West Coast-based producer, Scoop Deville, is one of the hottest producers in the rap game right now, but none of this is by accident. As the son of rap veteran Kid Frost, Scoop has grown up in the business and has learned the ropes of the industry from his father and his close associates.
Last month, AllHipHop.com sat down with Kid Frost and got his amazing story, which included the raising of his record-producing son. Now, we return to Kid Frost's studio to get the story from Scoop Deville right on the heels of his biggest record to date, “The Recipe,” by Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dre. In this two-part interview, we go in-depth with Scoop Deville to get his full story and to give the readers an insight in to his life and the music that he creates:
AllHipHop.com: I heard that you just recently came back from Jamaica and that you collaborated with the Marleys. What brought you out there?
Scoop Deville: One of the records that I did for Dr. Dre had Damian Marley on it, and he found out that I made the beat. Damian flew myself and a friend, Byze One, out there, and it was incredible. They took care of us like we were royalty. If we weren't with them, it would have been a different situation, because walking those streets of Trench Town were unreal. They sent word out that we were with the Marleys, and nobody messed with us.
When I first went in to the studio, I kind of just stood in the background watching them get down. After a bit, I opened up and started talking to the musicians and jamming out with them. It was incredible just being in the same place that Bob Marley made records and sang. We were at the Tuff Gong studio.
AllHipHop.com: We interviewed your father, and he told us that when you were a kid, he gave you keyboards to pound and play on.
Scoop Deville: I did that at first to get his attention, especially when he had to roll out somewhere. As time went on, it became fun. I learned the basics from my grandfather before he passed away. Just those three chords that he taught me allowed me to move my hands around the keyboard and play just about anything by ear and by feel. I'm not a guitar player, but I can pick it up and play something - and it will sound great.
I always had equipment around me, even my dad's equipment. I would mess around in the studio with the beat machines. I was around Tony G, Fredwreck, and all of these cats that were doing great records. I would watch them as a kid, and they would leave the room with the equipment on.
AllHipHop.com: And you would just take over?
Scoop Deville: I would just take over and do my own sessions and play my own beats. Tony G gave me lessons on how to work the MPC. I was so lucky and blessed to have that upbringing. There were some talented people in the studio – even my pops. He was always making beats. Everywhere we were at, there was always a studio around. Even back then, he could have been anything he wanted to be, like a fireman, and I would have done the same thing. That's my father, and a father teaches his traits to his son. I always loved music, and I was infatuated with its sound. I loved it all: Rock, Old School, '80s, Reggae. You can still play those records today, and they'll kill anything today.
AllHipHop.com: Is this a Billy Joel sample on this beat that you're playing right now? It sounds like his song, “My Life.”
Scoop Deville: It is. This is from a project that I'm working on called ScoopaLoops. I take random songs and sample them. It's to put these young cats on game with good music.
AllHipHip.com: This Billy Joel song is way before your time.
Scoop Deville: These songs were always on in my house growing up. My dad always played songs from he was growing up. I'm 24 years old, so being born in the late '80s, I grew up with the early '90s artists like Gang-Starr, A Tribe Called Quest, and X-Clan. Some of these artists were my father's friends.
AllHipHop.com: What was it like growing up as the son of Kid Frost?
Scoop Deville: It was crazy, because people knew who he was, yet he was just “dad” to me. He coached baseball and was heavily involved in my life, all while touring on the road. He would take me on the tours sometimes, too. I saw the positive and negative sides of the music business. I'd listen to his business calls and watch his hustle. I would chill with Ice-T's son while our fathers hung out. When I went to school, people would ask what my father did for a living and they would trip out when I told them.
AllHipHop.com: Him being on the road a lot must have been hard on you, though.
Scoop Deville: Yeah. In those times, I would get letters and postcards from wherever he was at in the world at that time. His career was poppin' for real when I was kid. He would be in Paris, Japan, Germany – everywhere. He would always bring me back something when he got home. He's my role model. I know every word to his songs.
Nowadays, it's different. The older cats know about him, but some of the younger generation have never heard of him. It's a great thing to be a part of, though. It's like the Marley boys and their father.
AllHipHop.com: Do you remember when “La Raza” was made?
Scoop Deville: I was a toddler, but I was there! I was even in the video. Dad held me in his arms throughout it.
