To stamp this 1000Volts team as electrifying, is an understatement. This pair comprised of the legendary artist Redman and world-renowned turntables Jayceeoh has taken their artistry to the next level. Sitting down with the talented duo showed proof, why their collaboration is a natural success. With their new project 1000Volts out, these two powerful forces are bringing impactful energy to the mix with an intentional message. Chatting with them over chips and guac, I uncovered both artist rooted time and passion they have each put into their craft. Take a look at how these two are taking their new project 1000Volts to the ultimate level!
MM: With this incredible collaboration, how did you two even come together? I know you met in Croatia yet was it an instant vibe?
Jay: It was an organic thing. Where I had a record where I had sampled Red and I was about to just release it as a promo and just like whatever. Then we got booked at the same festival in Croatia and I was like this is an opportunity to meet Red and see what he thinks, maybe he can get it official and who knows. I got to meet him and I played him the record just in passion like the first time I met him I was like " yo check this out on my phone." You know most artist would be like Yo, get the fuck outta here, but Red was cool and he listened to it and he was like Yo, this is dope. I asked if he wanted to get on it officially and he was like yea and then a few months later we banged it out. That was probably 2014 but the record, it took a while to come out because we wanted to do it the right way. Then after Turn Me Up Some, Red just hit me like yo, send me some more beats. I sent him a whole folder and he was just like yo, this is crazy lets work and make a bunch of records. As we started working on different records and cutting vocals and me producing different things, it started to get more and more formed. We were like we have enough material/rough versions for an album based on the fact me and Red are both master performers. Him as an MC, myself as a DJ and we wanted to bring that energy together for a live show. Also bring that energy through music. Hip-Hop, EDM, Trap crossover is like the perfect combination of rap and like crazy energy.
MM: It's a beautiful hybrid. With your song Turn Me Up Some. Literally I was up at 5 am and I played it to get my mind awake and going because that song is so energetic. How do you create such a hype song in such an intimate space such as the studio?
Jay: Whenever I'm in the studio, I'm always picturing being in front of thousands of people.
MM: So in your mind, you're not in the studio?
Jay: Not when I make those types of records. But like a record like, "I'm Gone" I'm in the studio, just smoking and I'll make a beat and I'll literally put it on and just sit there and imagine myself in a whip and if I'm riding in that whip-- am I fucking with this right now? If I am, I'm like word. If I'm not then I'm fucking working on it till it gets to that point-- you know!
MM: Speaking of the hybrid and just the cross of genres. Redman, I love how you say you are an artist above all. Starting at 16 hustling forming your way through some arduous situations to now being well established and having a solid base. What are the things you told yourself in your mind consistently to get from that point of hustling in Jersey to this point where you have a brand, you are a legend --you are Redman?
Red: It had to be in my beliefs. In my work ethic. Like when I want something I research it, I go get it basically. I started of as a DJ and when you start off as a DJ, first off all the requirements to be a DJ you have to have knowledge of all types of music. You have to know your speeds, you have to know, off beats you just have to know so much to be a DJ. What record is going go with this record just thinking Chaka Khan might go with this. You have to have so much knowledge and thats what I started off as and I became an MC so that kind of gave me an edge because I knew what I would want to throw on in a club to get people hype so when I wrote and did songs, I kind of stuck to that kind of platform of alright, whatever I do, I have to think of me as a DJ throwing my own shit on and what would I throw on.
MM: Is that how rapping started for you? You were DJ'ing and you thought how would this feel if I was on it or someone else was on it? You just started playing to practice and then you realized this is the real deal?
Red: Yeah, absolutely.
Jay: That's the exact same thing with me cause I was DJ'ing for a decade before I started really producing like that. I came up as a battle DJ competing and DJ'ing for different rappers but I wasn't producing as much. As soon as I started producing I'm like would I play this shit in my set? And, if I wouldn't play it in my set? If I wouldn't play it then-- this shit is garbage. Being a DJ, you're a librarian of music you got to know everything and be able to really go anywhere at anytime getting a crowd reaction to one thing or this or that. All that musical knowledge is like drawn to a center and doing that sonically through the beats and then with Red just being such an iconic rapper with his voice and presence and personality just brings anything he's on to life. It's a great combo!
MM: In regards to great combo, with your new song " I'm Gone" I was listening to it and I was like I just slept on this line "PoPo on a rampage shooting blacks @ a high rate. Public Enemy & KRS was preaching this shit in 88". There is an intentional message in this song and it made me think who is it too. I was trying to peg it because I could feel it. You even start the song out by saying "Veteran at this rap game, my hard work paid off". You're setting the tone out the gate with this song. Was that your aim?
Red: Yea, exactly! And, you know what, I like that you noticed that because that's exactly what I was doing. It's that kind of vibe of a beat. The beat gives off that kind of vibe where you shouldn't get on there just saying anything. You have to give it the tone that it deserves. Anytime I write just overall anytime I write, I always write in the sense of -- no matter who did the beat. I always write in a sense of what that producer was thinking when they did that beat. Like you know all this is really just created energy we putting together to give out a new energy, so I kind of get into like when Jayceeoh was doing the beat, the way it sounds is the way he felt laid back. I'm like alright, I want to get into something, some lyrics that this beat deserves to be layered with. You know starting off with "Veteran in this rap game boy my hard work paid off heart like the Iraqi soldier with both them legs off". I always write to visualize as well. Like if we was to shoot a video, that's what it would be. I'd be a 60 frame shot Iraqi soldier with his legs off holding a flag but that would be a hard shot and it would make sense with what I'm saying. So yea, all the way down to when I was talking about shooting blacks at a high rate KRS & Public Enemy was preaching all this in 88, so yea definitely a profound message for the whole project. I'm not just going to write like a gang of lyrics. I want to give it some tailor-ism on this album.
