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: DAME GREASE
When the book on hip-hop production is written, Dame Grease will hold the right to a whole chapter. Why? Because when the hip-hop world milked almost every sample known to man, Dame Grease made a left turn and chose to stay free of sampling. Because when the music industry chose to ignore what music the streets had to offer, Grease took it upon himself to produce and develop acts; most have gone on towards sales in the millions.
Before he became a prominent producer, Dame Grease was a local rapper who roamed the streets of Harlem with a local crew of ambitious emcees. It was during a time when he and his crew, N.I.B, were heavily relying on local producers to supply them with sounds. Growing frustrated at the fact that most producers couldn’t accommodate the crew with the sound suitable for their raps, Grease took production matters into his own hands and started making the beats. It was with production that Grease began channeling his love of Public Enemy’s Bomb Squad, N.W.A’s Dr. Dre as well as the Native Tongue Movement of the early 90’s into a rugged, yet eclectic soundscape that would eventually make its mark in
the years to come.
Dame Grease’s official entry into the game of rap began while he was working with a group
of upstarts that would go on to become one of the biggest dynasties in the rap world.
The Ruff Ryders. When rap-heavyweight, DMX, made his mark in 1997, it was Dame Grease aggressive backgrounds that provided the rapper with a podium to speak to the public to the tune of 3million records. Before the Lox became staples in the world of street hip-hop, they too relied on the sounds of Grease in order to acquire the street buzz that landed them their deal on Bad Boy Records in 1996. Observing the results of his work with the Lox, Hip-Pop upstart, Mase yearned for Greases distinct flavor and gave him
the opportunity to provide production on Mase’s triple platinum debut, Harlem world.
Rather than becoming one of Puff Daddy’s legendary Hit Men, Dame Grease went on establish himself as
a cutting edge producer with a promising future on the boards. By 1998, Dame Grease had become one
of fastest rising producers; providing sounds for rap heavyweights like Nas, DMX, Noreaga and Fat Joe all within week’s time. By 1998, rapidly advancing Grease felt that hip-hop production had hit a plateau. It was in 98 that Grease decided to change his style. Known primarily for his uncanny chopping of old records, Grease chose to put sampling on the back burner and focus on sample-free production. Grease now made the transition from beat-maker to full-fledged producer. During his accession to producer, he taught and paved the way for another sample-free producer to make his mark on the game with Swizz Beats.
As Swizz began to make his mark through the teaching of his mentor, Dame Grease landed a deal
with Priority Records to release music through his label, Vacant Lot. After releasing the compilation Vacant Lot Presents…too critical acclaim, Grease took a step back from a game in need of serious help. The year 2000 was the year that Grease looked at his career and reevaluating his position in the game. He laid low for a year and reflected on his position in the hip-hop game as well as music in general.
The time off lead to Grease providing sounds on a slew of movie soundtracks. In 2001 Dame Grease made the accession from producer to composer by providing the score for the Steven Segal/DMX blockbuster, Exit Wounds. By 2002, Dame Grease reunited with DMX for his top-ten hit “Ain’t No Sunshine”, an updated, yet much darker remake to the Bill Withers 1972 classic of the same name.
In 2003, Grease took it back to the street as his Vacant Lot productions released offerings from Meeno, a soloist from the streets of Harlem. Grease also supplied the score to the movie with Cradle to the Grave, starring international action star Jet Li and rap heavyweight DMX. His most recent production is from Cam’ron upcoming project- yet to be titled. , Styles P’s “Time is Money” Album, and DMX’s ” Here We Go Again” album.
His Production Resume runs deep with some of the best.
LL COOL J
DJ KAY SLAY
MARY J. BLIGE
CAPONE ‘N NOREAGA
DAME GREASE PRESENTS MEENO
TRICKY With DJ MUGGS & GREASE
KASINO & THE LOX
Wu Tang Clan
TURN IT UP
CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE
NEVER DIE ALONE