Lil Fame Talks Production Techniques, M.O.P. Beginnings and Biggie Smalls (Video Premiere)
Following last week’s opening entry to the “Learn From The Legends” video series (Da Beatminerz), producer Rodney Hazard stays in Brooklyn, New York to talk to another 20-plus-year innovator in Lil Fame. These days, simply “Fame,” the M.O.P. co-founding MC/producer has not only supplied some of his group’s biggest hits, he (as “Fizzy Womack”) expanded into making scorchers for the likes of AZ, Cormega, Wu-Tang Clan, and even Cam’ron.
Speaking with Rodney, Fame opens up about becoming a producer simply by studying the album insert credits to his influences: EPMD, Big Daddy Kane, and KRS-One. He explains how drums are the integral part of his sound, while he avoids hi-hats at all costs.
More than eight minutes long, this segment really hones in on Fame’s production. The Brownsvillain explains why it bothers him that he does not get more credit for speeding up the pitch on vocal samples (sometimes called “chipmunk soul” or “chirping”), something that he’s been doing since 1996’s Firing Squad LP. Fame did produce one of the Mash Out Posse’s biggest hits, 2000’s “Cold As Ice,” which employed such a technique with a Foreigner hit.
Rodney Hazard plays an oft-overlooked Notorious B.I.G. vocal from “The Warning,” which shouted out Lil Fame. The First Family co-founder elaborates on their relationship, recalling his adolescent days with Biggie Smalls, and even B.I.G.’s early nickname of “Chubb Rock,” an erroneous label comparing the kid freestyling on Fulton to another Brooklyn MC, who was a Select Records label-mates of Fame’s.
This interview breaks down how M.O.P. and D/R Period were not on speaking terms following 1994’s To The Death debut. However, the fellow Brownsville native’s beat-tape brought the three men together for “Ante Up,” prompting a major crossover hit, and ending the rift. Fame adds that Mash Out’s biggest hit is in fact a simple rhyme routine, “ping pong” as he calls it, and far from a moment that showcased M.O.P.’s lyrical leanings.
Fame explains the working styles of Jay Z and 50 Cent, as well as breaks down how much work Cam’ron does for a producer in completing a track.
As is the tradition with “Learn From The Legends,” Rodney took his lessons from Fame and produced “Two Lanes,” for Danse x King Mean:
The artists are some of the track’s biggest fans. “As soon as I played the beat I thought to myself, ‘Yo, this shit feels like it knows what I’m thinking.’ The joint is crazy.” King Mean added, “[Rodney Hazard’s] beat made me feel like I was owning up to the expectations that everyone had for me, because although I considered myself a King everybody else titled me a King, this record made me realize who I am.”
Rodney Hazard’s Victim Volunteer releases March 31.
Stay tuned for more Learn From The Legends.