Nitti may have produced one of the biggest hits of 2006 with Yung Joc’s “It’s Goin’ Down” but as far as notoriety, the rookie producer is far from known and he’s looking to change that. The Decatur, GA native recently signed a production and label deal with Warner Bros. Records for imprint Playmaker Worldwide and is in the midst of creating his debut LP, Ghettoville U.S.A.
Besides his work with Joc, Nitti has produced tracks for Young Jeezy, Bow Wow, Young Dro and Boyz N Da Hood. But the producers/aspiring rapper got his start in the industry with the help of 8Ball. During a chance meeting with the Memphis MC in the parking lot of A-Town’s Magic City, Nitty was able pass his production demo onto Ball who chose eight tracks for his 2001 solo album, Almost Infamous. This included the album’s single “Stop Playin’ Games.” In 2004 Jermaine Dupri signed Nitti to a production deal with So So Def Records. But it wasn’t until his hit with Joc that the rest of the industry realized Nitti’s potential.
Now, Nitti is focused on establishing Playmaker Worldwide with his artists Young Capone, Streetz and Scrilla. But their success and the future of the label hinges on Nitti’s Ghettoville U.S.A. While he won’t reveal his album’s guest appearances, Nitti’s adamant the LP will put him in the upper echelon of producers. XXLMag.com talks with Nitti about his upcoming album, his new deal with Warner Bros. and his relationship with Yung Joc.
How has life changed since “It’s Goin’ Down?”
Everybody is looking at me as the new producer to make a hit in the record industry. It kind of threw the whole industry off because a lot of labels didn’t have time to prepare for a record like “It’s Goin’ Down.” We really just went to the studio, made the record and put the shit out. So it wasn’t a record that was sitting and waiting to be put out. We just put the shit out and the shit got hot as fuck. It was a blessing for Joc and me. It boosted his career and my career, so we’re just going to capitalize off [it].
Some people have classified your production style as snap music. How do you feel about that?
Nah, I’m not a snap producer. Anybody who really follows my track record back to the 8Ball stuff knows I’m not one of those producers. I’m well rounded. Snap music hit hard in the South and I may do a snap beat every now and then, but for the most part, if you’re a snap producer, it seems like your limited. And I’m not a limited producer. I’ll go up against any other producer out there.
There have been some critics claiming you jacked Lil Jon’s production style. How do you respond to that?
Lil Jon and me are two different producers. We’re both from Atlanta, so it’s just like if you go the West Coast or go to New York, they’re both gonna have similar language or talk. We both speak through our music. We grew up listening to the same music and we both have the same influences. But we are two totally different producers. And right now, I think we’re two of the most noticeable producers in the industry. That’s a good thing, though. The more the merrier.
You just signed a big deal with Warner Bros. Record. What attracted you to them?
They were the label that put up the most money. Well, not the most money, but they were willing to put the most money behind the projects I want to put out. I feel like they had the most power for what I was trying to do. I won’t get lost in the system [there]. It’s a new, fresh building at Warner Bros. and I feel it’s the best situation for my company and me. I have creative control over everything I do. I take the projects to them when they are already done and they put them out. With some labels, they wanted to control a little bit more. But with Warner, I signed whatever artists I want to and I put the projects together how I want to. The only thing Warner has to do is press it up, distribute it and help promote it.
Does that mean Warner is going to want you to produce for their other acts?
Yeah. I did a big, massive deal. You are gonna be calling me Mr. Warner Bros. They put me in the drivers seat over there. So we’re gonna ride out and I’m going over the speed limit. I ain’t slowing down for nobody. I’m running niggas over. It’s just the beginning. I’m the only producer on Warner Bros. with a production deal. I’m in a good position. I’m my own CEO. I’m not signed to anybody.
Weren’t you signed with So So Def before?
Yeah, that’s my people and they are always going to be my home. I was signed to Jermaine Dupri in 2004 as one of his producers. They were the first cats to put money in my pocket. They taught me about the game and they still manage me. But right now, I’m like a kid growing up and doing my own thing.
Why didn’t you sign an artist and label deal with So So Def then?
I feel like the more systems we can get into, the better it is. I don’t want nobody to say the only reason I got a label deal is because I was already with JD. Muthafuckas can’t say that. Niggas can say, “Okay, Nitti hustled and got his own situation, and still was affiliated and apart of the whole So So Def movement.” I don’t like to get handouts. I like to get out here and earn my shit so nobody can take my shit from me.
You’re releasing your debut Ghettoville U.S.A. this fall. Why has it taken so long for you to drop an album?
I’ve been working on this project for the last six months, so there’s no rush to get it out. I’m really putting a lot of time into it and I’m looking at cats like [Dr.] Dre when he put his albums together. He’s somebody I look up to. He puts [his albums] together right. So right now, I ain’t in no rush to put an album out. When they get Ghettoville U.S.A., they gonna be happy with it. It ain’t gonna be like I threw some shit together. So I’m gonna take my time and put it together the right way.
Is Yung Joc gonna be on the album
Nah, I doubt it, man. Joc’s doing a lot of stuff right now and he’s working on so many different things. He’s doing a million things, so I really can’t say if he’s gonna be on the album.
There is perceived tension between you guys. Is that true?
Nah, there is no tension between me and Yung Joc. We have a mutual respect for each other. We are both human and with the work we did together, that helped both of our careers out professionally and financially. Right now, Yung Joc is happy and I’m happy. He’s gonna continue to do what he do and I’m gonna do what I do. There ain’t no beef or nothing like that. One thing about niggas down in Atlanta, we getting’ money right now, so we not gonna let no stupid tension or beef [happen]. That happens in a lot of Coast’s, where people are beefin’ with each other in the same region. At the end of the day, we are bigger men then all of that shit. I seen Joc the other day. There is a mutual respect. So there is no tension at all. I wish him luck… I respect him, he respects me, and we keep it moving. My pockets is good. I’m a certified millionaire right now. So I ain’t got no problems with anybody.
You have several artists on Playmaker Worldwide including Young Capone, Streetz and Scrilla. What are your plans for them?
I got a gang of new artists I’m getting ready to sign, so Playmakers is going to make a big impact. It’s not like it’s going to be one of these one-hit wonders because you can check my track record, there ain’t no one hit wonders. We’re really going to make an impact and make a lot of niggas mad. A lot of niggas are going to have to retire.
So you’re forcing artists into retirement then, huh?
Yeah, they should just pull out their 401K money and call it quits. I’m not scared of any of these producers out here. I support them, but they gotta step their game up. I’m officially in the game, I’m up at bat and I got my shoes tied tight.