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Aftermath Music once again brings you a hot interview. We spoke to Focus, Aftermath producer on some real shit - Aftermath, former artists, projects, Dr. Dre, and many more.

INTERVIEW: March 14th 2004

(Part 1/3)
1st off, thanks for taking the time to talk to the fans. Please introduce yourself.

Man, the pleasure is all mine. I'm the newest member of the Math's production team. Born in New York. raised in connecticut.. lived in LA for several years and now i'm planted in Atlanta.
The name Focus… - You said it's important to add the 3 dots on your name. Why?

The three dots rep my aliases... i used to be Focus, the loose producer. There are many sides to me so I'm not just Focus, you know?
You grew up in Manhatten. How was your childhood?

We started out poor. My dad was a struggling artist. We lived in Brooklyn on Argyle Rd. Once he hit it big with his hit "Dance Dance Dance" it was smooth sailing from there as far as living was concerned.
Your dad was a singer. His group was called CHIC. Is he one of your idols? Tell us more about him please.

Nile Rodgers and My father were Chic. He played bass for the group and wrote all the hits along with his partner, Nile. Through the years, faces would change in the group but my father and Nile were really Chic. He's worked with Rod Stewart. Diana Ross, The Jacksons, the list goes on and on. He definately was the first producer I looked up to. He was and still is my only idol.
What about Quincy Jones, Dr. Dre and Chuckie Booker?

They are more of my mentors, you know. I look to them for technique. Each one of them has added to my sound. And the way i work in the studio. Prince is another.
You know, the younger fans don't know Chuckie Booker. Tell us more about him.

Lol, i'm old... (laughs)
So, same here, man. (laughs)

He is an incredible producer/ songwriter/ arranger. He's done LP's himself but he taught me not to limit myself. he has been musical directors for some of the hottest names in R and B and he performs on stage live with them. It's hot to see him work. He multi faceted.
What about influences from the past?

Musicians, artists, producers ...

All the name I can name no one would probably know. I know a lot of incredible people and have met some incredible musicians. And i'm still a fan of music so i'm in awe when i meet cats i look up too. When Mike Lynn brought me to meet Dre. I was nervous as hell. But i tried to act cool. (laughs). I will tell you this. There are a lot of talented people out there getting slept on.
Can you name a few ?

Greg Philligaines, Yogi Horton, Tony Thompson, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. i can go on and on but you got the main ones
Yeah ... Jimmy Jam is one of the greatest.

Man, your dad (R.I.P.) passed away on stage in Japan. You said: "That was his dream to be on stage … ". Whats's your most important impressions of him.

How he valued family. He didnt exactly die on stage. He performed one last show and died in his hotel room. Nile had found him. But my father taught me that fam is all we got. Family was very important to him. His children, his mother, his sister and brothers. He loved the normalcy of family.
He teached you to play instruments. When did you start to play instruments and which instruments are you playing?

He showed us more than taught us meaning we would watch him and pick it up on our own. I say we because i have 2 sisters and three borthers who all are musically inclined. I taught myself bass guitar, guitar, i had some training in drums and some training in piano. My main instrument is keys though.
Are your 2 sisters and 3 brothers working very close to you right now?

I wish. They are all living on the east coast. They are devout Jehovah's Witnesses so their lives are a lot different then mine.
Do you think, its important for a producer to play instruments?

HELL YES! i wish there were more instrument playing then sampling going on. Don't get me wrong, i sample sometimes. But i can play too. And i love coming up with innovative things.
Ok... When did you start to notice a big chance in HipHop. And what made you try to live from music?

My chance opened for me when i moved to LA. I started doing remixes. Like Rodney Jerkins. And a lot of the new york producers were doing. And a lot of the new york producers were doing. I knew i had a talent. Every meeting I would go to I was told I was a head of my time. So at 13 I told myself if this is what you want then by any means nessesary go get it. And that's what i did.

Your signing to the math - how did that come?

Mike Lynn made it happen for me. He brought me to Dre's attention. And another cat by the name of Mone had brought an artist i was producing at the time to Dre's attention too. So he was like let me hear this kid. Next thing i know im at a meeting with DRE. I was buggin...
A 1st meeting with Dre. How does it look like?

It felt real Sopranos man. His back was to the door i came in. We met at this spot in north hollywood. And he was cool as hell yo. Real down to earth and real focused... no pun intended. I told him i was ready to work. They put me in the studio that day.
So, what was the 1st thing u did in the studio?

I was working on tracks for Shaunta, Brooklyn and Truth. All at the same time. Shaunta had taken 3. Truth took 2. Brooklyn took 3. They like the consistancy. So they let me stay.
We`ll talk about the girls later man. But this sounds very interesting to me. Was Dre in the Studio, too

He was in one room and i was in another. He would come and check on me from time to time making sure i was serious about this music.
When did you first meet Dr. Dre, Mike Lynn or Kirdis Postelle and what would you like to tell us about them?

