Words by DJ Lokash
I had the privilege to join some of the nations most talented producers at this years One Stop Shop Conference in Phoenix, AZ. The star studded event culminated with a dinner honoring Hi-Tek and The RZA followed by a producers panel featuring 9th Wonder, Pete Rock, Just Blaze, Hi-Tek, RZA, Nipsey Hussle, Needlz, Nottz, Drumma Boy, Don Cannon, and Buckwild that was moderated by Sway from the Morning Show.
After many jewels of knowledge were dropped and a few laughs had, the panel stuck around and judged the beat battle finals.
The finalists for the 3rd Annual beat battle hosted by J Hatch were mostly from the West Coast. HitMakers hailed from Nothern California, 21 and T-Scott were the local favorites from Phoenix, and Billboard came out all the way from Montreal, Canada.
For the most part everyone came with their A game. Hit Makers went first and had some heat. The mixes were tight and used some interesting samples including a beat that was based on Rosemary Clooney’s Mambo Italiano.
21 went up next and despite having some mixes that sounded like certain elements were clipping, had a very high energy presence to match his beats.
The comparatively mild mannered Billboard went on third and brought a very eclectic electronic sound that ranged from electro inspired uptempo joints to a slower, dark and heavy heater that had the entire producer panel going nuts.
T-Scott went last and had a very tough act to follow, but overall he had a strong showing despite lacking the same energy and polish of his fellow contestants.
When it was all said and done Billboard came out on top and won the grand prize which was an insanely expensive piece of equipment, studio time with some notable acts, and the attention of some of the most respected names in the industry. Just seeing the reaction of 9th Wonder, Pete Rock and Just Blaze after the final announcement was made must have been rewarding as they jumped on the mic and demanded a replay at the end of the battle.
Overall it was a great event and a forum for some much needed dialog among producers who are not only currently established in the industry, but those who aspire to break into it. Kudos to Sha Money XL and his team for putting on an amazing event.