HHDG Media Inc.
HHDG Media Inc. Interview with haadoob
Updated: Feb 11
In Berlin, Germany resides a crate digging musician by the name of haadoob. His love of Boom Bap resonates in his music all the way to emcees in the U.S. This is displayed on his celebrated Some Such Records released album Words From The Wise on December 16, 2022. Featuring Wordsworth, Audessey aka Jack Jones, Sareem Poems, Shawn Jackson, Nolan The Ninja, Psalm One, Kriminul, Boog Brown, J Scienide, Thaione Davis, Finale and Nappy Nina. Containing a diverse palate of genres is explained by haadoob as he spoke with HHDG Media Inc.
First, I would like to thank you for taking the time to allow HHDG Media Inc. to interview you.
Likewise. Thanks a lot for asking me to do the interview.
What music did you listen to growing up?
Mainly Motown, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Beatles and 80s pop.
What music do you listen to the most outside of Hip Hop music?
Dub, rock, soul and jazz.
Are any family members musically inclined?
Not so much in terms of playing instruments, although there was music at home I would listen to. Some records by Deep Purple, Otis Redding and some jazz too.
You are a DJ and Producer. What was first and have you done any of the other elements in Hip Hop like Graffiti, B-Boying or Emceeing?
Back in the 90s I used to be in a graffiti crew. The crew was called WPK and we would do pieces and throw-ups around town. Writing graff also got me into the music side of Hip Hop as I started to learn more about the five elements. As far as breakdancing goes I've been to events like Battle of The Year in Germany just to watch the crews battle it out. I find breaking really fascinating but I can only do a half-ass attempt at the turtle if I've had a drink or two, and you definitely don't want to hear me on the mic haha.
Your home is Berlin, Germany. Are you born and raised there? Fluent in German?
That's right, I've been in Berlin for more than 10 years but I'm born and raised in a place called Hessen in the centre of Germany. I'm fluent in German and also in English from a few years of living in Manchester, England.
Where did the name haadoob originate from?
It's interesting that you spelt it how I originally did. When I first released music I did that intentionally, all in lower case letters as opposed to MF DOOM'S all caps ...
But really the name came out of a record shop. I went digging around Berlin and then saw this really intriguing looking vinyl that had a very psychedelic feel to it. It was on the expensive side. So I left it in the shop and told a digging buddy of mine about it. I asked "Have you heard of that Hadoob record?". He said he hadn't. But really the record was by a group called Haboob and I just didn't remember the name right. But it somehow stuck and I just added another 'a' and it became Haadoob. It was a lucky accident that I came up with this fantasy name.
Has life played an important role in the style of music you produce?.
For sure. It plays a big part in terms of giving me inspiration for the music I make and release. In general I want to create music that is lively, colorful and atmospheric.
You are not only a student of Hip Hop through your talented production, yet the 1990s has a big influence. Who were the producers during that time who stood out for you? By the way I really enjoy your EP "Flashback '95".https://somesuchrecords.bandcamp.com/album/flashback-95
Appreciate that. The 1990s has had a huge influence on me musically, definitely. Around that time I was into graffiti I listenend to a lot of hardcore punk and metal actually. So the switch to Hip Hop came from one day to another. I listened to Cypress Hill III, Temples of Boom and that record made me want to listen to more Hip Hop. Then came Pete Rock, Pharcyde, De La Soul, Tribe, DITC and The Roots who I saw live in 1999 in Hamburg where they did a great live show with Jill Scott.
Back to the Flashback '95 EP... that was my take on some of the sounds from that time. It was also my way of paying my dues to the artists from that decade. And Flashback 95 was my first ever release as a producer. The idea was to reimagine through music what the 'golden age of hip hop' means to me.
Tell us the impact London, U.K. Emcee/Producer, Roots Manuva has had on you?
In terms of his unique style and courage to push musical boundaries he's had a big impact on me. In his productions, I find the words and music always tell a story and make you want to listen deeper and listen again. His first album Brandnew Second Hand is definitely one of my desert island discs. Big shout out to Roots Manuva for the inspiration!
