Jack Nickelz: Ok, today I’m here with a producer who has been makig big waves in the beat making game. From putting on showcases to crafting some of the hottest bangers. G-Whiz thank you for taking time out to do this interview.
G-Whiz: yea man glad to do it!
Jack Nickelz: So tell the fans how long you have been into production.
G-Whiz: Maaan, not terribly long. Bought the MPC in ’02 so….about 9 years.
Jack Nickelz: What made you go into the production game?
G-Whiz: Well like I said I haven’t been making beats for very long, but I always had a love for the instrumentation of hip hop music. I have, however, been DJing since I was about 5 years old. Professionally since 9. And I’m an 80’s hip hop kid so back then it was normally an Emcee’s DJ that crafted all of the production. So I always knew that was the end game for me. Once I got up enough money to make a purchase I was ready to hit the ground running making beats.
Jack Nickelz: How much of DJing influenced the sound that you have as a producer?
G-Whiz: All of it! DJ’s job is to make people move. Every piece I put together is an attempt to get a positive physical reaction out of somebody. Initially, I looked up to Pete Rock, Primo, Jay Dee (or J-Dilla as most call him now) – ALL DJ’s!
Jack Nickelz: Now talking to other producers, crate digging is a big part of what they do. But a lot of other producers stray away from sampling. How do you feel about the subject?
G-Whiz: Boy oh Boy…..How much space we got buddy? LoL. I can write a dissertation on the subject, but I guess fundamentally it comes down to one simple fact: MAKE DOPE MUSIC!!! Dudes who play instruments say sampling is wack only cause they can’t do it properly and use the fact that an artist is going to have to pay the artist for the sample as a crutch.
Dudes who sample AAAALLLL the time and say “that electronic shit is wack” are just salty cause they can’t play and use the beginnings of hip hop and its forefathers (blah, blah, blah) as a crutch for their argument. Usually comments of such diluted experiences are just that. Once you realize the size and scope of music on the whole (which is immeasurable) then you start to understand that none of that shit matters, except for if your music sounds good or if it sounds wack. Did I answer your question? Cause if so I’ll stop before I start having you write my memoirs, haha!
Jack Nickelz: Naw, I love it…consider this your forum.
G-Whiz: haha. Naw its like keyboard/software dudes don’t understand their own apparatus. Is there a little dude inside of reason/protools/whatever playing that violin stab. Or that guitar loop? No! of course not! Those sounds got there (or in your motif) because someone from the company miked up a musician and SAMPLED their work. So one way or another, unless of course you do play everyone of your instruments live and have them miked up, all you’re doing is manipulating a sample. See what I’m saying? In closing doesn’t matter how you come up with the dopeness just come up with it so we can dance! Imma stop now, LOL.
Jack Nickelz: I feel you, I feel you. Then what would you say your style is as a producer then?
G-Whiz: Well my drums ALWAYS knock! That is a constant no matter what genre I approach. But I can do a lot of things with that sentiment. Most people know me for that head nod. Samples or not my music is very drum driven for the most part. But i do like to experiment with live instruments and playing different melodies lately.
Jack Nickelz: Now you’ve been doing producer showcases as a producer. How has that helped your craft?
G-Whiz: It’s helped my craft by hearing what other producers have and networking talented cats man. More than though, it really aids with exposure. It’s one thing to give someone your CD and pray they listen and another thing to play samples of your music right there on the spot and get immediate feedback.
Jack Nickelz: Now speaking of Producer showcases you got a big one coming up, don’t you?
G-Whiz: Yea a little bit. I-Standard’s first trip to Hartford ever! I’m not competing – I’ve been chosen to feature music though. We got Rockwilder judging. Malice from the Clipse is judging. Troy Oliver Judging. That’s at least 60 platinum records and a grammy right there!
Jack Nickelz: Damn, how did this event get put together?
G-Whiz: Well last year I did i-Standard NY and kinda swept it. see here:
G-Whiz: Since that day I stayed in touch with the dudes that run the showcase. I would guide producers from CT toward the showcase vicariously through my own showcase, MUSICOLOGY 101, and share with them producers and musicians that I respected. I guess just a wave of CT folks had started submitting to compete and mentioning my name, weird right? I guess it became apparent to them that CT was a good move to try to set one up at so they called me in the spring and we started putting the particulars together, which brings us to tomorrow
Jack Nickelz: Well on behalf of CT Producers like myself, let me say thank you for helping getting the ball rolling. Tell us a little about your event, Musicology 101.
G-Whiz: Wow! Thanks I guess. It’s dope and humbling to be seen to have that kind of responsibility. But I love where I’m from and someone has to do it, right! Musicology 101 was an idea that started in my mind while talking with 2 very good friends of mine – producer Young Cee of the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. LEAGUE and GUT. We were looking for a way to show our talents to artists without being shot down or played out by unanswered emails and thrown away Kemistree CD’s. It was hard to get a chance if no one would even try to listen.
G-Whiz: So we decided to take matters into our own hands and put ourselves on display at a show instead of MC’s, Singers, yada with a show then called SOUNDCLASH. First one was small and held in the CRT building in Hartford. About 75 ppl showed up, which isn’t much. But considering the spot only held about 40, we realized that we had something.