I knew Kirdis from back in the days. She worked for a different record company, i forgot the name, but she is cool yo. real cool and on point when it comes to working at the math. Mike brought me in so my first time meeting him was a day before meeting Dre. Everyone calls him Uncle Mike. I look at him like Cousin Mike you know. He looks out. And Dre, i met him right before the wash soundtrack came out and he said if you think you ready there's a spot open. i jumped on it.
Oh, I forgot. You said: "I was working on tracks for Shaunta, Brooklyn and Truth. All at the same time. Shaunta had taken 3. Truth took 2. Brooklyn took 3." Are all of these tracks being released?

Unfortunately Shaunta and Brooklyn aren't Aftermath any more but the Truth's first lp had the 2 we did on it.… Next to Me and Do me were my cuts with her.
Yeah I know. Shaunta also had a track on the Wash OST. What happenend to her? And when did she leave the math?

I really couldnt tell you. I know she's doing her own thing right now. She's been off the math since late 2k2, maybe even 2k3. I think that's correct.
You think it's possible to set up an interview with her for

Ii will call her right now for you.
Wow. That's hot! Thank you! Theses are the tracks I know from her: Montell Jordan - Let's Ride (remix) (feat.Shaunta), Chino XL - I Told You So (feat.Shaunta), Shaunta - California, Shaunta - Good Lovin', Truth Hurts - Benefit Of The Doubt (feat.Shaunta), Brandy - U Don't Know Me (remix) (feat.Shaunta & Da Brat).

And the one with timbaland "Shaunta got big lips and hnadle bars..." I gotta find out the name of it. But that was her key line. Everyone says..."Shaunta...? Shaunta got big lips and handle bars Shaunta?"
You said, you are the only producer who's signed on the math. What about Mel Man, Mike Elizondo, Scott Storch or Hi-Tek?

I heard Mel came back. WELCOME BACK FAM!!! Hi-Tek rides with us. Mike is a part of the fam and I'm guessing his involvement is deeper than just being a producer on the Math. He's been around for a long time. Scott works with us but he's got his own company "Tuff Jew Productions".
Oh .. thats very interesting. Whats the difference between you, Dre, Mel Man or Hi-Tek production-wise?

Tek and I incorporate that east coast flav into the west coast driven rhythms that make up the math. Tek is from Cinncinati and he's an incredible producer, too. I love his stuff. Mel helped create the Math's signature sound so all of us together is a force to be reckoned with.
"Tuff Jew Productions" … tell the fans more about it, please.

I don't know a lot about Scott's stuff except what he puts out.... HITS! The man is working a lot. Everyone got a Storch Track. From Beyonce' to Damn near any rapper he wants.
What was the best beat you heard from him?

I've known about Scott since his days in the Roots. He's got a hot sound so there isnt a best one. I definately dig Baby Boy...
Hittman said Dre is a "clean-up man". Is the work with him really that demanding?

He's no joke. That man is the epitome of a perfectionist. I love that about his work ethic. That's why he gets the results he gets. Fans know he wont put out no bullsh*t. Dre takes his time.
Absolutely. But fans r saying: He needs too much time to do a record now. Dre said in an interview: "I did Doggystyle in 4 weeks".

You know times were different then. Dre knows what it takes to make a hit. Not a one hit wonder He is a living legend. You cant start putting out bullsh*t because people will hate you and move to the next cat. Dre has a lot of things in store for the industry.
Yeah ... talking about a one hit wonder ... Truth Hurts. Too sad man.

Her lp was hot to me. Things with the sample situation really killed that record. But hey. Part of the business, you know.
I had an interview with Truth and she said: "The work with Dre is hard. You work with him all night long to achieve something." Do you do the same?

Im lucky. I go in and work alone. I bring him my beats when i get about 10 to 15 done to see what he likes and where his creative head is at, but my work ethic is like his. So it doesnt bother me.
Please tell something about the production process together with Dre.

We've worked once together and he is VERY particular. we actually started a beat from scratch and he eq'd everything to damn near sound like a record. No roughs! He paints the picture and wants to see and hear exactly what's in his head. I dig that yo. I´m just like that and watching him. Let's me know im not wrong being this way.
What do you think every good album needs?

A great A&R. Tired of these one song lps. We need great whole records. Front to back 1 thru whatever like the chronic, like Usher's new one, you know.
Yeah ... 20 weeks on top

And it's hot yo. I got it in my truck.
Which albums would you have liked to be part of after not appearing on them?

You got a minute. um 50's, Eminem's "Marshall mathers" joint, Brandy "Never say never", Destiny's child "Writing on the wall" … i can go on and on
How man songs do you have from Dre or Eminem thats not been relased?

