The first round of VIBE’s Best Producer of All Time competition is underway, and it’s already sparked some heated debate among fellow producers, artists and those who were left off the list.
Yonkers, N.Y., native Dame Grease, who’s the 14th seed in the Boom Bap category, is currently up against third seed Marley Marl. And Grease wants your vote. Despite the stiff competition, the beatmaker behind much of DMX’s multiplatinum debut, It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot, thinks he’s got this locked.
“I’m kicking ass. I mean, right now more kids know who I am than Marley Marl so just on the competition, I have to crush him. I respect him but I’m taking this," Grease tells VIBE. "Nah actually, Marley is the O.G. I’m honored to fucking go up against Marley Marl. That’s Marley Marl. He got Kool G Rap and all this shit, the music that I actually started on. I like the boom bap. The street thing is my day job, but you should have me in the film-scoring category. Nobody could fuck with me in the film-scoring category. [Laughs]"
While Grease has nothing but respect for the pioneers, he’s confident he’ll advance to the second round, where he’d battle it out with Q-Tip or Large Professor.
“I’d crush Large Professor but I’m a fan of Q-Tip’s. To tell the truth, nobody has the relevance of 13 years in their career like I have,” says Grease, adding that the young Internet voters may cause some major upsets. “Right now it's really based on relevancy. Of course, everybody love [Dr.] Dre but it looks like Dre’s getting bumped out by Toomp. When you think about kids right now today logging on, they know what the fuck they know. They know T.I., they know Snoop, they know X from going to jail and shit. I’ma keep it one hundred, if I win over Marley Marl people gon’ be mad. They mad already over this shit. Like, 'Goddammit, Grease again, we can’t get rid of him!' You damn right. [Laughs]”
If Grease could only cosign one other producer on the list, he says he’d go with Easy Mo B, because of his “monumental” work with Notorious B.I.G., Craig Mack and others. “Through all this shit, I respect him as a person,” says Grease. “Producers, we hear things that other people don’t hear so he pulled me to the side [once], like, ‘Yo Grease, that whole string style with all the strings that Dre used, I know you started that. I’m like I know, I’m glad you hear it too.’ [Laughs].”
While he continues rallying votes on Twitter (@DameGrease), Grease has some last words for voters: “Let’s look at the statistics," he says. "Shouts out to all the producers. I actually like this [competition] because it really showcases producers and the work that they’ve done, not just the main singles but their work entirely.” --Clover Hope