Midi Mafia: Outside the Box

Midi Mafia is living proof that when worlds collide, beautiful music is made. Bruce Wayne, a rapper from East New York and Dirty Swift, a DJ from Canada have paired up to make up one of the most talented and diverse productions teams the business has seen. The duo has worked with everyone from 50 Cent and G-Unit, to Jennifer Lopez and Fantasia. Despite their success, Swift and Bruce show no signs of letting up this year with the anticipated release of several artists of their own. AllHipHop.com sat down with the guys to discuss everything from burning up the charts with one of the hottest female anthems of the summer, to failed marriages. Midi Mafia is a crew to be reckoned with and they plan to show the world why they are here to stay. Peep This! AllHipHop.com: On paper you guys seem like an odd couple. One dude from East New York and the other one from Canada. Does that contrast bring diversity into your music? Swift: [Laughs] I think everything about us makes our music diverse. I mean I didn’t really want to partner up with anybody, but I met Bruce and we clicked so we started making music. The first beat we actually made together was "21 Questions." AllHipHop.com: Speaking of "21 Questions," how did you guys get that into 50 [Cent's] hands? Swift: Well at the time we were talking to this guy, Dino, who was an A&R at Universal[Records]. He was trying to get 50 signed. He told us about 50 and I knew he was the dude that did “How to Rob" (Power of the Dollar), so we got him some beats. AllHipHop.com :In your opinion is that your biggest hit to date?Bruce: I mean it was a number one record, so of course; but we got a lot of things poppin’. The song we did for Fantasia is a hit right now and it's not finished growing. It didn’t reach its full potential yet. The song is crazy. AllHipHop.com: Now, is it me or are you guys steering away from rap? Bruce: [Laughs] Nah man it’s just that R&B is coming very naturally right now. We don’t force the music. Whatever comes to us and sounds right, we’re with it. Right now we got our artist Deemi, and we got the song with Fantasia. It’s a lot of R&B and that’s what’s clickin’ for us right now. We try to come with full ideas for our artists. I write songs, so with R&B I get a little more freedom in that sense. I like to be involved with a track from beginning to end. AllHipHop.com: I’ve heard people say that if a producer isn’t involved from beginning to the end, that they aren’t really a producer. What are your views on that?Swift: If you hand the beat over to the artist and bounce, then I don’t really consider you a producer. I mean so much goes into a song there’s no way the process can end once you hand over the track. I mean, the final mix could get f****d up and then it’s over, so I like to be totally involved in every aspect of a track. AllHipHop.com: Who are the greats? Who influenced Midi Mafia? Bruce: I mean [Dr.]Dre of course. I also respect [Sean "Diddy" Combs], Jermaine Dupri, Kanye [West], Timbaland, and The Neptunes. These dudes stand out because they aren’t just programming the track and that’s it. It’s a whole package. It’s developing the artist. It’s the mixing. It’s everything. I was actually watching YouTube and I saw the thing with Kanye and Swizz Beats trading beats, and I realized how crazy Swizz is. You heard all these songs that he has crafted from Jay-Z to The Lox, and DMX. He’s crazy. But that dude is Dr. Dre. I mean, Dr. Dre isn’t even rich, he’s wealthy, and that's only off of music. Like, I want to get to the point where he’s at. He’s good just off of music and he doesn’t have to chase artists down. He just does his own thing. AllHipHop.com: Who would you guys like to work with that you haven’t already?Bruce: Definitely Snoop [Dogg] and Jay-Z. There’s a bunch of people. Swift: But really it’s like we’re always looking for that next dude. I mean, we want to help an artist become somebody. It’s all about finding that new talent, real talent. When you look at it, we’re part of making 50 Cent who he is, and 50 Cent is a part of making Midi Mafia who they are. It’s about creating from the ground up. AllHipHop.com: So what’s poppin’ with Deemi? She’s your newest artist right? Bruce: Yeah she’s amazing. Her album is called Soundtrack of My Life, and should be out late summer. We signed Shire` too through [Street Records Corporation/Universal Motown]. She’s an R&B soul female and those vocals are just crazy. AllHipHop.com: Every time I hear about Midi Mafia, a bunch of label names pop up. What exactly is your label situation? Bruce: Well our label is Family Ties at Atlantic [Records]. We also got a situation at SRC. We’re not exclusively signed to anybody. We really want to find the perfect home. It’s like cats get all excited about one place, and then when they get there its not what they expected so they become disgruntled. Swift: When we had a situation with Elektra, they merged with Atlantic and it was a whole new staff we had to get used to. But really, it's just Family Ties. AllHipHop.com: How do you guys feel about all the technology involved in production now? Swift: I love it, and I always embraced it. It’s just a whole different way to get your music out. Between the ring tones and the Apple store. It’s all real exciting. Plus I use ProTools constantly. I don’t gotta use the big boards to mix anymore. I use Protools, and it’s great because I can do five things at once. Bruce: I love it. ALLHIPHOP.COM: Bruce, you used to be an artist. You had some success. Are we ever going to hear anything from you again? Bruce: I ain't stopping man. See we try to move real organic. We just try to make any music that feels good to us. If it feels good then we're with it. It’s like I'm tired of the tugging and pulling towards one type of music. That’s why our catalog is so diverse. We got songs with J-Lo and songs with 50 Cent. AllHipHop.com: What does Midi Mafia look for in an artist? Swift: We look for star power. We want career artists, an artist who is going to put out 5 albums. It’s just that X Factor man, whether it is a rapper or an R&B artist. AllHipHop.com: So guys tell us where your fans can catch up with you. Bruce: Everybody can visit Myspace.com/MidiMafia. We want to let our fans know that Deemi's single “On The Radio” is coming soon and Shire`’s “Miss My Love”. Precious Paris, our female rap artist, is working with LL Cool J. We got some stuff poppin' with 50. We been workin’ with a cat from the West Coast, G. Malone. We been in the studio with some big dogs man, and I hate that we cant say who it is but everybody will see soon enough. I also want to say that we love being involved with LOUD.com. We want everybody to go on there, download our beats, upload it back, and try to win a contract and all that. We want to thank AllHipHop.com and I’m letting everybody know that my marriage is about done and I’m about to close up the lawsuit too. [Laughs]