The German Hip Hop scene continues to grow. Throughout the years and aside from you I'm familiar with producers Figub Brazlevic, Wun Two, JuJu Rogers, Sandy Solo, Snowgoons, Bluestaeb, Superior, Klaus Layer, Robot Orchestra, JuSoul to name a few. All of you continue to keep my ears to what is new coming from Germany. What keeps you creating dope Hip Hop music?
There must be something in the water haha... no for real, the boom-bap spirit is still strong over here. I think since Hip Hop first became known in Germany in the 1980s there's always been a solid underground scene. I believe it was US soldiers stationed in and around Frankfurt who first shared hip hop culture and got people into it. Since around the time of Wild Style Hip Hop has been taken very seriously as a form of expression over here. I'm happy about that and it goes to show why it's very universal and still fresh, even 50 years after it first started.
Most of your music has been released through Some Such Records. Is this your label?
That's right. Some Such is the label I started around 2014 to release independently. It's made up of a tight-knit network of artists, also graphic designers. The focus is on good, organic hip hop and beats.
There will be more releases out soon, not just from me but other artists too. One recent beat tape was from Dirty Basin, a very talented producer from London. It's called Third Contact. You can check it out on the Some Such Bandcamp page.
From past to present, what equipment do you use to produce music?
Apologies if this isn't the answer you expected. But this question I try not to put too much focus on... let me explain: I believe that everyone needs to find their own way and process of creating sound. I've been asked that question quite a few times. Not giving you an answer is not so much about keeping a secret of my own process. One main reason I don't really mention it is because I think it's important to highlight that the gear you use is just a tool, the creative part happens somewhere else.
Aside from the turntables, do you play any instruments?
Yes, I play drums, some percussion and I recently started learning bass guitar.
I can't wait for the vinyl version of "Words From The Wise" to hear the album plus those unreleased bonus tracks. Are you a record collector?
Oh yes, I'm a record collector. That's one reason why I'm also trying to get this album out on vinyl through a crowd-funding campaign via Qrates (https://qrates.com/projects/28341-words-from-the-wise)
If the target of 200 copies is reached, the double vinyl will ship from Michigan. The album has original artwork by Ohmega Watts and on it you'll hear unreleased joints from Quelle Chris, yU, Sooma, Finale, Sidewaalk Kal plus an instrumental by myself. All those tracks aren't part of the digital release.
To get back to record digging: that's been one of the favorite things to do for most of my life. Wherever I am or if I'm traveling I'll try to find a record shop, car boot sale or thrift store to get my fingers dusty. It's a real buzz and I feel like I'm on a treasure hunt.
Are you a sample heavy producer? Do you incorporate instruments?
The music I make is built around samples most of the time. I dig for vinyl and find loops and sounds to create a track. You've seen it on Rhythm Roulette, that's pretty much how I operate. In that respect I would call myself a sample heavy producer. Sometimes I'll add some live percussion, found sound or other recorded bits and pieces. And in future I'll add some live basslines as well.
What type of genres of music do you enjoy sampling?
All genres and all formats really. The records that find their way into my sample stash are often
library productions, soundtracks or organic type sounds. It could be some rare 7" from East Germany or a flexi disc from somewhere else if I hear a section I want to loop or chop up. Sounds a bit corny... but sampling for me is a journey and you never know where you might end up.
How did you link up with House Shoes and his label Street Corner Music for "Street Corner Music Flip Sessions Volume 7?
That was through the annual competition Shoes organises. He put a call out to producers to make a track with a set of samples he gave out. The winner was going to get their track pressed up on a 7" vinyl, released on Street Corner Music. So I answered the call and submitted my track, which also had some Dilla references in there. I didn't end up winning but it was good fun to create something for the session. Shouts to Houseshoes and SCM.
"Soothing Sax Tape" with Dan Freeman is a musical journey. How did this come to be?
