Well, yeah, it is. It’s hip-hop music. But there’s a whole other history. You do a lot of research online and you learn a lot about rap from what’s been written about it in the past. It’s been a subculture for quite some time, but this is its big explosion. We’re all just discovering it for the first time.
Does it have a specific sound?
[Laughs] Yes. We’re coming at it from a place of ‘Yeah! This is music!’ but we’re gonna change something along the way. What we are trying to do is be true to what hip-hop was in the 80s, but with the technology that we have today, we’re in a world where you can make music with your eyes closed and your fingers on the buttons and you don’t have to have a script. You can do it on your phone and then get it out there.
It’s like the Internet back then, right?
So for a lot of these new rappers, they don’t really know how to create a song. They’re just putting the songs together as they go. What are they trying in the studio? Can you explain?
We’re in a world where the technology is just right now. You can make stuff with just a mouse and have it be done in a couple hours. It’s the same with music: You’ve got this thing called a computer that’s just as powerful and capable of producing music as the greatest engineer is. You can make as many beats as you want. But for that first song, your voice just isn’t going to cut it. You’re kind of limited by the limits of your voice.
What’s the deal with that? As musicians, who’s a better singer?
Well, they have to get different parts right. In most cases, they can’t really rely on the other person’s vocals. They’re gonna have to rely on their technical ability to get the song to happen. That’s why you see them being really creative in the studio.
The most recent artists who’ve used their voice on a record are Drake, J. Cole and Justin Bieber. Do you ever get annoyed with all the rappers who use their voices for their music but aren’t really producers?
We’re gonna give the next generation of rap a chance to learn from those artists, and we’re just gonna make sure they’re gonna have a
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