(October 2006) | Interview By:
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:
Interview was done by phone in October 2006
Questions Asked By : Nima
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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
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
*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
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
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
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.
Dubcnn: What other projects can we expect to hear Nottz production on in
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...
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
Hit them books! Understand this business before you get your ass in it! For
Nottz Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That
Full Nottz Interview :