Babygrande has really become the force to be reckoned with. From putting out industry heavyweights like Hi-Tek to unknown street kids like Custom Made they are making their mark. Once again they have thought outside the box and went International. We all know good hip-hop is much larger in Europe than in the US (because we are spoiled). So what did Babygrande do but find the dopest Germany had to offer in the Snowgoons. The 4 man production team has been on their grind in the streets and on a business level for quite sometime and it’s finally time to unveil “German Lugers” on February 27th. We chatted with DJ Illegal from the supergroup and here is what went down.
HHS: How are things with you fellas?
DJ Illegal of Snowgoons: What’s up? Everything’s cool. We’re busy and that’s good!
For those that don’t know, introduce yourselves and what you feel you contribute the boards
We are the Snowgoons from Germany. A 4 man producer team comprised of DET, DJ Waxwork, Torben and myself, DJ Illegal. We have all been involved in music since our youth. We’re also DJÂ´s, diggers, sound engineers, and of course hip-hop fans.
Since you are all producers, what equipment do each of you most heavily rely on?
Lately we’re all using Logic 7 but still playing with the MPC 1000 and our good old Akai S3000 sampler. The Logic 7 is really dope because you can use a lot of plug ins and connect the program to the MPC and stuff….it’s very multisided.
Some producers have always gotten their shine, Pete Rock, Premier, Dre, Rza but right now it’s a great time for producers. They are getting a lot of shine from the press and even have entire magazine devoted to them with Scratch. Do you feel producers are finally getting the respect they deserve?
It’s definitely a better time for producers right nowâ€¦cats are checking for them more so than ever. No disrespect to the MC’s but most tracks start with a good beat. So the producers are kind of like the DJ’s in our culture….always in the background but the music and culture couldn’t exist without them.
The album “German Lugers” drops February 27th on Babygrande. Since you hail from Germany, how did you get noticed by such a large independent label like Babygrande?
The first contact with Babygrande was over Jus Allah. We set up a European tour for his debut album and the label sent us some posters and flyers to promote the album on tour. Since then we stayed in contact. By the time that Chief Kamachi dropped his second album on Babygrande we realized that we had to talk with them. With their roster consisting of groups like Jedi Mind Tricks, AOTP, Immortal Technique and more, it just made sense.
What led to the signing to Babygrande?
Like I said we were in touch with Babygrande and when we were looking for a home for “German Lugers,” we got a quick response from our preferred label. Our management was feeling the concept and saw the potential stateside and internationally in working with them.
How intricate a part do you think the exposure from the internet was in you getting the deal with Babygrande?
Today the media and internet is very important. We might not have been able to get the deal without any presence on the net. But again the label was really feeling our concept, guest artists and the music.
You have a slew of lyrical heavyweights on “German Lugers”, how did you send tracks back and forth? Instant Messenger? Myspace? Or Snail Mail?
Matter of fact, most recordings were knocked out over here in Germany while the artists were on tour. But we touched base with a lot of the artists initially through myspace. There was also some exchanging of files via email or server upload.
Why The Name “German Lugers” anyway?
“German Lugers” stands for quality and powerful German handguns. We’re making an allusion to our production team in this respect….we’re at the top of our game and we’re coming out the gate blazin…making a big splash.
So the first single features Reef the Lost Cauze called “Never”. With so many dope emcees to choose from, how did you pick the single?
Actually Babygrande choose the single and we were definitely with it. We are really familiar with the whole Philly Sound and Reef the Lost Cauze is one of the top emerging emcees from the city. So we were with it.
How did you get in contact with all these different emcees? Mutual friends? The Label?
Almost every contact started with my job as a tour manager out here in Europe. Most MC’s were feeling our music and were down to work with us. We have a really good relationship with every artist on the record. That’s very important for us cause we want to build long termâ€¦we got plans for the game.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to up and coming producers what would that be?
Work on our beats and never lose focus on the business side. Like Alchemist sad “Hard work pays off so I take no days off!”
So what’s next for The Snowgoons and any last words?
We’re already working’ on the follow up album and are about to do a JuJu Mob / Snowgoons Collabo album. Thanks for the interview and we would like to thank all the artists again for their great work. Especially our Philly Fam Chief Kamachi, Jus Allah, Reef and Last Emp. Cop the album February 27th on Babygrande Records! Peace
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