EDM and hip-hop fusion duo ZEDS DEAD’s "Living Dead" EP drops today, July 24th on Ultra Records. With collaborations from Candadian rapper Omar Linx, plus tracks that vary from powerful builds, to gut-wrenching drops, to guitar driven melodies and of course, face-melting bass. This may prove to be the most versatile ZEDS DEAD release to date. Snag the EP on Beatport!
VIBE: Tell the us about your history with hip-hop for people that are new to electronic dance music (EDM).
ZEDS DEAD: We were [and still are!] huge hip-hop heads. We started making hip-hop in the beginning. But eventually we decided to become a greater all encompassing thing where we could produce lots of different styles. We used to have a group called Mass Productions under which, we made typical East Coast-sounding old school hip-hop. Then we branched out and started to change stuff with the ZEDS DEAD project. Now we're kind of making more hip-hop stuff under that [ZED DEAD project].
In the VIBE office we are playing your "Living Dead" track with Omar Linx, and everyone is buggin' over the track. How did you hook up with the Canadian rapper? Is it the Canadian brotherhood?
Yeah, we've known each other for a while. When we were just making strictly hip-hop, we did a couple of tracks together. As we started doing more electronic shit, he was open to doing all sorts of different shit too. It was cool and we've always respected his talent. We vibe well.
What about Pusha T? How did that collaboration happen?
That happened in a very boring unexciting way. I can make up a story.
Nah, you were talking about old school hip-hop before. Do you see a correlation between what happened back in the day with hip-hop
becoming mainstream and now with electronic dance music?
Yeah, totally. I think it’s the same with anything that becomes mainstream. People, in the beginning, feel this really strong attachment to it - when they feel apart of this underground movement. Then as it starts to get bigger, some people get really protective of what they're passionate about, what their music is. I think that with anything that becomes mainstream, a constant underground movement will go alongside with it. For the most mainstream hip-hop, there is also the most underground shit. There will always be an underground thing that will be born, and I don't really see a problem with it.
What's up with deadmau5 ranting about all DJs being “button-pushers.” How does that make you guys feel?
It doesn't really make us feel shit. We have always prided ourselves as being producers first and foremost over being DJs anyway. I'm never going to be someone who is like "I'm the best DJ in the world" and go toe to toe with people over that.
Did you guys start the EDM-Quentin Tarantino revolution with your name (taken from Pulp Fiction)? A lot of DJs have a major “broner” [DEFINITION: When a man has a hard on for another man] for him?
I think Tarantino is totally a staple of our generation, and the generation before us. Who hasn't seen his movies? I don't think I would take credit for that.
If you had one dream hip-hop rapper that you would want to produce a track with, who would it be?
Busta Rhymes is definitely one of them. We love Bust. Jadakiss is another rapper we’d like to work with.
Describe your sound in one sentence:
It's the beginning of the universe, the sound of the big bang… if the sound could exist in a vacuum.
If you guys opened a club or a bar what would you name it?
The Q. The queue is the line to get into the club so it’s all about people standing in line and not getting into the club.