I’m pretty good. I’m just chilling. I’m grinding in the studio, working.
You recently produced “Part Time Lover” for 50 Cent. How did that track come about?
Man, it was crazy. My homie Nu, my manager, he was in the G-Unit office speaking with Dre, the G-Unit A&R. He pulled him in the office and played him the record. It was a long process. I actually got flown up to G-Unit last year, about a year and a half ago. It was pretty crazy how everything happened. Dre basically pulled Nu into the office and was like, ‘Listen to this.’ It was a pretty great feeling.
Did you have any idea that 50 would go where he did with “Part Time Lover” when you found out what beat he took?
Kind of. I had him in mind when I made the beat. It was great to hear the final product and I can honestly say that I was surprised to hear the final product. It sounded good and he impressed me with his lyricism. It was a great track for me.
You sampled “Impede My Heart” by the Emotions. How did you flip that sample?
Really, it was just something that I heard in my head. I was going through my old collection of music and was listening to the Emotions’ Greatest Hits. Earth Wind and Fire is a real big influence for me and for those that don’t know, Earth Wind and Fire had a lot to do with the Emotions. I’m really into the brass sounds and the live aspect of the music. When I heard it, I was like, ‘Okay, this is how I can make it sound.’ And it came out to be “Part Time Lover.”
50 takes shots at Lil’ Wayne, Baby, Ja Rule and others on “Part Time Lover.” Are you at all worried about the political implications a track like that could entail for you?
No. I’m a producer. My affiliation is strictly with making good music. Of course my loyalty is with 50 Cent and G-Unit first because they basically gave me a start to my career. But I don’t think it’s an instance where I’ll be dragged into any situations 50 Cent has with others. I’m a producer. I make music.
You do a lot of work with Hot Rod as well. What’s it like working with him?
Man, Hot Rod is the dude that’s next. He’s a talented guy to say the least. He has a lot of charisma and he has an image to him that the ladies like. It seems like every time I send him a track, he’ll flip it into something different that I didn’t even think of. He’s an ill cat. It’s great chemistry when we work together.
What kind of potential do you think Hot Rod has?
Man, he has crazy potential. It’s a different atmosphere when you get to the big leagues and I can honestly say that for myself as a producer. I can see the big scheme of things and he’s definitely taking a step up. He has crazy potential. The potential is there for him to be very successful.
What can you tell us about your artist J. Angel?
He’s the dude that’s next. Everybody compares him to 50 on his sound and his tone, but he’s really in a league of his own. He’s up next. He has the swagger, the lyrics and the full story behind him. He has everything. He has the full package. Everybody should look out for J. Angel. He’s up next.
What kind of beats do you want to give J. Angel?
A lot of different things. I’m from Houston and people try to stereotype us into a certain sound, but I can make any track depending on the vibe and the chemistry. Expect the unexpected is what I can say to anybody out there that’s listening.
You’ve also done a lot of work with Nickelus F and the Burglars. What’s it like working with them?
Nickelus F has been my dude for a minute. Every time I send him tracks he gets excited like a kid at Christmas and I’m excited to hear what he does to the tracks. It’s great chemistry. He comes hard with the delivery and the lyrics. It’s cool.
You’ve been producing for awhile but it took you a long time to get your big break. What did you have to go through to get to this point?
Man, if I told everybody everything that happened, it would take a whole lifetime to tell. It would take a whole lifetime to tell my story. It’s been a long story and it’s been real, but I wouldn’t change anything. It’s kind of crazy how I got to meet 50. I was working on the Young Hot Rod demo and he got in contact with somebody at G-Unit, sent them the demo, 50 heard it and loved the material and then they flew him up there and then they flew me up there. It’s been years of hard work and struggles. It was a real battle so that was definitely a weight off my shoulders when I got that call and that was in January of ’06. But everything happens at the right time when it goes down.
Would you change anything about your journey or is this the way it’s supposed to be?
I wouldn’t change anything. There’s a time and a place for everything and everything happens for a reason. If you go back and revisit the things that you’ve done, it’s not going to help you get anywhere in the future. All you can do is live in the present and look for the future. If you make a mistake, learn from it and move forward in the future. Take the lows and move forward and if you’re doing good, try to do better. So I wouldn’t change anything, man. I’m right here, right now because of everything that happened. I wouldn’t change anything.
Can you take us through the making of a Lab Ox beat?
If I could explain that to you I could explain the meaning of the universe! It’s literally whatever comes to my head. I can be walking down the street and hear a car horn or a car screeching and that will have me thinking about making a track. Or I could be going through some things with family members or friends and that can motivate me. Whatever’s in my life at the time, I try to turn that into music because I believe that music is the way to life. So if I can voice my experiences through music, I’m going to do that.
What equipment do you use?
I only use Fruity Loops. I only use Fruity Loops. It’s been that way for a long time. I only use Fruity Loops for my beats.
A lot of critics say the program is not official and too easy to use. How do you respond to that?
The people that use the big keyboards, your keyboard has a computer program running inside of it so basically we’re running on the same thing. There’s basically no difference. It’s not about what you use but how you use it. I also use Cubase, Sonar and Logic. I have the right tools to make it sound good. But as far as creating my music, instead of being limited by a keyboard, I have a computer with unlimited space and I use my midi controller with Fruity Loops.
Are we going to see you do more work with G-Unit in the future?
Oh, yeah, man. Definitely. You’ll see me doing work with anybody that wants to do work. My motto is “grind ‘til I shine” and I’m not shining yet. I’m trying to get on with everybody. Yayo, Buck, Banks, holler at me. I got some stuff waiting for y’all. I’ve shopped tracks to them before and I understand that they’re real busy. It’s not an overnight process but as long as I stay on top of my work, when the time comes it will come.
What’s next for you?
I’m working with some of the Making Da Band members. I have some stuff going on with Atlantic Records. I’m really just trying to get it in like that. Other than my tracks with J. Angel, I’m really trying to do my thing on an independent level. That’s really it.
Where do you want to take your production in the future?
My production is going worldwide. It’s going worldwide because I don’t like to limit myself when I create music. I’m talking about hip-hop, R&B, pop, classical and everything. I play instruments. I’m a musician. I love the art of hip-hop and I love all kinds of music. I’m definitely a music head at heart. I want my music going live and touching everybody. Whether you feel like dancing or crying, you’re going to be able to put on a Lab Ox track and feel it.
What advice would you offer to other producers?
Have enough honesty with yourself to know when it’s not for you. Other than that, man, once you admit that to yourself and you say, “Man, it’s for me,” keep grinding. It’s not an overnight process. I’ve been doing this for years and years, but if you’re serious about your talent, your time will come. Don’t think that just because you’ve been doing it for a couple of years and you bought some equipment that nothing is going to happen. Stay focused on your goals.
What do you want to say to everybody?
Keep showing the boy love. Hit me up. I’m willing to work with anybody. I respect my craft and I respect the artists that are true about their craft.