DJ Muggs has had a hell of a year. Hell, DJ Muggs has had a hell of a few decades. Once, and perhaps still, best known as the beatsmith for Cypress Hill, Muggs has never lost that spark. While many producers his age have either slowed to a near stop, or at least more than choosy with a project every several years, Muggs doesn’t seem to have an off switch. Linking up with the likes of GZA in the mid to late 2000’s, the super-producer reemerged in 2017, crafting an excellent LP (and EP in 2018) for Meyhem Lauren, plugging away ever since, linking up with Roc Marciano last year, as well.

2019 looks to be the busiest year of his lengthy career to date. Having released two albums this month, the strong Hell’s Roof with Eto, and the superb Tuez-Les Tous with Mach-Hommy, Muggs shows no signs of slowing, with even more music planned for later in the year. Read on for his reveals of those, his thoughts on his recent work, what he looks for in a recording partner, what keeps him going and inspired, what he thought of that Eminem line about him, and much, much more in our extended conversation with the indefatigable veteran.

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So you're known for collaborating with so many different people, how do you go about choosing who you want to work with?

Man, you know, a lot of people hit me up, and then I meet people through people, and then it comes down to, like, who do I click with as a human being, man. I can't just work with people. I can send you a beat for a song, but I can't just sit and work with you, and put time into a fuckin' album, and you ain't...and I don't connect with you on a human level. This ain't about work for me, I don't need to do this shit, you know what I mean? I do this for the art, man. I make money doing business, you know what I mean? I been doing this so long, so it's just like...if I think you're talented, that's the first part, boom! Then if we kick it and everything's dope, and then we do a song, and everything's cool...if you're cool, then we take it further.

I hear that. So you kinda already answered this, but is it people reaching out to you, or do you sometimes reach out to folk you want to work with?

Umm...I don't really reach out like that, man. I mean...nah, it's kind of a neutral thing. It's not like I hit someone up like, "Hey, you wanna work?" I don't do that shit. I might hit somebody up and say, "Hey, I'm doing a project, are you down to do a song for this project?" I'll reach out to people like that, you know, through a mutual friend, have a friend hook it up. If we connect on a project and everything's good, then, you know, everybody got their head on straight and motha fuckas act right and they don't think they're superstars and they don't got fuckin' egos, and they fuckin' have respect, then we can pursue, we can go a little bit further from there, you know what I mean? But I don't really care if you rap, if you dope, I don't care. Nah, man, who cares. Just be cool.

So when did you first hear Mach-Hommy? Did he reach out to you or had you already heard his music?

Nah, I met Mach through a mutual friend, Meyhem Lauren, and we was just talkin' about nutrition. And vitamins and fuckin vegatarinsim, and being healthy and shit. We connected on some shit like that, cuz I'm into health and fitness, ya know? And Mach is. Just talkin' about supplements and vegetarian and Himalyan sea salts, ya know what I mean? Fuckin' tumeric and anti-inflammatory properties in certain things. You know what I'm sayin'? You gotta eat your medicine, man. You eat good, you won't even need that other shit. We talked about that shit. And that was for a while. Then it was, um, I was like, 'Yo, I'm doing this project, Mach. I'm doing this Soul Assassins record. You know, can I get you on a few things?' He was like, 'Absolutely.' So I sent him the tracks and he banged 'em out, and that was like the start of it. Then, from there, we just started, I just started sending him the music. And, um, we started chippin' away. Then eventually I went out to where he stayed, went out there and worked with him for about a week, came back, worked, went back out there again and then...[long pause] We got a lot of shit. We got like 30 songs recorded. So we got a couple of albums done already.

Damn. So is there gonna be a part two?

There might be a part three!

So when you guys first linked up, you were in New York?

Yeah, New York. We recorded out there, too.

When you guys first got in the studio, was the energy there right away, or did you take your time and ease into it?

He'd just go, 'That's the one right there.' And wrote the shit in like 20 minutes and laid it in one take. Goes, 'What else you got?' So I'm like, 'How 'bout this one?' 'Nah, not that one.' 'How 'bout this?' 'Not that one.' 'How about this one?' 'That's the one right there.' And, then, BOOM. Did the same shit again, wrote that shit in about 20 minutes, you know what I mean? We went down the block, me, him and Mey went and got a green juice, came back, laid the vocals and in one take, and shit was done. I just went and mixed it after that.

When it comes to this project - or any of your recent projects, whether with Eto, or Roc, or so on, are you crafting beats on the spot to fit the artist or is it more of a RZA during the classic Wu run, letting artists choose from the collection?

