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Previously on The Leupen Road show, I had a barber. His name was Lonzo. I went to high school with him. Excellent barber, excellent barber, real sweet guy. Used to be on the football team, so he didn't wear a shirt a lot. And like, once you start cutting my hair, I came to the realization that he doesn't wear drawers either. So he used to wear it like when he was a short way and blue jeans cut.


Yeah. He used to cut in his basement and we were like in high school in his basement. He wasn't in the shop. He got in the shop.


Now do you know this is already worse than my story, the leupen ratio to say what media production. The presenting sponsors. Blue Microphone.


What up this Lupe Fiasco, the legendary Iran noodle aficionado? What's up? This is the five nine and I'm, of course, a boxing aficionado. And this is Tom Frank.


I'm just a regular dude. And you're listening to the Loop and Raychelle. So today, Thomas Lupus hey, can I ask you something, Ross? Yes, sir. Music All right. Would you consider a rapper, a musician? No, no, no. Musicians play instruments.


I thought you were going to agree with me on this.


You're telling me the art of rapping, which is making rhythmic sounds, is not music?


I didn't say that. It's definitely music. It makes you artists, but not a musician. I think in order to be categorized as a musician in my eyes, you have to know how to play some sort of instrument.


Rappers do not consider themselves to be musicians unless they play an instrument. Then they can be considered a musician, OK? That's just how it is. I know you want it to be something that is not, but that's just what it is.


I got two against one, like Jay-Z. Jay-Z is like an artist. He's a he's a lyricist. The roots are musicians because they play instruments. They're band. Stevie Wonder is a musician. Prince is a musician. Michael Jackson is a singer, not a musician. Not that I'm aware of.


I mean, he might be able to play the piano. I mean, he's been around for a while. He might be able, but that's not we don't know. And the fact that we don't know. But we know everything else about Michael Jackson. Well, we're still on the fence of whether he plays a musical musical instrument or not. He's probably not a musician, but he's definitely a singer.


So everybody's an artist. Certain people are musicians.


Certain people are saying, yes, certain people are singers. Some people are lyricists, right? Yeah, that's what it is.


I think it's important to give everybody a proper title. Fair enough, because if you call Stevie Wonder a musician, you better be careful who you call a musician, too. When you say Stevie Wonder, you can't be like you can't be like Stevie Wonder as a musician. It's always young.


But the point and to even break it down even further, yes, there's writers. There's people who write lyrics who would be considered lyricists. And as people who write songs where who write melodies and when they don't make words, songwriters go to lyricist to get lyrics attached to the songs, to the melodies that they write. Then they take those to a musician to put music with. And the person who puts all that stuff together is called a producer.


Music 101. You know, basically everything that I told you before, we wasted five minutes. But you also have beat makers and producers.


All right. Got you got producers who aren't musicians.


Do you know do you know the difference between, let's say, like Pharrell is a musician? Right. And Dre, Dr. Dre is a producer.


OK, and then when you go further, though, than Dr. Dre just being a producer, he's a producer, visionary, greatest of all time and hip hop, but he's not an he. But he also writes, I'm sure now or no. I don't know the answer to that.


I'm sure I'm sure he's written before, but that wouldn't make him a musician.


So you look at him as a pure producer, the greatest producer, the greatest hip hop producer of all time. You agree or disagree with that? It's not even a close second. Who would who would be number two? Whoever it is, it's not going to be a close second.


I mean, it would be we would get into the weeds like you would have to know the history. I would have to know the history. So we could be speaking on the same page, because there are some there's some great producers in Texas. Right. Who have done a ton of shit operating at the same time as Dre that you could arguably say made better music than Dre. Would you be arguing who would you like, Mike Dean?


The the the guys who were producing for Suave House. And then, of course, you got to throw in in relation to Dr. Dre, you still have to throw in folks like Jay Quick. And I wouldn't I don't think that cute Tip or Dilla are far from that equation either. That's just my but again, we get into the weeds, you can always see Tom's eyes glazing over with board.


And when you start when you start talking about that, we got to add criteria in there because, yeah, if we're talking about scale, that's something different. Yes. If we're talking about how self what Dilla is probably the most skilled producer between Dilla and Timberland.


I would put and Madelin, you got pomalidomide artificial. Yeah, absolutely.


Absolutely. But Dre, the reason why I put Dre first all around as a producer, just because of how long he's been around, what he's accomplished and how many times he's impacted the Earth made the earth shake. We literally talking about. Go ahead.


Well, I'll, I'll throw in I know how to run against Dre because of the output puffy in their upper puffy. And Jermaine Dupri, I think is though. And it's interesting because there are from three different regions, you know, and if they were the kings of their region. So, you know, Dre, of course, super international, but Puffy was super international and JD was super national. I'll take Jay-Z out. I mean, JT out the equation.


And it's really between Puff and Dre because puff and it's not like I don't look at it competitively. I'm just thinking, like, since you're doing criteria they both were doing, they were both producing the same way. They were doing just a lot of remakes, right, and they were just kind of updating remakes to like the modern standard or to a modern audience. So I remember when I listened to the Chronic and I was a little kid and I was like, oh, this shit is crazy, right?


And I got the chronic before I got, you know, the songs that were like the chronic was based off of like Boosey and Bootsy, Bootsy Collins and Parliament and stuff like that. And the same thing with Puff, like I would hear certain things that Puff was doing and I was be like, oh, this song is dope. Not knowing that that's like who whomever some disco record that he just kind of made into a hip hop version. They had they had original stuff for sure.


Don't get me wrong, we both know that that's part of it. But I think like their big, massive, massive records and what they did in the space, it was these really big, well produced remakes or updates of pre-existing records. And that's why I asked I'll take Mike Dean off the table. I'll take a lot of those. I'll take you chip off the table. I'll take that because they were kind of sampling and chopping, whereas like Puff and Dre, we're kind of doing a wholesale reappropriation.


