Rushaa: First off I want to say thank you for hooking up with us on Maschine Masters, this is tight!
Neek Rusher: You Welcome. I want to say thank you as well for the opportunity.
R: How has the New Year been for you?
NR: I can’t complain Rushaa so far so good. New Year brings new energy.
R: Ok, check this out. It’s 2002 or so and I’m chillin at my spot in Gary,IN. Looking for some new joints and all of a sudden they throw on, you guessed it, Cam’ron, “Come Home with Me”. I’m like man, turn that up kat! He goes through all the joints on the whole album and it’s fire to me. I still got that on rotation in my iphone as we speak! Real talk. But what really caught my attention was “I Just Wanna”. Not just because I’m talking to you either. That joint is fire! When the intro came on, then the first verse drop…MAN SON! Totally unexpected the way it came in. It had nothing to do with the intro, but it does at the same time, you feel me? Ok, I’m done lol. Tell us about the making of that song…
NR: Dig right… Before I jump into that shout outs are in order. Shout out to D’Angelo for making the song Untitled (How does it feel). Shout out my homie DJ Mr Phantastik. He was the reason why I did not trash the track. Last but not least, the man who help me break into the music industry professionally and get my first major record placement. Ty Fyffe. Salute. Now when “How does it feel” came out back in 99-2000 I was like you know what, I’m going to chop this record up and make a beat out of it for fun. Mind you, it was still on the radio. So I chopped the track up using the MPC 2000 at the time. The day I made the beat, my man DJ Phantastik comes through my spot. So I’m like Phan check this out. He was like, I like that. I was like Ehhhh I just did this for fun, I am going to trash the beat. He said “nah son keep that joint it’s hot you never know.” So I was like ok. Fast-forward, I was working with this rapper from Queens name Quiz. So, the music I produced for him landed into the hands of Ty Fyffe. Quiz manager, called me and was like YO! This producer name Ty Fyffe love the music that you did for Quiz. A few months later, I met up with Ty at the studio. Played him some tracks. Some he liked some he didn’t, but when the track I did using the D’angelo sample came on he was like I need that. He told me Meth and Redman was working on projects and he would see if he could get it to them. Nothing happened. Then I get a call saying that CAMRON wanted the track. This was pre Roc-a-fella. Camron was still signed to Epic records. So Ty Fyffe pulled a P.Diddy move LOL. He added the best kick drum ever on the track. At that time, I was still fresh and had no understanding of what being a music producer was. Ty made the track sound better with the drums he added. When Camron switched to Roc-ca-fella, he kept all the songs that he recorded with epic records for his “Come Home With Me Album”. The track I did made the cut and the rest is history.
R: That’s crazy how one thing led to the next. Did you know you had a hit on your hands?
NR: No, I didn’t know. My favorite line from the record is when Camron said “I JUST WANT HEAD FROM PATTI LABELLE. Oh my god, so arrogant yet confident, self-assured and understandable. Shout out to Camron for taking that track and doing what he did. HARLEM!
R: I was Rollin when I heard him say that too! Ok, I got to slow down and take it back. How did you get into producing?
NR: I started DJaying first. My father helped me get my first set of turntables. Later he helped me get my major production equipment. MPC 3000, mixing board etc. My best friend Tony (R.I.P) and I got together and would practice. We did a few parties together, nothing major. I just wanted to make music. I would find all the samples that producers were using. Producers like Dr. Dre, Pete Rock, RZA and DJ Premier. I was fascinated by how they would use the samples to make a complete track. I would go record digging and spend tons of money on records. Also go through my grandmother’s record collection to find samples to use. In the beginning I started off with the Tascam 424 Portastudio 4 track and a couple of those Gemini samplers. It’s amazing how creative you can become with 12 seconds of sampling time.
R: Yeah, sometimes I feel like when I only had my Motif, I was more productive. When you started, did you think that you would focus on this as a career?
