Interview done by Jan Braula for The Message Magazine:
The legend himself talks in an exclusive interview about one of his favorite producers: Brenk from Kaisermühlen, Vienna and their collaboration for the new MC Eiht album „Which way iz West” . Furthermore he has some good news about the release of the LP.
TM: Have you finally met Brenk personally?
DJ Premier: Yes, finally! I´m very happy about it, cause I tried to meet him already a while ago. We were in Cologne and he came by. He is a real cool dude, very humble kid. I love his beats. I think he has a real dope and original style and we are now working on the last few details for the MC Eiht Album.
When did you get into contact with MC Eiht and Brenk for the first time?
With MC Eiht back in 89 when we had our first westcoast performance with Gang Starr…R i p Guru. With Brenk we had the first contact probably early this year.,but I met Eiht already before that after years. He told me that he is working on some new material and that he has about 50 songs. I wanted to check it out and he handed over a CD. I liked it, it was a real new sound.so I asked: „Who is this producer?“ He just answered: „Brenk Sinatra“. There were quite a lot of shoutouts for him on the tracks, so i already knew the name and I asked if this is a dude from the westcoast and he said: „No a guy from Europe…a white boy from Austria“. – „Fo Real?!“ Eiht explained that he has a lot of lyrics and beats, but he by himself is not good in mixin. So he gave me everything and let me play around with it. I only did three of the beats and of course some scratches. I also want just one MC Eiht Single with my beat to make sure that people know that I´m in there. But the rest of the beats are Brenk´s. He is the main and I´m the executive producer.
Why does it take so long to release the album?
We had some label problems. We wanted to finish it before the KoleXXXion Tour with Bumpy Knuckles. But meanwhile, Brenk and MC Eiht, kept on doin a bunch of new stuff, that sounded better than the sound they already sent me, so we had to rework the details. I said: why we are not doin an EP, pick out seven songs and release that now. And then put the album together with the newer stuff.
When will you release the EP?
I´m workin on that right now at the hotel. I want to finish it at least in the next two weeks and upload it digitally. Just to start and drop the album out in January or February.
Brenk said in an interview that MC Eiht has about sixty of his beats. How do you select the beats for the album?
We haven´t communicated about my selection. I´m an underground DJ, and as an underground DJ at the end of the day, if he has the opinion that there are beats he would rather like to hear on the album, I´m fine with that. It´s just about shaping an album, that´s what I do. You know the Group Home Album the first one I did that, Jeru´s first two albums, all of the Gang Starr Albums, I did shape. I have picked the songs, I have picked the sequences, you know even the spaces between the next songs, I do all that and that´s all a DJ mentality. Eiht is sending me all of these tons of songs and I say: that one´s cool, but I don´t really like the rhyme, or I think the beat is dope but the rhyme could be better, you know…certain things…and sometimes it´s like: yow I like both parts!
„Where u goin 2“…I love that beat. I don´t know which equipment or which sample Brenk used. But I know that he works also with some equipment from back in the days. That shows that it doesn´t matter which equipment you use. A lot of people always ask: what equipment are you using? But it doesn´t do anything without making you doin it. It´s just a machine and we turn and manipulate it to something else.
Compared to other projects: how important is the „Which way iz West“ album for you?
Very important, so I´m taking my time. I don´t want to throw something out there, just because it´s MC Eiht. It still has to be so tight as people expect it from him. He has a fanbase with a high expectatin level. But with us working together it has to be the right choice.
Can we expect more collaborations from you and Brenk?
I would love to get him on board with some other artists. I would really love that. You know: get him with Game, get him with Nas…I can make that connection.
Interview: Jan Braula
Picture: Lukas Gansterer