If you go if you go Dre all the way back, starting with NWA and then you go all the way through Chronixx one, Chronixx two, and then Snoop and then Marshall and then 50 and then Kendrick, it's like it's like there's not a lot of remakes. There's a there's a there's a criteria of sound that he was pulling from me like he was taken to P. funk sound as a whole and making it G Funk puff was his genius. As it is.


Puff was straight up remaking songs from the 80s that was like his thing. I'm going to remake hits from the 80s. Dre has a couple of songs, whereas like it's a leaflet, but a lot of that, a lot of that shit like like everything on doggystyle, like fucking gin and juice, all these, all these super important still Dre. Next episode, Deep Cover California Love, which is a remake.


Yeah. I mean the sink like on the bodies of the records.


I mean it's kind of a toss up. Right. But the bodies are the records, like the singles, like the big, big records, you know. So you take puff's more money, more problems, puff and Biggie. Right.


More money, more problems and more and then humongous record like absolutely humongous. Right. And I think it's is a doggy style that's a remake of of a parliament. Oh no, no, no. I'm a God. Yeah. If I'm not mistaken, I don't want to get lost.


And I'll think about the big, like, catastrophic asteroid crashing into the planet records. What these remakes and I think that's why they were so big is because they were already printed into people's minds. And we already knew that the vibe work. And I really feel like, yeah, California did have a specific sound, but you got to give it to Roger Troutman. You got to give it to the funk bands coming out of Cali. You got to give it to.


And at the same time, you can give that to battle cat. You can give it to J quick. You can give it to there's other folks who I think were making on par musically, like musically, above and beyond what Drake was doing. But you still got to give it to Dre because Dre was able to take Dre knew where the middle ground was. That worked optimally. You know, if you didn't need all of the extra Flair's and musicality and all the craziness and also you couldn't be too original where you want to pull off from everything, I think he knew where the sweet spots were and was able to capitalize on that.


OK, so are you saying that these two guys sit at the top and what you just said was interesting?


They did it because they pulled from stuff that was already out there and they probably made it more mainstream that maybe some of these other guys who honestly I'd never heard of. Yeah, I think it's that, again, you can be a musician, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you know how to make songs. Right. You can just sit and play crazy virtuoso solos, but that don't mean, you know, how to frame that into a song. Same thing with a songwriter.


You can be a songwriter, but you don't know how to take that melody and turn it into a record. You be a lyricist, but you got to turn to a record is a difference when you're a record producer. And that's why Dre is like, you know, Roy sang and he's the king. That argument is like, yeah, you know. And is it the only kind of push back would be how far second is because Puff is right there, you know, like Puff Daddy is the same.


A great record producer. Is Puff a musician? No. Is he does he a writer may maybe like these are things like we don't we're on the fence about. But what we do know is that if you put puff in the studio, you put in a studio, they're going to make records.


Puff, puff is whatever you need to be around to pick up where you fuck around to pick up a guitar like pocket record, like there are Quincy Jones's.


You know, even though Quincy Jones is a musician. But again, being a musician and being a record producer are two different jobs. Right. And I think Jay's job as a record producer is he's been the only person that could come. Close to him will be puffy, you know, but then you could say that Jay-Z is a record producer, right, because he knows how to put a song together and he writes, But I don't know if Jay can make beats, meaning I don't know if he's a musician.


I doubt it. You know, I doubt if he is a producer about it. And you could be around these things so much that you learn certain tools. That's why that's why it's kind of hard to say. I don't know if Dre is a musician. Well, he might just being around dudes know how to get in there and hit the drums. Right. And at least set up something. Or he might have learned how to put a baseline down and he could throw down.


Maybe it might not be what ends up on the final record, but he may be able to go in and do at least the basics. Definitely.


So who these guys have been doing it for a long time. Are there other guys that are up and coming that that have caught some have caught your attention as the next wave? I mean, in theory, we've had one wave.


We've had a few cutaways. We have some great waves. We are covering this. We have some great waves. Just blaze was a wave all in itself.


Yeah, I think we got to put just in the category of being a not a record producer, I think is that's a question time. Like a record producer, a record by next dre, the next puff type situation. Yes. I mean you got Jermaine Dupri Puff and you got Dre, you got Pharrell, you got Guy Pharrell for a yes. Really a a.k.a. to Pharrell.


You would put in that bucket of producer record for sure. And a musician like him. But it's not just Pharrell. So the Neptunes you got to say Chad say Pharrell. I would say the new blood you got Travis Scott. Mm hmm. I think Travis Scott Travis Scott is a great record producer.


Who are some of the best you guys have worked with?


I see him smiling down that Rice has worked with more producers, has worked with more people than I have.


I worked with Dre, Pharrell and deejay Premier Marshall. Eminem is a great producer. He's a very underrated producer. I still would put him in. The category is like a record maker, but he can where he can definitely wear the producer. He definitely can go into the studio with nothing and come out with everything he produced.


He produced a lot of songs himself. People don't even really think about like he produce Lose Yourself the Way I Am team produced a lot of like a lot of his own important songs. But like Pharrell, I work with Pharrell when I was like really, really young. And he was the first person that I work with, like dropped a lot of jewels on me. Did I think Slip went through one ear and out the other. Preme is like my favorite person in the world, you know?


I mean and I think that's extremely important when you working with somebody to be able to connect with them, you know, I mean, and then Dre is just it's very hard to compare those three because they just they they operate three totally different ways, you know what I mean? You work with Pharrell before a yeah.


