As the saying goes
"better late than never" or maybe it's "all good things come to
those who wait"? Either way we ran a Wu-Element series a
couple of months back, and the intention was to interview every Element that was
involved in that movement from those that were there in the very
beginning (The RZA, Inspectah Deck, True Master, 4th Disciple
and Allah Mathematics) to those that came in between (Goldfinghaz,
Choco, Darkim Be Allah) and the latest additions (Cilvaringz,
Bronze Nazareth and Moongod). Wu-Tang wouldn't be the legacy it
is today if not for these Elements, the ones that were on the
background and instrumental to every quality album and hit
records that the Wu were known for. The series was a success and
highly applauded by fans as we managed to get almost everybody
interview with exception to The RZA, True Master and 4th
Disciple. Interestingly, very few wrote asking if we were lucky
to get the RZA for an interview, probably as they assumed it was
impossible as the man is so often busy but many wrote demanding,
asking, begging and enquiring about True Master and 4th
Disciple's interviews. Now these producers/artists are
equally as busy as the Abbott but one thing was certain, it was
not just difficult to get hold of them but it was certain the
fans were requesting for two of their favourite producers within
the Elements. Read the interviews and comments, even Deck, Cilvaringz and Mathematics have all hinted that their favourite
producers were either True or 4th Disciple.
For those who are
not fully in tune with the "Master" and his work, he was
the one responsible for hits such as "Brooklyn Zu","Heaterz",
"Fish" and and so on, some might not have recognised him tearing
up the microphone on tracks with Gravediggaz, Sunz of Man, Royal
Fam and lately on GZA's Pro Tools and Afro Samurai soundtrack.
True derives his rap nom de plume from the martial arts movies
of the same name, and was initially known to have started off as
an associate of the great late Guru from Gangstarr (he made a
rare rapping appearance on Guru's Jazzmatazz, Vol. 2 project and
his only released solo track ever, "Who's The Truest" appeared
on a Guru CD which also included "Hi-Energy", a song he
produced for Fabidden). True Master joined up with the Wu-Tang
and was mentored by RZA before gradually increasing his profile
with standout tracks on Wu-Tang Clan and affiliate albums
becoming extremely prolific and crucial member of the Wu-Tang
production team to date and much like Mathematics, he has generally adhered to the
traditional Wu-Tang sound, while the group's original main
producer RZA ventured into cleaner, "Digital" territory with a
limited use of samples and the inclusion of synthesizers and
live instrumentation. A very versatile and innovative producer,
True has created hits for those outside the Wu circle as well as
such as Afu-ra, Black Rob and so on and he is currently working
on his debut album "Master Craftsman" as well as recently
joining forces with another master (BlastMaster that is) KRS-One
to collaborate on a full album "Meta-Historical" expected
sometime in August.
In midst of his
busy schedule and with a little patience from us and the fans, True
Master finally came "Tru" with the interview answers, as
the master talks about his upcoming projects, emceeing,
producing, uncredited works, Gangstarr foundation and much
more. Wu-International in conjunction with WuTangCorp proudly
presents the long awaited, highly anticipated and possibly
the last in our Wu-Element series of interviews "True Master's interview, Enjoy...
I like to say thanks first and foremost for
taking the time to answer these questions, highly
appreciated, and will also point out that nothing will be
altered, edited or changed when this is published online.
Wu-International: Peace True, how are you?
True Master: Peace I'm good, thanks.
Wu-International: Everyone that visits this site
pretty much knows who you are, so we are going to dive right
into the questions, what is the current situation with your
solo album “The Master Craftsman”?
True Master: Yea
I know it's been a long time coming, however it will be
banging. It will be out this fall.
More on this album please, will Master Craftsman showcase
your skills as an MC and producer or just as a producer with
True Master: Both but mostly producing. I'm
working on an MC project for early next year though.
Wu-International: Please share with us some of the
featured guests on the album and likely release date for the
album if any?
True Master: Rae, Ghost, Deck, Rza, Masta Killa,
Thanks, another project in work is your collaboration with
the legendary KRS-One on Meta Historical, how is that going
and how far from completion is it?
True Master: That is definitely gonna be a
classic, for me it is anyway. It's finished and will be
released late August 2010.
Wu-International: Looking forward to it, will you as
well as other guests be sharing mic duties with KRS?
got Rza, Cappa, and Myself.
Wu-International: How did you meet KRS-One and what
sparked this collabo?
I met him many
years ago, but Hakeem from Channel Live hooked us up for
this joint. I've always been a big fan of Krs, I'm even a
bigger fan now.
