ALLHIPHOP: So what’s your current situation with MCA, is it a label deal, production deal, artist deal?
HI-TEK: It’s an artist deal, Hi-Tek as an artist. I just do whatever kinda album I wanna do. That’s what MCA is really about.
ALLHIPHOP: So are you gonna have the option of introducing new artists, bringing new artists out?
HI-TEK: Yeah, fo’ sho. With this whole album, that’s usually how I do it, like the first Hi-Teknology I got a deal for Jonell off of just one song. You just gotta do somethin’ different, that’s all it takes, it don’t really take a whole demo. It takes the right producer and the right person to bring it in right. It takes a verse to get a record deal. For all the people tryin’ to make demos and get all these big packages and stuff together, I ain’t sayin’ stop doin’ that, but it really don’t even take that much to get on.
ALLHIPHOP: Well you’re already scouting for new talent through your talent search taking place here in the ‘Nati on April 12th. Can you give us some details on the event?
HI-TEK: It’s taking place April 12th at the Cincinnati Convention Center. And basically, I miss talent shows man. Back in the day there used to be a spot called The Regal, and every Friday there used to be a show. We used to breakdance and sh*t. It used to be just like The Apollo. And I just wanted to see what Cincinnati really got. Because I get tired of people comin’ up to me givin’ me demos, wack demos, but can you perform, can you do a song? That’s what it’s about, when you get in the studio with Hi-Tek I’ma put you to work, and then you gonna be runnin’ away from me, like ‘I thought it was easier than this.’ So that was really my purpose, make some money, have fun, and see what’s really goin’ on with this region.
ALLHIPHOP: So do you plan to make this a regular event?
HI-TEK: Yeah, I’ma do it quarterly.
ALLHIPHOP: Just in the ‘Nati or throughout the Midwest?
HI-TEK: I might spread it out. I might do one in Louisville or Chicago, or somewhere like that.
ALLHIPHOP: I know you rescheduled the show, which was originally supposed to take place on March 1st, due to the shootings of two kids that week. I mean obviously I understand the motivation behind that, but…
HI-TEK: That was part of the reason. I’m starting my own foundation, like a Stop the Violence foundation. There’s just been a lot of nonsense goin’ on in the ‘Nati. Ain’t nobody makin’ no money, ain’t no rappers, ain’t no R&B. Truthfully, when I had those auditions for the talent search, it was mostly the out-of-towners that were better than my hometown people, and that kinda hurt me. It just let me know, my hometown we gotta step it up. Help Hi-Tek out, stop reachin’, lookin’ for Hi-Tek to help you out. But it’s all love. Louisville, Columbus, Indianapolis, they came through organized, and they sh*t was dope, they had they sh*t together. I liked a lot of the R&B acts from Cincinnati.
ALLHIPHOP: What about Jonell’s album for Def Soul? I still can’t believe a ‘Nati dude had a #1 single, with that “Round and Round” joint.
HI-TEK: Just tryin’ to hit ‘em with somethin’ different. I love music, and I think God just works in mysterious ways. Like, she came out of nowhere, I knew her from awhile back, but I seen her in a club, and she was like, ‘I got some new stuff.’ And I just so-happened to have a beat to go exactly with the same verse she sung to me. So it was a work of art.
ALLHIPHOP: And you said that was an adjustment, tryin’ to switch over to R&B from hip-hop?
HI-TEK: Yeah, I learned a lot, just workin’ with different R&B writers, people who play real music. ‘Cause I don’t really play, I just play by ear, so I pick at it ‘till I come up with somethin’. I enjoy workin’ with people who can really play, and be funky with it at the same time. And then, I ain’t know nothin’ about b sections. I know about a chorus and a bridge, but you know you got b sections, you got the vamp, and the end of the song. I just learned a lot about that, expanding my musical capabilities.
ALLHIPHOP: Are there any other artists that you’ve laid down tracks for that we should keep an ear out for?
HI-TEK: I just did some stuff for Jon B. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Jon B.
ALLHIPHOP: Word. He’s still around?
HI-TEK: Yeah, he’s still around, he’s comin’ back. I worked with this cat, Joe Beast, he’s on Aftermath, he got his album, I’m doin’ some stuff for him.
ALLHIPHOP: So you lookin’ to become that Dre co-producer? He always gets one dude, that’s like second in command.
HI-TEK: Oh yeah, fo’ sho.
ALLHIPHOP: And finally, this is just some ‘Nati sh*t, but can you holla at ya boy Griffey Jr., and tell him to get off his a** so we can win a pennant?
HI-TEK: Yeah man, you gotta be a team player. I don’t care how much money you got, you just gotta be a team player.