Your Own Pace. The album would receive glowing reviews due in large part to the dark jazz and soul samples. During this time he continued to build his fan base through Internet videos and live street performances. Since his debut, he’s released 22 albums and EPs. He co-owns and operates Redefinition Records, a label that also releases his material. The 2017 release, Vignettes, finds the artist blending genres through a two-hour concept album. Whether it’s gospel and electronic music, everything is tied-in together. Damu says, “Vignettes is a true example of 'art imitating life.' All the commentary/music is a collection of my personal experiences and those reflections applied to music to document an honest depiction of my current perspective on life and the world we share.”