"Without a beat, it's just a rhyme..."
 

We R Producers

Nab

Pioneer Producer Series Nab


Marv
Nabster what up fam! How you?

Nab
Good man doing well bro.

Marv
I heard that dude. A lot of cats may be familiar with SoHot and when they think of it some may think of JR. Can you tell the reader who is Nab?
Demetrius Hinton
Yeah I get this question a lot so I’ll unpack it for those who may want to know LOL

Nab

NAB was the unseen dude in the background building the studio, handling the business stuff and engineering all the records that were put out during those years. I also made some music during that time as well, so I was pretty much the motor that drove the business piece of So Hot
JR was the music intelligence behind and was less technical than I was (still is lol) so he had more time to focus on his craft and just plain ole making good music you know
I am a music/business minded individual and played the low key role. Didn’t have to be seen as the out front guy and didn’t necessarily want to be that guy anyway
I mean with Flame, Myself, JR, This’L and J’son (later) there was just no room.

Marv
No doubt fam I think it works so well when dudes play and the understand their lane. I guess these day everybody wants be a star lol

Nab

Yeah I think personally too many people are trying to do their thing while watching the next man and what he is doing! It’s like some rush to get out there before the next dude or next team lol NAB at his core is a “Music Lover” especially hip hop and rnb music Thats what I do! I make music I keep the main thing, the main thing
What has gotten me this far is being a well rounded person with a unique ability so I keep that going in all endeavors that come my way or that I intentionally engage
bottom line keep the main thing, the main thing LOL

Marv

Amen? Married?

Nab

Yes 4 years in August and two beautiful daughters 3 and 1. Very supportive wife as well.

Marv
Ok ok. How long you been producing?

Nab
Made my very first beat in 1998 yo! I been making music ever since
13 years or so I started out on hardware racks, MPC’s and the Korg trinity workstation back in the day.

Marv

Mang having a Korg Trinity was like having Mac computer in those days!

Nab

Yes it was If you had one I thought you were rich lol Then came the the Triton! you were really rich to me then
lol I didn’t have my own studio so I did a lot of work out of other people spots.

Marv
huh bruh lol

Nab
Oh, I was just saying I didn’t have my own studio so I did a lot of work out of other peoples during that time
so I viewed those dudes as rich cats with bread! I mean if you can drop $2000 on a keyboard you must be balling
Lol I was young though didn’t know no better.

Marv
I see you are a Propellerhead? Me too. A lot of dudes use FL studio these days. Some have tried Reasons but were intimidated by the setup. How did you start on Reasons?

Nab
Good question this is also another question I get asked alot so here we go…
During the later part of the So Hot days I taught most of the guys how to engineer and so i was starting to be there less and less but I still needed a way to make music when I was not there. I originally didnt embrace software producing because the sound quality wasnt there like hardware.

Nab
So I got creative! LOL I built a semi mobile rig at home that had M-powered pro tools, reason adapted 2.5 and my mpc 60 MKII
I use the rewire technology to get the sounds from reason into the pro tools rig and did all my drum work on the mpc
so one day I tried taking all of my drum wav files and put them all on the redrum and just used the mpc as a trigger and BAM! I was blown away at what I had just did
then I was able to manipulate them in real time (automation was new to me then)
so I began to embrace it more and more , then Reason 3.0 came out and that combinator thing just did it for me
I begin to understand how to route stuff on the rack in the back and all that
I was so ampled! LOL
I shared it with J.R. he was like a deer in headlights

Nab
lol had no clue what I was talking about
the day after Flame’s Our World Redeemed album release party here in St. louis i bought version 4, by that time I had had a MPC 2500 LE
torn between not knowing which one to use I unplugged my MPC and set it on the floor for two weeks and forced myself to learn the software
The rest is history sold the mpc and most of all my hardware and ain’t looked back since

Marv
Wow so dope to hear how you just took the time just figure it out way before 3.0 was out. By all means necessary lol.

Nab

Yeah most people don’t realize but I been doing this for a LOOOOOOONNNG time! LOL
Reason 2.5 adapted was my joint lol. I fell in love with the Dr Rex on Day 1 lol
Reason just worked for me because it simulated real hardware devices and really looked like everything we had at the So Hot Studio

I tried FL too. Couldn’t do it! LOL just didn’t look appealing to me I needed something that looked at felt real

Marv
Yeah it really does fam I love Reason to death son! I also use Native Komplete 7 but I WILL NEVER DO AWAY WITH REASONS LOL. And the 6 wheeeewww!!!

