Amadeus360 Takes Us Through Each Collaboration on His New LP “The MPC Jedi”

The producer discusses linking up with Masta Ace, Black Moon, M.O.P, Ras Kass, and more on his latest project.
Track by Track

Amadeus360 Takes Us Through Each Collaboration on His New LP The MPC Jedi

The producer discusses linking up with Masta Ace, Black Moon, M.O.P, Ras Kass, and more on his latest project.

Words: Mike LeSuer

Photo: courtesy of the artist

May 12, 2023

One of the many perks of being a veteran of the rap game is the robust Rolodex that inevitably comes with that. Just ask boom-bap producer Amadeus360, who’s worked with everyone from Kool G Rap to Paul Wall since coming up in the ’90s under the mentorship of Kid Capri. Now, after a pair of pandemic-era collaborative LPs alongside East Coast emcees Termanology and Ruste Juxx, the beatmaker is cashing in on some favors with his massive new record The MPC Jedi—an 18-track collection stuffed with endless guest verses.

Over the course of an hour, a dizzying number of familiar voices from iconic ’90s boom-bap and hardcore hip-hop releases take the mic, including Masta Ace, M.O.P., and Ras Kass, as well as members of Black Moon, Heltah Skeltah, and Onyx—all of whom feel perfectly at home spitting over an Amadeus360 beat. Meanwhile, up-and-coming emcee Lil Dee holds things down for the younger generation of rappers picking up the torch, pairing perfectly with fellow Coney Islander Nems on the track “Set It Off,” with both vocalists feeling equally synced to the record’s production.

The result is quite an earful, and the type of record that necessitates countless re-listens to process not only the dense lyricism but also the intricacies of the beats that back it. With the record dropping in full today, get a head start with Amadeus360’s track-by-track breakdown of The MPC Jedi below.

1. “How the Block Sound” (feat. M.O.P.)
In starting off my album, it was a no-brainer for me to lead off with Billy Danze and Lil Fame of M.O.P. This track was a vibe-out between Fame and I. It was created on the fly at Terminology’s  Time Is Money Studio. Our brother ifresh contributed to this project by coming up with the hook with Lil Fame. Bill blew out the last verse of the track, as he usually does in the Danze way. They Brought that gritty Brownsville Brooklyn sound that everybody wants to hear, because I created the perfect beat for them to be who they are as artists.  

2. “Soul of Every Rapper” (feat. Sticky Fingaz of Onyx)
This was just a crazy track with one of the illest and craziest emcees on the planet. I was in LA with their Road Manager Boston Rob to attend the Verzuz between Onyx and Cypress Hill. During the afterparty, Sticky invited me to come to his crib in Hollywood. The next day we spent “vibing out” and the rest is history. We shot the video in Boston a month later. Sticky is an animal, and I needed that Onyx energy for the album. I came up with the hook using Sticky's voice from a  previous record and he did the rest.  

3. “Set it Off” (feat. Gorilla Nems and Lil Dee)
This track was born from me having Nems on my Termanology album 360 on a track called  “Classifications.” I started working with this kid Lil Dee who was known as the protégé of Nems. Therefore, I wanted to create the perfect combination with these two incredible emcees who’ve had a long history together going back to when Lil Dee was 12. I let them both do what they felt was right for the track. We had the privilege of shooting the video for this track at Nems’ merchandise event in Manhattan. Both of these guys bodied the track, with Nems being as disrespectful as he could possibly be…and I loved it.  

4. “Why Not Feat” (feat. Craig G & Masta Ace)
This was one of my bucket-list tracks just on the strength of me being a longtime fan of the Juice Crew. I had previously completed a track and video with Kool G Rap, so I utilized my relationship with Craig G to influence Ace to get on board. Ace heard the beat, and he was in. I freaked this one with a lot of ill samples using hard drums to let Ace and Craig do what they do. This video came out crazy with really dope effects. I was completely inspired when making this beat, knowing at this time the sound and history Craig and Ace have.  

5. “Warfare” (feat. Buckshot, Evil Dee, & Termanology)
This one was a super personal one for me. Having been a massive Black Moon fan, I had to do this one. I had a deal with Duck Down Records back in 2020. I made a full album with Ruste Juxx. Using that tap-in to my advantage back then, I was able to talk to Buckshot about a collab while at an event backstage at SOB’s. Fast-forward three years, I was at Sean Price’s birthday party and I was chopping it up with Evil Dee. I ran my idea past him. He told me, “If Buck’s down then I’m down.” I let Buck hear the beat in my truck one night in Brooklyn and a month later we  rocked out at the studio. 

Watching Buckshot come up with his verse and the hook was surreal. The man is a master at his craft. We later shot the video and I had many of the Boot Camp Clik cameo in the video, such as Smif N Wessun and Bernadette Price. I usually do my own scratch hooks, but I had the honor of letting Evil Dee bring his mastery to this track by doing  what he does best: scratch hooks! Now…it’s an Amadeus360/Black Moon collab. Termanology, being my brotha from anotha motha, was a shoo-in on this collab. He did his thing  to make this one a classic. 

6. “Gangsta Boogie” (feat. Lil Dee)  
I really like this track for three reasons: First, it crossed generations; second, it crossed race; and third, it gave flowers to one of my favorite rappers of all time, L.L. Cool J. L.L. and I are now following  each other on Instagram. I wanted to pay homage to him to let him know he’s impacted my life. I wouldn't be here without his music that still inspires cats of all races and ages today. I got an 18-year-old Italian mic beast from Coney Island. Lil Dee crosses generations and shows how the new rappers still respect and know the so-called old. I got the thumbs up from L.L himself on this one.  

