Creep Into The Dungeon with Rico Wade

Let’s get some general info on the Dungeon Family before we begin. How long have you been with them, and how’d y’all first meet up?

We all met in the early nineties. We all met in Atlanta. The Dungeon Family kinda came from my mama’s basement. It was an old house we had, and it was, like, an unfinished basement. Most of the basement was red clay dirt, and there was rats down there, and you went down stairs to get down there…so it’s like a dungeon. Then the “family” came from, we had had a family room that was hard wood floor where all of us would sleep. We all had sleeping bags or blankets or whatever, laying on the floor–like a sleepover, you know what I mean?



Who are the members of the Dungeon Family?

The first generation is Outkast, Mr. DJ, Goodie Mob, Witchdoctor, Freddie Calhoun, which is Cool Breeze, Backbone, and Sleepy Brown, and Big Rube.



Out of the whole Dungeon Family, who can we expect to be up-and-coming in the game?

The new cats is like Slimm Calhoun, he’s second generation; Shom Don, he’s second generation. We have a Spanish artist, Boulevard Truncoso. Outkast got a new artist they signed, Killa Mic. We still got business to do with the first generation. Get some more certified albums.



Tell us about the Dungeon Family project dropping in November.

The album is a big event for me. It’s like the year of the harvest. You reap what you sew. It’s been years since we kinda put Outkast out, in ’93, actually the eighth year. I feel like this is the Lord’s way of giving us a gift, you know what I mean? I mean, creatively, the album is incredible.



Who’s appearing, and who’s producing on the album?

Producin’ is Outkast and Organized Noize. Goodie Mob did a song, too. The only other features besides [The Dungeon Family] is we added Bubba Sparxxx. Bubba Sparxxx is like one of our distant cousins. Me and Bubba are real cool, but I couldn’t just put him on the Dungeon Family album. ‘Cause the fact that he was startin’ to blow up, I didn’t want people to think it’s us trying to be commercial. But really, he’s family. I want people to know he’s associated with us. I mean, Timbaland put him on, but he got his southern roots from us. He started rappin’ ’cause of us.



Outkast made a huge jump from Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik to Stankonia. As a skeptic, I have to ask what sparked the change?

Really, I think it’s the fact that we actually have that many creative people. Like, Outkast’s original sound is more Organized Noize. Like the “So Fresh, So Clean”, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik sound–that’s more our sound, as in me, Pat, and Ray. When they do “Bombs Over Baghdad” or “Miss Jackson”, that’s their sound. Even “Rosa Parks.” So now you got five or six great producers working together. At first, it was just us three doing all the beats, really. By them watching us and seeing us make original music, they got a chance to do what they do.



What’s up with Andre changing the name to Andre 3000?

When Andre first came out, it was like, how can I say it…the world loved him already off the top. There was no where to go except down. When we first talked about Outkast, there was so many women going crazy sayin’ that Andre was the next sex symbol. I personally think it wasn’t about that for him. It was more like, “Man, I’m trying to be the best MC.” It’s about the music and getting a point across, to him. That’s where it came from, that’s just him saying it’s the future. We ain’t never gonna see the year 3000, so it’s like we gonna give it to y’all now.



Fill us in on the Rosa Parks lawsuit. What was Outkast thinking when they made the track?

It was a club jam, already a hit record. So what they do? Name it something deep–that’s all! Like we did “Cell Therapy”, it was “who’s that peekin’ in my window.” It’s a part of hip-hop. To give people something to think about. Draw people somewhere else.



It says on the Outkast website that Stankonia used no samples. Is it your hopes that one day MCs will sample off that record?

Oh yeah, I already know they will just from stuff like “So Fresh, So Clean.” You gotta buy your break beats, find your kick and the snare, and you find other sounds you need, or whatever. We use original sounds and live instruments, you know what I’m sayin’?



How are you and the Dungeon Family dealing with with the 9-11 attacks on New York and DC?

It was a shock for the world, man. To me, it wasn’t New York and DC. It was like New York and DC that just happened to get hit. It was the world. Like the world was on pause. It was serious for everybody. For me to fly to NY last night was my first time flying, and it was an event for me. I believe in the Lord, and I can’t fear anything else, but that. That was in the Lord’s plan, to me. That’s just what had to happen.



So how did you feel on the plane?

Well, you’re just a lot more cautious. I’m just on the plane, but I’m still conscious of my surroundings. Look and see who’s on the plane. I don’t know what my purpose could have been. My purpose could have been to stop [another hijack].



What brought about the idea for the Outkast clothing line?

They really trying to grow into stuff that Andre wears, but the clothing company gotta start with pieces people gonna buy first. They start with t-shirts, sweatshirts, jeans. They really trying to get into some original stuff. It’s a part of hip-hop culture. We most definitely changed the was people dress, we changed how people talk, act.



Will there be clothing as crazy as the stuff Andre sports in the videos?

Yes they will. They just trying to grow there. It’s gonna go all the way there. They just trying to build up the revenue…the capital.



How long do you think it will be before cats wear this stuff?

Actually, man, it’s like they was doing this in the 70’s. What goes around, comes around. Right now, I think originality is going up everyday. I think people gettin’ more credit for being original than they are for being carbon copies.



Alright, man, I really want to thank you for your time and supporting the website. Before I let you go, is there anything you want to tell people about?

My partner, Ray–Organized Noize, we’re scorin’ the new Muhammed Ali movie. We doin’ something for Raphael Saadiq’s new album. We did stuff with Bubba Sparxxx, we did stuff with Ludacris’s new album. That’s pretty much it. Peace.



interviewed by Jeff