After we got the chance to interview Jeru the Damaja recently, luck turned in our favour once again as we got to chat to hip hop legend and original member of the Gang Starr Foundation, Big Shug ahead of their gig in the Sugar Club on St. Patrick’s Day.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
“My inspiration for my music comes from life and real life experiences.”
What does the Gang Starr Foundation mean to you?
“We will always represent our legacy of the original Gang Starr foundation: consisting of Big Shug, Jeru the Damaja and Group Home, all others are family or affiliates!”
Working with DJ Premier is up there with many rappers’ dream goals and you’ve been doing it for quite a while now. Do you feel lucky to be in the position to still have access to his production?
“We’re like brothers. We have worked together since my introduction into the hip-hop world professionally; you always have the chemistry so it’s not like work, it’s natural. I love DJ Premier.”
What’s your favourite track you’ve worked on?
“I don’t have a favourite track that I’ve worked on because every track has new life, and I like doing new music.”
How do you feel about the state of hip hop in 2016?
“It is what it is. There’s always new artists, new views and a new sound, but it always will be based on the rhymes and music. I, and those from my era, still rock the mic and will continue to contribute to keep balance in the game, and realness.”
What new artists have caught your eye?
“I like Drake and a few others, but I’m more of a fan of songs than artists, and I like to listen to a lot of instrumentals.”
Has there been any talk of a new Gang Starr Foundation project?
“Me and Dj Premier have discussed doing a Gang Starr Foundation project, so it’s definitely in the mix.”
Is there any one artist that you haven’t worked with yet that you would like to collaborate with?
“I’d like to work with Busta Rhymes. That’s my man. We been wanting to work together for a long time. Also D’Angelo and Lil Mo, even Rick Ross.”
Have you performed in Ireland before? Or will this gig on St. Patrick’s Day be your first time?
“Yeah I’ve been to Ireland a few times, always a great time, great fans and great people.”
What’s your fondest memory of working with Guru?
“I had a lot of great times with Guru. One of my favorite memories was how happy he was to have me in New York and back in his life after our separation due to my incarceration!”
Describe your live show in 3 words.
“Soulful, powerful and entertaining.”
Catch Big Shug with Jeru the Damaja and Afu Ra at the Sugar Club on March 17th. Tickets available from sugarclubtickets.com