With the follow-up to his seminal 2007 book Check The Technique released earlier this year, author Brian Coleman recently spoke with TheRealHip-Hop about putting the more than 500-page Volume 2 together and detailed some of his own favorite revelations contained inside.
Speaking about the information he uncovered regarding Ice Cube’s debut album AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, Coleman said the album is a fitting example of the fact that “making art is not easy” and that “it’s never just one person.”
“There are always a lot of different people involved,” he added. “Emcees can influence producers even if they don’t co-produce. The Bomb Squad was a complicated enough group on its own making a Public Enemy record or a Son of Bazerk record. Adding Cube, Jinx, and the Lench Mob to the mix and it was penciled to be a total shit show. It could have been chaos, everyone clashing, and all these egos, but it wasn’t. That was kind of the beauty of it. Jinx was brought in originally because he and Cube had a history together making music – both as emcees and having Jinx produce. Jinx was really brought there to make sure, and both Cube and Jinx agree, solely to make sure it didn’t end up sounding too East Coast. They wanted to keep LA in there. Jinx was a dope producer and the Bomb Squad wasn’t always around so there was down time. Jinx would fuck with stuff a little bit to see what happened. It’s not like you couldn’t erase it or use some other shit.
“That’s really what happened, it was the dawning of Sir Jinx as a top-level producer,” he continued. “It happened very naturally. Like Cube said it wasn’t like, ‘Fuck the Bomb Squad, Jinx is going to produce some songs here.’ Jinx could have said, ‘Hey, this shit sounds east coast,’ and The Bomb Squad who was literally ruling the world then could have said, ‘Who the fuck are you? Shut up.’ But they respected Cube and Jinx so it was a give and take. That’s really when the best art happens — that’s really what that album is all about. It can be a very volitive mixture to mix the sounds, aesthetics and sounds like the west coast and east coast, which are very different. And also to mix egos and personalities. AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted is a triumph of mixing both of those together and coming up with something amazing. That’s the back story but on its face that’s just a fucking dope record. You can listen to it and it makes sense. I can hear how it’s a Bomb Squad record and I can hear how it’s a Cube record. It’s not one or the other. It was the only Bomb Squad/Cube record. It was a one-time thing and that also can be very powerful as well.”
Elsewhere in the interview Coleman explains the impact of the often-overlooked Wild Style break-beats, details why Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation Of Millions is his favorite Hip Hop album ever, and distinguishes his latest book from Volume 1.
Autographed copies of Brian Coleman’s Check The Technique Volume 2 are available directly from the author here.