The week after Playdough & DJ Sean Patrick dropped their new collaboration, Gold Tips, they were kind enough to spend some time discussing the new project with me over the phone. In this interview you’ll discover that these guys are hilarious, fun-loving, humble men of God that know how to “turn the party out.”
IVM: This is Vince, and I’m very excited to be talking with two awesome guys. Playdough, the MC from Dallas, TX, rapping since before his debut album in 2002, and DJ Sean P. They just released a new album called Gold Tips. Guys, I can’t stop playing it. First I want to ask about your relationship. You’ve known each other and worked with each other on many different projects already.
Playdough: Yea yea yea, we have, Vince, my friend, we have. Sean’s been my tour DJ and show DJ for years, and even before he was my DJ, he did a beat on my Goodonya project, the EP I did for an Australian label, and then Don’t Drink The Water, Sean did a beat on that. Sean did Ghetto Blaster.
Sean: And he paid a million dollars for each of those beats. That’s the only way I was able to work with that guy. Show me the money (laughs).
IVM: (laughs) Sean, what is it like working with Playdough?
Playdough: Oh yea, I want to hear this.
Sean: Dude, oh man, I hate this question, geez. (laughs) First off, he’s my friend, he’s my homeboy. But second, I get to ride on this dude’s shoulders, he lifts me up, he upholds me as a DJ and he drops knowledge on me all the time. Working with Playdough is rad because I get to learn a whole lot, this dude is always dropping knowledge on me. Not like he’s trying to teach me anything, but I’m learning so much from his career, and from, just as a dude, with his relationship with the Lord. I couldn’t imagine working with somebody better. He’s my homeboy, and I’m always growing.
Playdough: Thanks, Sean.
IVM: The new album is called Gold Tips, by Playdough and Sean Patrick. Sean, we know about Playdough, we’ve seen his work and heard his music, but we really don’t know much about what you do. Get us up to speed with the things you’ve done in your career, different bands that you’ve worked with, and basically what you and Playdough are doing now.
Sean: I started from the bottom dude. Started from the bottom now we’re here! (laughs) I started DJing in 2000 and I was in some freestyle and hip-hop crews. I joined a group called Bone Circus, who later changed their name to BC. We did 2 records and I started making beats in that process, as well as rapping. I rapped, made beats and cuts, recorded, and learned all the trades while working with BC. I was also in another group called Point 5 Covenant. So I did some underground stuff, that’s how I met Playdough. He recorded one of Bone Circus’ records, our first record. So I’ve done that. Most notably I’ve worked with ManChild, from MarsILL, Deepspace5 crew, and we did an album called Move Merchant. That was in 2009. Then I did a record with Paradox, an MC out of Colorado. That was in 2012, a couple years ago. I started working with Playdough, started doing a couple of full-length projects. I’ve been DJing with Playdough since I think 2007 or 2008. Yea man, I’ve been in the game for a minute, making beats and being an artist and going along for the ride.
IVM: You mentioned Deepspace5, so I’ll get this question out of the way. Is there any news about an upcoming Deepspace5 album, anything at all?
Sean: Only if I join the crew.
Playdough: No way. (laughs) No news is good news, right?
IVM: Not in this case! I love Deepspace5. I could never get From The Outside out of my head. I loved that song.
Playdough: Yea, me too dude. That last album we did is my favorite album from Deepspace5. I know a lot of people for nostalgia reasons and all kinds of stuff The Night We Called It A Day is their favorite. Obviously I love that album. But The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be is my favorite joint we’ve ever done. I feel like we were at the top of our game. The beats, rhymes, it’s really well put together, we all knew a little more what we were doing on that album instead of coming along the way. Anyways, no news, but let’s keep riding on that one for a while, keep chilling on it, it’s real deep.
Sean: Good thing the crew is so vast, they keep doing more projects on their own outside of the crew so it’s kinda cool.
IVM: That is true. Playdough, you and Heath McNease did Wed, White, and Wu, which is one of my favorite mix tapes with Wu-Tang beats. In a way it’s kind of like that, because Wu-Tang was one big clan and the individual members released their own albums, so it’s kind of like that.
Playdough: Right, right. Oh man, you can compare us to Wu-Tang all day.
IVM: (laughs) I loved what you did with Wed, White, and Wu. You brought those beats to a new generation. I was listening to those beats when I was younger, and my parents would get mad at me because they didn’t like the lyrics. You’re making it accessible to a whole new age group, and accessible to them in a way that they won’t get in trouble for listening to it.
