DJ Muggs Talks About Playing It 'Safe' with Belle Humble: Exclusive

Producer tells CODE about the unexpected vocal cut off his new bass-heavy dance album.

DJ Muggs is nothing short of a hip-hop luminary. The Queens native has been producing and spinning since the late ’80s -- first as a member of Cypress Hill and later under the Soul Assassins moniker. He was also the beatsmith behind a few songs you might have heard of: “Jump Around” by House of Pain, and “Check Yo Self” by Ice Cube.

Given Muggs’ deep roots in the rap scene, the January release of “Bass For Your Face” on dance super-label Ultra Records was both a surprise and marked change in direction. True to its name, the album does offer loads of low-end, but more than anything else, it’s an exercise in sonic exploration for Muggs (born Lawrence Muggerud). The album meshes sounds from dubstep, glitch, trap and hip-hop into a coherent, innovative whole.

“I get tired of making the same record over and over,” DJ Muggs told CODE. “So for me, this is just experimenting with sounds. I cleaned my musical palate and learned.”

One particular source of inspiration was Flux Pavilion’s classic remix of “Cracks” by the Freestylers. “One line and one word makes the whole song,” says Muggs. “How do I make a good song with one word? That’s a challenge.”

The result of that particular challenge is the exceptional “Safe,” a track that manages to feel at once heavy and delicate with real emotional resonance. Like “Cracks,” the cut features vocalist Belle Humble. Her smooth, measured vocals immediately caught the ears of the CODE editors. We asked Muggs to tell us more about the track, and he obliged with a video just for us.

Watch this space for “Safe” remixes, coming soon.