may seem like the typical rap-braggadocio steez for a production duo
to claim theyre the next ones to etch their signature in the A-list
production totem pole. However with Sha Money XL backing their beats
and 50 Cent dropping their name, Tha Bizness is in a position where
such optimism seems warranted.
two years ago, cousins Dow Jones and J Hen were climbing their way through
industry ranks separately, to moderate success and only regional recognition.
But when both of their individual strengths are brought together in
the ever-expanding enterprise that is Tha Bizness, it seems nothing
is out of reach. In the midst of creating opportunities and lining up
a deal for their own promising artist Mistah F.A.B., Tha Bizness are continuing
to span their client list and span as many genres as possible. As they
told AllHipHop.com, theyre happy to have guidance from some of the
best in the game, and theyre ready to work harder than ever this
year. Get at them.
AllHipHop.com: You guys decided
to get together after you both had bad experiences working on your own.
What kind of situations were you facing?
J Hen: I think for me it was
when I first came out to LA back in 2002. I was working on a couple
of movie projects, Two Can Play That Game and Hairshow, and I think
it was dealing with certain people that just didnt have the right
grind that I was looking for and the right juice that was needed for
me to get to the next level. I think it was the same for Dow also. He
was trying to get in with different people and make sure his career
was taking off, and we just started talking more about doing things
together. We both had the same hustle, and when we put it together it
just started to work because we were both in the same situation with
the same mind state, going toward the same goal. So that just took it
to a whole other level.
Dow Jones: The way we look
at it now is like the old saying, Everything happens for a reason.
It was funny because we had gotten up and talked a few times, but we
never actually took it to that next level of actually solidifying it
and moving together. But it was through a couple situations that we
reached back together. And shit, ever since then everything has been
AllHipHop.com: How did the
deal with Sha Money XLs Teamwork Music Inc. come to fruition?
J Hen: I had worked on the
Lloyd Banks album and did Take A Good Look, and we always kept
in contact with Sha. Maybe two years later G-Unit started started hitting
us on MySpace to see what we had going on and seeing if we had any tracks
for Hot Rod and Lloyd again. We had already started to establish Tha
Bizness together, and we sent them some tracks. They were like Whoa,
what are you guys doing? Whos managing you? At that time we were
just going strong by ourselves with no management, and [Sha] was like
Man, Ive got to get you guys down on my team, I think I can get
you guys in there with 50, I think I can get you in with G-Unit, and
you guys have such a universal sound I dont think Ill have any
problem getting your stuff to a lot of big artists. We started working
with Sha more and more, and we worked a deal out, and hes just been
going hard for us.
AllHipHop.com: What kind of
guidance did you guys get from his as far as taking your reputation
to the next level?
Dow Jones: With him being in
the situation hes in, being right there with 50 through the whole
thing, hes got to see every aspect of the game. After he was working
with Trackmasters and that didnt really work out, 50 and Sha started
from nothing and turned it into what it is today. Just from him being
around that and the experiences theyve had being one of the biggest
teams to ever be in the music game, it was a lot of overall knowledge
that way. Like with our Follow My Lead record, he told us it was
50s favorite record and Jimmy Iovine loves it, and just the types
of things that are going to happen after we finally get out there and
get that stamp of approval from one of the games biggest artists.
Like OK, these producers are valid. They dont just got one hit,
they got a whole bunch of shit.
AllHipHop.com: You guys have
both worked with a variety of artists on the West. Dow how did your
involvement in the mixtape scene out there contribute to the production
Dow Jones: We just always look
at it like everything as a stepping stone. When I was going really hard
with the mixtapes, mixtapes were still relevant. So we just use the
mixtapes and the relationships with the mixtapes to one get better
relationships with these artists, and two also get some of the
artists more familiar with the beats. Basically we have a way to put
our own albums out through the mixtapes. Through that we were able to
get with artists like Glasses Malone and our own artist Mistah F.A.B.
It lets us reach different artists and we dont have to go through
the labels and deal with the A&Rs or anything like that. We can
just get to them like Heres some shit for the mixtape, and
well send them the joints for the mixtape, only to hear back from
them Man, I dont even want to use this for the mixtape, I want
this for the album. So it kind of helps cut some corners in the game
without having a major name out there yet. Its able to speed up the
process for a little bit.