The idea was to blend together some of my early beats into a half-hour track with some scratching added. In 2018 we had a hot summer in Berlin and I wanted to do a release to catch that summer vibe. And I thought the best way to cool down in this hear was with some soothing sax sounds. My friend Dan Freeman plays in various bands and he came over to my place and just did a one-take improvisation on his tenor sax over the isntrumentals. That's how Soothing Sax was made.
In 2019 your exceptional project "Organ Juice" (also on cassette) had an organ played by Molchin along with your production. Who are the great organist that inspired this?
For example Jimmy Smith, Rhoda Scott, Jon Lord, Ray Manzarek, Lonnie Smith and carla Bley are some of the great organists. Organ Juice was as much dedicated to them as it was to the home organists who may have released private press records no one's ever heard of. Molchin is my friend I went to school with.
Your 2022 album "Words From The Wise" came near the end of the year where it tends to have noteworthy projects get released. Yours was one of them. What was the process like creating the album? Did you reach out to all of the emcees, DJ (DJ Grazzhoppa), Artist (Ohmega Watts who is also a talented emcee/producer) and Engineer or did you know everyone already?
Initially I reached out to all collaborators. I had some contact details because I used to do a radio show and received promo vinyl in the post when I lived in England. Then through recommendations I managed to get in touch with other artists who liked the idea of working on a conscious concept album, which is what Words From The Wise ended up being.
In 2020 you released two songs on vinyl with Psalm One and Wordsworth. Both became part of the new album. Was that intended initially?
Originally it wasn't planned to have those two tracks on there. But then I found that they sat very well alongside the other tracks. And also the message and style they were in fit perfectly like hand in glove into this project. Another reason I put them on to the album is that Wordsworth and Psalm One were the first two artists I collaborated with. That got the ball rolling and opened a lot of doors for me to work with many of the other MCs you can hear on the album. The first track on Words From the Wise is by Wordsworth and the last one by Psalm One. So in the end it felt natural to have both tracks be like a frame or book end for the other colabs that came after.
All of the emcees and DJ on your album I've been a fan of for years, so I anticipated this even more. How long have you known them?
Not for long. I reached out and got to know the artists over the last three or four years. We bounced ideas and either wrote or were on touch over the phone. So you can imagine I was pretty surprised by what came out from that process of collaboration. Every artist on the album, plus the engineer, are musical and professional in a big way. So it worked out and all came together really well. As for the DJ, Grazzhoppa is a friend of the engineer No Sleep Nigel who was involved in many classic UK and US hip hop releases since the 80s. Nigel recommended I get in touch with Grazz for the cuts.
Are there any German Producers and German Emcees you would like the world to know more about?
On the production side check out Knowsum, Thallus, Suff Daddy and Dexter (especially Raw Random Files) and Die P, Ferge X Fisherman, Luk&Fil on the mic. Also good listening is Farhot and Kabul Fire Records.
Who in Hip Hop, whether Emcee, Producer or DJ would you like to work with?
Grap Luva, Apani B Fly, Edan, Open Mike Eagle, Insight, Black Milk, Lyric Jones, Hi-Tek, Your Old Droog, DJ Miyajima, Blu, Yasiin Bey and Roots Manuva...
Producers with talent like yours deserve to be heard more and more. We at HHDG Media Inc. aim to let the world know about you. What is something you would like the world to know about you?
Thanks for telling people about me. Hmmm... what do I want the world to know? I don't own a car and walk or cycle wherever I can.
Again, thank you for taking the time to speak with HHDG Media Inc., please give your shoutouts and where everyone can support your music and contact you?
Shout out to each and everyone involved in making this album happen. I appreciate all of your contributions and creativity. It taught me a lot. Shout outs to everyone listening to the music, my digging partners, friends and family. Love.
Vinyl pre-order: https://qrates.com/projects/28341-words-from-the-wise
Instagram: @somesuchrecords or @haadoob.beats
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