Why did you
It was a natural progression from DJing. I started DJing when I was 14 and alwiways
was intrigued of how the music was made. I wanted to be more a part of the creative
process than just spinning records.
did you start with?
When I was 17 I got my first Roland sampler, but it didn't sequence so I was
punching samples in live... it was a mess, but I thought I was doing something
hot! Then my partners and I copped an MPC and it was on!
How did your
first beats sound?
There were no holds barred! No rules! As far as creativity, they were cool,
but technically they were awful! It was a learning experience and the beginning
of all the crazy shit I'm making now...WICZ!
How did you
Through dedication, sacrifice, and a constant search for the next level. I love
to grow, and I know growing pains hurt, but after it's all over, you are where
you want to be.Whatever aspect of production that I needed improvement on I
focused on it until I had it down to a scienceand that still happens everyday.
There is always room for growth.
do you use now?
Protools HD, MPC 2000xl, Motif ES, Roland 5080, Virus Indigo. Live instruments
(guitar, bass and percussion). I work with the illest instrumentalist out there;
my man Con.
When you sample,
what type of sample do you look for?
Whatever catches my ear. I never really try to find something that sounds like
this or that, it's just a feelwhatever feels hot to me. It's got to make
me say "oh shit!".
What's the first
thing you do when you make a beat?
I do something different every single time I approach a track. Sometimes I start
with a sample, sometimes it's drums, guitar, keys, etc. It's whatever I'm feeling
at that moment. I feed off of emotion, so whatever mood I'm in will determine
what my next track will sound like.
How do you make
sure the drums fit the beat?
By taking my time to make sure the drums pop. Drums are the most important element
of hip-hop, so it's got to be right. I like to stack drumsthree kicks,
four snares or claps, whatever to make it sound right, as long as the drums
are in tune with each other. Sometimes the feel might need just one kick and
one snare to keep it light. It's all how it feels.
How do you make
sure you bring the most out of a sample?
If I find a hot sample I usually analyze the entire song at least 2 or 3 times
to see what that song has to offer. Then I get it in the MPC or Protools and
go to work. I'm really good at mixing. I mix most of my own shit so I know how
to make elements stand out from one another without making it muddy and also
knowing how to maximize the sample.
How do you know
when a beat is finished?
When it is mixed, mastered and pressed on a cd. I can always add or subtract
from a beat, especially once vocals are on the track. I have done songs where
the beat sounded great alone, but once the vocals are on it, the track got muddy
and bunched up, so I took out an element or two and it sounded great. Sometimes
less is more.
with Rakim, what's that like?
First of all, I have so much respect for Ra, he's not only a legend and an icon,
but he's personally one of my favorite artists of all time, so it's crazy. I
have dealt with a lot of industry cats, but Rakim's truly one of the most humble
individuals in the game, he definitely has class. He's timeless.
I don't know
anyone who knows Hip Hop that doesn't consider Rakim one of the best, it must
have felt great the first time you heard him over your beat...
How does Rakim
He's the God...he'll always sound great!
Have you heard
any of his Dre material?
Just the "When You Die" joint, that shit is crazy!
worked with LL, what was that like?
That was truly an amazing experience. I was really young and inexperienced and
the song was suppose to be on the Rush Hour 2 soundtrack, but it got pulled
because of political, industry bullshit (the A&R fucked it up). But the
opportunity was great and LL told me that I have what it takes and not to give
up. It was inspiring because I grew up listening to his music and had mad respect
What's he like
in the studio?
He's one with the music, he knows exactly what the track needs and how it should
go. What can I say? He's a legend.
What about Joe
Budden...what are you doing with him?
I just did a song called "Still My Hood" for his new release that
is scheduled to drop in the summer. The track is bangin'! That feel-good summertime
shit. I really like working with Joe, he has a lot to say and he has his own
styleyou gotta respect that! I hope Def Jam pushes his album hard cause
it's hot as fuck!
Are you worried
that working with him could prevent you from working with G-Unit?
Not at all. First off, I'm not sure if there's still animosity between the two,
and secondly Scott Storch was laying tracks for G-Unit and Dre and then did
"Clap Back" for Ja at the same time. This is a business above everything
else. Eventually everyone's gonna want to cop tracks from WICZ (cuz I got that
What's up with
Kid Capri now?
Kid is doing his thing right now, he's got his sneaker (KC Steppa/Diadora) and
his new label, No Kid'n Records. His first artist is Natalie, an R&B singer.