J Hen: It also helped because
Dow was getting direct contact with the artist, and sometimes its
easier to bypass the A&R. People are understanding his tapes are
valid out there on the West, and artists are like Let me give you
my number, or my managers number. So now we have a direct connect
not only for the mixtapes but for tracks. When artists started to hear
about the tracks, weve already got a relationship from the tapes.
So we took that same hustle as far as, not always bypassing the A&R,
but having that direct contact and relationship with the artist.
AllHipHop.com: You two are
the ones responsible for breaking Mistah F.A.B. on a national level. Are
you happy with the buzz hes generated thus far, battling Royce and
Dow Jones: Yeah, one thing
F.A.B. is hes an incredible person. Hes rare, because he can do so
much. He came up more as a backpack artist with Sway and Tech and the
Wakeup Show, and then through Mac Dre embracing him and bringing him
into the more into the more hyphy side of the Bay area music along with
Keak Da Sneak. So its almost like F.A.B. has two or three different
careers all in one. And then the spotlight from the battle with Royce
showed the country that he can really rap. Its not just hes a
gimmick guy that can make a pop tart song and all that, he can really
rap. He takes pride in this whole hustle, and on top of that F.A.B. is
a big character. He steps in the room and lights it up, not matter whats
going on, hes got that energy and its always a good vibe. People
gravitate to him, so its good that we can help him do his thing,
and just by him being him people realize he has that it that people
always ask about. He easily has that, and its helped gravitate the
movement and us being able to do it on our own, and get it to a point
where Atlantic was able to come by, recognize what we were doing, understand
the movement, let us control it and give us what we need to take him
to the next level. So its been a real good look.
J Hen: So now with Atlantic,
were just trying to make sure we can blend the two. The fact that
he does have incredible talent for being a lyricist, but also being
an extraordinary, extravagant hyphy artist. Were trying to find the
right balance so we can get the perfect records for him to give him
the biggest audience. That is definitely what weve been focusing
on now, making sure that they do take him to be a great lyricist but
also make commercial records.
AllHipHop.com: Its good
to hear that youre getting that support with a new artist. Is that
more exciting for you, trying to break new artists as opposed to just
working with or getting placements with established ones?
Dow Jones: Definitely. It kind
of goes hand-in-hand because with 50, it was great to work with him
for Follow My Lead and also the theme song that we did ABC and
ESPN for College Football this year with 50, Kelly Rowland and Perry
Ferrel. Just from 50, the professionalism, and him just going in and
knocking it out not needing too much guidance, but maybe listening to
a few ideas we have. Then on the other end of the spectrum you have
a F.A.B. or Glasses Malone, where theyre a younger artist in the game
but they still have a knowledge of what needs to be done. They understand
more of us interacting together, and trusting us to be able to give
them what theyre looking for and what they need. So youre getting
the best of world worlds, and its two different experiences. You
J Hen: Exactly. Its kind
of like were teachers and students at the same time. Its great
to be a student working with bigger artists and working underneath some
of the bigger producers weve got guidance from. Like Will.I.am has
been kind of a guidance counselor for us, and also working with DJ Toomp.
But then as a teacher, being able to guide a new artist youre able
to use the lessons learned and things weve gone through in our careers
and the industry in general. It really comes full circle, so we take
everything seriously and we always look at everything were doing
in that light.
AllHipHop.com: You guys are
originally from Seattle, but now work out of Atlanta and LA. Have those
transitions affected the music youre making, or given you a better
appreciation for whats out there?
Dow Jones: You can only learn
so much staying in one place, so for me its always been about moving
around and getting in movements. Like when everything was going on in
the Bay, wed constantly be up there working with E-40 and Mister
F.A.B., Turf Talk and all the other Bay artists, getting to see the whole
movement with our own eyes and getting to see how the music is different.
I think thats whats helped mold the sound so well is that from
being all over, you get to take a little bit from each place youre
at and bring it in to what youre doing. And also with that knowledge
of just being out there and seeing different things, you get to see
how business is handled differently in different places. So its really
about seeing some of the different movements while theyre happening,
and understand why theyre happening, and why certain songs are successful
in certain regions. Its helped us to be able to add different elements
that we like from wherever, and almost merge that into a new form of
music. Its adapting everything thats current using our foundation
of a good, melodic sound, and making it relevant to whats going on