Another super duo is emerging from the sticks of Georgia… blending a raw lyrical presence with tight beats and a thorough knowledge of all things music, Da Backwuds are putting Decatur, GA back on the map! Composed of cousins Big Marc and Sho-Nuff, Da Backwuds have a style and sound that is unique to only themselves. Read on to find out how the fellas linked up with Dallas Austin, what it’s like working with family, and how they came up with the “Oompa Loompa” video!!
Let’s get right into it, tell me about WoodWork…
Sho-Nuff: WoodWork – April 18th …There’s a lot of variety on the album. We came up on a lot of different genres of music. We’ve got old school hip-hop, traditional gospel, R&B, all of that. We also sing; I did a little hook. We took it back to all that we listened to back in the day, even a little spoken word. Big Marc is a producer also. Wood Work featuring Nas, Slim Thug, Big Gipp, George Clinton, Jermaine Dupri and Sleepy Brown, and Bohagon just to name a few.
Big Marc: As far as production goes, we’ve got Milwaukee Black, Major Way Entertainment, Dallas Austin with Rowdy Records, we’ve got Rico Wade of Organized Noize, Mr DJ (shout out to Camp David), Jasper Cameron one of Rowdy’s producers, and DJ Clue!
Oh word? I’m looking forward to checking that out! How’d ya’ll get hooked up with Dallas Austin?
Sho-Nuff: We started performing as the Backwuds in ’97, just grindin’ and workin’ a 9-5. Going to the studio and paying studio time. So we got Milwaukee Black who produced, “You’re Gonna’ Love Me”. At the time we were just workin’ it, doing mixtapes and shows and what-not. A lot of labels were trying to get at us, but when the sample couldn’t get cleared there were a lot of different issues. Dallas had actually heard more music that we had before and he was feelin’ it. So Dallas and Quincy Jones actually got the sample cleared. It was just off the strength of him knowing how talented we were. That was a blessing in itself because the work that Dallas has done in the industry is major. So we’re with Major Way Entertainment/ Rowdy Records. It’s going down.
With all the collaborations that you have on the album, were you able to get into the studio with all these guys?
Big Marc: Some of the cats recorded separately, but for the most part we were in the studio with those guys like Gipp, Killa Mike, George Clinton, Nas, and it was just a wonderful experience to work with those cats. That they even embraced us is a blessing in itself. We were just there working, creating, and vibing.
So who did you grow up listening to?
Big Marc: All kinds of stuff. We were raised on traditional gospel. We were raised in the church with your Shirley Caesar, James Cleveland, Mississippi Mass Choir. My grandmom used to spin records down at the Elks Lodge over on Auburn Avenue. She was an Eastern Star. So we heard a lot of old school R&B like James Brown, P-Funk, Earth Wind and Fire, Sly and the Family Stone, Willie Hutch, Curtis Mayfield, all that!
Sho-Nuff: As far as hip-hop you got your Big Daddy Kane, LL Cool J, Furious 5, people like that. Of course Outkast and Goodie Mob, we were definitely influenced by them. The Ghetto Boyz, 8Ball, MJG, UGK, Jay-Z, Nas, all of that.
Big Marc: We listened to a lot of music. And I played saxophone all through school so I was exposed to Jazz and Classical music. We just came up on a lot of different genres of music and we just fused all that together to make our hip-hop sound! That’s why I say we tend to be versatile and stay to the left because that’s how we jump into a different type vibe; we were raised on it.
I know ya’ll are cousins so tell me what it’s like working with family…
Big Marc: It’s all good man! It’s like; if we do have differences, we just talk about it and move on. It makes us stronger. We don’t bicker and argue and all that kind of stuff. I’ve known this dude all my life. We been right there in each other face all our lives, playing basketball together and all that. I’d rather be in a group with this dude than anybody else. It’s wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
So you have any other family members getting into the industry?
Big Marc: A minute ago, my dad and Sho-Nuff’s dad and our uncles had put a little album out. They didn’t try to do any major promotions or anything, but they put it out. They used to put on a concert at our church every year. So they put an album out of the songs they used to sing.
Aight, well let me get at you for a minute about the “I Don’t Like the Look of It” video!! Dammit boy, I LOVE THAT VIDEO!
Sho-Nuff: (laughs) Appreciate it! Shout out one time to the Fat Cats. You know, when we was recording that song, September, we were like already visualizing what the video would look like. And we used to watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and when we heard the sample over the beat, we were like “Man we gotta’ rap over this!” It was a collective idea with us, Milwaukee Black, Dallas, and Fat Cats. When we brought the idea to them, they were all like, “YEAH, we were already like that.” That’s dope, we’re gonna’ make that happen!” So we just made that happen and it turned out beautiful. We had the kids with the purple wigs, little Oompa Loompas. It was colorful and we bringing that candy paint back!
Most definitely! I had to put my shades on that was a BRIGHT video! I love it! (All laughing) You know I have to get personal for a minute… the ladies wanna know – ARE YA’LL SINGLE?
Big Marc: I’m not single. I’m actually married to my music, right now. I’m married to my MUSIC, September! (laughs) Nah, but I’m chilling though.
Sho-Nuff: I’m just gonna’ let you know. I’m seeing somebody right now, but I’m going to keep it real. It’s all about being focused and doing the music thing. You never know what might arise in a situation. I’m just gonna’ put it like that.
Who influenced you to the point that you said “I’ve got to do this! I’ve got to get into this industry.” Give me your Top 5 MCs and the songs that changed you…
Sho-Nuff: NWA – It did something for me cause I had never heard nothing like that in my life! LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, Ghetto Boyz, Goodie Mob, Outkast, especially that “Git Up, Git Out”! You know how it is when you’re growing up and there are different “opportunities” to get money. ‘Git up, Git Out and Git Something’ actually put me on a path to do something better with my life and make me wanna’ do this music joint. It was just embedded in me, in my blood.
I feel you! You got anything to say to your fans? Any shout outs?
Sho-Nuff: Shouts out to all our fans, all the ladies, everybody that supported us from day one; all the DJs. Shout out to MTV Jams, they first debuted our video… MTV2, BET – we’re on heavy rotation on Rap City so definitely a shout out to them. Shout to Rowdy Records, Major Way Entertainment.
Big Marc: Shout to all the DJs and all the people like you, September. Ya’ll make our being in the studio worthwhile. Thanks for bringin’ us to the people, fa’sho!!
Where can your fans find you?
Man, ya’ll can find us online!! Check us at www.dabackwudz.com, www.fevermagazine.com, www.myspace.com/dabackwudsmusic, www.vh1.com. You can go to Google and type in D-a-B-a-c-k-w-u-d-s and find us! Check out your boys!! (laughing)
Don’t forget to support the album – WOOD WORK – hitting shelves on April 18th. Da Backwuds are small town cats definitely doing big things!! You’re gonna love ‘em!