Hailing from New Jersey by way of the South Bronx, Anthony “Nu Jerzey Devil” Torres’ musical odyssey began when he traded a .45 Caliber pistol for DJ equipment, and as they say, “The rest is history.”
But if you’re unfamiliar with the rest of the chapters this DJ/producer/MC has written, one of his earlier pages includes Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins signing him to his production team, where he would later become the soundman for Black Wall Street (namely The Game).
Now emerging from behind his beloved MPC 4000, the man who was a part of the whole G-Unot movement is starting one of his own, which includes his Art Of The Devil mixtape and its leadoff single ‘Different Girls’ featuring Lil Wayne.
So with his book still being sketched out as he goes, make sure to keep your reading glasses close, because you can bet his entries will be worth the read.
iHipHop.com: When did you first get in to DJ’ing/producing?
Nu Jerzey Devil: I was always playing around with the DJ sh*t, and I’d put together little record players I had laying around in the crib, and I had stuff hooked up to the karaoke machine.
I started producing when I was 20-years-old, because I got tired of all the bullsh*t beats that were out there. I pretty much wanted to bring my own formula to the table, and after that I just started knocking them out.
iHipHop.com: What can people expect to hear from your Art Of The Devil mixtape?
Nu Jerzey Devil: They’re going to hear a variety of me and all types of music; I just don’t stick to one type of music…
You’re going to hear a mixture of club joints, Hip-Hop joints, and also a Euro-type of sound. I’m an all-around dude, so that’s going to come out in my music.
iHipHop.com: How did you hook up with Lil Wayne for your song ‘Different Girls’? Was that a case of you reaching out to him?
Nu Jerzey Devil: Me and [Lil] Wayne been cool for a few years; you know what I mean? I met Weezy back at New Orleans Hornets game when my man Baron Davis used to play for the Hornets—we met through a mutual friend.
So ever since then, we pretty much been keeping tabs on each other. He moved to Miami, and so did I, and then we started hanging out. Then I let him hear this one song, and he felt it and wanted to jump on it; and from there we got ‘Different Girls.’
iHipHop.com: You’re also going to follow up the Art Of The Devil [mixtape] with the Heaven Or Hell EP and then your Devil’s Playground album. Have you found any difficulty trying to differentiate what songs you want to put where?
Nu Jerzey Devil: Everything is going to get better every time… The mixtape is one step, the EP is another step, and then the album is definitely going to be the classic. I’m definitely trying to let people see what I’m all about, and letting them see my growth.
So you’re going to see a lot of growth during this whole process, and that’s what I want the people to see, and that I’m going to bring that good music to the table.
iHipHop.com: How long were you on your grind before people really started to notice your talent?
Nu Jerzey Devil: I would say people started noticing me more when I got with The Game. When we started doing the mixtapes, people started knowing my name. Then we did a DVD, and people were able to put a face with the name. That was back in 2003-04 when we started killing with the mixtapes, and all G-Unot champagne played a big part as far as my name being out there.
iHipHop.com: Speaking of that, how did you first get associated with The Game?
Nu Jerzey Devil: I hooked up with The Game through a mutual friend… Rodney Jerkins had moved me out to LA, and he was always off doing him, so Game and I would sneak into the studio and record. Game wasn’t really “GAME” at the time, and after my contract was up with Rodney [Jerkins], I felt like my whole style and lifestyle was fitted to be with Game and Black Wall Street. So I jumped ship, and here I am…
iHipHop.com: How has the experience been like working with The Game?
Nu Jerzey Devil: It’s been a blessing, he’s one of the Top 5 artists out right now, and I’ve definitely learned a lot from him. Not even just on a music tip, just by being a good person. I’ve learned engineering, recording, and producing for him; as far as that goes. I learned how to go in and grind, make a hit record, and take over a project.
iHipHop.com: Do you think it will be a tough sell for people to you serious as an artist when they know you as a DJ/producer first?
Nu Jerzey Devil: It’s definitely going to be hard, because I know I felt the same way when I first heard Swizz Beatz rapping. I was like, “He should have stuck to the beats.” But it’s all Hip-Hop and we’re doing what we want to do, and I love the craft so people have to respect it. As long as you put out that good music, I can’t really see somebody knocking it.
You’re always going to have your haters, and haters are everywhere you go. But you have to pass them up and keep doing you, and you have to do whatever makes you happy. So if you’re doing it right, you’re going to end up on top.
iHipHop.com: Since you really never rapped at the beginning of your career, was it difficult to find your own voice once you took it seriously?
Nu Jerzey Devil: Yeah, at first I found myself being lost, and not knowing what direction to go in, and how to go about it… I was actually learned by myself; I didn’t have anyone around me to go in there and lay it down…
So it was hard trying to find myself, but at the end of the day, I just learned how to be me. You can’t go wrong with being you, so that’s what I’m doing… I’m just being me and living through all my experiences.
iHipHop.com: What’s the one piece of production equipment you can’t live without?
Nu Jerzey Devil: The MPC 4000… There’s a lot of little programs and stuff like that out there, and people are jumping into the computer-based production—which I’m not knocking it because I’m definitely adding that to my arsenal. But I’m a MPC dude, and I love the 4000 and I couldn’t live without that. Any time I go in the studio, I need that with me…
iHipHop.com: Are there any other producers out there you draw inspiration from, or are you pretty much self-inspired?
Nu Jerzey Devil: Well coming up, I definitely looked up to [Dr.] Dre, Scott Storch, and in my early days I was a big Havoc fan and a big Mobb Deep fan… That whole gritty Queens sound was crazy to me, and that was one of the reasons I started making beats also… I related to that really heavy, so that definitely inspired me to become a producer…