Wu Tang's Inspectah Deck talks new album & retirement
Whereas counterparts Method Man and Ghostface are known for their hyped-up characters behind the mic, Deck (a.k.a. Jason Hunter) adopts a more reserved flow. His verses, especially at the front of Wu classics "Triumph" and "CREAM" are celebrated for their intricate quality, and he's also been known to stretch projects into leftfield territory.
We caught up with Inspectah Deck, in his usual mellow mood, while on the Wu tour bus with his crew, and we were surprised to hear he's dropping one last studio album before retiring and taking on new ventures.
Give us an update on your projects since you're always dipping into different sounds. You're probably on to producing dubstep by now.
The album you're thinking of was more of a Euro type of thing, trance music and other collaborations going on outside of hip-hop. That album was called Manifesto Redux and it was a remix project from the Manifesto album. It's available on Traffic/Urban Icon Records. I did remixes of different Wu sounds and put my acapella to them just to give the songs a change of pace -- it's something I'd never done in my career. The album I'm working on now is called Rebellion and it's going to be my final album. I'm going to put that together this year guaranteed and it's going to have all the Clan members and the normal formula.
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Final album? Why? Did you come to some kind of realization that you wanted to be done with solo projects?
Well, I've come to a couple realizations. One that I came to a long time ago was that I might not be the three, four time platinum selling artist, so with that being said, I've learned to take my money and invest it into other things. I have mutual funds going, dealing with the stock exchange, preparing myself a long time ago just in case this didn't work out. Right now, I'm more into the camera side of everything. Everyone wants to be rappers and actors, so I'd rather be the director now. I want to capture the shots. I want to write scripts. My rhymes are graphic enough to be movies.
I'm just preparing myself for the next side, you know? Not to mention I'm 40. This whole rap generation today is on something new right now. I can understand it. I see it, but I'm just not part of it.
Is there anything new in rap that's grabbing you at all?
Odd Future is cool because they're coming up under the ranks of hip-hop. Random Axe and these other groups are coming out with cats who have been in the game. Right now, I'm working on an collaboration EP with Aguilar the producer, Propane Campaign. I have a collaboration with 7L and Esoteric coming out of Boston. We put out a song called "Speaking Real Words" that did real good. I've got another mixtape coming out soon, too. I'm just working on those things and honing my camera skills, leaning Premier Pro and Final Cuts and all that.
So you'd be interested in doing films and music videos for other people?
I don't care, I'll set up a company that will do weddings and bah mitzvahs. It doesn't matter. I'm just working up to the next level of Inspectah Deck.
A lot of people are excited for the show and are wondering who's showing up this go-round to Epic.
You know the thing you get with Wu Tang, if you've got 9 generals, you've got 9 independent minds. I can't call it and I have no contol over it. Sometimes there's previous engagements or family matters. We all represent each other. There's been times I've been on the stage and there's just four of us and we still gave a great show. We have those type of fans where some people come specifically for a certain member -- just for Meth, just for RZA or just for GZA or just for me. But that's the beauty of us. Ghost and Raekwon haven't been there for this tour as they had previous engagements but the crowd hasn't been bitching about it.
If you had to perform only one Wu song for the rest of your career with them, which would you pick?
That's hard. It would be between "CREAM" and "Triumph". CREAM just because that was the first major song I was a part of. Wu Tang had blown up. Before that it was Method Man and Old Dirty. But it was a song like that that propelled us into a different realm. We started getting globally accepted, like "Oh wow, Wu Tang Clan, that's THEM." For me to be on there is monumental. And with "Triumph" it's the same thing.
City Pages' interview with Inspectah Deck last year (when he broke news of "Rebellion"):
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