On March 2nd Da L.E.S and DJ D Doubled D dropped their highly anticipated #HOF2 album that’s hosted by DJ Envy. This is the second installment of the HOF album and nobody can deny that it’s features deserve praise. You have to admit that the two have been remained at the fore front of the game with their musical releases which have all been received well because those musical releases are just so damn good, so HYPE got the opportunity to have a chat with the two Fresh 2 Def stars on the day of the release so that we finally could get an exclusive insight on how they seem to be dishing out such good music.
Well first of all we have to ask how you guys are feeling after dropping what seems to be a perfectly balanced body of work…
Da L.E.S: We are feeling hype you know… Its always nice to put a project as goal and achieve that goal on time. And achieve it independently especially us because we’re solely independent. There’s nobody doing things for us, we’re doing things for ourselves so of course were feeling hyped. We’re excited that all the new material is out.
DJ D Double D: I’m felling blessed. L.E.S and myself have done four albums together so at this point all that we’re doing is having such a good rhythm going on right now. Now we’re just polishing up, believe it or not, its actually not getting easier but because we always want to take it to the next level but most definitely felling blessed.
For you specifically DJ D Double D, it seems like the first time that you’re getting such a huge mainstream spotlight.
Da L.E.S: Yea so he did Diamond In Africa, High Level, HOF1 & HOF2.
DJ D Double D: Behind the scenes I was obviously learning and observing L.E.S, it wasn’t like a short-term goal for him and I’ve seen that. He told me that in the beginning to just be patient. He really moulded me and helped me you know? Which I’m really grateful for. So now when the perfect timing comes around, I have to step up.
L.E.S what do you see in him that made you entrust him with taking bigger forefront roles?
Da L.E.S: I think what Double D has, he definitely has the drive, he has the ambition and the hard work. He knows exactly what it takes to get to where we all want to get to. He’s always available when he needs to be available and he listens and I think that’s really important. You need to have somebody that listens, we’ve got really good chemistry in the studio, we know how to channel our own kind of frequency. Its like literally a frequency. Hes hard working, young motivated and his motivated ready to get it.
You’re continuing to show no signs of stopping and this seems like another rebirth. How are you doing it?
Da L.E.S: I think its just the good vibes and being around good people. The team is young and motivated. They’re ready to do what we plan to do and I just think everyday for me is a learning experience. Everyday there’s just something new to learn and its dope because I’m with a group of people that also want to learn. So think that’s where it literally comes from.
Word. Talk to us about the process of creating #HOF2…
Da L.E.S: So think the whole concept which we gathered from #HOF1 was to always create a collaborative album that allows signature sounds and for us top exchange our sounds and build it. For example Khuli Chana, if you hear the records that’s really up his alley. So we’re just flexing and he’s bringing his sound and flavour on the project. We have a record with Beanie Man and Tay Grin, Zany and Buffalo Souljah. So they really come in and bring that afrobeat sound to the project. That process that happened was always very organic, studio was always open, when people come into the studio they know that once i’m in the studio and if there there are other rappers in the studio, then everybody is going to rap. That’s just the process of how I like to work, its not like we hear that beat and said A-Reece would be good lets call him up, but if the beat is playing in the studio and A-Reece is there, Tido is there and Tellaman is there then we’re all to get on the record.
DJ D Double D: The way we make music, one thing that I’ve learnt from L.E.S is that it has to happen organically, for example L.E.S doesn’t write, he hasn’t written a verse in like 2 years. He literally goes in the vibes of how he’s feeling then in the studio, what is going and whatever he is going through, which actually when you listen to the song you can hear that he’s actually speaking genuinely to his fans and he’s not out here thinking about a verse to write for a couple weeks or days. He help grow the culture because he shows other artists his process and indirectly they learn. There are a lot of artists that come to us now and say, “you now i’m not writing as much”.
L.E.S do you recognize the fact that you play such an important role in culture?
Yes of course I’m that guy when the youth call me OG, I accept that with open arms that’s exactly what I want to be, I want to be some sort of pillar where you can get inspired from and learn from. I want to be a guide and be able to do things for the culture that have never be done before, open doors and pave the way.
DJ D Double DJ what have you learnt since working with him over the years?
I’ve learnt a lot. I’ve learnt that firstly, stay humble, stay hard working and always be grateful. And never take things for granted. You never know if you will wake up tomorrow and still be here, you have to be grateful because it’s a type of thing that can disappear straight way and you can wake up and have lost everything amd the only thing you have to do is stay hardworking. You have to also build relationships and what i’ve also learnt from him is that you have to build relationships and always never take, but also be willing to give and benefit them in a certain way.
We’re talking about the importance of giving back…
Da L.E.S: Its also important for us to plan properly as much as we do aot of music in studio we’re able to plan it and make sure it comes out, we already planned #HOF2 when High Level was being dropped, the date and everything and stuck to it.
DJ D Double D: And we nearly done with the next project, we’re in the studio almost everyday.
So why 15 tracks?
Da L.E.S: Sometimes there’s always more and sometimes there’s always less, Diamond Of Africa was about 10 tracks and I think High Level was 12 so we wanted to do a little more than 12 but we just didn’t want to do 13 because I’ve got this thing about the number 13. Having 13 tracks on any album its just bad luck. So we had 12 then we wanted more, then 14 then last minute we needed something that was going to give it a good feeling and that was the Khuli Chana track.
Talk to us about the DJ Envy relationship and how he got a part in it all?
Da L.E.S: DJ Envy plays a very bug important role in the industry and in our culture globally, he’s got great knowledge to give and history in the game. He’s been around, he’s done shows with Jay-Z and Nas, so that’s just a perfect person to align yourself with and to be able to follow in his footsteps. So we knew somebody who knew somebody who knew his manager and we just decided to reach out to him. He’s been to South Africa about three/four times already so he was like” say no more it’s a done deal”. He just liked the music and how everything works organically, he likes the vibe organically and he likes what’s happening down here, so he told us old stories and it was really important for us. After that we maintained our relationship. We visited him in NYE, he took us around and he is just a general good guy to be affiliated with.
To end it off, #HOF2, what do you want us listeners to experience from the moment we press play for the first track and from the moment we hear the last track?
Da L.E.S: What you to feel those spine chilling emotions. I want you to feel those bumps, i want you hairs to rise as soon as you hear it. I want you to be proud when DJ Envy is shouting out you boy. I want you to be proud that he’s talking about the lifestyle and that he recognizes not only the records but he recognizes the lifestyle and the stuff that we’ve been doing for the culture and by the time you ed it i want you to feel like you want to play it again. And I also want you to know and understand that every single record is a classic banger.