C-Lance full bio on HHUG
CL: Hard work and dedication. I never take a day off and back before I met Paz, I was working just as hard. I was making beat after beat after beat during college, and that remains the same today. I think it was my hard work, consistency and professionalism that attracted Vinnie to my music. I mean, obviously it was how my beats sound, but I remember when we first met he would say how hard I work and how hungry I am, so in the end, it was hard work and dedication that led me to being Paz's producer.
HHUG: Vinnie Paz's solo album - Season of the Assassin - if not introduced, expanded your beats to a larger audience that captivated an involving buzz regarding your style. Many praised your unique production approach as a mix of epic orchestral ominous melodies, incorporating heavy-drum infused beats. Can you elaborate how your style emerged and why it has been received so well among the fans?
CL: I defitnelty think my style is like nobody else, but that's what I think makes my beats stand out to certain artists and the fans. You know, me and Vinnie always talk about how Enemy Soil has established a sound, and as a label, we are just the hardest sounding cats around. I think the reason I have been so well received by the fans and the reason all our Enemy Soil projects have been so successful, is because of the hard hitting sound we have and most importantly our consistency. I just think the fans were sick and tired of hearing the soft hip hop, that soft corny loops, with soft drums, and we just came out with a bang and thats what caught everyone attention. I mean, my first song released was "Kill Em All" featuring Beanie Sigel, I think that just opened everyone's eyes and ears, and I let everyone know from the beginning, this is my sound, Enemy Soil's sound, and nobody else can do it like us.
HHUG: What influences you in crafting your beats?
CL: Man, I would say the thing that influences me is just trying to get better with every beat. Success is what influences me. Like, seeing all these fans saying they love my work, that's what influences me. Just that strive to be better and better, I don't want to be just a producer who has a nice little career, then is forgotten. I want to be a legendary producer, a well respected producer whose name continues to be heard even when I retire. Sometimes, I get influenced when I hear a beat from The Alchemist and I am just like...wow, I gotta go make a beat. But mostly it's just, I want to be the best, and that's why I work every day.
HHUG: You have mentioned you are a Jedi Mind Tricks [JMT] fan, even before joining Enemy Soil. Has Stoupe's production impacted or influenced your craft in any way?
CL: Oh man, I'm a huge Jedi Mind Tricks fan so of course Stoupe had a huge influence on my beats. I mean, SOUND wise, I wouldn't say we sound alike at all, but of course he has a huge influence on me getting involved in making beats. It's funny you ask this because, I remember talking to Stoupe on the phone a couple months back, and we talked about what influences us when we make a beat, and what gives us our ideas when we sit down to craft a beat. You know, growing up in high school, Stoupe, The Alchemist, and DJ Premier, those were the three dudes I listened to the most, and studied their drum patterns, how they flip samples and everything. Stoupe is a legend in my eyes, he will forever have my respect as one of the greatest producers ever.
HHUG: Besides working with Enemy Soil artists, have you done any beats for other artists?
CL: I like to keep it in the family, so not many. I am doing a lot of work with Ill Bill, he's family though, so I don't look at him as an "other" artist, also La Coka Nostra, But I am working with Diabolic on his up coming album and R.A. The Rugged Man, these will be coming out in 2012.
HHUG: Hypothetically speaking, are there any dream artists you would love to work with if given the chance?
CL: Of course, I would love to work with Eminem. He's incredible to me, what he accomplished from 1999 up until now, is unheard of. People like to hate on him now because of his change of style, but I know that Slim Shady LP Eminem is still in him, maybe he needs a C-Lance sounding beat to bring that out, lets make it happen! Also, Royce Da 5'9", 50 Cent, and I think it would be crazy to work with Mobb Deep, Havoc is one of my favorite producers, and obviously Prodigy is one of the best.
HHUG: When creating your beats, are you more inclined to incorporate sample-based beats or lean towards original beats with no or minimal samples?
