The Beatnuts: Back

The Beatnuts are one of the most criminally slept on crews, ever. “Off the Books” and “Watch Out Now” are gems for the history books. But while MTV might play an instrumental while their cornball hosts talk, you won’t see a Beatnuts heater getting airplay. Like a lot of artists, JuJu and Psycho Les have […]

The Beatnuts are one of

the most criminally slept on crews, ever. “Off the Books” and “Watch

Out Now” are gems for the history books. But while MTV might play an instrumental

while their cornball hosts talk, you won’t see a Beatnuts heater getting


Like a lot of artists, JuJu

and Psycho Les have accepted the fate of their talent, but suffered because

they kept it too street for nearly everybody. Their ability to tap into the

life blood of our favorite clubs and bring frenzy to dance floors while remaining

grounded in the art of sampling and the essence of Hip-Hop is unmatched.

You can always rely on The

Beatnuts to dig in the crates, and craft some unique head-nodders that stand

out from the mainstream but that are meant for the masses. The Beatnuts’

JuJu, spoke with about his love for Hip-Hop and how the current

state of things may cause him to change his proximity to the art he loves so


With a new album, Milk

Me, on the way, the Hip-Hop community is given yet another opportunity

to show The Beatnuts how relevant and necessary they are. I hear you’re

on a new label.

JuJu: Yeah word up, we’re

on Penalty and s**t. They’re re-launching Penalty Records through Ryko

Music Group and we the first act on the label and s**t. Your new

record is called Milk Me, what’s up with that title?

JuJu: Actually Psycho Les

named the album. We was in Europe one time and was all watching some p####’s

and the n*gga [in the video] was like ‘milk me’ and we thought the

s**t was mad funny, and it just stuck. We don’t really be thinking too

hard when it comes to the names of the albums. We on some party s**t, anyway.

None of our albums are real conceptual. It’s just about hot beats and

rhymes. Speaking

of hot beats, The Beatnuts’ beats are top notch. Why aren’t cats

beating down your door for beats or is that the case and we just don’t

know it?

JuJu: It’s weird man,

a lot of the beats that we use, we make them hit records, right. But when we

go play these beats for n*ggas, they don’t have the vision. Right now

n*ggas are into a whole other sound, n*ggas don’t wanna clear samples

and we sample a lot. ‘Cause we think feel that s**t is like the essence

of what Hip-Hop is about. I know that there are n*ggas that’s nice with

the keyboard s**t, and we use them sometimes too, but a whole album of that

just gets redundant. Right now there’s a lot of MC’s out there that’s

mad nice. And just because of the s**t they’re rhyming over, I don’t

even wanna hear they s**t. We are all about the beat, that’s our formula

when we produce s**t, the beats gotta be hot, it’s gotta grab you. ‘Cause

I’ll be the first n*gga to say that we’re not the best MC’s

in the world. It kills me to hear these nice MC’s rhyming over f***ing

garbage. Last time

we talked with Psycho Les, he was pretty upset about that “Jenny from

the Block” single. How did that whole J-Lo/Trackmasters situation ever

pan out?

JuJu: The actual producer

of the song was totally with giving us our props and even giving us some money.

I think it was the powers that be, like Corey Rooney and rest of the people

behind that s**t that were the d*cks in the situation. As far as J-Lo, I ain’t

bitter about that s**t. I don’t give a s**t. ‘Cause everybody knows

that’s our beat. Les is a little bit more bitter about that s**t than

me. I look at that kind of s**t like it’s a compliment. Did any paper

ever change hands?

JuJu: Nah, no paper ever

changed hands, cause it’s a sample. But the bottom line is that if we

never made that record, nobody was gonna make that record. I heard ya’ll

have been doing a lot of traveling.

JuJu: Yeah we went to Spain,

we went to Columbia, we went to Australia. Man that s**t was crazy. Ya know

how crazy it is at JFK, man it was like that when we got to Columbia. We thought

people were waiting for they families, but all them muthaf***as was waiting

for us. They had to rush us to the van, it was like some real Michael Jackson

s**t. You were

talking earlier about all these nice emcees not having hot beats to flow over,

but what emcees would you like to see flow over your stuff?