We're Pharrell for L.A. You see, I work I work with him in a capacity of of like him playing a beat that has a hook on it already. He's played me beats and said I hooked him like he's played a beat. And when. Go ahead. You know me like they were beaten. And I did a song with the with the clips, you know, I mean, like I worked with him a few different ways, but he's I think Pharrell is going to give you what you need before anybody.


I think Dre Dre specialty is bodies of work. And I think when you talk about bodies of work, that's probably where I start talking like, oh, man, it's nobody it's nobody close because he literally is like almost at a classic every single time. You know, I'm saying Pharrell can't give anybody the record that they need, you know? I mean, Dre, when he gives you the record that you need, more than likely it's going to be that first song that you're trying to figure out.


What's the song like? Marcia was trying to figure out what's the song that I need, what's the lead single that I need? And he literally put this record on where the beginning of the record had got sampled.


A lot of times it's a real familiar sample. I can't remember what he went all the way to the end of the record. Where would it be changes? Did nobody ever touched? Nobody went in there. And then it was like he was playing it and impartial. Hi, my name is he was like, what did you just say? He was like, hi, my name is he was like, yo, you got to go say that.


And it was literally born like that, you know what I'm saying? Like, that's a very, very underrated, like defying instinct to have. You know, like Quincy Quincy Jones is the only other person that I can think of that can really esthetically just give you exactly what you need to, you know, take it to another level, because my name is without my name is there is no mass. There isn't the same massive shit, because not only did it jumpstart everything, but it became a formula for albums in a row.


Mm hmm.


You know, like in the club, man, like if we remember we all follow fifty fifty had pretty much he hit a ceiling on underground. He tore shit up. It was nothing else he can do on underground. It was either way up or just coast, you know. I mean and like that that fucking in the club record man it's the perfect song. Like how many times have has an artist been given given a perfect song for what they're doing, like Snoop.


Snoop was given the. Perfect records, these are like careers that like impacter lie about it, came out the gate with classic albums, all of them, you know, and I just think that's that's I don't think we've seen that.


I mean, to add a little bit more like, I guess to pull away from the goat, because when you start to go to goats greatest conversations, it just you focus on the most visible and at the top and you start the conversations get directed solely toward that, you know, the rarefied air and the few with the massive success. But along the way, there's a ton of like record producers who don't have the name, you know.


So it might be the answer. It might be your manager. It might be this person, maybe that person who has an understanding of music and how to put a record together specifically for it may be that one song, you know, so there's R and R at the label whose whole thing is about going in and getting pulling this person together, getting this person on it.


And that's basically producing a record. They may not be able to do it for every artist and they may not have the notoriety to be called upon or looked at as like, yo, we got to go get it from John because John up and up the hallway, he's the one who always comes in with the closer's or whatever. Right. People just kind of default if they have the budget because it's super expensive. Everybody we just talking about is highly expensive, right?


100 hundred thousand dollars. Two hundred thousand is right. And more and counting has to go in the studio with them and it may be defaulting to that. Like, I got to get it. Maybe, you know, I got to get it for, you know, my friend because like one hundred and thirty five thousand dollars or something like that. Right. So the other side of that equation with the Drays, with the Puff's, with the Germaine's, Jermaine Dupre's even with the not no.


So not necessarily with the ferals, but they have a label attached to everything that they do. So they have a whole back office. So there's folks like Interscope is Kevin Black. Right. So not only do you have Dre, but when Dre is done, well, whatever and everybody is doing, they're pitching it to one of the top promoters in the world, one of the top radio promoters in the world with an endless budget. And it's also this kind of back office that you have that they're all attached to.


So Dre is connected that he's always been connected to the hip with the best record labels of the time. So whether it was ruthless records, Def Row records and he flip in the aftermath, the aftermath was connected to Interscope and Jimmy Iovine and the same thing with kind of like Timberland kind of had an Interscope thing kind of going down. And you have Puff, who had bad boy bad boys connected to Arista and BMG and kind of big, big labels and really high end back offices.


So yes, it's the music, but then it's also who when you turn around and the music is done, who are you giving that music to? And you're giving it to the Dr. Dre of record promotion, you know, to take it across the finish line and stuff like that. I'm not judging by sales, not in sales. But when you think about just the impact of what those records are like for you to even for me to even have got Doggystyle as a little kid, as a as a kid in high school and not in high school and got the whole thing like third or fourth grade when I had doggystyle on tape, like how that record got all the way down to me, you know, or how in Chicago, like the number one record was like California live.


Right. And then and flipped. The other number one record was like, Biggie's warning me, you know.


So when you look at, you know, how those systems are interconnected and who's actually there knocking on the door of the record, the radio station doing the footwork to do it, a lot of it has to do with the back office that's actually doing the footwork in the streets in addition to having a great artist with the great vibe and the great visibility. And it's their time with the great producer who has the ear and knows how to mix and make everything sound right.


But then once it leaves that office and also leaves the studio and goes into offices, you go on into some of the best record label offices in the world. You know, you're not going to like pinky ring records based. And, you know, my mom's basement. It's like a no, you're a full corporate situation that's going to do all the due diligence and work to push it out there. So I think they have that, too, which isn't to take away from them at all.


But that's a credit to them that they built that right. I mean, he did walk. He he built that over years and years.


Yeah, for sure. I mean, if and if not built, it had the the charisma, the patience, whatever you want to call it, the naivete to create those relationships with those executives and create those relationships with those people in the office to to to feel inspired, to know that they're working with the best is like a best, working with the best. If you could be the greatest gymnast in the world. But if you got a shitty coach, you know, a shitty trainer, you know, everybody is not perfect.


