Your new album, 100 Proof: The Hangover, is out. How does this release feel compared to your previous albums?
This one seemed to come together better. We had a lot more time to promote it and I dropped an EP in December to give it some buzz. Everything just came together right. We did the video for the single with Bun B and Wale. It just came together a lot better and the promotion was the best yet. Everything makes a lot of sense right about now.
Was that the main thing you wanted to improve upon this time around?
I think I’ve grown as a producer from the first to the second and to this one. I’ve been on all kinds of albums and produced a lot of people from Bun B to M.O.P to O.C. and Termanology and Reks. I’ve done a bunch and I have a lot of records coming out this year. It’s another step in the right direction to where I’m trying to get at. This will be my last album in this format for a long time. I got the album with me and Term. I got an album with Joe Scudda. I’m doing an album with Sean Price and one with Bahamadia and I’m working on Reks’ album and I’m doing Kali’s stuff. I’m going to do a lot of albums in the meantime but I’m not going to do an album with 30 artists like I did on this one.
That’s a lot of projects at one time. Do you worry about your quality getting watered down?
I’m never worried about quality. I’m working with a lot of different fanbases with all these albums and I’m going in different directions with it. I’m doing an album with Souls of Mischief and they have a whole different fanbase than Sean Price.
How do you accommodate different styles successfully for an entire album?
It depends. With the 100 Proof album, I had a certain vibe I wanted to do with darker beats. Everything is done on a different vibe. I work with certain artists and I play them certain beats. I’m going to do a song with Bahamadia that’s real soulful and sample-heavy and then I’ll do something with someone else that’ll be a pop record. Everything has a certain sound to it though and my drums always knock a certain way.
What’s been your biggest growth as a producer from Spell My Name Right to now?
Mixing. The actual mixing. I mix all the records I produce and focus on the elements. A record like “So Close, So Far,” had a lot of different elements. I’ve learned a lot more with that stuff. Sometimes it’s cool to just have a beat that loops. It depends on what vibe it is.
What was your favorite collab on 100 Proof?
I gotta say the Bun B and Wale joint, just because it’s my first crossover radio record and it still has a grimy feel to it. It’s a soulful feel. It’s getting played on a lot of crossover rhythm stations and it still has a very hip-hop feel. That’s what everybody in hip-hop does, they try to make a record that can cross over.
Is it harder today getting collabs to happen with so many different producers working on compilations?
It’s about the same. I’ve never had a real hard time. There’s certain artists I’ve waited for but I just moved on. Everybody that’s on this album, they’re friends. There’s not one person on my album that I haven’t had some kind of personal experience with. There’s some people who took too long and I don’t know what happened, but I can say everybody on my album is a personal friend.
Since your album is titled 100 Proof, I gotta ask, what’s the drunkest you’ve ever been?
The drunkest I’ve ever been? It was probably the last time I woke up in jail. I’ve had a couple nights like that. I just woke up and had no recollection whatsoever of even getting in trouble. I can remember getting into a random car and trying to get onto a dude’s laptop. He told me to get the fuck out of his car and I got mad. I also assaulted one of my good friends and punched him in the face. I’m not going to blow up his spot though.
When you woke up in jail, did you have to put the pieces of the previous night together like the guys had to in The Hangover?
Oh yeah. The last time I was in Vegas I woke up with a police car in the hotel room! That’s like regular shit, bro. I was mad when the movie came out because I wanted to call the album that but I loved that movie. I was just happy that the movie didn’t suck so I could call it that.
If you were in The Hangover, what character would you be?
I definitely wouldn’t be the dentist. I would be Phil. No, I wouldn’t be Phil. I would be the dude on the roof. But I wouldn’t be up there for two days.
Who would be Alan?
I’m more a mix of Phil and Alan. I’m the guy in between.
But out of your crew, who would Alan be?
Oh, man. (pause) I’d say, uh, probably (pause), probably Dan Green.
He’s gonna kill me. I can remember when he was Dusty Dan.
How’s your album Since 1982 with Term coming?
Freeway just called me three times during this interview. I think he’s trying to send me his verse and Styles is sending his. The album is done. It just has to be mixed. 1982 was an ill year. The Air Force 1’s came out, the movie Wild Style came out, Def Jam was started and me and Termanology were brought into this world.
What kind of a timeline are you looking at to get all these projects released?
1982 is going to be out probably at the end of April. Reks will be out at the end of April or early May. Everything else we’re playing by ear. I’m waiting on the Souls of Mischief tracks and I’ll probably start soon with Bahamadia and Sean Price. I’ll be working on other albums too. It’s really nothing. I can do a song from start to finish in an hour and people will think it’s a big production.