Xaphoon Jones, the DJ half of Chiddy Bang, produces on his own every so often and almost always kills it. Here he samples “Colours” by the group, “Group Love”. He twists it with a really funky, reggae sound that vibes real well. Enjoy.
“A white, black kid from uptown who chills with white, white kids from downtown”
Skizzy Mars is a rapper from the Upper East Side of Manhattan with some nasty flow. The first song is Douchebag with a good beat and verses about being a douchebag. Profound is my favorite track though. His flow is filthy. Look out for this kid. You’d be silly not to download both of these.
Name: Derek Riddle
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Kind: Produces and Remixes
Let me introduce you to This Guy I Know. TGIK is hands down one of the most talented producers/remixers around. With the influx of mediocre mash-up artists recently, the genre of mashups have almost been given a bad name. Reaching the number 1 spot on HYPE Machine 3 times, however, TGIK will blow your socks off. You’ll hear hip-hop, funk, rock, and awesome vocals throughout every song. Give a few of his songs a listen and I promose you’ll hear the difference between TGIK, and your friend of a friend who thinks he’s a big deal because he got posted on some blog once.
Saturday night, my buddy James Hottensen, the manager for Split Second, invited me up to Skidmore College for a Chiddy Bang concert. After an ill performance, we had the chance to have a quick interview with Chiddy Bang. For those of you that don’t know them, they’re a group of two guys, Chiddy and Xaphoon Jones who remix well-known beats and create masterpieces. Their biggest hit is a remix of the MGMT song “Kids” which leaked in 2009, but was just released to the public this Tuesday on iTunes. This single is called “Opposite of Adults” and I expect it to reach the top ten on iTunes in no time.
Shanell aka Snl, known as the “Rock-n-B Pop Fusion princess” of Lil Wayne’s record label, Young Money, is one of the most respected female writers and artists out there. Early in her career she was one of the principle dancers on Ne-Yo’s tour and then started writing for many multi-platinum artists including Ne-Yo with the song “Say It” on his album Because of You. Recently, she wrote four of the songs on Lil Wayne’s “Rebirth” LP including his first single “Prom Queen”. She was signed by Young Money and actually brought Lil Wayne the beat for his hit song “A-Milli”. She released the Mixtape Shut Up and Listen earlier in 2010 and has taken off with over 2 million downloads. She also was featured in Lil Wayne’s music video Runnin’ (below) I was contacted and had the opportunity to talk to Shanell on the phone to ask her a few questions about her journey as a writer and an artist thus far.
Cam Mullen: This is Cam Mullen from Camelback Music and I just wanted to first thank you very much for taking the time for this interview, Shanell.
Shanell: No problem, thank you.
Cam Mullen: So your career actually started as a dancer I hear, how did you transition from dancing to becoming an artist?
Shanell: Well I was dancing for a bunch of different artists and I started learning about the business through them. I started writing and submitting songs for others and then I was kind of like well I might as well just do this for myself.
Cam Mullen: A writer? What artists did you write for?
Shanell: I’ve worked with Kelis, Usher, Beyonce, Danity Kane, David Guetta and just about everybody. Whether or not they have put it on their album, haha that’s a different story.
Cam Mullen: You have a sister, D Woods, that was part of Danity Kane, is that right? What kind of influence did she have on you in your career?
Shanell: Well it really taught me a lot. Initially I felt like I knew it all because I was doing music even before she was. Once she got in the group, I saw a whole another level of this industry though. I was just like wow. You’re in the media all the time and people are always watching you. Writing a song for somebody and working with them once is different than working to put together a whole album. Watching her work with four other people in a group really taught me a lot as well.
Cam Mullen: When did you become a part of Young Money?
Shanell: I started roughly two years ago now.
Cam Mullen: What has that experience working with Young Money been like?
Shanell: It’s been great. It’s like a have a bunch of big brothers. I mean Wayne kind of functions his label as a family. You know, we’re day in, day out with each other, on the road with each other; it’s like a big family.
Cam Mullen: You were featured on four tracks of Lil Wayne’s album Rebirth. What is it like working so closely with Wayne?
Shanell: It’s fun. Haha I mean it’s a situation where he allows you to just be creative and to try stuff. There’s no pressure whether something is right or wrong, whether it’s going to sell a million albums or it’s going to sell five. He just wants you to do what you do. If you’re honest and creative, people will believe in it if you believe in it.
Cam Mullen: How would you describe your genre of music to someone that had never heard it before?
Shanell: I would call it some kind of fusion music. I listened to everything growing up from rap to pop to rock to dance. All the music I love kind of fuses itself into one sound, a new sound.
Cam Mullen: What about your unique nose ring? I came across a discussion on the Internet of fans asking each other where they can purchase it. What is the story on the ring?
Shanell: Hahaha I made that! I was on tour while my stylist and I were trying different things and she made earrings. I have a whole lot of hair. I was swinging my hair back and forth and it would get stuck in my earring and I thought to myself, I like the way this looks, I should make something like this.
Cam Mullen: And when was Shut Up and Listen released?
Shanell: April first, April fools day.
Cam Mullen: Does the name “Shut Up and Listen” carry any specific meaning?
Shanell: The name has to do with all of the stuff that surrounds music that people talk about in the media. I just want people to listen to the music and to stop talking about everything else about the artists besides the music itself.
Cam Mullen: There were also rumors going around about you in some relationship with Lil-Wayne. Are any of those true?
Shanell: No and that was a part of the whole April fools release. There were rumors about me being pregnant. I turned the rumors into something positive by throwing a release party that I named the party “my shower” to show that music is my only baby.
Cam Mullen: It’s a tricky question, but out of all the songs on Shut Up and Listen, which is your favorite to perform?
Shanell: I really like the song It’s the Beat. It’s a dance song and I’m a dancer so it works.
Cam Mullen: And what are you up to now?
Shanell: I’m in rehearsal in Philadelphia right now. I have a show this Saturday actually at urban plaza in New York City.