Words by Eddie STATS Houghton
If you passed him on the street, you might not recognize Dwayne Quin-Chee as the founder of Black Chiney Soundsystem and one of the most influential DJs and producers to ever fuck with a reggae beat. To get the full Black Chiney saga you can check my FADER profile on them but suffice to say they are one of the clash-winningest sounds of all time, pioneers of 90s rap-reggae fusion, kings of Miami and sonic architects of much crossover reggae and dancehall that makes it onto urban radio, from Nina Sky to Estelle. It seems clear that the Black China plan for world domination continues apace since I last spoke with Dups, as he just produced a track on the new Eminem LP Recovery as well as an official soca remix for K’naan’s world cup anthem “Waving Flag.” I caught up with Dups by phone yesterday to get the complete story–check the full interview and stream two of the new tunes after the jump:
LU: So how did the placement of your track on Eminem’s new LP come about?
SD: (a&r/manager extraordinaire) Mr. Morgan is the one who lined it up. I have the same lawyer as Eminem but Morgan also shares office space with his manager–so it was kinda like it was meant to happen!
Q: Did Em select it off a beat tape?
A: Yeah Morgan passed a CD to his manager and they picked that track.
Q: Did you get chance to go in studio with him?
A: No I never met him yet! He just picked the track and wrote something to it, which became the song “WTP” (for White Trash Party)
Q: Still it must feel good to get your rhythm selected by a dude who usually only Fs with Dre-beats…
A: Exactly! If you look at the album he opened up a lot to outside producers on this record. But even so it seems like outside producers had to be super-connected to get their work on there, so I’m lucky in that respect.
Q: So if it’s the track I’m thinking of its not really a reggae riddim at all, correct?
A: No. It’s a straight hiphop track with a lot of energy. No reggae flavor whatsoever! I think a lot of people have stuck me in the reggae sub-category, so it feels good to break out. I also had a Mary J track back in December which was straight R&B.
Q: To be fair, you’ve pretty much put your stamp on one drop—I mean if you flip past a one drop rhythm in rotation in mainstream radio, it’s probably yours.
A: Well, not everything but lets say 8 out of 10 (laughs). I like the one drops mainly because with dancehall (voices drum pattern) you’re more restricted than with R&B. One drop feels more free.
Q: So is working on a reggae beat the same as a rap or R&B track?
A: Yeah I start up almost every beat the same, with a simple progression and then build it up from there. Sometimes I start with hiphop and it ends up becoming reggae track or the other way around…
Q: To my ear you’re working with a pretty tight-knit group of musicians on your reggae riddims…
A: Yeah, mostly my cousin Khan. His main instrument is guitar but he can play everything: bass, drums–anything but woodwind instruments basically.
Q: So you’re also collaborating with him on R&B and hiphop tracks?
A: Not everything. J.G. (Jason Gilbert) is another guy I work with on a lot hiphop stuff. although he can play anything really. He plays mostly keyboards and he’s younger than both me and Khan so he has a real young, fresh edge to his playing.
Q: I also saw you did a remix to that World Cup track—was that official?
A: Yeah K’naan “Waving Flag,”–Don at Interscope International gave me that and said basically, Give me a remix. The only thing I could hear to make it really hype was a soca riddim.[audio:http://largeup.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Knaan_Wavin_Flag_Black_Chiney_Remix_Main-CLEAN.mp3|titles=K’naan_Wavin’_Flag_Black_Chiney_Remix_(Main-CLEAN)]
Q: Is it going to be on a comp or what are the plans for it?
A: I have no idea, I just know we’ve been putting it out there and getting great feedback.
Q: What other projects are on your plate right now?
A: Well it’s not official but Hot97 just added my “Billionaire” remix–it’s a one drop with Gucci Mane on it.[audio:http://largeup.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Travie_McCoy-Billionaire_Black_Chiney_RMX_ft_Gucci_Mane__Bruno_Mars_Clean.mp3|titles=Travie_McCoy-Billionaire_(Black_Chiney_RMX)_ft_Gucci_Mane_&_Bruno_Mars_(Clean)]
A: I also did something with –you know Mighty Crown from Japan?—something with their artist Fireball which I think is gonna be hot. There’s a ton of things slated but I don’t want to go ’bout myself. You know how things are in this biz—it ain’t out til its out.