interview NOTTZ (October 2006) | Interview By: Nima

Dubcnn sat down with a producer that has been putting in work for years now and has an impressive C.V. We wanted to talk to Nottz himself to see how he has reached his current status, working with legends including Busta Rhymes & Snoop Dogg, how his beats have ended up in the hands of Dr. Dre, his influences, we discuss his crew DMP and even get his take on what up and coming talent need to focus on before getting into the industry.
As always we have the transcript and the audio for you to check and please feel free to send any feedback regarding the interview to: nima@dubcnn.com

Interview was done by phone in October 2006

Questions Asked By : Nima

Nottz Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That Here (Audio)

Full Nottz Interview : Here

Dubcnn: We're right here with producer Nottz, from Norfolk, VA. Tell us a little bit about your first steps into the rap game.

Well, I started out, me and my nigga Boogy, we was a group. Boogy moved, he went back to New York for a little bit, and he went to school with Smoothe Da Hustla and Trigga Da Gambla and D.V. Alias Khrist. D.V. Alias Khrist had just got signed to Def Jam, Boogy had a beat CD on him, let Khrist hear some joints, and we went from there! We got a joint on Khrist's album, it ain't never come out, and then Khrist did a joint with Lord Have Mercy for the Lyricist Lounge joint back in '98. Busta was supposed to get on that song, but he didn't get on it. But he was like "Look, I want you to hand me a CD so we can get some shit on my album!" So the first three joints on that CD ended up being the first three joints on the niggas album! The E.L.E. joint. After that, word of mouth man! That shit travelled, and everybody started jumping on it! Shit started happening after that.

Dubcnn: When did you decide that producing was going to be your full time occupation?

Really, when that Busta album came out, when that E.L.E. came out. Nigga I just packed up all my shit, I was working at this place called "Build A Square". Last day man, I said I ain't coming back! I ain't working no more! After that, that was it!

Dubcnn: Who were your main influences as far as your beats go?

Shit, Dr. Dre, J. Dilla, my nigga, Diamond D, Pete Rock, a lot of underground niggas too. It ain't too many niggas like radio niggas really.

Dubcnn: Do you play any instruments?

Nah, nah. I can play enough to know what I want, like a guitar or keyboards. I know what I want, and it's cool. It helps me out, gets me what I need. I know what I need. But I don't really play like that though.

Dubcnn: Tell us about your production process, what's your typical day in the studio?

*laughs* A typical day at the studio huh. Shit man, by myself, in the backroom, listening to samples, going through shit, seeing if I can replay it over... It's just same ol same ol man, just banging them out. I don't really have a process, either the drums come first or the samples come first man. Ain't no thang.

Dubcnn: By now, you've produced for the who's who of Hip-Hop, what are some of your most memorable experiences with artists in the studio?


Dubcnn: That's probably a hard question though, huh!

Yeah, yeah, cause you don't want to put your foot in your mouth. *laughs* You don't wanna talk bad about a nigga. But some niggas is like... It ain't what they do on wax. It's kind of hard, because a lot of niggas, when they do get paid, it's a whole different ball game because they start to front for a lot of niggas... Like me, my manager and my peoples man, we always going to be the same, no matter how much money we get, or how much money we come across. We gone always be the same niggas man, never ever change for that shit.

Dubcnn: So you're saying some artists bring on a different kind of game to the table depending on what kind of money they're getting?


Dubcnn: Is there an artist that specifically impressed you when you were working with him?

Busta, man. Busta... he's a workaholic man. It's been times where that nigga had like three rooms running at one time. He'd be mixing in one, he'd be playing in the other and he'd be recording in the other you know what I mean? It's kind of crazy what the nigga do! And then he'd stop, go and do a show right quick and come back! *laughs* And he's back at it again! He's a workaholic man.

Dubcnn: Your production style can't be really cornered as Mid-West, East Coast or West Coast. How do you define your music?

Really, it's the basslines man. The basslines, that's what gets people. Any Nottz track that you hear, you're going to know it's me. You're going to know by the bassline. You're going to know who did it first. A lot of niggas is really trying to imitate that shit, but they can't do it! Even if they try to do it, people be like "Damn, he bit that from Nottz!" Everybody gotta have their own shit, but it's kind of crazy. It's a lot of niggas coming up, that's cloning us! Cloning producers that's already out! And they're getting big deals of the shit! That's not fair.

Dubcnn: I guess everybody got their influences though, just like you're saying that you're sampling shit, I guess everybody gotta have their influence?

But, I mean don't use it to a point that you've been doing beats for like a year, and suddenly you're getting million dollar deals and shit, that makes it hard for niggas who's been grinding for years. It makes it hard man, and everybody's like opening doors for that bullshit, and that's not cool. It's a lot of clones out here, of everybody producer that's big, from your underground niggas to your radio niggas man, it's a clone of everybody! That's not fuckin' cool man. Niggas is like open arms with that shit!

Dubcnn: Biting is allowed now, huh?


Dubcnn: You recently produced a joint for Snoop Dogg's new album called "That's That Shit" featuring R. Kelly. You gotta tell me man, how did you come up with that sample, that "Coming To America" sample?

