If you ever had the chance to witness Wu-Tang Clan perform live, you most likely noticed Mathematics spinning records behind them.

The Queens, New York native, Ronald Maurice Bean, is the official DJ and producer for Wu-Tang and the mind behind the group’s recognizable emblem.

When Mathematics was a child, his brother would bring home albums from artists like Cold Crush Brothers, Treacherous Three, and Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. Under the alias Supreme Cut Master, Math started DJing local park events and block parties in the late 1980s.

Math and GZA eventually collaborated in 1990; GZA was signed to the Cold Chillin’ label at the time. The Cold Chillin Blizzard Tour, including Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane, and Kool G. Rap, would thereafter hire Math as the official DJ. the rest became history.

Today, Mathematics is back with his own collection of short films called “100 Miles From Home.” This time, he takes on the roles of writer and producer as he weaves the worlds of film and music into a single, seamless plot. He has so far attracted Method Man, Hassan Johnson from the TV show Wire, Rome Streetz from the movie Griselda, and Kamaria Sarai from the acting world.

The Source and Mathematics spoke live on Instagram about Wu-Tang’s tour, their transition from DJs to producers, what hip-hop means to them, the influence of Wu-Tang, and other topics.

How have you been?

I’ve been OK; all I’ve done is move around. We were all out rocking when we just returned from South America. From Bogota, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina, we barged through. It was bubbling. The people were polite and the weather was great.

How does touring today compare to touring in the past?

We’re much more professional today, that’s for sure. Take everything much more seriously, including being on time for even soundcheck. We used to arrive when we arrived back then. [laughs] Get the soundcheck, and just enjoy yourself. Be chopped off when men enter and begin rapping. Everything is now done professionally. Everyone is focused and making sure the sound is accurate. This one was a little different because we also rocked with a live band. But it was excellent.

How did that go? It must have been lovely.

It is, indeed! Due to the fact that we weren’t initially big fans of live bands, it also demonstrates our personal progress. But now, we see the need of taking specific actions to improve your show. On the 1s and 2s, I can perform like I normally would, but if you have a band, you can lengthen tunes and do all kinds of other things. entering various agreements. Being a producer as well as comprehending arrangements and measures makes it even better.

Why didn’t you folks enjoy live music earlier?

we were a hard-core hip-hop group, that’s why. We adore bands since we were raised on their music and still do. We were fans of bands like Earth Wind & Fire.

How did you start into DJing for those who might not know?

I loved hip-hop music. I deal with anything related to it, including emceeing, graffiti, and breaking. GrandMaster Vic, who is from Southside Queens, is the individual I salute. At 40 Jam, I was. I rode my bike when I was little and made it to the front. had the opportunity to watch a master at work. I want to do it because of how admirable and sickly he was when I first saw him. I got my start in DJing that way.

Did you learn on your own?

I did it myself. I went to different cats’ places to practice with my pals who DJ, but I mostly learned how to do it by myself. being inside the lab. It was a hobby of mine, so I skipped school to practice at home.

How did you move from being a DJ to being a producer?

It happened quickly because when I first started producing, I didn’t really understand what production was. When GZA was on Cold Chillin, it is when I first began producing for him. When that failed, we performed a few demos. I ultimately went back to work and trained as a carpenter. I became a carpenter by trade since my father was one. I bought some equipment with money I had saved up. To trigger it, I purchased an Akai S950 and an Alesis HR-16. Just trying out some weed, really.

RZA was beginning the Wu-Tang movement at the same time. He was familiar with the beats and knew what to do. What the fuck am I doing, I think as I hear what he’s doing and listen to what I’m doing? I therefore took a backseat. The DJ is me. When we were hanging together one night, I began to produce. We’re unwinding. The Cuban Linx album is being worked on by RZA. We watched a movie. He began composing the “Ice Cream” beat when we got back. I can recall passing out but continually waking up due to smoking, drinking 40s, and other things. I was knocking out in our small hideaway outside of Staten Island. I observed RZA composing the beat.

