off, can you give Heads some background as to who you are?
Scram Jones/DJ Scram Jones – born in New Ro live in the Bronx- rapaholic,
scratchaholic, trackaholic, alchoholic
like a living incarnation of hip hop, what's your favorite element and why? I
like each element for different reasons : production has proven to pay off the
most out of all the elements so far but rhyming and djing are my shit. I’ve
been djing for almost 12 years – and I mean playing the turntable, not
being a fucken jukebox. I used to practice for hours everyday and get in battles
and shit. Rock Raider and the x-ecutioners are my boys. I’m on their new
album rhyming wit Saigon.
a Mc, dancer or a dj when you got into hip hop?
I was probably a breakdancer first but not no serious one, shit I was like 7,
8 years old trying to spin on my head. Bought my first set of turntables when
I was 15 and started doing parties and tapes, getting my name out. When I got
my got my first 4-track, started
recording me and my boys freestylin and that’s what got me pushin the
pen. 4 years later I bought my first beat machine.
What's your favorite beat produced?
Dam..it depends – I gotta lot that’s heads haven’t heard.
The terror squad track is one of my favorites (“Yeah,Yeah,Yeah”).
you start making beats?
I was djing all through high school.. when I gott out of school, my man copped
a MPC3000 and I learned on that first (that was like 96 and in 97). Then I Copped
a MPC2000 and been banging on it since then.
your styles changed and evolved from when you started until now? When
I first started making beats I was depending strictly on samples cause I ain’t
have no keyboards or modules. When I got my first keyboard I was able to start
filling up my beats and make more original music. When I finally gotta computer
wit protools I was able to get more critical wit the mixes and throw down all
the proper sprinkles.. when I first started I used be creative not technical
but you gotta be both..
do you use?
use the original mpc2000, protools, couple keyboards, 2 turntables
worked with A LOT of MC's, who do you enjoy working with? I
like working wit whoever is straight fire and focused (and don’t gotta
ego) - me and Saigon be making bangers.. I like working wit Nature cause he
one of the most underrated rappers, Swigga cause he superlyrical, my dog Jack
Venom cause he got so many styles, and Marvalous cause he one of the illest
song writers (don’t let the name deceive you). All unsigned talent….at
least for now.
The beat for Saigon’s ‘Color Purple’ is incredible,
how did you meet Saigon?
I.met up wit Sai through Gotti at the source, a writer who wrote my article
for the unsigned hype column. He introduced me to his artist Saigon and we started
building and making joints together.
me and Saigon got archives of songs, we up to like 25..all dem shits be fire…he
come to my studio and we knock out 3-4 at a time.. some we gonna leak but the
majority gotta save for the official project..
behind Jae Millz' hit "No No No," what did that do for you? It
put my name on the maintream map for production, helped me get recognized in
the industry, shoveled me out the underground. Now I got terror squads “yeah,yeah,yeah”
Is it true that you're working with Lloyd Banks now?
Yeah. Did one crazy joint on the album..called “Pure Magic”..
rhyming as well, what obstacles do you face with being known as a producer first?
Dudes don’t take it as serious as my production - they be forgetting I
got the unsigned hype in the source for spitting way before I ever sold a beat.
But heads want trax right now so that’s fine wit me..I like playing all
different positions - the production is paying the bills right now and is just
as much my passion. But don’t get it twisted – I will be dropping
When you produce a track for an artist, how hard it is not to say ‘can
I get on it too’? A
lot of times I wanna jump on a joint but its not always appropriate. Other times
they getting the beat with my verse on it- haha. But in the long one, each artist
has their own vision for their music so I wouldn’t try to tamper wit that.
I aint that thirst. My presence is felt regardless with the beat so I just play
my position. I love producing so I’m not mad at that.
Do you keep the best beats for your album? That’s
the hardest shit in the world, you want the crack for yourself but you can’t
pass up a sale. I definetly gotta stash of bangers for my album but if I aint
knocking out the songs, I test the waters wit them.
Do you always charge for beats or do you sometimes arrange for a future
all depends on which one is more valuable. Sometime you don’t charge someone
for a beat cause the relationship is more important. Other times you gotta break
pockets. Coming up though its important to know you gotta get heard before you
When did you realize that you could live off this hip hop thing?
When I got my first steady dj gig.
record a track for yourself, how hard is to combine the booth and the computer?
I definetly need a remote control for protools cause that shit is a pain in
the ass. I record a lot of songs dolo but record much better wit a enginner.
I saw you
several times at the End of the Weak Open Mic, djing for the mcs and you do
have scratching skills, what do you think about the mixtape game right now with
all those people calling themselves djs not even scratching once? You
mean DJ Push Play or DJ Jukebox? The bottom line is the mixtape game is not
about skills, its about exclusives. It is wack though when they fronting like
they the nicest dj just cause their tape is popping and actually have no skills
or musical talent. I give them respect for their hustle, but would love to check
all of them on their table skills.
think mixtapes have replaced demos? They
get your name out but you need a demo to play for the label once you’re
buzzing. Gotta be able to show you could write songs and hooks, not just spit
you’re cool with Immortal Technique, are you gonna do a collabo with him
in the future?