Playdough: Yea man, it’s crazy how far that Wu brand goes man. If I do shows and there’s people there that haven’t seen me play or they’re not familiar with me yet, and they come by my merch table and they see the Wed, White, and Wu, they get really interested. They say, “Woah, this is you?” And I say yea, and I kind of tell them about it. I say, “It’s this joint we did using Wu-Tang beats”. They say, “You used their beats? Did you use this beat?” I say, “Yea, that’s on there.” “What about this one?” “Yea, that’s on there too.” Their mind is blown. Before hearing me or seeing me live, they’re buying it and giving me daps, saying anyone down with the Wu is down with me. It’s crazy how far it goes bro. It’s cool to be able to allow a lot of people to relive it, you know, they remember it for what it was but now they can listen to it and it’s a little more where they’re at in their life now. They can still listen to those beats and keep it clean, you know what I’m saying?
IVM: Yes, that’s awesome and I love it. Let’s talk about Gold Tips. By the way, I want you to know, I’ve got you connected via phone line to my audio board with a gold tip, so…
Playdough: Oh man, the only way to do it bro!
Sean: Yea! If it wasn’t like that we’d be off of this conversation real quick!
Playdough: My manager sent it over as a prerequisite before we would even do this!
IVM: (laughs) Oh man. We’ll start at the beginning. I’ve heard you guys say this is an album to put on when you’re having a good Friday night. Did you just want to put out an album for people to bump during a party?
Sean: We’re friends man, I think that friendship bled over into everything. Playdough can expound on that, but that might be the core of it.
Playdough: Yea, we like to have fun. There’s a time for everything. Most of the music I make I try to make it really well-rounded, where there is a happy song, a song when I’m in my struggle, a song that really shows my personality, then a deeper song. This one, I just wanted to focus on the more fun, happy side of things and just make a whole project with that type of vibe as opposed to keeping it super well-rounded. Yea, we’re friends, we’re homies, when we kick it we love to laugh and have fun and joke, that’s really what we do. Yea, we wanted to make some music for, definitely, it is for Friday night, but I feel like everybody kind of has a moment anytime during the week when you have something going on maybe that night, and so you have to go through the process of getting ready. You take your shower, get dressed, you feel fly, you get in your ride, you can try to get your mind right before you get there, you’re excited…it’s that type of music. It goes really well with when you’re hanging out with your friends, when you’re having fun. It’s not super deep to where you’re going to have to pay attention to these rhymes to catch this message that I’m trying to spit at you. You can turn it up super loud, which is what it’s meant for, but you’re not going to lose some depth if you turn it down and you guys are talking and it’s just kind of background party music and then the chorus comes on and you turn it back up. We just wanted to fit that vibe. That’s where we’re at with our show right now. We just like to make every show like a party and have fun and take it back to some old school hip-hop when it was about that. It’s cool to have music to be able to do live that captures the vibe that you wanna do. That’s where we’re at right now, and it was a blast. If it wasn’t fun then we weren’t trying to mess with it. We had a blast making it, so hopefully that comes across when people listen to it. It’s just fun, get your attitude right music, put a smile on your face.
IVM: You guys got me hooked, and Playdough you’ve done it before, with a silly song. 2 Liter was this one. Sean, that beat is pretty amazing.
Playdough: (laughs) Sean, he thinks that beat is amazing bro! How does that make you feel Sean? Look, Sean made that beat, that whole song was like the first Gold Tips song we made. It was before we were even going to do a project, we were just playing around one night having fun, and we basically just tried to rhyme everything that we could with 2 liter. That was the only concept of the song. Most of the stuff in-between the rhymes was just kind of free styling, and we knew what the rhyme would be. So, 2 liter, blue beeper, tube cleaner, whatever, and then we would just kind of fill in the gaps. That’s why we’re laughing and Sean is coming in doing the backgrounds. He made that beat, and he was not feeling it man! I kept telling him it was fresh and people were going to love it. He just kept saying, “No man, I don’t want to mess with this song.” Then so many people tell us what you said Vince, people love that song. I always like to rub his face in it when people say they like that beat because I tried to tell him man, I tried to tell him it was fresh.
Sean: That was the blueprint of the record though. I think that was the driving force that inspired other beats on the record too.
IVM: It’s those songs…Playdough with those silly lyrics that you put in. Same thing with My Cadillac. You’re rapping about your car, and I let my youth kids listen to it and they wouldn’t stop, they wanted to keep hearing it. I haven’t given them a chance to hear 2 Liter yet, but they’re going to love it. It’s one of those songs that is kind of silly, but it’s ingeniously silly and everyone loves it.
Sean: Agreed, agreed. The lyrics are like that, I agree.
