J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League : Certified!! From The Game to Rick Ross and Jay-Z

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J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, acronym for Just Undeniable Songs Tracks

Instrumentals Corporate Enterprise League, consists of a trio of

Grammy-winning producers; Colione, Kenny, and Rook hailing from Tampa,

Florida. The three-man crew has crafted hot quality production for the

industry’s elite like Mary J. Blige, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, Juelz

Santana, The Game, JR Writer, J. Holiday, Young Buck, Shareefa, and a

host of others. With the emergence of writers and producers from the

state of Florida like Cool and Dre, T-Pain and The Runners,

J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League has ‘repped’ The Sunshine State just as well.

Although relatively new to the music industry as a collective unit,

they have been individually cultivating and perfecting their styles

individually for over 10 years. Together for four years as the

J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, their reputation and work are setting them onto

the path of attaining veteran status while still bringing a breath of

fresh air to the industry. Their work with Mary J. Blige, on the song

“No One Will Do,” earned them a Grammy as her album was named best

R&B album of the year. Colione provides hard drums, infectious

melodies and synth-laden beats while Rook, originally from the Bronx,

N.Y., brings an east coast arrogance and influence on the group with

dusty samples, a classic drum break approach to making music and a

blend of vinyl-driven, ear popping drums with a meticulous approach to

recording vocals. As a master of sax, keys, and woodwind instruments,

Kenny is the musical tie that binds the group together.

Their individual strengths serve as a testament

to the diversity of the music they create, which ranges from all styles

of Hip-Hop, R&B to Rock.

With a new label situation and upcoming projects with Usher and

Ludacris in the works, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League is on their way to

becoming a household name. We caught up with the guys at the Hip-Hop

Soda Shop [Tampa, Florida] during their artists’ 2 Pistols video shoot

to discuss their recent recording with Rick Ross featuring Jay-Z, their

new label situation through Universal, and the pros and cons of

attaining success in the Hip-Hop and R&B genres…

AllHipHop.com: What’s up fellas, first of all off the top,

congratulations on the Grammy for your work with Mary J. Blige, how was

that experience?  Elaborate on that a little.

Rook: [ I ] Appreciate it. It’s an honor to be even nominated for a Grammy.  But for us to win is incredible being that a lot of people work a long

time to achieve that goal and we’ve been in the business for relatively

a short period of time and we’ve accomplished that.  It’s definitely not

a fluke we’re definitely all about quality music.

AllHipHop.com: You recently did some work with Rick Ross and Jay-Z correct?

Colione: Yeah

AllHipHop.com: How did that situation come about?

Kenny: It all started when Rick Ross came by one of our cribs in

Tallahassee when we lived there. We were playing him some tracks to

place on the upcoming Trilla ablum, and he came across a track

and in a few seconds he said “Oh I got it, this is “Maybach Music” you

know what I mean?”  So he was just vibin’ to the beat for a while trying

to come up with some more ideas. So he took that beat back along with a

couple other ones and he eventually came back with what he had recorded

to the song and the idea and what he came up with was crazy. We were

actually working in our studio in Atlanta and he came through and let

us hear it and he had a feature with Jay-Z on it and we thought that

was crazy, having Jay-Z on one of our tracks because you know that’s

Jay-Z.  So Rick Ross told us to add some elements and basically do what

we do on the track but it was hard because we wanted to give it that

authentic sample sound to fit with the Jay-Z feature.

Rook: When we were nearing completion of that song we wanted to go

back and add a lot of things musically so when you hear the final

product you’ll hear that every verse changes musically and there are a

lot of things going on that really pushed the bar as far as production

and even Hip-Hop in general.

Kenny: We had gone through about five different intros, we had to

change up the verses a couple of times just to get it right because

that collaboration was so huge that we had to get this right, we had to

get it perfect. It was a blessing and kind of a nightmare at the same

time but the finished product came out sick, so we’re very happy with

how it came out man.

AllHipHop.com: Make sure I get one of the first copies of that, I’m

a DJ as well so as soon as you get the clearance to give that track

out, make sure I’m one of the first to get it so I can blaze it for you.

J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League: Ok, (Laughs)

Kenny: Yeah the Rick Ross Trilla album is gonna be legendary.

We also have a track on there with Young Jeezy, Lil’ Wayne, and Trick

Daddy too. That one’s called “Luxury Tax”, that one’s crazy, it came

out sick.

Rook: We also did the intro to the album, a song called “Hood Billionaire.”

AllHipHop.com: You’ve been one of the few production camps to be

able to achieve success in both the R&B and Hip-Hop genres. How has

that been advantageous to your career, you do a little Rock and Roll too correct?

