Ty Fyffe Legendary producer Ty Fyffe is still making hits! After getting his real break in the game from “Rump Shaker” (Wreckx-N-Effect), Ty has imprinted his name in the music world with countless hit production. Check out this exclusive interview as Ty speaks on the Ja Rule/Jay-Z/DMX supergroup, Teddy Riley, Big Pun, and more! A real treat to true hip-hop heads!
By William Hernandez
WHO?MAG: What are some of the new projects are you working on? TY FYFFE: Right now I’m about to do something on Drake’s album and submitting stuff to Ludacris. I just did something on 50 Cent’s album, Snoop’s album, and I just did something with Rakim.
WHO?MAG: How did you get into music production? TY FYFFE: I used to DJ. I got plugged in with the right people. That got me Teddy Riley and got me under his camp.
WHO?MAG: How did you happen to meet Teddy Riley? TY FYFFE: A friend of mine Franklin Grant. He was [sound] engineering with Teddy. He got me in as staff producer and then I got on making the Wrecks N’ Effect project.
WHO?MAG: Can you breakdown the making of “Rump Shaker”? And how was the vibe with the group while you were making it? TY FYFFE: It was called “Shake your Rump”. Teddy and I changed the whole record. We worked on the record for 48 hours and came out with “Rump Shaker”. I came up with some ideas because the record was very different. I came up with the Ed OG and the Bulldogs, and the MC Lyte samples. The Just-Ice, “Come over, comb your hair, and wind it up” and all of the stuff. Teddy added the horn from Public Enemy’s “Show ‘Em Whatca Got” off of “It Takes of Nation of Millions” and we just put it all together like magic. They weren’t really into that. They had the record done and we rearranged it and told them to come in and change a couple of their verses.
WHO?MAG: What did you learn from Teddy Riley while you were his protégé? TY FYFFE: Just about working hard. He taught me a lot about arrangements and making the record sound bigger than normal.
WHO?MAG: What equipment were you using back then and what did you use on “Rump Shaker”? TY FYFFE: SP-1200.
WHO?MAG: Were you able to see Teddy Riley in action producing hits while you were with him? TY FYFFE: Oh yes! All the time! I saw him make records, dismantle them, make them from scratch – all of that. I saw him make all kinds of hits including “Human Nature” for SWV. I saw him do Blackstreet’s album from scratch.
WHO?MAG: What did you feel when Jay Z, back in 2006, used the same saxophone sample for his song “Show Me What You Got”? TY FYFFE: I mean it was hot the way Just Blaze did it. He used it. It’s a good sample. How creative you use it. It can be a dance record if you do it right.
WHO?MAG: Since you started as a ghost producer, do you feel it’s a must that up and coming producers do the same? TY FYFFE: I mean you should do anything to get yourself out there. That’s the most important thing. Just getting some kind of credit, knowledge, and experience is important too. You got to think, a lot of people come from nothing. It takes a man to get where you’re going. Trying to make sense for you; you’re not going to learn by someone giving you a spot. Some people get hooked up through family, relationships, or knowing somebody. That doesn’t really work for people sometimes.
WHO?MAG: What do you remember about The Neptunes when you guys were all under Teddy Riley’s wing? TY FYFFE: Pharrell, he wrote the rap for Teddy in Rump Shaker. He’s a really talented dude. Chad is very talented on the keyboards. They were just talented. They were a group and were good at what they were doing.
WHO?MAG: What advice do you give to up and coming producers? TY FYFFE: Keep working man. Stay behind the boards and start making new product and learn as much as you can.
WHO?MAG: What equipment are you using now? TY FYFFE: I’m using Logic Pro 9, MPK 25, and a 49.
WHO?MAG: I didn’t know until I read in your discography that you produced four songs on Keith Murray’s 2nd album “Enigma”. How did come about and how was Keith in the studio? TY FYFFE: Oh yeah! I was working under Erick Sermon’s camp for a while and Funklord Productions/Def Squad. He’s incredible in the studio; a legend. He’s real energetic and has a great delivery on the microphone. He didn’t do mistakes to many times. He pretty much nailed it.
WHO?MAG: How did “It’s Murda” for Ja Rule come about? TY FYFFE: We did the first one “Mudergram”. There was so much of a big buzz about the fact that they were trying to make a super group with Ja Rule, Jay Z, and DMX. They came and did that for Ja Rule’s album because it was supposed to be a whole album with all of them, but they never got a chance to do that. Basically I chopped a lot of samples. I used to buy a lot of records and chop samples and make sure it fit. That would have been the biggest group since NWA. That’s when rap was hot, and still fun.
WHO?MAG: How did you hook up with Big Pun for the song, “You a Thug”? TY FYFFE: I was submitting beats to Loud Records. At one point I got plugged in with Big Pun. Actually he was supposed to buy “Murdergram”, but I ended up giving him a track I did off of Bernard Wright. Then I replayed the record and that’s how I did it.
WHO?MAG: How is it working with 50 Cent? TY FYFFE: He’ the best artist that ever did it. He knows what he wants.
WHO?MAG: How did you end up producing “Enjoy Yourself” for A+? TY FYFFE: I was working showing some of my product to Motown and Kedar. He wanted a track that everybody wanted. Three people wanted that track: Nas, AZ, a couple of people wanted that track. They came to the table with the paper. I used the 5th of Beethoven for the sample. A+ was energetic and he knew what he was doing.
WHO?MAG: How did you hook up with Jayo Felony for “Sherm Stick” and was it tough to get the Teddy Pendergrass sample cleared? TY FYFFE: Through one of the A&R’s at Def Jam who was working on his project. It was good connection. It was a little bit. We had to interpolate.
WHO?MAG: Since you were working with Jayo Felony, did you have to deal with Jam Master Jay a lot? TY FYFFE: Ah man! That was one of my mentors! We were real tight. I was DJing back then. That was before I was really big in production. I did scratches on Onyx’s first album “Baccdafuccup”. I did the scratches on “Bitch Azz Niggaz”. I did scratches for this guy named Shinehead, which he [Jam Master Jay] did tracks for back in the days. We built a relationship. I went to Jamaica and used to Run DMC on tour and we got cool. I ended up going to visit him and he was living in Manhattan and he first started Onyx.
I was real cool with Sticky [Fingaz] and Fredo [Starr]. They used to work at this barbershop on Jamaica Avenue. That’s how I knew them. We’re all from Queens. Most of the people I know are all from Queens. I’m from Jamaica Avenue. Jam Master Jay used to tell me to keep on making records.
WHO?MAG: How is your production process? TY FYFFE: I just create the structure. I spend like 10 minutes on it. Then I’ll save it and I’ll get back to it. As long as I got the frame the first 8 bars, I’ll get back to it. First I’ll start off with drums then the main sample. I’ll play a 4 to 8 bar loop.
WHO?MAG: Any last words you want to add? TY FYFFE: I’m doing a contest for my new compilation called Raw & Uncut that’s hosted by Kay Slay. Be on the look out for submissions log on to www.tyffyfe.com and that’s where they can enter.