Well, like, once I sit with you and dial your style in, once I lock in, I can make beats for you all day, but sometimes it takes me a minute to dial you in, out here what you usually do....sometimes I don't know you yet, so I'm trying to give you what you do until I know you. Then once I dial something in and I hear you enough, I can go, 'Oh, this is what you need.' Sometimes that comes quick, sometimes it takes a little bit of work, you know what I mean? Like for Eto, I sent him a track, and Meyhem actually hooked me up with Eto, as well. So I sent Eto that track from the Soul Assassins record, and it was fire. Then, after that, you know, we was like, doing songs and they was cool, there were some good songs in there, but then Eto came to L.A. and we got in the lab, and, um, we threw 8 out of the 12 songs in the trash that he'd recorded, and recorded 8 new songs, in like 4 days. Then he went back, and I went, 'We need one more session, my nigga.' Then he flew back to LA another time, and we threw about six of those away and we did six new ones, oh, 4 I mean, not 6, and that's the album you get now. Cuz that's when I dialed Eto in, and it was like, "Oh, shit," it was better sittin' in the same room, because I've got thousands and thousands of beats, how many can I email you, you know?

I'm gonna email you 5, I'm not gonna email you 40 beats. But when you sit with me, I'll play you shit, and you'll go, 'I like that one.' And I'm like, "Word? I woulda never sent you that shit.' That was most of the project with Eto, I would not have sent him three quarters of those beats, and then when he was sittin' with me, I was like, 'Okay, cool.' And we dialed that shit in. There's nothing like being in the same room workin' with people, man. This is an energy exchange, you know what I mean? You can get shit done over the email, especially once you lock shit in, but sittin' in the room, havin' those ideas? Those subtle things that happen in between big moments? Even working on the album, man, it's like...a lot of the magic happens when you ain't recording. When you watching TV, when you talkin' shit, discussing current events or whatever. A lot of shit happens in all that space, you feel me?

I do. Kinda jumping around, but how did you go about choosing the sound for Tuez-Les Tous?

It just happened. It just unfolded as were recording. I was givin' Mach songs, and he was killin 'em, and then I was just like, 'Oh, shit'. Boom. I took most of the songs we'd recorded and was like, 'This is the first record.' And there's songs that are incredible, retarded, but I saved 'em for the next record.

You've got me hyped for that now. Okay, I know it's hard to choose, but do you have a favorite beat from the project?

I do not. Nah, everything's my favorite while I'm making it, then I'll jump around cuz I get tired of somethin', cuz I heard it so much, then I won't listen to it, then I'll come back and listen to it in a few weeks, and it'll be my favorite. When I'm makin' projects now, I make the record so the record works as a project, ya know? I do not have a favorite song, I love all this fuckin' whole record, I love.

So, Hommy's the type to go right at a beat?

Well, yeah, those ones. I'm sure sometimes he thinks, 'Let me sit with this one for a minute.' Like I could just do the thing that came to mind, but this one's gonna need a little more care and thought put into it. We got those as well. There isn't just a cookie cutter way to do this, you know what I mean? Everything inspires its own way. There's many ways to approach...Mach has a lot of ways to approach shit, and I have a lot of ways to approach things. Every moment's different, man. I like things to happen organically. I don't like to know what's next. I like to...I like the unexpected. I try to work outside of my comfort zone, constantly, when I work with different artists. Cuz it's easy to work in your comfort zone. Shit gets boring. Like I'm bored of this shit...so I stay out and push shit, push the edges, try shit.

Most of the features came from Mach's crew, did he have a vision where he wanted his people on it, or did you guys consider some of the big names you've worked with?

Nah, not at all. Mach pretty much, except for Meyhem, I put Mey on this joint! Cuz Mey was at my studio, but everything else Mach pretty much handled the features. And I dig Cheeko and Kung Fuu, cuz I like features of unknown people, but that are dope. Cuz it gives this record this other edge other than, "Oh I expected that, I expected that, I expected that.' I think the features, the selection of the features, was spot on for this record, it was just enough to add a different spice to the flavor and the texture. But, you know, it's still basically just cemented as a Mach-Hommy album. It isn't like a feature heavy record. I can't stand albums that have fuckin' 15 features. You know what I mean? Mach holds it down, and then you throw in a little flavor here and there for a bit of variety. Then Mach comes back on and you're like, "Yeuhhhhh. Fuck." That's what features are supposed to do, man. Add some color to your record, they're not supposed to take over your fuckin' project.

