Exclusive: Tha Bizness Connect With JimmyJazz.com!
We recently had a chance to speak with the hottest production duo in the game, Tha Bizness. Although our conversation with Dow Jones and Henny was brief (poor phone connection), the cousins from the left coast (Seattle, WA to be exact), who have banged out beats behind the boards for 50 Cent, Drake, R. Kelly, Young Jeezy, Snoop Dogg Ne-Yo and most recently the #1 song in the country, “Every Girl” by the leaders of the new school, Young Money (Lil’ Wayne, Drake, Jae Millz, Gudda Gudda and Mack Maine) gave JimmyJazz.com insight on the production game, their take on auto-tune, what they have coming up in the future and much more. Read our interview and then turn on the radio to listen to some of their joints!
Jimmyjazz.com: Congrats on everything, especially for getting “Every Girl” (Young Money) on iTunes.
Dow Jones (Tha Bizness): Shit, it only took Universal [Records] 4 months to get that thing on there.
JimmyJazz.com: By the way, how old is that beat?
Dow Jones (Tha Bizness): We were working on some stuff for R. Kelly’s new album, cause we did the “Hair Braider” joint for him early on last year when he was going through his whole court case thing. So he wanted to get some more stuff for the new album, so it was actually a track we were working for R. Kelly, but Wayne [Lil’ Wayne] ended up taking.
JimmyJazz.com: That’s a big record overall…
Dow Jones (Tha Bizness): It’s a good look. We knew it was going to be a good look in the summer time … and then with the whole Drake (“Best I Ever Had”) song movement… everything just kind of collided all at once. So it’s a big thing, especially that being like his [Drake] first song… first official song to the world with Wayne [Lil’ Wayne], so that was kind of crazy, too.
(Pictured below): Tha Bizness with Drake.
JimmyJazz.com: Since the release of “Every Girl”, what has the momentum been like for Tha Bizness?
Dow Jones (Tha Bizness): For us, it’s kind of hard because we’re so focused on the next song that it’s hard to appreciate what’s going on now. Even with Jeezy’s [Young Jeezy] “My President” record, I don’t think (at least for me) I was able to feel the moment. Like I know with Henny (other half of Tha Bizness) he was able to be in DC for the inauguration, so he got to experience it in a different way, but for me, it’s really hard to sync it in. We’re not really the type to stand and look at ourselves in the mirror and pat ourselves in the back every time something goes good. We’ve been waiting for these opportunities for 10 years. So it’s kind of like we appreciate and enjoy the success and enjoy the people saying it’s a great record [“Every Girl”], and I like hearing it, but… it’s kind of hard seeing where we at. There’s so many people coming to us know like “ You made it, your this & that now… “ To us it’s like, “Ya’ll only heard 10 songs in the market place, ya’ll haven’t heard 2% of all the stuff we got coming or that we are doing. It’s good at the same time, but I don’t think we can really appreciate what’s going on probably till later, and I’m not mad at that. That’s what keeps us focused and staying on the grind. I think that’s the difference between people that want to be great and people who just want to be in this game just to be known and people to accept them. We want to let our music speck for us, rather than just doing a whole bunch of rah rah stuff. That’s why even for us right now, you don’t see us doing too many heavy interviews cause we know so much of this stuff is coming that we rather let everybody watch us move step by step, then just tell everybody “we the dopest and all this other shit” where it’s kind of like, we really still have to show and prove more than what we have, even though we know what we are capable of. We let the public ride the wave with us.
JimmyJazz.com: You have records with Jeezy but then you guys also work with indie artist at the same time. Who are some of the indie artists you are currently working with and trying to groom?
Dow Jones (Tha Bizness): There’s a whole bunch. Of coarse we have our own artist, Mistah Fab. We have a label deal with Atlantic [Records] under Fab’s own company. Then we have the Parker Brothers from Seattle, our hometown. As far as artists, not even independent, but just artists who are trying to get their buzz going right now, especially back on the west coast. Like Jay Rock, who’s on Warner Brothers, Glasses Malone that’s on Cash Money. There’s an artist from the Bay who’s called The Jacka, who just released his new album [“Tear Gas”], it was able to be on Billboard’s Top 200. Then another artist, who I’ve personally really become good friends with over the years and really feel that if he gets the right songs he could be major, and that’s Miltchy Slick from San Diego, who is also part of Kweli’s [Talib] group, Strong Arm Steady. Bad Lucc from Watts, California who is incredible…. we did a couple joints with him that are crazy. We just branching out. Our main thing is trying to take it back to letting music be music. If you listen to any of our beats you can tell that our beats have a groove. Whether it be a Jeezy [Young Jeezy] joint, a 50 Cent “Follow My Lead” joint or even the Young Money “Every Girl”… joint they all have that groove to it.
Henny (Tha Bizness): I mean when it comes to dealing with any type of artist we just try to give each specific artist the type of music that will always fit them. Whether if it’s a Mistah Fab or the Parker Brothers, it’s always about giving them a sound that will go ahead and take them to the next level.
