Sunday, December 29, 2013

Clusterfunk Collective presents Take Five: Big Willie Dynamite [Interview]

Big Willie Dynamite blew up the stage with their bombastic opening for Gift of Gab at Blunt Club Oakland this past November, blazing the trail for a spot on the entire audiences playlist. The trio took time to talk to us about the origin of the group and what's on tap for 2014.

"Take Five" to tap into the talent beyond the surface.

1.) How did Big Willie Dynamite come to be?

DJ Ray and I are brothers, and we were working on a project for our other group, The Buckle Bros. We have known each other for years and we called Marc Stretch from Foreign Legion for a guest feature on a song. The song was called "Good Times", and well the times were so good we decided to form like Voltron and record a whole album together. Two albums releases and plenty of shows later we just fit. Our personalities, style, creativity and vision all went together like cornbread and collard greens.

2.) Your music seems to attract a diverse audience. Can you speak to how that influences your creativity?

The climate, culture and audience has changed over the years in the rap game, and if you want to keep up with the ever-changing diversity you need to adapt. We have adapted over the years by paying attention and listening, the proverbial "ear to the street" if you will. You can't just look and sound like your average rapper any longer. We understand there is an ever-changing and diverse audience looking and listening to us, so we have to make music that has reach. So from a creative standpoint it presents a motivating challenge - which we love. It has raised the bar creatively. It has taken our music into directions that a diverse audience will appreciate - from introducing different instrumentation that's used around the world to using different diverse musicians that can take the sound into new and fresh directions. It makes creativity fun and exciting (and it doesn't hurt that we live in the Bay Area - rich with diversity). It has to lend a hand in molding who we are and what music we make. For us where we live from a diversity standpoint plays a huge part of our influence in the music we create.

3.) You described your Blunt Club showcase as a "huge success." How has the performance helped boost your brand?

That was a very special night for us for a variety of reasons. First off, we were happy to be able to help pack the house for our friends at Legionnaire Saloon and Blunt Club Oakland. There aren't a lot of solid venues left for good, non-mainstream hip-hop these days so nights like these are very important to the local scene as a whole. Secondly, that show and this album are both re-introductions for our group. It's been a pretty lengthy stretch between the last album and this one so you think to yourself, "Are our fans still checking for us?". I think the answer that night was a resounding "hell yeah!" We also incorporated a lot of new things in the stage show, and both the crowd response and the feedback afterwards were both way higher than I think any of us anticipated. I haven't been mobbed like that in a while (laughs). I think somebody asked Mondo to autograph his girlfriend! I guess our brand visibility has has seen the biggest boost due to that show. Our site ( has seen more traffic than normal, and Bandcamp downloads are flying "off the shelves." I also feel like we put people on notice that the boys are back in town so you better step your show game up.

4.) If you could collaborate with anyone right now, who would that be and why?

(Mondo) For me it would be Kanye "you ain't got the answers, Sway" West because as much as he has convinced me that he may be fucking nuts, I truly respect his courage as an artist to think outside the box musically. He is fearless, and that is so very hard to find when the music industry is so robotic.

(Stretch) You took the name right out of my mouth. I've been a fan of Kanye's since hearing "Heart of the City." Since his early days, he's really been a trailblazer and had confidence in his instincts. Anybody that believes in themselves and follows their heart always has my respect. I don't think 'Ye is as crazy as he's making himself out to be, yet genius and crazy are often separated by a very thin line. How thin? As thin as your chances of marrying a Kardashian.

(Ray) Pharoache Monch and Black Thought of the Roots. Two of my favorites. I already work with 2 beasts, so if I was gonna have to work outside of our team, it would have to be 2 more fuckin' beasts!! I'm selfish like that, so I would have to have an even swap, or all 4 of em' on the mic. That would be cool as well. We would be on some year 3000 super Wu-Tang times 10 shit.

5.) What do you have in store for the New Year?

Everyone likes to say their album is the best. Selling yourself and self promotion is how people get on in this industry - along with sex tapes ;) The new year will bring an album from the team that will socially bring up some topics that are currently not being discussed in music. We have been blessed with a gift and it would be a shame to waste it on big booty hoes, maybachs and molly. That is what we have in store for the New Year and we can honestly say that we are excited to share it with all of you.

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