Truthfully. I have some joints with Dre that I havent heard that he keeps. I have some joints with Dre that ihavent heard that he keeps. I did a song with Game and the last I heard about it, Dre was on the second verse. Nate is on the hook and Em is on the third verse.
Oh my God!

It's not written in people are buzzin about it around the camp. I meant written in stone. I wish i could listen to it . That one is locked up. Game might have it. Hit him up yo.
Is there any chance we will hear a few songs non-released songs in the near future?

Never know with the Math. You gotta stay tuned and the most up to date info I see out there is here on So you'd prob be the first to know. Even before me (laughs).
There has been a long history of producers saying that Dre steals beats, from your experience how true is it?

NO MAN! Dre has been on the up and up with me since day one. If you look at the credits, he mixed my song for Truth Hurts ("Next to me"). He could've easily taken credit as producer because of who he is. But he didn't and he didnt take my shine from me at all. Publishing or nothing. He said to me "What you do is what you do and what i do is what i do..." never stole from me.
What would you like to say about the label Aftermath? I mean, signed on the math - Is all of that exciting for you right now?

SORRY ABOUT THE LANGUAGE IM ABOUT TO USE BUT WE ARE UNFUCKWIT'ABLE!!!! Busta, Eve, Game, 50, Em, Stat … it's a wrap yo. then we are about to put a twist in the R+B game with antonio. by the way, He's a guy who got the hottest cd being put together. I'm a big fan of his yo.
Hottest cd being put together ?

He's still working on new things. I have worked with him and his arrangements are scary yo. He hears voices in the music. It's amazing!
What type of feedback did you get from people about your work with Aftermath?

I get mad love from people and a whole lot of respect because i have to remain humble and rolling with the biggest company in the industry could make you lose yourself. I know that God got me here so i remain humble under HIM, you know.. but yea it's only been mad love... haters dont affect me.
What is the best track you ever produced for an Aftermath artist? Who is it and why?

My favorite to date right now are the new ones with Stat Quo. I used live instruments on them. And they feel good and hip hop. Before that though there was "Next to Me" with Truth. Still to this day one of my favorites and when I tell certain cats did that, I get mad love. Mel even gave me love on that one.
So, Stat Quo is getting Beats from you … U used live instruments. That's crazy.

We did four joints. I dig what he did with them a lot.
You produced tracks for Truth Hurts. She released her 2nd record today and changed the record company. How was the work with her?

Quick. She heard the two tracks and wrote them that night. She cuts something like 2 to 3 songs a day when she's feeling it. Great work ethic and a great person.
Yeah .. thats exactly what I´m thinking of her ... a Work-horse.

Man she's the Truth. Like her name you know.
Let's talk about the $500Mio. lawsuit against Aftermath. What happened exactly?

Truthfully i have no idea. Not a good look but we will get through it
Short after this lawsuit she was dropped by Aftermath. Truth said: "They really didn't. They gave me an option. They told me what is gonna happen if I stay on the label and under Interscope and I told Dr. Dre that it would be the best thing to leave." And on her new album is no Dre produced track. That's really sad. Did you produce a track for "Ready now"?

She sent me some remix work but they put her LP together so quick that i missed it. All i know is that the sample had problems with the clearence end of things.
You currently working on projects for several artists. Tell us more please.

Well, I've submitted for the new Destiny's Child lp too. About to go and submit for 112's new one, sent tracks to Em for his new one. I've been moving you know.
Can we expect your beats for any other artists?

Anyone and everyone who I feel will represent my music right. i'm open and I know that Dre would never hold me back. He wants us to grow, you know.
Rumors that always circled around was BTNH, Ice Cube, Xzibit, Pharoahe Monch and Wu Tang are signing to Aftermath or Shady Records. How true is that?

I cant speak on Shady. But the math doesnt have any of them on the roster yet. Pharoahe i heard thru my nigga Denaun Porter is getting with the Shady camp and he's doing production on Pharoahe. That's all i know for fact.
What have you learned from the music industry at the time on the math?

What it takes to be a living legend. What it takes to be a living legend. Dre got a lot to live up to and it;s all his legacy. I want that for myself.

(Part 2/3)
In the last years some talented artists (like RBX, King T) left the label, but still work with Dre. Did you stay in contact to them?

Unfortunately i wasn't around when they were signed. I never got to meet them.
Let's talk about the Aftermath Compilation. Tony Best told me most of the artists had little talent. Dre was just being nice.

I heard it and it was definately not the Aftermath nor the Dre i was used to.
How will the cooperation with Aftermath look like? I mean King T released an album - Executive producer was Dre. Is it gonna be like that with Rakim's, Joe Beast or Brooklyn's album, too ?

Dre most likely will be involved to some capacity but maybe not like the old days, you know.
Since 1998, Hittman was at Aftermath, but we ain`t never heard a lot from him. Why did it take that long and what were the reasons? Have you ever talked to him or worked with him?