Playdough: I don’t get it man, I know what you’re saying because people tell me exactly what you’re saying so I appreciate it and it’s cool. I wish I could bottle that and do it. I don’t know, I can’t call it man, you just have fun and songs come out that way, sometimes they stick and sometimes they hit in different ways. Those songs are fun. We do shows and if we don’t do 2 Liter people from the crowd yell out, “Where’s the 2 Liter, what’s up with the 2 Liter?” It stuck, I don’t know why it stuck but it did.
IVM: So are you guys planning on a tour?
Playdough: That’s kinda how we eat man, just playing shows. We’re always on the road. We’re both dads, so we try not to…you know, what some people typically think of a tour as an extended period on the road. We really try to just keep the touring to maybe two official tours a year, then other than that it’ll just be 5 or 10 days at a time on the road, then coming back. We try to be home more than we’re gone, and be gone just enough to kinda cover the budget, support the music, do what we need to do. We want to be home more than we’re gone. You can’t really do that if you tour a lot. We definitely have shows coming up. The next run is, we have some local shows coming up in a couple days, but the next run on the road will be kinda Northwest area, like Washington, Utah, Nevada maybe, northern California, that area. Then who knows. We’re always on the road, so the best thing to do is to check the website, Iamplaydough.com, djseanp.com, we always keep updated shows on there.
IVM: Nice. Sean, you said you didn’t really like the 2 Liter beat. What was your favorite of the beats that you created?
Sean: Wow, that’s a good one. Well, probably the easiest ones that I’ve made. (laughs) No, I like…one of my favorite songs is the first song on the record, Gold Tips. I like that beat a lot. And I like the next song, Act Like You Know, I like that beat a lot too. Any beat that Playdough had a hand in I wasn’t really feeling that much.
Sean: (Laughs) No, I had fun. I had the privilege of working with Freddie Bruno and Playdough throughout the production of the album. So those guys really have their fingerprint on the production too. I just wanted to shout that out. Those guys are ill on the beats, and creative minds. I think the first two beats, I like those the best.
Playdough: Yea, those are good.
IVM: When you’re onstage performing the album, what do you find is your favorite to perform?
Playdough: I would say the one that makes me laugh, and kind of step away from rocking the crowd and just kinda be on stage, in the moment enjoying it would probably be Bust It. That’s the one we sampled the Fat Boys, and that’s one where Sean comes up from behind the tables and rhymes with me. It just kind of elevates the party and people tend to respond. It’s just a fun moment, a fun song. It’s fun for me. The song kind of rocks the crowd itself, I don’t have to work really hard to keep people engaged. I can just let the track do that. So I can just step back and laugh, and look at Sean as he’s rocking the mic. (laughs) I love it, I love it.
IVM: That’s awesome. My favorite track has got to be Real Like It, I love that song.
Playdough: Yeah, that ones really fun live too man. The only thing that’s weird about that one live is a lot of times live we do a shorter version of the song to keep the set moving and make everything flow, and Real Like It is a tough one to shorten. So we always do the full song, and so it feels weird live because everything is moving, like 2 minutes a song at the longest, and Real Like It is like over 4 minutes long. (Laughs) It’s rocking the whole time, but it feels like you have to work really hard to get the lyrics out, you’re just breathing really hard.
Sean: But that’s a really fun song too.
Playdough: It is. We shot a dope video for that man, I’m hyped to drop the video and see what that one does as a single. That’s coming down the line.
IVM: That was my next question. Sean, on your website you had mentioned I think 5 videos for this album, is that right?
Sean: I’ve lost count man.
Playdough: There’s still more, we still have three more I think.
Sean: What else is on deck? Give him some exclusive info Playdough.
Playdough: Oh man, ok, we’ve got a video for Been Dope with OhNo, we’ve got a video for Real Like It, and a video for On and On with Copywrite.
IVM: These are already filmed?
Playdough: Yea, ready to go. But you gotta wait til it’s time to drop it and push it…and work it. Gotta work it.
Sean: And it may never come out. I think the next video comes out 2032.
IVM: (Laughs) I’m still going to be following!
IVM: Whatever social media is, whatever the rage is we’re going to be following. “When is that video for Gold Tips coming out, they promised!”
Sean: Oh man, it’s gonna be inside your brain, you’re gonna see it through your glasses. (Laughs) It’s gonna project on your wall through your eyeball. (Laughs)
IVM: (Laughs) Wow. It’s clear, you guys really worked hard on this album. You’ve got a couple other guys who lent their talents to the album. Copywrite was one that I found really interesting on On and On. When you ask someone to collaborate with you on the lyrics, do you just give them the beat and say, “Have at it, you get this many bars”?
