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In a time when everyone who has a computer can be a producer it takes an extreme amount of dedication and talent to truly make it in the industry. Entering the RedBull Beat battle in 2008 was C-Sick’s chance to show his talent to the world. After an incredible victory his career took a jump-start and working with artists like Nas, Fabulous, Lil Twist and Miley Cyrus is no small feat. We were able to sit down with C-sick to get some background on his passion for creating music and some of his major influences. C-sick was a joy to gain insight from; he is a humble and down to earth soul and undeniably a force to be reckoned with. AEMMP Hip Hop as a whole is extremely fortunate for his work on this year’s upcoming project simply out of charity and the kindness of his heart.
Q; Why music? What made you want to start producing?
A: “Where I’m from either you hooped, danced footwork or you gang banged and sold drugs, or you made tracks; that was one of the outlets for people. I downloaded the program, one of my boys showed me a few little steps and when I heard sound coming out of it I was like wow, if you highlight a certain thing or press a certain button you have sound and you can create music like that. I was blown away, that’s when I let everything go. I used to hoop all the time as a kid but when I discovered music it changed my life.”
Q; How did you feel going into the Red bull Event and how was that different after you won?
A: “Entering the red bull event was so much fun and very exciting. That was my first contest and it was a way for me to prove to people that I had the capability of becoming the next big thing. That was really the beginning of my career. I was really excited because I was one of the youngest competitors; it was sponsored by RedBull and was going to be aired on BET so everything was crazy. Then after winning I had beat battle beats and I knew that I knew how to create songs but I had to learn how to sequence beats and remove sounds to make space for the artist to do their thing. One thing I wish I had was a mentor throughout this process because after winning I didn’t really have any guidance. And If I had a mentor Im sure it would have been a lot easier for me to understand the business and who to give beats to and what type of beats to send. One of the biggest mistakes producers make is when A&Rs ask for music, they think ok this sounds like a 50 cent beat but 50 cent might be looking for something different and new and the whole time you have that but you are trying to get his old gangsta feel. Obviously you want him to be in his element with the beat but not sound like the other producer and I was doing that which was bad.”
Q: What was it like working with Nas for you personally?
A: “Um it was pretty surreal because growing up I was watching Nas at a young age like on TV. I would have never thought in a million years I would be working with him so that was pretty dope. It was dope it was just a good vibe it was my first time working with a major artist in a professional studio so every was surreal. I couldn’t really believe it till a couple of weeks later. “
Q; Can you shed some light on working with Major Ali and the Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus situation?
A: “Major Ali who is one of Justin’s songwriters. He reached out to me via twitter after hearing the song I released with king Louie called Val Venis which was a single and he reached out and said “bro I love your beats can you send more.” So I sent about ten beats and 6 months later he emailed me and flew me out to LA and we went to work. That was in April of 2013 during Memorial Day weekend. We were out there just vibing out. We also worked with Chef Tune who is another songwriter for him [Justin Bieber]. Right before I had left for France during the summer time Major Ali had told me “yeah one of your records, I have Miley Cyrus Justin Bieber and Lil Twist on it.” At first I just thought yeah ill believe it when I see it or hear it. When I came back from France that’s when it all happened. The night after the VMA’s when Miley Cyrus did all her twerkin, that’s when the song got leaked. That’s how it all came about; it was kinda out of the blue. As a producer I had been submitting beats to A&Rs and producers but you never know what might come and what might not so you just keep working on the next thing and when you get that call that’s when it happens.”
Q; Kanye has been an influence to countless artists what specifically about his music has had an affect on you?
A: “When I first heard him [Kanye West] when I was like 11 or 12. He was on Power 92 with the song Through The Wire, sampling one of the songs my mom used to play when I was a kid. She used to blast Chaka Khan and when I heard it sampled I was like oh shit I really recognized this song in the background. He just made a whole new something out of it. That was when he really influenced me and that’s when I wanted to start sampling music, really follow in his footsteps to learn more about productions and what’s behind the scenes. I spent a lot of time just YouTubing him and the productions he has done and how he flips certain samples. I have always been reaching to get on his level”.
Q: When you started Producing did you see yourself getting to the point you are at now?
A: “No not at all, everything took time and effort, I mean deep down inside I knew I had a God given talent its just I knew I had to work at it. Its like math the more you do it the better you’re gonna be at it. I don’t know I’m not really trying to think about that right now, I’m just trying to take it day by day and just see where everything goes. When I wake up I just make a beat and I just think about how much better it is going to be compared to the previous one, so if anything I am just competing with myself and I knew I was gonna get better cause I do this every day.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: “Honestly, I don’t even know. Hopefully, God willing, I have my family and I am around the same people, like my family and friends from the jump. Hopefully ill be a music producer and do the things I want to do in music. Even if its in Chicago that’s good for me I love this city. That is where everyone’s at for me. If I’m in LA that’s cool too. Hopefully I have enough money to bring everyone with me. I just wanna live comfortably; I don’t want all the fame and money. I just want to be able to live off my music.”
