Childish Major Recalls Getting in Trouble for Mimicking The Neptunes’ “Grindin'” Beat in School
Some people can do it all. Atlanta's own Childish Major, the 28-year-old producer and rapper (who also sings sometimes) first stepped into the spotlight when he produced Rocko's 2013 hit single "U.O.E.N.O." Since then, he's dropped his own album (2019's Dirt Road Diamond featuring the Ludacris-assisted single "No Sweat") and mixtape (2017's Woo$ah) plus worked with artists like J. Cole, 6LACK, former XXL Freshman J.I.D, in addition to appearing on Dreamville's Revenge of the Dreamers III compilation earlier this year. For someone who's just as comfortable behind the boards as he is in the booth, having a variety of influences should come as no surprise. For the latest episode of XXL's Pay Homage series, Childish Major gives props to five producers whose hip-hop beats inspired and motivated him to take his production to the next level.
Childish Major's first choice is a classic: Jay-Z's "Hovi Baby" produced by Just Blaze. "It's super big band-sounding," he explains. "I think they sampled like a TLC live show; I dunno how back then Just Blaze got his hands on that recording, but the way he cut that sample was crazy." He of course shouts out Hov for the work he put in: "Then Jay-Z comes on there and he just goes crazy."
There aren't many beats that spread everywhere and are considered a classic like Clipse's "Grindin'" (courtesy of The Neptunes), making it an easy choice to honor. "Pharrell and Chad, off top, that's like one of the best beats ever," Childish says. "Every kid, whether they was into hip-hop or not, was doing that on they desk, lunch table, during class. I'm pretty sure everybody else got in trouble. I know I got in trouble for, you know, doing that." Anyone who grew up during that era remembers this vividly. "Grindin'" was like no other beat at the time, and is still in a league of its own.
For his third selection, Childish Major makes a throwback pick: A Tribe Called Quest's "Bonita Applebum" produced by Q-Tip. "That beat [is] definitely, slower, more mellow," he explains. "But altogether amazing, maybe not a beat battle beat, but on some super, like vibing, chilling." He also adds in an observation of his own. "Women love that beat," he says with a smile.
Watch Childish Major pay homage to some of hip-hop greatest beats below.
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