By: Starrene Rhett
Young Lord has come a long way from the teenager who had $1 parties in his mom’s basement so that he could buy his first drum machine. Now working with MPCs and Motifs, he says hard work pays off in pursuit of one’s dreams and is living proof.
Responsible for the sales of more than $28 million records, he’s produced hits from P-Diddy, Notorious BIG and LL Cool J, to DMX, Consequence and several more. His latest work is Diddy’s “Come to Me,” but he definitely has more planned for 2007 and beyond. Hiphopcrack.com got a chance to chat with him about his career, why he’s happy he’s not an official celebrity, production trends and other business ventures.
Hiphopcrack: You’ve produced “Come to Me,” by Diddy F. Nicole (from P Cat Dolls) but you’ve also produced hits by New Edition, Lil’ Kim, The Lox and Big Pun basically contributing to the sale of over 28 million records worldwide what’s it like knowing that you had a hand in the success of those particular artists?
Young Lord: I feel good. It’s one of the best feelings that I’ve ever experienced was just creating a good song and hearing it over those extremely loud speakers in the studio. It feels good. That’s what keeps me doing this every day.
Hiphopcrack: What’s the best thing about being a producer?
Young Lord: No set hours, I get to travel for free. The best thing is the artist. I get to meet very different people that I wouldn’t have met if I didn’t work in the music business. Some of these personalities are so opposite of each other that I would have never bumped into these people and it really expands my view on life. That’s a good thing.
Hiphopcrack: Are you the type of producer that just makes a track, hands it to the artist and that’s it or do you also have a hand in the creative direction as for as lyrics, a chorus and so on?
Young Lord: I’m not a song writer but I know what feels good and I know what’s gonna work so I kind of put creative people together that do that and supervise and make sure it comes out the right way.
Hiphopcrack: You started out by throwing $1 bashes in your mother’s basement so that you could buy your first drum machine. That was obviously a very basic machine, but what are you working with now to create music?
Young Lord: I have all types of toys. I have two different systems, maybe three that I go in between. Sometimes I work with the MPC 2500, and the Motif, but then sometimes I work in logic, sometimes I work directly in Protools with the sample pink modules (???) from soft sense, so it depends on how I’m feeling that day. But I love changing things.
Hiphopcrack: What do you think new trends will be for 2007 in terms of production tools?
Young Lord: I think more people are going to make beats in Reason. I think that’s gonna be a very big, big tool.
Hiphopcrack: There are magazines like Scratch that feature producers but for the most part, producers might be celebrity in name, but people don’t know the face and you’re out shopping right now, harassment free. How does that make you feel?
Young Lord: It feels good. A lot of people have different reasons for doing this and my reason for doing this is the love of music and it’s fun for me. I’m not really doing this to be famous. But it does help every now and then when people know you in the clubs. But money is what it’s about ultimately.
Hiphopcrack: What are you working on now? Do you have your own projects going on?
Young Lord: Yeah, I have this artist named Busy from
Hiphopcrack: Do you have your own label? What’s it called?
Young Lord: It’s called The Truth, Truth label.
Hiphopcrack: Are you currently looking for artists?
Young Lord: Yup.
Hiphopcrack: What types of artists are you looking for? This is about to go on the net for everyone to see.
Young Lord: I’m looking for rappers, singers. I’m looking for big personalities, characters.
Hiphopcrack: If you’re looking for characters you know they’ll find you on myspace, right?
Young Lord: [Laughs] Yeah, but one thing that a lot of people don’t know about me is that I do a lot of business in the film and TV worlds. I just started a company with one of the executive producers of the Jamie Kennedy show that was on MTV. This dude, Stone…We started a company up and we just optioned two films that we’re about to blast off on so we’re looking for talent on that end as well like writers and stuff like that.
Hiphopcrack: Is it a situation where you just came up with the idea but you need writers and more producers to help steer the direction of it?
Young Lord: We’re looking for great ideas. That’s not something I necessarily do as far as write stories. We have story line ideas but we’re looking to buy scripts and stuff like that.
Hiphopcrack: What have you done in film and TV that people might be familiar with?
Young Lord: My first project in the film world was this movie that’s about to come out with Vanessa Williams that’s called, My Brother [the music]. I think that’s gonna drop soon and from there, I did the music and score from The Jamie Kennedy show, and from there, this dude and I started the company and we’re starting to move forward with that stuff. So I’m really starting to look forward to moving into that game.
Hiphopcrack: Is there a trend in production that you wish would go away?
Young Lord: Nah. I’m pretty cool with every thing. But it would be cooler if rappers put a little bit more story into their songs. Did you hear the new Ludacris song? I just heard it the other night. He’s talking about runaways.
Hiphopcrack: Not yet.
Young Lord: That joint is a smash.
Hiphopcrack: So, he’s definitely somebody you want to work with, right?
Young Lord: Yeah.
Hiphopcrack: Are there any other artists that you haven’t worked with that you would like to?
Young Lord: I got to work with Jay-Z on this new album but my song didn’t make it so I wish that the song had made it to the album. That would have been crazy. It would have been Young Lord year. But it didn’t, so I would like to see something out with me and Jay-Z. I think he’s definitely one of the greatest.
Hiphopcrack: What are some of your favorite tracks for 2006 that you’ve heard? It could be your stuff and other people’s stuff.
Young Lord: I really love “You Got a Long Way to Go,” Cassidy. People have been sleeping on that and I like the beat a lot, I like that song. Also, Lil’
Hiphopcrack: I’m from
Young Lord: Where?
Hiphopcrack: Uptown, I grew up in
Young Lord: How old are you?
Young Lord: Do you remember Skate Key?
Hiphopcrack: Of course,
Young Lord: That track, once you hear it, it reminds me of Skate Key [boom-bap