For better or worse, guest features are a highlight for many when it comes to a rap record. With The War Within, Wrekonize hired some of hip hop’s most elite spitters to aide him on what will be the biggest moment of his career, his first solo record to be distributed on a nationwide level.
To continue part one of our two part interview with Wrekonize, we asked him about the hired guns on The War Within, some of hip hop’s best emcees from past to present.
You have two guests on this album that I never saw coming – Bun B and Crooked I. Both of those surprised me. How did these come together for your project?
Well, the track I did with Bun is over one of WillPower’s beats. When I heard it we were all immediately like “Yo, this has that vibe.” It has that southern, ride-out vibe. DJ EFN, one of our managers, suggested Bun and I was like “Yes, one hundred percent. That makes total sense.” That’s how we came up with the idea for Bun on that record. When you hear the beat you’re like “Yeah.” This is tailor made for him.
The Crooked I one, he was in town, he was in Miami doing a show and we were able to link up with him and I had that record. I knew I wanted a guest on it, but I didn’t know right off the rip if I was going to get a guest or who I was going to get and he happened to be in town right around the time we were trying to finalize that record. It worked out like clockwork – perfectly. He ended up saying he was down to do something, I had this record “Adrenaline” and was like “Yes, that’d be perfect, you’d kill it.” He murdered it. He came through so hard on that one.
Those are two joints where I’m like “I can’t wait to hear what they did on those.”
Definitely man. They’re definitely highlights.
What’s really cool about those guys is that, yeah there’s guests on the album and of course there’s rappers where you’re like “Yeah that guy does really well on guest features” but these are two dudes who you hear about and you always want to listen to every guest feature they do.
Most definitely. I always think that about Bun when I hear Bun on stuff and Crooked I, too man. Even before Slaughterhouse, I used to be a fan of his. He’d go on The Wake Up Show and we used to do freestyles on The Wake Up Show back in the day when he was on Death Row. He was always nasty.
Another one is Posdnuos, you’re a big De La Soul fan aren’t you?
Yeah I’m a huge De La Soul fan, as far back as I can remember.
What was that like?
That was dope man! He came to the studio. He was like, “I’m going to be in town” and had already agreed to do the song, like “I love the record”, but he hadn’t been able to record it yet and was like, “I’m going to be in Miami, I’ll come record at your spot.” I was like, “Fuck it, let’s do it!” So he came by. He was super chill. I met him a couple times already. There was one year that I went to every De La Soul show in Miami, it was like four or five shows, but I was just like there at every show to rock out with them and they knew who I was from the MTV battle stuff so they’ve always been cool, but I’ve never been in close quarters or contact with them – studio wise. For me to engineer and track Posdnous’ verse out and hang out with him and talk shop and shit was super fucking dope.
What I like about that feature is that I feel that a lot of the kids who will pick up the album will then listen to that and find out about De La Soul and then go back and discover a lot of De La Soul music.
For sure. It’s like a passion feature. I know that De La is from a different era even though they still make music today, but there’s a lot of kids that aren’t familiar with them and I didn’t want that to deter anything. That was a feature that I wanted for me. I was like, “It’s going to come out” and I think the record is dope and I don’t really care what it looks like on paper or how poppin’ De La is today or whatever. They’re legends of the game to me and I just felt like it was a feature that made sense. I finished the song and immediately after I finished it there were a couple of people that I had in mind and De La was the first one on the list so that worked out that I could get Pos on there.
I’m glad that worked out for you. Being that this is your first solo, national album and it’s being distributed and you’re going to be able to walk into a store and actually see it on the shelf, what are you hoping for as far as fan reaction and their understanding of what you’re trying to say?
I’m a little schizophrenic with that. I go back and forth. I’m super confident one minute and then I’m terrified another because it’s been so long up to releasing this album and also because there’s such a variety of sound on there. I know that sometimes when you don’t focus the sound in one direction you leave some people. I’m hoping that people get the vibe and enjoy the record and I think there’s a little something on there for everybody. I’m definitely hoping that it hits the mark in that realm where people get what they normally have expected to get from me on freestyles and mixtapes and the MAYDAY albums. I’m hoping for overall satisfaction.
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