Interview: Bronze Nazareth 

During Bronze Nazareth’s Tour stop in Muncie,Indiana I had a chance to sit down with the Producer/M.C. and talk beats, rhymes, and life…..

Could you tell everybody a little bit about where you’re from?

Bronze: Well ya know I was born and raised in Gun Rule, which is known also as Grand Rapids Michigan born and raised like I said and been in Motown since ’03. So ya know it’s that Michigan connect. Came out to the “D” to open up the crowd to expand the sound, ya know? 

So I read you went to Michigan State University?

Bronze: Yessir!

Bachelor of Science?

Bronze: Green & White baby…yea I got a degree in Psychology 

Wow! So, how do you choose Hip-Hop over pursuing your degree?

Bronze: I was doin’ social work when I came out of school in ’03, so I was in the Detroit area helping families doin’ my thing professionally and all that but as you know I always have been an artist writing. I think what happen was the State cut these programs so we all got laid off and it was at the intersection I think this was like ’06, ’07 and that was intersecting with my name getting a lil bigger. So I was basically able to transplant what I was making with you know the social work because everyone knows you don’t do social work for the money, you do it for the love. So I was able to generate a little more musically than I was making with social work so I just kept traveling that road and God willin’ I ain’t had to do the 9 to 5 since. So it was kind of a natural transition,man. 

So what was first, M.C.’ing or Producing?

Bronze: M.C.’ing man. It all started out rhyming over other people’s beats and loopin’ shit together but it was all, the beats came together because I wanted something to rhyme on. So basically the rhymes filled the beats and that was the natural cycle of it ya know? 

So about what time in your life did you discover producing? 

Bronze: Producing was like ’94…

So M.C.’ing was about?

Bronze: I was doin’ M.C.ing about  ’92,’93. Me and my little cousins had a little group, so we was always just writing never recording nothin’ back then but uh the M.C.’ing started mad early. I remember being in middle school scripting stuff up in class instead of listening, shit like that. The M.C.’ing, it goes back to the grain early, early M.C.’ing….

Always solo or you had a crew?

Bronze: Always solo but within a crew you know what I’m sayin’? As you have crews you always have everybody having there individual aspirations and uhm everybody goes different heights you know what I’m saying? So uhm I think within the group you gotta keep an eye on your individuality as well ,so each individual has the potential of raising the whole group level so it goes hand in hand, but yea I did start out solo, solo dolo. 

What was the scene like in Grand Rapids growing up? Hip-Hop wise….

Bronze: Grand Rapids Hip-Hop wise…I think we had more of an East Coast ear. So in Grand Rapids it was more Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang, dudes used to rock the camos and all that…

Timbs…

Bronze: Yea (laughs) Timbs, you know all that…So, I don’t know. It had like a East Coast flavor, dudes from around my way used to call it little New York sometimes. I think that was the flavor so I think that pushed me toward the East Coast sound a little bit. More as if maybe I was based in Detroit where it’s more “club” sound, of course Detroit got all different sounds but I mean the mainstream vibe. Grand Rapids was a mixed vibe but  you definitely got to do that work to get that support in G. Rap (Grand Rapids). 

Was it good support?

Bronze: Yea man, that’s home base. Even now going back there now they recognize the legends and they show love and respect so it’s what it is. 

So the move to Detroit, what brought that on?

Bronze: It really was wifey or whatever (smiles) but on top of it you can only get to a certain level then you got to expand further so I think that was a big part of it because Kevlaar my brother and my homeboy Eric, they moved to Detroit with me so it was really to open up to a whole new crowd. The Detroit scene was thrivin’, underground stuff was going on. We came to get in some of that ya know?

So you started rhyming around ’92, ’93. Production, so I know about this time is when the Wu-Tang Clan came out and I know everybody was a big Wu head. So how did you get into that circle?

Bronze: Basically it was my guy Cilvaringz. Me and my brother had a group back in the day called “The Unkown” we did an album it was stuff we was working on from like ’96-’98. And uh, we had a little Internet hook up and Cilvaringz  heard the beats I was doin’. It was some grimey, east coast, some Hip-Hop shit. Ya know he started checking me out hitting me up, uhm we started working together sending him beats. Finally one time he was like,”Yo I got to get you to RZA “. So he basically facilitated a trip to New York to meet up with RZA and I played RZA a joint and boom, it was in there from that point, ya know. 

Was it a fan moment or was it more like…

Bronze: You know what, I don’t think it was a fan moment. I remember my bro Kev had a fan moment. (Laughs) We was at 36 Chambers and I think GZA & RZA walked in and Kev jumped up like,”OH SHIT” and I was like “oh shit, word”. So it was a bit of both, but I’m more laid back type of person.I Don’t get all hyped up and antsy so I was just trying to keep my composure as I had my goal in mind. I wanted him (RZA) to hear these songs and be like bro what’s up?

So what was his (RZA) reaction like? 

