good. We've been working a lot on Joe's new album. We've been working
two weeks straight, hard. We've just been putting in a lot of work on
the album coming?
"The Pandemic." He's taking the approach of the streets. He's
not messing with any soft tracks. He's not doing nothing for the women.
He's keeping it all hardcore. It's the original Joe Crack that everyone
loves. We don't look for Joe Crack for a "Let's Get It Popping"
with Nelly. We look to him for that hardcore street shit. That's what
we like him to provide for us.
you done for "The Pandemic"?
four tracks. That can change though, since we're still in the early stages.
I also did the intro in "All or Nothing." I'm playing a bigger
role for this album. He's really looking to me to provide him with some
it working with Fat Joe?
When he's on fire, the energy is incredible. He'll bang out three to four
tracks a night if he's on fire. He's a perfectionist, too. He really impresses
me with his beat selection. If you listen to his albums, he's got a great
beat selection compared to other artists in the game. You hear tracks
other artists pick and you're like, "What'd they pick this for?"
Even if it's not a track I produced, he always ends up picking out some
hot shit from LV, Khaled, Buckwild, or anyone else he's working with.
you get down with Joe?
"Take Me Home" off the Terror Squad album. That was the single.
When he heard that record, I was able to slide through and play more beats
for him. That's when I played him "New York State of Mind."
That ended up having Remy and Killa Cam on it. He became a fan of my beats.
He wanted to sign me. I signed to his production company and I was with
him for a year. That agreement kind of dissolved, but we still maintain
our working relationship because the vibe is crazy.
working with other Terror Squad artists like Remy and Prospect?
It's primarily with Fat Joe. I did a record with Remy. I don't even remember
what she was calling it. I think it was "What's Popping?" It
was featuring Fat Joe on the hook. I guess I put it down too early for
her because now it's not going to make her album.
you get down with Juelz Santana?
a track with a sample they couldn't clear. I came through and I made the
track without the sample, but I tried to keep the same feel, so there
wouldn't be any clearance issues. Spliff lined that up. They used my record
for the song "Gone." That's how it all went down. It's crazy
because two weekends ago, I was in the studio with him recording another
record with him for the DJ Khaled album, and my track that's on his album
is another Juelz Santana record. I was actually in the studio when he
recorded that record.
to be a rare thing to be around when a Diplomat records is being recorded.
I have to say about it is that it's the most important thing in the world
to have direct contact with the artist and let them feel you out. There's
a lot to producing. You have to bring concepts and ideas. It's not just
about mailing out beats and then getting a call that it's going to be
on the album and having to wonder what it's going to sound like. That
kind of working, I'm not too into it, but I can't deny that I don't love
it when I get that call that says, "Juelz Santana just rapped on
your record and it's going on the album." I love hearing that, but
I would also love to be there to touch the beat and hear how it comes
do you draw the line between mailing out beats and being in studio sessions?
be too strict, otherwise no one will fuck with you. It gets more exclusive
the higher up you get. You can't get 10 beats from Scott Storch on a beat-CD
through the mail. If you want to work with Scott Storch, you have to book
a session at the Hit Factory and he'll make you a beat. As you get more
work in the game and more shit popping, eventually you'll get to work
more hands-on and it gets more exclusive.
you get your start in producing?
the record "Take Me Home" helped a lot because I could tell
everyone that I did that. I was outshined on that by Cool and Dre because
Dre was on the hook and the media ate it up like it was his beat. That
track helped a lot because it opened the studio doors. If anyone was in
a session in a studio I was at, I could tell them I did "Take Me
Home" and they would let me play my other beats. That was a good
look. It helps to have a little hit under your belt. You have to build
up your track record and work with as many people as you can. You have
to send out beat-CD's to everyone and their mama. When you get on, you
can be more particular as to who you send CD's to. If you get hot and
you have beat-CD's everywhere, artists are going to start mixtape-ing
your beats. You're trying to get paper for your joints and they're on
the mixtapes with them. What can you do? The shit ends up on HipHopGame.com
and you're like, "I never got paid for that track." It's all
artists pick beats based on past beats and how many listen to a new producer's
beats with an open mind?
can't speak on behalf of all the artists, but I know it helps. You don't
have to have a hit record like a "Lean Back." If you have "Lean
Back," you're going to have artists lined up to work with you. If
you're hot in the streets and they've heard of you, they're going to be
more open-minded to work with you. If you're absolutely nobody and you
have no buzz, that's what you have to work on. You have to get your buzz
up and your name up. You have to have people talk about you like you have
they look for that name because they know they're going to get that sound,
so they go with a safe bet. I'm still working on getting my shit popping.
I'm not out there like that yet. I'm good enough. People know of me. I
got it to where people in New York know about me and know what I've done.
I just have to look at it like, "I wish people would check out some
of the newer producers that are coming up and are more open-minded. But
when they're dealing with a big budget and trying to make a huge album,
I can't blame them.
did you start making beats?
I went from
DJ'ing in my bedroom and collecting records to wanting to make records.
I copped my first drum machine in high school. I kept on developing my
sound. I went through a lot of bullshit managers before I met the right
one. That shit is crucial. Finally I found the right person that could
do that. Jay Rob of High Capacity Management got on it. With his footwork
and me crafting my sound, helped take me to the next level. I know it
sounds like a fast process, but it was really about six years in the making.
Me Home" got placed six months after we started working together,
and it came out a year after he was repping me. We've stayed on the grind
and he gets at everybody. We've managed to come across some pretty good
placements. We've come across some solid people in the game that believe
in what we're doing.
ever a time when you thought about giving up?
No. I can't
give up. There is nothing else for me to do. My man has the same approach
to it. This is it. This is all we really can do. We have to really make
this music thing pop off. Once we get that bread, there can be future
investments to upgrade the hustle and do bigger and better things, but
for right now, this is it. If you want to get that big money and that
ill whip with the beautiful crib on the water, this is what can get you
closest to that dream. As long as you work hard and stay on it. You see
it all the time with these producers who get these publishing deals and
have one big song and really pop off.
do you use today?
I just make beats with a lot of records and an MPC-2000XL. I keep it real
basic. You have to have your little Pro Tools set-up so you can drop your
tracks out. I have a Motif keyboard also. I keep it real simple when it
comes to equipment.
being from Miami influence your sound?
have a lot more bass and 808's. My tracks are always bass-heavy. They
have a little bit more of a bounce to them. For example, on "Take
Me Home," Joe was rapping with the triple-tongue rhyme scheme. Same
with Remy and Prospect. They're from the BX. That's a pretty good example
right there. I touch that, but then I can make those straight-up street
records that you can nod your head to.
coming up for you?
like some solid placements on Fat Joe's album. I'm working with Cam on
his new album. I'm not sure about any placements. I have a couple solid
placements on Peedi Peedi's album. I'm on Spitfiya's album and DJ Kay
Slay's album for my record with Fat Joe, Jim Jones, Shaq Diesel, and Sheek
artists would you be excited to work with?
Saigon. Saigon is definitely ill. Jody Breeze from ATL and Smitty from
Miami. That's from the North to the South. Those three artists are all
ill to me. I'm out here in Miami and I meet a lot of artists in the South,
and Dirty South rappers can definitely get down to my tracks, but I have
an up-North sound too.
you want to say to everyone?
have to stay on the grind, be on top of your business, get the management
that you need, get the placements, make sure your ASCAP is in place, just
keep getting money, and do good business.
information, visit www.streetrunnerbeats.com