Harry Fraud Talks About His Biggest Hits, Working with Rick Ross, French Montana & Action Bronson

Harry Fraud_Lead Image

Brooklynite Harry Fraud is quickly becoming New York City’s go-to producer, who can illustrate a modernized Big Apple sound without missing the edgy ruggedness significant to the Mecca. His frequent collaborations with French Montana, led to “New York Minute,” and his biggest hit to date, “Shot Caller.” The infectious single earned French a deal with Bad Boy and MMG, and a supersized clientele for Harry Fraud, whose audio tag (“La musica de Harry Fraud”) is expected to pop up on tracks of Curren$y, Smoke DZA, Action Bronson, Meyhem Lauren, Wiz Khalifa, and Riff Raff all within this year.

With so much heatrocks underway, XXL caught up with the producer and discussed his track record to date. —Jaeki Cho (@JaekiCho)

"Light Up (Freestyle)"

French Montana

"You overnight homie, let the real tell it/75 years, nigga fuck with real felons/Hood phenomenons, same niggas shot me up/Same niggas broke fast with Ramadan/I be insane if I think this shit's the same/Close friends, enemies, everyone's the same/I'm sayin', this is how I treat 'em/Fuck a bitch, if it ain't money I don't need it."

“New York Minute” - French Montana feat. Jadakiss

French Montana_Jadakiss

"I think the first song that we put out that people kind of took notice was 'New York Minute.' With Jada, and later with Nicki and Ma$e, and then everybody jumped on it. That was the first one we put out that was really fucking—well for him, and me, but more so for him in a sense that that was his breakthrough records. But for me in the sense that was my first records that fucking actually made noise.

"It was on the radio and it was my first time where I had a calling card. I could meet people and they’d ask me what records I’ve done and I could say ‘New York Minute.’ Before I couldn’t really say anything that they would know. I also think that was when people started to take notice that French and me had something different. Like when we work together it’s something different than when he was working with whomever he had been working with.

"I had made the beat years before I had even met French. It was a skeleton though; it was flimsy. So French heard the idea and was like, ‘This is dope, but we need to update it.’ We pulled up the two track of the beat, the shit that I had just bounced off my MPC, ran out the cables into the ProTools. And then I pulled up extra drums and we just laid it right over the two-track and started chopping the two-track up and doing all this shit and we started to formulate a fucking thing. And this is why I haven’t really made beats on the MPCs, ‘cause I really love to do it, but when I went back after the record had been recorded and we were going to mix, I had to go into my mom’s basement and dig through shoeboxes of floppy disks and found the beat and loaded it up and the sequence was corrupt. So I had the samples, I had to go re-sequence the whole beat right there—like to memory, and re-track, track it all the way to ProTools. It was like a fucking nightmare. And then right there I made the decision I got to just make beats straight into the ProTools and start finding a different way that’s going to allow me to create at the pace I want to create.

"And I’ll never forget, one of my greatest moments—Frenchie called me up one morning and just played the Jadakiss verse for me. ‘Cause we had been trying to get the Jadakiss verse for so long for like a month and a half. And it was just such a body. And I knew this was going to be monstrous."

"Shot Caller" - French Montana feat. Charlie Rock


“It started out that we were doing just a fucking freestyle for Funk Master Flex. Like I don’t remember what we had initiated it for, but French wanted to remake an old school type of record. We were listening to Chub Rock’s ‘Treat ‘Em Right’ and a Lords of the Underground one that we were fucking with. So, we did the research, found what they had used to sample it—‘cause I had done that before! If you listen to ‘We Run New York’ with that KRS shit what I actually sampled to make the beat is the song that Showbiz sampled to make ‘Sound of da Police,’ but we flipped it differently. So this was my second time digging and remaking shit. So we remade it and French hated it. So this one time he was like ‘Yo, we should try and do this again.’ I usually don’t redo shit. But I went and redid it, and it came out dope. And Charlie Rock, the kid who did the hook, happened to be with us that night and it happened exactly how it was supposed to. I played the beat; Charlie Rock had the hook—boom. At first it was like, is French doing this hook, or is Rock doing this hook? And French was like, ‘Nah, Rock should do the hook.’ French went and laid the adlibs over the hook, before he even done the verses. We finished the whole shit, and we gave it to Flex, but he wouldn’t play it. I think it was like Camilo that started to play it.

