P.A. DRE

Dre 22.JPG

INTERVIEW: TERRELL “REALIFE” BLACK [@REALIFEVMG]

VALIDATED: YOU WERE BORN IN MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, RAISED IN NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA AND CURRENTLY RESIDE IN SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA. THREE TOTALLY DIFFERENT CULTURES MUSICALLY, HOW HAS THIS INFLUENCED THE MUSIC YOU CREATE?

P.A. DRE: WELL I'D DEFINITELY SAY MY SOUTHERN ROOTS IS WHERE I GET THE SOULFUL PART OF MY SOUND FROM. GROWING UP IN PENNSYLVANIA INSPIRED MY LOVE FOR BOOM BAP. ACTUALLY BOOM BAP IS MY FAVORITE SOUND, AS A KID I USED TO WATCH A LOT OF “YO! MTV RAPS”. I'D STAY UP LATE TO RECORD IT ON VHS AND INVITE MY FRIENDS OVER TO WATCH THE EPISODES THE FOLLOWING DAY. AS FAR AS THE CALIFORNIA INFLUENCE,  I'D SAY THAT'S WHAT REALLY SPARKED THE IDEA OF PRODUCING AND RAPPING, BEING THAT HEARING DR. DRE AND SNOOP IS WHAT MADE ME WANT TO TAKE MY CHANCES IN HIP HOP. IT WAS MORE RATED R THAN THE MUSIC I WAS ALLOWED TO LISTEN TO AS A KID. I LOVE THAT G-FUNK SOUND. 

VALIDATED: WHAT'S YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF HIP-HOP, THE CULTURE?

P.A. DRE: MY EARLIEST MEMORY OF HIP HOP WOULD BE ME SNEAKING TO WATCH THE JUKEBOX NETWORK WHENEVER MY PARENTS WOULD LEAVE MY BIG BROTHER TO BABYSIT ME AND MY YOUNGER BROTHERS. AS A MATTER OF FACT I REMEMBER GETTING A  SPANKING WHEN MY PARENTS CAME HOME EARLY AND CAUGHT US WATCHING SALT-N-PEPPA’S "PUSH IT" VIDEO. WE WEREN'T ALLOWED TO LISTEN TO IT BECAUSE OF THE CONTENT. LOL MY BIG BROTHER USED TO ALWAYS LET US SNEAK AND LISTEN TO MUSIC WE WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO BE LISTENING TO. I'M AN 80’S BABY, IF THAT HELPS YOU UNDERSTAND HOW YOUNG I HAD TO HAVE BEEN.


VALIDATED: WHICH MAJOR ARTISTS HAVE YOU WORKED WITH?

