Album: Ryde Or Die Vol. 1
Label: Ruff Ryders, Interscope
Swizz Beatz: “We wanted to embrace the South at that time. I was always into collaborating, that’s why on ‘World War III’ I had Scarface and Snoop. We had divisions of bikers in other cities and we needed to do stuff so all of the divisions could represent and show Ruff Ryders wasn’t just some New York shit. I was making music to fit that.
“When I made ‘Down Bottom’ I was like, ‘Who can we get on here to switch it up?’ At the time, Juvenile and Cash Money was popping. I was like, ‘Yo, get Juvey on this track. That’ll stamp us over there and it’ll stamp them over here.’ I remember being in Sony studios making the beat from the sound module and it was like, ‘This shit is crazy! Let me flip it.’ The rest is history.
“The sound module comes with sounds programmed in it already, so I was just looping the sound modules. Then, of course, people spun it out of control like I got sued by Casio. I was like, ‘What the fuck?’ I’ve never used a Casio in my life. That was a myth. I was using the Trinities, these silver keyboards. The Triton hadn’t come out yet.
“Today—because of that story—people think I made all of that shit from a fucking Casio. I’m like, ‘How can you make those beats from a Casio?’ No disrespect, but the only Casio I’d ever seen was little. I’ve never seen a Casio that had those types of horns or that could make the type of shit I was making.
“My equipment list started from two BD10 Gemini turntables with a wood-grain Gemini mixer—the small one. Then I graduated to the Technic 1200’s and I got the other Gemini mixers. I always liked the Gemini mixers.
“On the production side I started out with a Dr. Rhythm drum machine, I had an old TR-808. Then my cousin’s boyfriend—who was Bobby Brown’s brother—gave me an MP60, which was my first MP. I remember hooking all that up to my turntables and that was that.
“As far as a keyboard, I remember getting the Korg M1. I was sampling from the M1 into my drum machine. I was the first person doing that. I had the black M1 where I was doing ‘If I Should Die’ and ‘Coming Of Age’ for [Jay-Z’s Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life]. As a matter of fact, I did ‘Money, Cash, Hoes’ on the Korg M1 too. I never used SIM or MIDI to this day. That’s real information that people never knew.
“From there I started pairing up all these keyboards to my MP. So I would get the Triton, the Trinity, and all these different things that go with it. I was into the sound modules so I had a bunch of those, and when I started to try new things I didn’t like it.
“Even today I use the MP3000 and Logic, only because I’m able to bang out when I’m travelling. My new tracks are made on Logic. The stuff on Watch The Throne was from Logic, Busta Rhymes’ ‘Stop The Party’ and a couple things off my album are from Logic because I’m travelling with it. My in-studio stuff is my MP and all those fucking keyboards.”