MM: What does 1000Volts mean to both of you?
Jay: 1000Volts came about because we were trying to think about the name for our group project and basically we're two powerful forces from different worlds coming together. We are just like what screams--power? Like powerful forces coming together and we talked about a lot of different names and 1000Volts just kind of stuck. And after the fact my boy told me who grows weed that the best light bulbs to grow weed are 1000Volts so that works out as well. So 1000Volts is really about energy and power you hear that name and you're like there is some energy behind this you know.
Red: That's right and it doesn't box us in. 1000Volts we can come out of left field right field with the sound, what we are going to talk about. It's just a whole gang of fucking volts of energy of whatever we're feeling.
MM: You Redman as an artist have unboxed yourself. How have you managed to continuously evolve as an artist?
Red: No, I'm not boxed at all! That's a good question because you know what, I tell up and coming artist that--Don't box yourself! You got guys that come out so hard and shit that they can't smile. Then they get later on in their career and then they start smiling motherfuckers be like " yo you wasn't like that when you first came out. And-- I tell people just to be yourself. Like I never box myself in as an artist that couldn't -- I made myself reachable. Like people could touch me. I consider myself a peoples man.
MM: How did you do that?
Red: About what I talk about, my records, my energy I gave out when I do interviews. I made people feel comfortable to be around me. First of all whoever you are as an artist whether you male or female. If you're a male, you've got to make males want to be like you and chicks gotta want to fuck you. And if you're a female, females gotta want to be like you and males got to wanna fuck you and chicks. However you portray that, stick with your personality that's believable. I think a lot of people get caught up into that. Like they always have to portray this role and then when its time for them to come down and be themselves people don't know who the fuck that is. So, its easy for me to just stay neutral and reachable. It gives me more leeway in my career. Cause bottom line- bottom line, just being honest this hip-hop shit this music game opens more doors for other business. Don't know other business wanna deal with no hard-headed ass motherfucker who don't wanna listen. If they feel like your are going to be problem then they are like oh no that's alright.
MM: Your attitude takes you further than your talent. I really believe that.
Red: Exactly, nobody wants to deal with that.
Jay: Him (Red) saying he is approachable, this whole thing happened because he was just a cool ass motherfucker chilling. I was able to just roll on him and talk to him like a normal person you know. If that day he was just like nah whatever then none of this shit would be happening.
MM: What are you taking and learning from Redman as you are collaborating seeing that --Jayceeoh you yourself have rapidly taken off in your own career?
Jay: Well yea! I mean, my solo DJ career and as a producer has been on an upward spiral for a minute now. Yet, this whole project is bringing me back to square one. It's like, I've never worked on the vocals with a rapper at this capacity. I've toured with other rappers and been on the road with them but we have never produced the music. So just to be the driving force musically behind a project with a rapper but not just a rapper fucking Redman. One of my all time favourite rappers of all time. It's just like, Its a dream come true. I'm super inspired because I know if I got Redman outside of the box, I got to do him justice. I can't come with no half-ass shit.
Red: You know, I never thought of it that way, I've never really thought of it that way that like yea motherfuckers are gonna be looking at you like "alright you fucking with our boy" You bringing our boy to this EDM world let me see what you're going to-do. Don't have him over there looking silly, cause my fans are very sensitive.
MM: Yes, they are I agree. That's why I am curious as to how much do you listen to the comments and feedback or how much do you not listen? What's the balance as an artist and as a human?
Red: Well, I listen a lot and usually if we are going to do something, I am going to put something out that's going to be dope to me regardless to what the fans say. Cause the fans can steer you wrong too, always being selfish and not wanting you to experience other shit too. They just want to keep you in that box and I always tell them, look ya'll can cut that shit out.
Red: I'm going to do what I want to do.
Jay: Like, I already know the hip-hop pure Redman fans once we start unrolling some of the more EMD joints will catch some flack. Yet its just like closed minded motherfuckers are closed minded people. They themselves are stuck in a box, like were not, as artist going to be stuck in a box just because some motherfucker wants to be stuck in a box. Feedback for shit like that you gotta take it with a grain of salt. Even me, when I read Soundcloud comments or whatever sometimes I be catching feelings -- like yo what the fuck why's he saying that shit. But then, I realize this dude doesn't have a musical background he doesn't produce he's not an artist. He's just some dude in his moms basement-probably.
MM: I always say consider the source with any advice/feedback anyone is given. Are they themselves where you want to be or modelling the kind of life you are aiming to create.
Jay: I mean its hard because you want it to be heralded and for everyone to say its dope.
MM: Right because its not necessarily for you....
Jay: Yeah, its for the people but its for us too. We make it its like a product of our love and passion for making music. Yea its going to result in us touring and making shows but we are making music, because we want to make music.
MM: This has been amazing guys, Thank you so much!
Red: Forsure Redman in the building you can find me on my IG @redmangilla and on twitter @therealredman. Plus on my website http://www.redmansworld.com
Jay: Hit me @jayceeoh on all platforms.
Most importantly hit us with the tag #1000Voltsmusic we got a lot in store.
For the all Exclusive interviews with Melissa Mushaka go to http://www.melissamushaka.com