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In The Lab with Papoose

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015


Words by Eric Diep
Images by Lauren Gesswein

DJ Premier’s new producer home is in the deep depths of Kaufman Astoria Studios, a historic lot in Queens, New York, where they filmed classics like Goodfellas and Carlito’s Way. Inside the basement of one of the stage buildings, it’s decorated with movie posters worthy of display: Men in Black 3 and The Accidental Husband are just a few wall ornaments that complement movie paraphernalia in the hallways. Navigating through requires careful directions from security on the grounds, but once you reach Preemo’s studio it’s everything you would imagine. The space is adorned with plaques from iconic projects by Gang Starr, Big L and The Notorious B.I.G. Other plaques from Death Row Records and Roc-A-Fella Records are also on display to show the longevity of his career that’s still very active to this day.

While Brooklyn vets like Jay Z, Fabolous and Talib Kweli get a lot of respect for their contributions to the culture, there’s a fighting spirit within Papoose that many don’t give him credit for. The 37-year-old MC gets more press for what he says publicly about younger MCs (Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar) and rap at large than his music, but that’s because what he says isn’t too far from the truth. Shamele Mackie has been a student of the game ever since he picked up a mic and impressed everyone with his wordplay on “Alphabetical Slaughter.” As his career progressed through the years, he cared less about what people think and focused more on delivering music to supporters who’ve been there since his start. You Can’t Stop Destiny, his follow-up to The Nacirema Dream, sums up his whole mantra: No matter who brings you down, you can’t stop what’s aligned in the stars. For him, it’s being the top MC of the world.

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In The Lab with araabMUZIK

Friday, July 18th, 2014

It’s hard to believe, but araabMUZIK has been putting in work on the boards for damn near a decade already. Sometime around the middle of the previous decade we started to hear his signature production style on mixtapes and street singles from various Dipset affiliates, and by the time Cam’s Crime Pays album dropped in 2009, he had made a name for himself as a guy you could trust to give you a banger.

Since then he’s earned a similar reputation in the world of EDM while still finding time to construct killer beats for some of our favorite MCs. With his new project For Professional Use Only 2 now in the streets, we caught up with the MPC maven to ask him about his production process, preferred studio setup, his approach to rocking festivals and working with OG producers such as Alchemist and Swizz Beatz.

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Hit the jump to check out a trailer for the upcoming video for “Lion”.

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In The Lab with Pete Rock

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

The Chocolate Boy Wonder needs no introduction. If you’re on this site you already know the resume. If you’re a producer, you probably started making beats because of this guy or somebody he inspired. For our latest installment of In The Lab, Ip traveled up to Pete Rock’s home studio in Rockland County to pick his brain about his approach to production. He gave us a peak at his daily studio routine, spoke on his favorite spots to dig in the Tri-State area, finding samples and much more. He also touches on his new project with Camp Lo, memories of Dilla and Heavy D, and what it was like in Kanye’s Hawaii studio during the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy sessions.

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Previously: In The Lab with Party Supplies | In The Lab with Mac Miller | In The Lab with Roc Marciano

In The Lab with Roc Marciano

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Roc Marciano quietly dropped one of the best records of 2012 and he’s currently in the studio working on his next project Marci Beaucoup. Marci’s lyrical expertise is well documented, but quiet as kept, this man is one of the illest beatmakers doing it right now. We caught up with him to find out what his writing and production process is like, what studio essentials he must have when he’s in that zone and his experiences working with artists such as Busta Rhymes, Pete Rock, Action Bronson and Alchemist.

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