Nab
Yeah i also own Logic Pro and Ableton Live 8 as well and I also have the Komplete package but 96% of what I do is done in Reason + Record
I bought Logic cause at the time I needed a way to record vocals and I had done away with Pro Tools and soon as I bought Logic like a month later Record came out LOL
but I do sub-mixing in Logic! Its beast for that and the m3 bit conversion is awesome but I’ll never upgrade it because I dont need to and its not my main thing anyway so Im good with ver 8 lol R6 is Reason 5 + record 1.5 with 3 new effects     

Marv
do you think producers day these days are prepared or educated about the business

Nab
Uh oh now you have forced me to be the bad guy lol

Marv

Or more just concerned about making music
lol! Keep it funky too.

Nab
Personally i think the new producers simply just want to “get on” and produce records for their favorite CHH emcees which is not a bad thing but music production is far more reaching than just our favorite artist. Theirs TV, Radio, sport teams local and national syndicated forms of media to tap into, Jingles, sound design you know

Nab
I give advice where and when I can. My situation is unique and understand why most of them are this way. I mean I didn’t start at the bottom and work my way up.
I along with JR and others were instrumental in making the music production of CHH what it was and has become.
We started out making records for those who are considered to be the top artist now but they were at the same place we were as well

Nab
When we started CHH had no media outlets at all, no twitter, no myspace, no facebook no nothing. It was word of mouth, emails and websites pretty much.
Getting on I-Tunes was next to impossible unless you were a major artist ya know
today its much easier but theres also more competition as well so I preach creative innovation! only way to set yourself apart nowadays

Marv
Yeah I gotcha on that but what the business side of things, the reason im asking is this is a area we lack today IMO. Even me at time I get sloppy in making sure i get contracts to the artists etc.

Nab
Yeah I have come to realize over the years of dealing with major CHH people that the whole contract thing only maters if your willing to enforce it if theirs problems.
Most people aren’t for perceived philosophical biblical reasons and other won’t because the cost that would incur to do it. As far as general business we lack because we wont everything for free IMO.
We aren’t willing to share information but we want others to give us information. In this regard we act no differently than the regular music industry

Nab
Which is another area we need to tap into but thats a whole another interview lol.

Marv
Ok what do you think about when a artist comes and say “yo Nab give me that Rick Ross sound is that a turn off for you?

Nab
YESS lol I hate when artist try to sound like some other person out there be you and do you
Rick Ross is who he is because no one sounds like him and no other producers can give him the maybach feel other than the ones he works with
if you want a maybach feel go get a producer from that region that makes that kinda music

Marv
Amen fam.

Nab
if you are coming to NAB its because you like what I do and want my sound on your record
it may fit and it may not but don’t come to me and ask me to make you something like Dj Premier or 9th Wonder lol go call them lol

Marv
Beat pricing. what do you think about cats having a gang of for sale at 25,30,50 dollars? Do you think it hurt everybody else?

Nab
Naw I think dudes have the right to charge what they want. I also think it helps those up and comers to get out there as well. I’d never do that though
I’m at the position in this thing where fortunately I don’t have too but I certainly don’t knock it at ll
If i was just starting out oh yeah I have 50 beats for sale always at a minimum of $40 lol

Marv
Really! You don’t think that devalues the music?

Nab
Naw b/c some of them beats that are that cheap are actually nice yo! What devalues music IMO is when dudes copy and imitate others .
No originality.

Nab
However for those that think they cant afford a NAB, Jr, DJ Official or a Tony Stone what other choice they got?

Marv
hmmm… what do you think is a standard rate for production.

Nab

Well in music I personally don’t think anything is standard anymore lol
Producer rates are set by what a producer rates are set by two things (1) What he/she thinks their value is and (2) What others think his/her value is
I meant to say producer rates are set by two things (1) What he/she thinks their value is and (2) What others think his/her value is
in CHH that ranges from $50 to $1500 depending on who you are and what you’ve done
My advice and experience when dealing with majors is to get the highest producer fee possible because the CHH royalty system is WAAAAYYY behind in terms of paying out
and royalty accounting is pretty much non existent

Marv

Do you think it will ever improve?

Nab
Thats a question for the so called powers that be. I have no control over it but I think if the majority of HHH producers came together it would definitely get the attention of a few folk

Marv
No doubt! Any last words?

Nab
Just keep the main thing, the main thing! Creatively innovative and everything else will fall into play. Set goals and when you reach them set another one!
oh yeah head over to www.thebeatlounge.net and join our mailing list, like our facebook page and follow us on twitter at @thebeatlounge
lol
Little known facts most people may not know. JR’s say yeah was done in Reason 3.0 NAB engineered Jai’s song “Stand Out” on the Misfits cd.

Marv

Wow… Thank sooo much for the interview!!!

Nab

no doubt man anytime


Marv

Marv

Christian Producer, Barber,Blogger, Husband, and Father.

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