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Producers - Discussion / 9th Wonder - Interesting Interview and Perspectives
« on: September 13, 2004, 11:43:00 PM »
Hi All

Found this interview which was done earlier this year with 9th Wonder.Give good look into the man and his views and thoughts, also regarding Fruity.Check it out.

9th Wonder: Changing The Game
By Jigsaw

Few people fully understand how 9th Wonder changed the game for producers. In 2003, he created one of the most fan-friendly trends, remixing entire albums. He took Nasí Godís Son and revamped it into Godís Stepson. Since, a slew of others have followed suit, with largely favorable results.

His work with his crew Little Brother was a throwback to the great producers like Pete Rock or Marley Marl, those beatmaestros that held down entire albums. talked with the 28-year-old prodigy that went from Little Brother to Big Jigga in one summer. What made you start doing these remixes, especially the Jay-Z project?

9th Wonder: They were releasing the Black Album acapella anyway, and I know nobody was going to expect me to do it since I did God´s Stepson. But cats don´t understand is one of the main reasons I did God´s Step Son was not only because it was acapella, but because I really wanted a chance. When you remixing somebody´s joint it feels like your working with that person. Everybody is going to want to know what I did to it. I got my dream.

AllHipHop: To actually be on the album?

9th: Yeah and also I got the chance to work with him and not just that, but on one of the most historical albums ever, The Black Album, his last album. I got my dream shot. Other than me there were three cats that did Step Son or did a Nas record. I´d rather just sit back and watch cats do whatever and jump on it. It´s like when 50 Cent came out with a mixtape just talking, remixing other peoples songs. How many you know were coming out doing that?

AllHipHop: The mixtape thing is getting real old now.

9th: Exactly. I´m waiting to see who puts out what and then I´ll put out a joint, but I´m not really pressing it.

AllHipHop: I heard you were the first one doing it remixes like this.

9th: Yea I did it first, then Soul Supreme did Soulmatic and then MF Doom did Nastradoomus. Then this other cat did Hova´s Son and took all of Nas´ acapella´s and put them over Jay-Z beats, which I never heard before. I guess it´s something I started, remixing old records. For a long time, cats would put acapellas over beats and keep it for themselves. Me? I put it out there.

AllHipHop: So what´s Little Brother up to, anything new?

9th: Well we´re trying to get a deal with a major, we´re in the works of doing that. We´re working on a new record, trying to get guest appearances and hope everybody will be surprised as to who our guest appearances will be.

AllHipHop: On the album?

9th: Yea, we´re trying to raise this backpacking group. Outside of that whole label, rap is rap. And there is dope music and there´s wack music, that´s how it goes. We are trying to find dope MC´s whether it be from the underground or Louisiana. It don´t matter, dope songs are dope songs. But that´s what we´re trying to do now and hopefully the Jay-Z thing will help us out.

AllHipHop: A lot of people call you the new Pete Rock.

9th: Yea. It´s like this, you always know that cat that you grew up with or went to school with that had the nice ride? They had this they had that. But Didn´t really have to say nothing to no girls, didn´t have to develop a personality or talk game? I quote, "It´s the same way with music." So all these cats that got all this stuff, but no feeling of Hip-Hop music in their soul, their music is garbage. On the other hand the cats who ain´t blessed with all that, as far as equipment, they take what they have and flip it. That´s why Pete Rock is the master of the SP 1200, because it´s 12 seconds of sampling time but he takes that 12 seconds and flips it. You know what I´m saying?

AllHipHop: Yeah.

9th: So all that big studio and all that that doesn´t impress me. I´m really concerned with what´s coming out of it. Your finished result. It´s nice to have a cool setting, but what´s the point of having all that if you can´t work it?

AllHipHop: My brother still has the ASR10. It´s not really the equipment, it´s you.

9th: Kanye uses the ASR10 man. I mean make n*ggas change and do what your doing, don´t follow so much. A lot of people came down on me like, why do you use fruity loops? I ain´t have a choice. I did this beat for Jay-Z in the studio from my laptop. He listened to like 29 of my beats, but he didn´t choose any off that CD. I guess he was seeing if I was good enough for the job. So I did it in like 20 minutes and he was like man, I haven´t never seen nothing like this before.

