In addition to his status as an International Turntablist Federation titleholder and duties as a member of Dilated Peoples, DJ Babu has been displaying his ear for beats since dropping Super Duck Breaks under the moniker "Turntablist." Those unfamiliar with Babu’s production work on his own series of Duck Season mixtapes, were likely brought up to speed last year, when one of Babu’s breaks opened the trailer for Jay-Z’s “Blue Magic” single.
“To be honest with you, that was a lot of luck,” says Babu of his addition to the American Gangster project. “I released Beat Tape Vol. 1 last year, and Rik Cordero, who directed the trailer, just happened to be listening to it on his iPod. He played it for Jay-Z [click to read], and Jay loved it.”
Collaborations are more common than ever for Babu, who is also a member of the Beat Junkies. MOP appears on "Dearly Departed" [click to listen] and Bishop Lamont is featured on "My Opinion" [click to listen]. With his upcoming album, Duck Season Volume 3, Babu says he was able to call in favors from his collaborators to accomplish two goals.
“From the jump, my point was to put the spotlight on artists and songs that I felt needed more exposure,” Babu explains. “It’s like a full evolution. Everything I’ve done solo and with my other groups has led up to this point. On this one I produced, and mixed everything.”
“DOOM and I did a record, but there weren’t quite enough verses for a whole song,” says Babu. “I also had a song with Sean Price, Torae [click to read] and Skyzoo [click to read] that got lost when something happened to the Duck Down hard drive. I was wondering what to do and Ruck was like, ‘Fuck it. Let’s just do a new jam.’ Since they had never been on a record together, I figured it would be a dope idea. He did an excellent job of bouncing off of DOOM and changing his style.”
With work on upcoming albums from Defari, and fellow group members Evidence and Rakaa Iriscience, Babu should be busy well into 2009. It’s left him with a wealth of material, which he already has plans for.
“It was only supposed to be 74 minutes, but I ended up recording 27 different songs,” Babu says. “'Duck Season 3.5' will be a bonus that I’m giving away. It’s like six or seven more tracks that didn’t have time to get dropped, plus some remixes. I’ve already got Alchemist, Evidence, DJ Khalil and some other bonus treats.”
DJ Babu's Duck Season Volume 3 will be in stores Oct. 28 via Nature Sounds.