“I guess we weren’t on that stature yet. [Funk Master Flex] didn’t play it for months, months. Camilo and them played it, and once it started to bubble Flex played it, everybody played it.

“We pushed ‘Shot Caller’ for mad long, bro. It wasn’t like we put it out and it blew up. So it was just validation that we believed in the right record. It made us feel good that we believed in the right thing. Obviously for me to have a record that was on that scale, it felt great obviously. I can’t wait to have more.” [Chuckles]

Saab Stories

Harry Fraud_Action Bronson

“It’s Saab Stories like the car company. Bronson’s probably my best friend in music. Like him and French are my fucking real friends. Bronson especially. We could never make a song again and I would probably talk to the kid everyday. He’s just my homie and shit. For us to make music it’s just super effortless. With Saab Stories, we’re well past enough songs to put an album out. We definitely have some super high-profile features.

”Wiz Khalifa is on our first single. He spoke about it on MTV’s SuckerFree. He took a liking to Bronson, and he reached out—we sent him something and he put the biggest fucking hole in that shit. It’s my favorite Wiz verse.

“It’s not going to be a feature-heavy thing. It’s about him, and me showing both sides. Us showing the industry that we’re both very versatile. Action Bronson is known for a certain type of music, but if you listen to the records that we did already, ‘Muslim Wedding,’ ‘Jar of Drugs,’ and ‘Bird on the Wire,’ it’s not traditionally what you’d expect from him. I’m so confident in the music that we’ve made thus far; I think it’s going to be the type of record that fucking blows people’s brains apart. No shots to anybody, but I definitely think it’s the best music that [Action Bronson’s] made.

“The Action Bronson music that has been heard up to this point its not necessarily produced. It’s pretty much beat and rapping, whereas this is like musical. It’s definitely the most eclectic mix of sounds that’s he’s ever had on anything. There are records for the strip club, and there are records for vibing out on Sunday cleaning your crib. You know what I’m saying? There are records to dance, all this shit that people probably haven’t heard from him yet.

“I would expect a single to come out sometime around the end of the summer, probably the joint with Wiz. You can expect the album before the end of the year, but I’m not pushing with that. I want the Bronson album to come out when it’s time. Whenever they’re ready for us, we’ll come out.”

Collaborating with Riff Raff:

Working With Riff Raff

“Riff Raff, we linked through Action and Alchemist, who I think turned Action onto Riff Raff. Alchemist, he’s a Riff Raff junkie. I’ve been a huge Riff Raff fan. I think Riff Raff is incredibly smart. Mark my words on Riff Raff; he’ll be at the top of the game. Motherfuckers think he’s a joke, but all the doubters will definitely get proven wrong. If people haven’t noticed, Riff Raff is steadily climbing. And nobody matches his output. He has a video on Worldstar pretty much everyday.

“Bronson came in the studio and was like ‘Yo, you want to do a song for Riff Raff?’ And we fucking put the whole shit together, left Riff Raff a space, sent it, he sent it back—boom.

“[Riff Raff] came directly from the airport and we recorded 5 songs and shot a video as soon as he got off the plane. It’s great to work with him. Riff Raff is a great guy, and he’s a really smart dude, understands how to market himself, and how everything is about perception. It’s all about what people see of you, and you can control what people see of you as long as you’re conscious of it. Riff Raff’s all about persona and mystique. And you know—he’s a genius.

Neon Vibes is supposed to come out July 4th; it’ll be free. We may change that because of how much hype we’re building around, but right now it’s July 4th.”

Project with Smoke DZA & Curren$y:

Currensy And Spitta

“The project that we have is called Rugby Thompson. It comes out June 19th. Smoke and I actually linked up from one of the OGs in my hood that has really nothing to do with rap. So he started to put the bug in my ear, and put the bug in Smoke’s ear and then Smoke ran up on Dante [Ross] (Harry Fraud’s manager) at a show downtown and was like, ‘Yo man, I really want to get in the studio with Fraud.’ So we started working on the album around New Years and we ran through shit, we really banged it out quick. For Smoke it’s a departure from what people are used to hearing from him, it’s not stoner—it’s hard. It’s hard, bass-heavy, in your face, a fucking loud record. There are a couple laid-back songs, but they’re few and far between.