J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League: Yeah, yep

Colione: It definitely makes you work a little harder because now

you’re doing different genres of music, some producer’s specialty is

Hip-Hop, some producers specialize in R&B and that’s basically what

they do. When you start flippin’ genres of music then you have double

the work load. You gotta be able to have beats prepared and ready for

Hip-Hop artists, then you gotta have a whole selection for R&B

artists, then a whole selection for Pop artists. You gotta stay on your

grind and keep moving but what’s good about it is the double the work,

the double the funds.

Rook: I think also it keeps us on our toes musically because we have

to be able to compete with the pure R&B producers and the pure

Hip-Hop producers and the Pop producers so it keeps us on our toes

musically.

AllHipHop.com: In the studio what gear do you prefer, are you using the MPC, Reasons, Logic or what?

Colione: We use Logic Pro, we use a lot of these software bits and

software plug-ins like the Philharmonic there’s a couple of others that

give you a good quality sound.

AllHipHop.com: Obviously I know you’re working with ProTools.

Colione: Yeah, we record all of our vocals and all of that in ProTools.

AllHipHop.com: What other projects do you guys have in the works, do

you have any of your own artists that you’re grooming or working with?

Rook: Right now we’re working with 2 Pistols and he’s signed to our

production company through Universal Republic and we’re wrapping up his

album. He got the single with T-Pain “She Got It,” it’s on your site.

That joint is taking off for him so hopefully we’ll get the album out

there soon.

AllHipHop.com: What are the future plans for J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League,

you have any aspirations of starting a label or any other entertainment

ventures?

Colione: Basically we already started a label, 2 Pistols is the

first artist on our label. We have another artist from Tampa named

Fame, he’s coming out real soon. He just released a mixtape with Bigga

Rankin you can go online and get that, that kid’s crazy.Kenny: We’re pitching songs for Usher’s next album, Ludacris just

picked up a few. We’re going back to work with the entire CTE

[Corporate Thugs Entertainment], one more round in with Young Jeezy as

well as producing tracks for Slick Pulla and Blood Raw.

Rook: We’ve been on the phone in the studio with Slick Pulla for the

last few days trying to get his album right and make sure he’s happy

with his album.

Kenny: We did a joint with Rocko recently and then we’ll also be

producing tracks and working with the Poe Boy camp as well. We’ll be

working on Brisco’s stuff and the Black Flag album, that’s the Triple C’s [Carol City Cartel] album. We just came out of the studio with Shareefa on DTP.

Rook: We did a song with her that’s crazy, like really classic.

AllHipHop.com: What would you guys say is the key difference between you and the other production crews out there?

Kenny: It’s not easy to pinpoint our sound and really say what the

difference is, but it’s all in the music when you hear it, it speaks

for itself. We’re three different producers that had three different

tastes in music coming up. We were each inspired by different stuff

growing up so when we come together it’s beautiful the way it works out

because we all work together so well. We just get into the studio and

crank some stuff out without any problems it works out so smooth.

Rook: Right, I think the difference between us and other production

crews is I think we’re kind of like a throwback to the old school

producers like Quincy Jones and Ashford and Simpson meaning they put

together big albums, big music and big hits you know what I mean? Plus

like Kenny said we’re influenced by different things. A lot of

producers just make beats but we wanna make sure that we produce the

record and make sure it’s the best it can be sonically, vocally, and

musically.

AllHipHop.com: Sounds good, what kind of advice would you guys give

to the younger producers trying to pursue a career in entertainment?

Colione: Well the advice I give to up and comers is try to get your

name out there. What you need to do is go ahead and give out your music

free at first. Get it on some people’s mixtapes, get your name known

and then after an artist uses it on a mixtape, people will be like,

“He’s dope I wanna get one of his tracks”. So then when it comes around

and somebody else wants to get a track you can charge them a little

bit, start off with five or whatever and you can say, “Yo I did this

track on this mixtape so give me a little something for this”, then

you’ll slowly start getting paid, you’ll slowly start getting your name

known, and moving into the industry.

Rook: Don’t be scared, don’t use the same f**k*n’ sounds every

f**k*n beat’, use some different sounds know what I’m sayin’? (Laughs)

Kenny: You gotta stay dedicated, you can’t make it a hobby. You

can’t do music on your spare time and expect it to go anywhere. You

can’t be working two jobs and then work on music three hours a week,

you gotta be dedicated to it.

Colione: Yeah, find a way to do music full time.

 

Check out J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League’s artist 2 Pistols featuring T-Pain “She Got It” [In our media / music section]

http://allhiphop.com/stories/multimedia__music/archive/2007/12/04/18961032.aspx  

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