P.A. DRE: AS FAR AS WORKING WITH MAJOR ARTIST I WAS THE 1ST IN HOUSE PRODUCER FOR EDUCATED IGNORANCE MUSIC GROUP WHICH RJ PAYNE IS THE C.E.O. I'VE DONE A LOT OF WORK WITH HIM WHICH I'LL GET INTO LATER IN THIS INTERVIEW CONSIDERING THAT'S ONE OF YOUR QUESTIONS. LOL ME AND BRO MYTH OF THE PRONOUN PRODUCED THE "FROM THE CITY TO THE TOWN" BY NEEF BUCK OF THE YOUNG GUNS AND STATE PROPERTY. IT'S ACTUALLY THE FIRST SONG ON HIS ALBUM "FOREVER DO ME VOL. 9", I PRODUCED A FEW RECORDS FOR FEMALE BATTLE RAPPER "O'FFICIAL" BUT THE MOST NOTABLE RECORD I PRODUCED FOR HER WOULD HAVE TO BE "COASTIN" FEATURING MICKEY FACTZ. I'VE DONE QUITE A BIT OF BEATS FOR RAS KASS. HE'S ACTUALLY GIVEN ME A FEW SAMPLES TO FLIP. I'VE WORKED WITH LORD TARIQ, HE'S ALSO GIVEN ME SAMPLES TO FLIP. IRONICALLY HE JUST SENT ME A FEW EARLIER TODAY. THERE WAS A SUPER GROUP PROJECT WE WERE WORKING ON AT A POINT IN TIME. THE GROUP WAS CALLED "THE UNTOUCHABLES" WHICH CONSISTED OF RJ PAYNE, LORD TARIQ, DJ DOO WOP AND MYSELF. I PRAY ONE DAY THAT PROJECT WILL EVENTUALLY BE RELEASED. I'VE WORKED WITH A LOT OF WELL-KNOWN BATTLE RAPPERS SUCH AS TAY ROC, E.NESS, MATH HOFFA, BRIZZ RAWSTEEN AND DAY LYT TO NAME A FEW. I MADE IT A MISSION TO WORK WITH BATTLE RAPPERS BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE THEY'RE THE LAST BREED OF EMCEES WHO TAKES LYRICISM SERIOUS BUT DON'T REALLY GET THE PROPS THEY DESERVE AS MUSIC ARTIST. I PRODUCED A RECORD FOR PHILLY EMCEE AR-AB TITLED "CRAZY", THERE'S A VIDEO FOR THAT SONG ON YOUTUBE. I PRODUCED A CRAIG MACK TRIBUTE SONG FOR FORMER BAD BOY ARTIST MARK CURRY. SOME OTHER NAMES WHO'VE VOCALIZED OVER MY BEATS ARE GUILTY SIMPSON, MYSONNE, LADY LUCK, REED DOLLAZ, SKI BEATZ (HE PRODUCED DEAD PRESIDENTS FOR JAY Z AND A LOT OF OTHER NOTABLE RECORDS), LORD JAMAR,  SKY ZOO, TOM GIST, KID CAPRI, MAV MONTANA OF THE CLOTH, CHINO XL, BERNADETTE PRICE, APATHY, RIM DA VILLIN AND I'VE DONE SOME MUSICAL AND EDITORIAL WORK FOR GULLY TV. TWO OF MY BEATS ARE SCORE MUSIC IN GULLY TV'S "HAITIAN JACK SPEAKS" DOCUMENTARY WHICH IS NOW ON AMAZON PRIME.


VALIDATED: HOW DID THE COLLABORATION BETWEEN YOU AND PHILADELPHIA HIP-HOP ARTIST RJ PAYNE HAPPEN?

