Blackalicious' Chief Xcel: "Music Is an Endless Quest . . . You Will Never Know Everything"

Categories: Q&A, Viva PHX

Gift of Gab (left) and Chief Xcel of Blackalicious
Xavier Mosley (a.k.a. Chief Xcel) has always been about the craft. Known as one of the co-founders of Quannum MCs, Xcel has helped carve out lanes for artists like Lyrics Born, Pigeon John, and DJ Shadow.

As the DJ/producer half of the legendary hip-hop duo, Blackalicious (which also features the lyrically blessed Gift of Gab), Xcel has provided soundscapes for timeless masterpieces such as "Deception" and "A to G." Attempting to do it again with Blackalicious' highly anticipated new LP "Imani", as well as a slew of other projects lined up this year, Chief Xcel plans on taking his sound to the next level.

Up On The Sun had a chance to have quick chat with Xcel on the road recently, and we asked him about the rise of the DJ in recent years, some of his favorite producers and what it takes to be a Quannum MC.

Chief Xcel, how have you been?

I'm good man, just working hard on the next album. We are going to mastering in couple of weeks, so we are kind of in the final stages right now.

I assume you are referring to IMANI, the long awaited Blackalicious album?


Awesome, what kind we expect from that album, sonically?

With each record that we do, we always try make it the next step. We have always tried to look at it in terms of building a body of work as opposed to just a collection of records. So this album [IMANI] is sort of like the next chapter.

Who are some of your favorite producers, either currently or all time?

I would also have to include Large Professor, The Bomb Squad, DJ Pooh, Mike Mosley, Timbaland, Just Blaze, Dan The Automator...Those are just a few of them.

Location Info

Crescent Ballroom

308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

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