kendrick lamar

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.
 

Ab Soul - Empathy ft JaVonte and Alori Joh


Ab Soul takes a break from rapping about pills and dirty Sprite to channel the spirit of OG Nate Dogg. The Black Hippy grooves while ringing a booty call, tries his best to look like Wish Bone and wears sunglasses in the dark. With help from TDE affiliate JaVonte, Soulo sings a mellow tune and proves he’s more than a drug rap visionary.
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He briefly adds a few double-time bars to “Empathy” but mostly sticks to surprising you with smooth vocals. This isn’t an R&B croon-fest though. Brief psychedelic visuals and hypnotic repetition of the track title makes the song a little more unsettling than Chris Brown without handcuffs. This slow jam also comes with an important message: let Ab Soul hit it and he might spend that $700 a show money on you.
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Empathy also features Ab-Soul’s close friend Alori Joh, who passed away a few months ago. She was 25, attractive and appeared on several TDE releases. RIP Alori. If you’re chilling with Nate Dogg, can you tell him to swap places with French Montana?