Emaydee (M80) is a Kansas City-based beatsmith that has laid down the instrumentals for emcees such as Young Jeezy, T.I., and of course, the king of the neighborhood: Tech N9ne, including five tracks on Tech’s third Collabos album, The Gates Mixed Plate.
We were able to get ahold of the busy producer and get him to talk about his production techniques, his love of Gates barbecue, and how he became involved with Tech N9ne and Strange Music.
Where are you from in Kansas City?
I’m from 28th Street KC, MO.
What do you love most about KC?
I love the way KC allows me to concentrate. There aren’t a lot of distractions in the city allowing me to fully focus on my music. Also the barbecue! You gotta love Gates.
What was the first rap=hip-hop album you ever bought?
The first rap/hip-hop album I bought was Sex Packets by Digital Underground. I was only about three years old when the album came out but I fell in love with it around age seven. It was something about the “Humpty Dance” that made me want it.
How old were you when you first started producing?
I was 11-years-old when I made my very first beat. Although I was about eight when I realized I had an ear for music. I played the piano pretty good for an eight-year-old. Anyway I had a Casio keyboard with a six track sequencer, no quantize option, no loop option, no copy and paste. I just sat there and recorded the drums all on one track for about four minutes and did the same with the other five tracks using different instruments. I came a long way.
What qualities do you look for in great beats?
Drums! The selection and pattern of the drums must be big and unique–especially in hip hop music. Then catchy progressions, melodies, and/or samples–although I rarely sample. That along with a quality mix is usually the recipe for a great beat.
How often do you find yourself making beats?
I usually make beats at least five to six times a week. And each time I’m making at least three to four beats.
Who are some of your favorite producers and why?
Of course the legendary producers, Dre, Timbaland, Pharrel, Teddy Riley, Terry Lewis, because they paved the way. But today I’d say 1500 or Nothin, Just Blaze, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Danja, and my mentor S1. These guys are all great producers and they are great musicians as well.
Do you have a favorite song you’ve produced?
Not really a favorite but if I had to choose, probably “Higher Learning”, a song I produced for Young Jeezy that features Snoop Dogg, Devin The Dude, and Mitchel’el. It’s epic!
How has your production style evolved since you first started out?
I am able to do several genres of music now. Including but not limited to, Rap, R&B, Hip Hop, Rock, Alternative, and Pop.
What is your setup in the studio?
How did you first become involved with Strange Music?
I was informed by Irv Da Phenom and Tech’s Uncle Ike that Tech was having a session so I popped up gave them the disc and they gave it to Tech. The disc had ten tracks on it, he bought six and used five on The Gates Mixed Plate. I’ve been involved ever since.
What have been some of your favorite moments in the studio over the years?
Working with/making music for Tech, T.I., Trey Songz, Young Jeezy and my artists Mykell Vaughn and Luke Minx.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?
The biggest challenge was when I didn’t understand the business completely and someone got over on me, but I’ve since then educated myself and I’m willing to push forward in order to reach or surpass that point of success I dream about.
What advice would you have for producers just starting out?
Work hard and educate yourself. Network online, out of state, in-state, on the phone, however you can. Networking is key. Once you know somebody and you prove your talent doors will begin to open for you.
For more info on Emaydee, check out his MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mikedupree
– Interview conducted by McClain Johnson (@mcclainjohnson)
What do you think about Emaydee’s beats? What other producers would you like to see interviewed? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!