NR: To be honest I didn’t know where the hell I was going with this. In 1997 when I did this track “Killer Shark” for my boy Hit Hard I realized that I could make money with music production. So I took things a little more serious.
R: Did you ever want to give up?
NR: I will never give up making music. One thing I tell people is to have multiple streams of income. Being a music producer “beat maker” is fun. BUT! If you are not out there getting your music heard, you won’t get paid ANYTHING! Don’t care how nice you are. You just have to figure out ways to get paid off your music. Don’t always go down the same road to get your music heard.
R: What advice do you have if we get to the point of wanting to throw in the towel?
NR: When you get to the point of wanting to tap out. STOP! Take a break. It can be a week a month or maybe even years. Ask yourself why did I get into music in the first place? Music will never die. You know when music is dead? When they are putting you in the ground and throwing dirt on you. Other than that, take your time. Learn new production techniques. If you don’t know how to read and write music, take the time to learn. Start listening to different genres of music. Learn how to play an instrument. FIND NEW CREATIVE FRIENDS. Sometimes meeting new people from a different creative perspective, can inspire you to get back to doing what you love.
R: What process do you take when making the beat? (Drums first, etc….)
NR: When I first started with music production I did the drums first. But as time went on I do whatever comes first. Chords, melody, samples, lyrics, etc…
R: How long does it take you to know if you got a hit on your hands?
NR: I don’t think about it. The word-hit record is used too loosely. In order for a record to become successful, it’s about timing. The artist WHO is on the record pushing it to the public. Video… IE: Trinidad James All Gold Everything. I used him because sometimes simple works. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT THE PEOPLE WILL LIKE UNTIL YOU PUT IT OUT. As long as your music production sound quality is of standards, you will be fine.
R: I agree 100%. I also must add, I dig Trinidad. Is there a point when you say, “Ok I’m throwing this beat out.”
NR: I keep all my ideas and come back to it later with fresh ears.
R: How important is support in this career?
NR: It is very important. You need a good circle of friends and family to help you along. It’s bad enough the music business is based on who you know. If you don’t have that outside mental, spiritual or financial support, your journey to success is going to be long and hard. You can get there, but it won’t be as easy as it could.
R: Tell me about haters…lol.(explain)
NR: Haters? Neek Rusher or Party Man has no haters. Yeah of course I do things that people may not agree with. But people don’t hate me. They know I’m hard headed but I mean well. If there is somebody hating on me, I don’t know about it.
R: LOL, I feel that. Please explain to us how to deal with the people that might say “You’re wasting your time.”
NR: I never had anybody tell me that…well, not to my face. But if I did, I would put my hand on their shoulder, look them square in the eyes and say. You all right? I do the things I like to do. Let me decide what I’m wasting my time on. And that’s it. Forget about people. Especially if they are not out they’re trying to fulfill their own goals and dreams.
R: How long were you producing until you got picked up?
NR: I would say 8 years from the time I first starting making music until my first major record placement.
R: Did you get a manager right away? If so, how do we pick one?
NR: I would say manage you first. When you go on a job interview do you have your manager do the interview? Same rules apply. Until you need to be at 4 places at once, you won’t need a personal manager. As far as picking a manager? Managers usually hang out at all the industry events. If you are out there networking you will come across them. I would say a manager should be someone who can take you and your music to another level. They have to be honest and believe in your sound. A manager should be open minded to YOUR vision not theirs. If they cannot seal the deal then there is no need to work with them. But, a manager is only as good as the artist, producer that he/she represents.
R: Thank you for breaking that down so clear. It’s good to hear someone with actual experience in the industry say it. Do you have a lawyer? If so, how do we choose a good one? We hear the stories about people stealing from you when you start getting big.
NR: I have the access to lawyers if needed. Choosing a good lawyer is the same as choosing a good manager. You have to talk to them. Find out which artist or producers they represent. Check their references if you can. Use good judgment. If you do not like the vibe of the lawyer, do not work with him/her. That’s it.
