Photo: Henry Francois @_.henrock
Cartune Beatz, a Billboard charting producer originally from Harlem, started his career in the early 2000’s. Although basketball was his initial passion, Cartune found his other passion, Hip-Hop. Bouncing around a bit, down to Florida and other places, he began to focus.
During his college years in Pennsylvania, Cartune made the active decision to pursue music production while still nurturing his love for music. He started sharing his beats online and reaching out to artists on social media. Within a year of taking his production seriously, he started making strides with artists like Driicky Graham, Drumma Boy, King Los, DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia, Spectacular of Pretty Ricky, and Twista, among others. Despite a few brief breaks from producing, Cartune made a triumphant return to the music scene with his contributions to Lloyd Banks’ Billboard-charting comeback album, The Course of The Inevitable.
Now, back in New York – specifically Long Island – he is on a tear. He continued his success by producing on RJ Payne’s “Leather Face 3,” featuring the likes of Redman and Inspectah Deck. Cartune is currently making a serious name for himself and making waves in the music production scene crafting for Dave East, King Los, Che Noir, Jae Skeese, Freeway, Ransom, Mickey Factz, Reo Cragun, Driicky and many more.
Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur talks to the newly-minted legend.
AllHipHop: How have you managed to cut through and get to this point?
Cartune Beatz: Really through a lot of work, patience, trial and error, and most importantly social media. I came into the industry on my own with no help, co-signs or direction. I started a Twitter account after creating a producer name and IG shortly after. Every connection I’ve made musically, social media helped assist me. I’ve also been blessed with enough talent to create in any genre of music. Over the past three years I locked in on more boombap and traditional sounding Hip-Hop.
AllHipHop: Much of your work is not listed on your official discography?
Cartune: Yes, alot of my early work was during the time of DatPiff mixtapes, through features etc. I’ve been making beats for a while so I’ve worked through the transition from CDs, to early website streaming platforms, to what is now the streaming era so a lot of my full discography of production is scattered but almost every song I’ve ever produced is on YouTube.
AllHipHop: How did you come to work so closely with Lloyd Banks and RJ Payne?
Cartune: As I mentioned before none of it would’ve been possible without social media. I came across RJ Payne as I started to delve into the underground and traditional boombap style a few years back. I found RJ on twitter and reached out and he gave me an email to send beats. It took a little work and consistency to get our first record done which was “Blood Everywhere” ft. Redman. I’m usually very consistent when sending so even after that I kept sending and ended up with another record on his LeatherFace project and the rest was history. I started flooding him with beats and we got on a crazy roll and it’s still going so shout out to RJ.
Lloyd Banks was similar but a little different. I found one of Lloyd Banks engineers on Instagram and reached out to send some beats. I landed one placement which was “Sidewalks” on COTI1. I tweeted out in excitement that I’d just landed a placement with one of my favorite rappers growing up and he retweeted it then followed me. I DMd him and said I got plenty more. The rest was history there too. I landed two more placements on COTI 1 and never looked back. I started flooding Banks with beats like I still do now and in 2023 we are 18 songs released and have put out an incredible trilogy with the Course of The Inevitable. That’s not to mention how many records we have done that aren’t out yet. So look forward to more on the way.
AllHipHop: Congrats on that! What is your approach to music in 2023 and has it changed since you started?
Cartune: My approach honestly hasn’t changed much. I’ve always been a hard worker, humble, and compete against myself. I’m always willing to do the work and reach out to other artists myself. I know I have the talent, but where separation is created is how hard you work and meet that talent.
AllHipHop: What do you think of A.I. and the creation of music into the future?
Cartune: Man as cool as AI is, it’s very scary for music. Music has already transistioned into more of an assembly line of who’s hot at the moment, put out music, done, next etc… Longeveity in music has changed and so has the value people have for music as well as production and some of the process. A.I. is a way for a lot more short cuts which I think ultimately will harm what makes music so special, which is the human side of it.
AllHipHop: Who are the producers you grew up looking up to?
Cartune: Crazily enough I grew up listening to every producer in Hip-Hop. While I was younger I didn’t even fully grasp what a producer was and their role until I got a little older and into my teens. My biggest influences were producers like Lex Luger, Southside, and plenty of others. Those two specifically gave incite into producing with FL studio ( a program I’d had since I was about 13) and really showed how far you could make it with that program. I’m sure many other producers before them used it but those two were making a huge splash in Hip-Hop at the time I decided I wanted to produce and make music too.
AllHipHop: What is next for you and who would you like to work out with?
Cartune: For me a lot more music is next. You will be hearing from me a lot more of the same production most have gotten to know me by which is boombap, but you will also hear me revert back to some of my starting roots of trap beats and all kinds of different sub genres in Hip-Hop and music in general. What I look forward to most is showing fans how diverse and equally skilled in the others genres I am with production. I definitely want to work with a long list of artists but currently at the moment I want to work with Nas, Drake, Kendrick, 50 Cent -whenever he’s back to music – J Cole, Durk and more. It’s a pretty long list but I plan on checking all of those names off before I’m done.
AllHipHop: Final words?
Cartune: I just want to remind people to keep chasing your dreams. You only fail when you quit. Music has been up and down for me but in the instances they were, I devoted time to understand why and how I was contributing to that. Most importantly take time to educate yourself on the things you want to accomplish. There is usually so much more to see other than what shows on the surface and under is where you find the information that may help lead you to where you want to be.
Full Production Credits: Lloyd Banks, Conway The Machine, Benny The Butcher, Redman, Method Man, Marzz, Freddie Gibbs, Bun B, Ice T, Dave East, King Los,RJ Payne, Che Noir, Jae Skeese, Freeway, Ransom, Mickey Factz, Reo Cragun, Driicky, KAAN, BrodieFresh,36Mafia (DJPaul), Inspectah Deck, DrummaBoy, BrysonTiller, Crooked I, Cormega, Chinx, Spectacular, FredDaGodson, Roscoe Dash, Twista, and more.