AllHipHop: So you were right there in Jay-Z´s face making a beat?

9th: Well he was in and out, but he told me what he wanted me to do, because he gave me a idea for a song, that´s why when you read the credits it says "Produced by 9th Wonder for The Planet" and at the end it says "and Jay-Z." He gave me the idea to chop the song up, but I was like give me 20 minutes and put it on Pro Tools. It´s just the fact that you got to change the game. It´s my way of changing the game, because I ain´t about to learn no machines. For what? I made it this far, why should I change.?

AllHipHop: Well going to a major the stakes get even higher. How do you feel about taking it to the next level? Your going to have budgets and videos, but the bottom line is the money.

9th: Who you are before you get signed is who your going to be regardless. Some people get signed and they change, become a better person because they might have been a terrible person when they were young, but they learned over the years it´s not the way to be. But one thing I can say about myself and the rest, we country boys man. One thing you notice about down south period, like my man Phonte says, "There´s a lot of honesty in our music. And there´s honesty in our souls." Our parents raised us different. Our parents raised us on southern Religion as opposed to up North, where its not really a big thing. We approach life a totally different way and we just want to do records and get paid for it and do the best we can do. I´m really not afraid of budgets and this and that, our number one goal is to make everyone else´s records sound terrible. That´s our number one goal. Like "our record is dope, but you hear that Lil Brother record?"

AllHipHop: You guys are really different from the majority, like the south is known for getting crunk and wildin out, how do they feel about ya´ll down south?

9th: Well being that we don´t have a video and we´re not on BET nine times a day, a lot of people don´t know that we´re from here. I´m in North Carolina and a lot of people here don´t know that there´s someone born and raised in North Carolina who´s on a Jay-Z record, because everybody relies on TV and Radio so much. A lot of people don´t know who we are here. One thing I do know about the south is that when cat´s find out that your from here they´ll support you.

AllHipHop: So who else are you producing? Are you having any new people hitting you up for you to do stuff for them?

9th: Just cats in the Justus League. The industry isn´t about taking a whole bunch of risks. Once they see the success of Lil Brother it´s going to flip the industry upside down. We already the talk of labels. Everybody´s like "who are these cats, where do they come from?" They got this unique sound but they can´t put us in the box. It´s not soul or Underground so what is it? And they are trying too much to put us in a box instead of putting us out there. I definitely got a wish list of who I want to work with.

AllHipHop: Who´s that?

9th: Ghostface, Faith and Usher because they make dope songs and their albums are very dope. Mobb Deep. Just cats like that because we´re second generation rap stars, so it´s like all the people I want to work with have either been out for a long time or I´ve been a fan of their music for so long and I really want to work with them. Now I want to do something with Nas.

AllHipHop: You never heard back from that did you?

9th: Nah.

AllHipHop: He had to have heard it.

9th: Yeah he got it! So hopefully he heard it and will call me up.

AllHipHop: He got to because truth be told your version was better than his.

9th: Well a lot of people wouldn´t believe that, but there are a lot of these cats that are learning. And a real underground cat is just as bad as a cat you hear on the radio all day. I´ve gotten from underground cats "oh you worked with Jay? Man I don´t know if that was a good idea." What do you mean? They just started listening to rap and now all of a sudden they want to tell us how to think and we all 26.27.28 years old and we know what time it is.

AllHipHop: I just talked to Pete Rock and he said he´s the Band-Aid to Hip-Hop. Do you feel similar to that? I consider myself an 80´s cat, so when I see cats now I don´t see much in them. Even artists I love, I always compare them to a G Rap or Kane.

9th: It´s not much there. Them n*ggas made money but it was a certain integrity there and cats don´t have integrity anymore. It´s just like the Jedi. In order to be a Jedi, you got to know how a Jedi walks and talks. With Pete Rock and DJ Premiere they speak at interviews but when it comes to performing they don´t talk a lot. They speak with their music. Now if you´re a producer that can rhyme that´s a little something different like a JD or Kanye West. Even still producers are supposed to be the humble cats that sit down and chill but when you hear that beat you´re like wow. They supposed to be that and a lot of those cats they don´t understand. It´s just the generation destroying the game, like you see they got closed minded, and cats that sit and watch 106 everyday and feel the only thing that exists in rap music is the countdown. There´s so many that know better and those are cats that need to fix the game. People try to switch up Jay-Z´s perception, like they think he don´t care about the culture. That´s crap. He did in a month that some cats that claim they can rhyme and all that can´t do in seven months. To put together they album and make it sound good in a month, what rapper you know can do that? I don´t know any rapper that can do that. All they see is he on TV with all these girls.

