Platinum Pied Pipers main man Waajeed takes a break from enlightening Red Bull Music Academy students to add some soul to the Where?s D?Angelo? party with DJs Rod Skimmins and Andycapp at the Rivoli (332 Queen West), Saturday (October 27), 10 pm. $10 advance. 416-596-1908, www.myspace.com/wheresdangelo.
Your latest release, The War LP (Fat City), involving contributions from Jay Dee and Tiombe Lockhart, among others, is an explosive mix that seems to be inspired by P-Funk. What happened to the Platinum Pied Pipers?
The album was definitely inspired by P-Funk, Public Enemy and everything else I grew up with on the chaotic tip.
I needed to put this out for my hiphop fans, something I couldn?t really do under the PPP banner.
I seriously considered not releasing another PPP album. The first one got a lot of attention and it downloaded platinum, but all the notoriety doesn?t pay the rent on a New York apartment. I now have a different understanding of how the music game works, and the new PPP album will be a response to everything we?ve been through in the last couple of years.
The hiphop world lost an important innovator when Jay Dee passed away. Did you lose a creative yardstick?
Jay Dee?s influence on me had less to do with music than it did with work ethic. There was never a competitive thing between us. If Jay Dee had a record out that was getting some attention, that was for Detroit, one for the whole team, myself included. Likewise, everything I do is for the city, whether I happen to be living there at the time or not. Detroit is where I?m from; it?s where my ideas originated. I could record something in a plane and it would still be a Detroit record. Detroit is more than a geographical location ? it?s a state of mind.
What recent recording impressed you?
Most of what I?ve heard from the underground hasn?t been all that exciting, but I really liked what Kanye West did with Graduation (Def Jam). I thought the way he took the back seat as producer to focus on his rhymes was very admirable, and, lyrically speaking, he?s killing it.
Nobody has been saying too much about Jon Brion?s work, but who?s going to, really?
A lot of the production details about who did what on which tracks are being missed by the public when they download MP3s. That?s one of the reasons why I haven?t gotten into the whole download thing. Reading all those notes about the production, arrangements and the samples was essential to my development as a musician. This whole generation of music heads who download their music is fucked.
Have you observed any intriguing club trends lately?
In a lecture IG Culture gave yesterday at the Red Bull Music Academy, he spoke about looking up from DJing to find that he was surrounded by men in hoodies nodding their heads to what he termed ?man beat.?
I have to admit that I?ve also experienced that man-beat syndrome during my sets, too. No disrespect to man-beat lovers, but it doesn?t make for a good party if all the dudes are standing around zoned out while the ladies leave the dance floor to go talk among themselves.
What can we expect when you get behind the turntables at the Rivoli Saturday night?
It?s gonna be a celebration of all the artists who inspired me. Count on hearing some soul. I did this party in Manchester where a kid told me I was disrespecting Jay Dee?s legacy by playing something by Beyoncé after one of his tracks. It almost caused me to miss cueing my next record. I had to say, ?Are you so outta your fucking mind that you actually think Jay Dee didn?t like Beyoncé?s music? Really??
That?s what I?m dealing with. So if you just want to hear some man beat, keep your ass at home.