Right. So you may you may be the greatest gymnast, but you hate getting up. Right. So you got to have that coach that is that's able to get you up. Your coach can be waking up at twelve, getting you up at one time. Situation, right? So I think it's they have great teams as well, in addition to that, in my opinion, Jordan as Jordan is great and it's always going to rise out of that kind of greatness.


Yes, but great artists don't start with any of this.


They got it. They got to be found. They got to rise. Somebody's got to find them.


I mean, if you look at the last dance, right, like Jordan was great, but it exposed that it was a team because Jordan can shoot myself because I mean, when you took out this person that you took out that person, it was like, nah, man. Like, you're really, really good at your levels. But once it goes into, you know, you can't defend everybody. There has to be somebody out there doing something else.


What it was, was he started out a great score. You know, that was like the caveat for him. And then like when he decided he wanted to win, he figured out a way to use to utilize everybody to the shrimp's.


Although I would I would disagree with you there. I don't think it's when he decided not to be a score. It's when a coach came in and said, the only way we're going to take this to the next level is you have to back off a little bit of scoring and you got it. You got to involve the rest of your team. You can make the rest of your team better.


OK, that's fair. But he had he still had to figure that out. Yeah. And get somebody to help them figure that out. Yeah. I think Phil Jackson, that's why he didn't want to play without Phil, because he knew that Phil was his Jimmy Iovine his doctor Dre was his idol, the biggie to his puffy. Right. Like it was like somebody who was going to able to take your skill, set your star power and put that shit mechanically where it needs to be.


I definitely agree with you. I agree with you. I just think that there's everything that we're saying is separate, separate. You got great labels, you got great teams, you got great departments, you got great and but then you got great music, you know, I mean, it's like that that has to get that gets done first and then that's separate. And then once the team gets it, you know, it's going to do what it's going to do or it's going to do a little bit more based off of them doing better.


But greatness is greatness is going to find his way. You know, I mean, like Outkast found his way to me, like right on in Jim GMG and all of this Wildhorse stuff, we talk about music. All of that shit made his way to Detroit. I had all of it. Yeah. You know, I mean, you can't you can't really deny it. But that's but here's the kicker, though, right? It had to get there.


So I'm talking about the people who actually at that time took those crates from Houston or, you know, Memphis or whatever and drag them shit up to in the back of a truck also in Detroit, you know, and passed it out to the jazz and took it to the record stores and did all of the footwork and stuff like that. You can have really great, great, great players, great leaders, great stars. But they don't if they lack that back office, if they don't have that team together, for example, fifty as an example.


Right. If you say fifty and you say Dre took it, from my point of view, you have to say Shamone ZL and you have to say Kevin Black. Right. You know, m so you got em. You got Dre. You have to say Kevin Black and you have to say, Jimmy, be right there. Just as much a part of the equation of the technical shit. Right. I want to get them, you know, to, to, to push their star up.


And I think when you see the removal of those pieces. Right, that you see the role that those folks really were playing, you know, in some of the narratives, some of these some of these folks, that's magic, too.


That's magic, too. Just just in terms of building a success after the product is delivered. But, you know, get rich or die trying both to chronics doggystyle. Those are magical albums, Life after Death. Illmatic, Illmatic was it was on a radio label with no, you know, like no songs. That sounded like a radio attempt at radio. No, I mean, like and it just impact it was just the right thing at the right time.


I just believe in that. I believe in that like divine thing. Like I feel like classics are classics because you can't explain it. It's just understood. And that's what makes it great.


It's almost like, you know, the right thing feels at the right time and splashes on to something in some electric shit, hit something and sets off something. And you can never recreate it again, you know. I mean, like, Nas didn't go into a studio and say, yo, I'm about to make a classic. He just went in there and did Nas. He probably did less thinking on that album than any other album is meant to be, you know, I mean, like, you can't really fucked it up like black Rob.


Whoa, that song. You can't fuck that. It's just it had to happen. It had, you know what I mean? So I'm sure they were great, great teams of people pushing it, pushing well. But I'm sure there were a lot of bad boy records that didn't, you know, see the same get the same exposure as whoa, whoa, whoa, cut through. Right.


I'm sure the same thing can be said for, you know, Dre records that never left the studio, you know, M records and never left Loop Records. They never left studio release records that were like, nope, I'm out of here. No, no one's got. They hear that shit, and it is funny that one, as you know, optimal, you know, for black Rob, it was well, you know, I personally feel I missed the crazy part.


I personally feel that like Gede EPS first album is an absolute classic fire right from beginning to end, absolute fire the whole way through. And this was popping around the same time as well. But you had the difference where it was like to your NAS Illmatic, right. Like Nas was operating at a time when a formula I to say that was radio, but you don't have to think too hard because there's you're not trying to either. You're not caught up in the system because it's too early.


Right. You don't have those saying you're not trying to outdo yourself, that you get caught up in that sophomore shit or whatever, like you're not coming in process to a certain degree. And I think you see that and get where it was. Like, I remember. I want to play it for Jake, for Jay-Z. I was like, gee, that's the record. He was like, we started to play it like this. But what you get from that is special delivery.


Right. Which is kind of like this attempt almost to kind of be a whoa. You know, it was like it was Chase. It was glossy. There there's a dance like it's all this extra pieces and parts. And it sounds completely foreign from what the album is. Right. And you can just feel it was that, OK, we got to Illmatic almost compared to Illmatic and just saying you got this kind of classic album, but now we need to sell it.


Right. And maybe you didn't have the maybe the team at that point was like, yo, we need you know, we need something that we can move, you know, and you're listening to the team as opposed to listening to the studio, you know, listening to that that I guess that divine right. And you, like you already got some divine you created the first shot. This is divine. And then it's like, well, you know, we need to push a little bit.


Let's do another special delivery and good. It's a super good record. But when you listen to it on the album, it's like from a completely different planet.


