DJ Rhettmatic of the Beat Junkies and
Buff1 of the Athletic Mic League
have joined forces to create a hip-hop monster
for all of our enjoyment and appreciation.
That benevolent monster is called Crown Royale.
This Q&A features the production half of the duo,
“Get It Up” • Download
∆: How did you and Buff1 meet?
“Basically, I met Buff thru the guys from Now On. They’re all from Ann Arbor, Michigan and ironically, they’re also from the Athletic Mic League. Now On moved to LA a few years ago and I would start running into them at a couple of events and whatnot. Buff would come out to LA and they would introduce him to me and that’s how we met.”
∆: When and under what circumstances
did the idea of Crown Royale form?
“Well, the idea of Buff and myself of working together came from the 2/3 of Now On: Jackson Perry and Dj Haircut aka Mayer Hawthorne. Around that time, Buff just dropped his 1st solo album and they were asking him what’s his next move. And at that same time I was starting to branch off doing production outside of my other group, The Visionaries.
A lot of people knew me more as Battle Dj/Turntablist and not for my production, though I have been doing some production for quite sometime. I actually gave a beat cd to Now On to do some work. Next thing I knew, Jackson and Haircut came up to me and said ‘we would like you to do an album with Buff’. I believe they did the same thing with Buff. He said ‘if I like the beats, I’ll do it’. He already got an in house production team with the Lab Techs: 14KT, Haircut, Vaughn T, etc… so he was spoiled. And those guys got slaps. I knew it was a go when he sent me the first song recorded and done. Luckily he liked my beats, LOL.”
∆: How early was “Get It Up” done?
“Late last year, and that was actually the first song. He recorded the vocals
first in Michigan, then we redid it when he came back to LA.”
∆: How did you guys come up with the name?
“It’s actually a funny story. At the time, we didn’t have a name for the project or group. During that same time, Magestik Legend, another dope MC/Producer from Detroit, wanted to do a group project with Buff. On Buff’s 1st album,
Buff would always wear a crown so Magestik wanted to name the group
‘Crown Royale’. Ironically, I was brainstorming myself with names and all
and I also came up with the name Crown Royale, and literally called Buff
the week after Magestik shot him the idea. And I didnt know that Magestik
hit him up for the idea. I was a fan of Magestik’s work but I never met him in
person, so it was crazy when Buff told me what Magestik approached him with.
Then later on, like 2 months later, Magestik goes to LA. We all met up at Fat Beats LA and during an instore Buff introduced me to Magestik. I really wanted to name the project or group Crown Royale, so we all had a pow wow with Magestik. By the grace of God (and us doing a lot convincing), Magestik was kind enough to let us use the name and in return, we have him on our album. And that’s how the name Crown Royale came about.”
∆: Wooow, lol. Being that Crown Royale is a duo,
what is one of your favorite hip-hop duos and why?
“Mine is GangStarr…..Buff’s is Outkast. But also, I love EPMD, Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Run-DMC, Low Profile… I don’t know, we can go on forever. You would have to also ask Buff that question, but i do know his favorite group is Outkast.”
∆: What’s a particular reason you can say about GangStarr?
“It’s easy. The DJ and the MC combo, Guru and Preemo. They’re a perfect example of a classic hip-hop group. Preemo is one of my fav top producers, as well as a DJ.”
∆: What are some artists and songs you’ve produced
that the masses need to be aware of?
“Hmmmmm…….. let’s see….. Divine Styler ‘Triple Irons’ (WordPower 2), Aceyalone ‘Keep Rappin Keep Spinnin’, Aloe Blacc ‘Find A Way’ (B Ball Zombie War comp – Stones Throw)… I’m trying to think… RBX ‘Stop That’. Pigeon John ‘Freaks Freaks’. A lot of stuff are like b-sides and album cuts, I wouldnt say obscure but you would have to know the artists. But I worked with alot of cats that people know. I have alot of stuff that hasnt come out officially yet or it’s in the vault. Let me see…Trek Life ‘All Times’ (Price I’ve Paid)”
∆: Did you produce “E=MC5″ (Key Kool & Rhettmatic
feat. LMNO, Ras Kass, Meen Green & Vooodu)?
“Yeah, that was my 1st official record.”
∆: That was my shxt.
“Word? Thanks. I did that on the SP1200.”
∆: Word. From producing songs for artists to producing a full album,
what is your approach? In particular, your approach for producing a full album.
“Hmmm…that’s a good question. In terms of producing an album, I would try my best to make the album flow from beginning to end. Make it interesting like a good mixtape. Try to make it have sometype of continuity. I would put it together like i was putting a mix routine together. It has to make sense. And in terms of the beats, it varies. When i give a beat to an artist, I either would have an idea or concept or I would just let the artist dictate what he or she wants to write, whatever emotion the beat elicits from that artist. And when it comes to adding scratches, I either ask the artist whats the title or the concept of the song, and I would go base it off of that idea. Unless the artist have something in mind, then that makes it a lil bit easier.
Btw… all you rappers out there that think it’s easy to put a scratch hook together… no, it isn’t. That takes time. Diggin for records, listening to records, writing down phrases, then working on putting it together, then tryin to record the scratches until we get it right. Djs/producers are very meticulous. Just like for emcees that want to get the best take and their best rhymes out there. Us dj/producers are the same, for the most part. I just wanted to add that….LOL.”
∆: Word! What’s on the horizon from DJ Rhettmatic?
“Hmmmmm…..It seems I got alot on my plate now. Well, of course,
the Crown Royale debut album on Myx Music Label in early 2010.
I also have another project that I do with Eric Bobo of Cypress Hill.
It’s a DJ/Percussion combo. I actually finished an ep with Frank Nitty
(Frank N Dank). I’m doing a producers’ album with J-Rawls
of Lone Catalysts. I got a 10″ single that I did with MED
that The Do-Over is putting out in 2010.”
∆: When you say a “producer’s album”, what do you mean?
“J-Rawls and myself will be doing production together and we will be having artists on the album rocking over the instrumentals that we produced. We already have a song with Trek Life & Kam Moye aka Supastition, Renee Neufville from Zhane.”
∆: Damn, dope.
“Yeah, it’s been an off and on project. We recorded already 5 songs,
we just haven’t had the time to work on it. And of course my work with
the Beat Junkies. Beat Junkie Radio, our NIGHTLIFE events… and maybe, one day, a group album (which we’ve been saying for the last 10 years….LMAO!). Mix cds…etc.”
Massive Thanks To DJ Rhettmatic For Participating In The Q&A!
Be sure to check out Part 2 tomorrow with Buff1!