The Making of Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge’s “Twelve Reasons to Die”

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Getting Started:

Adrian Younge: Bob [Perry, Soul Temple Records’ GM] hit me up—almost a year ago or pretty much close to a year ago. He asked me if I wanted to get on an album with the Wu-Tang. This is me after finishing up the Black Dynamite soundtrack. So he kind of had this eye towards me and what I did, which is kind of old hip-hop sentiment sort of thing. When he asked me to do it, I was pretty flattered. ‘Shit, hell yeah I am down to do that.’ I didn’t really take it that serious. I kept on doing my thing and he hit me up. He’s like, ‘Dude, what’s up? Are you down to do this shit?’ I was like, ‘You really want to do it?’ [He says] ‘Yeah!’ I’m like, ‘Alright.’

So I said if we are going to do this, we have to figure out some sort of concept behind this record. Anytime I do something, I always have to have something for the people that’s different. I always ask myself, ‘Why should anybody give a fuck?’ ‘Why should anybody give a fuck about whoever you are doing an album with?’ What are you going to do to try and make this different? So I said to Bob, ‘We got to figure out something for the story.’ Let’s make an album around this story. It’ll be more important.

Preceding that, he had said let’s do this Ghostface thing. First, it was more of a macro. Let’s figure out some Wu-Tang type of collaboration. [It was] based on the fact that a lot of my production has always been geared towards that Wu-Tang type sound, that 36 Chambers type sound. Even a little deeper, stuff like RZA would sample. It was actually geared towards that. Nostalgically, we take it right back to that time. So, he said, ‘Let’s do it with Ghost.’ That’s when I said, ‘Let’s figure out the story.’ You know, Ghost is really cinematic and I make cinematic music, it could be something special.

We figured out the concept. I basically came up with the idea. I talked to my boy C.E. Garcia that’s in my band, Venice Dawn. Talked to Bob. Talked to Andrew Kelley [ A&R & Producer for Soul Temple Records]. And we just got a foundation and we just started building on top of that foundation.

Ghostface Killah: The album was a quick album—you know? They called me to do something and I did it. I’m like a hitman when it comes to music. So it’s like, you give it to me and tell me how you want the track murdered, I come, I murder it. Tell me what gun to use and it’s a wrap. It’s my project, but the project was more presented to me of how they wanted me to do shit. I don’t really know who the fuck was on it and shit like that until they told me.