Five Questions: Hit-Making Producer Tech Supreme Talks St. Louis Hip-Hop
Corey Black - "Finger In My Nose"
I started producing in 1997 for a group I was in with Young Thunder (then Sci-Fi) and a few other high school friends. From then I went on to produce for Thunder as he went solo. From there I began doing work with people associated with Thunder in a group called The 87 Billion Dollar Click. The group consisted of Thunder, Tef Poe, Family Affair, Gotta Be Karim, I think Rockwell Knuckles was affiliated and a few more. After doing some records here and there for them I made a compilation called Slightly Beneath the Surface. I pretty much sat in my apartment and wrote down the names of every artist in the city that was popping, and set out a plan to do a song with them. It featured Ebony Eyez at the height of her newly signed recording deal, Rockwell Knuckles, Family Affair, Ruka Puff, D-Mac, Da Slu Cru, Spade R.I.P.P.E.R., Nato Caliph, and more. That was around 2007-2008. After that I came up with a plan to release a project a month in the beginning of 2009. I did a rap EP for myself, then a compilation with producer/engineer Dro called Subwoofer.
After that I started working with Corey Black and we dropped The Blackout, which had the aforementioned "Finger In My Nose" track... I worked with Nato Caliph on his R.E.A.C.H. EP. I also dropped another compilation in 2010 called Supremacy. This compilation featured new collaborations with January Ellh, Whiteout, Theresa Payne, Legend Camp, Erich "E-Rich" Richardson, The ChalkBoyz, M.C, Kyjuan, Murphy Lee, Chingy, Gangsta Gritz, William H, Indiana Rome, and others. Currently I am working with Nick "Whiteout" Menn, and Ramel "RT-FaQ" Prince on a collaboration album. I produced a few tracks for Whiteout on his debut album The Good which was just released, as well as a track on RT-FaQ's album that was also recently released I have had the opportunity to have national artists appear on my work such as Killer Mike, GLC, XV, Travis Porter, I-20 and a few others.
What have you personally contributed to the expansion of the St. Louis sound?
That's a difficult question because I can't describe my own legacy. Who can? To some I am completely unknown, but to others I am their favorite producer, locally or nationally. I've had strangers come up to me and tell me I am their favorite. That means the world to me... It takes hard work, dedication, and time, but you can live out your dreams. Whether it's music, my graphic design company Illustrious Vision or my weight loss (100+ pounds), you can do what you set out in your mind. I want producers to sit down at that keyboard and try to be as innovative as possible. Anyone can do a trap beat, it takes five minutes, but lets make some dope chord progressions. Let's make something that sounds like a sample. RT-FaQ told me recently that he loves my tracks because he can't tell if it's a sample or not. That's one of the dopest compliments I've gotten.