I think Fahim is real nice.

I like how Fahim rhymes. I like Fahim as a human being. His work ethic is, like, impeccable. The kid fuckin' works hard, man.

You ever think about linking up with him?

Yeah, we did a project when I was out there last time, so...I was actually recording. I had rented this big ass loft that had a basement, and I recorded, I was recording with Mach, and, you know, a few of the guests we have on the next project, and then, um, Fahim went down to the basement, and I gave him beats, and he recorded like 12 days in 3 days. So we have a whole project. I haven't unpacked and worked on it yet, because I'm tryin' get this Crimeapple release ready for May, maybe May. I've got finish mixing it and sequence it, once I sequence it I'm gonna go back and get that Fahim record ready.

I'm real glad you guys linked up for that.

Yeah, man. I'd known Fahim over the Internet, but when I met the kid, I was like, 'This kid's cool as fuck, and he works hard.' Got respect, so I was like, 'Let's kill 'em.' This music's so easy for me, dawg. So easy it's boring. So when you get to work with good human, man, and hang out with 'em, that's what makes it...that's what keeps me goin', man.

The skit on the Mach record that talks about consciousness, where did that come from?

I don't remember, to tell you the truth. Mach sent me most of those interludes. I usually...usually I do all that shit. But I was like, 'Yo, Mach, if you get any time to send me some interludes, please...send me some interludes!' Usually when I say that, some artists send me two or three, some send one, some don't. Some send me some shit that don't work. Mach sent me shit that was just fire, and on point. I've got like 30 more, everything he sends is boom. We just from the same mental plain, you know what I mean? When there's that same magnetic strip, when you're on that same magnetic strip with someone, shit just locks in.

Did you think about putting B-Real on either of these projects?

Yeah, definitely. I always think about puttin' B-Real on everything. But B-Real's...it's just timing, man, between family, and traveling, and working, and different cities we're in, probably the seventh project he's working on, and me, it just comes down to timing and space, ya know what I mean? Cuz I hit B-Real every now and then to get on some shit, and he gets on 'em when he can, and sometimes he's just busy and he don't get to it.

So who would you think about linking up with next, or what else do you have cooking?

Nah, man. Usually when I do interviews I don't even tell you what I do next, cuz it's like, let's focus on this, but I already let you know I got Crimeapple and I got a Fahim record in the bed. I think that's more than some motha fuckas are doing in their whole career. That's already six projects I got comin' up this year.

Just out of curiosity, you've got these projects with Eto and Mach, and these others coming up, are you intentionally trying to explore work with younger artists, or has that just kinda been how it shook out?

Cooool motha fuckas that gots shit. Ya know, it isn't that...whether it's an OG or not, cuz I'd work with a Raekwon tomorrow, I'd work with a Ghostface tomorrow, but it's just about who am I gonna connect with, what's organic, what's easy. I'm not gonna go lookin' for people, and callin' em, and callin' their managers. This shit's gotta click. If it just doesn't happen, if it doesn't click, and it ain't easy, I got no time, man. Even if it clicks, but it's difficult? I got no time, man. I do this for art, man. I'm fuckin' rich as fuck, I do what the fuck I want, when I want, how I want. So, when I decide to spend my time and my energy to work with a human being, it has to be cool and a good fuckin' time for me, man. Cuz it ain't worth it. What am I gonna make, $4000, $5000 off this shit? It don't even pay my rent, you feel me? I just wanna have a good time and work with good artists and make some art. On the real. If we can click and have some vibes and build somethin', you know, maybe build a fuckin' franchise? Let's go. I know how that feels. You gotta be patient, shit takes a minute.

Is there a moment where you know you click with someone enough to record with?

That's a rhetorical question, right? You know the answer. When you click with a human being, you're like, 'Damn, I feel like I've known this fool for a while.' Some humans, man, it's just like...you click. I don't click with everyone, man, but when I do, friendships man, I hold good people tight for this journey of life, man. You come across a lot of people, but it's few and far between when you come across great human beings, and when you do, you keep 'em close. But on the work level, yeah, I can tell. I do a song with you, I see how you act. A couple of weeks go by, I can tell if I wanna fuck whichu or not. Then, if there's any bullshit, I just click and keep it moving. To work with a creative being that's dope, man, to get in there and do some shit? Ay. A good time, man.

Just as a personal plea, you gotta work with Sticky Fingaz, man. One of the most underrated, I don't know why he hasn't really had a presence in years.

