J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League: Black Superhero Music

JLBarrow • May 27, 2008 • 6 Comments


Name:J.U.S.T.I.C.E League (Just Undeniably Some Of The Illest Composers Ever)
Based out of: Tampa, FL
Members: Rook, Colione, and Kenny

Hit List: Young Jeezy “Bury Me A G,” Mary J. Blige “No One Will Do,” Rick Ross “Maybach Music” and “Luxury Tax” 2 Pistols, “She Got it” ft. T-Pain

Awards: Grammy for Mary J. Blige’s “No One Will Do” Myspace

Nodfactor.com: First off, congratulations on the successes. Your name is real hot in the streets right now. How did the three of you come together to start making music?

Kenny: We were all doing music in Tampa and we came together through friends and different artists we were working with. What turned out to be is that everything we made together was so hot that we had to make a team.

What was the first record that really put you out there?

Rook: The first record I’d say is the Jeezy record “Bury me a G” but also the Mary J. Blige record. That got us a Grammy and put us into a different genre of music. We had the beat done and Chris Hicks at Warner Chapel hooked us up with a writer, Dave Young. A few people wanted the beat but we presented the song to Mary and she loved it.

How did you make “Bury Me A G”? It sounded like a sped-up sample but then you added this cleaner skeleton of drums…

Colion: When we heard the song we sampled we were like…the music going on in it was crazy. It really wasn’t much thought, we just worked to vibe with the music. A lot of people put thought into what snare we used and what kind of compression did you add but when we put beats together it’s just by ear. Anybody thinking we’re doing extra technical things. I’ll let you know the magic right now, it’s just all by ear.

Do each of you have a task when you make a beat or do you all do everything?

Colion: We’re all able to make beats on our own individually but when we come together we come out with a better product.

So what is in that set-up?

Colion: We’re real Apple Logic strong right now. It’s our main tool when we produce. [But]We have live drums on some tracks.

J.R Writers “Riot Pump” sounds nothing like anything else in your catalogue.

Colion: The way that came about, there was this crazy sample with strings in it and we started chopping it up and adding to it and it just came out real wild. It sounds like something someone from Dipset would rap to and they picked it up.

So when you make a beat do you have an artist in mind or no?

Kenny: If an artist comes to us specifically, yes, but we like to just let stuff flow. If there’s a sample we hear that’s crazy we’ll just put it down.

When I interviewed Rick Ross last year he told me that “Luxury Tax” and “Maybach Music” were going to be two of the biggest songs of the year. Did you know those would be so popular?

Kenny: We knew from the time he picked up those beats we knew it was going to be massive. From the beginning we actually approached those beats differently than how we do other beats and we put a lot of work into making those beats, replaying certain parts of samples or recomposing new samples to add to the actually track. We just knew it was going to be crazy so we went back and added some things to make them extravaganzic.

How did you get the sample to sound so damn clean on Luxury Tax?

Rook: I dunno, it just happened. The song [David Oliver’s “I Wanna Write You A Love Song”] was so long and there were so many parts that we could make like four or five beats out of this song or one gigantic beat. We played on top of it. There’s instrumentation on top of the sample. We did it all ourselves. Kenny is the master saxophone player but we all play everything.

Part of why those songs are so big are who is rhyming on it. How important is it to get your tracks placed with the right people?

Rook: I think it’s real important. With “Maybach Music” a few people wanted it but we were selective about that cuz we felt it was special. A few people wanted “Bury Me a G” too, big name people. But we knew it would be special with those people. Us giving them beats like that broadens their audience. Some people who weren’t fans of Rick Ross are fans now, and that’s partly because of us.

I agree with that 100%. What mistakes in the studio have you learned from?

Colion: Musically I can’t think of any but don’t get belligerent and start drinking. Keep the alcohol down a bit. If you really about the business go to work. When you go to work, go to work, just like you driving a bus.

The only thing that seems to out-do your beats is your hustle. What advice do you have for producers trying to get their music in the right hands?

Rook: The advice I would give is to make some sacrifices and travel outside of your area. Go to meet people but don’t bother them. Get out of your comfort zone.

Do you have anything coming on the Blood Raw album?

Rook: Yeah, we got one that leaked already called “Getaway.” We did that song a long time ago in the studio with Blood. He gotta dope album. He got a lot of tear jerkers on that album, he’s been through a lot.

You just signed 2 Pistols to your production label, correct?

Rook: Yeah, he has a song out right now with T-Pain called “She Got It.” It’s #5 in the country right now. That’s a testament to a great producer, being able to break a new artist and give them a sound.

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