I met him once and We never got to poly or work together. I really don't know the relationship between Dre and Hitman now.
Hitt dropped some verses on The Watcher 2. Rakim and Dre also were on the song. Later, Jay-Z released the song without Hitt's lyrics. What happened to the lyrics?

Jigga made a place for It's like a remix.
You think you or Dre can drop this track for the fans?

I definately will ask.
Whats your thoughts on the Aftermath situation? I mean 50 or Em can release their albums, but Hittman, Last Emperor, Brooklyn and Rakim not? What the hell is goin on there? And how do you feel about it?

To be as honest as possible, Brooklyn is my peoples and we are still cool as shit. Rak, Hit and Emperor I never knew but I knew of. Things are unfortunate. I love working and I know that Dre loves making hot music. If it doesn't feel right, then he looks and works until it does. 50 was going to release an LP regardless, he's hungry like that. Eminem is a beast and Dre saw the eye of the tiger with Em. That's really all I can say, you know.
I think Jimmy Iovine has a lot to do with it … or is it the bad label politics?

Jimmy and Dre are definately the last words in THE MATH situations but, like I said, things are unfortunate. Some artists don't like development and since this process takes time, they get anxious and impatient. I was and still am the same way but I realize the importance of it.
What do you think about Brooklyn and Rakim?

Brooklyn has the 50Cent by any means neccesary attitude. She's gone drop regardless!!! Rakim is a seasoned vet. He has his way of working his craft. Sometimes artists and producers work ethics dont coincide you know.. i can't really speak on Rak. I got mad respect for him. He is one of the greatest..
The fans wanted that you speak on Shaunta and Joe Beast.

I got fans? (Laughs). Shaunta and Beast were amongst the first cats I met at the math. I met Knocturnal also the same time. We were all wroking the soundtrack together (The Wash). Shaunta and I started working together on some things for the Math. We did three cuts. One was with Knocturnal called "Mad at the Aftermath"
"Mad at the Aftermath"`? Never heard this track.

I did that one. One called "Beautiful". And "There It IS". We had fun in the studio for the most part. It's now considered a "FOC-SCLUSIVE"

A big question is about this Source article and the story about Big Chuck, Mel Man and Neff-U: The Source article has been out for lots month and no one has denied the article. So the fans will assume that the article in the Source has some truth to it!

I didn't like that at all, man. I don't really wanna get all in the mix but It's all about loyalty, you know. I got on board The Math and will remain loyal until i die. I would never air my laundry like that yo. We are grown ass men, let's sit and talk you know. It was just not professional.
Big Chuck said: The investors have too much say in the artistic part of the game.

Looking at the comment and who said it, he is probably talking about Interscope. Chuck was more on the business side of things at interscope from what i know of him. I only met him twice and we were trying to work a group of his...
Fans said, the big problem is there's no set-up for artists, because Aftermath isn't dropping records. What do you say about it?

OK! If you get an artist like Eminem, or a 50 Cent.. what real set up do they need? A real artist is ready. This is a job yo. Do you go to work half prepared? Yes, every job including the industry has and sometimes requires training but for the most part it's on the artists. If you are hungry enough, you are gonna get it regardless....
So it's like: "Only the strongest survives".

Rules of the game!
You know, the fans wanna a NWA reunion, but with old Eazy verses and not with Snoop. Could this happened?

If and i'm saying IF it does, Dre is a smart business man and a true creative soul. He knows that Eazy was NWA. Cube is NWA. Ren is NWA. etc... He would do it right.
Absolutely. I mean the song on Cube's album was fire.

Exactly. They started that gangsta shit!
Quick question, the up in Smoke Tour part 2 is in works right now. When can the fans expect this tour?

As soon as they get the new MATH heat. Game's new joint. Em. 50. Eve. Bus... I'm sure it's gonna be the hottest show ever yo.
Yeah, that was it. Dre said: "I´m planning a big Aftermath Tour."

It was gonna be the last time you see the good Doctor perform live. Who knows? We might squeeze some Detox from him... Shit, I wanted the LP for myself..
Yeah. Everybody wantet to listen to Detox.

I still believe Dre has to give it to us. His true fans. It would end the book perfect and start the new chronicles right.
A lot of people outta there say artists like 50 Cent, Snoop, Xzibit or someone else sold out because they went with Dre. What do you say to people that talking shit like that?

A lot of hate in the air yo. Either jelousy, envy or just plain hate. They need to grow up yo. we all trying to make good music and who better to do great things with than the best at it? Dre is one of the best that's done it and if it's a sellout getting with the Math than yo, holla at my platinum plaques!!!!
The Aftermath artists - Your thoughts on Eve, Busta, Eminem, Game, Stat Quo, Antonio and 50 Cent?

Eve's project is something i'm definately looking forward to. She has shown that a femcee is definately a force to be reckoned with. I'm aiming for a single with her.

