Hip-hop has more variety over the last year than it’s seen in a while. We’ve heard rappers take chances with vocal synthesizers, high-energy beats and even have heard them crooning tunes over hot rhythms. We have producers to thank for this. Producers like Play-N-Skillz—two brothers from Dallas, TX—who are beginning to turn hip-hop upside down.
Beginning their musical journey as DJ’s and slowly getting their hands wet in almost every aspect of music from recording to producing, Play-N-Skillz will soon be worldwide musical icons. 2009 has already proven to be a prosperous year for the pair—being nominated for three Grammy awards for their work on Lil’ Wayne’s The Carter III—which we all know sold an insane million. Play-N-Skillz have the midas touch and with the anticipated release of their sophomore album Out Tha Box we’ll be laced with an album that would make Michael Phelps jealous. Want a taste of what you can expect to hear on their new release this summer? Listen to “Checkin’ My Fresh” featuring Jay-Z – Play-N-Skillz’s hit single hitting the airwaves as we speak.
In an interview, Chronic sat down with Play to talk music and life.
So what’s up with this dymanic sophomore album?
The album is called Out Tha Box. The Titanic was the old title. We shifted direction on the whole album. It’s exactly what the [new] title is…Out Tha Box. It’s more of a worldwide type of album; collaborating with guys like Talib Kweli, Tego Calderon. There are some house, upbeat, European type sounds on there. It is definitely Out Tha Box. We pushed the envelope on this one. The Titanic is more hard core hip hop.
What do you consider yourself, above all else, DJ’s, rappers, producers?
Probably [producers]. You get to be behind the scenes. We’re definitely stronger in producing, you know…writing. The DJ’ing stuff is just really fun to do. Being a DJ, you control the crowd. The artist thing—that’s our face value. We get to see what we look like when we perform.
You have collaborated with countless artists—T-Pain, Lil’ Wayne, Chamillionaire—creating hit, after hit.
You’re welcome. It seems like everything you touch turns to gold. What do you attribute your Midas Touch to?
I think us being DJ’s is the reason behind everything. As a good DJ, you are able to play all the great hit songs. Not just what’s in now, but a good DJ takes you back with some old school music. A good DJ plays Pac, Biggie, plays all the great stuff. He takes you to all the musical eras in one night. That right there—you’re exposed to so much music and you hear people’s reactions. As a DJ, you get to see what people like, what type of intros they like, keys of music, whatever it may be. So, I owe our success to being DJ’s. That’s what influences us the most.
Who came up with the idea of you guys having your own label, G4?
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