With a new project In My Mind hitting iTunes tomorrow, Nottz took a quick break from the lab to answer some questions and fill us in on what’s new in the world of “your favorite producer’s favorite producer.” The VA beatsmith addresses everything from working with The Alchemist and Pete Rock on his new EP, the hold up with A.N.T.R.I.M (his collaborative project with T-Dot’s Kardinal Offishal), bringing Travis Barker into the fold for Rawth(er), producing the possible album intro for Dr. Dre’s mythical Detox, as well as a who’s who list of artists that he’s currently working with. Check it out…
Pete suggested I put the sample in there. That’s his input on the record which turned out doooooope to do. I didn’t hear about the situation…
What’s up, Nottz? We’ve been seeing your name pop up a bunch of times in 2012 so far. Is it fair to say you’ve been on the grind?
Yeah man, I’ve been grindin’ like a mad man. Got quite a few projects lined up and ready to go. I can’t wait for the fan’s to hear ’em. It’s been a while and the world need good music to rock to.
You get set to release your In My Mind EP today. It borrows and reworks a few existing tracks. What was the thinking behind the project?
Just a collection previously released/unreleased works that we (me and my manager Darryl Sloan) felt the fans missed out on. Also keeping the brand out there and on folks’ minds.
Obviously you’ve produced for other beatmakers in the past. What was it like working with Pete Rock and The Alchemist on this new EP?
Pete and Al are good friends of mine. Gave them a call, asked ’em for verses and I got emails back with files. lol. Simple!! I’ve looked up to and been inspired by these dudes for the longest. Dope music inspires me regardless.
“Turn It Up” contains a very brief sample of the Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth classic “T.R.O.Y.”. What’s your take on the recent situation between Lupe Fiasco and Pete over the sample on his new single?
Pete suggested I put the sample in there. That’s his input on the record which turned out doooooope to do. I didn’t hear about the situation.
STREAM: Nottz (feat. Pete Rock) – “Turn It Up”
You’ve been building the anticipation for your collaborative project with Kardinal Offishall A.N.T.R.I.M. pretty nicely. It was due out on Memorial Day Weekend, but what’s the hold up?
Too soon to release it. Had a few minor tweaks that needed to be fixed but we’re good now. Another leak from the A.M.T.R.I.M. should be hitting the net this week.
STREAM: Kardinal Offishal & Nottz Raw – “1st 48”
Looking even further ahead, Asher Roth announced recently that you guys are adding Travis Barker to the equation to put together Rawth(er). That sounds nuts. How did the collaboration come about?
Well me and Ash talked about doing another Rawth and figured we didn’t get enough burn on the last one. Touring and other things messed it up for us but all and all it was a doooope project. We went back in the lab thinking we’re not gonna let the last Rawth be the “what could’ve been” project for us. So we’ve decided we needed to kick it up a notch and come harder then the last if we’re gonna show folks we’re not playin’. Let the fans know we do it for them and for the sake of good music. Ash hooked me up with Travis a few months back. I hit Trav up saying we need to work and his response was “Bro, let’s do it”. I sent Trav a few joints me and Ash knocked out for the Rawth(er) so he could throw some hard drums on ’em, just to give that edge it’s missing. Every song that’s finished ends up being my favorite. lol.
Ash hinted that the project will center around a “psychedelic trip rock” sound. Any more details you’d like to add?
Like I said before, this Rawth(er) project has a lot more amenities to it. We’ve turned it up to 1001 on this one.
Aside from A.M.T.R.I.M. and Rawth(er), you’ve also been working with your group, DMP (Durte Muzik Prahdukshun) group. You’ve dropped quite a few joints over the past 12 months. What have you got cooking with them?
God Made Durt is the LP, we’re about release real soon. Dope beats + lyrics = good music. That was the focus for the album. The listeners need music like this. Music with dynamics.
Last year, you detailed you’re involvement with Dr. Dre’s hugely-awaited (and permanently-pending) Detox album, bagging production for the opening song. Is that still in place, do you know?
Good question. As far as I know it’s a go. But it’s no telling right now. His mind changes like a dope boy’s phone number. I don’t blame him tho. Perfectionist to the fullest.
We’ve all heard of the sonic shift of Detox over the years. What was the most recent version of the LP you’ve heard?
I’ve heard an east coast version which was scrapped and I’ve heard a west coast version. Who know’s what the doc got for us?!
Now, looking at your career resume, you’ve worked with some major hip-hop names. There’s Snoop, Busta, Kanye, Ghostface… Which production credit made you realize “I’ve made it”? And which has been your most memorable in your career as a whole?
Busta’s E.L.E. LP was the time I realized I’ve made it and nothing’s stopping. Snoop’s “That’s That” single was the record that let me know I can produce hits if these artist just give me a chance to do so.
The Best Men dropped the Goin’ Nottz mixtape back in February, compiling 21 classic Nottz-produced tracks? Did you spot that release? And what if so, what was your response?
That mixtape was dope. Just some food for the fan’s that don’t know some of the work I’ve done ya know.
We know you’ve always got mad credits lined up. Can you speak on any new, perhaps surprising, artists you’ll be producing for in the near future?
Bow Wow, De La, Ladybug (Digible Planets), Woll, Mistah Fab and a lot more surprises!
And finally, as one of the most revered beatsmiths in the game, I’d like to know which new, up-and-coming producers does Nottz give props to?
Any and everyone that’s dope, different and make me go back to the drawing board. Not those that recycle the saaaaaame beats over and over and oooover again. lol.