In 2007 DJ Shadow made his third solo album, The Next Day, which featured collaborations with artists like Pharrell Williams, Diplo, Kanye West and Lil Wayne. The book, in addition to the track and remix videos, was also dedicated to the late Jay Z, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his New York City estate in 2012. In a 2015 interview, the late DJ Shadow stated that his goal from the start was not to ‘make hip hop sexy’ or ‘pop’ it. Rather, he wanted it to be ‘more authentic.’ The album was released in early 2016; two years later, it was ranked 16th on Rolling Stone’s list of The 25 Best Albums of the 21st Century and was nominated for three Grammy Awards.
What do “Sugar Hill Gang” and “Fuck Tha Police” have in common (other than being from the same album)?
“Sugar Hill Gang” was the name of a song on rapper 50 Cent’s 1999 album, The Chronic; “Fuck The Police” on Black’s 1999 album, The Black Album; and “Fuck Tha Police” was one of the lead tracks on the 2012 album from hip hop artist J. Cole. The album is also notable for the inclusion of producer Jimmy Iovine, who is currently credited as a co-writer and co-producer of the current Hot 100 No. 1 “Bing Bing Bang”—in addition to producing several projects including the hit single “Hot N*ggas,” which had been featured on Jay Z and Beyoncé’s 2008 album, Lemonade.
What is the story behind “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”?
The first single off the album, “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”, was produced by Black and “Hey Mama” by Pharrell Williams. “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” and “Hey Mama”, both track featured in the album, were released simultaneously on June 2, 2014 via Roc Nation. The song was featured on the “Saturday Night Live” sketch, “Can Anyone Read My Mind,” in which a character played by John Mulaney asks an artist if they’d ever heard of DJ Shadow. During late afternoon on that night, an artist identified as DJ Shadow tweeted “Let’s get to the bottom of this.”
What did you think when you first heard of DJ Shadow?
When I first heard DJ Shadow I thought he was dope. I mean it was hard
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