7. “Da Creeper” (feat. Rockness Monsta, Termanology, & Poison Fetus)
I chose to work with Rockness again after the success of my 2020 collab with him and Ruste Juxx on the “Sean vsoP” track on Duck Down Records. I called Termanology with the idea, he heard the track, and got on it. My brother Marcos Clark—a.k.a. The Poison Fetus, a former rapper—is a huge fan of Rockness Monsta and Termanology and wanted to bless the track. I was able to make that happen for my brother.  

8. “Stake Is High” (feat. Craig G & El Da Sensei)
I chose to do this track after a chance encounter backstage with Posdnuos and Trugoy at a De La Soul concert. I conveyed to them that I wanted to do a remake of “Stakes Is High” to honor them and J. Dilla. I let them hear a rough remake track of the song (I bring my Beats headphones everywhere with me). Pos said, “Go for it!” I hit up Craig and El…and the rest is history. I couldn’t think of two better emcees to pull this off and pay tribute to this iconic group. I was blessed  before Trugoy passed away for him to post the track and video on his Instagram Story. It was important to flip the Ahmad Jamal sample used in “Stakes Is High” in a way that would have made Dilla proud. 

9. “Pop Off” (feat. Craig G” 
I wanted to create something with an old-school flavor. Tapped Craig G and he went in. I had  a lot of fun doing this one because Craig is so animated. The video came out dope. Just two  artists rocking out. 

10. “Soon Start to Suffer” (feat. Tek of Smif N Wessun)
I hit up Tek and asked him to come up with a concept and video for this track. We hit the studio and felt like the beat called for a storyline. I let him do his thing and he wrote about an incident he knew about regarding a girl. We followed suit with the same concept on the video. This was an opportunity for me to work with Tek on an individual collab and was different from my previous record with Smif N Wessun.

11. “Still World Famous” (feat. M.O.P)
My relationship with Bill and Fame only progresses with this track. I wanted the world to know M.O.P is still the world-famous group we all knew and admired. I based this track off their previous hit (“World Famous”) and let them go nuts. Billy does his usual threatening stick-up kid thing on this track that translated into the video. I achieved the classic sound everyone is used to with this beat. 

12. “Time Is Money” (feat. Lil Fame and Chad Hart)
I made this beat when I was with Fame in the studio because we were doing a new collab with this new dope artist from Maryland. Again, this is another dope record built on the fly. We once again used ifresh for the hook and let him get creative. Fame does his usual bird call before his verse and just sets this one off. I made this beat  grimy and dark on purpose to let Fame talk gritty, and Chad Hart holds his own and his wordplay is just ridiculous. 

13. “Prosperity Gospel” (feat. Ras Kass)
First off, Ras is just a lyrical genius, period. I’ve worked with Ras a couple of times before, so I wanted him to bring that next level make-you-think-about-the-world thing that’s in his DNA. I gave him a deep baseline Gregorian chant type beat and he just wrote some Rakim meets Coolio type stuff that only he can do. We matched that with a video also. 

14. “Get Started” (feat. Tragedy Khadafi & Whispers of D Block)
When I think of Tragedy, I think of hip-hop royalty. I wanted to work with him for years, and I  finally made it happen. We chopped it up at Ras Kass’ birthday party in Brooklyn, and this track is what became of it. This beat I made brought that Capone-N-Noreaga energy in the way Tragedy always does. From the gate he gets raw giving you that classic intelligent hoodlum flow. I made sure to give him a nasty scratch hook I knew he’d be feeling. This set the stage to let Whispers come in and murder the track. 

15. “Again Repanic” (feat. Demorne Warren & Billy Danze)
I woke up one day early knocking Busta Rhymes’ The Coming album and by noon was inspired to do some real boom-bap official beats. I gave this track to D Warren, and after Billy Danze heard the beat, he too wanted in—then the magic happened. The track is based on the fact that the talent that was once needed to get on in this game seems to no longer be required and is now filled with gimmicks. 

16. “Jail Bars” (feat. Prayah & Shyheim)
Everything Busta Rhymes said about Prayah is truth. Prayah is one of the most lyrically  talented rappers of his time, and his delivery on this track speaks for itself. Prayah heard this beat and his imagination went wild. He used his experience of being formerly incarcerated to create this record. The way Prayah painted this in words was amazing to me. I called up Shyheim the Rugged to get on the track and he added that Staten Island Wu-Tang magic to the beat in a way that I didn't even see coming. 

17. “A Serious Problem” (feat. M.O.P.)
This is just some more classic Brownville hip-hop from the world-famous M.O.P. I went in on this beat and did what I always do with these dudes. Fame lets you know right off the bat with his bird call he’s about to body the beat. I have the third unofficial yet official M.O.P. member Teflon on this track, and he gets super greasy as he does on all his DJ Premier tracks. Not much more I can say, but the video matches the energy. 

18. “Don’t Do That” (feat. Keith Murry & Billy Splyff)
Billy Splyff is a London-based artist from the group The Brotherhood. He linked up with Keith  Murry in a London studio and they rocked out on an Amadeus360 beat. Christmas came early that day for me. Keith brought that “Most Beautifullest Thing in This World” vibe to my beat, and Splyff got down with this London Rasta sound. Just a real dope track all around.