Mannn, I don't know, he better go build his presence up, then. That's probably not gonna happen. One thing is, you gotta go...they gotta create their own energy, I can't just...this has nothing to do with the guy you just mentioned, but when I look for artists, and I click with someone, they gotta have a net out there where they're creating energy. You gotta be puttin' in work and doing somethin'. If you're dope, ok, but what are you doin'? If you're cool, and we click, and you're creating energy, if you've got a little bit of work, and you're trying to create momentum: ok, let's push this shit, and make that momentum bigger. Everything's...there's no answer, there's no cookie cutter answer. Everything's its own unique thing. There's a lot of fuckin' variables with human beings. I'd rather hang out with my kids and my dogs or go chill at the beach than sit in the fuckin' studio with someone I don't really care for. I don't really need the money, so what the fuck am I doing it for, right? It's like, 'I'm cool on that.' Some of the kids I work with, this is their life, and some are just doin' it for fun, too, cuz they have other stuff. But it's like, 'I'm good, man'. Every goal I've ever had, I've reached, with my music, and my life. So...now it's just being a master. Being Salvidor Dali. Being Picasso. Takin' this to the next level. It's time to inspire the youth. Help these kids along, and show 'em the business, and show 'em how it works, show 'em how to make records, help them get they shit on point, you know what I mean?

So with Eto, you said you got linked up by Meyhem, but were you familiar with his music? Do you have a memory of hearing these kids for the first time, whether Eto or Mach?

Nah, I'd never heard Eto. So I was done...I had finished some project, and I was like, 'What am I gonna do now?' So I was like, 'Ay, Mey, you know anybody that's dope, and kinda new, different?' He was like, 'Man, let me think about it.' He hit me a couple days later, 'Yo, I know this kid Eto from Rochester.' 'Word? Send him this beat, homes.' So he sent him the beat for 'Ducksauce', and he sent it back to me, and I was all, 'This shit's dope.' And I played it for my homies around the studio, and everyone was buggin' out like, 'Who the fuck is that? Who the fuck is that?' 'It's this kid Eto.'

So, you know, and then, I'm like, 'Eto, come to New York, man', cuz he's in Rochester. We shot the video in New York, and then when I clicked, when I hooked up with Eto, I thought, 'This kid's cool as fuck, man.' So I was like, 'Let's starting working on some other shit and see what comes out of it.' I don't say, 'Let's do an album,' I said, 'Let's start workin' on some shit and see what happens.' You feel me? And then we go into it like that, and, yo, man, Et's fuckin' smart, creative, talented, he's a gentleman, you know what I mean? I have mad respect, man, love for the brother. He came out here and hung out with my family, my friends, all my friends love him and shit, you know what I mean? That's a good human being right there, man. Let's get in and create some fuckin' history, Eto.

The more I get into an artist, the more I try to get to know them, and then just draw from their personalities, and draw from what they're into, and like...the more I know you, you'll notice, the more I'll pull from that. Do you feel me? I think the last four beats I made for Eto, he sat beside me, I was like, 'I hear you like these drums?' 'Yep.' 'Well, you like this?' 'Yep.' And I just made it, I made all the beats right then, in front of him. He knows what he wants. It's good when an artist knows what they want. Sometimes you gotta tell 'em what they need to get better, and it's good when they listen. Because I just wanna make 'em bigger and better, and soften the face they've always created. But when a motha fucka don't listen, and think they know, but they don't know, aw, man, it's like, 'You trippin' homes.'

So what was the vibe going into the project with Eto, did he know exactly what he wanted already, or did you guys feel it out?

Well, first I asked him, 'Yo, do you got any titles for the album?' Because I like to get a name of a record or...a picture of the album cover before I start, because usually it gives me the vibe of the project. So I was like, 'What do they call your neighborhood, and what's goin' on up there?,' because I wanted to tap into Eto's identity, and make his identity better. He was like, 'They call my neighborhood, or Rochester, where he's from, Hell's Roof. Like they standin' on top of hell, and I'm like, 'Ooh, that's ill, let's roll with that.' But I think Eto's album cover has been the hardest album cover I'd had so far. Usually, I hit my dudes up, my two or three people, and they dial the record in quick. Or I'll have the idea. But, man, nobody could get this record right. Everyone was tryna do a devil and a roof, and I'm like, 'Yo, noooo, man. I don't want nothing to do with a fuckin' roof or nothin' like that, it needs to be more abstract, more surreal. And everybody was comin' with that shit. I couldn't get it right. Then, the last minute, we reached out to somebody who knew somebody on the Internet, and this kid, the first thing he sent was, like, fire. I'm like, 'Aw, fuck. Yo, that's ill.'

