It’s been a while since we’ve heard your beats with the Ruff Ryders camp. Where have you been?
Basically I put together a professional studio and shopped beats from Miami. I’ve just been working on my craft, trying to get better and developing artists.
Has it been hard keeping a low profile and not having a lot of beats circulating?
Actually there are some stipulations with that. I feel that I coulda been doing more work but there’s a couple of reasons that I took some time out. I was dealing with the artist that I wanted to develop and that took a lot of my time. And actually a lot of people were trying to locate me and they couldn’t find me so I missed out on a lot of work with that. I don’t know but for whatever reason they were going to Ruff Ryders and they weren’t transferred to me. There’s a couple of reasons but the main reason is I just took out some time to develop my craft. I don’t believe in putting anything out until I feel that it’s 100% over the top.
Being that your messages weren’t getting forwarded, did you not leave the Ruff Ryders on the best of terms?
Nah, I mean, at the end of the day, everything is politics. I don’t really take anything personal. It just is what it is. Now that I’m doing pretty much everything independently, I just have to try to make the best out of it.
Do you stay in touch with artists you worked with like Drag-On and Eve or are you working with a fresh group of artists today?
Mainly a fresh group. I don’t really hear from Eve. I mean, I would like to keep in touch with the old gang but everybody’s just doing their own thing. I keep in touch with Jadakiss though. I usually see him from time to time and I’m doing some work on his new material so we stay in contact but apart from that I don’t really see the old gang no more.
Do you think you’ll ever get back with your old gang?
Of course I would love to get back and work with the old crew because I believe that’s the drawing board. That’s really what put me where I’m at and there will always be certain chemistry, at least for me in my eyes. So yeah, I would love to work with them.
What new artists are you working with and developing today?
I’ve been working on a group called Dade County D-Boyz. Actually two members used to be on Slip N Slide. They never really made it to where they’re supposed to be but I think I got the power to bring them to where they need to be because our chemistry is just incredible.
Also I’ve been working with a girl named Chess. She’s in the 50 Cent “Candy Shop” video. She’s the one that takes the whip out and whips it at 50 and his shirt comes off. Her voice is incredible. She does R&B. So I’ve been working with her.
How has your sound evolved from the 2002 version of Teflon?
Everything got much stronger. I took a lot of time to improve on my drum sound and the bass. Everything in the music today is mostly drum-oriented. I’ve just been working on the drums and getting them tight and getting that club sound. Before I used to be real musical but everything is more about the rhythm now.
How did that change come about?
It’s a number of things. A person will go through different things in their life and there are different things that inspire them to get better. I don’t really know. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was. I know one thing. I want to be one of the best producers out there and I knew I had to really buckle down and be one of the best out there so I could compete with anyone else that’s out there.
You had some big songs back in the day like Eve’s “Who’s That Girl.” Can you get back to that level again?
Yeah, I definitely think that I can get back to that level. It’s just a matter of keeping at it and keep grinding. The game right now is a lot of politics. Creatively, I don’t question myself at all because I know what my stuff is. I know what my material is. It’s just a matter of hitting the right pocket.
Who is your target audience today?
My target audience is everyone. Before I used to just concentrate on mainly hip-hop. Now I do all kinds of hip-hop. I do R&B and reggae. Other sounds are making money, They’re generating money. People don’t just want to hear one kind of genre no more. And in any club that you go to they incorporate all types of songs, all types of music, and people are dancing to them no matter if they’re from the ‘hood or if they’re from the suburbs. They sound good and I’m targeting everyone.
Can you take us through the making of a Teflon beat?
I mean, generally I start off with the melody in my head. I’ll go on the keyboard and I’ll place a melody down and I’ll record it. I use the MPC 4000. And then based on how the melody is I’ll then incorporate the drums. It’s like a painting. I like to start off with the melody and the drum style will be based on the melody pretty much.
Besides the MPC 4000 what equipment do you use?
I like using the MPC 4000 and I got a Motif keyboard. A lot of people today, they use Reason and they use Logic but the software sequencers, I’m not really comfortable with it because I’m kind of from the old school.
What inspires you to keep producing today?
I think my whole existence is music and as the days go on I just keep getting better and better and I’m not just feeling it myself. Other people are telling me that as well across the board. I just get inspired by people’s reactions and I get inspired by new sounds and new things. I get inspired each day I go into the studio. That really pushes me. The whole inspiration thing is a great feeling and I just keep going on.
When are we going to hear some new music from you?
Right now I got a single coming out with Mayra Veronica featuring Akon. I’m not sure when they’re going to drop it, probably by the spring, I’m guessing. I’m also working on Jadakiss’ album and I’m working on Fab’s album and Lil’ Kim. I’m not sure about Lil’ Kim but it’s a possibility. So within the next few months, definitely before the summertime, I’m definitely going to blast out with something.