If there ever existed such as a thing as a young veteran, Cali-bred hip-hop producer Scoop DeVille would surely fit the mold. In fact, he was something like 18 when he shipped Snoop Dogg a box (inbox?) full of his records, and Big Homie delivered with “Life of the Party”, a pre-gaming staple up in Madison, Wisconsin. Scoop and Snoop have since collaborated on three more full-length albums, plus one New Year’s Eve single, which, admittedly, I skipped during the research process for our interview. There’s something about holiday albums…
Regardless, coming up this November, DeVille, Apathy, and Ryu plan to drop their followup LP to Uzi Does It, as underground hip-hop superstars, Get Busy Committee. And Scoop hopes to finish up work on his own solo album, which, if it’s anything like “Life of the Party”, is bound to get the juices flowing up in Badgerland.
When’s the new Get Busy Committee album dropping, man?
Man, I’m really not too sure, but I think we’ll get it ready for late November, hopefully. We just finished mixing it. We just dropped a mixtape for it, which showed up on Jay-Z’s blog, Life + Times.
Yeah, I downloaded it. I like it.
We got some dope joints on there, man. I can’t wait to put it out. We put some snippets on there, but as far as the whole album, it’s pretty dope.
Like “Opening Ceremony” right?
Yeah, yeah, definitely.
With the video too.
Yeah, yeah. I still think those records have some shine left on them, so hopefully when the album comes out, people who aren’t familiar with those records will hear them. That would be cool.
Your a well-known hip-hop producer, but what does GBC mean to you?
That’s always been like some fun stuff that we did on the side. It’s just fun. We don’t really have any rules making the music. We just get together and have fun, party, and make records. When we do those records, they’re special because it’s not like we’re following any structure. We’re just having fun.
Will the new album sound similar to the first one? Or I guess with you guys having fun it could sound like anything.
This new album, we took it a little more serious. We upped the quality of sound, the beats, did some stuff that could compete with what’s out today. We structured it more, but we went to Connecticut to do the album, to Apathy’s crib, and we did the whole record there. It was real quick. It was fun because we were just in a crib, put the records together organically. We weren’t in a studio.
Your production sounds a bit different when you produce for GBC. I wondered if you got stuck on the 80’s working with Apathy?
[laughs] Naw, I mean, I like the 80’s stuff, but Get Busy is more a mixture of a few types of music. There’s rock in there, reggae, some 90’s R&B. We kind of take the best of all these records, maybe even some indie samples, and try to throw it together, TV shows, shit we grew up on we always liked.
I like the record, “My Little Razorblade”.
Oh, word, yeah, that record’s dope. I like that record a lot too.
The melody reminds me of an old song, but I can never pick it out.
Actually, that record is a sample of a group called The Knife. They’re from some crazy place like Sweden or Iceland, or some shit. But they’re really dope.
When I listen to some of your older stuff, compared to new joints, I can really identify a progression in your sound…
Well, yeah, I think I’m still learning, and I’m creating a sound, so whenever someone hears the record they know it’s me. I try to make all different kinds of music. I’ve definitely progressed from the Snoop Dogg records, experimenting with different things.
Yeah, your older Snoop sounds like Snoop, while the new Snoop records sound like Snoop and Scoop.
For sure, yeah. That sound definitely has a trademark, with the knockin drums and the 90’s hip-hop vibe. We actually didn’t get in the studio with a few people, doing those crazy samples, like with Busta Rhymes, or with a lot of Aftermath artists, working with Dre, working with 50, they’re getting a lot of records, G-Unit stuff, Tony Yayo.
I know you worked with DJ Quik too. How influential were old school guys like that?
Oh man, super influential. Those dudes were the ones doing it out here on the West Coast. So growing up and hearing them make big records for different artists, having a lot of records on the radio, we definitely listened to how they made their drums or the way they mixed their records. That’s how we started making beats too. And every time we bump into Quik he’s always real cool, because he mixes a lot of my records for Snoop. He mixed a couple singles I did with Snoop Dogg. Dre mixed “I Wanna Rock”, which was dope. He got to put his touch on it. It’s cool getting people to mix the records and show me what they’re doing. I’m kinda still learning.
And your father [rapper Frost] must’ve helped too, right?
Yeah, he was down from day one, always helping me with different projects, telling everyone I was the next producer. He’s still helping me. He’s a very smart dude.
What’s it like growing up in a hip-hop household? Your crib must’ve been vibrating from the bass.
