Black Panther feat Jean Grae “The Darkest Night Ever” ~ Big Noise Interview
We recently came across this joint “The Darkest Night Ever” produced by DJ Black Panther featuring Jean Grae. This is that timeless hip-hop music that we appreciate at Big Noise. We caught up with the Brooklyn born independent producer to ask a few questions.
Q. Big Noise: How did you link up with Jean Grae on “The Darkest Night Ever”?
A. Black Panther: Me and Jean Grae were signed to the same record label Third Earth Music and we were both also part of a group called Brooklyn Academy so we were already working together. “The Darkest Night Ever” featuring Jean Grae is from my album of the same title.
As I’m gearing up for my next album entitled “The Soul Eater” I thought that I would give all my fans something from my unreleased vault to hold you over. “CATWALK” is a song I produced for C Rayz Walz back in 2003 around the same time that I was working on my debut album “The Darkest Night Ever!!!” This current single is a remix of the joint that we originally did, and as you all know C Rayz Walz is ahead of his time so this dropping at the right time.
Q. Big Noise: Who should we look out for on this forthcoming project “The Soul Eater”?
A. Black Panther: “The Soul Eater” is one of my most highly conceptual albums to date. With that in mind I went for a lot different sounds on this project. Some of the artist on the album are some of my longtime collaborators, while others reflect currently were I am musically. As far as artists to look out for on the project there is Nine, who I know all of people haven’t heard from him in a while but I grew up listening to this dude. He is one of the pioneer’s of this art form and for me to connect with him to do a joint is major. You also need to look out for Respect Tha God from the Perverted Monks. That’s my brother from another mother and also a very, very talented artist. He contributed a few tracks on the new project. I’ve also hooked up with a singer by the name Meredith DiMenna who you might know from my second album “My Eternal Winter”. She did the title track from that album. She contributed a major song to The Soul Eater and it’s looking to be the first single on the new album. It is the song I’m most excited about creating in my career. Along with a bunch more surprises and new collaborations, I think this album has a lot to offer the listeners.
Q. Big Noise: What type of production tools are you using for this project? The MPC?
A. Black Panther: I’m still MPC based in my production, but I have moved up to the MPD32 Control pads. As for software, I use Reason 5 (Damn I love This New Version), Sonar Producer Edition, Melodyne and a bunch of dirty samples, but my favorite instrument of choice is my imagination.
Q. Big Noise: What’s going on with the label Manekinekopro? Do you have distribution?
A. Black Panther: Manekinekopro is my label that started with one simple mission, that was to put out my second album “My Eternal Winter”. When I completed my second album and was looking for a home for it, I shopped it around to a bunch of labels and I got a lot of interest, but a lot of the labels were starting to fall apart at that time, as we know now. I felt with everything I had learned up to that point, and with the internet leveling the playing field, this was my shot to do this. I signed a Distribution Deal with HBD/Koch and from there I have been working with a lot of new artists and been putting out their projects, while slowly making Manekinekopro to be what I envision it could be. Now with distribution with Foundation Media and a bunch of new projects (Black Sparx – “The Summer Haze”; Tone Liv – “The New Pollution”; my next album “The Soul Eater”; Respect Tha God’s Next album as well as a few others) we are making a nice little movement come alive.
Q. Big Noise: Any comments on the current state of the hip-hop music scene?
A. Black Panther: Not really. I think we spend too much time talking about the state of it and not living it. Like KRS-1 said: HIP HOP is not something you do, HIP HOP is something you live… So get out there and live it.
Q. Big Noise: Who are some of the artists you would like to work with?
A. Black Panther: There are a lot of artist I would love to work with so I think it would be fair to just name five artists off the top of my head that I would like to work with. If you are a part of the five or know the five, tell them I want to work with them! Mos Def, I have always been a fan of his and his ability to make such different genres of music. He reminds me of the Beastie Boys and how they did every genre of music but stayed HIP HOP. Ghostface will always be one of my favorite artists of all time. It would be an honor to work with him. Kanye’s artist, Mr. Hudson from London is also an artist I would love to work with. His first album with The Library is one of my favorite albums. K’naan is someone that I would love to work with. He is going to be one of the greatest artists of our time and shows the strength of great and powerful music. Both of his albums are incredible, FATIMAAAAA. And of course Eminem. I have been a fan of his for a longtime and I have some tracks that I think would be great for him.
Q. Big Noise: Any more plans to record some more projects with Jean Grae?
A. Black Panther: Not as of yet. We haven’t made any current plans on working together, but we hadn’t planned the other collaborations either. They just came together when it was time. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Black Panther and Jean Grae collaborations.
Q. Big Noise: Black Panther what are your future goals for the next 5 years?
A. Black Panther: In the next five years, I see myself as an artist doing more albums outside of Black Panther albums and doing more collaborative albums. I also see myself producing more for television and film. Manekinekopro putting out more great music and artist, and also signing artist that keep me and hopefully you inspired to do what you do, to its fullest potential. And as always, “Support good music, because it supports you!”
Keep it locked to Big Noise Radio for authentic hip-hop music from Jean Grae & DJ Black Panther