8 Diagrams Interview - Masta Killa (09/12/2007) - props to sitdownstandup

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Today I sat down with Wu-Tang Clans very own Masta Killa and spoke on 8 Diagrams, his upcoming solo work, the Rock The Bells tour and more. We got to listen to some of the tracks off the new album as well. My comments and details on the new tracks are here.

W: The Wu is about to release a new album, 8 Diagrams. How does it feel to come back together after a few years of everyone focusing on their solo albums?

MK: It feels real good. Its something the fans have been craving for a while and it was great to come back together with all the brothers again as family. Aside from that Im also just real happy with the work we put in on 8 Diagrams. To me Iron Flag and The W were good, but I feel with 8 Diagrams we bring it back to the origin. Back to the 36 Chambers where theres a real intimacy between the brothers.

W: This was the first album where you guy worked with producers outside the immediate Wu family. Was that any different in terms of your collective approach to crafting a song?

MK: Well, even with those producers like Easy Mo Bee and DJ Scratch, theyre close to us. They have a feel for Wu material and their own material isnt too far away from that. For me it doesnt matter. I look for in music what I look for no matter who produced the track. I just love good music.

W: How involved were the outside producers? Did they just drop off a beat, or were they right there crafting the songs?

MK: A little bit of both. I saw a lot of both Easy Mo Bee and DJ Scratch during the making of the album. Both put a lot of work in and were a real part of making the tracks work. Easy Mo Bee is just a real humble guy and overlooked as a producer. That mans a legend though. Hes kind of like me as an MC. I feel that I talk enough on the mic, so I dont have to explain a lot off the mic. Id rather be judged from the music I make. I talk about things important to me. I dont talk about what I drive, or wear. I look for feeling and a nourishing. Something that you can still go back to 10 or 20 years from now and feel you can relate to. Easy Mo Bee captures moments that you can go back to at a later point and enjoy and connect to.

W: When Wu-Tang Forever was released it was clear you all took a stand against what was going on at the time in the popular Hip Hop of those days. Was there a similar sentiment during the making of 8 Diagrams?

MK: Well, there was a whole different movement at that stage. For Hip Hop now, on the one hand I can want a more old school approach, but I also love where it has gone. Across cultures, with many more job opportunities and more places. Its not just Brooklyn anymore. Not just the Bronx and Harlem and Staten Island, but its all over the world now. The only difference now is that people want to hear, and need to hear, where it all came from. That is why the Rock The Bells tour was such a beautiful thing. All those pioneers, that was just great. All groups that can give you their version of where it all started. Its a beautiful thing and and education for everyone of what it was born out of and where it came from. Its time for that. And even just for myself. I need a good cd that I can put on in the car and play from beginning to end. I mean wanna knock all other extensions of Hip Hop, because its beautiful how its grown. I cant expect someone making Hip Hop in Spain to understand the struggle I made my music out of, but I can appreciate it. And our struggles might be the same, but theyre still different. Each one teach one, you know?

W: What was it like to go on the Rock The Bells tour with all these legendary acts, some preceding and inspiring the Wu, and then you guys are headlining?

MK: Just crazy man. Before I was even part of Hip Hop myself, I listened to Cypress Hill, and Public Enemy and they inspired me to do what I do. When I saw Chuck I had to tell him "Thank You", because they build a guideline for me to follow and create my music with. Im kind of like a painter though. I cant see the big picture yet, because Im still painting the picture. Maybe later when I look back I will be able to say: "Wow, we headlined that tour with all those legends." Now Im just happy to play the show and talk to all these guys. That means more than anything. Sometimes you dont say what you want to say to those you admire, but I got to say it.

W: Is there going to be a tour to support 8 Diagrams?

MK: Im sure there will be, but I havent head yet about any specifics. We want to do it, and the people are calling for it. So with those two forces at work Im sure it will happen.

W: Whats next for you as an artist after 8 Diagrams? Are you going to start working on your third solo album?

MK: Thats already in the making. Definitely working on that one already. I am playing around with a few titles already, but I cant talk about it yet. Im always working man. Always feel I can do better than the last song, and improve the craft. I might also surprise a few people and jump on a film sometime soon. And Im writing movies. Lots of thoughts and its about to be time to bring them to life. One of the movies Im writing is definitely a movie about my life, but I dont want to act in it myself. (laughs) And as far as my album goes, the producers Im working with arent really mainstream producers. Ill have some surprises and treats.

W: Do you think there will be more Wu-Tang releases as a full group after this one?

MK: Most definitely. All I can say is I hope we dont take as long the next time around. Its been 13 years since I started with this and I think we should start stepping it up and not wait as long next time before we drop a new album. But yea, Wu-Tang is forever and youll see that symbol again like the Bat sign.

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