Son Of Bazerk and No Self Control co-founder, Almighty Jahwell, aka Pops Smash, has a new album, Pops Gotta Brand Old Smash OUT NOW. Jahwell talks about the new album where he brings his personality and “some fun stuff, some real stuff, some true stuff and some rough stuff.”
Q: Your new album, Pops Gotta Brand Old Smash, is out . What can your fans (and new fans) expect to hear from you on this release and what was your motivation in putting it out?
Pops Smash: On this release I think that my fans are going to hear a little something different from me. I'm going a little deeper into some of the subject matter that is going on in the world and has been going on for ages. We have some fun stuff, some real stuff, some true stuff and some rough stuff. It's a lot different than Son Of Bazerk because this is more of my personality and what I want to talk about. Not a damn thing has changed since the 70's ..... except the names of the ones who own the plantation. My motivation has always been what is around me, past and present. The goods, the bads, the ills, the pains.
Q: Who’s performing with you on Pops Gotta Old Brand Smash?
Pops Smash: On this album we have David C-Doc Snyder and Kerwin Young on production and Stone Dash is a co-writer. And we have a young up and coming artist by the name of Nicole Benjamin with me on one song and Safiya Oni making a couple of great appearances.
Q: I hear that one of your old friends from The Bomb Squad, Keith "K-Jee" Shocklee, recorded some of the songs with you. How was it working with him?
Pops Smash: Working with him is cool, real cool because we go back to before they were the Bomb Squad and PE. I worked with him on the first SOB album and I'm blessed to have him working with me. We know each other so it's no problem, no ego, no bullshit. We work well.
Q: Are you going to have anything new coming out soon with Son of Bazerk and No Self Control? If so, can you tells us about what’s going on?
Pops Smash: I just did a new Son Of Bazerk Album with the group. Produced by Johnny Juice. Waiting for that to drop too. It's pretty intense, pretty hot too. Once the smoke clears a little bit we will continue to record as a group as well.
Q: What was the kid from Long Island listening to as a teen?
Pops Smash: When I was a teen I listened to.... you name it. James Brown, Charlie Daniels, Little Feet, Stevie Nicks, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Jackson 5, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Intruders, The Escorts, The O’Jays, The Dramatics, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Smokey, Jackson Browne, The Doobie Brothers, The Brothers Johnson, Sanford-Townsend band, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Steve Miller, Karen Carpenter and the Carpenters, Aerosmith, Billy Joel, The Eagles ... this list goes on. I have been influenced by every one of these groups or artists in some way. A childhood friend Timmy Julius got me listening to a lot of the rock bands around that time. There are probably 50 more I could name. So Tim played a pivotal part in my musical shaping.
Q: What was your earliest hip-hop moment?
Pops Smash: My earliest hip hop moment would be Eddie Cheeba. I was about 16 or 17, but he didn't affect me in any kind of way. I was in South Side Jamaica Queens visiting my cousins and I heard my first Flash and The [Furious] Five tape. Ahhh man ... The power of this dude Melle Mel’s voice struck me instantly. I immediately became interested and I didn't know exactly what it was I was hearing, but I knew I wanted to do what he was doing. When I went to college at SUNY Farmingdale, I hooked up with my first DJ crew, Pito La Rock, and I was the MC. They were all from the Bronx and I was in The BX, rocking schools and that’s when I knew I could compete. It's all I wanted from that point on.
Q: You’ve known Chuck and Flavor for a long time now. Are there any memories of the three of you that stand out?
Pops Smash: I have a lot of memories of Chuck and Flav. What stands out in my mind is how bad we wanted to make music ... our music. We would be at Spectrum Studio all day and then walk about 5 miles in the cold, the snow, the heat... whatever the weather, to get home. 5 or 6 of us with enough money for a warm 2-liter soda and 2 big bags of chips to share. And snap sessions... a lot of snap sessions. But me and Flav go back a little further than that. My first band was with Flav. He was the bass player, Walter O'Neill on drums, Ken Kendrick on guitar and me on vocals with Flav ... lol. That was high school but Flav had dropped out of school .... but he kept coming up to the high school every day.
Q: Anything you want to add?
Pops Smash: You know what... there are so many things, so many memories. And after all is said and done I'm just glad to still be in the game and able to do this thing.... and make more fuckin memories.... lol.