Bronze: It was actually like, really like when we was in there first for a long time they really didn’t come over and fuck with us because they didn’t really know who we was. A couple of affiliates had let us up and we was showing them some beats and uh they came in,they was handlin’ business for a couple of hours going back and forth and I didn’t really want to interrupt that. But then when I heard it was like 4 in the morning and I heard them say they were about to go to the club and I said,”hold up man, ya’ll can’t leave man. Let me holler at RZA for just a minute.” So that’s when I hollered at him, he took me into the booth area and uh he let me play a song for him. And I played it, he took off the headphones and said that shit is dope. He did tell me he was looking for producers right now more so than rappers,because  I got enough rappers right now. And he was like the stuff you spitting is scientific so the people ain’t really gonna pick up on it but I want you to join the Wu-Elements, so I was like whatever. I come in on the beats and do the rhymes later, ya know whatever works. So that was basically his reaction then he got up and went to the club. (Laughs) 

Who does the Wu-Elements consist of?

Bronze: Ya know, the Wu-Elements consists of 4th Disciple,True Master, myself, uh Mathematics, of course ya know the RZA in there, Cilvaringz  in there so uh ya know its loosely based at this point. It was more of a stronger force when it was unified and everything ya know when everybody was working hand in hand but I came in a little later so I wasn’t really in on that point. But that’s the guys….probably one of the most powerful production units in the history of rap  right there. 

So it is still going on or is everybody doin’ their thing right now?

Bronze: Everybody kinda doin’ their thing man, ya know I make sure to take care of my relationships try to keep it tidey. I don’t like to burn bridges, I don’t like to have shit messy so I’ve been fortunate to have known dudes I’ve meet 10,20 years ago they still fuck with me on the same level so I think that’s individual man. Some people might have a problem with this other one, this, that and the other just like any group it’s all personal this, that, the other. I keep it cool man, so I’m A-1 with everybody…

No doubt. So how would you describe your production style?

Bronze: My production style? I would say that it’s….I would say that it’s like an emotional landscape, you know what I’m saying?  Just like all humans everybody goes up and down. Like you might wake up Monday mad at the world, you might wake up Tuesday your heart hurtin’,Wednesday you might be happy. So I think that’s what happens to me when I’m makin’ beats I might be in a certain range and uhm that’s what you get from it ya know?

Are you always in the studio or do you what to be inspired? 

Bronze: I’m always in the studio man, like literally like I do the studio like it’s a 60 hour a week job…..

I seen your Discography, it was just….

Bronze: (Laughs) Yea, when I wake up yea I take care of the baby’s, get them right and then I’m down there, ya know what I’m sayin’? So it’s an all day 8,10,12 hour days for me ya know what I mean ? Everyday….

So what was your favorite up to this point project you worked on?

Bronze: My favorite project to work on up to this point uhm? Probably my first project ,” The Great Migration”. Basically it was like my entrance into the game, it was an exciting time flying back and forth. That was a time when dudes wasn’t really sending verses or sending beats in ’06 and all of that, so being able to get your hands dirty going to New York traveling doin’ this and that. It was a good experience so that’s something I’ll never forget. Nothin’ can top your first as far as bustin’ that cherry getting that experience ya know so…

Most recently you worked with Willie the Kid?

Bronze : Yessir. Shoutout to my man Willie the Kid,Affiliates,L.A.D. Uh, we crankin’ out another one too so be on the lookout for that heaviness. 

So what else are you currently working on? 

Bronze: Uhm, you know I got a lot off stuff in the pot. I’m working on another solo right now. Might be “Great Migration 2″ might not, you know what I’m sayin’? But I definitely got sum ill shit. I’m trying to get a little more self focused, I’ve been doin the group thing for along time and I’m trying to get project after project out like the Canibus one, the Willie one, working with my homie Sagat of Brooklyn so he’s an ill cat, we cookin’ up something. Just keepin’ it Hip-Hop man, but definitely a lot of projects comin’……

What else you got coming up? 

Bronze: We at SXSW too.We spreading it heavy…

That’s coming up soon. What’s that like February or March? 

Bronze: March, yea. We got Europe coming up in March as well after we go out to SXSW, we going out to the U.K. , Scotland, ya know all the areas over there. Getting out to the Netherlands so we try to world travel man, that’s when I take my breaks from the studio. 

No doubt. Before we get out of here, can you please explain to the people how you came up with the name, “Bronze Nazareth”. 

Bronze: Ah, “Bronze Nazareth” is the Golden name, uh I used to be called “Half Entity” and I had a more scientific style using bigger words and all of that uhm, so it came to a point where it was like we need a name change and this was my early stages with with Cilvaringz   and he suggested I call myself Nazareth and I liked it, the struggle of Jesus as the Prophet. And you know the story of Jesus, obvious the struggle. And ya know, I added the Bronze side to it because I was into the Kung-Fu flicks and I was watching ,”The 18 Bronzemen” and it was amazing to me how they had to fight 18 Bronze men to get out of the Shaolin Temple, so that hit me because I felt like I was one of them guys trying to fight my way through life and get into the temple. So that shit resonated with me, so I took it Bronze Nazareth that’s it….it means somethin’!




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