JuJu: Man, there are so

many, that n*gga Skillz from Virginia, Dead Prez, Eminem. I would have loved

to do something for that n*gga Jay-Z, I know he would’ve gone berserk

over something like “No Escaping This.” Ghostface, too, there’s

just a lot of cats. What you

got banging in your car?

JuJu: Right now the only

s**t I got banging in my car is Dead Prez, Ghostface, and that Talib Kweli. You feeling

any of the southern sound?

JuJu: Not really man (laughs).

I can’t say that I do, I’m a straight city boy. I wanna hear some

beats. I wanna hear some New York sounding s**t. I wanna hear some Large Professor. What producers

are you feeling?

JuJu: Just Blaze, Vitamin

D, Kno, No I.D., there are a lot of up and coming cats out there Let’s

do some quick word association.

JuJu: Cool. Psycho Les

JuJu: Crazy.

AHH: Beatnuts.

JuJu: More Crazy George W.


JuJu: A fag**t. John Kerry.

JuJu: Another fag**t. J-Lo

JuJu: Disappointment. She’s

so stupid, cause the hood would have loved her more if she would have done that

with us. She’s supposed to be so pro-Latin and BX and all this s**t, the

hood would have loved her for doing that with us. She did that s**t all wrong. Talk about

Milk Me.

JuJu: The album is hot,

the beats are crazy. On this album, we had the pleasure of working with A.G.,

f***ing Razhel, Tony Touch. It was just a good time and it’s a good album.

Hopefully Penalty will do what they suppose to do and we can make this s**t

a success. What exactly

are you expecting from Penalty?

JuJu: Just some support,

just to let the people know that the record is out there. We’re gonna

spend money on advertising, and then we’re going to let the record speak

for itself. I don’t want to spend any money paying DJ’s to play

the song. If they don’t feel it, than don’t play it. I don’t

want to be spending G money so these n*ggas can play my record. Right now, I’m

so f***ing excited that Funkmaster Flex is playing my record, ‘cause Flex

is playing the record because he likes it. Believe me, we did not give that

n*gga a dime to play that record, and that s**t means a lot, cause it re-energizes

my faith in the whole Hip-Hop s**t. You’re

losing your faith?

JuJu: For real man, there’s

so much payola going on. But I can’t get mad at n*ggas doing what they

feel they got to do to get a check. It’s disappointing and it gives the

wrong impression to the young kids. It doesn’t let Hip-Hop naturally develop

and progress as it should, ‘cause n*ggas start hearing the same s**t on

the radio, and they start thinking that that is what’s hot and then they

start emulating it. How often

do you think cats are getting paid to play records?

JuJu: I know that s**t goes

on a lot. I know that it does for a fact. I know n*ggas that have paid money

to get their record played. That’s what it’s come to, honestly it’s

on some corporate thug s**t. Our music is out of our hands right now. What two

tracks on the album you know are just going to kill it?

JuJu: Man, this joint (“Find

Us”) we did with Akon, where we flip the “Happy Days” beat.

The joint with A.G. “It’s Nothing,” is crazy. Another joint

“Buggin,” that’s nice. Just the music itself, the quality

of the music is crazy, there just so many joints. Is there

any thing else that you’d like to say?

JuJu: Even if this is the

last one that we do, I just want to thank everybody that has supported us throughout

the years. I want n*ggas to know that we love this s**t. I love this Hip-Hop

s**t. And I’m gonna be buying records and flipping beats even if I ain’t

getting no record deal or nothing. Man, what’s

up with that tone, you said “even if this is the last one.” What

does that mean?

JuJu: Man, I don’t

know man. N*ggas be throwing shade, it’s just f***ed up right now. I don’t

even know how long I’m gonna be around, as far as like, out there. So you’re

saying that if things turn out a certain way with this album, you may not mess

with the game anymore?

JuJu: Yeah man, I might

just find some other s**t to do. cause I don’t want to be…ya know.

JuJu never finished that

last statement.