I’m doing good. I’m just in the lab, riding it out, just chilling out.
You got your first break working with Cam’ron on “Suck It Or Not.” What was it like working with Cam’ron on that?
Actually, I wasn’t in the studio with Cam’ron on those tracks. I’ve been in the studio with him before and he’s a cool guy. To actually produce the record was crazy. I wanted to be in the studio with him but it didn’t work out. But it was real cool. I was only 19 at the time. It was just a good experience for my first single.
Can you take us through the making of “Suck It Or Not”?
I had actually just moved from Columbus, Ohio. All I had in my apartment was my keyboard and my MPC. I started off with the drums. I added the horns and then the bassline. Then I added some hi-hats and some crashes and it just came together. It took me a couple of hours. I had actually just bought my equipment a few months ago at the time. My partner Chubbie Baby, who’s best friends with Cam’ron, calls me and tells me he did the song. Then I heard it on the radio. That’s how that came about.
How important was “Suck It Or Not” to getting your name out there?
It’s a crucial song because it really defines what my style is. It’s an important song. It was a real big song. Due to the graphic nature of the song, it couldn’t get a lot of exposure, but it was real big because everybody wanted to know who did that beat because the beat was so crazy. That beat led to me producing for a lot of other people. That beat really led me to keep on producing. I was at a point where I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. That record really got me focused.
You’ve been working with Gucci Mane recently. How’s that going?
That’s going real good. I’m so glad that I got to work with Gucci Mane because the record that we did is so different from what people are used to hearing from Gucci Mane. It’s a very unexpected song. It’s a real good song because it’s real different.
You just got Juelz some tracks for his next solo album. What kind of records did he take from you?
Juelz took all types of different beats from me. Juelz is my favorite artist to work with. I have a good relationship with him and I’ve been in the studio with him. I probably have about four or five records on his new album that he’s about to come out with. He takes different beats. Juelz takes whatever’s hot. I can sample, play it live, do R&B and pop shit.
How do you think Juelz’ new album will turn out?
Juelz album is going to be crazy! From what I heard so far, it’s probably going to be the hottest record in the streets. I can’t wait for that to come out.
What’s it like to work with Juelz?
He’s real creative. He’s a great person and he has a lot of energy. He’s smart. He has a real good work ethic. He goes real hard in the studio. He’s probably one of my favorite people to work with.
You’re also working on the Juelz and Lil’ Wayne collaboration album I Can’t Feel My Face. How’s that project coming?
They’ve been working on that for a long time. I got about maybe two records on there. One of them got leaked on YouTube somehow. It’s called “That’s All Right.” It should be coming out in September or October. I got some fire on that. Just look out for that.
You’ve also done some work with Travis Barker. What was that like?
I actually produced a record and Juelz had picked up the record. Chubbie shops my beats. Juelz wanted to do the record with Travis Barker and we sent it out to him and he played the live drums on it. He got into it and that’s how that record came about.
You also have your own artist Hodgie Street. What’s going on with him?
I produced his song with Freeway. We have production from the Kick Drums. He’s a breath of fresh air to the music industry. As soon as we finish this project, we’re going to shop it to some labels. He’s a crazy artist. He just turned 21. He’s from Columbus. As soon as I first heard him, I was like, ‘Who is this kid?’ It took me some time to track him down. We did a song “Writing” and Freeway was feeling it so he hopped on it and we’ve been working together ever since. It’s been about a year now.
What kind of potential does Hodgie Street have?
Hodgie Street is not just going to be one of those in and out artists. He has longevity and he talks about real stuff. I think he’s going to be here for about ten years like a T.I. or a Lil’ Wayne. He has a great voice and he has a lot of catchy lyrics. He knows how to really get the people into it. He has rock and roll songs, pop songs, R&B songs…He’s so versatile. He knows what he’s doing and he knows what he’s working with. I think he’s going to be in the game for a long time.
How important has Chubbie Baby been to your career?
I couldn’t do it without him, point blank. We started Headbangers about four years ago. He basically took me from just doing beats for fun to really taking it seriously. He put me in a lot of great positions where I could meet a lot of people and he took me everywhere. As far as me getting out there, I owe that to him. He’s also my best friend. It’s more than just music with him. He’s been a really important person in my career.
How do you approach making beats that sound current while still making something that will sound timeless ten years from now?
I try to incorporate both of those approaches. It’s hard right now because hip-hop is going in all different types of directions. I grew up listening to all types of music and I don’t try to do what’s hot now. I try to come up with my own thing. Hip-hop is cool now, but it’s losing a lot of its musical touch. There are not a lot of instruments in beats anymore. I try to make it clubby but where it still has a lot of music in it so that everyone will like it. It’s difficult, but it’s a process that I think needs to be done more. I’m trying to keep it going.
Can you take us through the making of a B-Banga beat?
Oh, man. I start off with the drums. I have an MPC 2000 XL for that. Basically I just start off with a kick and a snare. I start the beat off in my headphones. Then I try to add a synth. I don’t want to spend a lot of time making the beat. I want to spend a lot of time listening to it and come up with what I want to add to the beat in my head. It can take an hour or two hours to a couple of days to really come up with what I feel. And then I don’t really even know how to tell when it’s finished. But when it sounds finished, it sounds finished.
What equipment do you use?
A Roland Phantom, a Triton LE and an MPC 2000 XL. And I use Fruity Loops from time to time. That’s what I started off with before I got all of my equipment. I use Pro Tools for recording and mixing. I record and mix everything in Pro Tools. And then I use T-Racks for my plug-ins.
What are your goals as a producer right now?
My goals right now are to work with other people. I want to work with a lot of different people. I want to do more work in pop but it’s harder to get in touch with those artists. I can play the keys and I have a lot of beats for artists like that. And I also want to work with hip-hop artists that I always wanted to work with.
What do you want to say to everybody?
To all of the producers that are reading this, trust me, this can happen. I’ve been doing this for ten years and I never had a nine-to-five. I’ve been doing music my whole life. Just look out for me. I’m not trying to be in everybody’s videos. Look out for Headbangers. I’m working with Break Bread and 1700. Those are the labels I’m working with. And look out for Chubbie Baby. His street album is coming soon. And shout out to everybody in Ohio.