Welcome to Run Royal. This site is here to share knowledge, opinions, personal experiences and to connect with like minded heads on Hip-Hop music and it’s culture. Straight shooting the substance without bullshit in between. Think of this site as something like a fan boy talk show, with regular segments, known only here as (Know the Ledge). Our store will provide an outlet to release any product that we are directly involved or co sign with. This will come in due time.
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This month for our 10 seconds sample time segment I reached out to one of our country’s pioneers, Melbourne’s Trem one to get his insight and perspective on production in the culture.
1. What was your first piece of equipment you made a beat on and who taught/mentored you?
As far as actually makin a beat? I first started playin round with two boombox’s speaker to speaker recording the break part of old school rap tracks usin’ the pause button method, then elevated to recording break-beats on wax when i got my 12’s and started seein’ how it worked. Eventually my eyes opened up to actual sampling thru my old homie DJ Frenzie and then DJ Idem. Idem’s weapon of choice back then was a Roland W-30 which seemed to be the stock selection for many Melbourne producers.
I ended up buying Prowla’s old W-30 not too long afterwards when he upgraded to the Akai S-1000 and cut my teeth on the art-form of sampling at home with that 8bit grit. Id been in a stack of sessions with all those guys looking and learning but Prowlz was definitely responsible for running me thru the extended process in detail so I could go about my business unhindered. As it turned out Rob and I ended up with his S-1000 as well and that was when I really started motoring on with production and started to formulate actual tracks.
Although as every producer knows, self teaching is part of the fun, the schooling I received from some of Melbourne’s greatest in the game was invaluable. Frenzie, Idem, Prowla and Jase all played hands on mentoring parts in varying degrees.
What’s your current weapon of choice for knocking something out?
I switch and change, I’ve used all from the W-30 to S-9, S-1000, ASR, MP and FL Studio… To be perfectly honest I’ve recently had a lil hiatus from the beat making game to focus on other aspects of the production process but in the lab at present is the trusty S-1000 for sampling. Sequencing wize I use Nuendo for all tracking from beat stems to vox.
3. How did you approach FTTOHNL from a production point of view in comparison to your previous solo ep’s which where such a long time ago…Did you dig back through the vaults for some beats or just mash out over a set time period and knock out a specific sound that you visualised.
It was a combo, my initial idea was to self produce the entire thing with the exception of one or two, but alot of the beats I had in the vault for my solo ended up getting used on crew product and I moved a couple others on to artists I thought they suited. Then my direction switched a little with the release as it progressed and I wanted more external input from the producto side of things. I guess that was a bi-product of me mentally transforming back into emcee mode.
The process took as long as it took to write the album, I legitimately sifted thru hundreds and thousands of beats from all over to fit the mould of what I was keeping of my own and to bring into the same frame as what was already established for the
4. Last production I heard from you was on P-Link’s – In my Element and the latest being from Kings Konekted – The Campaign. Are you very selective about who you give/sell your beats too or will we see more production from you, outside the circle you’ve already worked with?
Yes and know, my biggest bug bear is not having control once you let go of the production. Id rather work an entire release, even if I didn’t make the beats for every track, Id want to be involved in the whole thing to ensure the vision is executed correctly. I’m a little control freakish with that sorta shit, I hate hearing releases with varying producers and it’s all over the shop. It’s really gotta be conducive or it just comes off amateur. This happens way too much. Learning what suits your style and spending that extra time in getting your beats to all sit on the same plain is paramount in my opinion
5. I like your simplified approach to your beats with the intent for the MC to be the front man. How do you flip your samples without things sounding too overdone.
Cheers man, yep, no tricks. Straight up and down. I have alot of appreciation for beat makers who get flexi with it but unless your doin some instro only type shit Id much rather keep it reasonably simple for the MC to go for theirs. Drums are paramount, no doubt but it’s ALWAYS been the loop that gets me, from a dope double bass loop to some ill strings or nasty piano licks, when you hear that 1,2 or 4 bar loop that just makes you put your drink down and go what the fuck was that, rewind, that’s the shit. You know when you can just have it on loop with no additive for hours, that’s what I look out for first and foremost
6. Incredible production but the MC let it down. Name a track or album like this
Ohh, yeah, nice question… its a hard one…Id love to join in the chorus of many and say Group Homes first or Necro but they both really work! Fuck, this is hard… I’m sure I’ll think of something that fits this question better but off the head, without going thru the stash, U-God on most early Wu comes to mind.