You know, I think when artists reach for, like singles, like when they go, OK, this is going to be my single, we can hear that shit. We don't like that. We never like it.


Even if even if we can't articulate what it is about it. We don't like like, you know, leaning back is like special to me. And then Fejo, who I love dearly, like there were records after Lean Back where like everything that made Lembeck special were the same things that he tried to do to the next one. They made it not work. That's how I feel that goes. It's like I can just we could hear it.


We can hear when is natural and we can hear when you're trying to recreate it, you know, I mean, like in it's like I guess it's hit or miss with those kinds of songs, but sometimes it's just right. Man laying back.


Right. Mhm. It was just right man you know, I mean so it's just like in puff made a lot of records like that. He made a lot of great albums like did a lot of those albums with Sleeper's like Shine Shines first album to me.


Yeah it's crazy. Yeah. That was crazy. They didn't make bad albums over. Their first album was crazy. Ridiculous. Right. Like it was that you know.


And then the kicker with me is I don't, I liked ready to die, but I like life after death. Even more life after death feels more of what like it was the perfect mix of like recognizing that the rock like you're Illmatic moment isn't your optimal. You know what I'm saying? Like you're Illmatic moment is just your raw artistry unrefined, but your optimal is really this is your second album.


Right. And I think Biggie had the best second album of all time.


Life After Death is my favorite hip hop album of all time.


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You're listening to the Looping Roy Show with Lupe Fiasco, Royster five nine and Tom Frank.


Do you think there's like ever any any underrated albums or single that just didn't make it for some reason? But you look back and you're like, why didn't that make it? And it was was it because of other factors as that back office or other things like that?


You don't always be that. It'll always be that. I mean, but then it becomes subjective. You know, it just it could be something that resonated with you, that didn't resonate with, you know, everybody else the same way it could be timing. You could be, like you say, a team. It could be it's not as good everybody else as it was to you. You know, sometimes people sometimes people hear shit. I posthole stuff on my page all the time.


People think I just did it yesterday, you know, maybe like they react today to a totally different, you know, I mean, like sometimes people aren't ready to hear the Faroud did a lot of before his time. Shit. He pulled the trigger on a lot of things just a little too early.


I think that I think there's something to that. Not even just timing. But time like it took a year to work a record like before you heard it in any capacity on your local radio station to even be able to to hear the record right before, let alone what you think about it, right before you was even able to hear it. It took a year for the whole process from the time it took to write record mix, master press up all that, send out samples, whatever by the time it landed and your Sam Goody sample headphone situation.


Right, or coconut's it might. It took six months, seven months to get to to get to you. Right. So there is something about a delay. Right. And like are you making music for right now that might not come out for nine months. Mm hmm. Right. And so it is timing, but it is also the actual time of how long it takes to actually put it together and put it out. Right now you can make so I can make something in the next 15 minutes and put it out 15 minutes later.


That's why that's why I feel like artists should never think about that.


They should an artist should never like to never think about timing or just ever like relevant to word relevant is the worst fucking word you can say in the studio.


I swear to God, I cringe if you say relevant my studio because it's so it's so misleading. If you just look up the definition of it like nothing has ever been considered special in the marketplace has ever been never fit the description of that definition, nor has it ever been similar to anything that's around it at that time, any of its contemporary or competitive things. In a marketplace like if you look at anything Outkast, I can drain them, you know, drain them, drain them.


We're coming off basically off of, like, the whole Triboro, you know. I mean, so it was like hip hop was kind of like Boom Baptist out, you know, Preme Kutta, you know, I mean, like Masta Chops and Andre came, you know, even though putit was. Yeah. Live instrumentation here and there over the samples and shit. But Drake just came in sonically, just took it, took everything in a whole different direction and kind of just shifted it, you know.


I mean so it's like it almost feels like that thing where it's like, man, I didn't know I wanted to hear album about weed till I heard it, you know, up there, like, it's one of those things. So it's kind of like if you're thinking about like, what can I do to kind of blend in? It's like you're done before you even start. It's never, never to blend in, you know?


I mean, like, it should always just be. That's why I don't listen to a whole lot of shit. I listen to your shit. That's the only thing I listen to in the last six months. Yeah.


So are you saying that it almost is better to be off of timing? Because if you're in timing, you're going with the flow. But if you're doing something that is almost coming out, not on time, it's actually going to stick out to me.


The key is just to know. The key is to know when it's right and when it's ready to take the time that you need and give it to him. That's what Dre does. That's what Kendrick is doing right now. We heard from rather he stressed out, rather he figuring it out. Whatever it is, I'm rolling the dice and I'm I'm willing to bet he's going to fucking figure it out. You know, I'm saying like and whatever it is, it's going to be something that's going to be like meant to to exist.


It's not going to be something that's just like. All right. I'm a couple of songs out. He's going to he's going to commandeer a certain amount of time in the atmosphere.


I think that's there's a I'm not as strict on people being, like, not using the word relevant, but I think there's something to like. Yes. Dre didn't sound like anything outside of L.A.. Right. And Dre couldn't survive with just having L.A. the same way Biggie couldn't survive, would just have in New York. And, you know, Outkast can survive with just with just having Atlanta. Right. You had to be able to even if that relevancy was the difference occurred because you were in a completely new market.


So like Chicago for me, Chicago radio and Chicago was considered to be at least GCR, which is our big station, was a regional leader. Right. So I'm sure it has some influence on Detroit. I'm sure it has some influence on the whole Midwest. Right. Just that one station in Chicago and they rarely played anything from Chicago, like everything they played was was completely from a different city. Right. And to the point that they had to create a whole station almost they just focused on, you know, carving out a little a little plot for a Chicago artist.


