It’s not every day we get to talk to a legend.
Last week was not an average week. Between Art Basil, all the new drops, and actually rapping with a hip hop legend who was not only there from the actual start, but was the actual start, everything was different. The legend we are talking about here goes by the name Mathematics.
He has produced for more legends than we can recall, was spinning park jams in NYC in the late 80’s, and oh yeah, he created the Wu Tang logo.
That “W” – yeah, that’s Mathematics.
Born and raised in Southside Jamaica Queens, Mathematics was introduced to hip hop by his brother who used to bring home recordings of the genre’s pioneers like Grandmaster Flash, Treacherous Three and the Cold Crush Brothers. He began his career in 1987 DJing block parties and park jams in Baisley Projects, going by the name Supreme Cut Master. In 1988, he became the full-time DJ for experienced rapper Victor C, doing countless shows in clubs and colleges in New York City.
In 1990, Mathematics linked up with GZA, who would soon become one of the Wu-Tang Clan’s founding members, but at the time was struggling to build a career on the Cold Chillin’ label. This partnership earned Mathematics a spot on his first official tour, The Cold Chillin “Blizzard Tour” (with popular acts such as Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap)
Since then his tagging and handstyles garnered the attention of the budding Wu family, and the “W” became the bat signal.
Where you from? Give us the background setting?
I’m from Southside Queens. I grew up in the era of park jams, I was like 15 years old, in the Baisley Projects, breakdancing, emceeing, spinning and tagging. The culture was exciting, we all did everything, you know. Hiphop was and is a life style, and we did and lived the elements of the culture, the lifestyle.
So how did the whole Wu Tang Clan happen from that?
I knew Rza from before from some non rap shit. I started DJ-ing for Gza. I met the rest organically thru that wave. It really just took off from there, and really was something special.
When did you know that Wu-Tang was a movement, and much bigger than some NYC rap act?
Probably in 94, 95. It felt way bigger than us. When we hit Cali, hit even France and Germany and cats knew the words. They were hype to see us. The energy was crazy in places way far from home.
What’s your favorite city or places on earth that the music brought you?
Amsterdam in the Netherlands. For sure. And anywhere in Cali.
What is your favorite or most inspirational music to listen to outside of hiphop?
70’s show songs, for real. The Stylistics. Curtis Mayfield. Songs like “Walk On By” (Dionne Warwick) are some of the best pieces of music ever made.
What is your proudest moment most recently?
Producing the whole new Wu Tang album, “The Saga Continues”. And the track I’m most proud of is “Lesson Learned”.
It was a pleasure rapping with the OG. And we need you to rock 36 Chambers clothing, and go out and cop that new Wu Tang album, “The Saga Continues.”