Album: 1st Infantry
Label: Koch, All City
The Alchemist: “It was one good day in the studio in the crib in New York. I have footage of it. A couple of times we looked back at it, we ordered food that day and you can see the food on the table.
“I definitely went back to it to try to analyze where we ordered from like, ‘Oh we gotta order from there more often.’ I was reviewing the tape to find a secret magic ingredient because we ordered from there mad other times and we never made ‘Hold You Down’ even again.
“I flipped that sample and I'm just trying to make it say something else. It originally says, ‘Hold you Stan’ and I made it sound like down. P was sitting there and he's writing while I’m making it.
“A lot of beats ended up unfinished because he starts writing while I'm making them and I feel bad because I keep stopping to keep fixing the beat and he's like, ‘I got this. Let’s go, you can fix it up later.’ And a lot of times we ended up leaving it unfinished. It’s like I gotta race motherfuckers. I see them writing and the hours of sand is turned over and I'm like fuck.
I don’t know how me rapping was received. They probably just said it was wack and didn’t tell me to stick on the beats. I kinda snuck in on like, ‘Hey! Now deal with this verse really quick. Don’t worry though, the hook will be back.’ I never wanted to be the producer guy who you don’t wanna get a beat from him because you’re afraid he's gonna wanna rap on your song.
“Getting Nina Sky on the song was probably a management call. They just felt like they it needed a hook and I kept telling them, ‘Yo ‘Keep It Thoro!’ We don’t need a hook!’
“I gave them that speech and I guess that speech is wack now. They were like, ‘No this song could be better with a hook.’ I decided not to fight everybody because they are pretty smart people and Cipha Sounds was working with them and he told me, ‘Trust me, send me something.’
“So I sent him the song, they sent it back to me, and I liked it but I was so stuck on my producer shit. I wanted to be right about it not needing a hook but everybody was like, ‘You’re out of your mind. It’s way better with the hook.’ So I grew to love it. After a week, it was like thank God I didn’t listen to myself which is a rare moment. Sometimes you're wrong and that was one of those moments.
“Illa Gee was not my artist and I had no intentions of premiering Illa Gee—who’s my man and a dope MC. He wasn’t my artist and it wasn’t my agenda. P brought him through, he dropped a verse, and it was tight. I actually cut his verse down. He had eight more bars but mad people were telling me to take him off of it. Label people, like, ‘It doesn’t make sense.’ I said, ‘Fuck it, he deserves it, he earned a spot on that record.’
“I don’t know how me rapping was received. They probably just said it was wack and didn’t tell me to stick on the beats. I think it went well. And Prodigy was first on the song so you are into the song already and I kinda snuck in on motherfuckers like, ‘Hey! Now deal with this verse really quick. Don’t worry though, the hook will be back.’
“I never thought too hard about the rapping thing but I also never wanted to be the producer guy who you don’t wanna get a beat from him because you’re afraid he's gonna wanna rap on your song.
“So over the years I only worked and recorded rhymes with people who were really in my circle. My friends who fuck with me and know my skills as a producer. But I do enjoy saying dumb shit on my beats.”