Beat Sale! $.99 @ Loud.com!: Sha Money XLJune 25, 2007 at 12:56 pm | Posted in Interviews | Leave a comment
Written by ShaBe Allah
The increasing dominance and influence of production in the “new and improved” Hip Hop industry has increased the importance of the producer to rival and even surpass that of the artist, meaning rappers. For most up and coming rappers, the ability to afford a top notch producer is almost an impossiblity if you’re not already established or “hood rich” and just got that kind of bread on hand. If you told today’s starving artist that he/she could get a track from Swizz Beatz for less than four figures, they would say you were lying. Less than three, they would say say you lying and stupid. Well, times are changing.
SRC, Loud.com, and its online community has set to change that with its online site where you can purchase tracks from some of today’s hottest producers and production teams, including G Unit’s in-house powerhouse, Sha Money XL. One of rap’s busiest beat makers, Mr. Money rose from an internship with the late, great Jam Master Jay to molding the career of this generation’s most prolific artist. As the newest addition to the online beat store and battle ground, he discusses with TheIndustryCosign.com the pros and cons of shopping music online, what he learned about production from JMJ, and his latest projects from Money Management and G Unit.
TheSource.com: How you get the name “Sha”?
Sha Money XL: I just was up in Job Corps. and a nigga had the laid back personality, so it originally started with the “Shy” and it just stuck to me. I was a loner, so they called me “Self” originally and it was “Sha Self”. It started like that. From there, Sha Self was ringing bells. I came in the industry fuckin’ wit’ (Jam Master) Jay, Onyx and all that. Then some other producer came out, then it was a DJ Self, then another Self. It was too many Selfs, so I was like this gotta go. I don’t want no confusion. Dudes confusing him for me, opening doors for him thinking he was me when he was walkin’ in. Fuck that, man. I’m about money, I’m about to get extra large wit’ it, just fuck it. Call me Sha Money XL, nigga and this is what it is.
TheSource.com: Which one of the producer/contestants from the “One Stop Shop Producers Conference” won the contest and are they currently with Money Management?
Sha Money XL: Yeah, So NaNa won and the runner up, Gigalo, is with Money Management. So NaNa won and I’ve been shopping his music around. The crazy part is, the runner up Gigalo, I already placed him on two albums. He’s been placed on (Young) Buck’s album. He did “Say It To My Face” with 8 Ball, MJG, and Bun B. and he did a record on 50’s album. For some reason, the runner up made music that just connected with everybody. It’s crazy because he’s coming out as the winner right now. So NaNa, I’ve been shopping around and getting good feedback, but nothing sold yet. The guy sitting right next to him actually got tracks sold and I’m having an easy time selling his shit around the industry.
TheSource.com: How was you chosen to become a part of the Loud.com production team?
Sha Money XL: I came in the game as a producer, yanahmean? My list of records I did, you probably don’t even know I did. When you think of production period and you think of all these companies and all these producers, I come up with the Swizz and all of these guys who are more active than I am. “Poor Little Rich Nigga”, Magic Stick” and all that kinda shit. They wasn’t singles, but when you heard them, they bumped heavy like they were. Steve Rifkind knew what I was doing with producers. In my environment, I have a whole community of production, producers, and aspiring artists that wanna meet me. So having me tagged to this, you’re gonna speak to those people just off the strength of my name. I’ll stop in the street and talk to a nigga that’s brand new and give him advice, even give him my email or somethin’, listen to his music, then the next thing you know, he’s on the album such as 50. I’ve been known for taking no one and turning them into someone. You look at Midi Mafia whose on Loud.com. Their first record they gave to me, which was “21 Questions”. All they had to do was hand me a CD and their life changed ever since.
TheSource.com: Do you think that it’s still the mixtape or the online community as the best way to break a new artist?
Sha Money XL: I think it’s the online community. More of the real fans are actually just spending time online checking. Mixtapes are only based in certain regions, so certain hoods don’t get certain mixtapes. There ain’t the same amount of mixtapes in New York as it is in Atlanta or in all these other cities. Mixtapes get but so far. It’s a good form of promotion, but it’s not the finish line no more. Online just really been the real shit for the last three, four years. When we first started G Unit, niggas wasn’t thinkin’…I wasn’t even MP3ing Doo Wop or Clue joints. I was coming to meet them to give it to them. I didn’t even have the capability to email niggas four, five years ago, so it’s just crazy ’cause technology is that ill and it’s always been there, it’s just that niggas preferred to meet with you and get the CD. Now, niggas tell you to MP3 it. That’s easier ’cause you ain’t gotta spend the time gettin’ to them, but we didn’t have that. So when I came in, we was mixtape/CD heavy..floodin it.
TheSource.com: Do you feel like that’s a part of what’s diluting the game?
