Despite being an acclaimed music executive and producer, Salaam Remi is one of the humblest people you will ever meet. The Queens native’s astonishing discography that includes equal parts scrunchy face, boom bap and smoothly sweeping production for the likes of the Fugees, Amy Winehouse and Nas, to name a few, makes his nonchalance about crafting classics almost mystifying.
We asked Remi to speak on how he linked with some of his more relatively obscure (Harlem Hip-Hop group Zhigge) and mainstream (The Fugees) collaborations, and plenty of jewels were dropped (i.e. the former’s “Toss It Up” was a leftover beat and his remix of a Mega Banton record is what led to his work with Lauryn Hill and company).
Remi’s musical output with Nas has been particularly dope, and he spoke on the lyricist’s penchant for deading dope album cuts. “I’m a B-Boy so I always want to hear the breakbeats,” Remi told Hip-Hop Wired when asked about his favorite records with God’s Son. “There’s a joint called ‘Talk of New York’ that never came out that was [a] Street’s Disciple leftover. He just took it off the album. That’s just Nas [laughs].Can we put this on the album? ‘I don’t know.'”
He adds, “The Streets Disciple album had ‘Serious’ (ft. AZ), ‘Talk of New York’ [and] a few other things at the beginning that was supposed to start the album. I’m like, Yes, then it was I don’t know about this. I’m like, Ya killing me.”
Check the rest of our interview with Salaam Remi below.
Photo: Hip-Hop Wired