Playdough: On that particular song, yea, we gave him the beat and he loved it. We just kind of explained to him the concept of the song, which that song was a little more abstract. So it kind of didn’t matter what he rapped about, the concept of the song was On and On, continuous, what does that mean to you? He’s such a dope MC. Telling him that, I was super stoked to hear what he would do with that. As a writer, you could take a million ways with that concept. You could go in the back door, you could make a metaphor, you could take it very literal, or do dope punchlines with it. He’s incredible, so yeah I just set him up with the pitch. I thought that was a pretty easy concept. And the beat is so dope dude, really I could have just not even given him a concept and I could have just given him the beats and said, “Hey man, send me back some raps,” and he would have done something amazing. That’s because it’s that type of song. So working on that song may be a little different than something else that has a strong chorus and a really strong concept that you need to stick to. That one in particular was real loosey goose.
IVM: You guys are Christians. Even when making an album like Gold Tips, which is like a party album, how does your faith shape what you do, whether it be something silly or something serious?
Playdough: I think if we have to think about how we’re going to fit our faith in to the music that we’re making, that doesn’t really go along with the Gold Tips vibe and what we did all along. Like I said, we just wanted to have fun, and in doing that we wanted it to be real natural. Anytime we felt like we were forcing something or trying to make something that wasn’t happening organically, we always scrapped it. I’d say, coming from that way, there’s nothing strategic, like how can I fit my faith into this. It wasn’t like, I just want to have fun, how can I fit my faith into that? It’s more that we just love the Lord with everything, and it’s such a big part of our life living for God, that it just kind of comes out naturally, as it comes out. I don’t even know what that is. In having fun, you always have fun as a Christian dude. That shapes your whole life. That shapes I think what you think is fun, that shapes that what you consider fun others might not consider fun, so…(laughs)
Sean: Yea, like 2 Liters? (laughs)
Playdough: Yea, like something real stupid like that. Yea, I don’t know man, I just kinda let it happen how it happens bro. I try to put the Lord first, and out of the abundance of the Lord the mouth speaks, so I think it comes out how God wants it to come out. I don’t know, it’s kind of a tough question. It’s actually a really easy question but I feel like I should have a better answer for it, but I’m just being honest, I just kinda let it go where it goes because I feel confident that it will come out at the right time.
IVM: That is a great answer. Honestly, I ask it because defining something as “Christian music” is a hard thing. If you believe in God and have faith, just as you said, it should naturally come out without having to force anything. Yet certain people want to hear the JPMs, the Jesus’ Per Minute, they’re counting how many times they hear it. When you’re trying to force it, it’s just not natural. The way you responded is great. If you do have faith it should just naturally come out if you’re purposefully trying to fit it in or not.
Playdough: Cool, that’s for real. Tight.
IVM: Good, we’re all in agreement. (laughs) Well I think I better let you guys get going.
Playdough: Yea, it’s all good. I appreciate the love dude, I’m glad you enjoy the record.
Sean: Thank you.
Playdough: It’s one thing to spin it, and that’s very cool of you, but it’s extra cool to know you actually dig it. It’s cool to know you’ve been riding so long dude, so I’m glad we still put music out there that you’re into and we haven’t fallen off. That’s very cool, so thank you for letting the world hear it. We appreciate it bro.
Sean: Thank you.
Playdough: Pray for us dude! Everybody out there pray for us! Just like I said, in the music…I don’t know. I’m trying to live my life for the Lord and I really don’t know what I’m doing. (laughs) I need some prayer man, you guys hold us down and help us. We want to glorify God and do what’s righteous. Sometimes it’s tougher than I want it to be, so hold me down man, please.
Sean: Sometimes there’s not a blueprint for being Christians and being in this hip-hop field. There’s not. We’re serving the Lord doing this, we’re trying to reach as many people with just some great music as we can. We want to impact the world that way. Prayers mean a whole lot and they have a big effect, so thank you for the prayers.
IVM: Definitely. Before I let you go, tell us where we can pick up a copy of Gold Tips. Do you still have physical copies available?
Playdough: Yea. Everything is digital. The easiest way is wherever you buy your digital music, iTunes, Amazon, wherever man it’s everywhere. If you want the physical, you can get it from our label’s website, which is Manbitesdogrecords.com. They’ve got t-shirts, cassettes, stickers, CD’s, bundles, the whole nine. They’ve got really tight packages with a fresh t-shirt designed by Grp Fly, which is a super fresh company of righteous dudes. Honestly, the one stop shop that you can get everything, all our music, all the videos, show dates, everything is on my website. We’re everywhere! How about Google, and you figure it out! (Laughs)
IVM: Thanks again guys! Gold Tips is available now.