30 Roc talks "Bartier Cardi," his childhood, and plans for the future.
Last month Cardi B topped off her historic year with a surprise single that silenced the haters, showing that she was neither a one-hit wonder nor a celebutante rapper-wifey. “Bartier Cardi,” another confident, audacious trap hit debuted in the Billboard Top 20, and in the process is bringing another musician that much closer to fame.
30 Roc, born Samuel Gloade, is a producer who works on part of Mike WiLL Made-It’s Ear Drummer production team. As a solo musician, he was behind Yo Gotti’s platinum-hit “Rake It Up,” T-Wayne’s “Nasty Freestyle,” and Rae Sremmurd’s single “Real Chill.” Most recently, he contributed to production on “King’s Dead,” Jay Rock’s first single off of his upcoming album and part of the Black Panther soundtrack. It’s an impressive catalogue for someone who has remained so low-key-- you probably haven't heard of him-- but there’s no hiding anymore.
This weekend, HotNewHipHop caught up with 30 Roc to talk about these recent collaborations and how he is adjusting to the fame. In a swirl of interviews and meetings, 30 Roc has been reflecting on the long journey that brought him here and all that he still plans to accomplish.
Photo by Tommy Nova
HNHH: You’re originally from New York right?
30 Roc: Absolutely.
And right now you’re down in Atlanta, full time? I was surprised to find out you’re from New York because your production is more diverse than the regional sound that people expect. Along with that, you’ve done work with people from various parts of the country. Like Migos, Yo Gotti, Kendrick Lamar. How did you end up down there?
Well I ended up down here when I was a kid. My mother moved out here to get a better life. So for a better life. She said, ‘Well, I guess this will be better for us.’ It was a little complicated in New York. We ended moving down South and this is where I got all my skills. You know kind of to do production— kind of, sort of. I always played the keys a little bit. I’m good on the drums; I was in the band in school. I didn’t really listen to a lot of music at a younger age. Not a whole lot. I'm from a Caribbean, Antiguan background, but we heard music filtered— my mother kind of sheltered [us] a little bit.
She didn’t want you listening to rap music?
No, it wasn’t really a rap music thing. We were going through a lot of different things... all that adult stuff was going on. We were just trying to find our way, more or less. Coming from [that background] and figure out how to start through life. Yeah, grown-up people stuff, that’s what they called it. I was a kid so I had to stay in a kid’s place.
And you did find your way, right— your music has become so successful. Given that you were sheltered, how did you get into producing and who were you working with when you started?
I started getting into producing... it was two of us in the group for 30 Roc. It was me and my brother, Corey. He started with me, he helped me, he taught me how to work the machine— [and] all the other stuff. But then he decided to do something different. I kind of just kept it going and I had a couple of different places… I didn’t even know this was going to be a career. It just started coming together and that’s when I figured out this is going to be something I’m going to be into.
Were you mostly connecting on social media at that time?
Twitter was my best friend. I figured out, ‘Yo I’ll get you beats, I’ll get you beats, I’ll get you beats, let me get you some beats.’ It was a lot of free beats, I gave a way a lot— I did it for K Camp in the early stage, a lot of other people. But I just started finding my way. Even getting on, with Rae Sremmurd, they sent out a tweet [saying] ‘We need beat.’ They said ‘We need beats’ and I went downstairs to my car. I started emailing beats out. And that was kind of how I got on … and that turned into the Ear Drummer thing. You’d be surprised.
So going to one of your most recent songs, “King’s Dead” by Jay Rock, and production on that: First could you tell us how it came together? Also, now that you are working with such big names, do you still stay up on Twitter and try to work with young guys coming up?
Absolutely I still stay on Twitter. The record came together … I sent the beat in, I sent the beat to Mike— the start of the beat. And then Mike got on it and Mike said ‘I can turn this into something’ and then...you know Mike Will know how to make them plays. You can't deny the man. That’s why he has all these hit records out here. He knows how to make the plays and he knows how to get those caliber artists. That's pretty much how the record came together. I have another partner on there with me— Twon [Beatz], Twon helped me do the beat too. It was a couple of different factors to make that record.
And was that one that you had in mind for that group, for Kendrick and Jay Rock or was it something you had been playing with for a while?
Nah. Beats, I start with how I feel. Besides for the Cardi record ["Bartier Cardi"]. The Cardi record I knew I was doing it for her.
Why is that?
My manager, he said we need to do some records with Cardi. We need to figure out how to get on Cardi’s album. So I went [working with] my brother Cheeze [Beatz] and we started getting to work. My manager came in, he heard the beat, he was like ‘Yeah, this sound like something,’ and after that we just kept going. And we walked it into Atlantic Records to Chris Jones, [DJ] Drama was in the room. I hit play on it, on my phone— and everybody was like 'This is kinda hard right here.' It took about seven, eight weeks... But you know December 22 the record dropped and it's been different... I'm loving the attention.
How are you adapting to all those changes? More interviews, more projects?
It's a lot of everything. It's more attention than I'm used to but I'm happy that I’m getting recognized. I'm very happy and appreciative to get recognized for my craft. Usually it's only my managers. You have people thats rooting for you but then when you see the math, like people are digging this record. Even though I've made a bunch of other records. “Rake it Up," the T-Wayne “Nasty” record— that went platinum, that was good too, but the Cardi thing was special to me.
It's a whole new level.
Yeah, it's a whole new level and it introduces the world to my sound for real, you know what I’m saying? And I just want them to recognize me.
With things set to move forward I want to dig into your background one more time, to figure out what we can predict. Do you have musicians that you look to as influences that influence your production?
I like Timbaland, and I like Pharrell. But I kind of go off of my own spirit. Because... I want to reach inside myself to give them me. Instead of focusing on other producers and artists. I’d rather look into myself and see what I want to present to the world.
And so with that in mind, looking inward-- where do you see that pushing your music?
I’m trying to build up some capital. So I can be able to put out an album, a 30 Roc album. I would love for a company to take some interest in it but if that's not going to be the case then I’m going to just be building up my catalogue and everything. I would love to put out an album and give the world me. I think I’ve got some decent music. I could say great music but that would be me being arrogant [laughs]. So, I think I really got some good music and I think with the people I know and the artists and everything I’m pretty sure I could bring some things to the table that people would like to listen to and stream, on a regular basis.
And you already have a big group of friends and people who you’ve helped up to this point.
That’s where I’m at right now. I’m still humble but I’m still eager to do better. I haven’t reached my peak yet. I’m only scratching my surface right now.