DJ Khalil Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records

Dr. Dre f/ Snoop Dogg & Akon “Kush” (2011)

DJ Khalil: “I had this vocal of Kobe saying, ‘Hold up, wait a minute.’ I had that line and I saved it for like a year because I knew it could be a dope club record for whoever. I remember I was in the studio and I was playing the vocals, and Dre was like, 'Yo, who is that?' I was like, ‘That's Kobe.’ And he was like, 'Yo, that's a hit already.'

"So I just started making the beat around it. We recorded another hook before they put Akon on it, and another singer named Blackthoven did the bridge. So we had a bunch of parts to it and I sent it over to Dre. I still have the text in my phone where Dre was like, 'Yo, this ‘Kush’ beat is incredible!'

"He was really excited about it because he knew it was just a good party record. I'm not really known for [party records], but that was my attempt for Dre. He just wanted a buzz single. So I worked on that for a minute. We tried so many hooks on that. That record went through so many stages.

“We actually sped it up because it was much slower [originally]. But Dre was like, 'We gotta speed the joint up.' I remember Dre invited me to the studio and he was like, 'Yo, I want you to come listen to the record.'

"So I listened to it and he gave me a copy of it. There was just so many things he added to it, I was like, ‘Wow, it doesn't even sound like the record anymore.’ [Laughs.] I was so married to the original one. Dre and I never argue, but I was like, ‘I don't know man about the new hi-hats. I don't know man. Maybe you should give me a shot at mixing it.’

"He gave me a shot at mixing it, but we ended up going with his mix because he knows how to mix for radio. I don't really know how to do that, so I learned a really important lesson: Dr. Dre knows what he's doing. [Laughs.]

”I've been at Aftermath for so long, when Dre first signed me he was already talking about Detox. I was like, ‘Detox? What is that?’ And he was like, 'That's my next album.' There's a lot of stuff they've recorded to. I've worked on a few and I don't even know how many [will make the album] because I'm out of the loop.

"I kinda pop up, give Dre music, and then vanish back into my cave again. That's why I try not to speak on the album, it's not my place. I don't know what he's gonna end up using [on the album], so I don't really wanna speak on that. I don't wanna give some information that might upset anybody, especially Dre.

"I'm from the West Coast and I'm one of Dre’s biggest fans. I own everything Dre's ever done, even his swap meet mixtapes. I have all that stuff. So to actually have his blessing on Detox and to be working with him on his album is insane to me.”

blog comments powered by Disqus