He was doing it at 3 am. “Ice Cream” starts playing over the speakers by 7 am. How in the Hell did you do that, I jumped up and said. Although I have seen and heard him create beats previously, for some reason this time it really focused on me. spent time introducing himself and telling me about the ASR-10. After that, that is what was taken to the police. I started producing at that time and officially became a producer.

The list of DJs and producers that come to mind includes Pete Rock, Premiere, Large Professor, Dr. Dre, Lord Finesse, and many others. Many talented producers have dabbled in DJing at some point. The changeover is simple.

Hip-hop turns 50 years old this year. How do you personally define hip-hop?

Such is life. Hip-hop has always been a part of my life. I had never seen B-boying or popping before and had no idea what it was. I witnessed it in the community center, where it was being done by the really cool Rodney McClain. What on earth is that? It appealed to me. For me, the graffiti on the walls and the train is more than just music. Hip-hop is a lifestyle.

It happened to me when Ronald Reagan was in office. He removed all of the musical offerings from the school. We were helped, and it gave us a voice. If you listen to tracks like “The Message,” Melle Mel was already making waves on Beat Street. In there, he was dumping gems. We got to share our narrative. New York on the east coast started the story, which would then continue. We got to see how they lived as it made its way to the West Coast. I was in high school like yo when I first heard N.W.A., and it was insane.

Even Common, when I heard “I Used to Love H.E.R.,” was beautiful in my eyes because of how he portrayed the entirety of hip-hop and made it sound feminine. Hip-hop is a way of living. It’s stunning since, as I recall, they once predicted that hip-hop would not endure. They claimed it isn’t music but rather a phase. It won’t last; it will soon go away. 50 years later, it’s still the most popular musical style.

According to your buddy, Wu-Tang has had the greatest influence on Hip-Hop groups throughout history.

I concur. Not just because I get along with the gang, but also because guys couldn’t sign as a group and then go solo before Wu-Tang. The record companies weren’t collaborating. That was done on purpose. You can see how they came up with Power and RZA to get the logo if you watch American Saga. That had a significant impact on hip-hop, and people continue to utilize it today. They referred to it as a Wu-Tang agreement at one point. “Let me get you a Wu-Tang deal.” But today it’s commonplace. People might not even be aware that Wu-Tang was the originator of the trend.

Wu-Tang had a huge impact on so many people and produced so many lyrical killers. Even thumps. You could say that many of my early rhythms were erratic. I put off going to study music theory for a while. Whether it was correct or wrong, we acted on our feelings. When I saw James Brown’s movie, I completely understood what he meant when he said, “Wait hold on, you can’t do that.” You can’t do that, music theory will tell you. Well, does it feel good? asked James Brown. Is it a good sound? Whatever it is, we will carry it out.

Wu-Tang did that; they mixed elements of karate movies with a great deal of independence. even a combination of black and vintage blaxploitation films. Method Man, sometimes known as Johnny Blaze, is another name. Lex Diamond’s alias is Raekwon. Since there were no akas prior to Wu-Tang, they had the most overall impact.

Is it OK to bring up 100 Miles From Home at this time? the title’s hidden meaning?

Being that far from home, 100 Miles From Home implies you can turn around and get involved in some shit. I recall being on the same block as my mother’s house when I nearly was robbed. The guys jumped out at me and threatened me with a gun. I was pinned. I was about to give them everything, but they approached me aggressively and attempted to handle me. Hold on, when it came to it. A struggle took place. The gunman is chuckling while he does this. Hey, they are currently tampering with my life.

There is a barking dog in the yard. He’s losing his mind. It’s a rottweiler dog. I scale the barrier and escape. I walk past the dog and depart. They were slowed down by the dog, who is still barking. I had to jump the fence when I overheard gunfire. To get back to my mother’s crib, I had to cut through the yard and dip around the block. I thought I was so far away from my house. That’s 100 Miles From Home; given your circumstances, you might only be a few blocks away but still feel a million miles away.

I created it. It consists of three interconnected acts. I used a variety of actors. Most of it was written by myself, and it’s lovely. I write scripts because I enjoy writing so much right now. You can spend all day writing scripts, but showing your work is always the best course of action. I must manifest to bring my beats into life, just like I do with my writings. I have to trust myself to pull it off. No one else will carry out my request.


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