Bobby Frazitta - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman
This is part 2 of an interview with Bobby Frazitta, conducted by DJ L.K. (Low-Key) in January of 2004. Bobby, along with his brother Danny, are the CEO's of Bring It Back Entertainment, Virginia's best up and coming label. Their debut mixtape "Throwbacks" features such artists as Sketch, Little Brother, Skillz and SoulStice, among others. In the interview below Bobby talks about the struggles coming up in the Hip Hop game, as well as Bring It Back Entertainment's future goals.
MVRemix: The thing I liked about your production was the fact that it had a lot of variety, there was no one distinct sound that was duplicated over and over again. Is that what you set out to do or something that just happened along the way?
When we first started to make music all we were trying to do is sample soul music and I think we realized it was real important for us to diversify our sound. Its really important because it allows you to work with a lot of different artists. I think our production sounds that way because we really have three separate people with three separate minds with three separate ways to approaching a track. That allows for a lot of diversity. Its definitely something we try to do. We do try to make a lot of keyboard and soul beats, but we'll sample rock music, we'll sample all types of stuff. We'll do double speed, we'll slow it down and do type R&B track or something real rugged where we'll use synthesized horns. I guess its something we realized, that everybody's shit starts to sound the same and we just wanted to be really diversified. Because one of our goals is to work with all types of artists, from "underground" artists to "commercial" artists. Again, I think its something we are naturally good at though. Its really about being open minded and when you are digging for records, just looking for all different types of music and expanding the different types of music you listen to.
MVRemix: So who would you say is your influence?
Um, personally I would sayÖI was really influenced by the stuff that came out in the early 90's because I was in my early teens then and started understanding music better. The people who I always loved is Pete Rock, obviously Premier, I'm a big fan of Dr. Dre, there is no question about that.
MVRemix: What about Dr. Dre of today?
What do I think about him today?
MVRemix: Yeah right now, cause his production is a lot different now from what is was in the early 90's.
I just think the shit that he is able to do, and obviously he is not doing a whole lot of it now as far as the musician side, but producing is producing. A lot of people get caught up in the fact that he is not actually playing a keyboard or playing an instrument. But if he is giving people ideas on what he wants to hear, then that is producing. I just think his shit the past 3 or 4 years has been incredible, I really like it. I wouldn't say thatís the style we try and mimic, but we definitely listen to people like that and try to learn from the stuff they do with their production. But I would say that those 3 are my big major influences, but I'm also a real big fan of the Alchemist. I know that my brother Danny love Kanye West, that his favorite producer. As far as David goes, one of his favorite producers is Rza, and you kinda hear that sound in his music. I wouldn't say he is Rza, but you hear the influence. He is heavily influence by the whole Wu Tang, Mobb Deep era of Hip Hop. Thatís the type of shit he likes, Cormega and that kind of stuff.
MVRemix: Aight, now I'm just gonna talk about some of the emcees on "Throwbacks". First we got SoulStice, you know I've been feeling him, so how did y'all hook up with him?
We had Double J shopping some beat CD's around and he had sent one to SoulStice, and I believe I got an email from Double J saying that he is interested in buying some beats. So it turned out that he was just finishing up his album and he really didnít have a whole lot of money to work with, so I was like "cool". So he contacted me after we had the whole idea to do the mixtape, so I was like just, how about we do this, the one beat you wanted for your album, how about we just do a joint for the mixtape. It turned out that we didnít even use that song because David came up with that double speed beat and I remember hearing his album and he kind of did that double speed stuff. And being from Chicago I'm sure he worked on flipping that style, so we didnít actually record that song until early summer. But he and I sort of developed a relationship through the email and the phone/instant messenger and he actually ended up taking a job out here in Maryland at John Hopkins. So it just really worked out and we had a good vibe going. I'm really feeling him as an artists, I like what he's saying, I think he's a dope lyricist, I think he's really talented. So I'm excited he moved out here because we are working on a couple songs for his next project. Thatís kind of how it evolved.
MVRemix: What about Sketch, tell us how you hooked up and what you see in him as an artist.
Weíll I went to High School with the kid, but I didnít really know him because he was a couple years younger. My brother Danny was actually really good friends with him in High School. But I would say in the summer of 2000 he came over, and I was DJing but I really didnít know much about him, but we was just drinking and chilling and the dude was ripping off freestyles, it was unbelievable. He were giving him words, handing him our credit cards and he was just doing all this crazy shit. And I couldnít believe how talented this kid was as a lyricist. Like I said earlier, it wasnít until like later that year in early 2001 that we started working with him on the production side of things. But he has kind of been our guy since day one. We really believe in him, he has a whole lot of potential I think. He has obviously proved himself to be an excellent battle emcee. But a lot of people who hear him think he's just a battle rapper, but the one thing he is going to show with his album that he is a really good song writer, he has a lot of good ideas. He is also open to a lot of ideas that we have about songs as well. For along time he was the only artist we were recording with, so any beats that we made he would jump on them. So it started off as "I wanna work with this kid cause he's an incredible talent", but we are all really good friends now, its like a family. But he has really matured, I think he can do some good things if he gets the chance.
MVRemix: Yeah I agree with that, I definitely see a lot of potential. I just think, like you said, the only thing he has to do is show a lot of variety on the album, because nowadays everybody is a battle artist.
