No matter what you think of Rick Ross’s personal life the man has an ear for beats. And a big reason that you have the Bawse is in your iPod is The J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. Last year Nodfactor interviewed the Grammy Award Winning trio of Rook, Colione and Kenny B. as “Maybach Music” and “Luxury Tax” had us all feeling richer than our pay stubs declared. Before then they’d quietly amassed an impressive list of winners for Mary J. Blige, Young Jeezy and Juelz Santana and ultimately helped Rick Ross gain a whole new legion of fans.
Now that “Maybach Music 2,” “The Magnificent” and “Rich Off Cocaine” have made their way into everyone’s playlists we caught up with the (literal) Super Producers about their recent ASCAP Awards win, the dark side of producing and the legacy of Maybach Music.
NF: Congratulations on the ASCAP award. That must be a nice feather in your cap.
Colione: It’s a great reward for all our hard work we put into 2 Pistols. We went through a lot of ups and downs with him and the project came out great and shouts out to 2 Pistols.
NF:Is he still signed to your production company?
Colione: Not at this time. We kind of parted ways. We had a few disagreements and he did a new deal with Cash Money and we wish him nothing but the best. We believe its’ Cash Money but we’re not sure.
NF: Rook, I’ve been following you on Twitter and you mentioned Maybach Music 1not having a sample and I thought it did, the Friends of Distinction song.
Rook: That’s the beauty of Justice League there bro. I’ll tell you the whole back story behind that song. Originally there was a Friends of Distinction song which was actually a cover of a Beatles Song. That being said, there was no chance of that being cleared. So at first we did a 100% replay, note for note, sound for sound of the original record. But we found out that wasn’t going to cut the mustard so we changed it up completely. There’s about five different versions of Maybach Music on our computer. We went back and forth with Sony ATV to make sure that we didn’t infringe on The Beatle’s copyright. So what went on Rick Ross’ album was a 100% non sampled original song.
NF: For the Win!
Rook: For the win. We get 100% publishing.
NF: What was your mindset into making Maybach Music 2 knowing how popular the first was?
Colione: I think a lot of people had expectations of what we were going to do with MM2 and we just wanted to go with a fuller sound. Something liver and more aggressive. We put so much work into that song. Each verse for the artist on the record is custom made to their sound. We knew who was going to be on the record so we catered it to their style. Everybody loves that song. Maybach Music is our legacy to show people what we’re really capable of.
NF: Now that one had the Dexter Wansel sample in it…
Rook: yeah but it was used very minimally. Most of it was us.
NF: How did you feel when you when you heard Lil Wayne’s line “I’m sitting in the asshole.” ?
Colione: That was a big pause on that.
NF: Do you ever think about what is going to be said over your beats, because “Rich Off Cocaine” has an incredible beat but I can’t sing that hook on GP?
Rook: The making of hat beat was pretty cool because we did the beat a while a go. Once we knew what sound he was going for we picked that beat for him. I know you might not agree with the message but it’s done well. The vocal arrangements, the actual lyrics to the song are really insightful but he does have a little message.
NF: I caught the lines about the vacations in Haiti at the end but still…
Colione: We’re conscious of it because it represents you as well. We’re a production team that goes in the studio with the artist…
Rook: I dunnno, I kind of disagree with that because the artist could go in and record a diss track over one of our beats. We don’t have any beef with that artist. We might be concerned, but it doesn’t concern us.
NF: Rook, you were really mad yesterday on Twitter recently, speaking on some drum sounds being stolen out of Pro Tools. What happened?
Rook: We’re the guys that came from nothing. We’re the peoples producers. We let it slide the first couple times, you can’t copyright drum sounds. But when they do it a third time that’s just disrespectful. I don’t want to harp on it too much, I’ll let the music speak for itself. We have integrity and work really hard to build our sound and for somebody to try and capitaliaze on our sound that we created is disrespectful. I undersatand influences, we all had influences. But to blatantly, literally steal…
NF: You have actually proof?
Rook: Yes, I do. I got it. As soon as we’re not busy it’ll be revealed.
NF: Have you confronted the cultprits?
Rook: Of course. The thing about me and my dudes is that we’re real people. I’m not gonna make pop shots. I’m gonna talk to you.
NF: What steps can you take to make sure that doesn’t happen again?
Rook: Once you give up your sessions anyone connected to the artist can get it. But I just want to focus on making good music cuz they’re stealing sounds we made in 2005.
NF: So Rook you also posted a clip of a drummer on Youtube replaying Maybach music. How close is that to what goes on in the studio with you guys?
Rook: Well we don’t play no music in the kitchen (laughs.) He did his thing though. But yeah that’s pretty close. We have the live instruments, guitars, basses, drums, cazoos. (laughing). Everything you can think of. We don’t have any engineers or ghostproducers. That’s what sets us apart.
NF: So what do you have coming that we should look out for?
Colione: We just did “Here Comes Trouble” for Maino and we’re working with Plies. Jeezy has some phenomenal music coming and we’re trying to go over to the pop side a little bit. Everyone is going to hear a different side of us but hip-hop and R&B is our roots. We don’t have to sample but we like to. We respect hip-hop culture and the way it was done.
NF: Indeed, I still need an instrumental of “Rich Off Cocaine” though…
Rook: Just change the words to “Rich Off Propane” and you can sing it. (laughs)
NF: Ha! Aight.