DJ Toomp Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records

Rick Ross "White House" (2006)


Album: Port of Miami
Label: Def Jam Records

DJ Toomp: “Making Rick Ross’ 'White House' was just organic. I mean, even when I’m here at the crib, once I turn my computer on the melodies just starts coming up in my head, or I might just hear one sound. On 'White House' there’s like this little string in the song and I just kept hitting it and the different melodies. Once I put the 808 and the drums in, it took it to a whole ‘nother level.

“Sometimes I think about taking piano lessons to go to the next level, especially with a lot of the R&B stuff I’m putting together. A lot of times when I be trying to think of where to take the melody when it comes to a bridge on an R&B song, that’s when I kind of wish that I knew a little more music theory as far as piano. I play a little bit of drums. I can sit around on bass guitar, and I’m getting better and better on piano. I just play by ear. I still get it done. Sometimes I would just bring one of my piano players in, or a guitar player, or live strings, or whatever.

“The late Shakir Stewart hooked me up with Ross for 'White House' though. Shakir played a major part in my career on a lot of my Def Jam placements. I can definitely give him the credit for pushing certain things because [dealing with labels] can get a little political.”

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