Shankle mi nankle. Shizzle mi nizzle. Ele is back and he’s currently on top of the Billboard reggae charts. Here’s what he had to say about the disc at the tail end of last year. Check for more in the upcoming summer issue of Peace, #91 to be exact…
Where does this album, Let’s Get Physical, fit into the lexicon of Elephant Man’s releases?
Well trust me, right now Let’s Get Phsyical, where this album fits? It fits right at the new generation. This is the new era, this is the new sound; this is everything to Elephant Man right now because the past three years we were putting out like, on the VP label, like the Over The Wall album, we were suppose to be at Def Jam, but it didn’t get to work out the right way. So Puff Daddy came to the Hot 97, On The Reggae Show Tip and saw me. Puff Daddy said he wanted to sign me. So we took it from there. We scrapped that album; we went into the studio and did a lot of work. So this album is not like taking a couple tracks from the dancehall, put it together and doing one. This album you got producers like Swizz Beatz, Lil Jon, you got Dasaka, you got Steven from Big Ship, that’s Freddie McGregor’s son. You got Puffy, you got Will, you got Wyclef, you got crazy people and you got artists on this album. You got me and Akon, me and R Kelly, me and Puffy and Swizz Beatz, you got me and Swizz Beatz again, you got me and Rihanna, me and Chris Brown, you got me, Busta Rhymes and Shaggy. The album is crazy. Trust me. Me and Kat De Luna, on the Let’s Get Physical, she just went on that. It’s crazy. Right now this album is one of the best. It’s unexplainable. It’s not like me going into a reggae recording studio and recording. This is like recording from my life. I’m recording for reggae music right now. I’m not taking it the cheap way by taking a couple tracks I did at regular studios in Jamaica. I went down, I went into the studio with some ideas. I told Steven McGregor and we produce it same like how we would produce it like how we do the Swizz Beatz track, same like how we would be in Bad Boy studio recording. That’s how we did it. You got Baby G on the album, you know Jammys son. So trust me, the album is crazy. Tight, tight, tight. You got Birch, Tony Kelly, from the dancehall scene. You got Ward 21. Crazy.
So would you the say this is the most Elephant has ever tried?
It’s the best. When I did all the other albums, like when I was signed to Greensleeve and did those three albums, Coming For You, Log On and Higher Level, those albums were like I am in the dancehall doing my stuff. This album is like representing for the dancehall and going after the new world, the American market. Breaking through to new audience. Giving the new Hip Hop, R&B, Pop, Soca, everybody new generation something to say, ‘Yo, This album is serious. This is not any regular reggae dancehall album’. This is a dancehall international album; real, real produce.
So the intent of this album, you made this specifically to give Americans, what you feel they want?
Yeah, because we took all the American artist and put them on the dancehall beat. Me and Chris Brown, that is a dancehall beat, me and Rihanna, dancehall beat. Five-0, it’s a dancehall beat. Me and Akon, on Our World, that’s a dancehall. R. Kelly, Sweep the Floor With It, that’s a dancehall beat. We putting them on the dancehall beat, letting them feel the vibe of our world. It’s not like I am putting them on a hip-hop beat because I am not hip-hop. I’m a Dancehall artist, that’s what I represent. So I try to keep it Dancehall as possible but with some names that can turn heads. Letting people say, ‘Let me hear what Elephant Man is saying with R. Kelly’ or ‘Let me hear what he is saying with Rihanna.’ If you read the album, you are going to want to listen to it. If you see what’s happening you are going to get blown out of your shoes because trust me, Puff Daddy, one thing I like about him you can’t trick him with music. Puffy, you can’t trick him with music. A lot of people might not go around Puff Daddy, and might not get to know him, but I know him. You don’t just go in Puffy’s place and do music and say here I got these and he takes it, because no, you got to please him; everybody around you plus the staff, he got to be feeling it. When I say feeling it, you might feel it, he might feel it, but he’ll feel like we could do more. Either step up the beat, or put something more to it or get a name who can carry a hook. He just thinks musically, like how Elephant Man would think and that’s why I like in him.