Photo credit: Rick Wenner


Photo credit: Rick Wenner


If you still aren't up on La Musica de Harry Fraud, in 2013 you definitely will be. The Brooklyn-bred producer has been making waves in all corners of the hip-hop community since he arrived onto the scene with French Montana's "New York Minute" in 2009, and he's remained a consistent—and frequent—source of bold, quality music for fans ever since. Earlier this month, XXL caught up with the prolific beatsmith to discuss his future plans, sampling practices, and musical tastes, as well as tonight's "Harry Fraud & Friends" live performance in Brooklyn with Scion A/V. —Nick de Molina (@odmod)

On Upcoming Projects with Scion A/V

On upcoming projects with Scion A/V

Harry Fraud: “Basically, 'Mean' is gonna be the lead-off song for a project that I’m doing with Scion A/V that’s going to be a compilation EP involving the artists that I work with often and some other artists as well, the idea being to put them together on songs that might not necessarily be on together, like French and Bam Bam for instance. 'Mean' was kind of just a way of testing the waters to see how people, first of all, receive a record from me, because I feel like often producer records don’t get received that well, but it seems like in this situation, everybody’s loving it."

“You can expect the full project at the top of the year, probably sometime in early February, and it’ll be available in the same fashion, for free download. I’m all about that—giving people the music. Everything will be coming through Scion A/V, through their website, you know, I’ve got my little page on there, looking wavy with all my little releases and shows and stuff, so everybody can get on Scion A/V and get all my latest shit. Basically, Action and French were the first combo, and I’ve got a lot of heavy-hitting combos on there, I worked on some stuff with Earl for it, I worked on some stuff with Mikey Rocks for it, me and my man Trinidad James are gonna do something for it—everybody that’s in my immediate circle, we’re gonna bring them all in.”

On Building off the Legacies of Past Projects

On building on the legacies of past projects

Harry Fraud: “I think that what I’m going to do, probably at the top of the year, is gear up to do another project with Curren$y, whether it be Cigarette Boats 2 or something different, and another project with Smoke [DZA], because I don’t just want people to think I’m running around getting an album out of every artist and then moving on to the next. I’m trying to build these legacies with these artists and put a release out that’s quality every year so that the fans feel like, ‘Hey—if I’m stuck listening to a bunch of bullshit, I know at least Harry and Smoke are gonna give me something and I know Harry and Spitta are gonna give me something, I know Harry and Bronson are gonna give me something every year that’s gonna be quality—you know?' So I want to focus on making sure that those albums weren’t just drops in the bucket and that they don’t get forgotten. I want to make sure I double back and nurture those relationships and those legacies that we’re building with those projects."

On His Sampling Process

On his sampling process

Harry Fraud: "I’ll start whatever gives me the biggest spark. For years, I was a super vinyl enthusiast, and I still love vinyl—I have that old, record-digger love for touching it and smelling it. But for convenience’s sake, obviously, I’m not always next to a record player and a crate of good records. So, I’ll find stuff on the Internet. What I’ve been doing a lot recently is...if my friends play in bands or if any of my friends make music, I’ll always be like, ‘Yo—Lemme get your demo,’ or, ‘Let me get you album,’ and I’ve been trying to start to dig into their songs and what they have and maybe I might say, ‘Yo—I love this song. Why don’t we go back to it and give me the stems and lets re-write something,’ or whatever, and try to build from there. Because obviously, sampling is fun, and I’ll never not sample, but it’s funny because all of the producers I used to look up to would always be like, ‘Yeah—sampling is great, but man, that shit hurts your pockets.’ And now, in the game, I’m starting to feel those pressures from people with the samples and all this, so I’m just trying to find my own ways around it—you know? And the other thing is, I don’t ever want to sell myself short on a musical level and just box myself into being considered an only sample-based producer or whatever. So I want to start showing people different sides. For example, the song 'Mean' that we put out with Scion is a perfect example of my kind of movement towards a new sound where it has a sample-type feel but there’s actually no samples in the track."

On Tonight's Harry Fraud & Friends Live Show

On tonight's Harry Fraud & Friends Live Show

Harry Fraud: “What that’s gonna look like is pretty much a celebration of all the music that I’ve been working on and I’m gonnda kind of take the listeners on a little journey through the different songs that we worked on and then bring up artists that are on those songs to perform them, obviously. I don’t want to give away the artists, but I’m gonna bring up all these artists to perform the songs I’m talking about. Then, I’ll kind of be able to give different takes on the songs live and incorporate different elements. We were going to do a full blown-out live show type of thing, but we’re still kind of putting it together. That’ll be something that I do with Scion A/V for the release of the album too. We’re going to do a full blown-out live experience that’s gonna be on some next level shit. But for Cigarette Boats, it’ll kind of be a scaled-down version of that—you know what I’m saying? But it’ll definitely be a full interactive experience for everybody. I’ll be interacting with the fans on all different levels.”

On What He's Listening to Right Now

On what he's listening to right now

Harry Fraud: “Right now, I’ve been listening to a lot of Mastadon and Dirty Projectors as far as new stuff outside of rap. Rap—I really like Danny Brown, I’ve been listening to some Danny Brown. We didn’t actually get to be together in the studio for [Spaceship], but I reached out to him on that and I let him know that I was definitely a fan of his and I think we vibed well and he’s a fan of Max B so he’s familiar with my music. We were kind of familiar with each other so that worked out well. Another artist that I’m madly in love with is Trinidad James who’s been blowing up recently, but I’ve been listening to him for a couple of months. He’s a kid out of Atlanta that definitely has an eclectic vibe. I see a lot for him in the future. He’s like Gucci Mane, mixed with Andre 3000, mixed with a Hippie, mixed with, like, Kanye. He’s crazy—he’s so talented. I don’t even know how to explain it.”