The Return of the Magnificent (2007)—DJ Jazzy Jeff
With this album, I really mapped it all out. I got on the phone and called some of my favorite artists and everybody came through and knocked it out. I am the biggest underground hip-hop nerd on the planet. I asked J-Live to be on the album. I always thought that he was one of the most talented guys I knew. I love his records! It’s hard when you have one foot on the commercial side and one foot in the street. Sometimes you get mad because you don’t understand why the world doesn’t know who a J-Live is. There’s somebody out there who says we should not have J on the radio. I know that I’m not crazy. I know that if the masses heard some of this music more people would like it. But it’s all politics. Whatever they want you to listen to on Hot 97 is what’s going to stick. And Jean Grae? She’s the greatest female rapper I’ve ever heard. It was cool having her on the album. This project gave me the opportunity to do whatever I wanted with whoever I wanted. I could have called some of the most commercial artists in the world and they would have came just like Jean and J-Live did.
Right now, I’m working on the next Magnificent project. I haven’t figured out what the name of the third one will be, but I will retire the series after this. I also have an album that I’m working on with a new artist from Toronto named Aya. She has a beautiful voice. We kind of joined forces…We’re putting together a very soulful, lyrically great album. She’s an incredible singer. I love where I’m at career wise. I travel all around the world and DJ. I can go to Dubai and then come home and finish a record. When people tell me I’m one of the greatest DJ’s of all time, I don’t know how to digest that. I think about the days when Will and I were practicing in my mom’s basement. I’m just doing something that I truly love to do.