Lighting Up With Dudley Perkins

With three rap albums (Illmindmuzik, Andsoitisaid, Mad Men On Arrival), numerous quality singles, and assorted collaborations to his credit, Dudley Perkins, aka Declaime, is set to unveil his most personal work to date – a record under his real name, with no rapping – strictly him singing over his man Madlib’s beats. Heads got their […]

With three rap albums (Illmindmuzik, Andsoitisaid,

Mad Men On Arrival), numerous quality singles, and assorted collaborations to

his credit, Dudley Perkins, aka Declaime, is set to unveil his most personal

work to date – a record under his real name, with no rapping – strictly him

singing over his man Madlib’s beats.

Heads got their first taste of Dudley’s unique

vocal displays on "Flowers," a Stones Throw 7-inch released last year

and later featured on the Peanut Butter Wolf’s Jukebox 45s compilation. Currently

touring Europe, Dudley talks about coming up in Oxnard, working with the best

producer on earth, and his forthcoming LP A Lil’ Light.

AllHipHop: For the people that haven’t heard

you yet, how would you describe your vocal style?

DP: Um, it’s in the key of everybody. Everybody

can sing it.

AllHipHop: Did you sing growing up?

DP: Me and my cousins used to always sing, we’d

walk home from football practice or something and sing songs, you know, it was

a while ago, but I don’t sing, you know what I’m sayin? (laughs) I love

music and I know the keys of music, and the sound of music resonates from me.

It wasn’t planned at all, the album came from the angels or something you

know? Cuz I didn’t plan that, I didn’t put effort into it, I didn’t

take it seriously.

AllHipHop: Was "Flowers" originally

a one-off that blew up, or was there always a Dudley album in the works?

DP: Well one night, me, Madlib and Peanut Butter

Wolf, we all stayed at Madlib’s house cuz we was out late. Early in the morning

we were smoking weed and Madlib played a mellow track and he said "hey,

you wanna mess with that?" and I just sung over it (laughs).

AllHipHop: Were you surprised at the response

to it?

DP: It was a surprise to me, you know, people

told me when it came out "that song is so different."

AllHipHop: The album is so unlike what most people

consider "R&B" these days, or even the so-called neo-soul, your

joints come off a lot more raw and sincere. What’s your take on the current

state of the game, singers who are out now?

DP: Well, when you got a category like that,

neo-soul, R&B and stuff, that’s just what that is. So people tend to wanna

be in those categories or that structure. So being neo-soul, you have to sound

like Dwele, you have to sound like Erykah Badu, you have to sound like Cody

Chestnut. You gotta sound like them dudes to fit in, that’s what they wanna

be. See I didn’t wanna be anything. If you wanna categorize my album, you

gotta categorize it under illmindmuzik. That’s my own genre of music. Anything

I do is mine. I get my own messages from God and myself, and no two messages

are the same, so I can’t sound like nobody else no matter what I do.

AllHipHop: Oxnard – what’s going on there that

spawned you, Madlib, and everybody else?

DP: Well, we used to think of it as the Bermuda

Triangle, we couldn’t get out. I mean, we paid dues. We can write a book

on the dues we paid. We really paid dues. Madlib ain’t no joke. We’ve learned,

we’ve built, we honed our skills so that we are the last day people in music.

Madlib is the head of the orchestra right now, he’s the pied piper, leading

people to the doorway of heaven and that’s no joke. Music is the harmonious

sound you know?

AllHipHop: Madlib did all the beats on your album,

and it’s obvious you guys have a really good connection. Are you gonna work

primarily with him – Guru and Premier style – or are you hooking up with other

producers too?

DP: I got other producers already, I have the

trinity. I called em the trinity. That’s Kankick the Funky Asthmatic, Kanthrax,

Kanzulu. Kankick is one of the most soulfulest beings you could probably ever

meet. I got Oh No the Mischievous Rebel on the next level — Madlib’s little

brother, and I got Madlib the Bad Kid, Beat Conductor Sensei. I don’t really

need to go nowhere. Ever. (laughs) Cuz I know these dudes man, I know how their

soul runs through their bodies. I know it, I see it. I been around them since

we was young, to the point where, Madlib used to glow just about, with the harmonies

coming out of space, to his hands, you know? He’s a bright dude, kinetic warmth.

Madlib is possibly the greatest producer ever to walk this earth. In fact, in

my heart he is. He’s the culmination of every single producer on this planet.

I’m talking about classical, country, rock, everybody’s soul is in that dude.

He can flip every single style there is…in two minutes flat! (laughs) you

know what I’m sayin?! That’s no joke man.

AllHipHop: You’re touring Europe right now, how

have the crowds been?

DP: Well I take em to church every night (laughs).

We end the show with "Flowers" every show, and last night, half the

crowd, well not half the crowd, but enough that can fit on stage was on stage

with me and everybody was singin it. It was crazy, church was there last night.

I can’t wait for the next show.

AllHipHop: Any plans for a new Declaime album?

DP: Yeah, September. Well it might be pushed

back to October, November, but if it goes that way I’m just gonna drop it in

January. But it’s done, I’m just waiting on a couple more tracks. I don’t

have that many guest appearances on it this time, I got Medaphoar and Grand

Agent and Lil’ Dap.

AllHipHop: I know you did the artwork on the

Lootpack record, are you still drawing?

DP: Art, that’s my first love, drawing pictures

and stuff. I tried out for Marvel comics one time. (laughs) The Lootpack cover

is not that, it’s not intense like I can make a picture. Cuz I did it at last

minute, short notice, I had to do it in an hour or something. I did the Illmindmuzik

album cover also, and the Kali Wild first album cover, the logo.

AllHipHop: If you could hit the studio with any

artist – any genre, time period, whatever, who would it be and why?

DP: Quasimoto. (laughs) that’s the deepest

dude in rap. I know I’m deep but this dude is deep!

AllHipHop: Is he gonna do a follow up joint?

DP: He probably got like cases of em. That’s

how him and Madlib work.

AllHipHop: Any last words for the fans?

DP: Yeah um, this is the last days. I would advice

people to start using their own eyes, wake up, find they spirit that’s

within. Go talk to they God, whatever they call they God, go talk to they soul,

he misses you guys, he can’t wait to talk to you, he has a lot of things to

tell you, to show you. Love your neighbor unconditionally, and give and receive,

you have to. Let’s cause this balance to be, on our side, the positive side,

because there is no more in between in this world right now, you know, it’s

either all or nothing. It’s either good or bad, you know. This is the last days,

we’re about to go into a golden age. I give it ten years. We will see evolution

right in front of our eyes. We will see a process of evolution right in front

of our eyes within ten years, were seeing it now. Look at the little children,

the five year olds and under. Those are amazing geniuses right now, look how

fast and willing they are to learn right now. Let’s stop holding back the children

and let them expand and be who they supposed to be earlier in life, then the

way we are manipulated to do it later in life, you know. And, everybody, let’s

shed some light so everybody can see they way, plain and simple. And what’s

up to my crew and my son, and my baby momma and my momma, and my cousin Jo-Jo.

Dudley Perkins’ album A Lil’ Light drops July

15th on Stones Throw