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Wednesday, Oct 24 2001 | 13:05
Five Deez producer Fat Jon is Maurice Galactica. His solo-album "Humanoid Erotica" proves once again that he is a true hip hop architect. His beats are as versatile as a Bambaataa old school-set and he couldn't care less about the rules and regulations that dictate the hip hop sound of MTV. So kick back, relax and find out what the Cincinnati kid has got to say.

Despite the half-naked women on the cover (;-)), the music on "Humanoid Erotica" is a far cry from the average hip-hop album. How would you explain the musical concept to someone who listens to nothing but Jay-Z and DMX ?

"I've done that before. I've played them this record and they think it's cool. They like it. I've played it in clubs, house parties and everything. It's all about marketing. If this record was in the same places as DMX and Jay-Z promoted with a video, there wouldn't be any question. I tell them to just listen. This is a concept record and the concept is background sex music. It's a record made for fun and good listening. I would also tell them to relax. They'll like it."

The sample-based, jazzed-out "lounge" tracks are what I expected from the album. What really suprised me are the techno/d&b-influenced drum-sounds on some tracks and - off course - "Pretty Pussy Kat". I don't know any hip hop-producer beside Spinna who would dare to do a house track. By the way: do you remember Tyree Cooper and Kool Rock Steady ?

"I don't remember those cats."

Tyree Cooper is an old school house producer from Chigaco: He did some classic hip-house tracks with MC Kool Rock Steady (R.I.P.) in the late 8ties like "Turn Up The Bass" and "Let's Get Hype".
Are you familiar with the so-called Broken Beats sound (Jazzanova, IG Culture, King Britt, 4 Hero, Compost) and if yes do you find it inspirational for your muic ? I am pretty sure that some of these guys dig your stuff.

"I'm familiar with all these artists and I like their music. Good music is always inspirational."

I find it very refreshing that hip-hop producers start experimenting more or just try something different. Like Madlib's jazz project Yesterday's New Quintet and the Beat Generation series on BBE with Jay Dee, Pete Rock and Will I Am (of Black Eyed Peas). What do you think about those efforts and what was your motivation to try something that is not pure hip-hop in the common sense ?

"I think those efforts are good and interesting. My motivation in making this record was to try to create a vibe that carried across the whole project. In my opinion it's all pure hip hop because of my energy in creating it. I don't look at it like I'm making non-hip hop beats. It all sounds like hip hop to me. I understand how it can be perceived as something else."

You also did two tracks on "Superrappin 2.", an interlude and the Five Deez cut "Late October". Name-wise the later track fits perfectly with the release date. What else can you tell us about it ?

"I'm glad you asked this question or nobody would know what this song is about. I did the first verse and all my words ended with an "L" sound. Pase did the second verse and all his words ended with an "ATE" sound. Kyle David did the third verse and all his words ended with an "OCK" sound and the song is over. We put the sounds together and came up with this, l-ate-ock and then it's over or "Late October". "

The Five Deez album "Kool Motor" is also ready to drop. What can we expect from it ?

"You can expect kool energy from "Koolmotor". This album contains many different approaches to making hip hop songs. There are songs where we're all over the mic and there songs where we're sitting back and letting the track speak for us. It's our first full length album and we think people will like it. There's something there for everybody."

Both albums, yours and the Five Deez are released on Counterflow. What kind of label is that and why are you not signed to a straight hip-hop label ?

"Counterflow is a label with vison and good ideas. We decided to do our projects with them to avoid the mediocrity of most hip hop labels. Five Deez has it's own sound and should be treated like it's own entity. It's hard to find that kind of treatment on a straight up hip hop label because some of our music wouldn't make sense to someone with that kind of mind state. We're hip hoppers to the core. We're also musicians so sometimes we take a more musical approach to what we do."

For my last question I would like to switch to world politics: do you support the war against Afghanistan ? Personally I don't believe in bombing a country in order to fight a terrorist organisation. I don't know which propaganda I shall believe but whenever there's war it's the people who suffer not the leaders. I also see the danger that the attacks increase the tension between the Western world and the Arabian countries which is something that the forces behind the attacks in New York want to happen.

"I don't support any war. I understand the frustrations of both sides. Unfortunately, killing innocent people isn't anything new. I think the warring parties are very cunning and illusive. There is a lot of information that the world doesn't know. These ties are old and the wounds are deep. There are scores that are being settled at innocent peoples' expense. There are people being attacked because of the color of their skin or because they dress a certain way. It's easy to manipulate ignorant people and both sides are using these tactics. I can only hope and pray for peace."

Words & Interview: Oliver/Olski von Felbert (special thanks to Jackmaster Gehm)
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