Ras Kass and Mello Music Group have been busy cooking up some heat for quite a while. Teaming with Grammy Award-winning producer Jack Splash, they’ve formed the duo Semi Hendrix, a pairing that’s as tripped out and dripping with juicy color as Jimi himself.
Their debut project, Breakfast at Banksy’s, is out now via Mello Music, and we talked with Kass about staning out with Jack Splash, his initial hesitation toward working with one producer, and the biting standout track “Niggnorance.” Check out some quotes and stream the album below.
On meeting Jack Splash:
“I was eating dinner at a Brazillian restaurant, and this guy walks up to me and says “I’m Jack Splash,” and I say dude, I know who Jack Splash is; you’re Jack Splash? People always do the whole network politicking thing…but we actually exchanged numbers and his follow through was impeccable.”
On working with one producer:
“I always had a fear of working with one producer early on because I know artists are *artists*, and we have different moods. Different songs require different kinetics and different instruments. My biggest fear was having it be a one-sided thing, but you also get that cohesion…working with Jack Splash it was the feeling of “I sold 8 billion records,” but without the ego attached…I felt comfortable enough to go into a full direction where it’s their [Jack Splash’s] canvas and I’m just autographing it.”
“Niggnorance is a term I developed before I wrote the song. Obviously “ignorance,” then “Nigg” (laughs). It’s very specific to our culture and our people’s dumb shit that we do…to try and fit in with the Jonses. Some of the shit is corny and it’s coonery, it’s buffoonery, and that’s what I address in the song. Anything that starts with “con,” I switch it to “coon,” like “coongratulations.” I developed it a long time ago, it’s an inside joke, so to Xzibit and them, I coined the “coon” talk.