It seems like we're seeing your name a lot recently, have things been going
Ya. Things are starting to pick up for me which is always a positive thing.
I've been at this for a while so getting a few placements feels good. I appreciate
the outlet hiphopgame has given people by the way. I check the site daily.
What equipment do you use?
MPC2000 for the most part. I've got a Polymoog and a 60's keyboard, and I use
a few virtual instruments from time to time to add to a beat, but really I try
to stick with what I know best and that's vinyl/breaks. It's probably why I
use analog keyboards. I want the more natural sound that the synthetic shit
you hear a lot these days. If I'm layering some static filled break, having
a crisp Triton sound on top sounds wack.
your favorite piece of equipment so far?
Protools. It saves me thousands of dollars not having to dump shit, plus it's
allowed me to send 2tracks and that in itself has given me a few breaks. I've
sold a couple of beats that the artist didn't really like until they spit on
favorite sample that you've found so far?
It's a tough call. Back in the early 90's I used to get excited if I found an
Xtra P or Pete Rock break, but now I really don't care. If I end up finding
a Pete Rock break by mistake, odds are the lp has been picked through already
so it's going to sit on the shelves.
What are your
favorite drum sounds and where did you find them?
There are so many, I don't even know where to start. I've got a couple of independent/private
press records I like to rock, but I'm keeping them quiet right now before they
get abused. In terms of more notable drums, I was pretty happy when I found
Power of Zues. It was right after the Pete Rock/CL - Main Ingredient lp and
I found a sealed copy for $20. They have a fairly unique sound like the Whatnauts,
How do you know
when you've programmed the drums right?
I don't know if I've ever programmed anything right. Drums can make a beat,
but they should never ruin a beat. If anything, they should just be there at
the very least. The last thing anyone wants is for the first comment to be about
the snare. There are so many breaks out there I find it hard to believe producer
X couldn't have found a better snare for example. I guess if someone thinks
you looped a break and you didn't it's a good sign. The less it sounds quantized
on the new Ghostface album, how did that come about?
Some luck, but mostly this sale goes to my manager Dan Green. I've come to realize
that there are many factors into selling a beat, more than just making a CD.
The fact is there are hundreds of cats like me trying to do what I'm trying
to do, and there is no reason for me to think I'm better than a lot. I try my
best, but on any given day someone can make some fire. The fact is my manager
busts his ass daily and makes things happen. He's the real deal. It once took
9 copies of the same beat CD until emcee X took a beat. We sent, gave and pushed
the same damn beat CD 9 times until he listened. That's all sweat, not luck.
This is how the ghost was. It was a long process but I'm happy to be a part
of the lp. It's going to be crazy. The track is called "Kilos" and
its some classic Ghost & Raekwon shit.
How was it working
I couldn't tell you. I actually had to send the protools to NY. I'm not living
in NY so I don't get up with people a lot, something I wish I could do. From
the outside looking in, I was impressed with the turnaround time and the song.
He's obviously a vet at this. Bounty Killer got on the chorus for it, the song
came out crazy.
What are you
doing with Slum Village?
I don't know as of yet. I've been told they two tracked something and our managers
have been going back and forth. I'm obviously hoping to get on there if everything
goes as planned. I've been a fan of slum since the start. I actually own one
of the first 100 tapes they pressed indy in the D.
What have you
done with Smif-n-Wesson and how is it working with them?
The entire bootcamp has shown me mad love. I started working with Black Moon
"Looking Down the Barrel" joint, and then Sean Price looked out on
"1,2 Y'all." I've got at least one on the Smif-n-Wesson from what
I understand which is a group cut with Buck and Sean. I like it a lot. I've
been happy with all the stuff they've done on my music actually. I hope to work
more with them in the future also.
How is it working
with Obie Trice in the studio?
I wouldn't know these days, but at one point he was a beast. Before he signed
we knocked out 5 songs in 2.5 hours one day. That included verses, hooks and
adlibs. He used to spit entire 3 verse songs on one take without a punch in.
He might be the same today, but I don't know.
