Q&A: Nappy Riddem

Reggae duo Nappy Riddem recently released their first album, full of worldly sounds guaranteed to rock a party. They’re currently on tour supporting the project and stop in SF on November 17th to boogie down with Afrolicious.

Photo courtesy of Jesse Justice

We caught up with Rex and Mustafa of Nappy Riddem while they were chillin backstage at Washington, DC’s 9:30 Club for the Fort Knox Five and Trombone Shorty show to chat a bit about their album, the meaning behind their music, what they love about SF and more.

So you just released your first full length album titled One World Sovereignty at the beginning of October. How long was that in the works?

Mustafa: Probably 2 or 3 years.

Rex: Yeah, we’ve had a couple singles released before this that are on the album but we’re just really proud of it, it’s the first thing we’ve done of this magnitude.

When we first started doing stuff with Thunderball in early 2000, that’s when we first started brainstorming. It was about 3 years ago though when we stared really looking at it as album production as opposed to just songwriting.

Other artists played various instruments throughout the album, how does your live show work without a full band?

Rex: In the live show, we bring in a drummer and bass, we both do percussion and sing, and also use a DJ setup to run backing tracks so we can emulate the full sound of the album without having to have all those components.

We use technology to meld the DJ and club aspect of things along with the electronic aspect and live showmanship and performance.

You make mixtapes all the time, do you both work on them? How do they fit into Nappy Riddem?

Rex: The mixtapes are mostly coming from the DJ side of things. I’ll usually do the programming and if we do voiceovers we’ll usually get together, but the main thing that adds the Nappy Riddem component is the remixes we make that are on the mixtapes.

Mustafa: Also the influences.

Rex: Yeah, it’s a nice component to show people what our influences are and where we’re coming from. It’s also a nice to bridge the gap between the DJ community, the live community, and the production community.

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