do we go about defining the hottest producer in the game? How about
tracks on the two most talked about albums of the year? What if they
had that, plus a track on the most anticipated Hip-Hop album of all
time? And in addition to all that, your favorite producer named them
as one of their favorites as well.I
guess youd have no choice to believe it then, right? Well look no
further, that man is on the set. Nottz Raw, the man from Virginia is packing
more heat than a dozen ovens. He secured placements on both Kanye West's Graduation and
50 Cent's Curtis, even though his track with the former was taken off
after an early summer leak. Hes had a spot on Dr. Dres Detox
for what seems like an eternity, and the good Doctor has
been quick to praise the beatsmith for his work on the boards.
heard his work yet? Dont worry, you will. Youve more than likely
heard some already, and didn't even know it. But its all good, Nottz
doesnt hold a grudge, unless youre Canibus, or a cookie-cutter
producer getting famous with no skills. So without further ado, get
to know a man who has been doing it for a minute, and doing it well
AllHipHop.com: Yo Nottz, whats
good with you man?
Nottz: Working man, working
every day, trying to stay afloat.
AllHipHop.com: Weve gotta
get to the order of the day off the bat. How did Kanye go about reaching
out to you for the "Barry Bonds" beat? Or did you get at him for that?
Nottz: I guess Kanye was looking
for a bunch of beats without vocal samples in it, and that came about.
Of course, Red Café had it, and he didnt jump on it. Kanye took
it, and was like Yo man, I need that.
AllHipHop.com: It must feel
pretty good, because Kanye produced most of the songs on the album himself or with a co-producers.
Nottz: Yeah man, hell yeah.
I might be doing a mixtape man, talking about Your producers favorite producer or some s**t like that. I dont know, Im thinking about
it, but I dont know.
AllHipHop.com: So did you even
go into the studio at all, or did you just shop him that beat and that
Nottz: Shopped him the beat
man. It was really more like a back and forth thing. First, we had a
sample in it, and then they wanted us to redo the sample. So I got one
of my homeboys to come through with a bass guitar and he replayed the
part and put the keyboards on it.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think Graduation is stronger than Curtis, from an outsiders perspective? Theres a lot of hype about that going on right now
Nottz: I mean you gotta look
at it, both of them are two different kinds of artists, they [are] different.
50s more some hard stuff, and Kanyes not like that. Its a beat
thing. 50 got harder beats
AllHipHop.com: whereas Kanyes
more chilled out?
Nottz: Right. So its no
comparison. Its no comparison. Theyre not the same.
AllHipHop.com: Youre the
type of producer that does both types of beats. Did 50 ever holler at you
Nottz: Yeah, I mean we had
one on the album hes about to put out (Curtis), but I guess that got leaked
and they redid the whole album. And it is what it is, Curtis.
AllHipHop.com: So you were
supposed to be up on it?
AllHipHop.com: Well going
back a bit, Lyricist Lounge was the first major album you got
a placement on. How did that feel?
Nottz: It felt good man, it
felt real good. When the money starts rolling, its even better you
know? It felt good to get that first placement, and now you're in the door,
nothing else can stop you. But now theyve got a lot of new stuff
thats out right now, thats making it harder for dudes like me,
Diamond D, and Pete Rock, all the underground dudes. Its making it
harder because all this bubble-gum stuff is really, really poppin' right
now. Its much harder now to do what you do.
AllHipHop.com: But looking
at your discography, it seems like you must pick your projects carefully,
or at least have some sort of prerequisites for artists that youll
work with, right?
Nottz: With me man, either
we look for it, or it comes to us. Thats how it is, we dont sit
on our a***s and wait for it. We got to get it, its not really like
who we work with, it aint on like that. We get it how we get it,
we just do it. We grind, we grinders man. A lot of people get comfortable
with it, they got a record out and they get comfortable, and nothing
else pops. But we gotta keep grindin', we got kids to feed.
AllHipHop.com: On that grinding
theme, the second album that you got on was
Busta Rhymes' Extinction Level Event. How did your beat tape end
up in his hands?
Nottz: We was at the studio
doing Holy Water for Lyricist Lounge, that was with Lord
Have Mercy and [D.V. Alias] Khrist, and Busta supposed to been on that
song. And I guess they didnt want him on it or whatever, so he was
like, Look, why dont you come on my shit? So I played some shit
for him, and the first three songs that was on that tape ended up being
the first three songs on his album.
AllHipHop.com: Thats crazy.
Nottz: It was real crazy, 'cause
they was like in the same order. He was feeling the way the beats was
on that tape and they flowed right together. So the first three on that
tape was the first three on that album, and it was crazy!
AllHipHop.com: You must have
been real deliberate about how you made your beat tapes back then, in
terms of putting it in the right order and putting a lot of thought
Nottz: Its a formula to
it, you go from what you feel. Like I go through my beat list, and I
know my beats, so lets say were at 150. And I be like Oh, I
have another beat in mind, and that s**t will be like 72. Thats
how I do it, I know what it is, versus somebody who just comes in and
listens to beats. They dont know where to start at, theres so
AllHipHop.com: Can you elaborate on the situation a few years back with
Canibus, regarding that Hip Hop For $ale album? The story goes
that he did you dirty and released the tracks early on a mixtape.
Nottz: Well really, the s**t
that was on the album was like a bunch of old beats. We was still working,
and the shit that I did for him he leaked out. He kept blaming it on
his manager, and his manager blamed it on him, you know what I mean?
It was a bunch of bulls**t! Like we was still working, we aint even
get down to the real good s**t yet. Its like, he did that s**t, and
all that s**t was just cut off. We deaded that little relationship with
that dude. It coulda been better music than what it was, on no battle
rap s**t, none of that. Like making real music, real hooks, all that.