No doubt, we did some shit already.
A lot of people describe you as a punchline rapper, how would you describe
your style? Punchline
are definetly my shit, but that’s not all I spit. I got songs wit all
different concepts, some funny and some dead serious.. Im rapping to beats that
dudes would be scared to rap to – trying to stay creative wit both elements.
heard you’re gonna produce for terror squad, lloyd banks, freeway, nore,
and fat joe..can you give us some info on your future productions and what the
most exciting one is?
Besides working with all these artists, the most exciting one is landing a beat
on Mariah Carey's new album. I still cant believe that shit. It let me know
that I could fuck wit these other producers and I gotta take this shit seriously.
It lets me know its about to get big.
Do you have a album in the works, is it priority and how do you find time to
work on it?
I do have
a album in the works, shit I’ve had a album in the works for the last
4 years-haha. I had ‘album coming soon’ t-shirts mad long ago!!.
The album is basically done – shit, got over l00 songs recorded but right
now I’m focused on whatz gonna pay the bills and that’s production.
Not trying to spread myself too thin right now cause that artist shit is a fulltime
job. Can’t be rushing my album – it gotta be the right timing and
situation. Right now im trying to get my weight up wit the beats so I could
have more leverage to get a good deal. Im still gonna be leaking tracks. I’m
also coming out wit a compilation called Loose Cannonz that will be in the stores
soon. On top of that, im staying busy - djing 3 nights a week in NYC, grinding
mixtapes out wit my man Vin the Chin and recording my own artists. Need more
hours in a day.
your plan? Blow up solo first, then bring High society or the opposite?
Well couple artist in High society are bubbling on their own right now. My man
Jack Venom got some majors hollering at him cause he sick wit that bilingual
shit and be producing his own tracks too- he bout to crush the Spanish market.
My man Marvalous’ album bout to drop soon with mostly all my production
and we made some bangers! We’ll probably wind up dropping a lil High Society
compilation sometime this year just to stamp the click and show the varitery
of sounds we got.
Are we gonna see you on a track produced by someone else?
Shit, I got mad songs to other peoples beats. I recorded a bunch wit the producer
Megahertz when he was working wit me as a artist, as well as Clark Kent and
Erick Sermon. I recorded songs to Red Spyder’s beats back when he was
still calling himself Rush. Sometimes its easier to write to other peoples beats
cause its fresher to your ear.
has proved that a producer can also become a Billboard top artist, are you also
looking for fame?
looking for recognition, not necessarily fame. I’m not an attention getter
but I still want to get my respect and wanna get my shit heard. Kanye waited
till he had his weight up as a producer before he dropped his album and it definetly
payed off. I’m probably gonna do the same, but I’m still have songs
How do you feel about the amount of producers in the game now and the
quality of the music?
Theres more producers then ever cause the equipment is more accessible and affordable
nowadays (plus artists are trying to do their own beats and get a extra check)..
But don’t think cause you buy a beat machine you gonna be making fire-
gotta put in work. And even if you do put in work, you better know someone in
the game to walk you through the doors and get you to the artists (not just
the A&Rs). I aint mad at these new producers – I just hope they bring
a new sound to the game..
A few years
back, every artist had their own style, now it looks like they're all coming
from the same egg, do you think its gonna change? Monkey
see.monkey do. These rappers see a formula that works for the next dude so they
copy it but it aint new anymore so it aint appealing. You gotta be different
and original. I think shit is gonna change cause for one, these labels that
signed dem carbon copy rappers cant do nothing wit them. They part of the shelf
club. And the audience write are getting tired of that same ol shit.. That’s
why muthafuckas are embracing the artists that are starting to do different
shit – like Outkast and Ludicrous..
you appeared on Tommy Jeans ads? How did that come about? That
was like 4 years ago.. my man submitted my music for this Hillfiger demo contest
and I won. The prize was to appear in national Hillfiger ads where you could
promote yourself and your music. I was never no model.
What's your next move?
trying to hit the streets hard from every angle - mixtapes, production, rhymes,
parties (spinning) - gotta be a chameleon. Play all sides of the game.
Do you have any tips for up and coming producers/rappers?
coming up , cant just sit in the crib making beats - gotta hit the labels and
the studios hard.- let muthafuckas rock your shit at first to get your name
out –you’re always gonna make more beats. Dudes be huggin their
beats too hard and don’t realize how difficult it is to get in this game.
Gotta sacrifice at first - the biggest risk is not taking a risk. For rappers
trying to get a deal, think beats and hooks – the rest is fill in the
blanks. Have concepts for everyone and everything.. Also, become friends wit
a mixtape dj so you always gotta outlet to the streets (haha). And don’t
sleep on taking the indy rout with your album when you coming up cause these
majors right now are scared money (and they’ll rape you). This way it’ll
give you more creative control and more leverage to polly something bigger later.
How can Heads get in touch with you?
come to nyc and ask someone for my number
Shout Outs: plug scramjones.com
…. And look for Loose Cannons coming out (self-produced mixtape wit lots