Dead Prez Hit the Studio With Stephen Marley, Erykah Badu
Following the news that Dead Prez would not be joining Jay-Z‘s growing Roc Nation roster, the politically charged duo of stic.man and M-1 are gearing up for several projects in 2011. The group has been in the studio with one of the high profile sons of Jamaican music royalty — Bob Marley.
“Right now, we’ve been in the studio for the past three weeks with Stephen Marley, who we have commissioned to executive produce one of our newest projects,” M-1 tells The BoomBox of the upcoming collaboration. “I ran into Stephen at this local live band dive in Miami. We just started to break bread and we have embarked upon this new project.” In addition to logging studio time with the always outspoken M.I.A., Dead Prez is pairing up with two other immense talents. “We have some stuff happening with Erykah Badu and India.Arie,” adds M-1.
As for why it has taken so long to drop their much-delayed album ‘Information Age,’ a project that was first announced in 2008, the Dead Prez MC says it’s all about living up to the duo’s own lofty artistic expectations. “We have finished ‘Information Age,” he explains, “however, we are totally critical of it in a way that allows us to be totally critical in a space that’s not hurtful. We want to make the best album possible. That’s where we are at.”
For much of the past two years, Dead Prez has been keeping busy. In 2009, the Florida-based act collaborated with respected producer Green Lantern for their acclaimed ‘Pulse of the People: Turn Off the Radio Vol. 3.’ And this year, DP’s released the DJ Drama-backed ‘Turn Off the Radio Vol. 4: Revolutionary but Gangsta Grillz.’ “DeadPrez.com has been the central nervous system of a lot of dead prez’ new stuff,” M-1 explains of the group’s independent spirit.
“There was a time even before our first album — 2000’s critically-acclaimed landmark ‘Let’s Get Free’ — that we have been able to gauge the world when we were living in Tallahassee. I feel like we have created that same space for us in this phase of our career. Because we are not being forced to put out an album by any major label standards or schedules, we still have maintained productivity with the projects we have done.”
M-1 continues: “Those albums with Green Latern and Drama were exploratory in the way that we worked with other sounds because stic, Tahir & Abu (longtime dead prez producers) were the meat of our sound for so many years. And stic of course is still in production mode. But we have allowed ourselves to learn production techniques from Green Lantern, who is really underrated. He showed me how to produce the type of sound that is mainstream but still has a gritty sound. Dead Prez is always evolving.”