Truth be told Sean C and LV are the real production muscle behind American Gangster. Don’t call it a comeback, but Jay is hotter than he’s been since the Black Album and these two studio rats are the ones to thank. You’re invited to the new generation Hitmen’s coming out party.
So you guys were already working together before becoming part of Puffy’s new Hitmen, correct?
LV: Yeah Shawn and I have Grind Music. We’ve worked a lot with Puff. On Press Play we had a song called “I Am.” We did a song called “Get Off.” That was like his James Brown—Puff’s 2007 James Brown.
Were you guys involved with the process when Jay came by Puff’s studio and heard the tracks the first time?
LV: Definitely. How it all started was we were in the studio one day vibing with Puff like, Yo, we just got mad beats. He was like, “You know what?” Nigga just called Jay. 15-20 minutes later Jay just walked in the studio. It was crazy ‘cause he was supposed to stay for 15 minutes and wound up staying for three hours just listening to beats.
He said he heard like 30 tracks.
LV: Yeah. He came back probably like a week later and then he played us a couple of songs and then, he was like, “Okay, we know where we got to go now.” We just went in from there.
So Sean, you were also behind that “Cant Knock The Hustle” joint. You actually already had worked with Jay.
Sean C: Yeah, that was in the beginning.
So how is it like working with him now compared to back then, is it pretty much the same vibe?
Sean C: Well, he’s much, much, much richer…
Sean C: It’s definitely a little different. It’s still creative though he’s still crazy creative and all that.
So I heard “Sweet” was one of the first joints that came together right away.
Sean C: Yeah we gave ‘em the joint and he put the vocals on it and we added everything afterwards. Like, we just kept going back and forth. He came by Daddy’s House a couple times and we were just in there working. He’d hear a joint like, “Yeah oh shit! I need that!” and he’s like, “Yo send that over to me.” So we send beats over to Roc The Mic and he send ‘em back with vocals.
So what did y’all think when you first heard “Sweet”?
LV: It was like—honestly that shit is like—I hate to say it even though it may sound corny but it’s like a dream. Most of the time when you work with people and you give them your beat and you’ll get the finished product and sometimes you are like, “Damn! He ain’t really kill it!” But Jay just took the shit to like another level. Further than I would think somebody might be able kill the beat. So I was just like, “Oh.” We actually heard “Sweet” and then “No Hook.” So that’s when we really got amped and we came up with “Roc Boys.” And it’s a coincidence Jay heard it and he’s like it’s a celebration. That’s how we felt.
So it looks like “Roc Boys” is gonna be a single. Bet y’all can’t wait to hear that joint rock in the club.
LV: I’ma bug out ‘cause I bug out in the club already. But when I hear the Roc Boys joint… pshh—Jesus Christ!
Sean C: I’m excited to hear what people are going to say about it. Cause you got the horns, and all that—it don’t sound like any record out right now. That one was something we did that we want people to be like, “Damn I wish I did that beat!”
So these tracks are sample driven but with live instrumentation on top, right?
Sean C: Yeah like with “Roc Boys,” the horn sample is crazy. But, it’s much better if you have the live horns so you can put extra parts. We got my man Wolverine, he plays bass. He comes in and plays on all our joints, we was doing that since we had a little studio uptown.
So explain how Puff gets heavily involved with the final arrangements.
LV: Puff come in the studio and he’s like, “Aight, that’s hot, but I want it to sound like, this!” and he makes movements with his hands and we’re like, “What the fuck does that mean?!” [Laughs] Puff’s whole thing is to make the records sound big. He wants all the records to sound real, real big. So, he’ll go back and forth, back and forth with you like—“Yo, we should just change this one little part. Just bring up the strings right there or play one little string part here or one little guitar part.” Like, he’s real on some detail shit. He’s on the details real hard.
He’s doing a lot of the final mixing and stuff too, right?
LV: Yeah, it’s all a collaborative effort. He definitely knows what he’s doing, we add to that. He adds to us and the final product is the Reasonable Blueprint. That’s kind of how it comes in. It’s a good marriage, with the knowledge he got and what we bring to the table to make the records huge.
Six joints is crazy placement. You guys must be excited.
Sean C: Yeah, definitely. I’m still digesting that. I just hit L about that this morning about that, like “Yo, we got six joints yo!”
LV: This is one of the best shits of my life. Like, for real. I’m stupid happy.
So LV you also roll with TS as Fat Joe’s DJ. How does Crack feel about you giving all that fire away to someone else?
LV: Actually, like for real, I knew he was going to be real proud of me. Like he calls me just to be like, “Six joints!” No one is thinking about that. This shit is crazy.