This is the spot where you’ll see upcoming producers and Industry veterans in the game. A lot of people don’t know what goes into production. This will be the section where we feature the hottest producers in hip hop. Each month we’ll bring to you a new producer along with their background.
THIS MONTH’S FEATURE IS:CHOPS
“With more and more producers stepping into the spotlight, artists and labels are always looking for that ‘next big thing’. Those looking for quality hip-hop beats need look no further than CHOPS.” says Billboard Magazine. Other notable producers such as Kanye West, Just Blaze, Premo and Daz have all been counted as fans of CHOPS’ work. CHOPS is more than just some dude that does music. He’s a genuine movement. The only Asian really repping the hip hop culture who has people from all Coasts co-signing for him without him handing them money.
The love being shown is real and well-deserved.
CHOPS started out as a young hip hop fan growing up in Texas. As a kid, he spent countless hours in front of the family stereo, making “pause tapes” of songs and radio shows. When a classmate brought an old, pocket-sized drum machine to school one day, it was love at first button-press. He borrowed the machine and managed to not return it for the next several months.
In school he signed up for music classes, learning various instruments, history, and how to read and write music.
Over time, he learned drum patterns and notes from his favorite rap and soul records, and began to get equipment of his own.
“While other kids were saving up for video games and sneakers, I’d be saving for recording tape and speakers.”
His family moved around a lot leading to him eventually settling in Philly. There he connected with local fellow aspiring artists, among them two other Asian kids with a knack for rhyming, who encouraged him to join them on the mic as well as behind the boards. They formed a group called Mountain Brothers – named after a Robin Hood-like squad of bandits from Chinese legend – and earned a reputation in the underground locally and worldwide thru a number of independent records. They began to receive even more global attention after earning the status of being the first Asian rap artists signed to a major label. After struggling with a label that “didn’t know what to do with another White group” (actual quote), they released their work independently, to critical acclaim. Much of this acclaim came from CHOPS’ unique, original production style, which led to his working with a growing number of artists around the country, as well as overseas.
Those names include Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Paul Wall, and Bun B. Former Swishahouse member
Magno and his CHOPS produced “Magnificent Bout His Cash” single are currently getting heavy spins
on Hot 97 in NYC and is up to #2 on Funk Master Flex’s countdown.
Also look for CHOPS’ production on upcoming projects for Paul Wall, Slim Thug, DJ Clue, Funk Master
Flex and many more to be announced. CHOPS’ music has appeared in numerous TV shows, films, and
ads from companies such as Warner Brothers, Fox, Nike, Coca Cola, and more.
CHOPS’ latest CD “Dark”is a musical extension of the award-winning film of the same name, which CHOPS also scored. Make no mistake though this is not your ordinary soundtrack.” The emotional journey this award-winning film takes its audience on is what inspired CHOPS to go beyond just the scoring of the film; he felt that much more could be said with the making of this album (think back to Public Enemy and “He Got Game”). “The film company originally came to me about one of my tracks which they wanted to use in the film.” relates CHOPS. “I asked if I could see the film and it happened very quickly from there.”I felt the lead character Dark’s struggle to find his place and wanted to help bring that across through the music”
The album hits streets Jan 31st, 2006 and truly showcases CHOPS’ talent and range as a producer.
Other current projects include the successful “It’s Going Down” remix mixtape series, a full length underground
CD with Houston newcomer Kiotti and Freeway’s upcoming single featuring Lil Jon. CHOPS has over 500
mixtape appearances in the last year alone making him the producer to go to if you want that street yet musical sound.
CHOPS creates all of his music. He plays all of his beats without sampling.
Yet other major producers find CHOPS an inspiration. The famed Just Blaze told CHOPS,”
I used one of your records to make P.S.A.” (the hit record off of Jay-Z’s Black Album)