FROM DIZZY WRIGHT'S PERSPECTIVE
On how the song
concept for "Maintain" came about:
I take little things from every situation that I’m in,
like when I’m talking to somebody, and they say a lot, but I could take a little
from that...I’ve been getting a lot of things from a lot of people around Vegas
who are just like, talking about things that they don’t have. Just for the
people who really just work hard for everything that they got, I just wanted
them to maintain, so it was kinda like my ‘keep your head up song,’ just keep
On if he was speaking
to anyone in particular:
Nah people in general, like the world.
On if he & Joey
Bada$ discussed the direction of “Maintain” before writing:
Nah, it’s crazy. I wrote the song back in Vegas, and I just
recently became a fan of Joey Bada$$, just finding his music, and I just thought
it was so dope, ‘cause I’ve always been on my hip-hop shit, but I’ve never
worked with someone on some hip-hop shit. And I thought he would be perfect for
it, just especially with him being young and being a voice on the East Coast, I
thought it would be super dope, so I kinda made the song for him before I knew
him, and then it just kinda fucking happened, it’s crazy.
On how they recorded together:
I recorded mine in Vegas, and then I went to New York and I
was in the studio with him, and we were talking about doing a track and I’m like,
‘yo I actually already did that I was already thinking about putting you on if
you wanna hear it, tell me if you’re fucking with it.’ So I played it for him,
and the whole Pro Era was showing love and fucking with it, and he wrote his
verse and it was on.
On the studio session:
It was me, Pro Era and Ab-Soul. We was just in there smoking
and just vibing. It was two studios so Ab was working on some shit. Oh, the
Flatbush Zombies were in there too. And we was just in there on some hip-hop
shit, just smoking and eating and shit. It was all cool vibes.
On if he got anything
in with Ab-Soul:
No actually I didn’t, um, I actually had some shit too, same like with Joey, like
I’ve already heard Ab-Soul on and I’m like I got some shit for Ab. But then, I dunno, because Ab has a cool fucking way of thinking and I really would like to
just sit in the studio and come up with crazy concept with Ab. But yeah, we couldn’t
make it happen, it started getting super late.
On his favorite style
of rap song to do:
It depends, ‘cause when I’m home I vibe it. So, like, “Maintain”
is more my sound when it comes to that, but when I’m on stage, I love to have fun,
I love to dance, I love to smile and act silly, put that feedback energy to the
crowd, so they could feed it back to me. And I know the strip club songs and
the high-energy songs really bring that out. When I’m on stage and it’s like my
slower songs, I be talking that real shit and getting people to listen and I
love doing that, but I also love having fun and dancing and playing around. So
it really depends on the situation, ‘cause I really all-around like it all,
that’s why I do it all.
On if smoking weed
helps Dizzy “Maintain”:
Yeah, definitely. I
didn’t start smoking weed til my baby mama was pregnant. I didn’t grow up a
weed smoker. I was just out here in life doing my thing, I didn’t really have
no guidance. So how I started keeping myself cool and being able to maintain in
my life was twisting up the dro and keeping it moving, and not letting the
little things get the best of me. ‘Cause I started getting really angry at my
situation, my life, and it started pushing me in the wrong direction because I
felt like I gotta get this fast money and make this shit happen, but I found
something that puts me in my comfort zone and help me maintain and just keep my
On his favourite line/verse:
My favourite line is when I say, “whether you got you a son
or a daughter/don’t run away from your problems or your partner/maintain/I know
it’s getting harder but it gets harder/you gotta understand it’s the shit that
make you a man.”
That’s similar to what I was talking about, like when I started
smoking, my baby mama was pregnant, we was beefing, shit was crazy, that was
like my partner, I was beefing with my family, so I was pretty much alone. But I
realized the things that we were arguing about escalated, that shit escalated to,
‘oh well you ain’t gonna see your son,’ ‘oh well, child support,’ ‘oh well,
woop-dee-woop-woop-woop.’ Later on down the line I was able to sit down and talk
to her and we were able to work some shit out, and we didn’t have to go through
all of that. So whether, “you got you a son or a daughter/don’t run away from
your problems or your partner/maintain/,”-- I feel like if you decide to have a
baby with somebody, don’t treat her like some bitch on the corner, you gotta
show her respect, maintain, hold it together and just keep it g, that’s the
shit that makes you a man, that’s what a man is. A main ain’t a nigga who run
around and crown his baby mama and just fall into the typical baby daddy shit.
So I’m tryna just give niggas the motivation to wanna be there not only for
their kids, but the person who have their kids.
FROM DJ HOPPA'S PERSPECTIVE:
On how the beat came about:
I was actually working in the studio with a different artist when I came
across the main sample in the "Maintain" track, and I knew right away that it
was something I could flip for Dizzy's
upcoming project that he's doing, so I tucked it away and came back to it the
next day and made the beat.
On the sample:
The sample is from a well-known artist, I don't like to reveal specifics
but the kids on YouTube have dropped it in the comments a couple times if you
can't figure it out.
On if he created the beat specifically for Dizzy:
Yes and no. I definitely sent it to Dizzy first,
and had a feeling he would like it, but I didn't try to cater to him
necessarily. I just did what the vibe of the beat told me to do and hoped that
we would dig it.
On if he was in-studio with Dizzy Wright & Joey Bada$ during the recording process:
Unfortunately, I wasn't there during the recording. I had flown out to
do a show with Dizzy in Las
Vegas after I sent him the beat and he showed me the track with the first two
verses on it, and it was a rough version without Joey Bada$ on it. I don't
think either of us knew Joey would end up on the track until Dizzy flew out a week or something later
to New York and had him record the third verse. We just got to perform the
track at a show in SXSW and it was definitely a dope dynamic on stage.
On his favorite type of beat to create:
I love sample-based beats. To me, they just carry an energy and feeling
to them that hits right to the soul. Boom-bap sample beats is my shit. I have
been getting into using more synth and current production styles as well,
though, trying to stay rounded.
On the equipment used to create the instrumental for “Maintain”:
I sampled the beat into Ableton, and used my Akai Max49 controller to
chop it up and lay down the drums. Everything else was done within Ableton.
On his go-to machines:
For the road I don't leave without my Macbook Pro, and I always need a
Rane TTM57 mixer at the shows. In the studio, I was using the Akai MPC for a
long time but now I use the Akai Max49 cause it has the keys and pads all in
one controller, and it works great with Ableton.
On how he initially linked up with Funk Volume:
In early 2011, Hopsin was planning his very first tour to promote his
Raw album, and he wanted to have a DJ hit the road with him and SwizZz. Dame
(owner of Funk Volume) approached me through email about it, and I hadn't heard
of Hopsin at the time. He came and saw me DJ at a local residency I had, and we
set up a practice for a show they had in Bakersfield. We played the show, it
went great, I was added to the roster, and now there's no ending in sight!