Speech iz grupe Arrested Development dao je ekskluzivni intervju za Blackouthiphop.com kojeg možete u cijelosti pročitati u nastavku posta.
Podsjećamo, grupa Arrested Development nastupiti će 7. lipnja u Zagrebu (Aquarius), a 9. lipnja u Rijeci (Stereo Dvorana). Ulaznice su u pretprodaji.
After Arrested Development’s first two albums you guys took a quite long hiatus before returning to the scene in 2000. Why the long wait between albums?
Speech: We immediately released «Zingalamaduni» after our debut. That record sold close to 500,000 units. Then we all decided not to go into the studio for a third album. We all needed a break. It was a heavy time for us, having such a sucessful first album. (2 Grammy’s, MTV awards, Band of the year in Rollingstone, etc.) Plus we had internal drama, (law suits, manager beefs, drug addiction, etc.)
It was the best thing for us to take time off. I started a solo career and it did extremely well in Japan, so I started touring and releasing records there, all of which spawned top 5 hits! Then we (AD) decided to try it again.
Did the band experience any resistance from the more hardcore & gangsta hip hop community when you first came out?
Speech: We did. We were an imagined threat to them. Part of that mindset has been trained into us as blacks in America. We were trained during slavery that if one slave gets «uppity» and wants to advance all the salves to revolt, then a «good slave» should try to keep him down! Divide and conquer! Here’s AD saying «you don’t have to call women bitches and hoes, nor have to sell crack to your neighbor in order to get out of the ghetto». (Which by the way is a fact!) We were saying that look, WE’RE ALL OPPRESSED, (gangsta and non-gangsta alike) but we don’t have to wallow in that oppression, let’s get out of it! Let’s stop talking about what’s wrong and work to make it right!
Were you suprised with the commercial success of your singles like „Tennessee“, „People Everyday“, and „Mr. Wendal“?
Speech: Yes and no! Yes, surprised cuz usually what we do (bringing revolutionary music) is way tooooo radical for pop culture! No, because we knew it was fresh and great music! If people got a chance to hear it, they’d bug out!
Being a Grammy winner, what do you think how much has the Academy changed its criteria when giving awards today and back then when you took 2 home?
Speech: I’m proud of the academy for recognizing Hip hop, cuz at one point they didn’t! I think they should look at not only the popular stuff, but all other stuff too, so it’s a more even playing field.
From the message driven songs on your first album, we see a change to a more upbeat and dance driven tracks like „Honeymoon day“ in your later albums. Why is that?
Speech: Cuz, when we do a concert, we don’t ant all our songs to be the same energy or subject matter. We call our sound life music. Life isn’t all about issue, sometimes it’s about sex, orgasms and hainvg fun! Our setlist during our show is perfect, cuz we party and we talk deep stuff and it feels balanced.
Last year you put out your latest album called „Strong“. What has the feedback been like on that project?
Speech: That album is celebrated, by us and our fans! It hit the top ten in two countries already! Right there with Lady Gaga and Usher, now that’s what I call progress! Here’s AD on an indie label, 20 years later and we’re still charting like that!
78 year old Baba Oje is the oldest man in hip hop. What’s his influence like on other band members?
Speech: Baba is legenadary around the globe! But for us he’s like a wise teacher. He helped us keep our heads straight as to be expected with 18 year olds grossing millions & millions of dollars. He kept preaching basic African principles to us. It was helpful.
In 2007 you toured Australia with INXS & Simple Minds. Not the most obvious combo, how did that come about & what was it like?
Speech: We’ve teamed up on purpose with the most add parings, cuz we want to get our music out there to evey pocket of the world. We feel like if you’re exposed to it, it will move you! And if it moves you, we promise it won’t take anything of substance from you, but instead it will add to whatever substance you have! That’s a win win. We gain a fan the fan gains a friend in our music.
How has this tour been going so far? Are you excited about your first shows in Croatia?
Speech: We love Europe and always enjoy rocking there! It’s been our 20th time there, but first in Croatia. So we’re still seeing things with fresh eyes. We’re in a good space right now, people are gonna feell that all over em at the shows!