Vast Aire Talks Relationship With Vordul Mega, New Can Ox Album and Issues With El-P

You were talking about how you guys have a natural way of making music. When you and Mega are in the studio, is he difficult to work with?

You know, at different times, it could be as easy as grits. We are people. If you go through something in life—maybe you broke up with your girl—you are going to have a long night in the studio. Maybe you crashed your car. Maybe you had an argument. I don’t know, whatever. It’s still going to affect how you act in the studio. I would say, though, on average that it is very smooth. We generally like to zone out to a beat that we are vibing to together. One of us will dominate the hook. And we’ll start mapping the song out. It’s pretty much simple from there.

When you tell me he’s anti-social, obviously around you that’s not the case.

I mean, he’s anti-public, I would say. But if you are his friend, he’s the most loyal person on the planet. You know what I mean? If you are his friend, he’s gonna be there.

You guys are back in the studio working on this next album. What do you think that transition is going to be like? 11 years ago you were on Def Jux and now this is your own thing.

We’ll see. I helped make Def Jux. And see—this is part of the story that hasn’t been told or highlighted. We are business-savvy people. So, we understand what it takes to run a record label. As an Atom’s Family member, we cryptic [Ed. note: Cryptic One is a founding member of Atom’s Fam]. We would help run CPR Records, Centrifugal Phorce Records. We have experience in this. It’s not going to be hard at all. It’s not hard because I am actually doing it and I have been doing it since like 2003. Def Jux is no longer here. But Iron Galaxy is here for life.

Do you feel any pressure to top what you made with Def Jux?

Not at all. We already feel we topped it. So everybody else can keep their opinions. We already know our quality of music and our quality of skill and the patience that we take with all of our projects. So, you know, there’s no pressure at all.

How is what you are saying on this album going to be different? Today’s New York rap landscape is very different from 11 years ago.

Again, we make lanes. We don’t fall in. You understand? We carved a niche out and made a lane for ourselves. Was we interested in what was going on 10 years ago? I doubt it. Some of it was cool, some of it wasn’t. Are we interested now? Like I said, some of it is cool, some of it isn’t. You know, at the end of the day, we are just gonna do us. It’s real. It’s honest. It’s intellectual. It’s raw. And we are not faking. We don’t have to sound like something we are not or try to be. We are just ourselves at the end of the day. And that’s what hip-hop taught us to be. Hip-hop taught me to be myself. Run-DMC were themselves. De La Soul were themselves. Organized Konfusion was themselves. Mobb Deep was themselves. And Cannibal Ox is themselves. At the end of the day, that’s our secret. The secret is that we are ourselves. And we are not trying to be nothing else. If I fought five dudes from the streets for my life, that’s what I did.

Some fans and critics say you have more lyrical depth and a stronger delivery than Mega. Do you have any thoughts about that?

I think that’s neither here or there. That’s a person’s opinion. And what they perceive to be, it’s deep, because Vordul Mega is not the one—he will eat you alive. [Laughs] That man is a beast on the mic. Why else do we have a magic together? Because we feed off of each other. So, you know, that’s a person’s perception. Respect to them. They have their reasons to have their opinion. But in my opinion, the dude is my brother and my partner. He’s an animal. His poetry is some of the illest in a while. Like, if I was to compare him to two other people, I would probably say Breezley Brewin of the Juggaknots and MF Doom. Vordul Mega is retarded—I didn’t mean to offend anybody. [Laughs]

In 2008, on your sophomore album, Dueces Wild, you collaborated with Pete Rock and Oh No. Who are you guys linking up with now?

I am definitely going to be working with the whole team. My man Bill Cosmiq, he’s been making beats for me for a minute. And like, he really did his just deserve on these next projects. So look out for Bill Cosmiq. Also look out for my man Harry Fraud. They are various people that we have been working with throughout the years. There are a slew of producers that we have in mind. I’m definitely gonna try and get Ayatollah to lace us with some joints. It’s gonna be a crazy vibe.

Will we ever see El-P on a Can O record again?

No. We don’t talk. If you don’t talk, then you can’t make a song. [Laughs] Oh man, we definitely don’t talk at all. But you know, I hope all is well with all of them. That’s all I have to say on that matter. Pretty much. Just pay attention, man. Iron Galaxy is in the works. We are doing a lot of big things this year.