Q; The classic story is to drop out of school much like Kanye. After working with such big artists and being so successful, why do you continue to attend school at Columbia?
A: “I still want to have a degree and my mom influenced me to go. I also want to set an example to any kids in entertainment that you can do both.”
Q; Has going to Columbia changed your career path?
A: “It helped; Columbia is a great school for networking, and learning the ins and outs. Even though you might know a lot of things about your craft, you still always need more. You are never too good to say no. It’s always good to learn from someone else because they have made mistakes so they can teach you what to do and what not to do. On top of that, I feel like Columbia is a melting pot of all types people not just in music but fashion and film. Everyone here is creative in his or her own way. You always need that type of outlet. Im not trying to only do music, I want to do other things as well and you might get inspiration for something from other students.”
Q; Last Question, just for fun. Do you get noticed on campus or in class?
A: “Sometimes yeah, they’re just showing love and I show it back. It’s humbling.”
March 13th 12pm - 6pm
Is Texas ready for it this year?
It’s the last Big Mouth of the semester and AEMMP records is taking over…Come on out and support your student-run record label and the Student Programming Board! Special Guests: Marina City & Martin $ky
Thursday, March 6th
1104 S. Wabash Ave
Doors: 6:30 PM
Show: 7:00 PM
Hank Bieber and Ian Boltz entered the studio for some recording time with little more than some mutual music interests and some lyrics in a notebook. What came out of that studio session is now the indie acoustic outfit Beauty Minus Beast. Hank himself says that he isn’t sure what makes him different than other artists, but sometimes we need a break from the obscure. BMB is a perfect fit for bands such as Death Cab for Cutie, Bon Iver, and The Smiths. Smart witty lyrics are the perfect topping for the raw acoustic backing that makes up Beauty Minus Beast.
In today’s edition of “Rap Beef” we have former rapper, turned pastor, turned back rapper, than back…well you get where this is going. Rapper Mase primarily known from his glory years, as the witty slow pace MC, of P.Diddy’s Bad Boy Entertainment.
In this recent interview it sounds like Mason Betha channeled his grittier alter ego Murder Mase for this interview with Detroit’s 107.5 FM in Detroit. When asked what new artist he listens to Mase name Drake, Kanye, and J.Cole. However, J.Cole came with a disclaimer of “…when he’s not taking shots at me.” Mase continues stating, “”I saw him one day, I was gonna hit him but I was too grown to be knocking light-skinned people out,” he said jokingly. “But I really like him as an artist.”
In a more serious tone Mase states the difference in the generations. “That’s a different generation,” he admitted. “See in our generation you say something on a record [and when] we see you…it’s action! But when I saw him I was thinking, ‘Oh, he’s a kid… he don’t get it,” as he laughed.
It’s still unclear as to what line J.Cole said to set Mase off. The only recent verse that comes to mind was Cole’s “Forbidden Fruit” verse. Where he raps, “Cause a n—-a poppin’ like Harlem in the nine-seven, way before Mase was a reverend.”
Doesn’t really seem that offensive to me, especially when Kanye (another MC favored by Mase) rapped “Don’t leave while your hot that’s how Mase screwed up” on Ye’s 2010 “Devil In A Blue Dress”, seems more offensive.
A little advice to Mase, when planning a return to rap or anything for that matter don’t diss the new guns (with no merit) it only makes you look old and bitter, which is never a good look. Artist like Bun B, E-40, and Snoop Dogg stay relevant partially because they embrace new artists routinely. Hip-Hop already has a slew of rappers crying about originality, at the same time, wanting hip-hop to sounds exactly like it did 30 years ago. Pastor Mase might want to bless the Born Sinner instead of condemning him.
Who’s Hungry…You Hungry? Stank Face Records is nothing short of a camp full of animals, HUNGRY animals! A few weeks ago, Brandon Brooks Pink got The Palmer Squares, Loud Mouth, Bruce Bayne, Will Is Chillin, and Rebel Legato all in the studio and the results were hazardous. In fact, they were so hazardous that I suggest you hit that play button below with caution. With over 5,000 plays on Soundcloud in less than 24 hours, Hungry definitely generated a heavy buzz over the weekend. Each artist brings something unique to the table and no one’s style is like the other. You can tell who is rapping throughout the track if you are familiar with those on the label. This goes to show how distinctive their styles and voices all are. The production is smooth and well-organized and each verse is crafted correctly with the beat. The song possesses a brilliantly designed dark air from the lyrics to the actual beat. Shock Value is something that will always captivate listeners and each of these MC’s were able to exhibit this on this track. Hip-Hop has been lacking that “In Your Face” hunger for a minute now and the Stank Face camp is bringing it out full force. The abundant talent in Chicago right now ceases to amaze me on the daily and I believe Stank Face Records possesses the majority of this talent. Figuratively speaking, Brandon a.k.a. Mr. Stank Face must be a proud father.
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