The movement created by the New York rap collective The Diplomats appears to be gaining more strength each year, and as the Dipset drops more albums and gains bigger exposure, their projects seem to include an increased number of unknown producers looking for shine.
Its from the Dips penchant for soliciting the work of new producers, that 23-year-old I.N.F.O. [an acronym for Ill Never Fall Off] is making his way into the game.
John Christopher has been crafting beats from his home in the North Side of Pittsburgh since he was 18, but his stock soared in December when Camron freestyled over one of his beats and then turned it into the Jay-Z bashing Gotta Love It. Since then, I.N.F.O., who also produced Cams Get Em Daddy (Remix), has worked with other Diplomats and artists such as promised work from Trey Songz and the Clipse.
The upstart beatmaker spoke with AllHipHop.com about the evolution of Gotta Love It, where he thinks a producer stands in the midst of a MC feud and his plans for future. The young beatmaker says he would like to work with Jay-Z, we asked him if he think Jay would work with him. Read it, daddy.
AllHipHop.com: Right now youre part of one of the biggest stories in Hip-Hop. Tell me how you got involved with Camron for Gotta Love It?
I.N.F.O: I started working with my manager, Spliff probably around last April. Ive been giving him tracks non-stop, everyday. So, he just does what he tries to do. So, with the Camron joint, one day Spliff hit me up with the sample. Within two hours, I had the beat done. In two hours, he had the beat to Camron. The next day, Camron recorded a song on Hot 97 on the same beat. So, we thought hes gonna go ahead and make this track for his album. Hes just going to take the same track and rerecord it. So, a couple of weeks later I sent him the Pro Tools session, and then the next day out came Gotta Love It.
AllHipHop.com: So you didnt have any discussion with Camron at all?
I.N.F.O: Nah, I never spoke to Cam ever. I dont know him at all.
AllHipHop.com: Did you have any idea that this was going to be used for a Jay-Z diss?
I.N.F.O: Nah, no. Not at all. I thought it was going to be a regular song. See, cause he recorded the one song (the radio freestyle). You know what I mean? So, I figured he was just going to lace the same song, but record it in studio quality. And then just boom, out it came. Unexpected.
AllHipHop.com: Did you regret doing it now that he ended up using the song for that?
I.N.F.O: No, not really. I mean if you look at like Ron Browz who did the Ether [for Nas] joint that came out years ago. He looks like hes sittin pretty nice right now. You know what I mean? Hopefully, Ill be doin the same in a few years.
AllHipHop.com: Whats your favorite line from the song?
I.N.F.O: I really dont have any in particular. I think the song is pretty good though.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel loyalty to the Dipset? Would you consider making a beat for a rival MC?
I.N.F.O: I mean business is business. Cams beef with anybody doesnt involve me. Anyones beef doesnt involve me. I am a producer.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think that you may be blackballed from working on Def Jam projects since you were a part of this Jay-Z diss song?
I.N.F.O: [Laughs] Nah, I really dont think any of that concerns me. Like I said earlier, Ron Browz did the Ether joint how many years ago? I am sayin through the change over time, I dont think I should have no problems with that in my career.
AllHipHop.com: Camrons style has evolved over the years. How do you think hes coming on Killa Season?
I.N.F.O: Its gonna be great. I always respected Cam as an artist from day one, maybe even before I started producing. Buying Camrons first CD, Ive been a big fan of him since back then. I followed his career through it all. He just seems to get better and better as time goes on. So, its definitely going to be a hot album.
AllHipHop.com: Are you producing other stuff for the Dipset?
I.N.F.O: Yeah, I done other stuff with the Dips. I got two joints on JR Writers CD History in the Making. Thats slated for June. Thats going to be his official first album. Then I got a joint on Hell Rells CD that I produced with my man Nova [I.N.F.O.s occasional producing partner from Washington state]. Then I got a joint with Shiest Bub thats unreleased right now too. Most of it is unreleased. It takes so long to get the stuff out.
AllHipHop.com: Have you had any direct contact with these guys, or is this all through sending these beats through e-mail?
I.N.F.O: Yeah, its pretty much all through my manager.
AllHipHop.com: Are you sorry that you cant be in the studio and be part of the song making process a little more with these guys?
I.N.F.O: Yeah, I would like to be in the studio. Its kind of hard though. I just had a kid. I am down here in Pittsburgh. Id love to be up in the studio. I guess its a little hard you know, getting up there.
AllHipHop.com: You really had a busy few months.
I.N.F.O: Yeah. Pretty much, Ive established like all of my big credits probably since Novemberish, December.
AllHipHop.com: So whats it feel like? Youve been making beats since 18. You got to think that youre really starting to make it and be a part of the industry.
I.N.F.O: Yeah, really. It was good man. Not even like just the braggin rites of it, but just like Ill eventually, hopefully be able to get some plaques on my wall which is pretty much - you cant get anything more accomplished than that as a producer.
AllHipHop.com: What other people can we expect to hear rapping over I.N.F.O. beats?
I.N.F.O: [Laughs] I wish I knew. You know what I mean? I would love to work with some of the other big dogs. Fat Joe, Jadakiss, anybody. G-Unit, Jigga, the whole Roc, anybody. Anybody that can put out hot music.
AllHipHop.com: With the likes of Sam Sneed and Mel-Man hailing from Pittsburgh, it seems like the city has made more of an impact in Hip-Hop with producing instead of MC'ing. Did you take anything from them guys and have that influence your beatmaking?
I.N.F.O: Not really. I kind of -- my style is a little bit different. I mean, I respect Mel-Man a lot as a producer. That dudes really hot. Hes worked with Dre all them years. I really respect what he does. I look up to that. But I dont think his style or anything rubbed off on me.
AllHipHop.com: You said you have a style all your own, but what other producers do you like?
I.N.F.O: Producers Im feelin'? Id say probably my favorites are Just Blaze, Alchemist, Kanye, Timbaland. I could probably go on for a couple hours if you wanted.
AllHipHop.com: Pittsburgh isnt really a hotbed for Hip-Hop yet. Do you think that you can help spark something?
I.N.F.O: Yeah, I would like to. S**t. [Laughs] I got a couple boys that rap. Theyre tryin to do their thing. Theyre recording a couple songs. I would like to someday be able to help them out 'cause theyre really talented dudes. You can find more information about me at www.spliffingtonmanagement.com.