Sean C. and LV : Production Gangsters…Working with Jay-Z and Puffy

It’s the Tuesday after a record is released, everyone knows what that means, SoundScan reports come out. To no surprise, Jay-Z’s American Gangster is number one in the country, selling over 400,000 units in it’s first week. Since they produced half the album, Sean C. and LV are definitely ecstatic.How do they celebrate their contribution […]

It’s the Tuesday after a record is released, everyone knows what that

means, SoundScan reports come out. To no surprise, Jay-Z’s American Gangster is number

one in the country, selling over 400,000 units in it’s first week. Since they

produced half the album, Sean C. and LV are definitely ecstatic.How do they

celebrate their contribution to the number one album in the country? Pop

bottles, sail on the French Riviera, or hey go on 106 & Park and kick it on

the couch. Not even.  These two want that staying power, therefore they

celebrate by doing the same thing that got them to the top. In the studio,

grinding.Super producers Sean and LV know how to buckle down. This

work ethic and focus has allowed these two to break barriers and draw top music

executives into their world.  Sean and LV are sick enough behind the boards that

Puffy got at them for their beats and is even considering them to be his new

“Hitmen.”  They also maintain separate careers outside of production (Sean C. is

an A&R for Universal and LV is Fat Joe’s DJ) proving to all that yes, it can

be done. Taking a short break from the music to talk to, Sean

and LV exude confidence in their material and their musical direction. They elaborate on the obvious Jay-Z questions and shed light on Puffy’s involvement with their production. Most importantly, they discuss the dedication to their craft and let the

world know that at the end of the day, “It’s just music baby. ” Wassup guys congratulations on the album, foremost. How

did you get involved with the American Gangster project?Sean: Thanks, 

Puff called us when he was in Saint-Tropez on vacation talking like “Jay-Z wants

to work with me on his new album and I want ya’ll to work on it with me.” So when

he got back, we were all in the studio playing beats and what not. Puff then

calls Jay and is like “I need you to come down to the studio. I never tell you to

come down, I need you to come down here now. “ Jay got there in record time, I

mean like 15-20 minutes  He was only supposed to stay for 15 minutes but he

stayed for about 2-3 hours and listened to like 30 beats. He left and came back

2 days later with 2 songs. One was “Sweet” the other was “No Hook” That there

was the start of American Gangster. When you worked with Jay, was there a lot of in-studio time spent with

him?Sean C.: There was such a short time to get the album done. He would

come to Daddy’s House and we would play him the beat, he would go back over to

Roc the Mic [studio], do his vocals, send it back to us. We would just add what

we had to add to [the beat] then send it to him. Afterwards, we would just start

working on the next track. We just kept going back and forth and that’s how a

lot got done. Real quick, can I get a list of the songs on the album that you all

produced?LV: “Pray,” “Sweet,” “No Hook,” “Party Life,” “Roc Boys,” and

“American Dreamers.” Puffy is listed as the producer for the tracks that you two actually

produced. What percentage would you say that Puffy actually contributed?Sean

C: He helped put everything together. He was in the studio with us working on

material. Puff also helped  formulate things, and make the records big. He

made [the tracks] sound epic and more like a movie. He would even guide the

musicians. Overall, the production on the project was a collaborative effort

between the three of us. Working with Puff in production, people are considering you two to be

his new “Hitmen,” are you trying to take things back to the Bad Boy  Era?


LV: No, we’re just taking it to where it needs to be at. Right now it needs

to be on number one. We just trying to

make good music. Ok, let me rephrase myself, are you trying to take it back to the time

when Bad Boy was all over the radio and you heard nothing else Sean C: Hell

yeah!  But this time we gonna take it where its Grind Music Hitmen. What direction are you going in musically with Puffy?LV: We going

everywhere there is no where we can’t go in music. We have a lot of versatility

in us. What where your first hits?Sean C:  “Can’t Knock the Hustle” with me

and my man Knowbody. “Get Off N####” with Puff or “So Good” with Ne-Yo. LV:

When I first heard my hit on the radio it was “Terror Error”by Terror

Squad Do either of you write lyrics as well?Sean C : No, I don’t write

rhymes baby.  (Laughs) From what I understand you did some work on Ghostface’s new album, how

was that?LV: It was cool. We did 6 tracks on his album, six is our lucky

number right now. Its different from American Gangster . Its Ghostface so we had

to get in his realm. LV you’re also a DJ, Fat Joe’s DJ at that.  How do you balance that

and producing? Is there a conflict of interest?LV: Nope, no conflict of

interest. We giving everybody smash m*********ing records right now. We gave Fat

Joe a smash hit with J. Holiday. You just gotta make it work, work all the time,

that’s how you get that money.  (laughs) Sean C., with you being an A&R for Universal Records as well as a

producer, was it difficult to be taken seriously as a producer?Sean C.: I

don’t know. I haven’t seen that. The A&R thing is the A&R thing. I’m a

producer first. I’m not completely on the corporate end,  I’m creative.

Like that’s how I’ve always been and that’s what it is. Looking at where you started from where you are now, what is something

you wish you would have known about the industry that you know now?Sean C: I

don’t have any regrets because everything that happens is a learning experience

to help you for “this time.” That includes the good and the bad, its all

good  There is no such thing as luck, its preparation equals

opportunity. Do you both either record beats separately?Sean C: Its all a

collaborative effort. We have different personalities that’s what makes the

record. Somebody may find a sample and chop it, another person may work on the

drums. We in the studio with two MPC 4000s at all times Working with artists all across the spectrum, what would you say is

the biggest difference between rap and R&B artists and the way that they

record?LV: Hip-hop artists rhyme over the beat and R&B artists need

melodies.  But the way that music is now R&B artists sing over Hip-Hop

beats. With the mixtape being so prevalent in Hip-Hop, have you guys ever

done a mixtape or would you consider doing one, like an R&B vibe?Sean

C.: Nah, we have never done a mixtape, but hey, why not? How do you feel about doing remixes?Sean C: If you don’t like the

original beat send us the vocals and tempo, we’ll mix it up for you. You need to

make a good record, if you need to remix it then go with it. Come to think of

it, I haven’t heard a remix in a long time. Back to your music.  “Roc Boys” is the new

single of American Gangster, how do you feel about that?LV: Great  But

that’s already here, I’m thinking about the next single, I’m hoping “Party Life”

is the next single. Speaking of the party, have you heard Roc Boys in the club yet?LV:

I heard it in Miami over the weekend. That s**t was ridiculous Sean C:

For my birthday we all went out and partied to it. It was me, LV, Jay, Puff,

Mario Winans, D Dot. We had just finished the album and mastered it. How many bottles did you pop that night?Sean C : I don’t know but we popped

the biggest bottle of Patron ever. What other projects are you working on?Sean C : Cassie, Nas, Fat Joe. We

got our hands full right now baby.LV: Trust me, its not a coincidence that

we’re here.