They say luck is what happens when preparation meets with opportunity. When Atlantas latest production wunderkind met Southern Rap legend Eightball in the parking lot at Magic City, he was more than prepared. That chance meeting led Nitti to production credit on seven of the fifteen tracks on Balls 2001 release Almost Famous, including the hit single Stop Playin Games. A couple of years later, he did it again, producing a hit for fellow A-Towners Boyz N Da Hood, a feat rendered even more impressive by the fact that the Bad Boy artists were a group of unknowns. Freshly in the ears though, it was Yung Jocs Its Goin Down last year that certified Nittis gifts.
Still, certain Hip-Hop purists would say that Nittis success is shear luck, pointing to the simplicity of his tracks as evidence. Yet regardless of what the doubters have to say, he has parlayed his Playmaker Music imprint into a bona fide hit factory. And this self-taught beatsmith, who first discovered the power of music in the church , is certainly not to be underestimated. Now with a Warner Brothers Records co-sign, Nitti finds himself in pole position, ready to continue proving the haters wrong.
AllHipHop.com: So what lead you to ink the deal with Warner Brothers?
Nitti: Really, because they came to me with one of the best label deals that I was looking for. And they got like a whole new staff over there, a whole new system going on. So really I felt like its an opportunity I could capitalize on. Cause they dont have a lot of acts over there, they dont have a lot of movements thats going on over there.
AllHipHop.com: Our sources over there told us the deal is lifestyle changing. Can you give us some details?
Nitti: Put it like this: they giving me a lot of money to play with. Its a spectacular deal. Its a deal that could change your life. You know with me, I always been a hustler, so money dont make me, it dont change me. I been getting money. Now I dont have to just play with my money, I could play with other peoples money and make things happen. So Ima put out three to four acts a year, cause I get a lot of people that come to me and want me to do stuff for em.
AllHipHop.com: You come from more of a Gospel background, right?
AllHipHop.com: So how did you get started with Hip-Hop?
Nitti: I started producing up under a couple of producers. One of my homies, he was an Atlanta, he got me on a couple of remixes and stuff. The first record I ever did was a remix for Ghetto Mafia called In Decatur. So I did that, it got a local buzz. I went on and kept grinding. I met Eightball, ended up doing one of his singles, Stop Playin Games. I produced seven records on his album Almost Famous [which] went gold. I just kept on doing a lot of records for a lot of local Atlanta artists and stuff. And I just built my name as a producer in Atlanta, cause Atlantas always been a hard market to get. After the Stop Playin Games, I came with the Boyz N Da Hood single Dem Boyz that year. Then the next following year, I came with the Yung Joc Its Goin Down single. You know, I guess I proved to a lot of people that I could break new acts, and go in the studio with a new act that aint never had a record out and just first singles, they got a lot of love, which is hard to do for a lot of new artists. They dont get the chance to have an opportunity to have a hit record, cause theyre new artists and its hard. People always talk down on new artists. But luckily with some of the artists that I worked with lately, they been getting nice breaks and its meant a lot to me.
AllHipHop.com: Business-wise, is that something that you consciously did, or did it just happen that outside of Eightball, the artists you were working with were all new artists?
Nitti: I like working with new artists because for a producer to break a new artist, it means more than just working with a artist thats already established. Anybody can go in with Jay-Z or T.I. or Jeezy and make a record with them, because their names already established. But when you come and you present a artist and you produce em a mega hit that goes to number one A lot of producers they dream about that type of thing: to break an artist with your work. So definitely, its a challenge. Id rather work with a new artist than an established artist any day.
AllHipHop.com: Once you get that first hit, a lot of people will tell you they want a Stop Playin Games or they want a Its Goin Down. How do you deal with that?
Nitti: I tell the artists that when I go in and make those records, I make them specifically for the artist. I go with the artist and I vibe off of them at the time. Cause it aint like I do a lot of pre-made beats, I do em on the spot and it depend on what type of vibe I get from the artist. Its not like I have these little microwave beats, you know what Im sayin, and they just sitting up there ready. The song has to match the artist. If I got a girl group and theyre real pretty, they gotta have a pretty song. It gotta fit the character. It has to be a total package. Like, some artists might have a song that might be too big for them. And some artists that might be big artists, they need big songs. Thats what it is.
AllHipHop.com: A lot of people may not realize that youre an artist as well. Was that something that you always planned on doing?
Nitti: Nah. I mean, I dont really look at myself as an artist. I look at it more as Im having fun, Im an entertainer. I aint never wanna be no rapper or nothing like that, you know what Im sayin. Im not a rapper. But I know how to arrange words where you would think that Im a rapper. But Im not a rapper at all. I like to get on the mic and have fun. I like to say stuff to make people move. But thats just what it is. I like people to feel good when they hear my music. And when they hear me say something, I like for it to make them feel good and change they whole swag, you know what Im sayin. I like people to feel good about they self when they hear my music.
AllHipHop.com: Especially here in Atlanta: theres a lot of artists here that you never hear more than once. So how do you guarantee that youre gonna have a label full of artists with longevity? What do you look for in your artists?
Nitti: I look for artists that know what theyre doing, theyre not just luckin up making records. I look for artists that, when they walk in a room, they look at a star, and you look at them like, Is he a artist? Or is he a janitor? You know theyre a star when you see em. And when you hear the music, it makes it a plus.
AllHipHop.com: When can we expect your first project on Warner Brothers and what is that gonna be?
Nitti: First project Im probably gonna put out is gonna be Ghettoville, USA, thats gonna be my project. Ima have a couple of features on there, a lot of my new artists that I already got signed to me gonna be on the album. And I got a couple of outside surprise guests that Ima have on my album, I cant really disclose that right now. Ima take my time on it. Im in the studio right now working on it. And its just gonna be one of the hottest albums to hit this year.
AllHipHop.com: What other projects are you working on right now?
Nitti: Right now I just did this project on this artist named Sunny [Valentine]; hes signed to Jive. He just got a deal two months ago with Jive. We got a single called F U Pay Me. I got him right now. Im working on new David Banner material, Slim Thug, Bow Wow, a lot of new stuff I been working on. I mean, Im working with so many artists right now, Im seeing a different artist every day. Im just staying busy.
AllHipHop.com: As you start to step out from being behind the scenes, what do you think is gonna surprise people most about you?
Nitti: I mean, whatll surprise them is theyll see how versatile I am and Im a people person. I like being around everyday people. It aint nothing Hollywood about me, Ima keep it real with everybody. And I got a lot of surprises. Im real creative. I dont have no limits to what type of music I do. I might do R&B, Pop, Country, whatever. Reggae, it dont matter. I definitely see myself being one of the producers to be around for the next 20-30 years. I feel like Im up to bat right now. I got my shoes tied tight. And Im ready.