Since you took us there, how did you choose the title and art for the Hommy project?

Kill 'Em All is a title I thought would be good for Mach, and so...Kill 'Em All was the title, but then I went in like, 'Ok, that's kinda cool', but I translated it in Latin, French, and Russian. Then I sent it to Mach and I go, 'Why don't we do the first one we'll do the French version, and the second one a Latin version, and so on, and he goes, 'Yeah, the French one,' and I go, 'Aight, cool.' And then, you know, we'll do part two, the next one, but you know that's pretty much how we dialed that in.

The covers are done for the next two already. But this one was more funk rock style. I wanted it to be punk, everything about this record to be punk rock. So I was like, 'Yo, I want this shit to be mad punk rock.' So my boy Skinhead Rob, from The Transplants, you familiar with them? He did the cover for me. 'Mach, send me a photo,' so he sent one from his iPhone, and I went outside and took a picture on my phone, and I sent em to Rob, and Rob goes to fuckin', he does it the old school way, he goes to Kinkos, and xeroxes the picture, and xeroxes a bunch of other pictures, and goes back with the razor and starts cutting the pictures out and laying it out. And that's how he did the cover. And he did the letters, and Mach was like, 'Let's do em, let's change the letters to this style,' so, you know, Rob had to go back and get the letters, xeroxed em again [Laughs] You feel me? We tried doing it in the computer, but there's somethin' about the layers and the textures when you really cut it out and lay things on top of each other. It's real subtle, but it fuckin' pops. The depth and feel that you don't get in the computer. So Rob went and did that, and fuckin' killed. Killed that cover.

So were you recording these projects around the same time?

Yeah, they were going off each other. When I work with somebody like Mach, the motha fucka is so dope, and so inspiring to work with, with Mach, with Mey, I'll sit here and make six, seven beats in a day, and be hittin' beats all day, because you get in the zone, when you lock in. Once I get in that zone, it's killer. So, boom. I had did the Eto record, I was workin' on the Mach, well, what it is, it goes like this usually: I'll start a record, right when that record's almost done, I'm beginning other records, but it's almost like, 'Here's some tracks for you guys.' And they're workin' on songs, and he's workin' on songs, but then I'm mixing the other project, and then after I mix it, and master it, I start divin' into these other projects right away, like really goin' in hard. So, finishing the songs and stuff, when I'm finishing them, the project that I'd just finished before, I'm doing the marketing and promotion, right? So it kinda flows. As soon as Mach's record was turned in, as soon as the master was done, that's when I really turned the Crimeapple on full, all day, like, boom, let me finish this now. Got all the songs together and started finishin' em. Everything rolls over.

Especially as you were creating around the same time, did they feed off each other? How would you say the projects differ from each other?

Just different MCs, different people, they look different, they sound different. They're nothing alike, their personalities and the way you rhyme is gonna bring life to the record, you know what I mean? You know, it's funny, cuz people will be like, 'Why'd you give em this beat?, Why you give him that beat?' I don't pick the fuckin' beats. So if anybody ever picks a beat that's wack, I didn't pick it. You pick the beat, you feel me? I'll play you a thousand beats, you pick what you want. Everybody picks what they wanna rap on. I'll have ideas, which direction we should go in sometimes, but for the most part, everybody picks the beats they want. Mach's probably one of the most talented people I've ever worked with, man. He's probably one of the greats of this time and space, you know what I mean? I wanna see Mach get what he deserves, and blow the fuck up. I think I could help him, and be a vehicle to that. To be able to work with people with this kind of a talent, it's fun. That's the shit that's fun. I have a good time, man. Crime, too. Crime's dope as fuck. Both records are just totally different, totally different worlds.

We went down to Columbia to record a lot of the Crimeapple record. We shot all of our videos, 4 videos, while we was down there. You know, it's like trying to put your personality out. They're nothing alike. Even Eto's record is nothin' like Mach's record, is it? When I...it's a weird thing, it's hard to explain for me sometimes, cuz once I tap into your personality, and I'm around you and we're hangin' out, I start noticin' subtle little things, like how an actor might start picking up when he's trying to figure out that role, subtle things where he starts shadowing you. I do the same thing as producer, where I start pullin' from you. Same thing when I did GZA's record. Hangin' out with GZA playin' chess every day. That made me think, 'Oh, let me make this record chess-themed.' Ya know? It's called Grandmasters, I just start pullin' out the subtleties in personalities and puttin' em into the music. And what people are talkin' about, what they're sayin', or even what they're watching on TV, I'll be like, 'Oh, shit, let me use that.' All that shit starts to take life. Everything that starts to happen starts to be a song, or potential song, or idea, or a video, as we're just hangin' out.