But I think what that speaks to to your point about relevancy is that, you know, you're in a space where everything in that space is not from that space. Everything that comes into that, that influences the songs. All this shit is from somewhere else. Right. So where you're from, but the marketplace that you're operating in, you have no choice but to be irrelevant. Right? Because this isn't a completely foreign land like Biggie was popping in Chicago.


Dre was super huge in Chicago, West Coast, West Coast culture was super huge in Chicago. Right. So much so that you could when you when somebody used slang from New York, you were considered to be a New Yorker, I guess, like you're from the New York. You could just say I'm done and sun and all that. Right.


And a lot we had our own indigenous thing, but it wasn't we didn't you couldn't learn Chicago culture through the music because Chicago Music didn't really. Right, and he commented, sounded like he was from New York, right? The only what we had indigenously was Twista and snipers and psychodrama and all that. And that was somewhat indigenous to Chicago, but it was drowned out by Dre, you know, Snoop and Westside Connection and Park and Scarface and Abraham Jayjay and like all these layers on top of it to the point where psychodrama got and there's some really good friends of psychodrama got a kind of almost like a spike when they went and signed with I think they signed with the rap a lot of swarthout.


Right. And that was like a big deal. Right. Because Suavi House was such a big deal in Chicago and and Rafaeli was such a big deal in Chicago that when one of the grown guys signed, it was a big deal because they got signed to something that was out of town. You know, so that's the thing about the play between being relevant and even to your point, you have to think about it's like not really because your music is going to get played in places completely foreign to where you are anyway.


Right. You're going to be such a guest or a visitor where your music is actually going to land that it doesn't you know, relevancy doesn't matter. It's almost like a false thing to kind of to try and kind of chase that should and shouldn't be in your head at all.


I mean, this location even matter anymore.


Like when you came up, there was a style of Chicago to out. But does that matter anymore? We're all on the Internet like it doesn't even matter where you are anymore or doesn't.


It depends on what kind of city you come from. You know, like if you come from Detroit and you come from a certain neighborhood and everybody from that neighborhood is kind of like going off Detroit street rap, which is a it's a town that people identify with in Detroit. If you're doing something else like myself, if you're doing something else, you just got to understand what that is. You know, I was the hip hop guy, so I went to the hip hop shop and it was like a small community of us, you know, like me.


Proof was I am all of the detail guys, Obie Trice, you know, guilty Simpson, all of those guys, slum village, you know what I mean? So we were like considered, I guess, backpacker's, but for for lack of a better term. And then you had the guys that did like the street rap and shit like that. So, I mean, it all just depends on how you wear it. But it's almost taboo to come from Detroit and not be on some Detroit street rap sheet if you know, if you're from a certain part.


But Detroit also has was known for like Horrorcore. You talk about Islam and Islam was like the biggest name that I remember early coming out of, like as my final exams from. I think I found out later. But for me it was I was listening to Insane Clown Posse. Really? Yeah, I was listening to Dead Body Man. That was like the shit for me. So for me, I always felt that that was something indigenous to Detroit.


And then you look back and get Kingery, you got ICAM Insane Clown Posse got Eminem was like this this almost like Halloween type rap, you know. I'm saying but but you still but you get that also from, you know, ghetto boys, kind of his horrorcore kind of kind of situation. But I feel like one of Detroit's indigenous signatures before even before the street rap. Right. Was this kind of horrorcore, the street the street rap just cut through that just got through.


But it's been around for for a minute. But yeah, like you said, the horror horrorcore. I don't even know if if that's what I said. But the official title to that is is a horrorcore.


I mean, it feels like I think it's Horrorcore. It's something like that.


So, yeah, we insane clown posse ekom. But then we also have house to house house started in Detroit, house music started in Detroit.


Maybe it started in Detroit because I heard it started in Chicago. I knew you were going to say that.


That's not true. Not true. Not true. I heard that it wanted to have started in Detroit, but I had no choice but to start.


It started in Detroit, bro. I mean, Detroit, people in Chicago, people are a lot of like man, you know, a lot of like the thing about us, bro, we're going to just wear what we got coming, you know what I mean? Like, whatever credit we have, we're going to we're going to wear that you guys wear whatever you credit you have.


You guys got Detroit. Detroit is an amazing music city and the progenitor of many great styles and refinements and how to do so many great house. Let's make house so death, not a band death. Supposedly that's supposed to be the first punk rock band was Death. And there's a bunch of black guys out of Detroit, a bunch of black guys, the punk rock band. I didn't know. I didn't know. They were kind of like they were kind of like a Pink Floyd ish kind of thing, you know, like just that was like the thing back.


And I guess the leads that grunge or I don't even psychedelic, I don't know. But they were like they were considered to be the progenitors of punk rock band called Death. Don't forget where all the fun guys are from different. Wait a minute.


How about the biggest of all? Motown. Motown? Yeah, for sure. I don't want I don't mean to speak the obvious, but I mean, you get the status with Motown, Detroit, baby now Detroit, Detroit. Anyway, we can't focus on the word relevant man. OK, kick. Push was not. OK, not a relevant record. Never, never was a relevant record. Oh, man, I mean like that. You making it sound bad?


No, no, I'm saying it's great. It's great. I mean, but Kickboard thought it was relevant. Here's the dig. Here's the dig. It was relevant to the crowd. That was May four because men were kicked. Pushed. Well, maybe you don't remember this kick. Push was never made for me. It was never and it wasn't even intended to be on my album or my song at all. It wasn't even intended to be a song.


It was just a dope beat that some some skate shop in Chicago was putting together a local skate DVD and had music on the skate DVD. And I had the beat and I was like, yo, this beat is so foreign to everything else that I've ever done. Right? So it's not going on. Food and liquor is too is too conceptually out there. So I just give this beat to these skate kids to put on their CD, skate TV.


