Producer Drumma Boy is a recognized name in the rap industry and a master at crafting beats, read our interview with him below where we find out what he's been up to recently.
Drumma Boy is constantly on his grind. Whether he's trying his hand at rapping, or doing what he's known best for, producing, he's putting in work. HNHH was able to catch up with him over the phone to find out what he has in the works and what artists he's currently collaborating with. Read below to find out how Drumma Boy developed into the producer he is today, from selling bass tapes at fifteen to getting a University degree. Now he has records with some of the biggest names in the industry, T.I., 2 Chainz, Chris Brown and Wiz Khalifa among them.
HotNewHipHop: What's up?
Drumma Boy: To be honest with you, just got up.
HNHH: [Laughs] Okay. You've been working on a lot of stuff recently so we wanted to talk to you about all those albums that you're working. Is there anything that you're most excited to drop, any specific collaboration?
Drumma Boy: Yeah, right now, I just finished up my Fourth of July Playlist. I came to Atlanta for the Fourth of July, did a lot of promo, I came up with a playlist that has my new single with Chris Brown, 2 Chainz and Snoop Dogg on it, called “Oh Yeah.” I also released an exclusive track of my rapping featuring 2 Chainz called “Can't Do It Like Me.” It's the last track on the Fourth of July Playlist. Fader just did a blog about it, I mean it's been picking up blogs like crazy. I leaked that song just to let people know that the Birth of D-Boy Fresh, the rap album, is dropping August 11th on my birthday, you know what I'm sayin'. The Birth of D-Boy Fresh is really like a mixtape/album, you know what I'm sayin, it's gunna have more exclusive tracks, a few of the tracks that were on my mixtape last year, like “Can You Hear Me Now.” Definitley a lot of people excited, and feedback a lot just on my artistry side of things. 2 Chainz' album dropping August 14th, so we lookin' forward to that, and that's gunna be crazy, I got a couple on there. And you know, just workin', Tip tryna get his album together, workin' on Tip. Jeezy, doin' a lot of work.
HNHH: So a lot of artists in Atlanta that you're working with. So, like with 2 Chainz and T.I., are you guys in the studio together or is over e-mail?
Drumma Boy: It's both. Sometimes it's email. I just recently went in the studio with 2 Chainz and dropped off some more tracks, vibed with him for a minute and worked on a couple new songs for his upcoming album. He's still goin' all the way in 'til the last day of turn in. It's just been fun man, I'm all about having fun, getting all of my stuff locked & loaded here, and we back in L.A. this Friday.
HNHH: Okay. And when you get back to L.A. are there any artists you're set up to work with?
Drumma Boy: As soon as I get back to L.A. man I'm back in with Chris. Me and Chris are always in the studio when I'm out there. A lot of artists been reaching out, like Snoop the homie doin' a lot of stuff with Wiz, so I'll definitely be going back in with Wiz and Snoop.
HNHH: And what have you been working with Wiz Khalifa, can you tell us about any of the songs on his next album, O.N.I.F.C.?
Drumma Boy: Yeah, I just leaked one of the Fourth of July Playlist. The playlist that I do I leak a lot of the records that I got goin' on currently, so you would know. But I just leaked a record called “It's Nothin'” which is Wiz Khalifa and 2 Chainz.
HNHH: Ah, yeah.
Drumma Boy: Yeah, so I produced that, that's one of 'em. We got a couple more records, Wiz has got me holdin' about seven or eight tracks for his album.
HNHH: So you don't know if they're all gunna be on the album?
Drumma Boy: Yeah, that's what I'm sayin', he's holding it, so definitely five are already approved, so we're just waitin' on the other few.
HNHH: Okay, cool. And also, you've been working with Rick Ross for God Forgives?
Drumma Boy: I've been reaching out, you know what I'm sayin', I definitely can't say I have been workin' on it, I shot some beats that way and haven't gotten a response back, so, you know what I'm sayin', keep pushin'.
HNHH: And for T.I.'s Trouble Man, can you tell us about any of the beats you're doing for that, like the sound?
Drumma Boy: It's a trouble sound. Like most beats that I've been making on that project is trouble beats. Beats that sound like you finna get in trouble,just setting the tone, the ambience. Booms and sirens and a mix of the street mixed with the club. Those are two places that you known to get in trouble. You know what I'm saying, it's Trouble Man.
HNHH: I was also told you're working with Andre 3000, what's up with that?
Drumma Boy: Yeah, yeah we promised each other we'd keep that secret, so I don't wanna say nothing on that.
HNHH: So you can't say anything more than that?
Drumma Boy: Nah, nah, nah. It'll be worth it.
HNHH: Okay! So I also wanted to talk about how you got your start producing, I know that you were a Music Business Major in University but you started producing before that, so how did that develop?
Drumma Boy: Basically I started making bass tapes. Like, I was gettin' in a lot of trouble in my hood, I grew up on the South Memphis side of Memphis, and my mom wanted to move me to the subarbs because I was gettin' into a lot of trouble. And she bought me a keyboard and we moved to like a predominantly white neighbourhood called Cordova and um, it's really like the best thing that happened to me...It was really like the best of both worlds, I got the keyboard, and started making bass tapes...I put my name on the tape, 'Drumma Boy,' and took that shit and ran with it. And another dude, who I'd been working with gave me the name, he was like 'man, you needa call yourself Drumma Boy, 'cause your beats, your patterns sound like a real drummer,' I was like, 'aight, cool.' So that's how the name came about, I gave the tapes to the dude, and basically it just spread through the highschools. I remember bringing home like $1300 dollars one week.
HNHH: How old were you?
Drumma Boy: Fifteen, ninth grade. So it just went on from there.
HNHH: Wow. And how would you saying going to University has helped you as a producer?
Drumma Boy: Um, college helped me the most as far as resources. You know, I had so much home-schooling, home-training, you know my dad is in the Orchestra, first chair clarinetest, and I learned from him, I played clarinet eighteen years straight, I was offered to be in a youth symphony Orchestra and all of these different scholarships and what not, and basically I turned all of that down, even my basketball scholarships, 'cause I was playing basketball heavily in ninth grade through twelfth grade. The problem was 'cause I was making so much money. I'm in the middle of class gettin' a call about $25,000. Usually, like to me, honestly, no disrespect, but college is for people who are lost. You don't know what you wanna be or you need help tryna figure what you wanna do. The best thing you can gain from college is your relationships and your friends.
HNHH: Yeah, I know what you mean. Do you have any advice for aspiring producers on HotNewHipHop?
Drumma Boy: Man, aspiring producers? Bring your stuff. And work your relationships with the artist. There's so many A&Rs that like to take credit for what we do, you know what I'm sayin', or like to claim that they were the ones that built the records or put the records together, like man. And a lot of time they say they gunna play beats for artists or do this or that and they really don't. So my advice is to get your own personal relationship with whatever artists you want to make placements with. 'Cause at the end of the day, he's the one who's gunna get the song on the album. In some cases, maybe an A&R is your best bet. Only in a few. I've only been helped by an A&R one time.
HNHH: Is there anything you wanna add before we wrap up?
Drumma Boy: Yeah, shoutout to Twitter, @DrummaBoyFresh. The website, www.drum-squad.com, that's pretty much it man, stay tuned. 8/11/12 The Birth of D-Boy Fresh on iTunes, 8/14/12 2 Chainz' album... 2 Chainzzzz!
HNHH: [Laughs] Yeah definitely excited for that. Thanks for your time.