P.A. DRE: THE COLLABORATION WITH ME AND RJ PAYNE STARTED ABOUT 4 TO 5 YEARS AGO. MY BRO AND EMCEE (HECTIC) DID SOME WORK WITH HIM. FROM WHAT I WAS TOLD RJ PAYNE (AT THE TIME WAS STILL GOING BY THE STAGE NAME REIGN MAN) WAS LOOKING FOR A PRODUCER TO WORK WITH WHO HAD THAT SOULFUL EAST COAST SOUND (WHICH I SPECIALIZE IN), HE ASKED HECTIC IF HE KNEW ANYBODY. AT THE TIME I WAS DOING A LOT OF PRODUCTION FOR HECTIC SO HE POINTED HIM IN MY DIRECTION. RJ ASKED ME TO SEND HIM A FEW BEATS TO HEAR MY SOUND. I ENDED UP SENDING AROUND 100 BEATS IN THE FIRST EMAIL I SENT HIM. AFTER LISTENING TO THE BEATS, HE REALLY ROCKED WITH MY SOUND AND WE DECIDED TO START WORKING ON MUSIC TOGETHER. HE POSTED A TWEET THAT STATED "P.A. DRE IS MY FAVORITE UNDERGROUND PRODUCER!" AND AT THAT POINT I FIGURED I MUST HAVE BEEN DOING SOMETHING RIGHT. LOL WHEN I WAS INTRODUCED TO HIM I KNEW HIS NAME BUT WASN'T TOO FAMILIAR WITH HIS MUSIC. AFTER LISTENING TO HIS MUSIC FOR THE FIRST TIME I AUTOMATICALLY KNEW HE WAS SOMETHING SPECIAL, I MEAN I WAS ABSOLUTELY BLOWN AWAY.  I THINK ONE OF THE FIRST QUESTIONS I ASKED HIM AFTER LISTENING WAS "BRO WHY AREN'T YOU SIGNED AND RICH RIGHT NOW?". I TOLD HIM THAT HE SHOULD BE BEING MENTIONED WITH NAMES LIKE JAY Z, NAS AND THE GREATS. I'M NOT SURE IF HE THOUGHT I WAS GASING BUT I REALLY MEANT THAT S*** AND STILL FEEL THAT WAY. THAT'S WHY IT'S SUCH AN AMAZING FEELING TO SEE ALL OF THE BLESSINGS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT HE'S RECEIVING. I WANTED THE WORLD TO HEAR WHAT I HEARD BECAUSE I KNEW HE WOULD BE UNDENIABLE. OUR FIRST PROJECT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE CALLED "RHYME & REASON" BUT WE ENDED UP SWITCHING THE TITLE TO "MAX PAYNE", I PRODUCED 95% OF THAT ALBUM. THERE WAS A SPLIT PICTURE HE POSTED ON INSTAGRAM, THE PICTURE WAS OF HIM ON ONE SIDE AND THE OTHER SIDE WAS BIG L. THE CAPTION STATED THAT PEOPLE ALWAYS SAID THEY RESEMBLE EACH OTHER. I SAW THE POST AND A LIGHT BULB WENT OFF IN MY HEAD. LOL I DIDN'T EVEN TELL HIM I WAS GOING TO DO IT BUT I PRODUCED A WHOLE ALBUM WORTH OF BIG L REMAKE BEATS, MADE A QUICK COVER ART AND CALLED THE POTENTIAL PROJECT FOLDER "THE GHOST OF BIG L" AND SENT IT TO HIM. I PRODUCED THE WHOLE THING THE SAME DAY AS THE SPLIT PICTURE POST. HE AUTOMATICALLY SAW THE VISION AND WE CREATED THE PROJECT TO HONOR BIG L. KID CAPRI FOUND OUT ABOUT THE PROJECT AND CAME ABOARD AND HOSTED THE PROJECT. WE WENT ON TO DO A SERIES OF TRIBUTE PROJECTS. INCLUDING “THE GHOST OF BIG PUN”, “THE GHOST OF PRODIGY” HOSTED BY BIG TWINS OF THE INFAMOUS MOBB DEEP AND “THE GHOST OF SEAN PRICE” HOSTED BY BERNADETTE PRICE. AT THE TIME WE WERE STILL MAKING A NAME FOR OURSELVES AND DIDN'T REALLY HAVE THE LUXURY OF BEING ABLE TO GET EVERY FEATURE OR CONTRIBUTION AS EASY AS IT IS NOW. I WOULD REACH OUT TO DIFFERENT NOTABLE ENTERTAINERS TO BE APART OF THOSE PROJECTS. THERE WAS A NICE AMOUNT OF THEM WHO ACTUALLY PARTICIPATED AND THEN THERE WERE OTHERS WHO SAID THEY'D PARTICIPATE BUT DIDN'T. IRONICALLY SOME OF THOSE SAME PEOPLE ARE REACHING OUT NOW (I WON'T SAY ANY NAMES). EVEN THOUGH THERE'S NO HARD FEELINGS, I STILL REMEMBER AND I'M SURE THEY DO TOO. LOL I REACHED OUT TO LORD JAMAR TO BE APART OF THE SEAN PRICE TRIBUTE PROJECT (WHICH ENDED UP BEING ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTIONS) AND AROUND THE SAME TIME JAMAR HAD A BOOK CHALLENGE THAT WAS TRENDING AT THE TIME. RJ NOT ONLY DID THE BOOK CHALLENGE ON INSTAGRAM BUT HE RHYMED ABOUT WHAT BOOKS HE WAS READING.  JAMAR WAS IMPRESSED, REPOSTED THE VIDEO AND BEGAN TO SHOW AN EXTREMELY LARGE AMOUNT OF SUPPORT. S*** REALLY TOOK OFF AFTER THAT (SHOUT OUT TO HIM FOR THAT). WE PUT OUT LIKE 7 PROJECTS IN 1 YEAR AND BEEN WORKING EVER SINCE.

