For those in the know, Large Professor’s name rings bells. He’s the producer responsible for introducing Nas to the world, has had a hand in countless classics, including Let The Rhythm Hit ‘Em by Eric B. & Rakim, Mecca & The Soul Brother from Pete Rock & CL Smooth, & Illmatic.
In this exclusive interview with SHAOLIN JAZZ (conducted by Myk Blauuw), he talks about his creative process, what it takes for a young artist to catch his attention, unreleased Nas demos, and a secret super producer group chat he’s in with other legends like Questlove.
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While Hip-Hop has a long history of multi-talented artists – producers who rap, rappers who sing – few can claim a track record that includes heading a creative label, producing for Chris Brown, dancing on Justin Bieber’s world tour, as well as being a decorated martial artist, winning the 2001 US Open open forms competition. Ru AREYOU is a Sacramento raised, Los Angeles based jack of all trades who’s honed his skills across these mediums for close to a decade & is seeing his audience grow tremendously over the past year.
SHAOLIN JAZZ (interview by Myk Blauuw) got a chance to speak with Ru AREYOU about his background, tour life, and what drives him creatively.
SJ: For the folks that don’t know you, can you give a little background on yourself? Who is Ru AREYOU?
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Hailing from Philadelphia, global DJ, cultural ambassador, and foodie (among many other hats), Skeme Richards has established himself as a connoisseur of cool for over 30 years. Whether it was with his former imprint Hot Peas & Butta or his new venture Nostalgia King, Skeme is known globally as a tastemaker with roots in hip-hop, martial arts, and blaxploitation films.
As someone who’s been involved in the culture for so long, Skeme’s natural ability to connect people has allowed him to take advantage of the changing landscape that’s come with the spread of the internet and social media. The self-proclaimed “pop culture preserver” says “I want to be the connector. In the past, I feel like different scenes were so segregated. I’m into 10 different things, so I want to connect people from those 10 different communities into one.”
With all of his ventures, his role as a DJ is still his bread and butter. For example, he recently spun at the Marvel and Netflix collaboration, Marvel’s Luke Cage, an event that brought together the worlds of hip-hop and blaxploitation style television. This is an extension of one of his most popular outlets, his all 45” vinyl parties originally known under Hot Peas & Butta.
SHAOLIN JAZZ (interview via Myk Blauuw) recently had a chance to talk to Skeme on his career and how he’s seen things change over the years, as well as his favorite burger (he recently started his hamburger reviews in a section, on his website Nostalgia King, called “The Drop – A Conversation Over Beef”) and the one record he’s still on the hunt for.
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We have a number of firsts this week and to add to that list we’d like to announce the launch of WHAT’S GOOD(?) – an editorial series where we interview and profile select influencers, innovators, and cultural purveyors who’s tastes and work are akin to ours.
And with our first edition of WHAT’S GOOD(?), which drops Monday November 13th, we talk to Skeme Richards: world renowned DJ, rare collectibles connoisseur, and martial arts films aficionado (to name a few hats). Stay tuned for the drop.