“With Smoke DZA I made every beat except for one in the studio with him. Bronson, pretty much the same thing—I’ll have ideas, but I’m really an on-the-spot dude. I’m mega quick. For me to work with as many people as I’m working with, I would run out of beats if I were just digging in the stash. Yeah, so Smoke wrote all the raps in the studio.

“I have the EP with Curren$y called Cigarette Boats which we started recording. We should finish recording around the end of the month. Curren$y came through to jump on the Smoke DZA album. And I literally played [Curren$y] five beats and he was like, ‘We’re doing an EP with these 5 beats.’ So that’ll be another free release and it’ll come out any time [Curren$y] feels so inclined.”

“Stoner’s Night 2” - Juicy J feat. Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa_Juicy J

“It was weird. When French went to record with Three Six Mafia for ‘Cocaine Mafia’ Juicy J really took a liking to my shit. I think it was Droop Pop from Coke Boys put me on the phone with [Juicy J] one day. We just started connecting and I was just sending him mad beats. And at the same time Chevy Woods had linked up with Chinkx Drugz and French had been around Wiz, and then Chevy and me linked up, so I started giving beats to him. I don’t know from which [batch] ‘Stoner’s Night 2.’ I hadn’t met Wiz by that point, when the song came out. It just came out as the announcement song that Juicy J was signing to Taylor Gang. On Taylor Allderdice, they did the ‘Blindfolds’—and that kind of solidified the kind of synergy. And then when I was at SXSW with Bronson, we bumped into Wiz and that was the first time we had actually ever met in person, and he just showed wild love. He’s the fuckin’ coolest dude, bro. I fuck with Taylor Gang. They’re real motherfuckers.”

Working with Rick Ross:

Rick Ross

“Oh my God. Ross is like the most down-to-earth ‘super star’ I’ve ever been around. He showed me nothing but the utmost respect and hospitality. I’ll never forget, I was sitting at Sunday dinner with my grandmother, it was All-Star weekend and everyone was in Orlando. Frenchie calls and he’s like, ‘Step away from the table for a second. I got somebody who wants to speak to you.’ Hands Rozay the phone, and he’s like, ‘Yo, Frenchie just played me this beat man and it’s fucking incredible. I want us to work together.’ And I’m like, ‘Let’s fucking do it, just tell me when.’ And he was like, ‘Tomorrow.’ So he had them book me the flight, I got on the plane the next morning, flew to his house in Miami, he put me up in his house for 4 days, I sat there and made music with him, just really kicked it. He wasn’t really making that much music with me, but he was playing me songs and just putting me in the mind state and I left—I made seven beats when I was down there and left them with him.

“Maybach Music Group, they’re like the fucking Secret Service, but I’ve heard bits and pieces of stuff. It often happens. With Wiz, I don’t think I heard ‘Blindfolds’ until the day before the tape came out. With ‘Stoner’s Night’ I didn’t hear it until the day it came out. I didn’t even know they used it or anything—like that shit just came out. And I remember watching the interview with Lex Luger where he was talking about ‘H.A.M.’ and saying ‘Yeah, I didn’t hear ‘H.A.M.’ until everybody else heard it.’"

“Special Effects” – Meyhem Lauren feat. Action Bronson & Heems of Das Racist

Special Effects

“We were down at SXSW with myself, Action, Meyhem, AG the Coroner, Riff Raff, Heems from Das Racist, and Big Body, Action’s cousin. We literally recorded a whole album produced by Tommy Mas and I in the hotel room that we were staying in at SXSW.

“That song’s off Meyhem’s [mixtape] called Respect the Fly Shit. We were fucked up in the hotel one night and we recorded that joint, and we shot a really incredible video that was directed by Heems who actually has the first verse on that song. He’s an all around artistic kid.”

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