You were working
with Obie before Shady, how did you originally get down with him and what did
you see in him?
His cousin was living by me in Ohio, and I was doing music with a guy Eclipse
who had singles on Conception and Certified. We linked and did some songs. He
ended up living with me for a few months and we did music. What I saw at the
time was an emcee who didn't care what the mainstream wanted, he just spit whatever.
I really felt what we were doing, so we decided to put out the Well Known Asshole
12". We put out another single and did some shows and kept it moving. Then
one day Shady calls about Obie, so I put together a sampler. I found him a lawyer
and the rest is history. We actually did close to 35 songs before he signed,
and a few after, and I still have them all. Once he signed, shit got crazy and
things didn't work out like I had hoped. I ended up on the Cheers CD anyhow,
but not on the US release which was a bit disappointing.
Did you ever
Ya. He played me "drips." I told him I liked it, and that was the
end of that.
What are you
doing with G Rap now?
I'm hoping as much as possible. I grew up hoping to work with Rakim, G Rap and
Masta Ace some day along with some others, so it would be crazy to be able to
connect with him. I did a single with a kid named Fokis, and G Raps on it. I'm
feeling the song a lot. It's called "Throwback".
What do you
see in Joell Ortiz?
What everyone else seems too. A bright future. He's got the talent, the management,
and the buzz. I'm just lucky to have started working with him before the buzz
took off. Hopefully we can keep recording together. The couple of joints we've
done I've really felt. Sometimes I get some demo's and I hear them and that's
that. Joell is the type of emcee where you call up your people on some "you
need to hear what he did on my beat yesterday"
What track that
you've done are you most proud of?
Some of the Obie stuff I've done that will never see the light of day. We made
some really good music at one point and I wish it would have been heard the
way it should have been. It was very raw/street music. I'll be real in that
I'm proud of mostly everything I've done. I don't take stuff for granted. I'm
lucky to have done what I have so far. If an artist takes a chance on me, I'll
do everything I can to promote that artist regardless.
What new artists
do you want to work with?
Who could get
free beats today if they called you?
That's a loaded question. I'm not sure. There are emcee's that can get your
name out and change everything, then there are emcee's that might sell 10 units
but in my eyes are the elite. Ras Kass took a beat without asking, but I probably
would have given him one. Haha There are others, but to come up with a
short list would be hard.
for producers to have a rapper now, do you have one?
Nope. I have two people in Toronto where I stay that I'm hoping to help at some
point in terms of production and maybe helping get them out there in terms of
the politics. Arcee being one of them (abb, certified etc ) and the other
a lesser know Fatski. My time is crazy tight because I have two jobs and this
music, but those are the two I'd like to run with if or when I get my life back.
I work with Saj Supreme as well, and I'm hoping he'll come up shortly. At the
end of the day, whatever "rapper" I work with, it's not going to be
just me. I can't be ignorant enough to think I can de a perfect lp by myself.
Odds are Jake One and Mr. Attic would be on there also as those two are very
close to me. Plus at the risk of dwelling on the past, after the Obie situation
I learned that putting a lot of your eggs in one basket isn't something I should
do you have for up-and-coming producers?
I don't know. I haven't "made it", so maybe you shouldn't follow my
lead. If I had to say anything at all, get management in NY or Cali or you might
as well retire. You need someone in those cities pushing music or you're spinning
your wheels. There aren't many people doing it big without that type of representation.
It is possible, but not likely.
we be watching for?
Splattii. Ya, the name doesn't mean anything but the music will back it. It's
a compilation produced by myself, Jake One and Mr. Attic. We've got a lot of
good names on there and we're going to make it for people who dig and enjoy
cuts etc I actually did the single on the Consequence "Tribe called
Quence" cd with Mr. Attic that just dropped. Outside of that I've got stuff
on a lot of albums dropping in Fall 2005 - The Dayton Family, AZ, Ghostface,
Ghostface & Trife, Big Shug, Pumpkinhead, Smif N Wesson, and many more I
hope people support.