I’m feeling great.
Sean Price’s Jesus Price Superstar is now out. What was it like working with Sean on this one?
We were just in the studio having fun. He came down and we bugged out on some tracks. We were just banging them out. It was real good. I had a real good time with him.
How was it working on “King Kong” with him?
The funny thing is that I gave him that beat when we did “Onion Head.” I told him he had to rock that beat. He did it and went in. It’s a pretty old beat, but I knew it was for him when I made that.
How is Sean P in the studio?
He’s a real good dude. We just have fun. We just bug out ‘til the sun comes up. We tell a couple jokes and whatever, the next thing you know, we have a couple of songs.
You used the same sample on Sean P’s “Stop” as Dilla did on “Stop,” which appeared on Donuts. What’s the story behind that?
This is what it is: The first day that Sean Price came down to record, I had come across that sample. We loved the sample and I had never heard anyone touch that part of the song. It was six months before Donuts came out. I laid that beat out for Sean and he sat right there. He watched me make that beat. He recorded to it and then Donuts came out later. Respect to J.Dilla for that joint and I love what he does, but it was something we had already done. We loved the song so much that we had to keep it. I knew the comparisons would be coming and I didn’t really care.
Have you gotten any negative feedback for “Stop”?
Nah. In hip-hop, you don’t own no loops. That’s how I freak it. That used to happen all the time.
How have Little Brother fans reacted to 9th leaving the group?
(laughs) They’re worried about it! It’s not that big of a deal. It’s not that bad. I really think that the whole issue has been blown out of proportion. Nothing’s really changed. No fights have broken out and there’s been nothing like that. Little Brother is doing their thing and 9th has his shit going. I wasn’t there for the breakup, but at the same time, it made sense. They’re still going to do it how they usually do. For the longest time, it’s been me, ‘Te and Pooh in the studio. Nothing’s really been affected. It’s been that way for the past couple of albums really. It’s not that big of a deal.
Will your role in Little Brother change?
No. It’s the same as it’s always been. They call me up to record and we hit the studio and bang out the joints until they’re done. Nothing’s different.
9th has handled most of Little Brother’s production. Do you see the sound of Little Brother changing without 9th?
I’m always in the studio when they record songs. I’ve recorded almost every song they’ve done since Foreign Exchange. I’ve watched them firsthand and it’s not a bad change. I’ve watched them grow as MC’s. They’ve really grown as MC’s, both of them. They’re perfectionists. They will not leave unless the song is right and until the song is finished. ‘Te puts it down and then Pooh comes in and kills it. They’re both extraordinarily talented people. Even when they do their solo tracks, they have their own styles. People really need to see what’s going on over there. There’s a lot of crazy shit going on over there.
The Little Brother mixtape was put up for free download. Were you disappointed in that?
No. I wasn’t disappointed at all. The only problem I think there is with that is that everyone without the internet won’t get the mixtape. A lot of people probably would have downloaded it anyway. The mixtape game is crazy with the RIAA getting on Drama and Cannon. That was bugged out. It put the mixtape game in a standstill. We’re just trying to get some good music out there. If we can’t at least be heard, what’s the use? What’s the point? To me, it’s not a bad thing.
How’s the mixtape been doing?
It seems to be going pretty good. I haven’t really been keeping tabs on it. It seems to be doing all right.
How is Little Brother’s new album Getback sounding so far?
Crazy. It’s crazy. I really like this album.
When you first became known, it seemed as though you were in 9th’s shadow. Do you feel that’s the case?
I never felt like that. I always felt like the people put me there. We both have completely different styles. That’s the box the people put me in. We’re in the same group and we’re under the same umbrella, but at the same time, we’re in our own positions. The people are just going to have to listen. I’m not complaining. When it’s my time to shine, I’m going to. I think people see the difference now for the most part. There are still some people who don’t know, but that just means I have to work harder and put out more music. A lot of people tell me they can hear the difference.
Skyzoo said how it’s crazy that he has to go to North Carolina to get the New York sound. Does the sound of your beats happen naturally or do you have to work at it to have that sound?
I never considered my beats to be a New York style. I try to be universal. But real recognize real and good music is good music. No matter what genre of music it is, if it’s dope, it’s dope. If it’s not, it’s not. Skyzoo is also real good peoples to work with.
And I just feel that we make good music. 9th is working with Murs and Murs is a West Coast artist. Anybody can rock our beats. They’re not just for people from one region. Good music is good music, period.
You did some work on Darien Brockington’s album. Do you have to change your approach when making R&B beats?
I switch it up for R&B a little bit. I kind of treated it like a rap song. I really treated it like one big-ass beat. From a producer’s ear, everything is an instrument, including the voice. I just switched it up a little bit and brought in some keyboard players. I learned how to play keys myself and I stopped sampling for a little bit. I’m back on it now. On D-Brock’s album and the Soldiers of Fortune album, I added more keys. I tried to give you some dirty, raw music and some clean music. Wherever the music takes me is where I go.
How important is it for you to keep growing as a producer and trying new things?
For me, it’s very important. I can’t stick with one thing. I’ll get bored. I have to switch something up. For those who don’t know, I started using the MPC now. A whole new window has been opened and I’m trying all kinds of new stuff these days. It’s been fun.
Do you still use Fruity Loops?
I still use Fruity Loops. That’s the key element for me because that’s the element that I know the most. I’m still learning the MPC. There’s a whole lot more shit I can do with that machine.
Can you take us through the making of a Khrysis beat?
Nah. (laughs) I just go where the music takes me. It’s hard for me to explain. It’s just a natural thing. I have a real musical background so it just comes to me as it comes.
Are you and Sean Boog working on a new Away Team album?
Yes, we are. We’re about four or five songs deep right now. There’s going to be some guest appearances, of course. Chaundon’s album is coming out soon and Joe Scudda’s album is coming out soon. Jozeemo’s album is coming out soon too.
It seems like everyone in the Hall of Justus is always working on something.
Yeah. There’s nothing else going on over here. We just have to make good music. I know that making good music is what keeps me happy. I just have to make sure I have some good music out there. We’re just doing what we love. If we stopped, we’ll fall off the face of the earth and we can’t do that.
What’s your focus going to be for the next couple of months?
Make beats. Chaundon, Jozeemo and Joe Scudda have their albums coming out and I want to make sure their albums are taken care of. Those three albums right there are going to be the main focus for the next three months. Phonte is working on the next Foreign Exchange album and Pooh’s working on his solo album as well.
What do you want to say to everybody?
Go get the records. Soldiers of Fortune is in stores. Everybody, check for Sean Price, Chaundon, Joe Scudda and Jozeemo. Big shout out to Big Dho, the head honcho, for making everything happen around here.