T: What are some of the names you have produced for in and outside of Chicago?
Tr: Well, outside of Chicago, I've worked with Mariah Carey, Mystikal, E-40, the Outlawz, TechN9ne, 8Ball, a lot of stuff. I constantly get new opportunities as a producer as people figure out my resume. As far as in Chicago, there's pretty much not anybody I haven't worked with, accept maybe a couple new cats I'm trying to get to. I feel like I'm one of the first sons of Chicago Hip-Hop, so it's like my intention is always to work with Chicago acts and build new artists from Chicago. I got a new artist by the name of E-Dub, phenomonal emcee. We just did a joint mixtape together called The Legend & The Gangsta. He's getting a real good response. So, between him, Crucial Conflict, Do Or Die, Psycho Drama, Rick Jilla, Cap.1, Payroll...I could definitely name everybody (in Chicago Hip-Hop) and have worked with them in one way or another.
T: Do you have anything to do with Crucial Conflict's recent comeback?
Tr: Actaully, Wildstyle appears on one of my mixtapes. And when I say mixtapes I use that word very loosely, I'm not a real advocate of rhymin' over other peoples industry beats and all that. So, for the most part, these records I'm referring to when I say, I released three mixtapes last year, they're actually all original recordings. I just market them as mixtapes because there is a whole mixtape culture that's evolved. Wildstyle appears on one of those, he actually has a solo cut which nobody's ever heard, a Crucial Conflict member do a solo record. The name of the song is Pocket Short. Other than that, we vibe all the time, they done been in my studio, and I done been in their studio. They might pop up on Return of the Gangsta Music before all is said and done.
T: What do you think of Kanye and do you think Kanye is a good representation of Chicago?
Tr: You know, Kanye the lil' homie. We saw each other at the Grammy's last year, we see each other occasionally if there's a video shoot in Chicago. He used to come by the studio, he was actually working with an artist I had signed at one point, before he had dropped his record. I really have always liked his production but I used to tell him, you make the kind of records that you're not gonna be able to do what I do. Which was break a record from the ground, from the street, as far as out the trunk. I told him, you make the kinda records that you need videos and marketing and promotion. And it's funny because that's exactly how his career went, he linked up with Roc-A-Fella and they were able to get him that platform to launch from. I've always been excited about what he's doin'. We saw eachother at the Slow Jamz video and he was like, you know they say rap producers shouldn't rap, and I said, we gonna prove them wrong though, right? When he started having success I was proud of him in the sense that he proved them wrong. There's only been a few rappers that produced that were even successful. I was actually gonna sign Kanye when he was in a group called the Go Gettas but his production management at the time didn't want him to sign a recording deal.
As far as Kanye representing Chicago, that's a different conversation. I don't always agree with his sense of style. Some of the shit is looking a little boarderline to me, you're not supposed to wear that by Chicago street standards. I'm from 71st and Witline, so there's a certain amount of disciple and pride that we have. Certain ways we just don't act, certain things we just don't say. Like for example, his outburst at the European MTV Awards. Things like that don't represent the average Chicagoan. (If) you come to Chicago you'll have a hard time finding, on the streets of Chicago, somebody that looks like Kanye but you won't have a hard time finding somebody that looks like me. When you talk about representing Chicago you got to think about what are we representin', the ghettos, the streets of Chicago, or the suburbs of Chicago. I represent the heart of the city. He and I are different, I represent the heart of Chicago.