Being a New York celebrity DJ is a good way to make friends and influence people. Just ask Mark Ronson, who has used his numerous contacts and a bit of cash to secure a stellar lineup of guest stars for his debut album, Here Comes the Fuzz, scheduled for release August 26.
The disc includes appearances by Sean Paul and Tweet ("International Affair"), Nappy Roots ("Bluegrass Stain'd"), Rivers Cuomo ("I Suck"), Mos Def and M.O.P. ("On the Run") and Q-Tip ("Tomorrow"). The first single, "Ooh Wee," which features Nate Dogg and Ghostface Killah, goes for official adds at radio on July 15, though some stations are already playing the track. A video will be shot in the next few weeks.
The track is upbeat and flashy, blending a beat reminiscent of the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" with gliding disco strings and smooth, swift wordplay. "The song has a good club life," Ronson said. "I made the track one night, and I really only thought of giving it to Ghost. If he wouldn't be on it, I couldn't even think of a runner-up."
Ronson hooked up with Ghostface through his manager, to whom he had previously been introduced. Even so, when he got the confirmation that Ghost was interested, he was ecstatic.
"He was in Miami working on his own record," Ronson said. "And when I got back word he was interested, I was over the moon. I'm paying him and stuff, but I'm still a huge fan at heart. So when he calls me to leave me a message, I save it for weeks and play it for all my friends."
As thrilled as he was by Ghost's vocal, Ronson decided he wanted another voice to provide a complementary vibe. He phoned up Sylvia Rhone, the head of his label, and asked her if she could help him hook up with Nate Dogg. It didn't take long before he had his answer, and it took even less time for the singer to record his part.
"I sent it to Nate on a Friday and he did it in his house and sent it back to me the next day," Ronson said. "It's funny 'cause I went to the studio last night to see Nate just to visit. And he was telling me, 'Man, I can't believe that record's blowing up. I hated that record.' I was like, 'Uh, gee, thanks,' and he said, 'No, man, I always hate sh--. Man, I hated "Ain't No Fun" when I first did it.' That made everything OK because 'Ain't No Fun' is one of the all-time classic five hip-hop club records ever."