Ying Yang Twins “Wait (The Whisper Song)”
That was history. I don’t think that song gets the recognition [that it deserves]. At the time it did, but when people start thinking about… When you do an all-time greatest Hip-Hop song list, how could you not put “The Whisper Song” in there? I’m sorry, it was history, and it was historical. It changed and went against everything everybody knew about music, not just rap but music period. I ran into Pharrell somewhere – I don’t even know if he remembers this – and I told him that his sound had me so throwed at that time with that Snoop Dogg “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” That was like my favorite beat in the world and that was my influence going into “The Whisper” track. But the beat that you ended up hearing was the beat and couldn’t put anything on top of it. Every time I tried to put something on top of it, it took away from it. So that’s kind of where we left it at. When I got with the twins, I literally like did the beat with my mouth. They wrote that without even hearing the track. We were in New York and by time they heard the track, we had already came up with the idea of whispering and all that, just by me doing the beat from my mouth. So that’s kind of how that track came about.
Young Jeezy “Trap Star”
You know what? When I did that beat right there, I was such in a free mind set of just doing music. I played trumpet in the band in high school. So even if you hear the “Half Time” record did for Ying Yang Twins, you hear some of the records that I’ve done and people don’t even pick up on that – even the “I Want It” track that I did for B.G. I’m heavily influenced by horns, powerful horns. I don’t like horns that are just – a lot of rapper producers they just put horns in tracks just to have them in there ‘cause we got to have horns in the track. But, I like defined horns with big sounds on them. So “Trap Star” was just… I didn’t even do that beat for Jeezy. I did another beat for him and gave him a beat CD and he wound up picking “Trap Star.” I was like “Wow he’s picking ‘Trap Star’.” I had a lot tracks like that back then and I just wasn’t messing with a lot of rappers who came to me for that kind of stuff. But Jeezy knew me from like the Ever J days – I think I used to mess with his cousin back in the day and I didn’t know we actually knew each other that. So he was like a fan of my work as DJ Smurf, so he just wanted to work with me. Like it wasn’t even on no “Give me a Ying Yang type record” or nothing like that, he just wanted to work with me. I was a fan of his just because of what he was doing in the streets so I was like “Yo, this ought to be interesting enough just for me to go hook up with him at the studio.” So I gave him the beat and he came back with “Trap Star.“
David Banner “Play”
David Banner, that’s one of my favorite people in the world. David Banner had so much respect for my music and obviously he did his thing on his type of music and I did mine. He had wanted me to work with him for quite some time, but it just never happened. He wanted a beat like “The Whisper” record. He was not afraid to come in and do a record on top of “The Whisper” record because he knew the importance of the sound that was introduced with “The Whisper Song.” So he intentionally wanted a record like that. I gave him a beat CD and “Play” was the first beat on that CD, if I recall correctly. He called me instantly like “Yo! This is what I want, this is what I need, and this beat is mine.” You know David Banner, he can sell it to you. We were in the studio and he purposely – there was never any questions of what he wanted to do. He wanted to add to the legacy of what “The Whisper Song” had done. I’ll go even deeper than that. When I did the “Play” beat, it was a bounce beat at first. I had all drums and stuff over what you finally heard, the final product. It was a bounce drums, 808s, snares and all that kind of stuff on top of what you heard, but it took away from the funk. [Mimics the “Play” beat with his mouth.] That right there was the part that got under your skin and so I had to strip all that other music of it. So that sound could really just pop through and that’s how the “Play” beat kind of came about.
Bubba Spraxx “Ms. New Booty”
That’s was actually the follow up of “Play” for David Banner but he didn’t want it. So when Bubba’s A&R came to me, you know, that sound was so out there at the time. If you listen to “Ms. New Booty” it’s the drums from the turnaround from “Play.” “Play” was like was like an eight bar loop and at the end of that eight bar, it has those big drums at the end. So I said “Why don’t I just make a whole beat with those big drums at the end of that loop,” and it just made perfect since to me that David Banner would have a follow up with those drums. It was just like a no brainier to me, but he didn’t bite on it. So when Bubba and them came, I had that beat. Bubba heard it and I think it hit him in the right way because he wasn’t the type of rapper that, per say, wanted to do a “Twerk” type song or a girl type song like that. So I think that hard beat made him feel a little more comfortable rapping about that subject matter instead of some kind of bass’d out, 808 driven record.
Tiffany Evans “Promise Ring”
Well “Promise Ring” was already done. They brought it to me, but who ever produced it obviously didn’t do that type of music for a living. So the label brought it to me like “Yo, we got a great idea for a song but it needs to be reworked.” So I basically just went in and reworked the drums and replayed the music that they had. I redid that, but I put all new drums to give it the feel that it ended up having at the end of the day. They came to me for that DJ Smurf sound and so that’s what I gave them.
Soulja Boy “Soulja Girl”
Basically that was me and another guy I was working with at the time. When I signed Soulja Boy, I pretty much gave him the freedom to do that project the way he wanted. What I wanted to do was to let him give me what he thought was his album. I wanted to seat back at that time and say “What is this album missing?” and “Soulja Girl” was the one thing that that album was missing. He didn’t have a real record to address his female fan base at the time. So the idea of saying the recruitments that it took to be a soulja girl was just a no brainier to me. Like you’re a soulja boy, you need a soulja girl you know what I’m saying? If you listen to the rest of the album, it’s all Fruity Loops sounding beats and I just wanted to give him a real record on there. At the end of the day, when people got through “Superman,” they could say “Ok, well he’s a real artist. Here’s something on here that I can relate to. This is a real song, real instrumentations” and stuff like that.
Hurricane Chris “Playas Rock”
Wow! I walked around with that song in my head for about six months before I got time [to make it]. I couldn’t get to the drum machine. I wasn’t a big sampling guy. I sampled a lot of that Earth, Wind and Fire record, so I just couldn’t find the time to get to a drum machine and take the time out to sample that Earth, Wind and Fire. I was riding around in my car to the Earth, Wind and Fire ballads forever and I just played it and played it and played it and played it. I was like “Man, when I can get to a drum machine, it’s gonna be a rap.” That was actually the first beat that I sent Hurricane after I found him. [It was] to test him because I knew he could do the “A Bay Bay” stuff and I knew he was a real rapper, but I had to give him a test. So I gave him that old sample I said “If he could do something with this, then that boy really on to something.” He sent me back “Playas Rock” and I was like “Oh my god! This boy here is the truth!” So we did that and got the singing on there. That one of my most proud pieces of work. I didn’t really like the mix on it at the end of the day. I wasn’t as involved in his project as I was with Soulja Boy’s, so you can hear sonically on that record [that] it didn’t fit like a lot of my other records. I just didn’t take the time to get it perfect. But I think if the mix was better on that record right there, it would have gone a whole lot further than what it ended up going.
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