Welcome to Brooklyn! Home of all things gritty, raw, real, vibrant, hard, Biggie, Jay, and Bucktown. Hip-hop is currently in a state of war and the general is here to regulate—General Steele that is. This half of the spirited rap duo, Smif N Wessun, wants to welcome us all to Bucktown–a place where most of hip-hop’s history is deeply embedded. Welcome To Bucktown is an compilation masterfully assembled by the General himself. Take this plan of attack on hip-hop, not as a savior, but as a reintroduction as to why you fell in love with hip-hop in the first place. So musical tourists, Welcome to Bucktown; grab your cameras. When you get there, you may never want to leave.
What’s going on with you?
I’m working. Trying to do my part and make sure that the screws are tightened…bolts are on and the concrete is laid. I’m trying to get this soundtrack properly promoted.
This [album] is a soundtrack to Bucktown. Bucktown, USA was preconceived in 1994 when me and my partner released the single “Bucktown.” That was Smif-N-Wessun’s first single. Welcome to Bucktown now is basically the reminder, the renewal of the culture of the era. Not so much recreating the music you heard—we’re not trying to give you the same music from the 1970’s—we’re emulating the emotion that the era gave you when you were listening to the music or going through certain things.
So, what is Welcome to Bucktown’s purpose?
No one ever came out and said that the 90’s was a golden era. If the 90’s is the golden era, then what is the 80’s? Basically, we’re taking it on and we feel certain things within ourselves. With this Welcome to Bucktown, what I’m trying to do is basically remind you of the things you love, remind you of why you love anything. I’m not saying you’re going to love this song or that song, but you’re going to love the fact that it still exists.
The way you just put it, it makes it seem like it was more of a renewal of Smif-N-Wessun from the 90’s, but I was thinking that you guys drew a lot of inspiration from the blaxploitation films…
That came later…As we were able to go outside of our personal experiences, then we [got] to the other things. I didn’t watch no blaxploitation films in my crib. My mom and dad weren’t having none of that! [laughs] My dad had plenty Donald Goines books [on] his shelf. That’s when Donald Goines had cartoon pictures on the front. I could look at the picture and tell what the story might have been about. They say, “Never judge a book by its cover,” sometimes you can. You never know the details of the story, but you can look at it and see it’s going to be interesting.
You’re basically saying it’s a marriage between inspiration of the 70’s Bucktown (blaxploitation film) and the first single of Smif-N-Wessun, revised?
When Smif-N-Wessun put out our first single, we had no idea the blaxploitation film existed. We just did that Bucktown thing. We thought we made that up. We went to Chicago and was like, “Oh sh*t! Bucktown! Yo, they stealing our sh*t?” We didn’t know. When we say Bucktown, USA—it didn’t become that until later…It was like, “We live in Brooklyn and this sh*t is Bucktown!” We traveling with it now. People are starting to ask us about it now.
What do you think about the current state of hip-hop?
**this man his been & lived in hip hop for more than two decades, so you KNOW you want to know what he’s got to say about it! Click HERE**