And then I was like, oh, you know, let me put a hook to it, this kick push thing. And maybe they could just use that now that oh, let me put some verses all here as like, oh, this is a song, but it's still somewhere song about skate. And I remember playing it for for one of the radio, not a radio rap but like a radio promo person and played it for chill. My manager like shit is absolute fire.




Man, the way he just described that is perfect. It proves my point. Exactly. There was no expectation. He wasn't thinking you already, he was already past it. He wasn't trying, he just did it. And that's what made it special. He didn't change it. So it didn't run from him. No, I didn't chase it. But here's here's the thing is that I used to skate when I was a little kid, right. I had a skateboard, but it was just a toy.


It wasn't a culture. But then I remember buying this book and recognizing the skating was actually a culture, like there was a whole thing behind it and the skate shop that was going to have been there for a long time. There's a whole skate culture. And these kids that were listening to hip hop, they were doing all kinds of shit, doing graffiti, all kinds of shit in addition to doing the skateboarding. And then remember, I got into a lot of flack because you had dudes coming out saying, like, yo, I'ma skateboard rapper.


I've been rapping České Loop, I can't even skate. I was like, yo, I hear what you're saying. But, you know, nobody gives a fuck about your wack ass raps. That's all I care about.


These baby shit like that is always going to happen.


But it was it was intentional to be relevant to that community. Right. And then it just so happened again to get played in another community, which was completely foreign, and then it became an invasion. So I think that is neat. I just why this will push back on relevancy. I think it needs to be relevant to some communities somewhere. I believe that to be true.


I mean, making it relevant to a community in your mind, that's OK if that's what you wanted to do. But you didn't need to do that to make that record.


I did. I actually feel like I had to. I mean, I think kick push might be a bad example because it's so specific. Right.


Civically talking about skating and skate culture, but just the specifics of it don't have to do what I'm talking about it past you, past all that already special. I've never heard it and it made me want to skate.


It's just a classic record. Rossdale I will to prove it.


It's not that I'm not fighting you, Rose. I think I'm with you.


It's not that I know it resonated in a skate world, you know. I mean, but then it just it grew beyond that because it's special, because it was so different from everything that it was around.


But even I recognize the difference that it wasn't even a part of the soundscape. When I was creating food and liquor, it was like, this doesn't even fit this category on the album. It's so alien, just the musicality of it. And but here we go. Here we are today. If if it wasn't for kick push, I wouldn't be here right now talking to you.


Are you got that right, bro? You got Dam, right? That was the jump off you. You performed that song on your walker. If you get tired, you want to do something so you can live off of it forever.


Man, it's one of those joints. Well, as pajama Jimmy jams. And that's what artists issue for a man every time they go in the studio for something different.


I think there's this thing called NA substitutability. Non substitutability is what you should be thinking about, like how can I maintain differentiation and whether it's relevant or irrelevant, because there's some really relevant songs that don't do anything and there's some really relevant songs that do a lot. And I think I don't think that that matters. It just becomes does it is is somebody else able to do this right? Who would have thought of this? And I mean, when I play kick push for Pharrell, you know, the first thing he said, well, how come I didn't make that?


I knew forever get it. He's like, I'm skateboard p how come the fuck I didn't make that song? I didn't, because he probably would have been thinking to make it a little bit more clean, a little bit more pristine and radio, you know, because he's such a hit guy, hip guy, you know, I mean kick push is special because it's hip hop, you know what I mean?


Like people people like people underestimate the power of it. Like once you get to a certain level, you start shooting past it because you're like, OK, now it's time to go big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big. But it's always that black, Rob. Whoa. It just puts everything back in perspective. It's like the marketing dollars that are being spent on a quote unquote radio because it's just money being spent to control the narrative and, you know, get us to believe something is special.


But we don't know if it's. Truly special, and so, you know, we see if it if it stands the test of time when you create something.


Do you have an inclination that it is special or how does that like when you when you created that, did you realize this is going to be huge or does that not even cross your mind?


You don't kick it kick push or anything, anything. Know, he said it. He said he didn't know. He didn't even know. You just played it for you. And she was like, that should inspire you.


Have you done anything that that you've written or you've produced or you made that that you're like this is going to be bigger, you just don't know.


I got a record called Boom produced by D.J. premiered. It's like probably my most important song. Oh, yeah. And when I went to the studio to do it, it just was another day at the studio, you know. I mean, like, I went in there and Priem was making it and I was in there kind of like writing it down. And he was like, I'm almost done. I'm just making this this before Capponi Noriega. And I was like that.


You make an effort to follow Noriega. And he was like, yeah. So I looked around.


I see Capone, Noriega, nowhere where I was like, man, you give me that one.


And I said, you argue with him for about 15 minutes until I finally twisted his arm to get it from him and he gave it to me. And then you just made them another one. And by the time they got there, he had it ready. And I can't remember which song it was. But he came up. It came out. It was it was like one of their singles and shit and ended up just working like that usually for me, which is kind of like falls in place.


And I wasn't like thinking anything in particular. I just went in and just like was another day at the office, I didn't really have like a criteria in my head at the time. And then like that I was just fresh out of the open mic, you know, still rough around the edges, not really having a full understanding of who I was creatively, like artistically. So like it came out and the reaction is just like, holy shit, OK, I guess people like this.


Yeah. And I was that was a joke. And then it just it just kept going and going and going and going. It's just sustaining, you know. I mean, like I guess it's a mixture of the beat and just you just right. Shit. Just right.


Have you had something that you walked out and said, this is going to be this is going to be big and it just didn't any time I've ever said that. Never been big, really.


