Willie The Kid and Bronze Nazareth recently put out a project together. If you haven’t heard of it yet, you’re welcome. The legendary Wu-Tang Clan producer teamed up with one of the more talented lyricists I’ve come across to create an extra smooth LP that still packs a punch. Even with the finessed production from Bronze and rolling flows, be prepared for a barrage of barbs. It’s nothing but pure blades hidden under the tongue. And they also have a great lineup of features from Boldy James to Roc Marciano. We had the chance to ask both of them some questions regarding the project, which you can check out below.
Which track meant the most to you or was the most fun making?
Bronze: I probably would say “Sweet Sorrow,” just because it personally connected with me as I seen the same situations with my woman, as Willie describes in the song. Traveling, broken promises, if you catch the details you’ll know that as a person he’s been through that, because of the familiarity with what he describes…subject matter fits the beat perfectly. Other than that, it’s hard to choose one.
Willie: Tuff call man. Each track meant something different, ya’know? “F*cking Blades” played its role, as equally as “Breakfast In France” or “The Guilt.” I think a quality project is defined by inability to single out just one particular record.
Which feature was your favorite?
Bronze: “Avalon.” As always good to hear Roc Marci on my production. It fits well, and they took you somewhere lyrically on that one….very descriptive.
Willie: Maybe “Avalon.” Me and Roc Marciano together…that’s special occasion Rap right there-a fine rarity. Or “Wu Babies.” Me and Young Dirty Bastard who’s the son of the great Ol Dirty Bastard (RIP) and Sun God who’s the son of Ghostface Killa-those features are a true testament of the new generation of The Clan movement.
Since you guys are from the same part of Michigan, did you find it hard or easy to work with each other? Or was it harder or easier to work with each other for other reasons?
Bronze: Nah it was easy, natural. He’s easy to work with, and I’m laid back so whether from the same part of Michigan or not, it was smooth sailin. With regard to other factors, I think we both insist on high quality output so we both handled our side of the album accordingly.
Willie: All natural man, easy. We come from the same place both geographically and musically. We easily identify – we’re from the same edge.
Who’s idea was it to start the album with the classic Wu-Tang style opener aka clip from a Kung Fu movie?
Willie: …I think I did that.
How did you guys come up with the album title and artwork?
Bronze: Willie basically had the Daylights concept together in the early stages and I loved it. We went through a few different looks for the artwork and then at some point Willie sent me the current cover. It was perfect!
Willie: We wanted to create something synonymous to something explosive. A Big Bang. I felt for as long as me and Bronze haven’t worked together, the moment we finally collaborate would be detonating. Smacking ‘The Living Daylights’ out of something, somebody. So yeah ‘The Living Daylights’ is a play off the explosiveness of like the James Bond film but it also sounds like ‘The Night of the Living Dead’ which makes up for the gritty edge. And the cover, it’s a contrast – bright colors, angelic zombie like image. It’s alluring, piques interest.
Regarding the track “The Guilt,” do you guys ever see an end to the death rate of young people in the streets?
Bronze: I would hope so, at least a significant reduction, because an end to violence in a land that was built on violence is almost an impossibility. It will take a leader who is willing to aim at the underlying issues and think progressively.
Willie: I don’t know man. An end? Probably not. But we can improve. It’s a cycle man. And that’s what the record highlights. The shocking reality of the psychology behind the cycle. I’m optimistic though. I think records like “The Guilt” point out one of the many things that perpetuates the cycle. Identifying at least one of our issues and making an effort to correct it is a good start to improve things.
Did you have a different approach to producing this as opposed to producing for the Wu-Tang? What was the difference, if any?
Bronze: Technically no. It’s all really just about finding a good melody, chopping it, arranging it, and using some rugged drums over top and keeping up the quality. The difference? “The Blitz” for example is some fly, funky sh*t, not necessarily “Wu” sounding to me. I try to convey the point that I’m a great Hip-Hop producer first, as well as having the Wu-Tang history.
What about Willie made you want to work with him?
Bronze: I tend to appreciate lyrics and deep thoughts over my production – MCing! Willie represents real Hip-Hop to me, as well as being lyrically nice, the flow is sick, and he has history of great music. That combined with the production I create, it’s a guaranteed to be a high quality art.
When you rap about your life, you often juxtapose the tough times with the success you’re enjoying now. Why do you constantly balance the two? Is it something you do for yourself or the listener?
Willie: It just seems like a natural conversation piece. I’m truly grateful man. A blessed soul. How could I not show my appreciation, ya know? I’m fortunate to come from where I’m from and to have been able to do what I did, done, do and about to do. I’m at peace.
Did Bronze’s beats have you thinking in a different mindset? Did you enter the 36th chambers mentally?
Willie: Yeah. That was the whole point bro. Tap into that vein, and who else better than Bronze? A great talent from my hometown, from the same Wu-Tang soil that birthed my inspiration and my opportunity many years ago. It’s a coming of age.
Bryan Hahn (@notupstate)