AllHipHop: How old are you?

9th: I´m 28, the beginning of 93, Illmatic, Doggystyle, all that was the corner stone of hip-hop in that year in a half span. I stayed broke; I bought new albums all the time.

AllHipHop: Sometimes I blame the older heads too because they don´t teach them anything about those times.

9th: It´s really hard to teach. You can´t really can´t teach a group of cats unless you get somebody to come speak, if they see the pa**ion on your face they´ll understand. In my CD case I had Ghetto boys, NWA, 3rd Ba**, all at the same time, but cats feel you either got to be all down south or underground.


Much luv.Keep it all good.

Producers - Discussion / Sampling Law - Interesting case
« on: September 10, 2004, 12:54:00 AM »
Dated: 8 September 2004

A new law pa**ed yesterday regarding sampling. It used to be that you didn´t have to clear a sample if it was just a stab or snippet. Now you have to clear anything sampled or "lifted" as they called it.

Peep it:

A federal appeals court ruled yesterday (Sept. 7) that rap artists should pay for every musical sample included in their work -- even minor, unrecognizable snippets of music.

Lower courts had already ruled that artists must pay when they sample another artists´ work. But it has been legal to use musical snippets -- a note here, a chord there -- as long as it wasn´t identifiable.

The decision by a three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati gets rid of that distinction. The court said federal laws aimed at stopping piracy of recordings applies to digital sampling.

"If you cannot pirate the whole sound recording, can you ´lift´ or ´sample´ something less than the whole? Our answer to that question is in the negative," the court said. "Get a license or do not sample. We do not see this as stifling creativity in any significant way."

Some observers questioned whether the court´s opinion is too restrictive, especially for rap and hip-hop artists who often rhyme over samples of music taken from older recordings.

"It seems a little extreme to me," said James Van Hook, dean of Belmont University´s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. "When something is identifiable, that is the key."

The case at issue is one of at least 800 lawsuits filed in Nashville over lifting snippets of music from older recordings for new music.

The case centers on the NWA song "100 Miles and Runnin," which samples a three-note guitar riff from "Get Off Your **** and Jam" by 1970s funk-master George Clinton and Funkadelic.

In the two-second sample, the guitar pitch has been lowered, and the copied piece was "looped" and extended to 16 beats. The sample appears five times in the new song.

NWA´s song was included in the 1998 movie "I Got the Hook Up," starring Master P and produced by his movie company, No Limit Films.

No Limit Films has argued that the sample was not protected by copyright law. Bridgeport Music and Westbound Records, which claim to own the copyrights for the Funkadelic song, appealed the lower court´s summary judgment in favor of No Limit Films.

The lower court in 2002 said that the riff in Clinton´s song was entitled to copyright protection, but the sampling "did not rise to the level of legally cognizable appropriation."

The appeals court disagreed, saying a recording artist who acknowledges sampling may be liable, even when the source of a sample is unrecognizable. Noting that No Limit Films "had not disputed that it digitally sampled a copyrighted sound recording," the appeals court sent the case back to the lower court.

Richard Busch, attorney for Westbound Records and Bridgeport Music, said he was pleased with the ruling. Robert Sullivan, attorney for No Limit Films, did not return a phone call to his office.

Pretty harsh stuff.Also found another interesting list of artists that are almost or impossible to get cleared.Peep it:

1.  Anita Baker
2.  The Beatles
3.  George Benson
4.  Tracy Chapman
5.  The Eagles
6.  George Harrison
7.  Jimi Hendrix
8.  Kraftwerk
9.  John Lennon
10. Paul Mc Cartney
11. Pink Floyd
12. Prince
13. Diana Ross
14. Paul Simon
15. Sly and The Family Stone
16. Rod Temperton

1.  Aretha Franklin
2.  Art Of Noise
3.  Henry Mancini
4.  Steve Miller
5.  Otis Redding (Abco Music)
6.  Stevie Wonder
7.  Led Zeppelin
8.  The Rolling Stones

1.  AL Green
2.  Soul II Soul
3.  Barry White

1. Is it worth bothering to clear samples?
Yes.  Copyright owners are eagered for their track to be reused or redistributed because it can result to extra royalty payments and renewed interest in their music.

