Hi-Tek - conducted by Todd Davis  

Hi-Tek: Ryder Music Interview

December 2007

MVRemix: What has been the key to your success?

Hi-Tek: Just staying humble and respecting other artists, and respecting music in general. (Always respecting) the greatest artists that ever came, because it’s, like, really nothing that we’re doing now that hasn’t been done before. It’s just kinda doing it in a different way. So, you gotta just stay original and just constantly listen to different genres of music and respect the musicians.

MVRemix: Outside of music, is there anything else that you’d like to branch out and pursue?

Hi-Tek: Yeah, I mean, besides music I’ve just been really just trying to get my life right and my money right just by making great investments from the accomplishments that I got out of music. So, you know, like, real estate, and eventually I’ll (come) full circle (and) I wouldn’t have to totally depend on music. So, I would…After I make sure I’m established as a human being without music, I would start my own record label.

MVRemix: Now you are also a staff producer with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment – How did this connection come about?

Hi-Tek: Well, Dre is a very established, well respected perfectionist, man. He’s…I mean, he’s been in the game, like even he’s one of my biggest inspirations like (back) when I heard ‘Planet Rock’. I mean, also you had on the West, ‘cause you had, like, World Class Wreckin’ Cru Dr. Dre, and that was like one of my favorite records, too -- Dr. Dre ‘Surgery.’ So, like Dre, to me, is one of my biggest inspirations from the way he re-invent himself. And basically, I hooked up with Dre, this was after Reflection Eternal, Black Star (and) all of that, and even Snoop, I had hooked up with Snoop on a whole separate note, before I hooked up with Dre. And, Dre heard my beat CD through WC. WC for some reason, or somehow, he got a-hold to it and heard the beats and wanted to hear more from me -- And, ever since then (we’ve worked together). Actually, like the first track I did with Dre, he rapped on it. He rapped on my track, (and) a lot of people don’t know that. That’s the first track, and that was crazy! It was a song called ‘Hollywood’ I did.

MVRemix: So, does that mean that you are actually involved in most all of Aftermath’s releases?

Hi-Tek: Yeah, it’s more like 90% of projects. Certain projects they have their own vision (for already). Like him and Eminem, they usually go in and do what they do ‘cause Em is a producer in his own way, in his own right, too. And, it’s like 90% of the projects (though) I’m involved in. He kinda let me do my thing and do me, and I just try to bring some of my best work forward.

MVRemix: Speaking of Dre and Aftermath, is there any light that you can shed on the oft delayed, long overdue, and super secret forthcoming Detox opus?

Hi-Tek: Well, like I said, I just try to bring my best work forward and at the end of the day I’m just following Dre’s lead. And, he really…I guess, in his mind (knows) when it’s gonna come out and when it’s done. I really don’t know that much about it as far as…Well, I shouldn’t say that I don’t know much about it, but I don’t have that much say so into when it’s done. That’s Dre’s project! I just try to fit in where I can get in at.

MVRemix: With that being said, you definitely will/do have some involvement with Detox though?

Hi-Tek: Yeah, most definitely!

MVRemix: You are also working with a new R&B vocalist, Dion, through your association with Aftermath Entertainment, correct?

Hi-Tek: Yeah, that’s something for the future. Dion’s an artist that I worked with for the last four years. I groomed him. I actually met Dion through a talent search, and just involved him with a lot of projects that I was doing. Actually, the prize for winning the contest was to work with me and sign a deal with Hi-Tek productions. And Dion, once I started working with him, he just fit into the whole Hi-Tek movement. It took awhile, but it started working out.

MVRemix: Are you happy with the current state of Hip-Hop music?

Hi-Tek: I’m always, you know, I’m not gonna say always happy with it, but, I mean, like I said in the beginning of the interview, like I’m trying to be, like, a Dre, where I constantly re-invent myself. I may not be necessarily happy with Hip-Hop right now, so it just allows me to fall back and stay in the lab until my calling comes again, and just try to constantly re-invent myself. Because at the end of the day, it’s always gonna be a time where you don’t like something when you get older, ‘cause even when I was doing my thing and Hip-Hop was young, 10 years ago or whatever, 15 or 20 years ago, my mother and a lot people just didn’t understand it and we pushed it on ‘em. And now, look at Hip-Hop now! So, it’s like I just look at it the same way. I’m getting older and they gonna judge me and they want Hip-Hop to be a certain way, but I don’t think we gonna change what’s gonna naturally evolve out of this.

MVRemix: To date what has been your personal greatest Hip-Hop moment?

Hi-Tek: I don’t know, man. I just really get a good feeling out of when I hooked up with people who I wouldn’t normally hook up with, like when I hooked up with Dre and Snoop. Well really, when I hooked up with Snoop and then I hooked up with Dre. It just was, like, my music reached out to the West Coast - I didn’t never think that was gonna happen. And, then one time Snoop came to Cincinnati to work with me in my small one room studio, and it just was like, “Man!” I just couldn’t believe it. And, it was just a big plus. Everything I’ve done to this point (has) been a big plus. Like, I’m a fan first and foremost. I just try to play my part, and a lot of my dreams have come true up until this point. So, I’m still living it, man.

MVRemix: What is your current 5 to 10 year plan in this business?

Hi-Tek: Man, I just see myself as an executive. A person in the music (business) that really means a lot to other up ‘n’ coming artists, and just being real inspirational to everybody that’s trying to do this music thing.

MVRemix: And finally, are there any future plans for you to reconvene in the lab with Talib Kweli to record and release that highly anticipated Reflection Eternal sophomore record?

Hi-Tek: Yeah, Yeah, it’s going down! We’re just…We’re hashing out all the business and logistics, just to make sure we comfortable to make sure we get this album to the people the right way.

MVRemix: It still sounds a little premature in the making, but is there anything special that you are looking to do with the next Reflection Eternal LP?

Hi-Tek: Yeah, man, I just think fans and people in general just really want to see us work together again, and want to hear that sound again. We left the game at a standstill when we didn’t drop another album, so it’ll be a (breath of) fresh air for us and the people.

MVRemix: Any parting words?

Hi-Tek: Man, just…I just want to thank all my fans and anybody who take the time out to read this interview. And, I want to encourage everybody to support my project instead of downloading it for free. Go buy the album, enjoy the cover and the credits, along with the music!

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Hi-Tek Interview

"I may not be necessarily happy with Hip-Hop right now, so it just allows me to fall back and stay in the lab until my calling comes again..."