DJ Hurricane Album Blowing In With Big Names

Solo effort from ex-Beastie Boys disc jockey to feature Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, R&B singer Faith Evans, various rappers.

Ex-Beastie Boys disc jockey DJ Hurricane is pulling out the big guns for his second solo

album, due in late July.

For his first collection of all new material in more than four years, the 33-year-old

turntable wizard has gathered a stellar supporting cast, including Green Day

singer/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, R&B singer Faith Evans and a host of well-known

rappers.

Although Hurricane (born Wendell Fite) revealed that the album is only half completed,

he confirmed that it will feature Armstrong on a remake of Queen's seminal rock hit "We

Will Rock You," Evans on an new version of Cheryl Lynn's disco smash "Got To Be Real"

and rapper Busta Rhymes' Flipmode Squad on the pro-pot anthem "Come Get It."

"This album here is more like a DJ record," Hurricane said. "It's a compilation of different

artists doing [my] songs. I wanted this one to be way different [from my 1995 debut

album, The Hurra], because the first one was just me producing and doing the

rapping.

"On this one here, I didn't want to do too much rapping," he continued. "I just wanted to

produce and write hooks to songs like I did on 'Sure Shot' (RealAudio excerpt)

[for the Beastie Boys]."

Hurricane said the collaboration on the Queen classic with Armstrong took place in a Los

Angeles studio not too long ago. The matchup grew out of Hurricane's friendship with the

Green Day leader following an early '90s tour during which the punk trio opened for the

Beastie Boys. The update of "We Will Rock You," co-produced by Beastie Boys associate

Mario Caldato Jr., features Armstrong singing the classic Queen tune over hip-hop beats

and scratching by Hurricane.

"Everything was cool," Hurricane said of the session. "Billie was into it, and I just pulled

him and Mario into the idea."

Asked how he hatched the idea for the remake, Hurricane said it was all in a day's work

for his fertile mind. "Sometimes I'll just be f---ing sitting on the toilet and come up with

ideas," he explained, "or be at the table eating and ... daydreaming and an idea pops up

and I just get on the phone." (RealAudio excerpt of

interview). "We Will Rock You" also features drumming from Earl Hudson of Bad

Brains, the Washington, D.C., band known for a hybrid of reggae and punk.

Hurricane said he's currently in a New York studio completing the tracks for the new

album, which will be released by TVT Records. (The Hurra was released on the

Beastie Boys' Grand Royal label.)

Among the other guests joining Hurricane on the new album are Beastie Boys

keyboardist Money Mark and rappers the Lost Boyz on the remake of

href="http://media.addict.com/atn-bin/get-

music/Lynn,_Cheryl/Got_To_Be_Real.ram">"Got To Be Real" (RealAudio

excerpt of original), Big Gipp of Southern rap group Goodie Mob and fellow hip-hopper

Xzibit on "Connect" and Kool G. Rap on a still-untitled track. Hurricane added that he is

currently finishing up a track with acclaimed New York rap group Black Star for the

project.

According to Hurricane, he has a "long, long" list of other collaborators he hopes to get

on the album, including Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and rapper Redman.

Hurricane plans to ask Redman to add a verse to "Connect."

The first single from the album will likely be "Come Get It," which features three members

of the Flipmode Squad -- Busta Rhymes' longtime backing group. Rah Digga, Lord Have

Mercy and Rampage added their vocals to the song which, Hurricane said, is slated to

be featured on the soundtrack to "White Boy." The film, starring rappers Big Pun and

Snoop Dogg, is slated to be released this summer.

Hurricane, a Queens, New York, native, began his career more than 20 years ago with

Solo Sounds. After acting as the Beastie Boys' bodyguard on their 1986 Raising Hell

tour with Run-D.M.C., Hurricane came out from the shadows and became their DJ for

nearly a decade. Hurricane has been flexing his muscles outside the hip-hop genre for

the past year, acting as producer on albums from indie rockers Vallejo and the

Calhouns, as well as industrial-rock act Gravity Kills.

Having just launched his own production company, Don't Sleep Productions, Hurricane

said he views the new solo album as a type of one-stop shopping for people interested

in hearing his production skills.

"It's about letting people see what my production is about," Hurricane said. "Like with

'Got To Be Real,' I just wanted to make a club record and get everyone dancing to it. It

will definitely be hot."