Working with Problem
Of all the rappers Salva's collab'd with, Problem seems to give him the call most often. Salva first remixed his song "Like Whaaat," and as the producer tells it, that led to future collaborations:
“I kind of had the idea of, ‘Remix who you want to fuck with, and it might happen,’ because when me and RL Grimeremixed “Mercy,” Kanye got a hold of it and shit. So it’s like if you do a hot remix, they’re gonna notice it. So with that one, Problem was like really popping in L.A. at the time— I saw him play at one of Power 106’s big concerts at an arena, and he had that whole place going crazy."
Eventually linking up, the producer and MC discovered they "speak the same language," according to Salva, and their chemistry has led to some truly extraordinary tracks. Last year, they did "Drop That Bitch" and "Motivated" together.
Kicking off with a high-pitched melody that recalls Eazy-E's "Boyz N The Hood," "Drop That Bitch" is one of many Salva beats that pulls from an older era of L.A. rap music, but outfits it with new-fangled frills in order to keep things dynamic and interesting. Cunningly enough, he splices in sound effects that sound like the hydraulics on Cali lowriders-- it's these small touches and nods to history that alert you to Salva's deep knowledge of old-school rap. He managed to get a guy from that era, Kurupt, on the track, as well as the younger stars Schoolboy Q, Problem and Bad Lucc, and wound up making one of the best Cali posse cuts in recent memory.
Elsewhere, Salva pulled from the prevailing sounds of the L.A. scene to make "Motivated."
This time, it's the modern, DJ Mustard-dominated L.A. that Salva chooses to mess with, making a beat that follows the same formula as most of Mustard's minimal tracks, but sounds a hell of a lot more progressive. The thumping bassline, pitch-shifting hi-hats and flashy synths are still there, but they're deployed in a much more haphazard way, accentuating the gaps in Problem's flows. The duo's ability to do a bunch of different sounds is one of their strengths:
"[Problem] could be like, ‘Yo, I want to fuck with some sample-based shit, I wanna fuck with this sound,’ and I can do that, and I’m down with that shit," said Salva. "He’s a fucking really sick rapper,' he continued, "he’s a legit artist, he probably does three songs a day.”