What's your favorite memory of working with GZA?

GZA's just the fuckin' the genius. Damn, man. Just fun. Smokin', drinkin' Guinness Stout, fuckin playin' chess, that's all we did.

Who would usually win? Was he a chess master?

He's pretty good, man. He would win most of the time.

What were you guys listening to during the recording process?

Nothing. I don't listen to music, really. Like in my car I listen to Super Cat, pretty much on loop. When I'm makin' records, I don't listen to music, it's weird. I hardly listen to music anymore. When we do our radio show every week, I listen to the music from the show, but, I'm so busy workin' on...fuck, I don't know. Six, seven projects right now, albums, I got no time to listen to music. Whenever I hear music though, I'll go to Alchemist's studio, I'll go over to Alc's, and play him what I'm workin on, and he'll play me what I'm workin' on, so, you know, I was over there yesterday, I played him the Crimeapple album. He's like, 'Oh, yeah, I just worked on this for Roc Marcy, I'm workin' on this right here, check this out.' And he plays me shit, and Evidence plays me what he's workin' on, so I guess a lot of my new favorites are shit that ain't come out yet. [Laughs] You know, I was hearin' the Freddie Gibbs record that he did with Madlib months ago, that's fuckin' amazing. I hooked up fuckin' Meyhem with fuckin' Madlib to do an album, so I'll hear some of that. I guess that's the shit I be listening to.

Do you read anything for inspiration while recording?

Sometimes I read lot. Lately, I haven't been reading at all. But usually I'm reading 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 books a year. But I'd say this last year and a half I've been doing a little bit of reading, but more gettin' into podcasts, and other shit, and just takin' everything I've learned. You know I've got so much inspiration that's already been downloaded into me it'll take me 25 lifetimes to get it all out, you feel me? From everything I've lived, seen, watched, all my notes...I've got books of ideas that I'll never have enough time to fuckin' get done.

So what's the last great thing you read, anything come to mind?

I guess, I don't know, I liked Giger's fuckin' book, Necronomicon. I've read a couple Alejandro Jodorowsky books. The last cool thing that was really inspiring, Jodorowsky is really inspiring to me. He did a film called Holy Mountain. John Lennon and all them loved it back in the 70's, it became this cult classic. He's a fuckin' mystic, and he's a director and a writer, and he's a lot of things, man. A poet. They actually asked him to Dune before David Lynch, and he did all the storyboarding, and he ended up not doing the movie, but his storyboard is every sci fi movie in Hollywood. If you ever take a second to watch Jodorowsky's Dune, it's a documentary, so, pretty much like, him, Giger, Salvidor Dali, that's where I get a lot of my inspiration from, man. Those dudes...my music more comes from a dreamspace, a surrealist space, that's how I approached the last Cypress album. When I did the last Cypress album, everything came from a dream, all the ideas came from dreams.

I was surprised how experimental Elephants on Acid was. It was a crazy record.

It was dreams. I remember all my dreams and I write 'em down. Everything came from those, all the ideas, had a dream of this elephant one time, and from that, I had a dream of this music, that's where I lot of the ideas and the titles came from. And they're lookin' at me like, 'You're out your mind.' I'm like, '...yeah.' Just tapping into the unseen, everything that's unseen. Tapping into energy and tapping into a world of the unknown, you know what I mean? Getting more of a true understanding, not just tappin' into what you see or what you hear, but what you don't hear and what you don't see. If I strip you from your name, take your name away, take what you do away, take your biography away, take your birthday away: who are you? I don't think people figure out who they are. You're really all these things that you can't think, feel, or touch. You're not this thing that you think you are, you're not that face. I was livin' in those spaces and goin' into these other dimensions and shit.

Do you guys have plans as a group moving forward?

Cypress is touring. Nonstop. 100 shows a year, doing festivals bigger than they've ever done. That shit's a fuckin' machine, dude.

In terms of recording, are you guys thinking of another album?

Nahhh, I don't know. I have no idea if we'll even do another one. We'll see.

I already got the impression you don't think this way, but is there anyone in particular you'd like to link up with, to work with?