VALIDATED: BOTH YOUR FATHER AND GRANDFATHER ARE PERCUSSIONIST WITH MUSIC INDUSTRY CREDIT. WHAT INFLUENCE DID THEY HAVE ON YOUR MUSICAL TALENTS?

P.A. DRE: WELL I NEVER MET MY GRANDFATHER (THE ONE WHO PLAYED THE HI HATS ON THE ORIGINAL SHAFT THEME SONG), I WAS TOLD ABOUT HIM WHEN I WAS GROWING UP. I WAS PROUD TO KNOW I COME FROM THAT TYPE OF LINEAGE. MUSIC HAS REALLY BEEN APART OF MY LIFE SINCE I WAS A BABY. I USED TO SEE ALL TYPES OF MUSICIANS IN AND OUT OF MY PARENT'S LIVING ROOM AS A CHILD. MY POPS PLAYED THE PERCUSSION ON “RING MY BELLS” BY ANITA WARD, “TAKE YOUR TIME” BY THE S.O.S. BAND, HE WORKED WITH ISAAC HAYES (TOOK ME TO HIS STUDIO CALLED STAX STUDIO IN MEMPHIS), WILLIE MITCHELL,  CHAKA KHAN, THE BARCLAYS AND A LIST OF OTHERS. HIS BAND WAS GETTING POPULAR IN JAPAN SO HE USED TO TOUR A LOT OVER THERE. WHEN MY MOM WAS PREGNANT WITH ME THEY WERE GOING TO MOVE TO JAPAN, SHE PLANNED ON GIVING BIRTH TO ME OVER THERE BUT IT DIDN'T PAN OUT. AFTER HAVING MY YOUNGER BROTHER MY POPS DECIDED TO GIVE UP TOURING AND PURSUING A MUSIC CAREER BECAUSE HE FELT LIKE HE WAS GONE AWAY FROM US TOO MUCH. I'VE ALWAYS FELT LIKE HE GAVE UP HIS DREAM FOR ME SO APART OF MY MUSICAL INSPIRATION HAS BEEN TO PAY HIM BACK... LIKE "POPS, LOOK I FINISHED WHAT YOU STARTED." LOL HE TAUGHT ME ALOT ABOUT MUSIC.

VALIDATED: WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR MUSIC PRODUCTION TEAM "THE PRONOUN"?

P.A. DRE: WELL, I WAS INSPIRED BY 9TH WONDER AND WHAT HE DID WITH THE SOUL COUNCIL. YA KNOW, LIKE A PRODUCER AVENGERS TYPE OF SITUATION. LOL I CREATED THE PRONOUN OUT OF A FEW PRODUCERS AND A VOCAL ARTIST I BELIEVE IN. I FEEL LIKE THEY'RE ALL TALENTED AND I WANT THEM TO BE HEARD JUST AS MUCH AS I WANT FOR MYSELF. MYTH HAS THAT GRITTY HIP-HOP SOUND, ORLANDO BENSON SPECIALIZES IN THE RNB/ HIT SINGLE SOUND, AMIYN ON THE BEAT CREATES UNIQUE BUT DOPE MELODIES WITH HARD HITTING DRUMS AND M.O.W.E. IS THE SINGER WHO ADDS VOCAL FLAVOR TO BEATS WE SHOP. WE'VE BEEN WORKING ON HER DEBUT ALBUM EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY ME.


VALIDATED: WHICH PRODUCERS INSPIRE YOU AND WHAT IF ANYTHING DID YOU BORROW FROM THEM?

