Detroit-to-LA's House Shoes recently released his debut album Let it Go on Tres Records, featuring Stones Throw's Guilty Simpson and Oh No, among others. Here's a chat we just had with him about DJing vs producing, meeting PB Wolf in the mid-90s, and of course J Dilla. Scroll down for a few videos off the album.

Stones Throw: Shoes, tell me about the new record.

House Shoes: I finally stopped fucking around and did it. I put myself in the driver's seat and left all the bullshit in the rearview.
Went thru all my favorite joints, organized and sequenced the album before I worried about the vocals. The movement of the record, musically, was paramount.

All the cats on the album are my people. Some from day one back home, others that I've been fucking with since my relocation to LA. The album came out a lot more broad than I had expected … A very solid, very cohesive and very honest album.

You've been producing for a while, but like J Rocc, you're known primarily as a DJ.  A lot of the other producers we know around here start
out as DJs and sometimes seems like they never stop being DJs no matter how many records they produce of their own.  You think this is all coming from the same part of the brain, or are these different roles?

I think it all comes from having a strong love for good music. A real DJ holds the platform to expose people to new and interesting things. Not just spoon-feeding the sheep. And when some of these DJ's get to the level where they are creating great music themselves, what better way to expose it than that platform? We have built our bases, and the trust that what we present is the best. Some of us have been lucky enough to create music on that scale.

You and PB Wolf first met back when you were putting out Jay Dee Unreleased EP in 96, right around the time Stones Throw was being formed, is that right?
Yeah man. I originally met Wolf when I was working at Street Corner Music back home in 1995. He was my sales rep at TRC distribution in Cali. I used to get all the ill west coast heat from Wolf. Back in those days, nothing but classic shit. Period. From the music, to the times in the hip-hop scene in the D, to my days in the record shop. Shit was golden. I would rock St. Andrews on a friday, then wake up saturday and go pick up stock for the store at Angott, the local mom&pops distributor. Whatever heat was coming out on the following tuesday I would cop it early. After dropping the shipment at the shop, I had a radio show, Beats and Breaks, with the homie at Henry Ford Community College from 1-3 in the afternoon. Everybody came thru and rocked at one time or another. After the show I would grab some trees and head to the Hip Hop Shop. The most classic of times.

You also put out Phat Kat's Dedication to the Suckers, which I'm thinking of right now as one of the classic indie hip-hop 12s from a great era for indie hip-hop 12s.
I'm glad we got one of for the history books. Thats definitely gotta be the top selling indie hip hop 12" to ever come out of the D. Shouts to Brian Gillespie who partnered up with me for that one. The numbers would have been twice as much, but Fat Beats only ordered 6,000 copies – they sold out in 30 minutes. The re-up took a little longer than expected, and the record lost steam. We still moved over 12,000 units.

There's always a good story in how you go way back to the start with J Dilla, the falling out, the drop on Jaylib's "Strapped", the reconciliation … but those subjects seem to have been rehashed to death. So tell me how you've feeling about Jay's legacy all these years later? 
Jay's legacy, in my eyes can't be fucked with. No matter who is in charge, HIS work shines thru. In my opinion, the best thing that could be done to keep material coming is to simply release the beat batches in their original untouched form. So much of this shit you found on the internet is just random beats in a zip or a folder. Let em hear it how J made it. No more rappers. Unless they got tuition for his kids.

What's next for you?
Strategizing and creating a full campaign for Let It Go. More videos, more content. Got about 8-9 joints in the can with Big Tone. About to start an EP with Jimetta Rose. Another EP with Denmark Vessey. Helping a couple of the homies get their shit together. And still tryna get my shit together…. Gonna start the next album in a few months.

On iTunes: House Shoes – Let it Go