2.  Is it true that if you sample less than 5 seconds of a track, you can use it without getting sued?
No.  If you use samples without permission, you are illegally infringing the copyright of both the song and of the recording.  

3.  What are MCPS and PRS?
MCPS (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society) is the a**ociation that works out what mechanical royalties a copyright holder is owed whenever another copy is made of their song.  
PRS (Performing Rights Society) is the a**ociation that works out what public performance and broadcasting royalties a copyright holder is owed wheneverf their track is publicly performed or broadcast.


Producers - Discussion / Just a little EL-P
« on: September 08, 2004, 12:51:00 AM »
Another interesting article.

Byline: Bill Murphy

When avant-garde pianist Matthew Shipp approached El-P with the idea of doing a collaboration with a sextet of seasoned jazz musicians, the indie hip-hop impresario´s first reaction was one of almost abject fear. "The only reason I accepted was because I´ve been pretty disciplined about doing things that terrify me," El-P says. "I mean, there´s a difference between making beats and being a producer, and I didn´t want to just sit around behind a board and watch these guys play. At the same time, I didn´t know what else to tell them to do, so I figured I would combine the two: I would bring music in and then see what they did in reaction to that."

It´s a bold departure from El-P´s own work with his legendary group Company Flow (and, more recently, with the artists that populate his Definitive Juxtaposition imprint), but High Water (Thirsty Ear, 2004) was also intended to move beyond the basic "hip-hop remix treatment" of contemporary jazz. With the New York City collective Blue Series Continuum (featuring Shipp, ba**ist William Parker, drummer Guillermo Brown and others) improvising over laptop musical themes provided by El-P, who later took apart and restructured the results into finished songs, the album is a strange and at times startling mix of free jazz, hip-hop, funk, false starts and just plain freaky moments - all of it taking shape in a moody atmosphere that´s damn near disturbing.

El-P attributes that vibe to his own tastes, as well as to those of his father, jazz pianist Harry Meline, aka Harry Keys. "I kind of tricked him into being involved in this project," El says with a smirk. "I asked him to put together a list of songs that were favorites of his, [so] he recorded himself playing and singing on some little box with an external microphone and sent a tape to me. And my pops is a dark cat - me and him are similar. All his choices were very dark and depressing, and I was thrilled with that." Samples of those performances find their way into the almost Funkadelic-styled ballad "When the Moon Was Blue" - a master stroke of editing that showcases El-P´s deft touch as a producer, with his father´s remote-sounding vocal hovering eerily over the resequenced bits of live instrumentation, programmed beats and layered synths.

"I knew that I was basically being called upon to destroy what everybody did, so I tried to do it with the most finesse possible and just be respectful of it," El admits. Working from the original session tracks (loaded raw into Digidesign Pro Tools) and relying only on an Ensoniq EPS 16-Plus keyboard sampler ("a f***in´ dinosaur," he says), an Oberheim OB-12 synth, an Access Virus synth and a Roland D-550 rackmount synth, he essentially rearranged the music from scratch. "Get Modal" is a jaunty example of his approach, with merged snippets of live horns, piano and acoustic ba** with vocal shouts, synth swells and guitar samples over Brown´s driving backbeat. Elsewhere, "Get Your Hand Off My Shoulder, Pig" is a Sun Ra - inflected hip-hop opus evoking New York nights and rain-soaked streets with a funky beat, mournful horns and relentlessly plunky piano by Shipp - all augmented by El´s tripped-out synth patches.