P.A. DRE: THERE'S A LIST OF PRODUCERS WHO'VE INSPIRED ME AND STILL DO BUT THOSE WHO'VE HAD THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON ME WOULD BE RZA, J DILLA, KANYE WEST, 9TH WONDER, ALCHEMIST, DJ PREMIER, NOTTZ, JUST BLAZE, SKI BEATZ, PETE ROCK, LARGE PROFESSOR, Q TIP AND DAZ OF THE DOGG POUND, DR. DRE, MIKE DEAN, JUICY J AND DJ PAUL (THREE SIX MAFIA). FROM THE MAJORITY OF THEM I WOULD SAY I STUDIED THE WAY THEY SAMPLED. I FEEL LIKE MY PRODUCTION STYLE IS A COMBINATION OF THEM.


VALIDATED: IN 2012 YOU PLACED IN THE TOP 10 OUT OF 40,000 PRODUCERS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE IN THE PRHYME PRODUCER REMIX CHALLENGE BY ROYCE DA 5’9”AND DJ PREMIER. WHAT WAS YOUR INITIAL REACTION AND WHERE DOES THIS RANK AMONGST YOUR PRODUCTION ACCOMPLISHMENTS?

P.A. DRE: I CAN'T BEGAN TO DESCRIBE HOW PLACING IN THAT COMPETITION MADE ME FEEL. WHAT MADE IT REALLY MEANINGFUL WAS KNOWING ROYCE AND PREMIER LISTENED TO MY REMIX OF THEIR SONG AND FELT IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH TO MAKE IT IN THE FINAL TOP 10. THE GUY WHO WON WAS ALREADY A FAMOUS YOUTUBE PRODUCER, A LOT OF PEOPLE FELT LIKE I WAS ROBBED BUT PERSONALLY I'M JUST HAPPY TO HAVE MADE IT AS FAR AS I DID. THAT'S A BIG ACCOMPLISHMENT TO ME. I HAVE TO MENTION, SKI BEATZ WAS THE FIRST FAMOUS PRODUCER TO LET ME KNOW I WAS DOING SOMETHING RIGHT. HE'S SHOWN ME PLENTY OF SUPPORT OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS. I HAVE A LOT OF RESPECT FOR HIM.              

VALIDATED: KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW NOW, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE THE YOUNGER YOU PERTAINING TO YOUR CRAFT?

P.A. DRE: THE ADVICE I WOULD GIVE TO MY YOUNGER SELF IS "TRUST THE PROCESS".

VALIDATED: WHAT UPCOMING PROJECTS CAN WE EXPECT FOR 2019?

P.A. DRE: OF COURSE MORE RJ PAYNE PROJECTS. I GOT A LOT OF WORK I'VE BEEN DOING WITH SOME WELL-KNOWN ARTIST BUT CAN'T SPEAK ABOUT IT TOO EARLY (YOU KNOW HOW THE MUSIC BUSINESS GOES. LOL). ALMOST FINISHED WITH MY ARTIST M.O.W.E.'S ALBUM. SHE'S A SINGER, EMCEE AND POET. SHE HAS A DOPE NEO-SOUL VIBE.  HER ALBUM IS ONE OF THE BEST PROJECTS I'VE PRODUCED AND DEFINITELY WORTH A LISTEN. BESIDES THAT I'VE BEEN FOCUSING A LOT ON MY HOLISTIC HEALTH BRAND (FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @GENIEHOLISTIC). I WAS INSPIRED BY STYLES P OF THE LOX AND WHAT HE'S DOING WITH FARMACY FOR LIFE. THERE'S A REWARDING FEELING IN HELPING PEOPLE DISCOVER MOTHER NATURE'S MEDICINES.                                        


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

P.A. DRE: INSTAGRAM @PA_DRE_BEATS_OF_THE_PRONOUN, TWITTER @PA_DRE_BEATS, YOUTUBE WYLDBOIZVIDEOS, WEBSITE PADREBEATS.BIZ AND IAMRJPAYNE.COM. EMAIL PADREBEATS@GMAIL.COM AND FACEBOOK ANDRE CUMMINGS.