But naw, they f****d it all up putting that bulls**t out.
AllHipHop.com: And look what
Nottz. Yeah. I think he would
have been bigger than what he is, 'cause we had him on a whole different
s**t. He wasnt on that battle s**t, he was making records that had
meaning to them. So you know, it is what it is man.
AllHipHop.com: Whatever happened
to the album you and Royce Da 59 were supposed to do together?
Nottz: Oh we still gonna do
it man, its just we had things to do, had to handle a bunch of s**t
first. Hes handling his, Im handling mine. We still [are going to] do it,
its in the works. Thats my dog man, we knock s**t down. Even if
we not together in the lab, I send him s**t, he send s**t back. Ill
tell him what I think about it, hell change it up, and its perfect.
AllHipHop.com: I doubt many
people have heard the track, but you got on a track with J Dilla and
Diamond D call "Coke On Plastic." How did that heavyweight collaboration
Nottz: You know what? It was
me and Dilla at first, and it was supposed to be me, Dilla and Pete
Rock. The same day that I did the s**t, Diamond D had came down from
North Carolina or something, so he came down and I was like Hop on
it man. So we added Diamond on it, and Pete Rock didnt put
his verse down, so we kept it like that. So thats how that came about.
Ive changed it so much, Ive changed it around and added s**t to
it. Im writing a whole new verse to it. I might take Diamond off
and put a couple other dudes on it, I might change the beat up. Its
gonna be crazy when we do it again though.
AllHipHop.com: So is rhyming
something youve always been about, or did that develop as you got
involved in the industry?
Nottz: No, I was rappin' first.
But then I saw nobody want to give me beats, and whatever whatever,
so I did my own s**t. All my brothers did beats, and when they got out
of it, I stayed in it.
AllHipHop.com: Having tracks
on a lot of peoples albums, whether its Little Brother, or Kanyes
new one, or working with Swizz Beats for his new album, whats it
like to have the most talented producers making room for a Nottz production?
Nottz: Its overwhelming
man. But on the second hand its like Damn, n****s is recognizing
it now? Like damn, Im 30. As long as Ive been doing it, you
recognizing it now? I mean its cool, its real cool man, I love
it man. But you know, Ive got my negative side about it. Like n****s
s*****d on me before, but now n****s want to f**k with me. Not saying
Swizz did it, or Kanye, but its like a lot of cats f****n with me
now, its crazy. But its cool, keep f****n with me! But people know
who they are, they didnt want to f**k wit me before, and now they
f**k wit me.
AllHipHop.com: Yeah? You turned
anybody down lately?
Nottz: Naw, I dont do that
man. It aint never been me to be turnin' people down, I work with anybody.
It aint even about the paper man, I just love to work. Like whoever
respect the game like me, I respect it back
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of
respect, can you walk me through your mindstate when Dr. Dre not only
told you that he admired your work, but that he wanted you to be a part
of his Detox album?
Nottz: Oh yeah, that kind of
f****d me up though. (Laughs) That really turned me like like Damn,
I must really got something. For the Doctor to say something like
that, I dont know. Its cool though man, its like me, Hi-Tek,
[and] Denaun (Porter). Im cool though, I like the Doctor man, the Doctors cool.
(Laughs) Hell yeah, that was some real cool shit to be like I want
a track from Nottz.
AllHipHop.com: You gotta tell
me whatever you can about the Detox project up to this point.
Nottz: Man, it aint too
much I know about it. He wanted the beat, and a week later we had a
check for it. He had that beat for the longest, and that one track,
everybody wanted that track. Stat Quo did some s**t to it, Busta did
some s**t to it, Snoop wanted the s**t. A lot of m*********s wanted that
s**t. That beat has history behind it. That dude is not letting it go.
(Laughs) N****s did s**t to it, and he was not letting it go.
AllHipHop.com: But some people
might pop up on it when it gets on the album.
Nottz: Right. What it was supposed
to be was the first song on the album. It was supposed to be him and
Game on it, but I dont know what was up with it. I never heard it,
but people told me the joint was hot.
AllHipHop.com: You still havent
Nottz: I still havent heard
that song he did to it! I still havent heard it. And hes played
the beat for mad m*********s. Like I was at a show, a Jay-Z show backstage,
and Just Blaze came up to me like Look man, that joint you did for
Dre was hot. And Im like, What are you talking bout? Hes
like, The joint you did with them harmonicas in it." He played that
s**t for me, and Dre was snappin' over the s**t. Thats his s**t.
So that was the first song on the album, but I dont know how its
gonna play out now. He didnt play the record for me the last time we
was out in Cali, so I dont know how its gonna play out man. I hope
itll still be the first joint, but I mean that was years ago when
he got it.
AllHipHop.com: Well you got
the check, so lets hope it sees the light of day because I know youre
waiting for it as much as me.
Nottz: Hell yeah.
AllHipHop.com: So whats
good with Virginia these days? Its not a whole lot of noise coming
out of there particularly right now.
Nottz: Its a bunch of hate,
thats all. Dont nobody want to see you do better than them. I
aint gonna name no names, but its a lot of talent here man. Everybody
wanna rap, everybody wanna produce, but its a lot of good talent
here. Its like people just stop at Atlanta. And its a lot of bulls**t
comin out of Atlanta. Like when I think of Atlanta, I think of T.I. ,
I think of Luda, Jeezy, real shit. But its a lot of bulls**t thats
comin' out and its winning, and it shouldnt be winning. I think of
Goodie Mob when I think of Atlanta, I dont think of that other bulls**t.
And its taking the world by storm man, and it shouldnt be that
way. People letting it in with ease, with open arms, and its making
it harder for everybody else. I thought it was gonna be a fad, but I guess
not. Its a long a** fad, huh? (Laughs)