Salvidor Dali. I don't care about rappers. I don't give a fuckkk that you rap. I don't careee. Are you cool? I don't care about rap, really. I'm into...you know, we'll see what happens in the future, man. I've done everything, I've worked with everybody, so we'll see what the future holds, right?

I've wondered for a while, I followed your Vs. albums back when, and if memory serves I think Kill Devil Hills was the last one you did in that series, what made you move on from that era?

I don't know. It wasn't a conscious thing, I just kinda live my life. You know what I mean? I don't even think about it. I haven't thought about that. Did I move on? I don't know. I'm not tryna...I have no idea. I've been busy the whole time, I did the Die Antwoord album, 9 songs for the last album, I ended up managing Die Antwoord for 2 years. Doing that album took almost...they work slow. They don't work like us. It took like 2 years to do that album. They work at a whole different pace than I'm used to. Once I finished that album, I was like, 'Ok that's was fun.' That was an adventure for me to do different shit and tap into that world, a total escape from what I'm doing. You feel me? That's why I did that Bass for Your Face record a few years ago. I did an electronic record just to, like, clean my palette. I wanted to learn all these electronic production techniques just to do it. Cuz I think once you stop learning, man, it's a wrap.

I had to get out of my comfort zone and push myself, and test myself. I was like, 'Let me do '(Rock) Superstar', and let me see if I can do this shit, and boom, ten songs. Let me do electronic, boom. Let me do the Die Antwoord album. Boom. Fuckin' classic, hit album. And then let me go back to doing what I love. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and I was like, let me get back to doing my shit, and here we go, baby! The difference is now, the reason we're putting me shit out, the time when we were puttin'...it's just like, it's so much easier now to put music out, and control it, and do it yourself. So I don't gotta deal with some fuckin' idiots, not havin' to deal with idiots, and it just being me handling everything, I think, 'Ok, let's put more shit out.' We got it locked in now, we can do everything ourselves. Not havin' to deal with fuckin' idiots makes life easy, man. Labels...there's those three or four people that are cool, but then there's those other 19 people where you're like, 'Why'd you get in the music business? What the fuck's wrong with you?'

Is there anything you're still hoping to tackle? Anything that feels undone?

Who I am proving anything to? I'm an artist, man. The thing is this, man. It's not even conscious, it just happens as you go, right? I look at music and I see people go, 'Aw, they're old,' or, 'That's old.' And I'm like, I try to understand, what does that mean? Because I'm 50 years old, but why do I feel 20? Because I eat good, and I exercise, and I read, right? I'm stronger than I ever was. I'll fuckin' beat the shit outta my 20 year old self. [Laughs] Don't make that the fuckin' headline of the article, please. [Both laugh] So you try to figure out, what does this all mean?

Oh, so popular music has always been...like, the Rolling Stones could make the greatest album ever tomorrow, but it ain't gonna matter, cuz the way the business of the music machine works, they're always lookin' to the young, right? But is this a young's man sport? Absolutely not. This is art. So I don't just look at this as fuckin' music. I look at like...Picasso was great in his 60's, Dali was fuckin' a genius in his 60's, these guys weren't done in their 20's. This is an art form. Don't just say this is...I think this is about to be the greatest I've ever been. It's just me on a life's journey. I've gotten to a point where I can inspire other motha fuckas. I can remember the generation before being ready to retire at 40, but this one is different. Why do I feel I'm just getting started. So this is the energy I wanna put out there to hopefully inspire everybody to get to this space. Technology helps, without the labels, we can put our own shit out there. What is age? I don't even...it's just this fuckin' number that they put on you, and they say, 'Oh, you have three grey hairs, so you're old.' ...No? I'm better. I'm smart, I'm a master.

I think now I'm here to inspire the youth, and inspire people around me, and teach them the way this game works. Teach em how to be better, and inspire my friends who are around me every day. I tell my homies who are like 25, 'You're tired, foo'!" Tired?? Nigga I'm putting out 6 fuckin' records, and I've got kids, and a dog, and I'm going to the fuckin' gym every day. You ain't got a kid, you don't go the gym, and you put out one record in three years: what the fuckin you tired for? You 25! What's wrong with that picture, right? You gotta feed your mind good shit, feed your soul good shit. Stay off that...you know. Keep good people around you that are livin' as well, man. Everything's gonna be alright.

Ok, so I gotta ask: how did you feel about the Kamikaze line, when Eminem name dropped you?

Oh, I don't give a fuck! I don't care. I just kinda laughed. I love Em, I love the Die Antwoord people. It was funny to me. I couldn't figure out why they dissed him in the first place, I was like, 'What the fuck is going on?' You know, fuck. I know they're always doing, Die Antwoord's doin' clickbait shit to try and get somebody so they can fuckin' use that, you feel me?