Busta Bus.... A big fan yo. Him and the MATH connection... CRAZY! His style is unmatched and he's probably one of the only real old school cats still making money at this hip hop shit... I can't wait to work with him.

Eminem - one of the greatest MC's of all time. He's not only unmatched but UNFUCKWITABLE! Em has hunger that isnt easily fed. He likes innovation so i know he'll be around for a while.

Game is that next nigga! The Game phenomenon is REAL! Everyone is asking about him and he is definately holding his own in the hip hop scene. Game is a cool ass nigga and I know he's gonna get that success he deserves. He's that next NIGGA!!!

Antonio is one of my favorite artist yo. His stylings (old school word) and melodies are so RnB yet so gangsta. You have no choice but to love it. Be on the lookout.

Statlanta - My nigga's the first to show the Math how the South does the damn thing! He's hungry yo. 3 volumes of mixtapes and still going studio to studio getting them joints. Em is gonna make that happen with Stat.

50 Cent aint going no where! Same shit! Same nigga yo. Talk that shit if you want but you gotta show and prove when he comes around... G-g-g-g-g-g- g Unit! It's a movement!
Antonio wrote more than 1200 songs. That's crazy and he's only 22. I only heard 1 song: "DJ".

He's a fucking talent yo. His style is crazy. Voice is nuts. All we have to do is get this cat out there
He isnt on the official Aftermath website yet.

Tone has been doing things to get ready you know. That developement some artists hate? he's getting ready. Best way to blow is to blow SUDDENLY! No leaks. straight out of no where on 'em!
The fans wanted that you should speak on Jimmy Iovine and Interscope.

I am sorry to report that i really don't know more than they do about the man except he's probably the hottest at the hand of Hip Hop and hasn't dropped the ball so the game is still his.
I don't wanna say anything about the feud between Aftermath/Shady vs Murder Inc, exsp. 50 Cent vs. Ja Rule. But what's your opinion?

On wax, it's hip hop yo. BDP vs. MC Shan. LL. vs. Canibus. That makes it exciting yo, but off wax there's enough dough to go around. you know.
But why are the battles of today so wack when compared to the battles of the past. The rhymes are wack and the tracks are wack. What do you think happened?

Damn. For real? Cats aren't as deep into the HIP HOP aspect of it like we used to be. HIP HOP is so surface right now. No one is talking about anything but killing people, getting pussy, ice, etc. Nothing deep about shit.
Best battle was and still is Eminem vs Canibus ... I´d like to see a battle between Rakim vs Eminem or Jadakiss vs Eminem. That would be tight.

I wanna see 8 mile with a lot of these so called mc's.
A Dr. Dre produced track and a Mel-Man produced cut which features MC Lyte on the hook- were not included on Jay-Z's "The Black Album". Where can ppl expect this track?

I have no idea fam
Can you ask Dre?

I will

We're planning to release the Aftermath Music mixtape Vol. 2, which is hosted by Proof of D12 and DJ Exclusive. Would you like to add some tracks you produced?

Yes. Are these going to be new joints or previous things we've heard from the math? Now im interviewing you .. (laugs)
New tracks and remixes. Chino XL will be on the mixtape, too

Then i gotta blaze you guys with some "FOC-SCLUSIVES"
The Aftermath Music Mixtape Vol. 1 is on your way.

Good Looking out
I talked to you about this Dr. Dre / Jay-Z / MC Lyte track. I´d like to add this track on the Aftermath Music mixtape, too. Is this possible?

I will put that out there and see who bites for you. It's really on Dre.

Let's take it back to the beginning, man. We talked about The former artists. Now I wanna talk with you about the Aftermath artists. Would you like to tell the fans more about the upcoming Aftermath albums from Game, Eve, Busta, Antonio, 50 Cent and Eminem.

It's about to be a movement! There's Aftermath, Shady and G Unit... nothing after that! Each artist is putting together a hot LP
How does it come, that Eve came back to Aftermath?

Man that's question you gotta ask her. When i first met Eve, she was introduced to me as "Eve of Destruction" and she was on the Math. They said she came back home so
I would like to interview her, but NO response from her management yet.

I go in to work with her next monday. I will put the bug in her ear yo.
Thank you. You know everything these days gets pushed back. You really think the fans can expect all albums this year?

I think things will be hot this year. and next year. we have a lot in store for the fans and for the industry. trust that
What up with Antonio's album? I mean Brooklyn told me, she heard a couple of tracks from Antonio. And it's a serious album. He sings, he's not rapping on the album.

Well I've heard about 20 and Tone can rap too. I feel like Brooklyn yo, this nigga's lp is serious. He's got to get some things together and get back at it in the studio...
Tell us more about the other upcoming releases: G-Units Banks & Buck, 50 Cent, Eminem, Stat Quo, Game and Busta, please. Do you have some news for the fans?

Nothing except that things are about to get hot for a lot of cats in the industry.
On which album can we find Focus… productions?

