Hollywood Cole Reflects On Producing For Lil Wayne, Drake, Dom Kennedy & More For "On The Come Up"

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Now, who else tryna F with Hollywood Cole? The multifaceted producer details his rise for HotNewHipHop’s “On The Come Up.”

Who Is Hollywood Cole?

Producer tags are everything. At their best, they are immediately recognizable, an informal call that sparks excitement for what’s coming next. Thus, when you hear a tag like, “Cole…You Stupid,” you already know what’s going down. 

The aforementioned tag that calls back to the classic ‘90s sitcom Martin belongs to none other than Hollywood Cole, a rapidly rising producer with ties to both the West Coast — through his birthplace of Seattle, Washington — and the East Coast — through his upbringing in Virginia. After winning a beat battle at Wish Atlanta that was judged by Sonny Digital, Cole started linking up with big-name artists and producers in Atlanta, which eventually led to his work with Quentin Miller and four beat placements on Dom Kennedy’s 2020 album, Rap N Roll. Roughly a month after Rap N Roll, Cole got an even bigger look, as a beat that he produced became Lil Wayne and Drake’s acclaimed “B.B. King Freestyle” collaboration from 2020’s No Ceilings 3.

Hollywood Cole on HotNewHipHop’s “On The Come Up.” (Cam Kirk, Collective Gallery)

From that point on, Hollywood Cole’s work has been featured on countless major Hip-Hop releases, from Isaiah Rashad’s The House Is Burning single “Lay Wit Ya,” and G Herbo’s “Statement” to Latto’s 21 Savage-assisted 777 single “Wheelie,” Buddy’s “Wait Too Long,” and J.I.D.’s The Forever Story album cut “Sistanem.” 

Hence, it was a no-brainer to feature Hollywood Cole in the latest season of HNHH’s On The Come Up. Keep scrolling to familiarize yourself with the incredible producer before his next round of mindblowing beat placements rolls out.

HNHH: Cole, how’d you get into music?

Hollywood Cole: So the way I got into music, my parents would play a lot of music when I was a kid. I was always just kinda into sounds and stuff like that. I remember hearing a lot of old Anita Baker and Dr. Dre. And that kinda translated to me being a kid in high school that was into mixtapes. So I used to make a lot of mixtapes. This is when Big Sean mixtapes were going crazy and Lil Wayne, Drake, and Wale. I remember making a lot of mixed CDs for my homies and me. And that translated to me in college being a DJ a little bit, and I got introduced to FL studio. My boy Josh showed it to me, and that’s how I got into making beats.

Can you touch on some of your musical inspirations?

Yeah, so some of my favorite producers [are], definitely for sure, J Dilla. I would say Kanye West, definitely a big influence. Pharrell for sure, big influence. Dre, he had crazy drums — I feel like my drums really hit so I would definitely say Dre. Quincy Jones, the GOA. Definitely one of the best producers in the world.

This isn’t scripted, I just wanna know personally. Ye or Pharrell?

You know, I was just talking to my boy about that. Probably Pharrell. It’s hard though…

No hometown bias? No V.A. bias?

Yeah, not even that. I would say Pharrell. I feel like Kanye may have, like, bigger major songs but Pharrell’s got– he’s just worked with so many people. He’s got joints — I mean from Brittney Spears to the Clipse, ya know?

Hollywood Cole on HotNewHipHop’s “On The Come Up.” (Cam Kirk, Collective Gallery)
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Diversity…

Yeah, but Kanye’s diversity is kinda crazy too! But if I had to choose, I’d probably go with Pharrell.

What was the turning point that helped you realize you were on your way to becoming successful?

I feel like the turning point for me was moving to Atlanta, and basically like, I won a beat battle at Wish ATL. This was a couple of years ago. Sunny Digital was the judge. Jason Reddick was a judge and Jerrel Keys. And basically, after me winning that beat battle it kinda allowed me to connect with a lot of people, a lot of the big producers in Atlanta. By doing that, I was able to just meet a lot of people organically. That kinda just helped with my come-up. 

