Producers Corner: Nitti
People may have said Young Jocs "Its Going Down" was nothing but an insult to Hip-Hop lyrically. For the man behind the beat on that track though it just literally launched his career. There was no insult in sight for Nitti. Having studied the intricate world of production like rappers should study wordplay, Nitti is about as hands on in the studio as you can get. Able to mix down and engineer if need be, he makes sure nothing hinders his creativity. Talking ATL, sampling and competition, Chadron Moore seems extremely settled in the genre in which he resides.
HHDX: How has it been for you as producer since Atlanta has become a Hub for Hip-Hop?
Nitti: I am having a good time, just doing music with different people and right now I am just trying to break some different artists. So I am going to ride the wave while Atlanta is hot right now. Its not going to die no time soon as we are just getting gout feet in the door. There was a time when it was different markets had the business on lock, and we were given peanuts and shit and we dont gone and turned the tables and we are going to ride out.
HHDX: How long have you been waiting to blow up?
Nitti: Shit, I have been waiting nearly ten years just to get in the door. It was hard for the south to get into the door because no one gave us opportunity. Right now we have opportunity, we good and it is happening right now.
HHDX: How influential was 8 Ball in getting you started?
Nitti: He gave me my first break. I take my hats off to him as he gave me my first break to get on a major released project.
HHDX: You have put the hours in studying production; it would be hard to label you a beat maker.
Nitti: Yeah. I started some shit and I aint through.
HHDX: How important was it for you to understand and learn to use all the equipment producers surround themselves with?
Nitti: It was important for me to learn equipment as I always wanted to be the type of person who wanted to be able to go into the studio and make a record without having anyone in there besides me and an engineer. I can make beats, I can write, but it is real important to know your equipment and what you are working on so then you know what quality is.
HHDX: What was the hardest piece of equipment you found to master?
Nitti: Protools was hard because you use it with a computer and I have never really been no computer geek. It was hard for me to get into. You have to use Protools though in production nowadays, if you aint using Protools you aint speaking English.
HHDX: How important was knowing the basic fundamentals of music, you know learning to read music and play instruments?
Nitti: It was real important for me because I actually play instruments by ear, I dont read music. To me, playing by ear, it was all about understanding melody. I understand melody and that makes a difference as my kicks have to match the keys of the music. Understanding melody and music, it all has to blend together.
HHDX: Why do you choose not to sample that much? Is it a personal choice?
Nitti: Because it takes up too much time and to me sampling is not original. I dont get impressed by no producer that samples a lot. To me you are taking something that was already a master recording and you are using someone elses ideas from scratch. To me being a producer is coming up with something from scratch. Dont sample nobodys melodies, make your own. I get in there and make my beats from scratch all the way. I dont get impressed by sampling Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, that is A, B, C shit to me.
HHDX: When you say time I assume you mean for clearance?
Nitti: Yeah that takes both time and money. You know if you sample a record and Earth, Wind and Fire are sampled, they are probably going to look for 75% of that record and they actually deserve 100% as it is their record, as it is their song behind it. You took something that belonged to them that sounded good before you started recording it. I think they should make a law to ban sampling as then all the real producers would come out and until then all the producers that sample, I will respect them but they do not impress me as they are doing nothing new.
HHDX: You also mix down some of your stuff dont you?
Nitti: I dont mix all my stuff but I do mix some, like I mixed "Its Going Down". I started off mixing as I would just stay in the studio after making the beat and I would just make it sound better as sometimes beats sound real dusty and shit. I like to clean it up and make sound as clean as a CD you would buy in the stores and that is all that is.
HHDX: You have a hefty resume with most of the artists you work with being from the South as well. Is that just the way it is going or is that you have a Southern sound that people from the South gravitate towards?
Nitti: I mean I have a Southern sound and I am going to represent the South until the day I die. But I dont want to sound like Just Blaze and I dont want to sound like Battle Kat as they do their sound and they rep their way. That is what they are known for doing and I want to be that producer that when you want that South sound, you gotta come see me. It is a brand new day, producers have a sound that people want to get and I am going to be seen in the exact same way. It is not just going to be just in Hip-Hop, it can be R&B, it can be pop, it can be whatever but it will have a south swing to it.
HHDX: You are not averse to working with other genres then?
Nitti: I will work with anyone, anyone I want to work with I am going to work with. I like the challenge and I like to work with new artists. I dont like working with a lot of the big name artists because sometimes when I have worked with people who are big names and all they are concerned with is who is going to get the first single and it doesnt become as creative, it becomes more business. Once you learn that (side of) business a lot of cats are gonna hate you. I made sure I learned that business to make sure no one is ever going to get over on me as a producer.
HHDX: Is it necessary for a producer to break an artist nowadays?
Nitti: For me, working with an artist, like I snatched Young Capone up when he was young, so I knew he needed time to grow as an artist, but I knew he had potential. With him though it is going to be more about taking my time to develop him into being a superstar and right now he is staying busy, he is booked up for the rest of the year doing shows and he is going to be a new artist to look out for.
HHDX: We keep seeing producers putting out albums, Swizz, Marco Polo, Timbaland, is this in anticipation for Detox, everyone trying to get their shine on?
Nitti: Besides Detox and Tims album, I dont care about any other producer putting out an album as it isnt a threat to me. Timbaland and Dre I respect those dudes as they are people I look up to, but anyone else putting an album out as a producer, other than Ghettoville USA from Nitti, they better come with it.
HHDX: Ego always plays a part with MCs but now we seem to be seeing ego playing its role in production too, would you agree?
Nitti: Rap is competitive and people have to stop taking it so serious as it is a game. With producers, it is just like playing basketball and football; it is nothing more than a challenge. I want to compete against anyone who calls them the best producer; I dont want to be limited. It is a game and everyone should be having fun, get money and everyone is making things happen and getting jobs. I might step up and challenge anyone, who knows who I may challenge in the future as I am not challenging anyone right now, but one think that is certain, I would have fun with it. I think I can be as great as any of the greats out there.
HHDX: Now you are rapping on your album as well as producing, was this something you always aspired to do, rap?
Nitti: I never said I could be a rapper, I just wanted to do that. I think every black man in America can rap, but it is all about if people want to hear what you have to say.
HHDX: Do you think people want to hear what you have to say?
Nitti: Yeah I think they will want to hear what I have to say. There will be a couple of records coming out this year and I am going to see how the records do and then just look for the album around the Fall time.
HHDX: You are using other producers on the album, how hard is it for you to choose someone elses beats when you are a producer yourself?
Nitti: I have three producers that I have just signed and I might reach out to a couple of other producers that I respect and look up to and get a beat from them. I think it would be real fun for me to reach out to someone like a Timbaland and I will probably reach out to him. I did send word and it would be kind of fun to put a rap on a Tim beat as it will feel real awful for some producer to produce me. But that would be some fun shit. I know about Tim and I am sure Tim knows about me, I havent met him personally but I do have a project coming out at the top of the year and Tim and I are going to be doing the bulk of the album, I cant tell you who it is but we might be collabing on a beat with that album.