He shouts you guys, Cypress as well as yourself, out all the time, for years and years now, how did that relationship originally connect?

He's been a fan, but I mean, he grew up with us, but you know we had the same manager for years, Paul Rosenberg managed us for about 4 years. From like the '(Rock) Superstar' through the next album or two. Paul's a good friend of ours. We did the Anger Management tours with Eminem, when 50 Cent first came out with 'Wanksta', he was on the tours in Europe with us. So, you know, Em's just being cool, man. Hanging out with Em, we're friends, we just kick it. And, you know, even now, to this day, my friend Fredwreck, a really good friend of mine, my studio has three studios in it, I gave one of my studios to Fred cuz he's one of my best friends, he works at Aftermath with Dre all the time, he still works with Em, he was on Em's last album, and Em's always like, 'What's up with Muggs? What's up with Muggs??' You know. He knows I've worked with Die Antwoord, so that's probably why he threw that in there. And I thought it was funny as fuck. Em sent it to me, he was like, 'What do you think? Is this cool?' And I'm like, 'Yeah, it's cool, fuck. I appreciate you checkin' me, but write what you want, bro.' That's funny. He's funny.

I think Kamikaze was nice. People kinda overreacted to it, it's just a fun record.

I thought it was dope!! It was my favorite Eminem record in years, dude! I wish people would shut the fuck up! 'Why's he angry?' Have you ever listened to Eminem?? Who are these critics? How old was you when Eminem first came out? You know what I mean?

You gotta tell Em to hook up with you or Alchemist for a full project. I feel like he could use that energy of just laying it down.

I think if Em just did an art project, and went and did an album with Alchemist...oh my God, come on, man. Even if it were just a side thing, a free album to come out with his main project, it would be killer. Just...on some art shit, because, like...I don't do this for the money no more. Em don't care. Em does this cuz Em's a fuckin' artist. He cannot...when you're a fuckin' real artist man, this shit seeps out of your fuckin' pores, you feel me? This is like church for me. When I come to the studio and turn the fuckin music on, this is like meditating. When I sit and make a beat for an hour, and you just go to a total mental space where you don't think of nothin'. People want to be able to turn their mind off, and they can't. This does that for us. You know what I mean?

But yeah, Em wants to be great. I think it'd be so killer for him. Just for every reason you could imagine I think it would be the best thing. Any chance I get, I'm gonna try my best to make that happen one day. I hope it does.

Alright, we've gone through most everything I had and more, but I like to get producers on producers: is there anyone who inspires you, that you think are great at what they do in this present moment?

Yeah, Alchemist! I love Alchemist. Just he's been one of my best friends since 1993. He was 12 years old. You feel me? He was in a group...a manager posted me going, 'Hey, I found this little rap group, do you wanna make a lot of money?' And I'm like, 'What?' He goes, 'These two little white white boys from Beverly Hills.' I go, 'Fuck no, don't ever bring me no stupid shit like that again.' Then I met Al, and I'm like, 'Oh, he reminds me of me, man!' Let me just, like, show him some shit. And I just exposed him, we took him on the road, I introduced him to some cool people, and the kid was all...whatever he...he's magical, you feel me? He's got it. He just gets better and better. He continues to inspire. He's a great human being, he's a great friend, you know. And I can go over there and play shit and it's just like...you know, it's just fuckin' fun to...it's on the same level, he's into the same shit. It's just fun. You get to this level, and anything I got? It's Al's. And when I go ever there, Al is like, 'Anything you need, I gotchu.' I got it. You know what I mean? We share any resources or any contacts or anything, just constantly helpin' each other out.

Could you choose a favorite project of his? I always think maybe Covert Coup. Curren$y was at his peak then and just suits his sound so well.

Man, I think Covert Coup's retarded. I love the new shit he did with Curren$y & Gibbs. Lunch Meat's retarded, it's fuckin, man, it's art to me, man. I just love all his shit. The new Meyhem single he did is fuckin' retarded. The unreleased Roc Marcy songs he's got are fuckin' stupid as fuck. It's nonstop. I go over there and I'm like, 'Alright, I'm gonna go make beats for like a month, I'll be back.'

Can't wait to hear that stuff! Alright, man, great talking with you.

Appreciate your time and energy, brother, thank you very much. I wanna try to make Mach a fuckin' international star, as much as I can.

I think he has it coming.