World Music

July 10, 2006

Queens producer K-Salaam's new album The World Is Ours hits stores tomorrow. Co-produced with Beatnick, the disc is a pretty ambitious compilation of real life smash-toegethers (Sizzla, Mos Def, Da Backwudz, Capleton, Busy Signal and more are all featured on various collabs) over brand new, original beats. We recently talked to K about the project, and you can read what he had to say after the jump.

When you first started recording this album, did you have an idea of the direction you wanted the whole LP to take?

It wasn’t really [when I had] the first tracks, it was actually before I had any tracks, I had a goal of what I wanted to do and what kind of project I wanted to put together, and who I wanted to put on the record. Nothing was an accident, everything was real formulated and kind of planned out beforehand, yeah. Before I recorded or event talked to any of the artists I had a specific idea of who I wanted - actually I wrote down fifteen names and I got thirteen of them.

So you knew off the bat you wanted to blend hip hop and dancehall?

Basically, I used to DJ for a long time, like 12 years ago, and through DJing I got into reggae and people would ask me to do some dancehall stuff, and so I started doing that. These are all artists that I work with, it wasn’t really anything that I tried to force - and from what I hear and what people are telling me, it doesn’t sound like a forced thing, not just trying to mix different genres. All the artists are from the streets and really have something to say, whatever “genre” they’re in, I feel its really all tied together. The drums are hip hop drums but the music is just music, and that’s how our production team works - I got a give a shout out to my partner Beatnick, at this point the dude is the dude that’s more doing the music and I’m more doing the business.

What was the process like recording so many different artists?

Capleton and some of the reggae dudes I got first, then we got some of the hip hop dudes, M-1 of Dead Prez. [I got] artists that people really respect, so that I could come to other people and say “I got Capleton, I got Dead Prez” and then people come and say, OK, this is a respectful project, even if its not going to sell a million albums, its got real artists that are going to be around a long time. That’s one of the goals that I have—I’m not against people trying to make pop music, there’s a niche for everybody, but I wanted to make an album that’s could last a long long ways down the road after I’m gone, something people can listen to and sample later on.

How did the Papoose / Busy Signal song come about?

I’m not ashamed to say that was a track where they weren’t in the same room at the same time. If I had the big money, or even if it was just a little bit more money than I had, I could have definitely got them to be in the same place at the same time, it was just a situation I had Busy do a verse - I actually was trying to get Bounty Killer on a project, and his manager Julian was like, ‘Yo I got this new cat, he’s blowing up in Jamaica he’s about to blow up in New York and the United States.’ At the time [Busy Signal] wasn’t as big but I heard the name and I trusted him, so he did a verse on it.

I got a couple of phone numbers for Papoose afterwards. He was cool, but he was like, “Dude, I don’t know you, this is what I can give you, this is what I charge,” and I was like, Damn I’m not going to be able to get him. I had to just swallow my pride, and when the project was almost over with, it looked like the Busy song wasn’t going to get on it—which was killing me cause we had already made the hook which I loved, and Busy’s verse was just…I love it, he killed it. Then we literally bumped into Papoose and his manager at Cutting Room Studios while they were out mixing something else. He overheard the beat and I got a chance to talk to him face to face, and this time he was feeling it, and he got on it—he didn’t get on it that night, he wanted to get on it that night, but he had to do a show and he was like “Y’all going to be at the studio tomorrow?” We did it then and I just felt like that was good karma coming back to us, cause we literally bumped into him like two days before we were wrapping up the whole album.

What other artists are you and Beatnick working with now through the production company?

We’re doing some stuff with Sizzla, we’re working with Dead Prez, especially Sticman, some up and coming artists that just got signed to labels. A lot of people from the project [too], we might be doing some stuff with Papoose, a bunch of different people man. We just stick and move, right now things are going well.

Posted: July 10, 2006
World Music