I recently got a chance to sit down with longtime Wu-Tang Clan DJ and producer, Mathematics, at the luxurious, Virgin Hotel Chicago, ahead of the groups recent performance here in Chicago at Riot Fest. We talk everything from his upcoming new album, Wu-Tang: The Saga Continues, his recently released single, People Say from the album and how it all came about to what it’s like being the first major project, he’s really released on his own, as well as being the first project set to be released under Wu-Tang’s new 36 Chambers LLC joint venture, in the first part of this two-part interview. So check my interview with Mathematics below and get in tune with some of the other facets of the DJ and producer, you may thought you have already knew, but truly didn’t.
Nello for TheHipHopDemocrat.com to Mathematics: My name is Nello Rubio, I’m with TheHipHopDemocrat.com.
Mathematics: What up, man?
Nello: So you have been the DJ for the Wu-Tang Clan for a longtime and you’ve done a lot of projects here and there with a lot of the members, but this is your first real major project that you’re able to do on your own with Wu-Tang: The Saga Continues. Which drops on Oct. 13th, right?
Nello: So RZA said that this is something that you kind of had the idea of doing for a while, not only with Clan members, but other top emcees as well. So long have you had this idea and it came about?
Mathematics: So when me and RZA first really started talking about it, is when we were doing, A Better Tomorrow. You know we was on the road, on tour and he had really started to hear my production and how it had gotten better, and what I was really doing at the time. You know I just never stopped perfecting my craft. So when we was on the road, so we booked studio time. Me and Cap, with RZA. There was really only a few of us at first. We started really just started going through joints and I guess he seen a potential then. So we definitely had our talks then, around 2013 about it. So since than I’ve just been working of course and getting everything together. So I guess that was really the birth of it, from that talk. I really started really working and working with the members, then. One of the members who really came through and held it down a lot, was Method Man. Ya know, he was a big spark in this. Ya’ meen. But that’s how it basically started from there.
Nello: Speaking of Method Man, he’s apart of the first single you have out right now, People Say. With him, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, Redman and Masta Killa. So, how did that joint come about?
Mathematics: Meth was the first one on that joint right there. That was probably one of the ones I had the longest. I had started that track, a long time ago and was going through some of my music. And then it was like, I pulled it back up and I was like, “Oh, I forgot about this one!” I was on the road at the time with Meth. Cause you know I DJ for Meth too. So I be out with Red and Mef all the time and was out at the time with them. So I was on the road and I played Meth the beat. Meth loved the beat, so I was like, “OK, I think we’re going use this one.” So he was the first one on it and then everybody else came. A few brothers changed their verses on it too, because after they heard, it was like, “Oh, that’s how he came!” They went back in. Ya know, what I mean? To me it reminded me of like back when we first started and it’s like to be on or even just be a producer on a Wu-Tang album or a Wu-Tang track, you had to make it. I seen a lot of brothers come and jump on a track, never seen the daylight out of the studio. Only those that was able to hold it, stayed. So that’s how I dealt with this album. I made sure that the verses were up to par, everybody was on point. But it helps when you have the beats that bring it out of brothers too. So I had that. So it wasn’t really a time where I was like, “Nah, that’s, give me another (verse)!” To me I was like, I was good with the first verses. When they came back, I was like, “Oh, OK, I see where you’re going!”
Nello: Yeah, that joint actually kind of reminds me like you said, kinda like when you first came out with 36 Chambers and just the way they all went in on their verses like that. There was even a verse that Method Man had on there, where he said, “Ain’t no vacay, the props become a problem when it’s hot. Mayday Mayday, but no charge, I’m nutty with the bars. That’s a payday. So bruh, this ain’t even a bar. This is AA, back up in the trunk with the AK!” and I kind of just got the stink face from. It kind of took me back cause he was really saying a lot of emcees right now, aren’t really bringing it now with the lyrics and bars, how they did when they first came out. And this joint seems like it kind of brought that back out of him again and it seems like it did with a few of the other Clan members too.
Mathematics: Oh, yeah. I think me, personally. I think everybody is going to love this album because, if you love that single. You going to love the album, cause the whole album, is just everybody really coming at their best. As far as swords, as far as me with the beats. It’s like with me and I felt I had something to prove too. You know like when you have a chip on your shoulder sometimes. To me, I knew I had dope production and like you said, yeah, I put out a few projects on my own, but this is that first time I get that major push. So it was like, I had to make sure this is that fire. Ya’ meen? Especially if I got my brothers jumping on joints too and the way it was coming together, it just had to be everything to a certain level. So everybody going to love this. If you really looking for that authentic Wu, you going to love this album. Because it’s the authenticity of it, but I also perfected my beats on this one. As far as giving that grittiness and rawness, but at the same time sonically I meshed it with today, so it doesn’t sound outdated, but it still sounds new and fresh. You know where it still sounds authentic though. So to just create the blend was something else and on this album there’s no samples. So if you hear the singing, I brought in the singers. If it was a baseline that I couldn’t play or was that kind of, a little, ahh. I brought in the bass guitar player to make it right. So you going to kind of have that with it and that’s just something I kind of learned that, from seeing RZA when he was doing his producing. Just seeing how he progressed from the samples. So I wanted to get away from the samples, but I still wanted to keep that same feeling.