I think people are going to mesmerized by a couple of the songs we have written for his album. We have this one double speed song, and he has never spit that style but the song is unbelievable. There is going to be a lot of good shit on the album, a lot of different topic tracks that deal with a lot of different issues, its not just a bunch of shit talking. I really love Sketch because he has never strayed from who he is as an artist. He has always talked about stuff that is going in his life and I have seen and know a lot of artists in the industry who are just putting on a front and not being who they are.
MVRemix: And when is Sketch's album going to drop?
We are looking probably June of this year.
MVRemix: Now that is going to be on your label?
Yeah, unless something comes up where we link with another label.
MVRemix: Ok, switching gears a little bit, your from Virginia, I'm from Jersey, you have spent time in New York City. So what's the main difference?
Wow, actually the one thing about this area that I live in that people outside, especially in New York don't realize..the northern Virginia area, we are not that far from D.C., is expensive, the cost of living is expensive and its really a diverse area. This is a place a lot of people immigrate because there is a lot of job opportunity in this area. There is definitely a northern state of mind in this area. The attitude's are definitely similar to up north. But obviously the way is life is not as fast, but its definitely crowded here. D.C. and the Virginia/Maryland area is a whole different ball game as opposed to NYC.
MVRemix: But its more similar than we think?
Its more similar than you think from a lifestyle point of view. Cause this area, Northern Virginia, is going to be its own metropolitan area in the next 5 to 10 years. So from a lifestyle standpoint its not like living in NYC, living there isÖ.
MVRemix: You can't explain it.
Yeah, you can't explain it. I lived in NYC for a few months, I did an internship, and it was like nothing I have ever seen in my life. The way of life up there is so much different. If you are not used to it, it can almost be overbearing.
MVRemix: It's like a different world.
It is its own world, but thatís what's cool about it. But as far as music goes, especially Hip Hop, you cant compare this area to New York. They actually just did an article in the paper explaining why this area cant really get itself together and why there is not a whole lot of unity involved over here. There are not a whole lot of venues to do shows, the city of Washington shut down a lot of the clubs and bought a lot of the land out. There are very few places to go for us to do shows. And New York for a long time had its own sound, what you would call the east coast sound. And I think this area is still young in its Hip Hop and is still establishing itself. A lot of cats in D.C. are trying to do the down south, David Banner type stuff and its really kind of divided as far as styles go. But what I think really hurts this area is there are not a lot of club owners trying to go out and get people in their venues to do shows. We cant complain, we do very well as we'll get a few hundred people to our shows on average. We did a show with Raekwon out here in a small club in Virginia and we had about 300 people, it was crazy. Thatís a good crowd for a show out here in this area. People in this area aren't interested in the local scene. Its real difficult to convince a club owner that you are worth having to come in a do a show. But we surprise a lot of people with our shows. A lot of club owners have been like "whoa, you guys are hot, plus you brought a lot of people to the door". So as far as music concerns, the scene right here is struggling and I donít know what's really gonna help it. I think this area needs someone to blow up, to give it that notoriety.
MVRemix: That's weird because I was thinking the total opposite, cause I thought with the Clipse and Neptune's that was going to be enough.
Well Virginia is an interesting state because where we live its very metropolitan, because we live so close to D.C. But when you get down to Virginia beach and south western Virginia, things just slow down, itís the south. We live below the mason Dixon line but itís a very north east state of mind. We are on the same wave length as New York and Jersey. But Virginia as a state doesn't have a whole lot of unity in its Hip Hop scene. Granted the Clipse and the Neptune's, there is no doubt about it, they brought a lot of notoriety to Virginia. But the way our state is set up, a lot of people say they are from Northern Virginia because its like saying I'm from D.C. or NYC. So thatís kind of why we have established ourselves as northern Virginia, because we want our part of the state to receive recognition. Like Missy and Timbaland, they are all from the same section down there in southern Virginia. So its kind of our way to market our area.
MVRemix: So what's going on in the future for Bring It Back Entertainment?
We are working on Sketches album, we are planning to do a single for that album, but that is going to be predicated on getting a solid/big named artist on it. We have artists right now that we are tying to get, but I will withhold their names for now. But we if are going to put out a single we want to market it with a little bit of a bigger name. So thatís what we are planning to do by June. Also, we are trying to start up another compilation, and this time I am focusing on a lot of artists from California, then we will move back here to the East and see who we can get. We also started working on some stuff with Thad Reid and our other artists such as Complex and those guys, we donít have any solid plans to releasing anything from them, but we are always recording. I would say that the two projects that may see the light of day this year, is definitely Sketch's album and a maybe a single and probably another compilation, depending on how soon we start it. Cause it took us between February and September 2003 to get the first one done and we ran into a lot of problems. We may get a Thad Reid album, I don't know, it depends on how fast we work. One problem we have is, my brother is in graduate school, Sketch is still in college, so we are all living in different parts of the country, cause my brother goes to the University of Tennessee. So the past few years have been kind of hard to consistently record and get stuff done. By the time everyone is done with school in May, we are just gonna spend with our new studio knocking out tracks.
MVRemix: And is the compilation going to be Throwbacks Vol. 2, or something totally different?
I donít know, we'll have to see how the Throwbacks craze is kicking, it maybe through by then. The name has done well but I donít know if we are going to be with volume 2, we may try and come up with something different. But if your first effort works you donít always want to break the momentum.
MVRemix: Any last words?
Yeah, Throwbacks the mixtape will be in FYE music stores within the next month all over the country. So check your local stores, and if they donít got it, ask for it. Hit the website up www.bringitbackmusic.com and be on the look out for Sketch's album its going to be phenomenal.