The TrackMasters Are Back…. Sort Of
My good buddy Will Johnson wrote a great profile of The Trackmasters in the new Remix magazine. In it, despite the fact that it seems like they’ve both been living in Siberia for the past three years, Tone and Poke are saying that they’ve amassed something like 230 songs over the past three months:
“We’ve completed more than 230 full songs. That means intros, verses, hooks, breaks, choruses, bridges, live instruments, all that — in three months,” Tone brags. “That’s enough joints to last a few years.” While 230 songs in three months may seem like a dream come true for most producers, for these two, it’s simply business as usual.
I gotta admit, that number sounds pretty inflated. 230!!!?!?!?! But the article says they employed a production team who would carry out the hard labor of banging out the tracks, and then I think to myself, 230 is not hard to do if you’ve got five dudes making beats literally all day long. Which is what a lot of these big names producers do, they just don’t really talk about it. Still, the fact that they’d be sitting there amassing this big catalog of tracks just to shop them to artists like “Nas, Busta Rhymes, The Game, Jamie Fox, Lil’ Kim, Ludacris, Tyrese, Mariah Carey,” well, it just doesn’t sound very smart to me, mostly because outside of Mariah and Luda, nobody on that list really sells records anymore. And nobody’s gonna pay The Trackmasters the 80 thousand dollars per beat that they are quoted in the article as commanding for their work. What year do they think this is, 1998? I do think they’ll get a few off these beats off, definitely. They’ve always been a dope production team (though they did fuck up The Firm album though, admit it). I just don’t think people really care about the artists enough anymore to warrant putting all that work in to place joints on their albums.
Perhaps what they should do is spend their time looking to actually find, develop, and break an artist. This, of course, after knowing the Trackmasters were the geniuses who let 50 Cent slip from their grasp. But seriously, then all that work in the studio might actually make sense, because they’d be in control of their destiny, instead of just having 230 tracks sitting on a hard drive waiting for Nas or Busta to come rhyme to them, only to have the songs end up on their respective upcoming LPs, which are doomed to suck and not sell shit because that’s just the way it is for rap music at this point.
The days of freelance producing just aren’t what they used to be.