I know. I know. Superstar was going to be absolutely humongous. Why? After you were done with it already before I even recorded it. Why when I got the B and I started doing the melody and wrote the chorus and on the chorus are like, this shit is going to be out of here. And I remember just the timing of it because it was piggy backing Coldplay timing. And I knew I captured the feel of the moment. And I remember I went and played it and I wanted to make sure that I recorded it.


And then Matthew Santos jumped on and tell him that I was like, this is going to be an absolute smash, like this is going to be out of here and bigger than cake push. Bigger than that. And I just big, big, big, big kick, which is bigger in a different way. But I just knew this was going to be walk out music for baseball. And I just all kinds of shit. And I mean, I went around and played it for all of the before I played it, I knew if I played it for for Craig Kellman at Atlantic first he was going to shoot the shit down.


That's just what he was on. So I went and played it for Jazy because I knew Jay-Z would would tell Julie Greenwald. Mm hmm. And then I went to play it for Julie Greenwall. And I knew Julie Green while I was going to tell me or so then I went and played it for a year. And then once I had them three on board, then I went and played it for Craig and I went to like three different offices, like I went to Def Jam because Jay was at Def Jam, played it for fun and whatever.


And and then when I went, all of them were like, yup. I was like, let's go.


This is a this is after test this guy, right? Yeah.


This is after kickboard. So superstars on the cool. So it's like two thousand and maybe six thousand seven maybe we start working on cool and I knew immediately it was out of here.


Mm hmm. How long from start to finish on that one. You said not nine months.


It takes you to do this.


Well, I mean at a time that's what it could be. I think it took us because the cool the food and liquor was already. So that's how it is feeling, like it was already finished. We wanted to be able to completely finish. Record came out in 2006. Mm hmm. But it was already already been done for like a year or something like that. So we were already working, you know, eyes on the next album, you know, and so let's get beats.


And since I got to be a superstar, I was like, oh, it's on and poppin. Let's go. So that was the one moment that I had was still behind the record was like, that's the one. But it's no other records where I was like, nah, I don't think that's one. Like Touch the sky. I didn't want to do that. Why not?


Because I didn't want to I didn't want to get caught up in the running behind Kanye space. Mm.


I just didn't want that, like I still felt having a certain level of independence away, like setting your own pace, like doing your own shit stamp in your own way into the game was better and touch the sky was prior to us doing a quick push. So one thing that happened is when we did touch the sky, I wasn't going to do it, chilled me. She was like, Yeah, you got me. I knew Kanye before. I'd already done records within the house.


And I was like, oh, fuck that. And shit was like, no, trust me, I got this record. And maybe he's seen everything that was connected to it that I didn't see, like all that back off the share, all of the team shit, Kanye, is that I didn't know that because I was just in my books writing raps. I didn't really care. And he's like, no, you got to do this fly to fly out to L.A. did it.


And then when we did the video I made. But this is what this was, Kita, I was like, look, we got to we got to put kick push up. We got to put kick push out right now. And so we shot the video for Tasha Sky. And I think two weeks later we put out kick push because we can't get caught in that. I'm just confused, homie. Shit like we got to have something out there that's just ours, right.


That we stand on. So we're not in this niggas. You know, we take my whole career, you know, after a while we had that. It was like that's just kind of touch the sky, kind of touch the sky. And I was like, nope, because he was pusher's superstar is the cool is this is that I tried to just plan as much shit around it to just like no, I'm not that because as an artist I didn't want that, you know, I didn't want to follow in the students footsteps.


I didn't want that Jay for sure. You know Nas for sure, because I want that so candid.


Kanye was I was he was on a different kind of fire. He was on a different kind. He was in a different kind of zone, zone, zone zone. College dropout. College dropout was a major shift.


He felt he to me back then, Kanye felt like what Kendrick feels like today. That's the way I play it. You know, I feel like they're in the same the Kanye back then that we loved is the Kendrick. Now that we have, you know, and we were waiting on Kendrick to drop is the way we were waiting on, you know, you know, late registration. And then what is he going to do with, you know, whatever, watch the throne and shit?


Well, I did lighter's and media on on the bad music. Well, and I originally had it on my album that I was working on. And then it was somebody different on a hook and shit. And then I was like, man, we should get Bruno Mars. I mean, since you involved, you can just hit Bruno Mars. We was in California, you know, some in Bruno Mars. You know, we went met, met him at a hotel room.


We walk into the hotel room is just Bruno Mars sitting there with his legs. I was like, hey, guys, you know me. So I played him the record. He said he loved it. He took it, switched it up a little bit in terms of what the words of some of the melodies are. Shit. But as soon as I heard his vocals. Oh, yeah, that shit is out of here. But it's not the kind of out of here, too.


I'm thinking, you know, I mean, it's it's one of those no brainer. You have to put money behind it at radio, just trying to clear what it is, you know. I mean, and like the massive amount of star power, the song, especially myself, you know, I mean, so let's think about it is me, Eminem and Bruno Mars and Eminem. And Bruno is like that's like an added bonus, you know what I mean?


It's like an added bonus to the whole equation. That was like the cherry on top. You know what I'm saying?


No, I don't know what you're talking about.


Yeah. So I mean. I mean, yeah, it was it was the number one. It was the number one song there. But kick push bro. Trying to tell it. Push. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you very much.


Push those, those kinds of records like lighters they go boom and then the shrinks kick push up the Coast Guard.


My boss. That's fine. That's our show for the week.


If you like what you heard, be sure to subscribe or follow us a review and tell your friends to listen little bit and really show the production of, say, what media is recorded and Mixed by Clive Jennings. I had writers, Lawrence Lowe. I'm Tom Frank and our theme music is by who else? Lupe Fiasco and writes The Five Now.