been seeing your production around, from Streetz and Young Deuces to Stimuli
to Tom Gist, but no one really knows who Jaywan is. What can you tell
Rockford, Illinois, which is right outside of Chicago. I've been doing
this for about four years. I've done work with Whiteboy, we're recording
his album right now. Streetz and Young Deuces, we're coming up together,
they're my artists. I'm just working hard trying to come up.
be pretty hard to get people to take you seriously when you don't have
any huge tracks on your resume
I always laugh when I see kids buy an MPC and expect to have legitimate
artists on their tracks. It takes two to three years to develop your craft
and get to the point where you're talking to people inside the industry.
It's extremely hard to make it because everybody, at this level, is hot.
It all boils down to how well you can network.
you get your first break?
I would have
to say my first break came with Whiteboy. Whiteboy and I grew up in the
same city. He got put on three years ago when he was 17. That was about
the same time I started to take it seriously. I saw him working with Kanye
and Twista, and I also saw that my beats could compete with those beats.
We got together and started working.
did you go next?
word-of-mouth spread. A lot of cats heard the tracks. Streetz and Young
Deuces, from Milwaukee, hit me up. We were both rough around the edges,
but I think we both heard something in each other. They hit me back a
year later, and they sounded one hundred times better. They wanted some
free tracks, and at the time I didn't want to give away any free tracks,
but I gave them some. Now, we're shopping for a major deal. We've all
been through the grind together.
you doing with Streetz and Young Deuces today?
we're recording an album. We got a lot of labels trying to holler at us.
We've already turned down a couple of deals because the money wasn't right.
We haven't been grinding this hard for a shitty deal. Once we release
the mixtapes and if none of these majors want to give us the right money,
we'll have to go the independent route. We're talking to Koch right now.
We're going to get our paper and people are going to hear the music and
what we're about.
the hardest part about being a producer on the come-up right now?
have to be getting placements. It is real hard in this industry for any
producer to get placements unless you are blazing hot right now. I don't
care if you've placed 10 or 15 tracks, you're only as hot as your last
placement. It's hard to get placements. I'm in the process of getting
placements now. That's the goal of any producer, to get paid for what
you do. On the independent level, you really don't get any money for the
tracks because they don't have the money. You have to really pick and
choose who you want to give free beats to.
you pick and choose who gets free beats?
appreciate artists that take the craft seriously, know the game, and took
time developing themselves. I always want to work with someone that's
original, has their own ideas, and isn't trying to sound like anyone else.
You're not going to make any money off someone that sounds like someone
else. Nobody wants to work with a gimmick.
your goals right now?
I'm in negotiations
with a lot of big camps for 2006. I have everything lined up and hopefully
I get some placements on some major label releases. I want to work with
artists that are original and are the hottest artists out.
also worked with Angelous, what's he been up to?
having a hard time getting a deal because of the whole Jay-Z-sound-a-like
thing. Angelous is his own artist. He has his own style. I know his voice
is identical to Jay's, but I think it's going to take him a few more years
to get labels to see his grind-work. I know he's working on his album.
We did three or four tracks for his artist. He has to get someone behind
him that sees him as an original artist, and that's going to be hard to
done some dope work with Snyp Life of 354, what made you want to work
to work with anyone associated with D-Block. They've been one of the most
consistent groups in recent history. When I finally heard with Snyp sounded
like, the flow was crazy, he's polished, and he's ready to go. That cat
is serious. He's a problem right now. I don't think there's anyone that
wouldn't want to work with him right now.
doing work with St. Laz right now too, how's that going?
St. Laz is
one of those cats that is going to make a huge dent in the game. He's
got a movement behind him that I have never seen. That kid spits with
a passion that most people haven't seen since DMX and his message is as
powerful as Talib Kweli's. He'll get a deal any day now. He's got a movement
that can't be stopped.
at your location, does it ever get hard not engineering the session with
the artist when they're rocking your beats?
It used to
really affect who I worked with back when I was starting out. Not because
I wasn't good enough, but because the internet hadn't really caught on
as to how people are making tracks these days. Now, everybody's using
the internet and Pro Tools. If you want to get a professional mix on something,
all you have to do is send over the session. It's helped me a lot. I've
worked with a lot of artists that I probably wouldn't have worked with
without the internet.
you want to make when you sit down to start a beat?
is to always make something that you'll be proud of and won't have any
hesitations playing for someone. I used to just make tracks and then think
about who would sound good on it and try to get it to that artist. Now,
I've been blessed with some work so I can say, "I'm going to make
a track for this artist's album." Talking to the artist is the first
step in getting the song done.
a song get done with say, Snyp Life, if you're in Illinois and he's in
I talk to
a lot of these artists on the phone. We usually come up with the concepts
on the phone. The first song that Snyp did, I didn't even talk to him.
He just heard my CD and rocked three tracks before I could even talk to
him. Most of the artists I talk to, we're in the studio, like with Whiteboy
or Streetz and Young Deuces. We talk about what kind of track we want
to make, and once it's done, we make any changes that need to be made
your production progressed over the years?
In a huge
way. I can't put it into words how important it is to these kids that
are out there banging away that you have to treat this like a $15 job.
There are so many elements that you have to improve on.
are you using now?
We got the
MPC2000 here, we have a bunch of Roland modules, we got the Triton, we
got the Motif
I use a Trinity, I like some of the sounds on there.
I'm using some software too. I started off on software and I'll always
be on software. I got a ton of plug-ins I use too.
you respond to people saying that software is taking some of the Hip Hop
element out of Hip Hop production?
I could see
both viewpoints. All of the crate-digging and all that is definitely an
element, but also the software is adding a new element. I also like the
old-school approach with one or two producers making an entire album.
The bottom line is, you won't get into the industry if your product isn't
hot. If your product is hot, you deserve to be here.
you trying to work with in 2006?
2006 is my
year. I feel strongly that it's going to be a big year. I'm talking to
Lil' Flip's camp right now. I just got word from DuckDown Records that
I'm on the new Boot Camp album. I'm working on a lot with Streetz and
Young Deuces, that deal is going to happen soon. We're recording the Whiteboy
album as we talk, we're doing that right now. I'm the third member of
an R&B production team, the Insomniacs. We just got a track on the
Jojo album, we're trying to write some more songs for her.
like to work with Luda and Young Buck. No one comes harder on every single
verse than those two. I'd love to work with Saigon, Young Jeezy, D-Block
so many artists, those are just the ones off the top of my head right
you make sure you stay fresh?
to keep your ear to the street and know what's hitting everywhere. You
have to always stay grinding and you have to stay making beats constantly.
I tell kids all the time, they have to practice their craft. You don't
become a doctor after one year of medical school. It's a steady process
and you have to keep moving up. You have to constantly make beats and
working on a mixtape too, what's good with that?
I know it's
been done before, but all the production is being handled by myself. It's
going to be quality artists, it's going to be mixed. We're almost done,
we're just trying to get a few more tracks done. Look for that in February
you want to say to everyone out there reading this?
I just can't
stress the fact that Streetz and Young Deuces need to get this album out.
They're hot and they're putting in the work. We need to make that happen.
And just stay checking for me. I got a lot of tracks on projects that
will be coming out. I just want to keep making tracks and hopefully people
will respect it and have a good time listening to the tracks that we're
making. I know it sounds cliché to say we're trying to make history,
but we're trying to make something that people can remember.
info, email Jaywan at email@example.com