Although El-P acknowledges that High Water is an unusual creative step (especially for someone who was once hired by Zack de la Rocha to produce tracks for a now-shelved solo album and whose latest group, Central Services, is a rock band of sorts), the perceived break in continuity doesn´t faze him. "Like everything I´m doing with Def Jux, this is the type of record I want to be involved in," he explains. "It´s really about confronting opinions about what music is and what hip-hop is, with people reacting to what you do and then not understanding the next move you make and then being pissed that they don´t understand. I try to shut my eyes to all of that and just be involved with good people who are talented and can make good records."

Article from

Much luv.

Producers - Discussion / Kanye West
« on: September 08, 2004, 12:48:00 AM »
I found this article on the net while checking out some on the man.Its pretty interesting and also he mentions what equipment he uses.Enjoy.

Byline: Ken Micallef

You may not know him yet, but hip-hop producers don´t come much hotter or hard-working than Kanye West. During the past six years, the 26-year-old has racked up triumphs with such big-money movers as Jay-Z, Foxy Brown, Nas, Alicia Keys and Eminem. How does he do it? Not with any Digidesign Pro Tools or Emagic Logic rig, that´s for sure. "I don´t use a computer or a lot of equipment in my studio," West declares. "What do I need all that stuff for?"

West uses four primary pieces for sampling, sequencing and recording duties: An Ensoniq ASR-10 keyboard, an Akai MPC2000 MIDI Production Center, a Roland VS-1880 24-bit Digital Studio Workstation and a Gemini PT-1000 II turntable.

"I recorded College Dropout with just that," West says. "I got a record player with no top on it. It´s a Gemini, just like me. Like most Geminis, I am two people: I´m a rapper and a producer. Hell, yeah."

West´s minimalism doesn´t affect his output. His debut, The College Dropout (Roc-a-fella/Def Jam, 2004), boasts cameos from the Harlem Boy´s Choir and a few of hip-hop´s elite - Mos Def, Ludacris, Dirt McGirt (formerly Ol´ Dirty Bastard) and Freeway - as well as some outstanding vocal samples. West doesn´t stress over his skills; he is more concerned with sound and style.

"I don´t give a f*** about equipment or technique," West says. "It is just about how it sounds at the end of the day. My claim to fame is to get the most out of the least: simplify. I go through my closet every month and give away all the clothes that I don´t really love. I have a better chance of putting on something good every morning if I just have all hot shit."

One of West´s trademarks, besides cla**ic ´70s soul loops, is ample use of speed. Almost every other track on The College Dropout features a sped-up vocal sample, be it Dinah Washington on "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" or Chaka Khan on "Through the Wire."

"I sample them at regular speed, then speed them up inside the ASR-10," he explains. "I just put the pitch up on the sampler, and it will go faster. The ASR-10 is like my left hand. I can chop samples into 61 pieces without wasting any memory. A lot of old songs are too slow to rap on. So I got to speed them up to a rappable tempo."

The album´s multiple treats include a searing Lauryn Hill sample (on "Falls Down") and gorgeous choral vocals from the Harlem Boy´s Choir (on "2 Words"). The Choir might be from Harlem, but that is the last place West could find it. "I wanted that track to be more than just another hip-hop song," West recalls. "I wanted the Harlem Boy´s Choir on it, but nobody wanted to pay the $10,000. We wasted $3,500 on Hezekiah Walker, but it wasn´t my vision. I finally said, ´We have to have the Harlem Boy´s Choir.´ I drove all the way to west bubba - wherever - Crystal Lake, where they were at boy´s camp. It was like a place where they would shoot a scary movie. I went through hell to get to heaven on that song."

With "Jesus Walks" and "Drug Dealin´," The College Dropout may be the most socially responsible hip-hop album since Public Enemy´s heyday, but will the average fans get it? West knows they will. "Good music isn´t always about being in the shower with a bunch of chicks," he says. "When DeNiro was working on Meet the Parents, he didn´t wonder if his fans from Goodfellas would like it. Human beings have many different dimensions. Nelly can fill that part of their life; it is for me to fulfill other parts. A lot of people are copying each other, but I don´t have nothing to do with those people."

This article was found at

Much luv.

Producers - Discussion / EMI sample clearance procedure link
« on: September 03, 2004, 07:20:00 AM »
Hey everyone

I found this link and thought I´d share it to those interested.It deals with sample clearance in UK and in general.Hope its of some use to anyone.

Much luv.

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