This interview was conducted before Tiny’s boo got pinched. So neither Aldrin Davis nor myself are trying to kick a man when he’s down. But truth is truth: How do you lose your producer to another producer? Some shit just don’t make no sense.
I wanna talk about the song you got on American Gangster. How’d it all come about?
I was asking Big Jon [Platt] and a few other people, “Yo what are you looking for?” ‘Cause a lot of times, I’d just do me and send what I got. But, I’m like, Nah, you know what, I wanna have a target I’m aiming at this time. So I started diggin’ through the crates flipping through a few albums I always liked and said, “You know what depending on who the artist is, I’ma come back to this.” And it was that particular song from Tom Brock—
Yeah Just used him for that “Girls, Girls, Girls” joint.
Yeah you damn right.
Is that the same album or something else?
[Starts humming] Yeah that’s the one Barry White produced, so that was the same album.
So you’re kinda bringing a lil’ Blueprint flavor to the album.
Yeah, yeah some of that. I love Barry White man. His arrangements are real orchestrated. I’m starting to round up a live—at least a nice lil’ orchestra. Trying to put that together on my own right now on some real Barry White shit—Nile Rogers did the same thing. You know when you start hearing all them violins you knew it was Chic. Nile Rogers had that sound with them violins. So once you get your own piece together, you’re going to naturally have your own flavor. So it’ll be hard for someone to bite your orchestra. I’m slowly putting that together, but on this round I ended up sampling and playing the strings myself over the track just to enhance it a lil bit.
This is the first time you and Jay have worked together, correct?
Yeah, we actually sat in and came up with it one night. It was a nice vibe. I wish a camera crew was there like he did on Fade To Black. It was a great vibe, man. I got in there, and it was red wine, white wine bottles everywhere. Fruit, cheese—you know the regular café type stuff. It was me, him, my manager Bernard, JD, No I.D., L Rock, Ty-Ty, the rest of the squad and Guru of course.
So you just pulled out the laptop—
You know how I do, I go into my weapons of mass destruction and I’ma tell you, there was love there but it kinda felt like a beat battle at the same time. It was a great fuckin’ vibe. I just finished talking to No I.D. We congratulated each other.
Yeah his joint is hot on there.
Yeah I like it. So, when I started playing—I played an up-tempo joint he was diggin it. But he was like man, “Just give me some of that of what you feel.” I was like, “Well I’m a give you one I put together right before I got up here.” And it was the Tom Brock.
Did he start to come up with the whole concept of the song right away?
Yeah, believe it or not within four minutes of playing that track, he was like, “Shit I got something for it already. You might as well go and check that.” And Guru said you might as well don’t even play that for nobody else. It felt great, man. I made the album! I started kickin’ up the two way. I gave him some other joints and they loved it, but the curtain was closing. I said, “Damn!” if I had a few more days.
Coming off your work with Kanye it’s obvious you’re the producer in demand now. How does it feel to be the hot dude?
I’m just supplying everybody—It’s like I’m that new dude. I have to come set up in the city ‘cause that’s what I did with Kanye. At first I was sitting in Atlanta waiting for everyone to come to me. And finally my manager Bernard was like, “Yo Toomp we gon’ post up in New York. You got bread dawg.” I might treat myself to something real crazy this spring, but all I just buy is land. A lot of property. That’s equivalent to a lot of Ferraris and Lambos. I’m like, Let me post up in a nice hotel, get my equipment up here and post up and do beats. Everybody want some Toomp tracks, come through.
Does it make a difference being in New York?
Makes a big difference. It’s so immediate. “Toomp here at?! Ok. Where’s the cross street?! Ok cool, we’ll be there in a second.” Next thing you know, he come through. I was supposed to catch up with Juelz Santana. I don’t know what happened, but he’s somebody else who I definitely want to produce. Everything I put in the universe comes back ‘cause in other interviews people would ask “Is there anybody else you want to produce?” and I would always say, “Wow, the guy I always wanted to produce is retired now. But one day hopefully we’ll make it happen.”
Everyone has opinions on it but you actually produced the record. Let’s get your take on “Big Brother”?
Well, I’ma tell you what’s funny ‘cause I did like four songs on Kanye. I did “Big Brother,” “Good Life”, “Can’t Tell Me Nothin’” and another joint called, “I Done Did It All” where I sampled my voice on the hook—
That didn’t come out, right?
But we’re talking about putting it out [Laughs]. It sounds crazy. It’s some real down south shit, but he ripped it. I saw Common on TRL he said, “Y’all need to do something with ‘I Done Did It All.’” So we’re packaging something later on for the holidays. We’re still trying to figure out how we gon’ do it. Me and Kanye worked for like almost a month straight down there in Atlanta. He came down and vibed with me. The album was really done. And that’s when I thought “I Done Did It All” was going to make it. But then Kanye was like, “Yo man you got something else?” I was like, “Man, don’t ask me that!” I said, “You know what man, I got one that I really think you’ll love, man. It’s real musical.” Everybody in the room was like, “Let me hear it!” and when I crunk that beat up, man, you should’ve saw how it lit everybody up. He said, “Aww dude, that’s outta here.” A few days later, he told me and different people at Def Jam were like “Hey man, Kanye just did a track to the last one you gave him and it’s crazy. His last song and it’s the last song on the album.”
What’d you think of the concept, the hook?
Ah man I loved it. Matter fact, Kanye is so immediate man. He came up with the hook, right there on the spot when I played the track. Then he did the vocals—I heard new lyrics to it later on and man, it just blew me away. I was like “Oh my God this is it.” But the first time like everybody else it was like, Ahh man, is he dissing him? I’m like, C’mon man, he ain’t finna diss this man, he just telling the truth. Then when Jay and Jay Brown came up to Chung King to listen to it, man, it filled the whole room up. ‘Cause everybody heard the truth when they left. And, the look on everybody’s face was like, “Wow this is the real thing.”
I know you gotta run. But I gotta ask you real quick about you and the boy Tip. Y’all worked it out?
Hello? Hello? You’re breaking up.
I’m not sure, man. Me and Clifford Harris talked on the Fourth of July and I’m more about action, man. We talked and if you say I should have my attorney holla at your attorney and then I see your attorney two months later and he don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m like, Yo man, was that just talk or what? So, whenever he’s ready, I’m always locked and loaded.