Stat Quo, Game, and i'm shooting for Bus, 50 and Em now and definately Eve.
There's a lot of talent on Aftermath. And I guess everybody's working on their own projects. But who's the next to drop an album besides 50 Cent and Eminem?

Game and Eve. There's a lot of anticipation for those lp's.
Game told me his album is coming out in september. 1st it was june ... and now September. I hate that, they pushed back his album again and again.

Gotta make sure it's right!
What do you say, that Ice Cube is working with Dr. Dre on his upcomin album? Can we expect some productions from you, too? He's still in talks with the math.

I truthfully don't know much about the Ice Cube situation, but we'll see.
We've been waiting a long time for one album - "Detox". Tell Dre, he should drop his Mo'fuckin Detox album ;)

IIGHT. I'm witchu. I might say it a little different like... "Dre, um... we'd really like you to drop that Detox LP". "um.... Please" (laughs)
Haha .. true true. I mean, no "Detox", no "Oh my God" or no Hittman, Brooklyn or Last Emperor album. Everybody was really pissed off.

I know. I was let down too yo. I was always a Aftermath fan … still am.
There also was "The chairman of the board" LP in talks. What happened?

We moved back into Detox. That will happen I hope.
So does it mean, Scott, Dre or you are working on that LP again?

Not as of yet, but I hope the Detox happens.
An album with Jigga and Dre was planned a long time ago. Tell us more about it.

I can't say so much yet. (laughs) But hey, Aftermath will let you know. You family.

(Part 3/3)
Now let's talk about your label and your artists. Tell us a little bit about the label, please.

a.Fam Records... name meaning "a-FOC.aliptic Family". I started as a production company about 2 years ago and currently have 8 artists on my roster. Ijust recently went after making this a full fledged label
Yesterday Angi told me a.Fam is trying to get a major deal. KOCH and Universal are in talks.

We are definately open and talking to major hitters. Angi Franklin is my GM and let me say that she works very hard to get these things going for the fam.
A.Fam under Aftermath or Interscope... is this possible?

MAN! That would be hot as hell! When i get to LA i really wanna sit down with Dre if not to learn his formula, maybe to see if i can get his support. I'd love to be a sub label of the math.
Absolutely. I mean this is the best way. You work for Aftermath ... so, kick Dre's ass

HA! no kicking … just learning you know
You know what I mean.

Fa sho. I was kidding. (laughs)
Whats the main goal of a.Fam Records?

To put music back into the industry and to be the first label operated with full integrity. There's too much industry in the music. gotta flip it back around, you know. Tired of the red tape.
That what I´m thinking. Too much politics. So Daz said, it's better to be independent

Yes it is. These scary execs with that "i need something like Neptunes or Kayne..." I'm not taking nothing away from them but I AINT THEM. I do me. So this is a chance for me and the people I believe in to do US!
Let's talk about the artists. Please introduce the artists to the fans.

Like I said I have 8 artists ranging from Hip Hop r+b to Reggae. Starting off with F'lana Star, she's my solo female artists. Let's just say we call her "Falonce'" because she's got that drive and the talent like Beyonce'.

Smoky Brown - My two man group hailing Augusta, GA. I call their sound and style, but not for gimick reasons Ghetto Soul. but when you hear it you go back to the days of Al Green, Sam Cooke brought to the here and now with some hip hop feeling to it

J.Life, Brooklyn native. My Cousin. He's a mix of real r+b with reggae undertones. His music is truly unique and I love working with him.

Kallihan, O.Grimes, Verb and Rock, these are my answears to the hip hop world. Verb and Rock are from LA, CA. Kallihan from VA and O.Grimes from Bronx, NY. Different flavas and still we come together and kill it.

Mami Montana. She's the female answar to Jay-Z. Her lyrics are crazy and she REALLY writes her own shit.

HellRaiza. My reggae artists. he's like Bounty Killa but we are puttin a rock edge on him. We cut this song called "We don't Give A..." I feel it could be the next hood anthem.
Man, that's real intersting. You said Mami Montana the female Jay-Z … Can you compare Mami to Foxy, Eve, or Lady of Rage?

More an Eve than any of them. She's got that flow, that charisma. She's gonna be crazy when she's unleashed.
Damn. When can we listen to her single or a song?

I gotchu now if you'd like!. I'm eager for everyone to finally hear it.
Yeah of course, man. I`d love to listen to the a.Fam songs.

Sending now HellRaiza feat. Kallihan, Mami Montana and O.Grimes - "We Don't Give A…".
The single "Hot and bothered" from F'lana Star will be in stores soon. When can we expect the single?

We are preparing that now, hitting mixshows and leaking it to mix cd's. Like Dre, I gotta make sure it's right.
Did you get any positive feedback yet?