CL: I like to sample, I just like the hard grimy sound a sample gives you. Like I mentioned, I was influenced by Stoupe, DJ Premier and The Alchemist, sample based producers, so that's what I love. That being said, I also make crazy non-sample beats as well. I can create melodies and play the piano pretty good so I can make just as hard hitting non-sample beats. It's funny, some of the songs I have produced that have been released are original beats, but I do a great job in making my own melodies sound dirty, because the key is to make them sound like samples.
HHUG: What is your approach in working with artists interested in you? Do you sell beats or cater to targeted artists?
CL: If an artist is interested in working with me, email email@example.com. I do sell beats. I never go after an artist to work with. I work with Vinnie Paz, Jus Allah & Ill Bill, so I mean, why would I wanna go after anyone else? They're the best anyway. Artists hear what I make for them, so they want classic beats, they can come to me, I ain't chasing anyone down.
HHUG: Do you also deejay, or just exclusively on the production aspect?
CL: Nah man, I am just strictly a producer, I mean the one downfall of being just a producer is I don't go on the tours. I don't get to see the world, and perform in front of all our fans. But, I wouldn't change anything, I'm living the dream.
HHUG: On the new JMT's album - Violence Begets Violence - you participated on four tracks, "Burning the Mirror", "Imperial Tyranny (feat. King Magnetic)", "Willing a Destruction onto Humanity", and "The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms". How do these JMT beats differ from your previous beats on the Heavy Metal Kings album with Vinnie Paz and Ill Bill?
CL: I would say the beats on Violence Begets Violence show that I can create different styles. "Willing a Destruction onto Humanity" is like nothing I have ever produced or that any of the fans have heard on previous albums. My beats on Heavy Metal Kings was just hardcore boom bap hip hop. Hard drums, hard samples and like, anthem type beats. On JMT, they are still all crazy hard but with a little different style. "Burning The Mirror" that's my joint. Paz and Jus KILLED that beat, they turned it into a monster. Shout out to my brothers Vinnie Paz and Jus Allah, they made an incredible record, it was a honor to be apart of it.
HHUG: How was your experience working on the new JMT album like?
CL: Man, it's a dream come true. Being a huge fan, to producing for them, is...well, I can't even explain it. It was just a complete privilege and honor to be apart of the album. It was an experience I will never forget. Just seeing the phrase "Jedi Mind Tricks produced by C-Lance" is like something I want to frame haha. When I first heard the final mixed songs, I can't describe the feeling I had. Vinnie Paz is a legend to me, but at the same time, he's one of my best friends so like. It's hard to look at him as like that legendary rapper, because we talk all the time and joke around, but sometimes I think to myself, this is Jedi Mind Tricks, these guys are the best underground group ever, and I get to be apart of it? It's just the best feeling.
HHUG: How do you see the current Hip Hop scene in regards to its production trend?
CL: I'm real picky with beats, so I mean I think everyone stinks. But that being said, I think there is a bunch of great production out there as well. I do notice a lot more people are trying to come with that hard sound, and trying to sound like Enemy Soil. There are a lot of great beats being made though, I mean on the albums I have been on for example Paz's Season Of The Assassin that was one of the greatest albums I have ever heard, every beat on that was a banger. And on Heavy Metal Kings, Ill Bill's beats were incredible. His production on that inspired me to make more beats. I think his drums and samples sound like nobody else. So I mean, I think there is a lot of good production but also there is far more terrible beats out there.
HHUG: Who are your top 5 favorite music producers? Top 5 music artists? And why?
