Dame Grease 30 time multi-platinum producer Dame Grease just drop his debut album “Goon Musik” on Babygrande Records. Dame has produced for artists like Jay-Z, DMX, Nas, Mary J. Blige, and many others. Check out this interview as he discusses his situation with Puffy, DMX, and scoring major motion films.
by Thato Dadson
WHO?MAG: Tell Me about Goon Musik? DAME GREASE: “Goon Musik” is like a recap of from “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot”. It was originally suppose to be a mixtape, but the quality was too good to be a mixtape. It got picked up by Babygrande records and is being pushed as a album.
WHO?MAG: Tell me about how it was transitioning from rapper to producer? DAME GREASE: It wasn’t hard for me because from day one, I’ve a ear for something that no one else could pull off. I mean people could pull off some things, but nothing that I had in mind.
WHO?MAG: Instead of getting signed to Bad Boy, why did you start your own label? DAME GREASE: Well, I first of all I want it to be clear that I had no problems with Bad Boy because I came into the game with Puff. My first songs were with Puff. He helped me become a better producer and I thank him for that. I’m down with Bad Boy, but I’m not down with Bad Boy. I have Vacant Lot Records which is in the heart of Harlem. It embodies all of Harlem and I guess you could say it’s like a mini Bad Boy in its own way.
WHO?MAG: Did it feel different from working with rappers than a film company? DAME GREASE: Well, instead of working one on one with someone, you’re working on your own. I have to say yes. I’m glad I had my mentor Dan Crakiolie. He came to me and was like “You’re different and you’re not a dumb dude. You’re a respectable man.” He took me into training for a couple days by learning the language for composing. Everything is basically the same like it would be in my studio, but just different words.
WHO?MAG: What kind of inspiration did you gather from hip hop legends like Dr. Dre and other early 90s producers. DAME GREASE: Well, first I would also like to give the Bomb Squad props because they were the east group of back in the day. They did a lot of stuff for Public Enemy. So being influenced by both East Coast and West Coast producers, it help me have more of a 3D production.
WHO?MAG: What can you tell me about in the album “Its Dark and Hell is Hott” DAME GREASE: That’s the best album in the world because the way we did it was so innovative.
WHO?MAG: Now being his mentor in the game, how does it feel to see Swizz Beatz getting so far in the game? DAME GREASE: It’s beautiful man, because it’s an honor, because I did something that changed the music game. I started up none sample production. Then me having him close and taking that and helping making it the way it is, now is just beautiful because it helped publishers save their money.
WHO?MAG: How much of an impact have you had on DMX’s career and how much has he had on yours? DAME GREASE: We made a super impact on each other’s careers because I first introduced him to the industry and then he took me and everyone else up as he came up. It was a perfect match-up with my music and his lyrics because I have this ear for hits and I knew when we first started, he was gonna be one of the greats.
WHO?MAG: How do you feel about the evolution of the music producer over the past 10 years? DAME GREASE: It’s all good because we keep on evolving to doing different things. From your shoot ’em up music to your Soulja boy music, it’s all beautiful in its own way. So for those people that say the state of hip hop is dead, they’re wrong because hip hop has just been growing up and changing its sound.
WHO?MAG: What is next for Dame Grease? DAME GREASE: Well, I’m the executive producer of Max B’s mixtapes. I just finished Young Buck’s new tracks. I got Goon Musik that’s out and then my next album is coming out too. I got The Clipse’s song out “20,000 Bullets”. I got my female artist coming out and a lot of things in the works. I just wanted everybody to stay posted and keep up because you can definitely expect more hits.