R: What is the real way to protect your music? Or does it really matter if you have the stems on your computer?
NR: The right way to protect your music is filing out the necessary copyright forms. Making a CD with your tracks and sending it off to Washington. A lawyer will not take your case if you have not done this procedure first.
R: Who would you want to work with on a full album?
NR: Of course Party Man he’s the greatest most arrogant artist of all time. But for our Maschine Masters I would love to work with artist like Danny Brown, Action Bronson, Azelia Banks (Harlem) Juicy J, Kendrick Lamar, Ab Soul, School Boy Q, Curren$y and more.
R: Good choices. I’m feeling Azelia. What do you have in the works production wise?
NR: Right now I’m working on my group OVF The Overfiends, and Party Man’s album.
R: I’ll be checking for them both. I know you goanna kill it. Let’s get into the other side of what you do. You mix the music too right?
NR: Yes I do.
R: Which one do you like the best?
NR: I like producing music more than engineering and mixing records.
R: How important is it for a producer to be able to mix his song?
NR: It is very important. It’s your music, your sound. Only you know how you want the music to translate to your audience. The more you understand your music, the better you can communicate to the mixing engineer.
R: Give us a few tips on a good mix.
NR: Ok were in the mobile age. So now you have to mix your music so it can knock in the iPhone/iPod earbuds and on laptops. A good mix should be able to translate the same way you heard it in the studio, your home, phone or car audio system. Your mix should have good imaging. It should not sound distorted at the highest volume level. All instruments and vocals should have it’s own space within your song. Meaning when the chorus of your song begins the kick drum shouldn’t get lost in the mix. When listening to a record at the lowest level you should still be able to hear the vocalist and instruments. For me, that’s a good mix. I’m sure whoever’s reading this may have a difference of opinion. Forgive me, I’m hard headed but I mean well. LLEM (Laughing Like Eddie Murphy)
R: INNER VOICE: ”This is so engraved in his brain, this kat sounds like he reading this from a book! Note to self: (Grow up to be just like Neek) lol
R: So, have you been using Maschine for a while?
NR: Yes I have been using Maschine since 2009. I love it.
R: Did you ever use MPC’s? If so, what are the differences?
NR: Yes I am from the MPC 60, 3000, 2000 and 2000XL Era. The difference between MPC and Maschine is the ability of having access to all my sounds. Editing a sample is easy and being able to use instruments and efx plug-ins is a plus.
R: What do you like about Maschine?
NR: Well on a physical aspect it’s easy to carry around if I have to. I like the arrogance of the software. Native Instruments has their finger on the pulse when it comes to software instruments. BUT I STILL WISH THEY WOULD ADD SIDE CHAINING. HURRY UP! Like I said before, having access to my entire drums, samples and being able to use third party effects and instrument plug-ins is why I like Maschine.
R: Is Maschine your go to weapon?
NR: It’s my go to weapon when I want to make a track using samples.
R: How is the inspiration brought about when you start a song?
NR: Ah man it’s number things. I can be sipping my favorite drink. Eating some lime chips, watching some obscure movie. Maybe a young bride massaging my shoulders saying how much she misses me. All of a sudden I may get an idea for some new music. There is no set formula to my madness.
(Lime chips?! I’m headed out to the store right now son!)
R: If you could ask Native Instruments for something to add to Maschine what would it be?
NR: Re-work the host transport control when using MASCHINE as a plug-in. Better ways to manipulate samples. Ex..Ableton Live warping feature. Side Chaining.
R: Is there any other form of music you see yourself producing that would surprise people?
NR: It’s funny you ask that. Just recently, I was like one day I want to produce country music. Walk in the studio with the big Stetson hat on, arrogant cowboy boots cutting records for Taylor Swift. Shout out to Nashville.
(I was going to ask Neek if he would do a country album. But felt funny asking this. Note to self: BE YOURSELF)
R: We cool now? I mean can I say.. yeah Neek, that’s my boy?
