The Heatmakerz: Flame On!

There are certain songs that have longevity in the clubs. These are called 2 o-clock records, because at 2 AM, when the party is just hitting its peak, these are the songs that get thrown on. “Dipset Anthem” was one of those songs. The Heatmakerz, a Bronx-bred production team who’ve been behind much of the music released under the Diplomats banner, were responsible for that record. Besides packing dance floors coast to coast and earning the Diplomats a gold plaque, it opened new doors for the Heatmakerz. With a compilation album slated to drop in the next few months and upcoming singles for Lil’ Flip and I-20 of Disturbing the Peace already recorded, plus a certified nod from the RZA, the Heatmakerz have a full plate in front of them. But according to them, that’s all they really want right now. How long have you been making beats?

Rsonist: Since ‘99 really. What got you into it?

Rsonist: My man was making beats. He lived on the same block as me. I was [at Howard], DJ’ing. I came home, he had an MPC. I was f***in with it. I ain’t have s**t else to do. I left college, I wasn’t doing s**t so I was just home on the block. So I bought an MP later on and just started f***ing with it. So the Heatmakerz are you and who else?

Rsonist: It’s me, my man Pop, and my man Thriller. But me and Thriller are the only two that make tracks, only two of us make beats. What does Pop do?

Rsonist: He handles like a lot of the business s**t as far as like setting up meetings and making sure that our money’s right and s**t like that. How do you go about getting at an artist, do you have a label connect or are you making the phone calls yourself?

Rsonist: Naw, on some real s**t, a lot of the artists are looking for us. When we started f***ing with Cam, we were so deep in the whole Diplomats s**t, we didn’t f*** with no other artists. And after the Diplomats s**t got done, I started getting random calls from different artists just out the blue like they would get my number from n*ggas at Def Jam. They would be like, “Yo, I been looking for you for a minute and yada yada yada, come thru.” Like, now we got some s**t we about to pop off with Lil Flip, his next single. We did some s**t with I-20 and Ludacris, it’s I-20’s next single, we did some s**t with Killer Mike that’s about to come out, plus the Diplomats and all the other s**t. How did your relationship with the Dip Set come about?

Rsonist: Through this dude name Rene Maclean. He was f***ing with Cam, and we was f***in with him trying to get him this record so he could shop this record for us. We just told him we had a beat CD. He said he f***ed with Cam, gave him the beat CD. Cam got it. Cam called us like two days later, said he wanted like four beats from the CD. We met up with Cam. He was like “Ya’ll n*ggas got some s**t, as soon as my Diplomats s**t pop off, I’ma f*** with ya’ll.” S**t popped off like a month later, and he just started f***ing with us. Do you guys have any legal problems now because of your sample-usage?

Rsonist: Any samples that we ever used, we cleared. Or if we couldn’t clear it, we never used it. We probably threw it out on the street level, but that’s it. Matter of fact, dudes came at us, dudes that owned samples came at us and gave us some s**t to sample because they liked the way that we flipped some of the s**t. You mentioned throwing songs to the street, how do you feel about joints being used on mixtapes, do you feel like it hurts the integrity of certain records? Like, maybe you got a hot record with someone and it gets thrown out in the streets, now the artist doesn’t wanna put it on the album because it was hot on mixtapes already.

Rsonist: That’s f***ed up. That s**t happened to me with this record we did for Cam called “The Bigger Picture.” A dude took it and put it on an instrumental CD, not even the song. Cam called me like, “Yo, how they got the instrumental?” Everybody work in the studio, they could throw s**t out if they want. As long as they got hands in it, they got access to it. He ain’t wanna f*** with it, that f***ed us up. It was a crazy record. Once cats got a hold of that instrumental, Cam ain’t wanna use it. How do you feel about Kanye West and Just Blaze, and just a lot of people in general, using the soul samples and getting credit for popping it off?

Rsonist: I ain’t mad. But give credit where credit is due. To me, dudes like Rza and No I.D., they started the whole soul sampling s**t. Dudes like that is who I give the credit to. Just and Kanye, they do their thing with it, just like we do our thing with it. But if you’re gonna say that Just and Kanye started it, you might as well throw our name in the pack. What was your reaction when you heard that the record went Gold?

Rsonist: I didn’t even know the record went Gold to be honest with you. I’m hearing it now that you’re telling me. It’s a good thing. We damn near did the whole album, so it’s a good feeling. That just means 500,000 people f***ed with it. You guys have an album that’s dropping.

Rsonist: It’s called the Crack Album. And this is an album that you guys are rapping on?

Rsonist: Naw naw naw. No rapping man. It’s strictly other artists. It’s a compilation album. Fat Joe’s on there. M.O.P.’s on there. TI, Twista, of course the Diplomats. We even got Ras Kass on there. We took it back, we got AG from Showbiz and AG. We did a record with AG and Lord Tariq. We got Lil Flip. Everybody that personally…that I ever wanted to work with, or I have worked with. Only person that I didn’t get on the album that I’m still trying to get is a Jadakiss record. Other than that, we pretty much touched every genre. From the West Coast, Game is supposed to do a track for us. A Lot of different n*ggas. What are you trying to get across with the album? What are your goals?

Rsonist: Basically just to show that you don’t have the make a Pop record to sell records. I’m not making a record with all intentions to go triple platinum. I’m not doing that. The record is just to have good music and people that f*** with our s**t can buy it and understand it. What advice do you have for young cats trying to get into the production game?

Rsonist: Know what you’re getting into. Sometimes it’s like you see n*ggas running around with money and cars and s**t. You get in the game and you damn near ready to kill a n*gga. Niggas got your money. You know it’s some s**t you worked hard to do. And now they using it and you ain’t get your paper for it. This whole game, you gotta be strong mentally. It ain’t about all the other stuff. Half these n*ggas out here, it’s not like in the street where n*ggas is physical gangstas. They paperwork gangstas. Before you know it, you don’t even own your own music anymore. You just gotta be mentally prepared before you step into this bullsh*t. What do you think distinguishes the Heatmakerz from all the other producers out there right now?

Rsonist: Niggas is regular dudes. A lot of these dudes run around like they gotta be different to make music. Like, they gotta have a certain temperature and a certain lighting. I make a beat anywhere. It don’t matter to me. I been in the studio with different producers they gotta have certain lights in the room, certain temperature, they gotta have flowers and dumb s**t. This is real talk. I’m not even bulls**tting. I ain’t gonna name no names, but there’s producers who come in and they gotta have certain s**t. Like the room gotta look a certain color for them to make beats cuz that’s the way they vibe the say. To me it don’t matter. Good music is good music. If you make good music you can make it anywhere at any time. Are you guys into collecting records?

Rsonist: In my mother’s crib, in the basement, her whole s**t is stuffed to brim now. I got thousands. I probably got more records than the record shop I buy records from. I ain’t really into collecting. I just ended up with all that s**t. I don’t believe in throwing records out because you never know when you come back to it for beats and s**t. So you’re not like Pete Rock, Pete’s a collector.

Rsonist: My s**t be all over the place. People be stepping on my s**t. I could care less. Once I got what I need off a record, that s**t is useless to me.