Volume 4b: Showbiz Speaks on the Business|
Another Unreleased Exclusive!
Showbiz answers questions about production, sampling, etc.
Soulman: What have you been up to?
Showbiz: I just finished an album with Big L, I got a Sony album compilation, and I'm doin' a new joint with A.G.
Soul: When's your album dropping?
Show: March or April.
Soul: Let's get into the technical side of production. What kind of equipment do you use?
Show: An Akai 900, 5P1200 and an MPC8O.
Soul: You do all of your preproduction at home?
Soul: How are producers paid for doing tracks?
Show: It depends if you're doing remixes or cuts on an album. If you do the original you're gonna get points, publishing, and your up-front money. If you're doing remixes you don't get no points unless your name is really REALLY big. You're supposed to get half up-front. And half when it's completed and ready to get mastered.
Soul: What steps should a new producer take to get work at a label?
Show: The business is really, like, who you know. You try to get close to somebody who's out there and let them hear it and that'd be your only loophole trying to get into the business. Most of the time, people in the business really don't know what's a fat street beat. You would have to get it to the ears of the rappers.
Soul: So going to an A&R man with a tape really isn't the move to make?
Show: Nah, 'cause they gettin' over flooded at the moment so half the time they don't even get to listen to the tapes. They'll tell you they'll listen to it, whatever, and... they throw some of the tapes out sometimes. So if you get it into the hands of people who really will pay attention to it, maybe that'll be the break.
Soul: Okay. Now let's move on to the issue of sampling. Do you have to clear every sample now?
Show: About Most of the time we try to chop it up and filter, or just take kicks and snares and make our own music. So there's not too much sample clearance 'cause we make our own tunes out of it. And the ones that we do need sample clearance for, we go tta get cleared because the labels are scared, everybody's scared. So of course we have to clear it.
Soul: I noticed on your last album there were a lot of samples but none of them were listed in the liner notes.
Show: I did that record a while ago, before I had a chance to really put it out. The situation was, we didn't pay it that much mind. We cleared a couple but they still didn't put it on [the liner notes]. The ones we didn't, we either filtered it or we chopped it in a certain way whereas we thought the artist wouldn't notice it. But right now, anything we use, we got to clear it.
Soul: I've heard that they'll charge a rapper more for a small sample than they'll charge an R&B act who remakes their whole song. How do you feel about that?
Show: Well, you know how that go, they want rap outta here. So they wanna give rap a hard time because they figure everything about it is negative. This is the mentality of a lot of the artists we sample from. They don't know nothin' about rap, they just go by what they hear. It's in the news or this and that, rappers doing negative things, so of course they gonna give us a hard time. And a lot of times, don't care how much money you got, they don't wanna clear it.
Soul: Who's the hardest to get samples cleared from?
Show: Back in the days I know Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone wasn't clearin' nothin'. The Ohio Players wasn't clearing certain songs. Premier just got turned down for one of their songs, he was just telling me. There's some artists, especially the Caucasian artists who don't know nothin' about it, they definitely turn you down.
email the Soulman