Wu-International: How different would you say it is
making beats specifically for KRS-One as opposed to say your
We look forward to this
project, if you were to produce an entire album for any
member of the Clan, who would you choose and why?
True Master: My foundation is as an MC, so
that's what allows me to feel what beats would sound better
with this MC or that MC. As a fan of KRS, its great to be
able to choose joints I thought would complement his style,
I did give him a lil Wu flavour though.
That is hard to say because I enjoy working with them all.
Each member brings something that's essential to the table.
I will be happy to produce an entire album for anyone of
Let’s switch it around
since you are equally an MC: If you were to release an album
as an MC only and was to get one of the Wu-elements to fully
produce it , who would you want to produce it and why?
That would be between 4th and Math, I love them both, but I
haven't heard 4th in a while and I know he's sitting on some
heat, so I might go with him.
Wu-International: Thanks, Raekwon leaked a song
“Olympus” that was supposed to be on his OB4CL part 2 that
was apparently produced by you but never got released, was
this song for your project or Rae’s?
True Master: That's actually a song for my album that
I leaked and people thought it was for OB4CL part 2.
Wu-International: That song is dope, how do you go
around producing for a particular artist? Do you for
instance make beats with an artist in mind or do the artists
hear what you have and pick which ones they like, or do they
tell you concepts, samples and you work on it etc?
Mostly I make them with
an artist in mind, but I do also play a variety of beats for
them to choose from as well as working on concepts that they
may have. I'm open.
debate on our forums that you actually produced
“Long Kiss Goodnight” by the late Notorious B.I.G.,
but was credited to the RZA as he was more of a well
known producer with greater commercial appeal, is
this true and how do you feel about this?
True Master: No I didn't produce that
song, however Rza's name has ended up on some my
production, as mine has ended up on some of his.
Mistakes happen, no big deal.
Wu-International: OK, would you like to share some of
those songs with the fans please?
recently on OBCL part 2, I also produced Fat Lady
Sings but didn't get the proper credit for that, and
on Gza's Pro Tools I produced Paper Plates(50 Cent
diss) and didn't get credit for that as well. Shit
happens, I don't stress it though, on the flip side
I have gotten credit for joints I didn't produce
Wu-International: Thanks for sharing that info with
us, which songs out of your catalogue would you say you are
most proud of and why?
I have a love for all my work because I'm a passionate
person and I pour my heart into everything I make. So when I
listen I almost can't believe I made it. I'd say I am a
little extra proud of beats that get recycled and become
even bigger successes the second or third time around like
Brooklyn Zoo, or Ya'll Been Warned.
Wu-International: You were seen on a DVD put out by
Cappadonna where you said “The Pillage” album meant a lot to
you as it was the first album you had a lot of input on, can
you expand on that please?
was the first album that I produced most of the material on,
so it's special to me. Its success or failure depended a lot
on me so my reputation was on the line also. It was the
first Wu album that Rza didn't do most of the production on,
and it did pretty well.
Wu-International: Sequels are currently a trend in
the music industry right now and Donna recently hinted doing
a Pillage part 2, are you aware of this and have you being
approached to add on?
True Master: Most
definitely I'm aware and yes Cap asked for some joints.
Wu-International: How would your approach to
Pillage 2 differ from the first one? Or rather how would
you say you have grown as a producer since you first
Hey if it ain't broke don't fix it. My formula will have
slight modifications but Cap and I have good chemistry. I
have grown a lot since the first one so I will be doing the
engineering, mixing and editing myself.
Can you please take us through your whole creative process
as far as making beats go, how does a piece start for you
and when do you know the beat is complete?
Most of the time I'll hear a sound or something that
inspires me and then I'll start making drums for it, then I
just feel around it until it sounds right, feels right. You
know it's complete when you don't feel the need to add
anything else, it's a delicate process involving intuition.
It is never clear if you sample or not? If you do, how do
you go about choosing various samples or sound bites or
clips from the sources you use for each song?
I do use samples but I
don't loop beats a lot. I like to chop chop chop, slice and
dice and create something completely new, its better for
your publishing when you do that too. I don't just use
records, I have used sounds from movies, games, whatever
speaks to me, I use.
What determines if a song you have produced might need
I don't usually do
post production, if any is done its mostly after vocals have
been laid and I feel the need for more accents.
Can you please share with us as I have no clue what the real
difference is as far as production, arrangement and mixing
is the actual making of a beat, usually done by yourself at
your own pace. Arrangement is how one highlights lyrics once
they have been laid down. Mixing often goes hand in hand
with arrangement, however it can mean specifically
adjustment of levels (volume) and equalization (e-q).