Funny. We've impacted radio already. She's in rotation at a number of stations in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Things have been great man. We are doing a massive send out to New York thru Carol Ozemhoya. She's been working the record at radio for us along with F'lana's manager, Sonia Blanco (Paper Chaise Management).
I´m sure you gave Dre tracks too. What did he say?

He heard my first draft and told me he dug the tracks more then the songs on them but all in all it was cool so we went back in the lab and kicked it up a few notches.. i think he'd be pleased
There's a compilation album "The Birth" coming out real soon. Did you produce all the tracks?

Everyone except a song called "4a.m." that was produced by this kid Notes. His company is called 5star Entertainment. I swear he's the fucking future!!!! What's Good Notes!
And all the other tracks are produced by yourself?

Yes sir and I even rap on the Lp.

Thanks man. i'll send you one.
Thanks man. Tell me more about Notes, please.

MAN THIS KID IS INCREDIBLE YO!! I met him thru a friend of mine, Darryl Anthony. His whole production style and everything is amazing to me. He truly is the future and I don't give a lot of new cats props.
What are you hoping and expecting for the album? When do you hope to drop it?

I am hoping to show the world that there are cats out here with a lot of talent getting slept on and also to showcase my abilities as well. I am hoping to show the world that there are cats out here with a lot of talent getting slept on and also to showcase my abilities as well. I can showcase new producers, artists, anything. I'm the CEO (laughs). I really dont wanna have an "out the basement" lp so we are searching for worldwide distribution and a full deal so we can get video and i can put my marketing and promotions guy to work (Jason Taylor) aka "Plan of Attack".
You will get the deal. I´m sure. How many songs are ready for the album?

There are 2 songs per artist so 16 plus my two.. 18 songs on the compilation. I need to hear that from time to time.
So, do you feel like the artists are ready for the big business?

We are sending them thru the "Business" now. They are learning humility and hard work yo. I dont even call them my artists. I call them my family. They will be ready!
How do you see yourself and the label in the next 5 years?

Not to take nothing away from Jelly Roll as per Game's comment but I PLAN TO BE THE NEXT DOC Dre. A.FAM TO BE THE NEXT AFTERMATH. Mark my words, that's where my hunger is. And my fam wouldn't have it any other way.
Thats a big goal man

But achievable and attainable!
Anything else you`d like to say about your label? Any Shout outs?

I'd like to acknowledge everyone who's had something to do with what's really going on. a.Fam is in the building! We have a lot of support from people who believe in us... The Aphilliates, (Cannon, Drama, Sense), Dre-All-Day, Legion of Doom DJ's, Superfriends, Done Deal Entertainment, everyone in Atlanta and i got to give my love to the fam... a. Fam! and my two beautiful sons.. Christopher and Bernard III (Tre').

Okay, thanks for all that input man! What is your top 3 list of best lyricists out right now?

Eminem, Jay-Z and i dont know on the third one yo. That's a good question.
Can you tell us why?

Everyone is starting to sound like 50 to me. Everyone says the same shit and it's boring. I like some of the things out there but i dont have a favorite mc in the game right now (execpt the Aftermath team)
What about legends like Pac, Rakim, Common, Kool G Rap or Eric Sermon? Oh .. I forgot Biggie & Big L.

They are all legends but you said in the game now. BIGGIE all day. My favorite mc still i love Mos and Talib, Pharoahe and J Dilla, The Tribe Slum, Slum Village i mean, that's where i came from yo. That underground Rawkus shit. Hi tek!
Man, Thx for the track. I´m still bumpin this track for more than 20 minutes.

Thanks for even asking a brother for it. I love doing music.
Sounds a lil bit like Ruff Ryders Anthem.

Iight. We riding alright.
"Realness" - what does it mean to you?

It's a gimick now. We trying to KEEP IT RIGHT (Posdnous from de la soul).
DJ Salam Wreck said about the game: "Alot of shit is Just the same thing over and over......Same lines, Same hooks......There's no Substance". Do you think the same?

I dont even follow hip hop anymore. There's Jigga, us, and the rest, no hate, just bored on the real.
A lot of labels changing their marketing startegies, I mean it's like 'How can we promote this artist without spendin money'. What do you think is the best way?

Everyone is going the mixtape leak way now. I applaud that. Make the record feel like the streets picked it and you have a winner. i know this because i am still a fan and i feel that way appeal to the people.
What about websites? Like Aftermath Music, DubCNN, Westcoast Aftershock, Westcoast2k, SoHH, HipHopDX …

Those are great vehicles also, but a lot of kids in the hood dont have computers. There is a larger audience on the web, but the hood still is a demigraphic and a major part of music retail.
What's the most often asked question you guys get hit with, that you hate to get hit with?

DOES DRE MAKE HIS OWN BEATS? I hate that question yo. he's a damn legend and you just need to respect that, you know?
And I asked you this Q, too

(Laughs) But you family. Don't forget this. You have the Aftermath team (Management, Producer, Artists) behind you. You´ll get lots of Aftermath exclusives in the near future.
What is the highlight in your carreer till now?