7. What do you think gives a producer a signature sound, how much do you think equipment/software and sample selection has to do with it over their processes used.
I think it varies, and has done for ever. Ced Gee had the ill drum programming, Marley had the ill soul loops. RZA work them off time pianos and Preem made classics with half bar rawness on repeat. Any and all achieved greatness with varying record selections and equipment. From splicing samples with reel tape to SP12’s and MPCs, its all relevant. I think the signature just comes with mastering whatever works for you.
8. Name a track/album or producer that changed the way you approach your sequencing/sample chops.
Fuck… Yeah another good one, um… I can’t really say I’ve changed my shit since the beginning. I’ve never tried to re-create the wheel, that late 80’s to early 90’s style is what i adapted and continue to build with.
9. If you had to pick it based of critical acclaim and longevity who would you pick out of Dr Dre and DJ Premier and why?
Preem for mine on all accounts. I hate to sound blasphemous but since NWA Dre’s shit hasn’t done alot for me. Some cool shit here and there no doubt, but I’d take that rawness over the polish all day and Primo has perfected it.
10. How would Sheer Talent sound in 2015.
I think beat wize it would stand up. I think lyrically it needs a little refinement, but the body is still there. I think the vocal delivery and overall mix needs a shitload of work but that’s a part of the learning process. It is what it is. But I’d take the pepsi challenge on the instros for sure, that shit still bangs…
Looks like everyone was bang on in picking this round. Great mix of styles and chops, I could barely pic Rob’s flip! sheesh!
Thanks again for everyone involved..Most likely we’ll be skipping a round this month but we’ll be back in June for the round 8.
Should give us a little more time to come up with something to test the producers a little more and work outside their comfort zones.
The sodden cunt of a man, Billionaire Bunk$ is back like herpes from a weekend with a cracker in Bali. After the somewhat success of Booze Bastards, he come’s through stroking the felt and pissing on cunts Nikes as one would expect. I’m not sure what’s better here, the adlibs at the front and back of the track or the witty puns laced over a classic break. Either way, I’m looking forward to hearing more from this dribble dick. Smart with the word play, he kind of reminds me of our own Sean Price in a way. Top stuff Bunks!
This month we tried to get a bit of a Christ theme happening over April with Easter and all. AkidcalledChubz didn’t hit us with the obscure uptown gospel joints but he did come through with a deadly OST. The soundtrack to the film, The Cross and the Switchblade which was based off a book from the 60’s about a minister who turns around the lives of NY gang members life through Christ…That was the Easter link and we ran with it. Decent soundtrack, Chubz had a couple of tracks to choose from but I though this one would be the most interesting to flip.
Was great to see how these three utilized and approached the sample differently, giving some pretty varying results. All heaters in their own right. Shouldn’t be too tough to pick this round. Cheers to all involved. I’ll reveal next week sometime. Enjoy.
Finally a release date for Days With Dr. Yen Lo. Looking forward to this. Subtle reference to the Nightbreed 12 in the clip.
I know, this shyts been done before on many a blog but upon revisiting last years Apollo Brown & Ras Kass’s classic, Blasphemy I picked up on a line that was a little pause worthy.
It got me thinking of a few others from the last few years off the top of my head of some classics we’d joke about on the reg back in school or when they dropped..Most of the time, and I use that term loosly (PAUSE), you obviously know what their trying to get but sometimes you can’t help but raise the eyebrow and think to yourself, didn’t his crew/collaborator, the producer/engineer or anyone else prior to the release pick up on the blatant homoerotic or suspect nature of the shit they were saying here!
There’s a fuckload more from way back and I could only imagine what these tight pant, molly dropping fucktards are yappin bout these days but here’s the Ras Kass one and a couple of others, plus one from your favorite rappers favorite rapper. I thought id throw in at a stretch for a laugh. All jokes and homo pokes aside there all killer tracks.
Rass Kass & Apollo Brown – Please Don’t Let Me
“Be careful who you let suck on your dick
That bitch might be a boy
I be frisking hoes in the club, I’m paranoid”
What kind of fucking clubs are you going to Razzy?
Fat Joe – John Blaze ft Nas, Big Pun, Jadakiss & Raekwon.
“whenever I see y’all Ima test ya, only cause I know that faggots respect pressure”
Jada’s no stranger to inadvertently spitting suspicious shit. This is one of those confusing moments.
