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Adrian Younge On ‘Magna Carta’ Samples, Working With RZA And Roc Nation And Soundtracking ‘Black Dynamite’


You’ve always had that cinematic bend to your music.
I mean, I learned as a film composer. I love film, my favorite type of music is something that hits people in the heart, you know. Something that has feeling. To me a lot of the dopest hip-hop tracks [are] shit that just has feeling, you know? It has a romantic love-type feeling, but it still bangs. You listen to some classic Tupac shit—all that stuff is cinematic. All that old type stuff, the ill stuff, is cinematic. It’s pain that htis you in the head and that’s hard to compose. I like music with depth where you don’t even have to hear words. The composition is already taking you somewhere and when you hear words [they] synthesize with the music. It takes you even further. So that’s why most of my music always has the cinematic element to it, because I visualize music.

Had you worked with RZA before Twelve Reasons to Die?
No, no. Twelve Reasons was the first time we actually worked together, and it basically it changed my life. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of RZA. When you’re working all your life and you have goals, and then you accomplish those goals, [it's] something that is very special. One of my goals was to always do a Wu-Tang-oriented project and for years I studied RZA and studied his compositional perspectives and learned a lot and molded my own sound through his eyes, you know, for a lack of better perspective. And to meet him and talk about stuff that I’ve done, and hear him actually interested in things that I’m doing, it’s one of those things that lets you know all the hard work really means something. Your mentor, your idol, who you’ve looked up to and learned from, is actually looking at you and learning from you, you know what I’m saying? And that’s how it was with RZA. He’s a really humble dude, he’s a very smart, smart, smart, talented person, and to know that a person like that cares about stuff that I’m doing and actually wants to release stuff I’m doing on his own label when he could just do this stuff himself, it’s—it’s humbling.

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