G-Whiz: We moved our selves through Trinity College with the show and all the way u to Toad’s Place in New Haven with about 200 ppl in attendance. After that success, everyone started doing their respective “thizzles”. But we all stayed in conversation with one another. I thought that maybe I could replicate the experience with other producers around the way. I met my partner, ultra dope Emcee Steede Chinan, and he saw what my vision was becoming and added a bit of seasoning where it was needed. So we changed the name to MUSICOLOGY 101, with mission of educating ourselves about our craft and the accessibility to one another, binding CT producers together in unison. 2 and half years later…..here we sit. Musicology began in June of 2009
Jack Nickelz: Who have been some of the up and comers that you have seen through your event that you feel will be people to look out for in the future?
G-Whiz: Of Course my little brother Young Cee. Just signed his deal with J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League about 6 months ago. Ralphie-O: He’s at the same place with Young Cee. They formed a team called Royce Music Group. Credits include – Cory Gunz, Scarface, Skyzoo, Little Brother, and more. Brandon Alexander – Dope! Has joints with Ryan Leslie and others. The kid Beat Wiz – Won last Year’s New England Music Seminar (NEMS) Beat battle. Has some things on the way. And I guess myself: Signed my deal to True Sound Music Group, Headed by Multi-Platinum producer Self Service (What’s my Name – DMX, DIPSET! – Dipset and more). As a collective of producers we have about 50 platinum plaques! So it’s a pretty humbling place to be. I’ve worked with Cory Gunz, KRS-ONE, Tahmell Griffith (son of RAKIM) and others…more to come that I’m excited about but can’t say quite yet
Jack Nickelz: Has being around the plaques changed how you approached the game?
G-Whiz: Not so much. It is humbling to know that people that are very accomplished believe in me so much to think that I can do the same. It’s almost an overwhelming feeling
Jack Nickelz: Ok, if you don’t mind lets switch to a serious matter. Lately there has been a lot of news on Producers not getting paid for making hits and shady business deals as it comes to beat makers. How do you feel about this?
G-Whiz: This bad business shit has been going on since the beginning of music as an industry. I feel that every producer should be protecting their music themselves. Own your own publishing company, read a few music business books AND get a lawyer when signing your name to ANYTHING. The industry can’t do anything to us that we don’t let happen. Best thing any artist can do for you is steal your music….
So long as you protect your music, you’re fixin ta get PAID!!!
Jack Nickelz: Exactly…do you feel that producers need to start being smarter about the business they handle when it comes to their music?
G-Whiz: Absolutely! We all have to conduct business the right way so these artists start respecting the game again. Now they feel it’s so easy to find a beat on the internet without due payment, simply because it IS that easy today.
Jack Nickelz: Do you feel that now with software out it has become too easy for anyone to “make” a beat. Thus watering down the game?
G-Whiz: I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s the consumers fault for letting all the bullshit fly. Also the double edge sword of the power of the internet
Jack Nickelz: Explain
G-Whiz: Music has open it to become a popularity contest. Don’t get me wrong, the internet is a great way to get talent out there and for said talent to take more control over its destiny. Creating buzz and what not. The problem is anyone, talent or no, can replicate this ideal and if you’re popular with your friend group, they are going to blindly support your music. I guess for the feeling of being part of the movement. Now popularity is being sold and not talent
G-Whiz: Thus, the industry has switched its paradigm towards finding popular people who happen to make music, not talented people who happen to be popular.
Jack Nickelz: I’m glad you brought that up. How do you feel about producers being accused of taking other’s sound and style?
G-Whiz: Haha. As an 80’s hip hop kid, there is a word for that:BITING!
People used to get their ass whipped based off of this concept. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is influenced by someone, but I hate when ppl say they have a “kanye” or a “just blaze” styled beat. Hip hop and music is without personality anymore because of this ideal and as long as the consumer keep supporting this ideal, we’re stuck
Jack Nickelz: true words…true words. If you could sit down with all the producers. What would you say in order to help save our craft?
G-Whiz: I would say: “Challenge yourselves. Music is changing and gradually so are our consumers. The internet has given options to kids that they never had before – to listen to different kinds of rare music that no one else has. Slowly but surely the consumer ear is becoming more creative, so our music must as well. Don’t follow suit…shiiiiit! Don’t even stay on the cutting edge! Be the sword!”
Jack Nickelz: Strong words…now for the fun part. I’m going to say some names and I want you to say the first thing that comes to your mind, ok?
G-Whiz: Aight, shoot…
Jack Nickelz: J Dilla
Jack Nickelz: Dr. Dre
G-Whiz: Journeyman master
Jack Nickelz: Pete Rock
G-Whiz: Bassline and melody king
Jack Nickelz: Rick Rubin
G-Whiz: Rap n roll
Jack Nickelz: DJ Premier
G-Whiz: Obi wan
Jack Nickelz: RZA
G-Whiz: Dirty drums
Jack Nickelz: Just Blaze
G-Whiz: Saving grace
Jack Nickelz: Kanye West
Jack Nickelz: Black Milk
G-Whiz: John Forbes Nash
Jack Nickelz: Diamond D
G-Whiz: Best Kept Secret…Love that beat!
Jack Nickelz: Ryan Leslie
Jack Nickelz: and last but not least G Whiz
G-Whiz: Student, scholar, master, preacher, poet & teacher
Jack Nickelz: You sure that covers everything, LOL
G-Whiz: Nah, humble student will do, haha
Jack Nickelz: Well I think that about covers everything. Is there anything that you would like to say to fans or new listeners of your music?
Jack Nickelz: Well once again thank you for taking time out to do this and I wish you all the best in your skyrocketing career.
G-Whiz: Honor is all mine homie.