Madlib & Freddie Gibbs – Real
“I stand on my two balls my dick and my ten toes”
Freddie gets at Yeezy on this but he also gets down on some strange BDSM shit by the sounds of it? That aint no regular game of twister G.
Canibus – 2nd Round K.O
“Well let me tell you something, you might got more cash than me, but you ain’t got the skills to eat a nigga’s ass like me”
Unforgettable. Even the name of the albums suss.
Roc Marciano – Raw Deal
“Mos yall rapper can toss my salad”
This whole album is classic but man Marc spits some brow raising shit..Let me tell you something, He aint asking rappers to come round and toss the Caesar dressing through the lettuce and croutons. If you don’t know what tossing the salad means then you should probably keep it that way. You don’t want that visual haha.
Extra mention to another line on the album “Yeah I’m a pampered dude, standing nude in the tanning room” smh.
Luniz – I got 5 on it
“I take sacks to the face, whenever I can”
I remember we paused on this hard back in high school. Obviously that volume of slang thesaurus never got passed around our parts. Numskull! what a fucking numskull. You get them sacks in the face, player….All day!
Raekwon – State of Grace
The Vatican Mixtape
“Love to hustle, my ring, call it big Uranus”
I was actually looking for another track off this mixtape in which Rae openly states somewhere that he’s on some faggot or homo shit but I can’t find it!? Anyway, this was another cracker.
Nas – NY State of Mind
“I’m not the type of brother meant for you to start tessin, give me a Smif and Wessin’, I’ll have niggas undressing”
He couldn’t really finish it off with “I’ll take the chain up of your chest hair” either. “I’ll take chains up of your dresser” would have been a little more suitable maybe haha.
Attn Heata, link us all up with some of them obscure joints in ya stash!
Has anyone else ever noticed how truly dope the late great Punisher’s collab’s with Noreaga were? Hip Hop has produced some amazing duos but while Pun has always been associated more with Fat Joe and Nore with Capone and Tragedy, it’s the collaboration’s between these two Puerto Rock hardbodies that’ve got me fuxin’ with the internets here tonight. These are a few i have in my own collection but a simple YouTube search will turn up even more. Walk with me now…
Big Punisher ft Noreaga – You Came Up
This Rockwilder produced gem was the third single from Pun’s 1998 debut album Capital Punishment. Pun reps the BX while Nore holds down Queens over some funky horns. There’s a video out there for this but i prefer the album version.
Noreaga & Big Pun – Thug Brothers
This is from Funk Flex’s 60 Minutes of Funk Volume 3. If you don’t have your own copy of it there exits a better version on YouTube that i couldn’t embed for some reason. Nore puts in a gold medal performance on this, at no point being outshone by Pun.
Royal Flush ft Big Pun & Noreaga – Clap Yo Hands
I own this 12″ and i fuckin love it, it’s also quiet a rare track from what i’m led to believe. The Punisher slaughters this joint sampled from The Metres Handclapping Song, it’s as simple as that. It rivals his appearance on Beatnuts’ Off The Books. Flush and Nore let ya know Queens is in the house also but they had to work for it after Pun.
Pete Rock ft Big Pun, Noreaga and Common – Verbal Murder
Pete Rock’s solo debut was packed with memorable guest-spots and this ranks among them highly. Why Common is on here i don’t know but it’s never been more evident that there will never be another Pun or Nore, both amazing characters in their own right. I never listen as far as Common because there’s no need.
Kid Capri ft Noreaga & Big Pun – Block Party
Mix-tape king Kid Capri put out an album at the end of the 90’s that featured just about every (living) major rapper of the era but it wasn’t really that good. This is an exception though. Nore’s flow is almost anti-pun’s in that he leaves so much breath in the beat while Pun fills every single measure of a bar with syllables, except for when he’s snorting the breath back into his lungs. I fuck with Nore on this though.
DJ Clue ft Cam’Ron, Big Pun, Noreaga, Canibus – Fantastic 4
It was the end of the 90’s on Clue’s The Professional and Pun and Nore were playing rap’s odd couple again. Book-ended by two impressive performances from Cam’ and Can’ it’s Pun and Nore (getting head in the whip in any street) for my money on this shit. The beat gets on my nerve after a while but the constant darts will keep you entertained.
Respect to Wax Museum and Pang Productions for putting on what looks to be a cracker day.
There’s some great releases this year both locally and OS. Don’t sleep.
