CRAZE ON THE BEAT

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INTERVIEW: TERRELL “REALIFE” BLACK

VALIDATED: BEING A NATIVE OF STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK, WHAT'S YOUR EARLIEST RECOLLECTION OF HIP-HOP CULTURE?

CRAZE ON THE BEAT: MY FIRST RECOLLECTION OF STATEN ISLAND HIP HOP WITHOUT A DOUBT HAS TO BE THE WU-TANG CLAN. "PROTECT YA NECK", "BRING THE PAIN" AND "M-E-T-H-O-D MAN" WERE JUST A FEW SONGS THAT GOT ME HOOKED FROM THE START.

VALIDATED: YOU'VE BEEN PRODUCING FOR CLOSE TO TWO DECADES, INITIALLY, HOW DID YOU GET INTO PRODUCTION?

CRAZE ON THE BEAT: SINCE THE DAY I WAS BORN I’VE ALWAYS LOVED MUSIC BECAUSE I COME FROM A MUSICAL BACKGROUND FAMILY. I STARTED OUT IN A HIP POP GROUP CALLED "THE PROFITS" PRODUCING MOST OF OUR MUSIC AND THAT’S WHERE I FOUND MY PATH AS A PRODUCER.

VALIDATED: WHAT'S KEPT YOU MOTIVATED OVER THE YEARS?

CRAZE ON THE BEAT: I ALWAYS KEEP MY EAR TO THE STREETS ON WHAT’S HOT IN HIP HOP SO THAT’S WHAT KEEPS ME MOTIVATED.

VALIDATED: YOUR FIRST BIG PROJECT WAS FOR THISIS50.COM AND FEATURED G-UNIT ARTIST SPIDER LOC, GMG’S UNCLE MURDA AND ROCAFELLA ARTIST FREEWAY. DO YOU RECALL YOUR INITIAL REACTION WHEN YOU GOT THE NEWS?

CRAZE ON THE BEAT: A FRIEND OF MINE WHO WORKS OVER AT G-UNIT PUT THE PROJECT TOGETHER FOR BARACK OBAMA’S INAUGURATION AS OUR FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT. I WAS DEFINITELY EXCITED TO SEE THE PROJECT COME TOGETHER SO WELL AS IT DID AND ESPECIALLY THRILLED TO WITNESS A MOMENT IN HISTORY.

VALIDATED: WHAT OTHER KNOWN ARTIST HAVE YOU WORKED WITH?

CRAZE ON THE BEAT: I’VE ALSO WORKED WITH MAINO, INKMONSTARR, FRESH MOSS, 24HOURS (FORMERLY ROYCE RIZZY), AND ROYAL FLUSH BUT IF I FORGOT ANYONE ELSE I DO APOLOGIZE.

VALIDATED: I COMPARE YOU AND DRAG-ON TO DJ PREMIER AND NAS WITH THE COLLABORATIONS. ORIGINALLY, HOW DID YOU GUYS LINK?

CRAZE ON THE BEAT: FIRST AND FOREMOST I APPRECIATE YOU COMPARING OUR COLLABORATIONS TO TWO GREATS IN THE INDUSTRY, IT’S CERTAINLY AN HONOR TO WORK WITH A LEGEND SUCH AS DRAG-ON. IT ALL STARTED WHEN I SENT HIM A BATCH OF BEATS BACK IN 2015.

VALIDATED: WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU TWO HAD SOMETHING SPECIAL?

CRAZE ON THE BEAT: THE FIRST RECORD WE WORKED ON CALLED "JOHN GOTTI", DJ KAY SLAY HAD THAT SPINNING FOR A WHILE. SOON AS WE FINISHED JOHN GOTTI WE JUST KEPT PUTTING OUT RECORD AFTER RECORD AND THAT’S WHEN WE BOTH KNEW WE WERE A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH.

VALIDATED: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SIGNATURE SOUND?

CRAZE ON THE BEAT: AS OF NOW I’M STILL DEVELOPING MY OWN SOUND. HONESTLY AS A PRODUCER YOU HAVE TO KEEP UP WITH THE JONES IN ORDER TO STAY RELEVANT IN THIS INDUSTRY. I SHOULD SAY THOUGH MY PRODUCER TAG HAS REALLY CAUGHT A LOT OF ATTENTION BECAUSE WHEN YOU HEAR "CRAZE ON THE BEAT SHOW EM HOW IT'S DONE" YOU KNOW IT’S GOING TO BE HOT RECORD.

VALIDATED: WHICH PRODUCERS INFLUENCED YOUR STYLE AND WHAT IF ANYTHING DID YOU "BORROW" FROM THEM?

CRAZE ON THE BEAT: AS FAR AS PRODUCERS GO, I WOULD SAY I PAID A LOT OF ATTENTION TO SCOTT STORCH, JIM JONSIN, J.R. ROTEM, ALCHEMIST, NO I.D. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST KANYE WEST. I WASN’T NECESSARILY INFLUENCED BY THEIR STYLE HOWEVER I DID LEARN A LOT ABOUT SAMPLING FROM THESE PRODUCERS.

VALIDATED: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAJOR DIFFERENCES WHEN WORKING WITH A WELL KNOWN ARTIST, VERSUS AN UP-AND-COMING ARTIST?

CRAZE ON THE BEAT: WHEN IT COMES TO KNOWN OR POPULAR ARTISTS THEY’RE SLIGHTLY EASIER TO WORK WITH BECAUSE I’M ALREADY FAMILIAR WITH THEIR SOUND. BUT FOR UP AND COMING ARTISTS THEY’RE ALWAYS REINVENTING THEMSELVES SO IT’S KIND OF DIFFERENT.

VALIDATED: HOW IMPORTANT IS STATEN ISLAND TO HIP-HOP CULTURE?

CRAZE ON THE BEAT: IT’S REALLY SAD THAT STATEN ISLAND IS STILL CONSIDERED THE FORGOTTEN BOROUGH. BUT THAT BOROUGH HAS A CULTURE LIKE NO OTHER AND A LOT OF UNSEEN AND UNHEARD TALENT. AND AS MUCH AS WE RESPECT BROOKLYN, BRONX, QUEENS AND MANHATTAN, WE ALSO NEED TO SHOW STATEN ISLAND LOVE AS WELL.

VALIDATED: WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO FROM YOU IN 2019?

CRAZE ON THE BEAT: YOU COULD CERTAINLY LOOK FORWARD TO DRAG-ONS NEW MIXTAPE "BARZ ON FIRE PART 3" HOSTED BY DJ GET IT RITE AND DJ LAZY K WITH PRODUCTION BY YOURS TRULY. I WILL ALSO BE FEATURED ON THE RUFF RYDERS RADIO COMPILATION HOSTED BY DJ CYNCERE ALONG WITH A FEW OTHER PROJECTS THAT ARE STILL IN THE WORKS.

VALIDATED: WHERE CAN THE READERS SUPPORT YOU AND YOUR MUSIC ONLINE AND SOCIAL MEDIA?

CRAZE ON THE BEAT: I’M CURRENTLY IN THE PROCESS OF WORKING ON A WEBSITE BUT YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM AT @ITSCRAZEONTHEBEAT OR YOU CAN FIND ME ON TWITTER AT @CRAZEPRODUCTION.

Troy Hendrickson