Interview with DJ Muggs on New Album, Bass for Your Face, and Forthcoming Solo Tracks

February 18th, 2013
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Music maven DJ Muggs just can’t help but break ‘em off some of that west coast hip-hop flavor, no matter what he’s into. A legend to previous generations with Cypress Hill, now Muggs confronts a new generation with a brand new sound. This time, he’s going solo, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get help from Chuck D and Freddie Gibbs to name but a few of the guest MCs on Bass for Your Face, DJ Muggs’ debut solo album. As the popularity of DJ culture becomes insane in the brain, you know Muggs ain’t goin’ out like that.

#1 DJ MUGGS press photo 1

Your new solo album, Bass for Your Face, has been finished for quite a while but was just recently released. Have you been working on any more DJ Muggs releases that may be on the way?

Yeah, I’ve been sitting on it for a while now. I’ve got three records coming out with Ultra. I’ve got a couple of other solo beats  that I’m still working on, so I’ll have about five releases coming out probably this year.

Sounds like it’s going to be a great year. When does the next one come out?

Yeah, it’s exciting, man. I’m not really sure when Ultra plans to drop the other ones. But they’re one of the best labels around, so I trust them.

Yeah, after listening to Bass for Your Face I can really only see it coming out on Ultra.

Oh, for sure.

What was the production process like going from Cypress Hill to your new solo record?

It was a learning process, but essentially it’s all hip-hop.

I’m also really interested in the Cypress Hill x Rusko stuff you did. How did that come about?

You know, I wasn’t involved in that at all. I have no idea what happened with that project.

Oh, yeah? That one kind of came out of left field. It’s one collaboration I never expected to see, but sure as hell enjoyed.

Rusko and Cypress Hill both live out of LA, so it kind of came from that angle, you know what I mean?

Absolutely. It’s really cool stuff. I would love to see more of that sort of thing in the future. Do you have any idea if Cypress Hill and Rusko have any more recordings or performances planned?

Well, last year they did a gang of performances together right after the EP. I don’t know if that’ll happen again this year, but if Rusko plays a show in LA, the boys and I are jumping on stage for sure.

Love it. You have a large list of guest MCs on this album. Was there anyone you wanted to feature that ended up not making it to the final record?

I’m sure there were a lot of people who didn’t make it to the final record who wanted to be on the record, but I just wanted to keep it real for the next generation, you know? That’s the direction of the record.

Who is going to appear on the next album you drop?

I haven’t recorded any vocals yet. I have, like, fourteen more songs to release, though. When I get close to finishing the songs I start to hone in on it because I don’t want it to sound too dated. Once I have the songs done, I pick out a release date and have them (the MCs) start working around that date.

Tell me, Muggs, what is new from Soul Assassins? Any exciting plans for 2013?

A lot of art and art installations. A lot of my boys are touring internationally all year, but that is the primary focus of our weekly radio show on Sirius XM.

Will you be doing a solo tour to support Bass for Your Face, or will you have some guest performers tag along?

I’ll be going out next month; doing Chicago, Detroit, Little Rock… So I’ll be doing that, but I’m really trying to finish pre-production before I head out this summer.

And it’ll be just DJ Muggs on the fliers, then?

Yeah. I’m doing another Cypress album, so I need to get those fourteen tracks ready and start plotting that out as well.

Is there anything especially exciting you have planned for the annual Cypress Hill Smokeout Festival this year?

You know, we actually haven’t started planning that yet. Once I get back from tour, that’s going to be the primary focus.

What are you looking forward to this year?

Man, I look forward to Smokeout every year. It’s fun stuff. I don’t get to see my friends for most of the year, but everyone always comes out for Smokeout.

Let’s talk modern music. How do you feel about the trap movement that is going on in the hip-hop game right now?

I think it’s great. I love how different music spawns different babies and new genres. It’s fun and it’s fun to dance to. I’ve been touching on all types of different trap and stuff. It’s interesting to bring trap into the EDM world because it makes EDM even more diversified and you get people who maybe wouldn’t normally get into that type of music.

How do you feel about EDM’s presence in contemporary popular music?

It’s incredible, man! It’s a good time, it makes people happy and it makes people want to dance. Anything that makes people happy, it makes me happy that there is more of that.

It’s definitely a positive movement given the prominence of DJ culture. Being a veteran DJ, how have you seen music’s effect on culture change from one generation to the next?

I’ve seen people become able to actually make their own music. It used to be you didn’t know where to go to record or the equipment was too expensive. Now the equipment is affordable and all of the tools are at our fingertips. I’ve heard some really great stuff from musicians who probably would never have had the chance without stuff like that.

Absolutely, power to the people. And that’s why I think we’re seeing a lot more types of new genres today.

Not only new genres, but entirely new styles of music that we probably would never have had without this equipment in the hands of these kids.

Muggs, I spoke with you last year and you told me you were vibing Low End Theory. What has your head bobbin’ nowadays?

I still think Low End is an ultra-progressive spot, because I can go there and I can hear all sorts of trap, R&B, I can hear Flying Lotus and artists like that. It’s really cutting, cutting edge. The vibe in there is amazing. You can smoke weed in there. If you really, really love music, then Low End is your spot. I can hear the old stuff, I can hear the new stuff, I can hear the future stuff, and there are all sorts of flavors to satisfy all sorts of musicians.

Flavorful, that’s definitely a good description. Well, that’s all the questions I had for you. Is there anything else you wanted to add?

I think you hit the nail on the head. I appreciate your time and energy.

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to hearing these new tracks of yours. Peace out, Muggs.

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By Ryan Stabile Posted in Features

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