AllHipHop.com: You got an early start in music, but I know that it took a while for you to become good at it. Everybody sucks when they first start.
Scoop Deville: [Laughter] Everybody sucks when they first start. I was just putting loops together, not even really making beats. One of the machines had loops already programmed, and I would just mix them together. Then I started to figure out how to make them on my own. I had a crate of records from family and friends, and I would sample anything that was dope. I built an archive of samples from just about everything - even sounds of a baby sneezing or crying.
AllHipHop.com: Do you remember the first real beat that you made?
Scoop Deville: Yes, I do. It was a Bob Marley sample. It was the bass line ending to "I Shot The Sheriff". I put some Biz Markie drums over it and looped it all.
AllHipHop.com: Did you play that for your dad? Was there a time where he didn't take the beats seriously?
Scoop Deville: He was very supportive. When he bought my first computer, he was telling everybody that his son could make beats. I was always fiddling around with keyboards and stuff, but when I got my computer with its programs, it was over.
AllHipHop.com: What were some of the first programs that you used?
Scoop Deville: Acid and Sonic Foundary were some of my first programs. They had pre-loops on them that my dad showed me how to use. It was just a hobby that I got better and better at. It turned in to something more serious, and I still use some of those programs to this day. I did the Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dre record from the Acid program. Some things you don't have to change if the quality is great.
AllHipHop.com: Your dad told us that he knew you were going to make it when you made the "Mamacita" song by Baby Bash.
Scoop Deville: I sampled an Isley Brothers joint for that one. Bash was with my dad, and he asked me to play him some beats. I played him some tracks, and he was digging them, so he flew me and my father out to Texas. I was only 15 or 16 at the time. I was out there for a week doing records for him. That was my first real experience at getting my feet wet in this industry. The record was on the Billboard charts and was played on stations like KIIS FM in Los Angeles, which is one of the largest stations in the country.
AllHipHop.com: Normal 16-year-old kids don't have songs that they've produced on the radio [laughter].
Scoop Deville: I wasn't a normal kid, although I did have a normal childhood growing up playing baseball and stuff. We were a music family. Dad would be in the studio, and I would be there right in back of him. He even wrote raps for me and encouraged me to try it. Learning things on the way, I got to meet some really cool people. I did a song with Mac Dre when he came by the studio one time. Then me and my dad made an entire album together called Welcome to Frost Angeles. I was no older than 17, but I knew that I could do it because of the amount of time that I had already spent in the studio.
AllHipHop.com: It's one thing to record with another artist, but this is your dad. That has to be an entirely different experience.
Scoop Deville: It was a different element of experience, but he was feeling everything that we were coming up with. We trusted each other with our work, and he even suggested that I write him a 16-bar rap. I went and wrote him some bars, and he went into the booth while I sat and listened at the board - it was a special moment.
AllHipHop.com: I know that you made music, but I had no idea that you wrote rhymes, too.
Scoop Deville: I used to rap my ABC's [laughter].
Kid Frost interjects: There's footage of him rapping for The Boo-Yah Tribe when he was like three or four years old.
AllHipHop.com: How is it that you got to break out as a producer instead of a rapper?
Scoop Deville: Production came to me a bit easier, because I was always so hands on with instruments. In high school, I was on the drum line squad, and we were pounding out Hip-Hop breaks. That was just another sign that told me that I could really do this.
AllHipHop.com: Do you wish you could have come out as a rapper first? Or, are you happy with the way things turned out.
Scoop Deville: As a producer you have to understand how to rap and how to arrange and make a song. I could be just a beat maker sending beats to artists and just hoping that they do something good with it. I'm at the point where I can come up with a concept, a hook to help with some of the raps, arrange the song and mix it.
AllHipHop.com: You mentioned sending beats off to artists. Do you wish that you could sit down with more artists in the studio?
Scoop Deville: Yes, I definitely want to have input in to the building of the record. It's different when an artist vibes with you in the studio, instead of them just skimming through beats. When you vibe together, the artist can capture what you were feeling when you created that beat and you can help them in creating their own song. It works hand in hand, although sometimes an artist really knows what they are doing, and they can create their own magic. Nowadays, I want to be with the artist during that process, because I know what I bring to the table.
Check back tomorrow for Part 2 where Scoop Deville talks about “The Recipe” record and more!