NR: It’s all-good Rushaa.
R: Well since you paid like the world trade, can I borrow $20? Lol
NR: Oh most definitely, how would you like that? Check or money order? Rush Pre-paid debit card? I got you FAM!
R: Can I get free studio time when I come to NY? Lol
NR: You just bring a bottle of Moet Rose Nectar. Few fine young brides from your city and we’ll talk about it when you get here. LOL
R: What is Hip Hop to you?
NR: Well like KRS One said “Rap is something you do. Hip Hop is something you live.” The 4 elements of Hip Hop is Break dancing (Long stop doing that) Graffiti (Wasn’t my thing) Djaying I might pick it up again. Rapping which I do as Party Man. I’m not going to sit here and be like I am some Hip Hop purist. Especially when it comes to rap music. I think Rap music has evolved. I love what the new generation of artist are doing. Yes, I still like when a rapper gets busy on the lyrics but I’m not so hard on lyrics like I used to be. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. The simplest line can be the cause of a song being a “hit record.”
R: How can we keep it alive without watering it down?
NR: Well as long as you stay true to who you are, your brand will never be watered down. Rap music is going to keep evolving. Imagine if everybody was still rapping like Kurtis Blow in 2013. No disrespect to Kurtis Blow, but “These are the breaks”? You have to adjust. Find your lane and be the star of that lane. That’s how you win in “Hip Hop/Rap Music” or music period.
R: How did you get your names Neek Rusher and Party Man?
NR: At first my name was Neeko Rusher. I got the name Neeko from the Steven Seagul movie ‘Above The Law’. I felt my music at that time was Above The Law. Rusher came from the company that I started with my boy Tony, God Rest His Soul, Spot Rusherz. It just stuck with me. Party Man was an Alter Ego I created in 2004. I had just broke up with my girlfriend at the time, moved out of Harlem for a year and was chilling with this Young Bride. We talking our talk, doing the things we like to do and she asked me, “Now that you are single what are you going to do?” I said to her with out even thinking, I am going to become The Party Man. It’s been on ever since.
R: Tight…What bit of advice can you give us about music and life that you’ve learned?
NR: I have learned that that being in this music business is a privilege. Nobody is going to give you a free ride. Become a student of the game. If you lack a certain skill set. Don’t be afraid to learn it. Enjoy learning things like how to read and write music, playing an instrument or more about the business. Learn how to protect your money. PAY YOUR TAXES. Time management. I know we all love Facebook, twitter, Instagram, and World Star, but you have to prioritize your time. Exercise more. Now your vice is your vice. Don’t let the vice consume you to the point you are not getting things done. Network. Try your best to be prepared for opportunities when they present themselves. A lot of the things you know by default. Use your common sense. Don’t let anybody upset you to the point you want to kill them. Take a deep breath. Seek anger management and redirect that negative energy into something positive. Most of all just have fun with the music.
R: It couldn’t be said any clearer than that.
NEEK’s weapons of choice:
AXIOM PRO 49
3 GLYPH DRIVES
Pro Tools 9
Logic Pro 9
Ableton Live 9
Native Instrument Komplete 8
R: I’m looking forward to hearing more from you Neek. This has been real cool. I’m honored to talk to a star. This is crazy!
NR: Thank you Rushaa for the Opportunity. Love what you guys have started over at Maschine Masters. The information on the forum and videos are helpful, even for the worlds most celebrated riot act… the most arrogant man in music today, yours truly Neek Rusher AKA Party Man OUTSKIES!
R: Now about that $20……
NR: The check in the mail.
WOW! NEEK RUSHER! Shout out to AG for this opportunity! MaschineMasters.com is growing so fast! It is amazing to speak with the top guy’s in the industry and learn what we all need to do to reach our dreams. I’m at a loss for words right now. I’m living part of my dream as we speak….
I’ll holla at cha later