Keeping along the lines of last weeks post, giving it up to the ones that paved the way giving the locals an opportunity and outlet I must to give Dropzone a mention. I’m not exactly sure when it started but a few of us were hitting it up on the regular circa 2000-2001. Dropzone collective was, the Bourne brothers Ray (Rainman) and Steve (Steve B) and Two Dee from my hazy memory. Heavy funk grooves and Hip-Hop, open mics and guest MCs every Thursday night from 9pm up at the top level of the empire hotel, which was called the moon bar.
I have no idea what this venue looks like now but back then the 1st two levels were pretty well fit out with a fuck off bars, decks, plenty of seating, pool tables etc. The moon bar on the other hand, which was accessed through some hazardous internal stairs was a little different..It always had this dankness about it, a ‘sweatbox’ if you will, like the sweat from the fried speed patrons on levels one and two had wafted up to the top level. Dimly lit, regular trails of weed smoke wafting out of the back couch sections, it had a dope vibe too it. This was back when bouncers in the city would knock you back from clubs if you didn’t sport the leather or the collar and the valley was…just the valley, a little more relaxed on entry. Before it was a drink, chew and spew ‘Precinct’ that attracts 20k-40k plus per weekend and it gave a fuck about the music and where it was housed and crafted (fuck I sound like some old jaded cunt but it’s truth!). You sure as fuck didn’t pay upward of 10 bucks a throw for a rum either. Binge drinking was fucking encouraged!
The process for us was to head in early to the middle bar and hit up cheap drinks, play some pool, take drugs (if the mood was right), attempt to mac a bitch/s and stumble our way up for entry. Then, drink more, politic, harass women, harass the DJs to play something and let us up for the open mic (sorry Ray I was bad for that shit!). Rinse and repeat!
Dropzone introduced me to open mics, live hip-hop performance, good funk, hip-hop and most of all good people who I still have a lot of time for. The type of people you stay friends for life for because of that connection with the music/art and the community back then was so tight knit you could simply weed out the weak/toy cunts. Separate the real from fake so to speak. It birthed graff crews, rap crews, DJs who are still doing their thing for the culture today and I’m extremely grateful for this. Meeting our mentor, Ken Oath was something I also take away from this time and hold as a great moment. Putting us down with 750 Rebels I think corrupted us a little more than we already where but put us on the right path, at least in a musical sense haha.
Big up and repsect to Rainman and his brothers for getting the scene poppin’ back then and kicking off our Brisbane bullshit.
If anyone has any pics, flyers or tales please share.We were all rocking the dial up back then and time was money!
$2 pots and $3 shots made for some fucking good hip-hop nights put on by the babble-on boys. No to mention the club where they came up promoting their first shows backed on to a gash bar. You could sneak though the back door behind the adjoining bar for some mutton if you so obliged. Don’t worry I wont be dry snitchin’ any detail now or in future of finer details but fun was had and in big fucking spades!!! I Just wanted to post and pay homage to those that have helped along the way and deserve some recognition.
It blows me away to think these shows were over 10 years ago! For a bunch of low life, Southside drunks barely on the right path, we (Town Drunxxx) got a few supports circa 02-03. Babble-On kept the torch alight from the Ric’s café, max break & the alley bar shows, keeping the locals with a regular outlet and the punters happy with a good variety of local and interstate acts, not to mention that pussy actually turned up to hip hop shows back then and got turned out. You didn’t have to be p-noid you were chatting up a bitch some dude was cuffin. The sense of community was regained, the battle scene here in briz was alive, DJs actually had skills and selected records for the task at hand.
Things got bigger, the clubs got bigger, the acts booked were international, dudes bought pre sold tickets knowing that mother fucker would sell out. You would see flyers posted every suburb south to west, word of mouth got you there. I struggle now with some of these fuck arse cunts trying to promote a show with a facebook post and moshtix link. Where’s your gumption and passion? where did the punters go? Is no one of the younger generation a fan before an artist? Where the fuck is the culture ffs?
Enough of a rant. A big thank to the Babble-on boys, the OG 143 massive and everyone else involved back then. Some great memories. Also, big up and repect to the likes of the 469 boys for carrying the torch and bringing back that good old fashion Brisbane Bullshit. You cunts are doing it right! Thankyou!
LC – Murderous Metaphors Launch – The Rev, 2005
Tha Liks – Farewell Tour – The Arena, 2/9/06