by Eric Tullis
Joe Scudda is known mostly as the sort-of-country (and white) emcee who shows up unexpectedly on Hall of Justus tracks and delivers unforgettable, often-hilarious guest verses. This time, though, as part of the four-man rapping cartel Reservoir Dogs with fellow Hall of Justus emcees Rapper Big Pooh, Chaundon and Jozeemo, Scudda is finally steering the wheel. We asked Scudda a few questions about the upcoming Reservoir Dogs mixtape and his acting career.
INDEPENDENT WEEKLY: This seems like a very no-holds-barred project where everyone is just getting some very angry shit off their chest. What’s the reason for the collaboration? Who’s idea was this?
JOE SCUDDA: It was Pooh and Big Dho’s idea. You gotta keep shit in peoples’ iPods nowadays. You have to pump mad shit out. It took about five days. It was just us straight spittin’ and gotdamn rappin. There was no rhyme or reason to the shit, so we were just running around in the studio. It was a platform for everybody to showcase where they’re at right now with their bars. It’s just straight rap. It’s just us going in and jacking somebody’s beat. But we didn’t aimlessly rap over joints. We reworked some songs and had a little fun with it. We took the Jamie Foxx song “Blame It (On The Alcohol)” and talked about girls with no “Ass-At-All." [Editor's Note: Really?] We just wilded out and banged out a damn mixtape.
Why not just make this an official album? It seems like the whole mixtape idea is a little played out.
We took a whole bunch of people beats that aren’t ours.
Seems like this idea of a supergroup was put together before with the “Slaughterhouse” project. Would you call this that, or was it just a matter of four friends making a fun album?
I read a lot of the stuff that’s on the blogs, and people are always like, “Oh great, another supergroup” or, “These muhfuckas are trying to do the Slaughterhouse thing." For one, it wasn’t like we were all separate dudes that had our own crews and didn’t fuck with each other. This is all H.O.J. [Hall of Justus] shit anyway. We didn’t fabricate a group. Two, it wasn’t thought-out and planned. Everybody can rap. You got Chaundon on there givin' you the punchlines. You got Pooh steppin' his game up crazy. He was already nice, but now he’s on another level. Jozeemo is bringing it extra hard. Me, I’m just talking shit, like I’m normally doing.
Even though this is a mixtape, this is probably the first project with other emcees that you’re a part of where you're not just the “guest artist." Does this mean that we’re on the way to seeing an actual solo LP from you?
The solo is pretty much finished. We probably just have a couple of more joints to do. It should have already been done. It’s 90 percent done. I got a record I’m doing with Statik Selektah.We’re already halfway done with that.
Is that gonna be an album or a mixtape?
Nah, that’s gonna be an album. Statik’s doing the beats. I’m rapping. Pooh is doing a project with Black Milk and . . . I’m trippin, I almost forgot: We’re about to drop the Triple Play 2 EP, which is me, Chaundon and Jozeemo. I don’t know if you remember a couple of years ago when we dropped Triple Play and it was The Away Team, Pooh and L.E.G.A.C.Y. We’re doing Triple Play 2 with me Chaundon and Jozeemo. Each of us have four songs on there. Out of all the songs on Reservoir Dogs, we each put all of our individual singles from Triple Play 2 on Reservoir Dogs.
Four emcees is enough, but did you guys manage to sneak in any guest appearances?
We got one guest: Darien Brockington singing a hook, that’s it.
Did you assign yourselves characters from the actual movie, Reservoir Dogs. Which “Mister” are you? You sort of remind of Mr. Blonde just because he seemed to have the most style.
It’s funny you say that: As far as the visual aspect, we kept it true to the movie, but as far as the music, it’s basically us just doing what they did in the movie. But we’re gonna shoot videos for the mixtape which will be true to the movie. Actually, if we’d planned it out tremendously, we would have done it and probably wrote it as those characters. But we went in to it as a mixtape, banged that out and then we're like, “Well, now what do we call it?”
You got your hands dirty in the acting arena with an appearance in The Shield. Do you plan on pursuing acting more in the future?
I got my hands a little dirty. I should have got more dirty than I did. I didn’t really go hard like I should have after The Shield. I’m gonna dig into that real good after all these albums get put out because that shit was super fun and checks keep comin when you act.
On Reservoir Dog’s first single, “Family Affair," your voice sounds different. Did you do this on purpose? You’re not pulling an Eminem stunt on us where you put on an unusual accent all of a sudden, are you?
It’s probably all these gotdamn cigarettes I be smoking. It changed up a little bit, man. When you first start rappin', you just rap. But then you get more involved in what you’re doing, and you start mastering your craft, and you fall into what works best for you and what sounds good to you. I rap more like how I talk now. When everybody first heard me, I was fresh out. I hadn’t been rapping but for a couple of years—the rapping came out however it came out. But now I rap like how you would hear me talk.