Interview by Premise
What’s up Showdown? Tell us, where are you from and when did you start producing music?
I’m originally from the Bronx, New York and I started producing records in 1998.
What led you down the path of music as a career?
I originally wanted to be an actor. Then I took a drama course in high school where a teacher explained to me what it would take to become an actor. The part that got to me was when he said that I would have to wait in long audition lines again and again and again, to have pursue acting as a career. Then he said rappers were the only people that could skip lines and walk right into auditions. That’s when I said, ”Well shit, I wanna be a rapper!”
Nobody enjoys a long line, even at amusement parks with a roller coaster on the other end!!! You have production credits with the likes of Big Boi, T.I., Ludacris, Uncle murda, DjUnk, Jae Millz, Waka Flocka, and one of my favorites Papoose. Talk about your first major placement in the game. How did it happen for you?
My first official major placement was for the Dungeon Family’s recording artist C Bone on a song called “College Park” featuring Jermaine Dupri. I got that because I had linked up with DJ Aaries who was C Bone’s personal DJ. There came a point when DJ Aaries asked me to come up with something big for C Bone. I chopped up a verse he had done for the hook of the song and the rest is history.
That said, of all the records you have been a part of, which one stands out most and why?
The one that stands out the most for me is a song called “Look at Me” by Nat Lotto featuring Uncle Murda and 50 Cent. When I was creating it, I had to figure out some way to get 50 Cent to be on the record. I decided that the best thing to do would be to go back to the origins of his music and make something that sounded like it could have come from the 90′s. I scratched an old 50 Cent verse into the hook and that eventually landed me the placement.
How did you link with 102 Jamz? What can you tell us about your segment and the station? The site is dope.
I was on a promotional tour in 1998 as an artist and I had an interview at 102 Jamz with a guy named Tap Money. The interview went so well that he asked me to come back and host a show with him. No more than one month after that interview, the record deal I had in place fell through so I decided to take him up on his offer. I now host all of the Weekend Mix shows, including two mix shows on Sundays. We are a Rhythmic station that has been number 1 in our market for over 20 years.
That’s dope, I need to tune in sometime soon online. Who are you working with presently (that you can talk about at least)? Any projects in the works?
I’m currently working on YMCMB artist Jae Millz’s mixtape. I am also collaborating with producer Sonny Digital on another project for a new artist called Pretty Tony. Twista, Marvel Inc from California, Freeway, and Ricco Barrino all have upcoming projects that I will have a hand in as well.
So in spite of the gig at 102 Jamz, you aren’t slowing down on the records. When you sit down to create, is it drums or melody first? This is a much debated topic among producers.
I don’t really have a preference. I let the music speak to me and then I create accordingly. I think that’s the best way to create great music.
Anything to add for our readers? Advice for upcoming producers?
It is VERY important that a producer PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE—like an artist does. It is very important that people know and recognize your body of work. Also, keeping material out is the only way to stay relevant.
It’s a ‘what have you done for me lately world’ for sure. Where can we find you online?
People can always find me on Twitter @ShowdownBeatz and at Showdownbeatz.com.