The Ugly Duckling rapper talks about touring the UK, his clothing company, his record label and forthcoming releases. He also drops an exclusive about the new group album!
Wassup Dizzy. How's the world treating you?
Life's good brother!
What have you been keeping yourself busy with since the tons of UK dates you did supporting Taste The Secret?
Man it's great to be back home. Finally got some time to work on the new Ugly Duckling album. I'm gratefull to be able to get out on the road and do what I love to do but damn it feels good to get in my own bed. I've been mad busy, working on the indy label (eighth&dawson) as well as a couple of side projects. I have the Blown Celeb album ready to drop as well as the Dizzy Dustin solo. It looks like I'm going to be busyfor the next 20 years.
Did you enjoy spending New Years Eve gigging around the UK? I heard Ugly Duckling became a four man crew with the edition of Pidgeon!
I had a blast. It was actually the first time we left the U.S. for new years. Hangin with Pidge was a true blessing. It's nice to have friends around.
What's up with the Ugly Duckling website? It looks like it took acid and freaked out.
We're in the middle of putting a whole new website together. For some odd reason, it seems like the hackers love to bust our balls.
Forgive my ignorance, but could you quickly run us through what each of these projects or crews are about: Eight & Dawson, Three Point Five, Blown Celebs.
I started an indy label called Eighth & Dawson (www.eighthanddawson.com)
to help get groups out there who I believe deserve a shot. I get mad demos from all around the world and it's a shame that most of this talent goes to waste. All I'm trying to do is help these groups gain the exposure they deserve. As for Three Point Five (www.threepointfive.com), it's a clothing company I put together to try to get my lazy ass homies off the couch. Seems that most of my friends lack the drive to work a 9 to 5… and Blown Celeb is basically a cult of friends and family. Swiss Precise and myself are the voice of BC. We dropped a 12" called Blown Collabo a few years back just to say we did it and the next thing you know it's a full on project…
Do you have much hands on input in terms of the products which the clothes chain produces? What brands are you fond of?
I have to have the final say on all the product but to tell you the truth, the people behind Three Point Five have great talent. All I really do is say 'change the color', 'make it smaller/bigger'... That sort of stuff. Potar does all the design and he know's what he's doing. He's a great designer. As far as brands I'm fond of? I'm not really into brands. I'm in to the people who are behind the companys. Larhymes (larclothing.com), Mixwell (mixwellusa.com) Giant & Gods (giantsandgods.com) DM98 (dm98.com). I've never been into fashion!
Would you agree that the majority of the artist affiliated clothing brands which come out, are awful and practically the same, but with a different rappers name on it?
Exactly! Like I said, the only reason I started the whole clothing thing was to make sure my homies were taken care off.
How is the next Ugly Duckling album coming along? Can you let us in on any secrets about titles, some of the beats, topics?
We're almost done with the new album. I believe we're going to go with "Bang For The Buck" You're the first to hear the title! All I can say about the album is that we're having a lot of fun doing it. The 'Taste The Secret' album was a huge headache for me. I've never been into concept albums. Don't get me wrong, I loved the last album but it's nice to sit back and just rhyme.
Being involved in running a label etc, at the same time as working on an album, do you have difficulty juggling responsibilities?
I would say so! At the present time I don't have enough hands to juggle. The hard thing about running a label is to get the right cats to make it click. It's hard to have people see your vision. Eventually, E&D will run like a machine. From what I've seen, it usually takes a couple of years for an indy label to run smooth. Everything is lined up and ready to go. All we need to do now is get the right workers with the right mentality as well as a multi million dollar backer….
I heard some time ago that you was working on a solo project. Was there any truth to that?
Yeah. I've been trying to get the Dizzy Dustin solo album off the ground for some time now. With the success of Ugly Duckling, it's been hard to concentrate on the project. My solo will actually be like a Dizzy Dustin and friends album. I have a lot of features on the album which means it's almost impossible to work around all of our schedules. I'll have the album done by the end of the year (crosses fingers).
Is there anything of the solo nature coming out from Einsteen or Cooper?
Coop is working with the group Crank Case. They dropped an album sometime last year along with a couple 12"s. I dont know if they're currently
working on anything or not. Einstein produced a song featuring Soup from J5 for the Funky Precident album, as well as a remix for Lyrics Born for the "Same Shit Different Day" LP.
Which producers and artists have been involved so far?
To tell you the truth, it's all up in the air right now. It's hard to hook up with certain cats due to everybody's schedules. I have like 6 songs recorded but I'm not sure if those songs will make the final cut. I'll have a better idea in a couple months..
Is there anyone you'd really love the chance of collaborating with?
I'd like to eventually work with all the cats who inspired me.
Who's currently getting major rotation on your sound system?
Led Zepplin, Black Sabbath, The Beatles, Mr Lif, Murs, Light Headed Time Machine, Pigeon John, Pink Floyd, Ra The Rugged Nan, and all the
pioneers who paved the way…