DJ Toomp Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records

Ludacris "Mouths to Feed" (2007)


Album: Release Therapy
Label: Disturbing Tha Peace, Def Jam Records

DJ Toomp: “It wasn’t anybody in mind when I produced Ludacris’ record 'Mouths To Feed.' Ludacris came through to my studio one day to hear that record. Artists have no problem coming through to see the kid, especially the local ones. I got pretty cool relationships with everybody. So Luda just hit me up out the blue sometimes and be like, 'What’s up, what you up to? I’m bout to come through.' Then he just shows up.

“When he first heard 'Mouths To Feed,' he had the idea for it right than. You got some artists who would have a hook or just a concept in their head, and they’re just waiting to hear the right beat to put it to. That’s how 'Big Brother' was with Kanye— he already had the hook and the idea but he was waiting for a track to really just wake him up. That’s how 'Mouths To Feed' was.

“What’s wild is, 'Mouths To Feed' by Luda; 'I Luv It,' and 'I Got Money,' by Jeezy; and Rick Ross’ 'White House,' were all made in the same week. It was just a certain zone I was in.

“Something was in the air, and it was beautiful. I had my MPC and my Rolling Phantom—those were the only two things I was using when I put those songs together.

“Plus, there was no one around me. Sometimes I have to actually close my door and put a 'Do Not Disturb' on the door to really get my vibe going. Nobody even knew I was in the building when I made those tracks—I was the only one there, because it was right when I had moved into my new studio in the West End. Nobody knew where I was.

“Those songs were the first placements that came out of that building. At this point, a lot of records have come out of there.

“I’m obsessed with it. If it wasn’t for handling family situations, picking my daughter up from school, or little basic things, I would never come out of the studio. It would be hard as hell to get me up out of there. I might take a little nap in-between while I’m in there, then I get back up and I’m on it all over again. So when my day is going like that, I might make eight tracks. I can sit in there for like 24-hours straight. I’ve done 48-hours straight in Cali before, when I was working out there in LA.

“One thing that keeps me there is the fact that it’s so fun. Doing what I do ain’t hard. The only time it’s hard is when your equipment’s acting up; that’s a headache. That’s when it starts feeling like a job. But besides that, it’s cool.”

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