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J. Greede - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman  


J. Greede

May 2005

J. Greede is a producer who first got my attention with his debut compilation album All About The Music Vol. 1, which was released last year. I came away impressed with Greede's variety of sounds, and overall talent level. Now the Boston/New York native is stepping his game up to the next level, working with Mr. Cheeks and the legendary Erick Sermon. Obviously, J. Greede is a producer on the rise - get familiar!


MVRemix: Lets just start with some background and history questions so fans can get to know you. So where were you born and raised? What was it like growing up there over the years?

Greede: I was raised in Long Island, and moved to Massachusetts when I was 17 for school. Growing up in LI was a blessing, and I'm proud to say I'm from NYC. I feel like NYC is the Mecca for music. So, it's only right that I'm back in New Yitty, trying to get the ball rolling again.

MVRemix: What is your first memory of Hip Hop?

Greede: I have mad memories when I comes to me and music, but what really sticks out in my head was the fact that I would listen to the radio when I was real young and I would constantly be tapping my hands trying to figure out the beat, before I even knew what a kick or a snare was. I think the first time I realized hip hop had a serious affect on me was when I heard keep your head up by Pac. I had been listening to hip hop for a while but the lyrics and the beat to that song really touched me and was really the first time hip hop brought out emotion in me, and from there on I was hooked.

MVRemix: What was the one album you constantly listened to as a kid?

Greede: There were a lot of albums that I had on heavy rotation when I was a kid. It's hard to name one, because I used to listen to ALL different kinds of music, and even as a young kid, I constantly had my headphones on. I loved Pearl Jam's Ten as well all of Nas's first couple of albums and of course Reasonable Doubt. I was also real heavy into Wu Tang, 36 Chambers was always around.

MVRemix: How did you first get into producing?

Greede: I got into producing by accident, basically. What happened was, when I moved to Massachusetts, I started to rap a little, and met this kid who lived on my block who was also into making hip hop. He had a 6 second sampler and a drum machine, but his shit was hot. We released a bootleg album, which was entirely produced by this kid. And while we were making this album, I watched him and absorbed some of his techniques. The album turned out good, but in reality, we had no idea what we were doing. We had analog beats onto digital software and it just didn't sound right. So, at the time I had some extra money and I went a picked up a production synth, the Yamaha Motif, which at the time had just come out, and brought it home so we could step our game up. Long story short, we went our separate ways, I kept the keyboard and all the shit I learned from him. From there I stopped rapping and just started focusing on beats, because it came way more naturally than rapping.

MVRemix: How did you start to make a name for yourself locally? Eventually how did you branch out even more?

Greede: I was making beats and getting a real good response, so I just made more and more beats. I would sit at my keyboard for days and make like between 5 and 10 beats a day. Not to say all of them were hot, but I could definitely find some gems out of those 10. Soon enough, I found myself with a bunch of hot beats, but no quality artists to work with so what I did was I started recruiting. I was always around MC's, most of which just rhymed for fun, but some of which I saw had a lot of potential. So I rounded up a bunch of talent from my Boston neighborhood, and created Greede Records. We released our compilation and after other artists heard my work, that's when the production really took off. In Boston, most of the producers sound the same because they think its bad to use a keyboard, so they religiously stick to the MPC. In turn, most of them have that underground, grimy sound, and that just isn't me. People started to come to me for beats because they knew I had something new and hot, that no one else was offering. So more and more people started buying beats from J. Greede Productions, INC. More and more people wanted a mainstream production sound, so they could start branching off into different demographics. But mostly I blew up in Boston due to word of mouth, from artist to artist.

MVRemix: Tell us about your company, J.Greede Productions.

Greede: I own two companies, the first is my production company: J. Greede Productions, INC. This company focuses on audio and visual production. I do stuff for artists and independent record labels as well as music for television and films. In the past few years I have done music for ESPN, ABC, NBC and PBS. A lot of the stuff I do is background music for extreme sport shows and stuff like that, but the checks are real good, and its cool to see your name on TV. The other company is the record label, Greede Records. This is the company that all my music gets released under, all the artists are signed to and all the distribution and legalities of the music go through here too. I like to keep it separate for legal reasons. Ya know!

