Dungeon Family member (and FADER fave) the Witchdoctor dropped an album last week called King of the Beasts, for sale only online through his website and MySpace page. He's offering up an autograph on each limited edition copy, and various methods of payment are honored including credit card, Western Union, or cash through a phone line (ask for Witchdoctor). You can pre-order his next release The God is Good Movement, available December 25 on MySpace, and cop his book of "wisdom, truth, life, spirituality and danger" called Diary of the American Witch Doctor: Volume I . We suggest you buy five of each. We checked in with EJ around this time last year, and you can read the whole story after the jump.
Revelations and Visitations
Untold tales of Atlanta’s Witchdoctor
By Will Welch
Almost-forgotten Atlanta rapper Witchdoctor, best known for his affiliation with Outkast and Organized Noize as part of the Dungeon Family, says that a dramatic experience as a little kid led him to God. But—even though we haven’t heard from him in a while—he won’t say more just yet. Instead, Doc promises that all will be told on an album he has in mind called The God Is Good Movement. Witchdoctor doesn’t currently have a record deal, although he did release a dark, sublimely affecting album on Interscope in 1998 called A SWAT Healin’ Ritual that a handful of people (myself included) consider to be a classic.
When asked how someone so godly came upon a name like his, Witchdoctor replies, “I had actually prayed up on that name.” Some months after his prayer, Doc fell asleep while riding in a friend’s car, then suddenly awoke to a Steel Pulse song: “Give us that guy witchdoctor,” the band chanted. As Doc says, “I just felt like God was telling me, this is my new lil rap name.”
Witchdoctor adds that, soon after taking the name, he read about the associations it carries and, shaken by the darker implications, was going to take a different alias. But instead there was an intervention. “I had a godly revelation. God was trynna tell me not to change my name,” he says. “I had a dream. God appeared in it and he killed me. He did it to let me know, ‘Don’t worry about somebody killing you because of this name you’re carrying. I’ll kill you.’”
Despite some stultifying setbacks that would come later—legal problems, the poor sales of his debut album, a tragic death in the family—the most immediate aspect of Witchdoctor’s personality is his faith, not only in God, but also in himself (if such a distinction is possible). He speaks with utter confidence about signing with a major label again in the future, and he’s released a book of his rhymes as well as a new mixtape called Gumbo Cookin to get the ball rolling. Meanwhile, he’s been paying his bills by appearing with underground MCs who came up riding to his debut.
Gumbo Cookin, of course, can’t compare to the magical alchemy Witchdoctor struck over the exploratory, Organized Noize spirit-funk of Healin Ritual. He’s never made music that’s even remotely pop, though, so—given the climate of the industry—Doc’s chances at another major label deal seem slim. But Witchdoctor is neither complaining nor letting himself get completely squeezed out, and The God Is Good Movement is not a lost cause. After all, “get in where you fit in” was always a Dungeon Family mantra.