Signing to the Math. Working with Beyonce' on her solo joint and Jlo's last joint. Those are the high points.

You gonna work on Eve's, Game's, Stat's and Antonio's album. Would you like to produce some European Artists, too?

I really wanna go out of the country for like 3 months and work with everybody. I have one of the greatest managers/ friends on the planet, Erica Grayson and UR management. She is helping me get that goal accomplished. She and I still work together but not as manager and managee, more like a big sister looking out for her numbskull lil brother. (laughs)
Ha ha … and what should fans expect from you production-wise in the future?

They will never be able to expect anything. i stay different with every track. If you can pin point my style then you are good. I wanna be around for the duration. so i plan on innovating every 5 months. Keeps cats on their toes. Holla
That's what I wanna hear from a producer. Everybody knows . that's an Eminem Beat or a Premo Beat.

AND PREMO IS ANOTHER GREAT ONE! But i believe in diversity. i like rock music, reggae, r+b, Hip Hop, jazz, everything to an extent. i am will to bridge what i feel like when i feel like. It's all music, you know?
Do you have any plans for unexpected collaborations!

Yes. I plan on unexpectedly Collaborating with whoever wants to collab with me. (laughs)
There has been an army of new producers like Kanye West, Just Blaze, Neptunes who be droppin hot shit. Who's your favourite new producer?

Notes! Kordz (this kid out of LA that i'm trying to mentor)! I dig all of them but these newbies are crazy hott yo!!!
Notes! I knew it. (laughs)

You got me! Shit, Hi-tek, J Dilla, Denaun Porter i love their shit man.
I have to listen to Notes' tracks

I love cats the incoorporate playing and rugged ass gangsta shit. Hi-Tek, Denaun ... perfect examples of that. They keep me on my toes for real.
What would you tell a new producer, that is coming up right now. What would you tell him ... like the most important thing to look out for.

Snakes yo. that's why i try to mentor these new cats. I wish i had a cat like me in my life when i was coming up. I really care about these cats yo. they have talent, real talent. So i try to steer them clear of the snakes yo.
Lot's of people want to know how they can submit some of their tracks for reviews to Aftermath or to you.

Im open to listen to everything yo. Tell them to send it to the address you have on my website. I will listen and critique and hit you back. If it's hot i will pass it on to Angelo Sanders or Mike Lynn.

Aftermath is one of the strongest teams right now. What do you think about the Roc Family?

Got nothing but love for the Roc. They gave me one of the hottest rap songs this year "No Better Love" by young Gunz. But for reals it's our time and we are crazy hot right now.
What's your thoughts on DeathRow and Suge Knight right now? Strongest team 94/95.

NO thoughts. I don't think about something that don't exsist! That was then. Wish all the best to them and all, but look at the stats - we're here and ….
Tell us more about the DPG-Unit project. Daz said: We want that Dre is a part of it. 2 Gangsta groups you know I mean … put in it down. 2 super groups". You really think an album is coming soon?

That would be hot as hell and an event to see at the up n smoke, but i really dont know!
Now let's talk about one of the greates MC'S of all time - Tupac. What do you think about his career and his life?

He has touched everyone's life. He is still and probably will be one of the most imitated MC's to date. Thug Life was a movement. He was prolific, he was conscientious, he was a real nigga. His career embraced all of this about him and his life is living even though he isnt. The man is a martyr.
Your same thoughts on Biggie Smallz.

My favorite MC. He had heart, charisma, and had NY on his back when he climbed to the top. I got mad love for that nigga yo and i wish we could've done at least one track together
Who's the King of NYC now? Jigga, Nas or 50 Cent?

Ain't no king yo. There are city legends though and 50 and Jigga are the two reigning.
Do you have any words to the Aftermath n Shady fans?

Thank you all for the support, the love and the interest in what we are doing. Stay up with us. AFTERMATH. G UNIT. SHADY. INTERSCOPE. a.FAM.. it's a wrap yo!

FOCUS... Q&A's
- The best producer is: Doc muh'fuckin Dre
- The best artists are: a.Fam and Aftermath combined!
- Positive characteristics of Focus… are: : humility and loyalty
- Favorite album of all time: Life After Death
- Family & Business
Thank you for taking the time and I hope we keep in touch! Puhhhh ... we finnished this XX-long interview. I never had an interview like this 1.

DAMN YO. i was like im going horse (laughs). Thank you for everything Chris




  • 50 Cent
  • Bishop Lamont
  • Brooklyn
  • Busta Rhymes
  • Dawaun Parker
  • Dr. Dre
  • Eminem
  • Eve
  • Focus...
  • G.A.G.E.
  • Joell Ortiz
  • Marsha Ambrosius
  • Stat Quo
  • The Game



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