(Pictured below): Henny from Tha Bizzness
Dow Jones (Tha Bizness): Especially in this day and age, no matter who the artist is, everybody is one song away. So it’s kind of like… if we use a formula to work good with Wayne [Lil’ Wayne] we can use the same formula to work good with anybody. I just think it’s staying diverse, letting music be music. We can go do an R&B song with a R. Kelly, we can go and do a pop song with the Black Eyed Peas or the Paradiso Girls and we can go mess with a Killer Mike and Young Jeezy and Oj Da Juiceman on some street shit. It’s just having everything across the board. We also did a couple joints with Norman Brown, who’s probably the most critically acclaimed Jazz Guitarist of our era. We trying to hit things everybody else ain’t hitting. Now and days everybody is trying to run the same race, we’re trying to run it a little different. Sort of like Catalan, we trying to do all the events instead of trying to be the fastest sprinter.
JimmyJazz.com: You guys are from Seattle, home of grunge music. It’s also known for being a rainy state and has the highest suicide rate in the country. Where did you guys get your inspiration?
Henny (Tha Bizness): Coming from Seattle is crazy. We only got Top 40 radio, We didn’t have a lot of underground stations, we didn’t have a lot of the music from the Bay area that would trickle down to Seattle. We only had BET for half a day, from like 5pm to midnight, it wasn’t even everyday. So the types of things we are influence by a lot of it had to do with just commercialism that stuck with us.
Dow Jones (Tha Bizness): Like Henny was just saying, it was just so limited. The only real rap show we had was Rap Attack, every Sunday. You’ll get 3 hours of just raw music. But that was just a small college station at the time, so it wasn’t something that was super overly advertised, it was almost in a way pirate radio that Nasty Nes was doing when he was getting everything going with Sir Mix A Lot. Our main thing, like Henny was touching on, music is life and life is music so all the places that we been, whether it be up and down the west coast, from Seattle to San Diego, to Henny being in college in Atlanta, we’ve been able to be around and see a brighter spectrum of things. You can listen to Atlanta music, but when you go there and really get to see how the 808’s are and how everything is, it gives you a different perspective. Like a lot of times [short pause] we’ll meet southern producers that grew up on west coast beats, but it just doesn’t have that sound. There’s just a certain authenticity to each region, that unless your there and be able to live it and observe it, it will be close, but it won’t be the same. That’s just our whole palate; we’re open to new things. It’s ok to be different and try new shit. You may not like everything, but that perspective of being able to see life through somebody else’s eyes can let you look at something somewhere. We got the whole Ying & Yang personality; we may look at the same thing two different ways, even though we’re working on the same project. But it’s that difference that can open up a conversation, to open up new ideas or being able to see it from a different side. At the end of the day it makes what we do better. The more options that are out there, the more you get, the better answers you can give back out.
(Pictured below): Dow Jones from Tha Bizzness
JimmyJazz.com: Recently, Jay-Z came out with a record going against auto-tune, “D.O.A (Death of Auto-Tune)”, What’s your perspective on artist and producers who limit themselves to just one thing? For instance, auto-tune.
Henny (Tha Bizness): Everything in life, when it comes down to doing anything, you have people who start out doing something that becomes their personality, that becomes something they do. And then you have a lot of people who just imitate and try to create that same type of brand that same type of success. So with auto-tune, people have been using it for years. Whether it was just a way to help correct vocals, or it was a way to try something different. You got staple people, like T-Pain, who branded that. He’s synonymous with that sound. But when other people just try it, it’s a fad. Somebody like T-Pain, he’s been able sing, he’s been able to rap and produce. You can’t take anything away from his talent. He started a niche in the game and he killed it, to the point where everybody else wanted to try it. So I don’t think it’s going to hurt him [T-Pain], when Jay-Z came out with “D.O.A (Death of Auto-Tune)”.
Dow Jones (Tha Bizness): It’s just a part of life. When I was thinking about the whole thing, it kind of reminded me of the Slam Dunk Contest. Back in the day when we were seeing the first dunks of a certain kind, it was amazing. But then after the past couple of years everybody was talking about “let’s just stop doing the dunk contest, cause it’s boring nobody does anything new….” But then you get those few cats, like Lebron [James], Nate Robinson or Dwight Howard that can come through and do something that we haven’t seen before that makes it cool again. So to each his own, there’s always going to be somebody that copies a fad. That’s what makes things popular. There wouldn’t be a chain of Target stores or even markets if people didn’t want to get the same stuff. That’s just a natural part of life. Some people overuse certain things, but so it is. But at the same time we’re paying the people that are innovators in what there doing and the first to do something. Everybody else is just following the trend, you can’t be mad at them for that. Everybody wants’ to put it out there like that’s [auto-tune] killing music. That’s not killing music, bad songs are killing music. If people were making good songs, it didn’t matter if it was a goat doing auto-tune. If it sounded good, people would fuck with it.