If a music fan were to discover you today for the first time, what song should they listen to?

Probably “B.B. King Freestyle” by Drake and Lil Wayne. I think that was definitely a moment for me. I brought those cats together on a Hip-Hop beat. I’m a core Hip-Hop producer. So I would say “B.B. King Freestyle”. That was definitely a moment.

Tell us about a valuable lesson that you’ve learned during your come-up.

I think just kinda having your business together [and] having a strong lawyer. Like, it’s the music business, you know? So I think having a good lawyer and a good team is definitely important. Just to make sure that you’re covered, in all aspects.

Hollywood Cole on HotNewHipHop’s “On The Come Up.” (Cam Kirk, Collective Gallery)
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I think I’m like Gumbo. You just throw a whole bunch of stuff in the pot. You got your shrimp, you got your crab, you got your hot sausages, and that’s me. I’m not just one thing. 

Summarize your debut project or production and what inspired it.

I think working with Dom Kennedy, man. It was kinda like a full-circle moment for me. ‘Cause I remember, like, being younger and listening to him when I was in college, and then him catching wind of me by my boy Quentin Miller. Flying out to L.A. and working on a whole bunch of stuff for him. Then he dropped Rap N Roll. I had like 5 joints on that project so I was like, kinda helping him kinda curate the sound. So I would say definitely working with Dom Kennedy on Rap N Roll.

Fire, I love Dom.

Legend. L.A. legend.

Yeah, that Yellow Album was heavily — heavily being played.

Classic. Classic.

Tell us about your hometown and how it influences your music.

I think for me man, I would consider myself not a one-region-based producer. I kinda get flavors from all over. Like I was born in Seattle so I get a lot of the West Coast flavor. But I also grew up in Virginia you know, so I got some of, like, the southern flavor but I also lived in Boston for like seven years, so I get the [East] Coast stuff organically.

All my family is really from the West Coast. Then I’m also able to take it to the East Coast and the Boom Bap, and then being in the South [I was] able to listen to Gucci. I don’t think one region kinda makes me a one-sole producer. I think I’m like Gumbo. You just throw a whole bunch of stuff in the pot. You got your shrimp, you got your crab, you got your hot sausages, and that’s me. I’m not just one thing. 

Hollywood Cole on HotNewHipHop’s “On The Come Up.” (Cam Kirk, Collective Gallery)
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I love that reference. Where do you hope your music career takes you?

I think I see my music [taking] me [to] a position where I’m kinda like the cat that just comes in and you basically just need my ear. I see myself being probably more behind the scenes, kinda like a No I.D. You know No I.D. is very respected, and he may just come in on a project. He may not even make any beats, but you just want his opinion. He may help you with song structure or beat selection. Or kinda like a Don Cannon, you know? Probably like those two.

Love it. No I.D. is a legend for sure. 

Legend.

If you could create a dream song, what would it sound like and who would you put on the beat?

Dream song…

Unlimited budget.

Unlimited budget, I’d probably work with Quincy Jones-- help me with production. I would probably have Amerie on the hook. I’d probably have Michael Jackson doing the top line. I would probably have Wayne spitting the verse. And I would probably have… maybe Kanye. Just to come with something crazy, you know. I think Kanye would bring something crazy for sure.

Fire. People forget about Amerie.

She’s a — man, her first album is crazy. That’s my favorite R&B album. Favorite. That’s a press play. Yo, that’s a press play.

I love that song, I would always play that joint with her and LL.

Oh yeah, “Paradise”.

Hollywood Cole on HotNewHipHop’s “On The Come Up.” (Cam Kirk, Collective Gallery)
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Give one piece of advice to aspiring musicians on the come-up.

Practice man. I think practicing, like repetition. Just making sure you get jumpshots, and by jump shots, I mean making sure you making music. Making sure you’re studying music, you know? You gotta make sure you study and you gotta practice. And also just like being yourself and being organic. It’s cool being able to send music and send beats like through email and text, but it’s the best when you can actually get in the studio with an artist and just organically connect, you know? So just repetition, man, and just kinda being yourself. I think that goes a long way.

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