Where can you find Method Man converting the dance classic “Pop Muzik” into a hip-hop anthem, as well as Fred Durst and Aaron Lewis vibing on trip-rock a la Portishead?
On DJ Lethal’s upcoming solo debut.
The Limp Bizkit beatmaster is wrapping up work on the project, with the help of a growing roster of guest stars. In addition to Meth, Durst and Lewis, he’s recorded tracks featuring Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, Dilated Peoples, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, High & Mighty’s Mr. Eon, Tha Liks, Kurupt and Planet Asia. He also has a track planned for Scott Weiland and is courting Snoop Dogg to appear on the song that features Kurupt.
“I’m just trying to cover all areas – I’ve got the underground hip-hop, overground hip-hop, underground rock, overground rock,” Lethal said Wednesday. “The thing that’s going to set it apart is me – my beats… This is definitely the future of DJ Lethal.”
Though he has about 15 tracks finished, Lethal hopes to knock out a few more before work on the next Limp Bizkit record kicks into high gear. Lethal’s album is tentatively slated to hit shelves in February or March on his own Lethal Dose Records, in conjunction with Geffen and Durst’s Flawless imprint.
Durst appears on a track called “When It Rains,” which has a “hip-hop-meets-Portishead-meets-old-school-rock vibe,” Lethal said. Lewis’ still-untitled track has a similar feel, with out-in-front vocals and guitar work by Nine Inch Nails’ Danny Lohner. Bennington’s song, also untitled, stays in the vein of Linkin Park’s rap/rock fusion.
Meth’s track is a take-off on M’s 1979 hit, “Pop Muzik,” with the rapper substituting the lyric, “Let’s talk about pop, pop music,” with “Let’s talk about hip-hop music.”
“It’s what you want to hear from Method Man,” Lethal said. “It’s going back to like 1993, 1994, 1995 Method Man – just ripping the track.”
The Meth collaboration happened in New York in August at the beginning of a particularly inspired time for Lethal. “I rented D&D Recording Studio, which is total New York, grimy – nothing works and there’s graffiti everywhere. It was awesome, it just had that feeling – I’m in New York, I’m with Method Man… I stayed there for about a week, ’cause it just felt so good. It was actually a longtime dream of mine ’cause I never really got to post up in New York and just work on music.”
Lethal obtained the music featuring another Wu-Tang Clan member, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, from Dirty’s business associates. The DJ said he was unsure exactly when it was recorded but suspected it was from a Wu-Tang session shortly before ODB’s incarceration on drug charges.
It won’t exactly be the only old material on the album. While much of the record has taken shape since Limp Bizkit came off the road in June, Lethal’s been carrying around musical ideas for the project for years.
“Over the years, I make hundreds and hundreds of beats, but most of the time I don’t have a way to just let it out,” he said. “I’m not like a beat whore, like some of these guys who are sleeping in front of hip-hop studios and trying to push their beat tapes and CDs and slaggin’ out beats like they’re nothing. Me, when I make my tracks, I keep ’em; I just wanna save ’em. I’m definitely playing catch-up on a lot of stuff that I never got to put out there.”