MVRemix: What does an average day for J. Greede consist of?

Greede: An average day for J. Greede is probably a little more hectic than the average persons. I usually get up and turn on my equipment, get ready, smoke a blunt and hit the equipment hard. I work until I get something I like and if nothing comes to me, I fall back. After my morning session, I usually hit some meetings with other production companies or artists and try and get some paper. If I have to I will hit NYC and go to my friends studio. Basically, if I'm not working at my real job, I am running around trying to get into a studio somewhere and work.

MVRemix: You released your compilation album "All About The Music Vol. 1". So for fans who haven't heard it, just give us a run down of what the album was about.

Greede: "All About the Music" was basically a CD that was meant to showcase the artists I had on Greede Records as well as my production. I felt like I had a stable of talent that people could relate to as well as a style of music that I felt would appeal to the masses, not just the backpackers in Massachusetts. I was lucky enough to be able to fund my label, which is not an easy thing when your paying the studio bills for almost 9 artists as well as managing them and paying all the costs for manufacturing and promoting the CD. I started recording the album in 2000 and it didn't hit the streets till almost 2002, so you know I spent a lot of money on studio time, but it was worth it because it sounds great.

MVRemix: Where you happy on how the album was received?

Greede: Hell Yeah, I was happy with the way it was received. I sold the first thousand copies over the summer, and everyone who heard it was impressed. I mean, I spent a year editing and mixing this album, so there was no excuse for it to sound like shit. The quality was super ill, and the songs had a real mass appeal so people were real surprised. Most of the reviews held the album in real high regards, so I was real happy about that. Its a real good feeling when someone you have never met, understands what you are trying to accomplish musically and appreciates it. We sold 1000 copies in the first summer, and since then sales have been steadily going up. I think a lot of it has to do with the reviews and the accessibility the internet provides. Thanks to the web, when some one in Germany reads a good review of my CD, they can buy it no problem. Makes my life a lot easier.

MVRemix: Even though I thought some of the emcee performances on the album were inconsistent, I came away liking your production sound. But how would you describe your production sound or style?

Greede: Not everyone is gonna like every song or every artist, I can live with that. I understand that some people felt like some of the artists did not come hard enough, but I left it up to them. The reason I am even affiliated with these artists is because I know they can hold there own. As for my production I think that the way to describe it would be eclectic. Anybody who has gotten a chance to listen to a lot of my beats know that I don't have one style. I make all different types of beats, and it is never anything that is planned out. I never hit my studio with the idea of making a "west coast beat" or a "dirty south beat". I just play the keys and see what comes out. For me it all revolves around emotion, and it depends on my mood and how I'm feeling. That is something that I am proud of, because I never wanna be pigeon holed. I love ALL different kinds of music, so in turn I wanna be able to create and produce all different types of music.

MVRemix: What equipment do you mainly use?

Greede: I just stepped my equipment game up a lot. Originally all I used was the Yamaha Motif 7, and all of the "All About the Music" was created solely on that synth. Since then I have copped a Roland X6, an MPC2000xl, a Kaos Pad 2 and Pro-Tools digi002. Now the sky's the limit. I got three great samplers, two synths and three sequencers. In addition I got an acoustic and electric guitar, and a four string and five string bass, all of which me and my friends can play. MVRemix: Do you prefer sampling or not?

Greede: I really do not have a preference when it comes to sampling. A lot of my beats have samples and a lot of them don't. That's one thing that is cool about the "All About the Music", most people can't tell which beats are samples and which are not, and I never tell. When I start to make beats, there are times when I have a specific sample in mind, or I will chop up a bunch of samples and put them on the MPC, and see what happens. But I know that my keys game has to be right, because when I start getting some real checks, I am not trying to be paying mad dough for clearance of my samples.