Oh you know what, I came to the studio, and I had already done something to the joint where the fat boy be singing. And my cousin, he came in the room and he was like "I want you to do a song to this other part of the movie!" I was like "What?" He was like "Check this shit out. You know the bathroom scene? Where they're washing him up and shit? Watch that shit!" He got the playing that shit and I was like "yeah that shit is crazy! I gotta fuck with that!" So yeah big up to my cuzz man, my cousin Boochie man, and my boy Black. They was in there, fuckin' around listening to the shit. My cousin he's a old movie head nigga anyway, he just look at movies all day. He one of them niggas.

Dubcnn: That's what everybody been trippin' off, that sample, I heard it I was like "Damn!"


Dubcnn: How did that joint come about? Did you send the beat to Snoop?

Yeah, man! And he was on it! Soon as we sent that shit! He was like "I gotta have that!"

Dubcnn: Yeah, it's gonna be the second single off "Blue Carpet Treatment"! He was talking about how Dre had him scratch all his lyrics off that and re-record the shit and everything.

Right, right!

Dubcnn: What other projects can we expect to hear Nottz production on in future?

Ne-Yo, Swizz Beatz, Cassidy, Sunshine Anderson, my shit! Some Little Brother shit, Game, my nigga Big Stuntz, he's from out in Cali, Lil Eazy, Bishop Lamont, G.A.G.E., WC, Rage, DJ Warrior & DJ Strong...

Dubcnn: So you're fuckin' with people from all over, huh.

Yeah! Niggas don't know, cause niggas ain't heard shit from me in a minute! But we're going to hit them hard, cause it's so much shit about to come out!

Dubcnn: You were named as one of the producers working on Dr. Dre's "Detox" project. Can you speak on that?

Yeah! The Detox shit! It's like, just like we did the Snoop shit, we sent him the joint, he was liking it and he cut the check probably like a week later!

Dubcnn: How does it work though! Cause Dr. Dre is the producer, but he's having producers sending him beats? How does that work?

Maan... Don't get me lying, nigga! I don't know! *laughs* It's like... You want it? Nigga, you can have it! It's a privilege to even get on that shit, him even wanting the joint, for real! It's kind of crazy, man!

Dubcnn: We're not even going to get into that...

Yeah, man.

Dubcnn: What's in your CD Player right now, what's Nottz bumping?

I'm actually just bumping my own shit. I try not to get caught up in that shit man, listening to everybody's shit and then all of a sudden you sound like them! I try to sound like myself, fuck all that!

Dubcnn: Tell us about your crew DMP.

The niggas stay working man, the boys is still working. We got a couple hundred songs done up, trying to get this album straight. Since the Snoop record is about to drop man, we're going to ride it till the wheels fall off man. It's a good time for niggas to get known more than what they are. It's crazy man. The Snoop shit is really going to open a lot of doors for niggas man. I'm just ready, man. I'm ready! Keeping the demons away!

Dubcnn: They released a project in 2005 called "Nottz Presents DMP". How do you look at that project, are you happy with how it went?

A lot of the shit was old. It wasn't like we controlled what to put on it. It was more like the label liking this and that, and not using that. We had some new shit, and it would've been crazy if we would've fucked with it. That whole shit was like what they fucked with, and it was a bunch of old shit anyway, so I didn't really fuck with it. I mean, it's still selling here and there, but it could've been better than what it was, way better.

Dubcnn: There are a lot of up and coming producers trying to get their break in the game right now. What advice would you give them?

Hit them books man! Hit them books before they step they ass in this game! It's a lot more business than anything, man. For real though man, you can hit your books and all that, you read, and you do your thang. But it's like, a lot of niggas is getting on, and they don't have no knowledge of Hip-Hop whatsoever. They think it's just so fuckin' easy. I'd rather for a nigga to work for it, to get in the game, and understand the game he's getting into, instead of just getting in it for the money, and that's all it's for. It ain't for that man, and niggas don't understand that. It's crazy man, it's fucking it up! It really pisses me off, though, I'd rather not even speak on it no more bout who's in it and who doesn't deserve to be in it. It's crazy, man.

Dubcnn: Did you hit them books?

Oh yeah, hell yeah! And I done gave damn near most of my shit away! *laughs* Like lil niggas around here just coming through to chill with me. That's the type of nigga I am man, any nigga knock on the door... It ain't like no chill spot, but I'm open arms for everybody, I respect everybody, I treat everybody like they're on my level. I treat everybody with the same respect they treat me! Soon as they come through the door, they can sit down and watch me. It don't even fuckin' matter. I ain't no rude nigga like "Nah, don't come around here" Ain't no bodyguards or no bullshit like that.

Dubcnn: You've come a long way, is there anything you still feel like you're yet to do? Any body you'd like to work with?

Nigga I'm trying to work with... Jesus! *laughs* I'm trying to do the impossible man. But I ain't trying to work with him no time soon! *laughs* But I'm trying to do the impossible man,.

Dubcnn: Is there anything else you'd like to let everybody on the site know?

Hit them books! Understand this business before you get your ass in it! For real!




Nottz Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That Here (Audio)

Full Nottz Interview : Here



Enter Your Email Address
To Receive Our
Free Newsletter!