She's dope for real. She's one of those artists that'll be around for a while
because of her vocal range and lyrical content.
What made you
want to work with his R&B artist?
Working with Kid in general is an incredible experience, especially coming from
a DJ background. Everyone knows he's one of the greatest DJ's ever. Plus, I
already do R&B and like I said, his artist is dope so it ain't nothin' for
us to put something great together.
How was it working
That was first taste of how nasty this business is. Me and my man Jay produced
like 40 tracks for Shells, basically developed him into an artist and not just
a battle rapper. Some major labels scouted him, J Records signed him and he
just bounced on us. He basically got signed off of the music we made for him
and we didn't even get one track on the album! But it's cool, it was a learning
experience and now I got my partner/lawyer Chris Corabi to watch my back so
that shit doesn't go down again. It's all good though we were hungry,
he was young and he just wanted a platinum chain (same old shit).
What about Ali
Ali's got a lot of skills, he reminds me of a young Nas. We did this song called
"Come and Get Me", but a few months after we recorded it, Kanye used
the same sample on Twista's album, so Casablanca didn't want to use it. I don't
know what happened to his project, but he's definitely nice.
Who is the nicest
MC coming out in your opinion right now?
As far as new artists, I would have to say Saigon, and Game's album was bananas!
Established artists I am waiting to hear Kanye's new shit, Common. Ludacris
is crazy! I need to get on his new albumChaka, hit the kid up! Plus cats
gotta check for MARVO.
What young artists
do you think have potential?
This new dude from VA his name is Treie, he's gonna take the world by storm!
My man Godwon from Houston. I also like Cory Gunz and Maino.
would you give free beats to?
Jay-Z, Mick Jagger, Janet Jackson and Jack White.
What do you
think about the production game now?
The game is pretty crazy right now. It's competitive so a lot of the shit out
there is monotonousbut it's always changing. I know in the immediate future,
shit's gonna be more musical. As buying music song-by-song online increases,
artists are gonna be forced to put out better, more creative music (or they're
just not gonna get paid as much as before). The game needs WICZ!
There's a lot
of stories out there about artists stealing beats, labels stealing beats how
do you make sure you don't get played?
Basically keeping on my toes, and copywriting my tracks, and having a great
lawyer and manager to watch my back.
do you respect in the game?
Definitely Dr.Dre and Timbaland, they always know how to reinvent themselves.
I like the Neptunes, Rick Rubin, Kanye, and Just Blaze. Oh, did I mention WICZ?!
What's the best
part about being WICZ?
Besides being one of the coolest dudes I know? I would say my passion. I have
endured a tremendous amount of loss and tragedy in my life, so in turn, that
fuels the passion that I put into my musicand life in general. I'm not
going to stop until I am considered one of the greatest ever. I am coming into
the game producing three different genres (Hip-Hop, R&B, and Rock). Some
producers come into the game and get comfortable. I don't wanna be that dude.
I want to constantly grow, just keep learning.
What's in the
works for you?
My group Uninvited Guests. It's me and my man Rock Noxious. It's crazy, we call
it Street Rock, there nothing out there that sounds like it. I captures the
essence of New York City in '80s when hip-hop and punk stood for the same thing...definitely
the next big thing in music, trust. We're putting the finishing touches on the
album now and are about to start performing with Headrush my man Con's
group. I got deals in the works with a couple of multi-platinum artists, but
they're are not closed yet so I won't drop names. Also, I'm working on tracks
with Chinky, she's with Nokio and Sisqo, Hollis "Treie" Mason from
VA and Tina Brown, they're with Hipnotic Entertainment, I got tracks with KING
from Upstate, New York (ILL-ANT Ent.), MARVO (High Society/Scram Jones), Godwon
from Houston, Imani Walker from South Central, LA. Also, I got movie and television
things happeningscoring, soundtracks, etc..
How can MC's
get beats off you?
They can hit up my manager John Malozzi at 347.495.1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ILL-ANT Entertainment, Uninvited Guests, Rock, John Malozzi, Chris Corabi, KING,
MARVO, Jacqie Perry and Brillians, Erskin Isaac, Hipnotic, Randy Acker, Kid
Capri, Joe Budden, Skane, Rakim, Con (Headrush), Sai (SONY), Imani RIG Ent.,
Chaoz, Iz, my Moms and Pops (my guardian angels), hiphopgame.com and all those
haters that made me into the beast I am now...buckle up, I'm WICZ Bitch!