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.
DROOP-E: All In The Fam
By: Todd Davis
Professionally known as Droop-E, Earl Stevens Jr., is the son of Bay Area rapper E-40, and an integral member of The Pharmaceuticals production crew.
Born into a rapping family, Droop-E’s introduction into music actually came at age 5, courtesy of his father’s Federal album, where he was heard on the song ‘Questions.’ On 40’s second release, and Jive Records’ debut, In A Major Way, Droop spit his “official” first verse, mimicking his dad’s “start-stop-and-go-scoop type of delivery” style of Hip-Hop, over the sinister sounding ‘It’s All Bad’ track.
As a teenager, fifteen to be exact, Droop-E the producer emerged, as he sold ‘In The Heart Of The Ghetto’ to Mack 10 for Dime’s 2003 movie soundtrack, Ghetto, Gutter and Gangsta. Droop has since gone on to become one of the hottest newly sought out beat-makers in the game — Let’s talk to him…
Growing up alongside a famous father, when did you first become interested in music?
Music is my life. I was born and raised with music all around me. It’s in my bloodstream, Fam. The first album I actually rapped on was In a Major Way. I didn’t start making beats until I was 15.
Aside from, of course, your family, who else influenced you musically?
My strongest musical influences was Sick Wid It — Period!
Were you actually ever scared or nervous to enter into the business because of who your dad is?
Nope, never scared! This just happened, Fam. When I made my music, I wasn’t thinking about the business or the professional level. I was just making music for the love of music, not for money — Beautiful times! I wasn’t scared or nervous about anything because Droop-E used to be only known as E-40’s son. Now Droop-E is Droop-E! A lot of people don’t even know that I’m his son. Or, they’re just now finding out after they heard my music.
How supportive was he when you told him you wanted to make a living at this? I’m pretty sure him knowing everything he knows, and going through everything he’s gone through, he had to be a little apprehensive about it…
He knew I wanted to be a rapper first, but that part of the game is entirely too overcrowded, oversaturated, and way too stressful. Production is where it’s at, Fam. He taught me that. He supports me with my music 100%.
Where did the name, Droop-E, derive from?
My swagger! My O.G.’s gave me that name. I’m calm and laid-back, but cool as hell. The women love me, but not because I’m hella loud and try to show off and impress them. I don’t care. I stay chilled and to myself. I just handle my duties. Kinda like the cartoon character Droopy, and my name starts with an E. So, there you have Droop-E, and it just stuck!
As you mentioned already, the first time that you were heard from on a record was your Pop’s, In A Major Way, on the track ‘It’s All Bad,’ right? So, how old were you then? And, following that debut, why has it taken this long to hear more from you?
Yeah, I was 6 years old back then. And then, I got on (Tha) Hall of Game when I was 8. You haven’t heard from me because we made a decision. To be honest, record companies wanted to sign me back then to be one of those young rappers, but pops knew what he was doing. I’m glad I didn’t sign. Everything happens for a reason obviously, Ha, Ha!
Since you started out as a rapper, but now been making quite a name for yourself as a music producer, which role do you prefer?
I love rapping. But, I prefer production.
To date, and from a production standpoint, who are all the artists that you have worked with up until this point?
Wow! E-40, Nelly, Turf Talk, Keak Da Sneak, The Team, The Hoodstarz, J-Kwon, Mistah FAB, Dem Hoodstarz, Messy Marv, Ya Boy, The Jacka. Man, the list goes on and on.
Do you have any particular act(s) that you favor when it comes to working together in the lab?
Besides The 30/30, Sick Wid It family, Mistah F.A.B — That’s my dude!
Do you have any favorite studio moments, and/or stories, that you’d like to share?
My favorite studio moment was when I started getting interested in making beats, and we went to Rick Rock’s studio and were working on ‘Northern Califoolya’ for the Breakin’ News album. He made the beat in 10 minutes! I was like, “Yup, that’s what I want to do.”
As a producer, does that also mean that you play instruments?
Yeah, I play piano, trumpet, guitar. But, I mostly like working with the keyboard, synths, and crazy sounds.
In 2006, you dropped The Fedi Fetcher and The Money Stretcher, a collaborative effort with B-Slimm…
B-Slimm is not just my artist, that’s my nigga to the heart. And, he raw! So, I (was) bringing him in to show these cats how to rap. Don’t get it twisted, we spit gasoline — Straight up!
Describe B-Slimm as an emcee? Creatively, what does he bring to the table?
He got that laid-back, cocky flow. The shit he spit is smashing veterans.
So, when can the public expect a Droop-E solo album? How will it differ and/or compare to Droop-E and B-Slimm’s The Fedi Fetcher and The Money Stretcher?
B-Slimm more conservative with his raps, I’m crazy with mine! I’m taking a break from rapping though. I’m concentrating on the beats. My album will probably be a minute from now.
When you do rhyme, where do you draw your inspiration(s) from?
How I feel. Cats underestimate me for many reasons, so I take advantage of that.
What do you feel will be the secret to your success?
I’m going to keep doing music as long as I can. I think longevity will come from staying hungry and humble.
I also understand you have a group, Kabinet Gang — Who makes up this crew?
Droop-E, B-Slimm (and) Turf Talk!
To date, what has been your biggest Hip-Hop moment?
So far, the biggest one is hearing a lot of these big artists knowing who I am and loving my music. It’s a good feeling.
I haven’t made it yet, but I’m trying to.
What do you have in store for the future?
Hopefully producing hits, if it’s God’s will.
With that being said, what’s next for Droop-E?
I’m trying to take this Bay shit to the nation!
Is there anything you want to leave the readers with?
Sick Wid It!