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Nottz - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman  

Fire Beats

April 2005

Nottz is one of Hip Hop's hardest working producers. Even if you are not familiar with the name, you are certain to have heard his work for Royce 5'9, G-Unit, Busta Rhymes, Ghostface, as well as others. Nottz is also starting to build up some modest hype for his own group, DMP. Consisting of Black N Deckah, Big Shot, and Killa Khi, the group has been on the mixtape grind for the past couple of years. Their latest release, the Teamsta Mixtape continues their tradition of gritty southern Hip Hop, as Nottz laces the album with his own unique production. Besides his new DMP project, Nottz is also in the lab with Royce Da 5'9 and Canibus, as he will produce their entire albums, which are set to drop in the near future. Get familiar with your favorite producers, favorite producer - Nottz.

MVRemix: Tell me about the new Teamsta Mixtape you and DMP just dropped?

Nottz: Shit man, what you wanna know about it? Most of the material on the mixtape we already had, so we just put it all together. We got a lot of niggas on it, as far as features. Its some street shit.

MVRemix: So this mixtape is just to set up the real album?

Nottz: Yeah, just to build up a buzz and to get these boys heard.

MVRemix: How did you and DMP form?

Nottz: I went to school with my boy Star. As far as Black N Deckah goes, me and my brother were playing beats in my mom's car in '95 and we pulled up to a Burger King. Black and two of his homeboys were there, and they were listening to the music because we were playing it so loud. So they walked over asking us what we were playing. So we told them what was up, and one thing lead to another, and now that’s my nigga. He been down since day one, when a nigga ain't have shit. Big Shot, he used to hang around Star and his homeboys. He was a lazy writer though. I used to hear he was hot , but he was kind of lazy. So I told them to bring him to my mom's crib. He came over and I told him, 'I heard you was lazy and shit'. But he was like, 'Na, I ain't lazy'. So I asked him to spit and I immediately felt it. And as far as Killa Khi, he was in the right place at the right time. We just got rid of a nigga in our camp and then he came along. He was already in a group called Lyrical Felons, or something like that.

MVRemix: In your opinion, what separates DMP from everyone else in the industry?

Nottz: We make music, we make songs. A lot of people are just coming out rapping. They are just spitting on a track and not making sense. We make songs man and are hoping the world hears it.

MVRemix: And what can fans expect out of this mixtape? A combination of new songs and freestyles?

Nottz: Just like you said, we have new songs, but some freestyles as well. All the stuff is our shit though. There is more freestyles than anything on there, but its over my beats. Its hot though.

MVRemix: Now let's get into you. How did you first get into beat making?

Nottz: My pops used to DJ, and then my oldest brother started to DJ. But my brothers all used to make beats together. But they all kind of stopped. My brother Darryl eventually went out to sea, and he left the equipment behind. They didn't even know I could produce, but I picked up where them dudes left off. And the rest is history. All my brothers made beats, and my pops had a lot of old records, so I used to be on them shits when everybody was gone.

MVRemix: What was it like growing up in Virginia over the years?

Nottz: Our house was in between hoods. We had Ramble Wood, Cannon's Creek, Oakmont, St. Andrews, and they all surrounded where I lived. So that is where I hung out at. Every hood has your murders, dope deals, and all of that. So ya know! It wasn't hard out here, but it wasn't easy.

MVRemix: You seem to have a real diverse production sound, what would you attribute that to?

Nottz: I'm trying to change it up to a point to where niggas really can't box me in. The way I used to do my basslines, now niggas are doing them the same way. I got people emailing me telling me to do my basslines the way I used to in '94, but come on man! I gotta change that shit up. Because if the next man can get their feet wet and feed off of that, then I can't do it. You have to be yourself. I try and change it up every year.

MVRemix: How did you first start to get your foot in the Hip Hop industries door?

Nottz: DV Alias Christ. He was with Smooth The Hustler and Trigger, for those who don't remember. But we ended up doing a song for the Lyricist Lounge Vol. 1 album called "Holy Water" with Lord Have Mercy. And Busta Rhymes was originally supposed to be on that song. So Busta came to me and said, 'Look I didn't get on the song, but I want you to do some stuff for me. Just give me a beat CD'. So I gave him a beat tape and the first three beats on that CD ended up being the first three songs on Busta's "E.L.E." album. After that, Busta, his mouth is a hundred feet wide, so that nigga talks. And after that word got out that I was hot. Everybody started biting onto my shit. So that is how it really came about.

MVRemix: You are one of the most sought after producers right now. I know you have a lot of projects in the works. But how is the Royce album coming along at this moment?

Nottz: Man, real good! That dude Royce is incredible. He is so underrated. But we are still stacking up joints right now, and he stays working. I have to keep sending beats out to him so he can get things done. We send him a beat CD with 10 songs, and he'll have all of them done in two weeks. So the album is coming along.

MVRemix: And you are going to produce every track on that album?

Nottz: Yeah, man!

MVRemix: Do you guys have a title for the album yet?

Nottz: Na, we don't know yet.

MVRemix: What is the overall vibe of the album going to be? Because his last album was real dark, so is this going to go in a different direction?

Nottz: The album is going to be damn near close to the last one. And not to be on my own shit, but it is going to be better beat wise. Its going to have better production and better hooks. That is all he needed really, was beats and hooks. He already got lyrics. He just needs beats, so its coming along and niggas are going to hear.

MVRemix: When I spoke to him last, he said he was looking for that one big song on this album. Do you guys have that yet?

Nottz: You know what man, we still don't have it. We got joints, but you never know which song is going to be big. Who is to say? So you never know what is big or not. But we are continually stacking joints.

MVRemix: You are also working with Canibus for his new album right?

Nottz: Yeah man, but some shit came about that kind of fucked the whole shit up. But we are still going to put out a mixtape. I think Kay Slay is doing it or something. But a lot of shit happened with that, a lot of shit that we did got leaked out.

MVRemix: Yeah, on that internet mixtape right? I heard that.

Nottz: Yeah man. So a lot of shit got leaked out and that fucked shit up. That had me looking like we wasted time doing the whole thing. That’s fucked up that niggas leaked shit out like that. We still have a lot of joints that we did that no one heard. But a lot of the joints that got leaked, we are just going to add two or three more joints and use it for the mixtape. But its still going to be straight, even though I feel we wasted our time with it.

MVRemix: Do you know who leaked it out?

Nottz: We know, but I'm not even going to say who it is. I can't even say it.

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"That’s f*cked up that n****s leaked shit out like that. We still have a lot of joints that we did that no one heard. But a lot of the joints that got leaked, we are just going to add two or three more joints and use it for the mixtape. "