Tuesday, March 14, 2006

"The Beat" Interview: Traxxamillion

"Traxx you a fool, boii!"

That's the opening utterance to "Grown Man On (remix)" the latest slap from Dem Hoodstars produced by Traxxamillion, San Jose's Hyphy representative and one of a stable of Bay Area producers who are quickly putting their stamp on the game.

Armed with an arsenel of keyboards, drums and vision, Traxx has seen his career take off since the release of "Super Hyphy," the banger he produced for Keak da Sneak. That song was a regional hit, and helped Traxx establish himself as a pivot-man for the Yay's top artists.

Catching up with your boy was a bit of a task. Steady grinding, he finally found a minute to talk to "The Beat" about beats, rhymes and life. Oh, and for a sneak peak of the funk, check his myspace page, http://www.myspace.com/traxxamillion.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to "The Beat."
It's all good baby

So, what's good with you? What are your current projects?
The new project right now, basically what I'm working on is "The Slap Addict" project, which is basically my baby. I guess it's a producer's album, at first I was going to call it a compilation, but I decided to call it a producer's album. Basically, its a reflection of me as far as my muisic goes.
I got all the elite Bay artists on there, everyone from Dem Hoodstars up to E-40. I got a couple of joints on there right now with me spitting a verse... It's more of a chance to display my creative side.
It's slated for a summer release. It's big and I'm happy about it, and I can't wait to unleash it on the world.

Will it be released independently?
I got a couple of majors looking at it right now. I got some people from Def Jam Records, some people from Atlantic Records and some people from Universal Records looking at me. Right now, everyone's been in a wait and see mode as far as the Bay is concerned, so we'll just wait and see.
I was going to put it out indendently, basically out of my own pocket, but now that everyone is on a wait and see, we're gonna have to make it happen that way.

Where does the name come from?
Traxxamillion came from a cat I used to mess with named Donnie Hackit (sic). He said "You should name yourself Traxxamillion". I started saying it over my raps, and it just stuck.

What's it been like since "Super Hyphy" jumped off?
It's been crazy. A roller coaster ride. I got an influx of calls and business coming my way. Before Super Hyphy, I couldn't get a call. I couldnt' get nobody to rap over my beats. Now, I'm the quote unquote "Go to Guy."
A dude from Universal Records said "It seems like you're the go to guy as far as hits go. You and Rick Rock." It's a boost. For those that don't know, a boost is a good thing. It's boosting my name and exposure out there.

What's it like being in the thick of the whole "Hyphy" scene?
It feels good. It's a postive experience. I'm juiced my damn self. It's good to get recognized on any level.
A lot of people say that I had a hand in making the bay area hot, so that feels good. To know that I helped make the area hot and bring some attention on a national scale.
The world needs to see what the Bay Area is doing right now. I believe this whole hyphy movement is a vehicle to bring the Bay to the forefront. I'm trying to be a pioneer in San Jose, I'm trying to be that guy. We've had a few pioneers, but I'm trying to be the one that brings exposure to this town.

What's up with your rap group, The High?
The High is still in motion, still in action. My man Iz-Thizz, my man Schmitty, those are the two members that comprise The High. I've taken a back seat to the microphone, just to get this production thing cracking. We're going to do some stuff to reinject ourselves in the game. Everyones' playing their role.

You started out as an underground artist. Are you still interested in that type of music?
I'm not against it. The whole reason I moved away from the underground is because it wasn't sounding appealing to me. I believe the production got dirtier, and people were more hooked on the lyrical side than the music side.
After a while, the underground wasn't sounding good to me, that wasn't cutting it for me. I just moved away from it. But i'm not against it. I like some underground shit too. I'm real selective, but I ain't hating on nothing.

What type of equipment do you work with?
I use a Triton studio. I was using the Motif (sic) at one time. I got Reasons, but usually I just use the Triton. I do everything with the Triton, everything I can think of I can do with the Triton.

Are you a trained musician or do you just play by ear?
I just play by ear.

For our readers, can you give an insight as to how you get paid? How do you collect royalties?
As far as royalties go, people get the misconception that "I made a song, let me get it published and get the copyright and do all this paperwork." It's good to do the paperwork and get the copyright, but if your s*** ain't getting played on the radio, you ain't getting paid.

So you get paid everytime the song is played on the radio?
Everytime it gets played on the radio, I get paid. It might be 3 cents, 4 cents and up to 7 cents a spin, but it adds up over time. Especially if you get national play.

Are you more interested in producing or rhyming at this point in your career?
Right now, I'm more interested in producing because that's what's hot and that's what people want

Any final thoughts?
Vote for Traxxamillion, producer of the year. I'm really trying to put it down. A lot of people think San Josehas a curse. I'm the dude trying to lift that curse, and trying to bring justice to our region, the South Bay.
Keep your eyese open for Traxx, and if cats want to buy a beat from me, hit me up on the http://www.myspace.com/traxxamillion Also, if any of them cats happen to be in the San Jose area, they can come up to the studio. They can hit up www.myspace.com/officialentertainment. They can make a hit with Traxxamillion.

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