CL: My top 5 music producers. Man I would say, my all time favorite producer is The Alchemist. I think he has been the most consistent producer and most hard hitting producer since I been into hip hop. Number 2, Dr. Dre. His Chronic albums alone show what a real producer should sound like, listen to those albums on repeat if you want to be a producer, you might learn something. Number 3, DJ Premier. I am a huge fan of how he flips samples, and his drums are always hard, lets face it, nobody would be making beats if it wasn't for Premier. Number 4, Havoc. Similar to The Alchemist, and being a big Mobb Deep fan, you can see why both of them are in my tops. Havoc has the craziest samples. He finds samples that are incredible. His beat on the Eminem album and even the album with Royce, was on another level. I can't wait for a new Mobb Deep album. Number 5, I gotta go with Stoupe. His beats on all the JMT albums, speak for themselves. His change up of percussion was always what intrigued me, he never had the same drum patterns, and he would always change his samples throughout the songs, which is important as a producer. My top 5 music artists, I gotta go with Eminem as number 1. He is an amazing artist, people forget, he is a incredible producer too. His first three albums are in my top 10 albums of all time, he's a legend. Number 2 is Vinnie Paz. He doesn't get the credit he deserves for all these careers he is responsible for. He's incredible as a song composer. What I mean by that is, he picks the best beats, and he can give you a song like "Keep Moving On" some real life topics, or he can give you something like "Burning The Mirror" where its like that hardcore evil type hip hop. Number 3, Ill Bill. His lyrics are on another level. He is one of the rare artists that when I hear a line from him, I'm like...hold up...rewind that...what did he just say? Haha...he says the CRAZIEST rhymes. And his artwork is always dope, he's a complete artist. His beats are amazing as well. Number 4, Everlast. The first ever album I ever bought was "Whitey Ford Sings The Blues" The reason I am a huge fan, is because he has the hardest raps in La Coka Nostra, but then he can change the mood and take out the guitar and sing a song. Not many artists are like him. He's always been one of my favorites. Number 5, gotta go with Jus Allah. Haha I sound bias here, saying all my friends, but like I said, I am a fan of all these guys before I even made my first beat. But yeah, Jus, his lyrics are incredible. He says things that are not even suppose to rhyme, but he makes it work. He is just a monster. He has a few flows too, which is rare in a artist.
HHUG: What plans do you have for the future?
CL: Future plans, just continue making the best music I can make, and continue working hard at keeping Enemy Soil at the top of the underground scene. I just look to get bigger as a producer, smarter, and better. I want to be the best, and I won't stop until I am. As far as upcoming projects, man we got a lot. We're working on Vinnie Paz's upcoming solo album, God Of The Serengeti. He already got joints with Kool G Rap, F.T. and he's going to be working with DJ Premier, Psycho Les, Immortal Technique, and a few more surprises on this record as well. We also got another Heavy Metal Kings album on top of the HMK vs DJ Muggs album, so really, two more HMK records. That Jus Allah Meanest Man Alive album, which is entirely produced by me, and it's going to be incredible. Working on Ill BIll's solo album right now, we got a folder of like a million beats together, and also The Pill album which is Ill Bill & Sean Price. Coming very soon we are also working on a new La Coka Nostra EP, that will be out before the New Year. Vinnie also wants to do a OPG album, which will be the hardest record ever made, that will be straight hardcore hip hop. And a little surprise is we might do an entire Vinnie Paz & Tragedy Khadafi album, that will get the people talking. So yeah, man we got so many projects coming out, I mean Paz has released three incredible albums in less than two years. So we will just keep making that quality music.
HHUG: Thank you for taking the time for this interview. Any closing thoughts?
CL: Thank You for having me, this was a dope interview. Shout out to my fiance Anna, thank you for always supporting me and being here for me through everything. My entire family back home in Boston, Mom, Dad, my brother Mike, my grandmother, my aunts, uncles, and cousins. My long time friend Brian. Shout out to my brother Vinnie Paz, I can't thank him enough for what he has done for me and my career, Jus Allah & Ill Bill, we got some crazy music coming. And to ALL the fans out there, thanks for always supporting and showing us love, and if you haven't bought the new Jedi Mind Tricks album Violence Begets Violence go get it! Peace!