New Jersey, by way of Philly, producer dRes crafted a debut record with a fresh approach to the “producer record”. The typical producer record is heavy in guest appearances that distract the listener away from the man behind the boards. Wild Produce sticks to the script by allowing the MC to shine and compliment dRes' thunderous production. He alters the format with outros on the tracks that politely reminds the listener this is a dRes record.
How did Wild Produce come together? What was there an idea or event that sparked it's direction? Or did you set out to make a record with collaborations on each track?
Wild Produce wasn’t really something I planned. Originally when I was working on beats I sent a few over to Shameless Plug (featured on “Anthem” and “Remnants” ) who was looking for beats on Okayplayer. He really liked some of my stuff and recorded what is now “Anthem” on Wild Produce. That was the first time any artist had recorded over a track I’d done and the feeling was so incredible that I decided I wanted to do a whole project to introduce the world to my production style.
I started reaching out and telling people about my idea of putting a compilation together with my production and once I got a few people to get on tracks, everything started developing. I started reaching out to artists I was a fan of and getting them involved. I never really planned the collaborations ahead of time, everything kind of developed naturally. I can thank Okayplayer as being the catalyst for the project and giving me the confidence to approach artists. I taught myself to produce for the most part so it took me a long time to even play beats for other people because I wasn’t sure they would be open to my sound and style.
Who dropped your favorite verse on the record? What about that verse struck you?
My favorite verse on the project might be Charlie K. on “City Life”. First of all, my guy is from Philly, which is my hometown. Second, his flow is absolutely killer on that beat. Third, if you listen closely, he really follows the concept of the track nicely and has great lyrics to match his flow. I love a lot of the verses and artists on the album and am a fan of their work, but I was so surprised at how he went in that it caught me off guard and made it special.
Nearly all the songs transition into outro beats… it's a cool element to the record… is there any inspiration behind that you can share?
First of all, I think the producer compilation fabric has gotten tired, so I wanted to inject some new life into it. Traditionally, producer compilation albums really are just producers regurgitating a bunch of tracks they’ve recorded that have no common thread besides them being their beats. A lot of times these projects suffer because there’s a million features, but it’s just song after song and by the end you’re just tired from listening to it because they sound too similar and there’s nothing to keep the album flowing. I wanted to eliminate that and I thought the intro/outro element would help the project be fluid and replayable.
Second, I just am a lover of beats and thought it’d be a great excuse to showcase my production, provide a transition between songs, keep the listener engaged and on their toes and also balance the moods that are present in the songs before you go into the next one. As a lover of hip hop, I always loved those intro/outros so I knew I wanted to have that element; to me it helps the project flow when done right. It’s also a great excuse to let people hear beats that may be more challenging for an MC to write a song to and enjoy them instrumentally.
Wild Produce is definitely a suitable name for this record… there's a felt rawness to the songs. For you, why did Wild Produce fit?
That’s pretty much the exact reason. My style is definitely raw, intentionally. To me, that’s hip hop. I use a wide spectrum of sounds to make my music so to me it is Wild. I sampled animals, recorded live sounds with non-traditional instruments, played melodies myself, sampled old obscure records, etc. I also felt like that name encapsulated the whole project because there is not a narrative, it is a true compilation. But the tie that binds is me experimenting with sounds, providing something different for the artists to attack and really introducing listeners to something they hopefully find interesting to listen to.
Wild Produce is out January 17. Stream the album on dRes' Bandcamp.