Sha Money XL: Absolutely. You got niggas doin’ songs with the artist not even in the studio. You look at “I’m A Flirt”. You ask T-Pain and them niggas if they was in the studio with R. Kelly or did they just get sent the ProTools and did their verse. You never know until someone answer it, but the interaction period is gone, yanahmean? It’s gone. Everybody either too busy or something just ain’t connecting. Niggas just wanna get it and go. There’s no real ‘I wanna be friends wit’ niggas’…Like Buck, he got real friends in Hip Hop that he go hang out wit’ like Jeezy. We get to Atlanta, we partying ’til five in the morning, then waking up the next day, smoke a blunt, go in the studio and just kickin’ it. It’s not just, ‘Yo, I need a verse..’ and you never see a nigga again. A nigga really keep up relationships.
TheSource.com: On the Loud.com beat site, anybody online can buy these tracks for $.99. Do you feel that lessens the worth of the track?
Sha Money XL: I mean..that’s a good question, man. I did 50’s video game, man. I gave up 57 of my beats. You count 57 beats. It takes a long time to make that. You got a stash of records that you cool to part ways with or just been sittin’ for a year and no one really hopped on it. So you had that stash too, which is still good beats and you say, ‘You know what? I wanna give back ’cause that’s the part of Hip Hop that we not doin’ that’s makin’ niggas say that Hip Hop is dead. It’s not giving back. So when I give something for $.99, I’m not even thinking about the money, the breakdown…it’s not even gonna pay a car note. I don’t even know ’cause we just starting, but my whole incentive of doin’ this wasn’t even to make bread. It’s just another community where Sha Money’s at, where I could give back to the people, have my name out there, my music out there…The new rappers in fuckin’..Tennessee is litenin’ to my music and they’re rappin’ to it and they’re runnin’ back to their hood sayin’, ‘I just did something to the Sha Money record on Loud.com.’ It spreads. Another rapper does it and if he wants to use Swizz Beats, he grabs one of those. It keeps the excitement going. That’s what I’m really about.
TheSource.com: Have you heard any artists online that used your beats, felt their vibe and personally reached out to them?
Sha Money XL: Actually, that’s what they’re gonna do here at Loud.com. I’m gonna ask everybody that rap to my beat if I can hear it. SRC, the A&R staff, Sean C. and them..they listenin’ to them as they do these records, so they tryin’ to find who’s hot out there.
TheSource.com: Who are the judges for the contest for the 100Gs?
Sha Money XL: You know, I gotta find that out. That’s a good question. I’ll find that out.
TheSource.com: Going into an important chapter in your career, how long did you work with Jam Master Jay before he got murdered?
Sha Money XL: I met Jam Master Jay in 1996. If I really tell you, the day he got murdered, I was one of his phone calls of that day. Me and him communicated. When me and Fif was poppin’, I was talking to him more after I left him than when I was with him as a producer. I hooked up with Jay in Chicago..took him to Fif. Fif was happy ’cause he hadn’t seen him in like four years. You gotta remember, Fif was his first artist. Fif was signed to him first and I was signed to him as a producer. That was in ’96 and that’s when I did all those records with him and then I met 50 through Jam Master Jay. It don’t get no better than that. Run-D.M.C., it set it off. I spoke to Jay a lot, man. Every interview, if you read, I say his name ’cause he forever lives wit’ me, man. I’m just so fuckin’ mad that they took his life over somethin’ so stupid. This guy, he was really for the game, man and Hip Hop died a little bit wit’ him ’cause he’s a legend.
TheSource.com: What was the most important thing you learned from him about the business?
Sha Money XL: What I learned from Jay is how to really make songs. When I was makin’ beats, he was over my shoulder tellin’ me what it is, like my drums. He was always stressin’ me for my drums. He was so into the hood. His studio was still in the hood. That’s why they was able to catch him. You catch everybody else in his league, they got a gate around them, security, and some more shit, yanahmean? He was still in the hood with the studio right by the bus terminal and that’s why they was able to do that stupid shit they did. You kinda try to keep yourself grounded and sometimes, it’ll backfire because you got jealous people that you can’t control their anger.
TheSource.com: As far as G Unit, what new projects is Sha Money working on that we can expect in the near future?
Sha Money XL: Right now, inside of G Unit, we’re working on the G Unit album and Lloyd Banks album. Outside of G Unit, I’m working on my new artist, Riz from Harlem, which is incredible..Buck is working on his Casual Records project, which is a compilation and a DVD.
TheSource.com: And what’s new with Money Management?
Sha Money XL: I’m getting ready for the One Stop Shop Conference again in February. I did a DVD deal with a company called D-Con. A four DVD a year deal and my first DVD is going to be Young Buck’s.