jay-z

Hit Boy Interview

Hit Boy Interview

Hit Boy went from his mom’s house to working with Lil Wayne, Eminem, Kanye West and Jay-Z in the space of two years. He released the quadruple platinum “Drop the World” and “Niggas In Paris” almost back to back and was on the stage with Watch The Throne when they performed the track 11 times. But, for him, it’s not enough. The 27 year old, real name Chauncey Hollis, spends every day thinking about the producer he’s working to become.

In 2013, Hit Boy left Kanye’s GOOD Music label and broke out on his own. Details on the split are murky and naysayers claim he shouldn’t have left Yeezy’s side, but Hollis doesn’t care. More focused than ever, he’s launched the Hits Since ‘87 imprint and modelled his career after Timbaland’s history of working with hand-picked talent. Hit Boy has since formed a collective including long term friends Audio Push, started a solo rap career and released music with his formerly incarcerated father Big Hit.
While preparing to release new tracks “Automatically” and “Show Me Something,” he talked about producing for Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, and life after GOOD Music.

Was last year your quietest production-wise in some time?

As far as producing for a bunch of people, yes, because I took time to focus on my label. I put out We the Plug and I produced a bunch of songs on there, that if you go listen to those beats, there aren’t really a lot of urban beats that match that. But it’s just that we’re a growing label and we’re a growing situation so not as many people are paying attention to us right now, but we’re on the radar and we’ve been dropping just as much music as everybody else. It’s just that people aren’t paying as much attention because it’s a new situation, you know.

Other than the obvious choices like your squad or Jay/Kanye, is there someone particularly hands-on you’ve worked with?

Honestly, I mean there’s Bey[once] you know. She’s part of the whole Jay-Z/Kanye level, but she definitely knows what she wants when you’re working with her. I might do a drum pattern and she’ll tell me it needs to sound more “futuristic” or it needs to have different textures, so I like working with her a lot too. She knows exactly what she wants.
 

Jeezy ft Jay Z - Seen It All

Originally published at Passionweiss

Presidential parties, museum tours and marriage ensure we won’t be getting ‘98 Jigga bars anytime soon, but in 2014 “Seen It All” is as close as it gets. Jay-Z shunned Kanye’s wedding to the Kardashian dynasty last month, so there’s a chance Jeezy may become his new best friend. They’ve worn matching pleather jackets, they knew Pimp C but probably locked their car door when talking to him and they’ve been collaborating since Jeezy’s 2006 single “Go Crazy.” While this evidence may be circumstantial, the duo has a solid track record and the rap Proleteriat needs a break from Jay’s rhymes for the 1%.

The Snowman will never be a lyrical scientist. He’s found his rap formula, which is strictly limited to raspy boasts and A-grade adlibs. No matter how many water features Jeezy adds to the mansion, he’ll never stop rhyming about selling drugs. “Seen it all,” delivers accordingly and Jeezy’s biggest decision is whether to blow the cash at Atlanta strip-club institution Magic or at the mall. His verse is nothing special, but most of us clicked play to hear his guest feature verse anyway.

Then it happens, Jay swoops in during the 1.30 mark and it’s tough to believe these bars came from the Magna Carter Holy Fail sessions. There’s no blatant flow jacking or overdone Basquiat references, just tales of his dope-boy past life over a melancholic instrumental. Jay-Z excels on this track because unlike Jeezy, he refers to specific experiences as a felon. There’s drug connects in Saint Thomas, expanding his fledging empire to Maryland, his uncle’s stabbing and more memories that make you thankful you weren’t Shawn Corey Carter before the fame. Despite snubbing DJ Khaled’s crew for the “They Don’t Love You No More” shoot, he might even attend the video for this one. While no one is proclaiming this as Mr Beyonce’s comeback, Jay can still deliver.

The Music Survey

First album: Space Jam soundtrack.

Space jam

 

I loved the movie so it made sense that I got the album too. My first introduction to Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, Method Man and D'Angelo, so not a bad start really.

This was my favourite track and I still know it word for word:

Note: Technically my first CD was actually the self-titled album by cheesy 90s group All-4-One, but my mother made me return it because it had subtle masturbation metaphors. I brought it because of the strength of this uplifting and revolutionary ballad. I was like eight or nine so give me a break.

First concert: Blindspott

I can’t remember exactly, but New Zealand nu metal band Blindspott played at my high school and I still remember the vocalist pretending to scream as a pre-recorded track played in the background.

Pathetic.

Last album: Big L: Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous

I had a big gap in my music knowledge so this album was on my to-listen list for a long time. Pretty entertaining album thanks to Big L's wordplay, despite the samey beats with shouted hooks.

Last concert: Kanye West and Jay-Z: Watch The Throne.

My first time seeing both of them and my first show at The Staples Centre. Say what you want about Ye's arrogance or the declining quality in Jay's music, but they are amazing live.

Favourite albums: A ridiculously hard question.

I’d say the holy Wu trinity: Supreme Clientele, Ironman and Only Built 4 Cuban Linx or Tool`s Anima album. Maybe throw in some Chip Tha Ripper, Vintersorg, *Shels, and B.I.G as well.

Musical guilty pleasure: More cheesy 90s R&B or power metal I liked when I was angry and 13.

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