[laughs] Yeah, for real, he’d be playing music, and then I had my own little studio. So I’d be playing my own music. Music has always been around my family, for generations. It’s definitely been something that got passed down, not just something my father and I do. Our whole family does the music thing. They’re all tripping on me making beats.
Who was your family listening to, when you were real little?
We were listening to a lot of rock, old school funk and R&B. We were listening to The Doors, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, then we would listen to the 80’s, Hall & Oates, Billy Idol, different things, Michael Jackson. A lot of the oldies from the West Coast, reggae for sure.
Your one record, “Life of the Party”, was my roommate’s favorite party anthem during college.
[laughs] That’s dope. Where are you guys from?
I’m from Toronto, but I went to school at University of Wisconsin.
Yeah, I was a Badger.
So that’s what they were playing out there, huh?
Yeah, they loved it. They love the West Coast. Did you actually get in the studio with Snoop and $hort Dawg for that record?
At the time, no I wasn’t. I was pretty young. I was like eighteen when I made that record, and I was living in Vegas at the time. While I was making those records I was living in Vegas creating a bunch of joints, and they ended up taking like eight, nine records that we did for that album. We didn’t use all those, but we actually did a record with Pimp C before he passed away. Snoop actually called me and he was like, “Yo, we did a record over your beat with Pimp C,” and this was before he passed. I was like, “Damn, Pimp C just jumped on my record.” After we found out he passed, it was kind of hard to put the record out, with the family’s estate and stuff, but I think we’re still going to try and put it out eventually. It’s just a record sitting in the vault. Not only that record, we did so many, Quik, he put some percussion on, Teddy Riley played keys on that particular record. I was really just sending them records and they were picking and choosing which ones they liked. Being in Vegas, I had a different mind-frame out there, making party beats. I was young. We were out there having fun.
After listening to Uzi Does It, I wasn’t surprised to hear you on Das Racist’s mixtape. Did they reach out to you, or what?
Yeah, they did. They reached out when my stuff was buzzing, and Diplo was reaching out, so they started hitting me up in a whole different kind of hip-hop world, kind of indie, dance, electronic stuff. I’ve been dabbling with all kinds of things, trying to do the dubstep/hip-hop stuff, and they were hearing that. They were feeling that, but it wasn’t so much dubstep. It was like hip-hop, but it had big synthesizers and big, scary wobbling bass, over knockin beats. It didn’t sound too much like dubstep. It sounded more electronic.
You ever cater your sound to an artist, like with Snoop?
No, not at all. I just send them beats and they pick them. Those are just cool concepts I’m coming up with in my own creative space. I’ve never really been in the studio and worked with Snoop at all. He’s always traveling. He’s always on the road. If we get in the studio, it’s every once in a while. Sometimes we just send him concepts, and the hooks. We did a record with Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg recently called, “This Weed Iz Mine”.
Did their movie ever come out? [laughs]
I have no idea. I don’t even know.
Where’s your name come from? I read there’s an exotic ice cream parlour in Philly called Scoop DeVille.
[laughs] Yeah, I know, I’ve seen that too. I always had that name since I was a kid. My pops would always call me Scoop, and then DeVille came later when I was in my teens. I was kind of big back then, kind of husky, chubby, so my dad would say I was big like a Caddy, DeVille, Scoop DeVille. So that’s how I got my name.
What’s your affiliation with True Love & False Idols?
Um, those are friends who own a dope clothing company. We’ve known them for years. The dude who runs it, the founder of it, he does a lot of our artwork. They do all our artwork for our albums, they shoot some of the GBC videos. They shot all the cool videos we did, “Opening Ceremony”, and “Pay Me In Ass”. They also shot another video I did with Xzibit and Young De. They’re real artsy dudes who know how to do shit right. We fuck with them like all day. They fuck with us, so that’s pretty much it.
Yeah, I caught the ‘DeVille’ hoodie and ‘Scoop’ sweater. I thought they were rather preppy. I was surprised.
[laughs] It’s funny because once I had a sweater like that, and I showed up to a video shoot with the sweater that had a knit, and they were like, “Oh, that looks good. You should wear that often.” And I’m like, “Yeah, man, whatever, I’m just wearing it for the video.” They eventually made a fucking sweater that looked exactly like it, and called it the ‘Scoop’ sweater.
Do you wear it often?
I haven’t worn it yet, but I do have a couple of them. I’ll keep one and then break one out once it gets colder, during December or something. It’s like a Christmas sweater. I’ll wear it to a Christmas party or something.
Door Peter Marrack