Today we’re premiering new music by Vanderslice, from the upcoming project, The Best Album Money Can Buy. Following on from the recent North American Money with Slug and Evidence, Bone Museum features brutal verses from the always-great Vic Spencer, over a sinister Vanderslice headnodder. Listen below, and keep scrolling to read our interview with the man himself.
Tell us about the new project, The Best Album Money Can Buy. There’s some heavy features on there.
It took a few years to get together, I had no intention of doing a compilation. The feature game is stale and there are tiers. You can get the twitter guys who sell verses for 200 dollars, you can capitalize on people who run holiday sales, and what not. I just wasn’t interested in being a part of that musical miasma. It’s not organic, and at the end of the day if everyone can get access to something, it inherently loses value and becomes uncool. The Best Album Money Can Buy was done organically and that’s what separates it from the pack.
It has an interesting mix of guest emcees, from those doing great work right now, like Vic Spencer and Conway, to rhyme vets like Percee P. Who was the easiest and most fun to work with?
I reached out to Slug as I was going to do a small batch of 7” singles. Slug reached out to Evidence, we have a rapport at this point, we’ve done like 6 songs for various records and shit. They turned out North American Money, and then it was just on from there. They both showed me love when they really didn’t have to, and I couldn’t afford either one of em at that point. That was by far the best experience on the album, because from that song I realized that I had way more reach than I give myself credit for. It was the song that set the tone for the album.
Previous projects like Everything’s Awesome have alternated between tracks with vocals and straight instrumental joints. Is that a strategic decision, maybe because listeners can get bored of an album with no vocals?
That was a strategic decision, I like beat tapes, I like when the music takes you on a journey and all of the beats for Everything’s Awesome were made and chosen before we ever got any raps done. We had the Winning Team record with AWAR and he used a lot of the Everything’s Awesome Beats, AOTP used Broken Safeties, my man Maffew Ragazino rhymed on a few of ’em as well. We didn’t want to wait for those songs to come out, and we didn’t want to drop a straight instrumental tape, so we filled the gaps.
How do you decide which emcees you want to work with? Is there a wish list, or does it inevitably come down to schedules, availability and budget?
There’s a wish list. I crossed off all five of my top five rappers in 2017 into 2018. Prodigy, Ghostface, Percee P, Styles P, & Jadakiss all rapped on my beats.
Going back to instrumentals for a minute; I’m always keen to know if producers such as yourself see beat tape material as a way of showcasing your beats for sale, or as standalone works that don’t necessarily need vocals. There’s definitely a difference. How do you see it?
I try and find a theme to follow. If you’re familiar with my releases we did a tape called Smuggle Rap. It was all rock & synth stuff and laced with 1980’s drug culture references, we’ve done two gospel tapes, and I don’t even like freelancing beats to be honest. If you got cash in hand we’ll work with you, but there’s no pool of beats to choose from, there’s no leases, or any of that bullshit. I’m more in line with selling music not selling beats. I’d rather be an artist than a hustler. Producers are wack man leasing beats and selling meet & greets like they’re fuckin Quincy Jones out here. Don’t ever let someone sell you the dream.
Another thing I always like to ask producers about is their studio gear. Describe your basic set up.
I use the MPCx and a prime selection of records. My man Steez plays keys, bass, and guitar. I pluck the samples, lay the drums, and do a mock up of the bass, or at least provide the vision and Steez bangs out the layers to give everything the necessary textures.
Now that The Best Album Money Can Buy is done and about to drop, what’s next after that?
We have a lot of beats on AWAR’s Spoils of War. We did the songs with Scarface, Anthony Hamilton, Cormega, Styles P & Jadakiss so we’re excited for that. We have a 7” ep called the Trendsetter which features Ty Farris, Vic Spencer, G Perico, Daniel Son, and my man Capo. We produced an ep for my longtime friend Verbal Tec which is a completely different lane. It’s much more soulful and he’s a black nationalist but I’m super proud of that shit, it took like 9 years to make. We also produced a project with Diabolic coming out on Coalmine Records. All of these are done too they’re in the tank so we’re gonna be busy.