Wu-International: Thanks, Deck has hailed you as a
unique producer who does things his own way to make his own
sound, how do you view your self in that regards? What kind
of producer would you say you are?
Thanks Deck, I do feel
that my production is different, I don't mind going the
extra mile to get exactly what I want, some of my beats that
sound simple are painstakingly detailed.
Wu-International: Computer vs. Machine? As a producer
what do you prefer using, software (e.g Pro tools) or
machines (e.g ASR-10)
True Master: I guess when it comes to that, I'm
just an old fashioned kinda guy, don't get me wrong I love
Pro tools but I'm "IN LOVE" with my baby (EPS 16plus).
Wu-International: We ask this as you were recently
seen on a video with The RZA talking about an iPhone
application for making beats, how would you say music
technology has come a long way since you first started and
is this particularly a good thing especially as everyone
these days with a computer tag themselves as producers
without understanding the basics?
Technology is moving like a mile a minute, not only is
everything faster but portable as well which I think is a
good thing, in another 10 years you might have a fully
equipped recording studio with outboard gear in your back
pocket. I'm happy to see people being creative, even if they
wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't made so simple.
Wu-International: As an MC, what would you say
comes first for you, the lyrics or the music?
It all depends, sometimes you might get inspired from
something you read or hear and you'll get a few bars like
that without any music, but mostly for me music can serve as
the perfect canvas or backdrop and then lyrics can be
tailored specially for the beat.
Wu-International: You spit heavy darts too, love your
features on GZA’s Pro Tools and Afro Samurai, which would
you say is more you or you prefer over the other; emceeing or
True Master: Hey that's hard to say they go
together like cake and ice cream.
Wu-International: Thanks, lets take it back to
for a minute, we learnt that you were initially part of the
Gangstarr Foundation under Guru before joining Wu, how did
you get down with Gangstarr?
True Master: Yes,
Guru is a long time friend also but I knew the Gods longer,
Guru did help release my first record, "Who's the Truest"
though we met through mutual friends in East New York.
Wu-International: Guru (RIP) and DJ Premier are
legends in their own rights, what was it like
working with Guru and what would you say you learnt
from both of them?
Guru was a cool brotha, he looked out for a lot of
cats from the hood, Premier is my man too and we've
shared a few production jewels, but Guru and I were
Wu-International: We assume you might have heard of
Guru’s supposedly passing letter to Primo and Solar,
what’s your thoughts on all of this?
True Master: I don't know the details of what
was going on between Guru and Primo and I don't know
Solar that well, so I'll stay out of that, however
Primo will attest to the fact that while a lot of
cats have tried to instigate deception amongst him
and Guru, I have always tried to keep them from
forgetting their foundation which is based on
Wu-International: So how did you get down with
True Master: I knew Rza, Gza and Dirty,
long before Wu was even formed, we all were Gods
persuing our careers so it was natural.
Wu-International: What would you say you have
learnt from The RZA as part of the Elements if any
or from others such as Mathematics, 4th Disciple etc
for that matter?
I was making beats before I met Rza, but I only had
the old Sk4 or I would use the SP1200 at the studio,
after I met Rza I would go to his house and make
beats on his machine, which he did teach me how to
use and later sold to me. We shared many trade
secrets over the years, regarding drums, samples,
synth sounds, you name it. 4th and Math too. Math is
the youngest as far as production goes, so he's
probably learned more from all of us.
Wu-International: Ok, so what did they learn
Hey as I said we've shared jewels on just about
everything concerning beats, all a brother gotta do
is say "Yo God what did you use on that beat or how
did u do that?".
Wu-International: Thanks, fans occasionally debate
who the best producers in the game are and within
the Wu fans, you always come up tops, how does this
make you feel?
True Master: Thanks, it makes me feel good to
know that my work is appreciated, I do put my heart
into it, Wu is like a family so we all contribute
for the betterment of the whole while inspiring one
Wu-International: So anything else you are
working on that you might want to share with the
fans such as side projects, movies, mixtape, etc?
True Master: I'm working on an album for
myself, as well as an instrumental album and a few
Wu-International: As always we look forward to that,
thanks again for your time, any last words, advice
to new comers in the game, shout outs, greetings
True Master: Thank you as well Wu-Int, to the
new comers... work hard! You get out what you put
in, Peace to the Gods and Earths, Man Woman and
Child and All the human families of the planet
for your time and we wish you all the best in your future
Special thanks to Cilvaringz for making this a
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