MVRemix: D.One is an emcee who was featured your All About The Music album, and we also did an interview with him for this site. However, you conveyed to me that you were unhappy with some his comments regarding you. Can you tell us why and what is the situation between you two?

Greede: I wasn't unhappy with what D. One said, I actually thought it was funny, I just wanted to respond. D. One is a real talented kid, I was the one that convinced him to go solo and helped him develop his style. I thought he was one of the best rappers I had ever heard in Boston, so it was only natural for me to want to sign him, ya know. We recorded a bunch of classic songs, and the more we worked the better the songs became. Unfortunately, me and him had some differences when it came to business and he decided to take it personally. I don't know why, but that's just the way he is. I reached out to him and we spoke, but he wasn't interested in resolving the situation, so what can I do? If he wants to talk about me in songs and interviews that's his business, but your not gonna hear me dissing him, because that's not how I get down. I got bigger and better things to do, and I gotta focus on myself and the artists that are still with me.

MVRemix: You also told me you are working on beats for Erik Sermon and Mr. Cheeks. Definitely tell us all about that.

Greede: Yeah, my friend owns contango records, which just released Mr. Cheeks album "Ladies and Ghettomen", and the new Lost Boyz album "Forever". I got invited to the studio while Erick Sermon was working with Cheeks, and that's how I met both of them. I ended up letting Sermon listen to a bunch of my music and he was real impressed. After that he came through to my studio, and I actually got to watch this dude make beats, which to any producer is a dream come true. Me and him both got a lot of the same equipment, so I've been helping him and in turn, he's been helping me. He's out in Atlanta, so we chill when he's back in NYC. Its crazy because Erick Sermon is one of the most respected producers, and for him to love my music the way he did, I was real hype.

MVRemix: What other projects do you have planned for the future?

Greede: There are a bunch of people that I'm working with now: The Live Ammo Crew, Skyzoo and Reks are just a few. I just did some beats on Reks new mixtape "Happy Holidays" which turned out crazy. For anyone who doesn't know, Reks is the best rapper in Massachusetts...hands down! No one can hold a candle to him, so I'm real happy to be working with him. We are also in the process of doing another album for him which should be coming out soon. So everyone keep any eye out for it! In addition I'm just doing more music for TV and DVD's, so I can get some checks. I'm also branching off into doing scores for small independent films and I'm in the process of getting the Greede Records website up. So basically I'm real, real busy.

MVRemix: What is your main career goal?

Greede: My main career goal is to break into mainstream music and start to produce for anyone and everyone. My dream is to get paid to be in the studio all day everyday, because that's what I love to do. I love when I start with a beat, and then record lyrics and when the song is done it sounds crazy - it makes me proud. Not everyone can make beats, not everyone has it in them, so I plan on taking what I have and running with it for as long as I can. I hope that one day, J. Greede's beats are making clubs go crazy and on the other hand I want someone who feels like shit, to be able to put in a song I wrote or produced and feel like they can relate. To me music is and always has been about emotion and feeling, the music with the most emotion, makes the best song.

MVRemix: Any last words or shout outs?

Greede: For last words and shout outs I wanna say what's good to my cousin, Rafuse and all the other people I'm friends with in NY. Big shout out to Shoop at Contango Records (go cop the Lost Boyz album, its crazy), shout out to Reks and the MSC, DJ NYCE and Skyzoo, the whole Live Ammo, Feature, Jalbert Productions, Cheeks, Sermon, Movement Promotions, Statik Selektah, Benny C., the whole Greede Family. Low-Key, for this interview, and anyone who hates on me and my movement.

If anyone wants to check out my music or some reviews go to: www.cdbaby.com/jgp or search for: J. Greede.

For anyone interested in beats, shows or offers contact: greede@tmail.com.






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"Unfortunately, me and him had some differences when it came to business and he decided to take it personally. I don't know why, but that's just the way he is. I reached out to him and we spoke, but he wasn't interested in resolving the situation, so what can I do?"