The second half of Nodfactor.com’s interview with DJ Babu discussing his latest project, Duck Season 3.
10) Graveyard Shift f/ Cali Agents & Rock Marciano
That was one of those jams that happened in parts. I brought Planet Asia into the studio and he’s been on my compilations before. Not a surprising combo. He came to the studio listening to beats and he’s hyped. He gets a phone call and it’s Rock Marciano. Marciano asks him what’s that playing in the background and Asia puts me on the phone with him and I sent him the beat and asked him to lay a 16. A week later he sent it back to me with his verse. Coincidentally I went to tour with Dilated for a month and guess who’s opening for us? Rasco. So I tell him that I have a song with your boy on Duck Season 3 and I tell him I could just make it Cali Agents f/ Rock Marciano. I play him the joint at sound check and left him with the track. About two weeks later he sent me the third verse and it was a done deal.
11) For Whatever It’s Worth f/ Evidence
Ev has really been on his grind the last couple of years, especially since we left our record label and have the rights to our own solo albums without Capitol interfering or dictate what we did. It’s been an exciting three years to do our thing and it’s that much sweeter when you come back as a group. I told Ev “I never get to produce solo joints for you so I’m going to challenge myself to make a beat just for you.” So I had this beat and I knew it was the one. He liked it, but he wasn’t sold. He’s such a perfectionist. He was kind of doubting it but I told him whatever is bugging you let it go. You’re gonna like this. It worked out really good. Actually I take that back. I did two joints on his Weatherman album and he realized he had to trust me a little bit more. He wrote an incredible rap to it and ended up liking it so much that he leaked it on his MySpace page [laughs]. Nature Sounds got mad but I told them that I gave it to him. I love the way Ev sounds on it.
12. It’s A New Day f/M.E.D.
I’m originally from a city called Oxnard, 45 minutes North of L.A. In an area called Ventura County. It’s also home to a lot of talent like Madlib, Oh No, The Lootpack…That’s where I got my hip-hop chops before moving to Los Angles. It’s always good to have someone from the O-X on my album and M.E.D.’s just the homey. He’s a phone call away and I just had this beat I knew he’d sound ridiculous on.h
13. O.G. f/ Strong Arm Steady
That was great. This track was made from some silly soul song where the guy is saying “oh honey, how much I love you, Oh gee I love you.” Dude is crooning and wailing about being in love. I thought it was funny when he said “oh gee” and I said let me grab that part and I started rearranging the pieces. I finally found a sequence that someone could rap around and you know the whole West Coast term “O.G” so I put it on a beat CD for Steady because those dudes are working on songs and mix tapes at all times of the day. They came back to me a month later like “hey, remember that O.G. song? We started it and we’re gonna finish it up.” I didn’t even know it was being worked on. It came out exactly how I envisioned it.
14. Guns Gon’ Blow f/ Termanology
Big shout out to my man Statik Selektah. I’d been hearing about this crazy Puerto Rican cat with a flow like Pun and SS was out here in L.A. and put me in touch with him. A month later Termanology is at the lab hangin’ out and took a whole bunch of beats home. I really like Term. He’s also a labelmate of mine now so go get his record.
15. That Ain’t Gangsta f/ Likwit Junkies
Anyone knows me, they know about my dude Dafari, that’s family right there. My association with him starts with Dilated and so many guest appearances. A few years ago we did our first Likwit Junkies album. This was one we recorded for our new album. I thought it was a really good representation of where our sound is now. He’s got a real sarcastic humor with his raps that I try to pull out of him. This is a taste of what’s to come.
16. Meant To Be f/ Roc C. & Oh No
I’m a big fan of Oh No, beyond him being Madlib’s little brother he’s become an MC all to himself. I remember when he’d catch heat from Madblib for sneaking in his room and making beats on his gear. Roc C is another up-and-comer coming out of that area. I had a beat and could just hear them spitting fire all over it.
17. SBX2LAX2OX f/ Wildchild & Percee P
South Bronx to Los Angles to Oxnard. Wildchild says that in the adlibs of the song so I made it the title. It was a blessing to have Percee P on the record. He appealed to my rap geek side. He came with that rapid fire flow and Wildchild is one of my friends from way back. I went all the way to Europe for this loop. I was out in Holland digging and I heard this one pop up and I said “I’ll take it.” I don’t even know how much that damn record was, one of those expensive rare European records that the record dealers charge an arm and a leg for and it turned into a great jam. I’d love to see people b-boy to that one.
18. Ahead of My Time f. Niko
That’s my oldest son Niko there. He’s 9 years old now but many years ago when he was 4 turning 5 we recorded a couple of jams just as a joke. He has turntables in his room making beats in Garage Band now. Turnabels, records and rapping is all normal to him because ever since he was 1 year old I was taking him to shows. It was kind of a joke and we ended up making these two songs called “Now You Know” and “1,2,3,4,5” and I ended up getting so into it. Me and my wife were like “let’s theme his whole 5th birthday party around this!” We had a huge birthday party at our house that was like a release party. We made a flyer for him, made CDs, made a limited run at kinkos and took him to Power 106 when they still had Friday Night Flavors. We debuted his music on the air at midnight when he turned five. It was crazy. We had 80 people here and the fool gets up and rips his single in front of the party. It’s nothing we take too seriously, it’s just lots of fun. If he wants to do it he wants to do it. Over the last few years him and my wife have been bugging me asking when he’s gonna get on the the mic again so I said if I’m working with all these rappers I can take a few days out [to work with my son]. It was actually real refreshing. Now that he’s much older he really had a say about his raps. When we got into the booth and started recording he was really getting into and getting his hooks right. I spent so much time away from my family traveling that whatever things I can do to create a bridge between me and my kids and make them closer to me is a blessing.
Make sure to cop DJ Babu’s Duck Season 3 on Nature Sounds Records!