Crate Kings » Producer Interviews » Scram Jones “Music Is Something Deeper Than Money”

Scram Jones “Music Is Something Deeper Than Money”

January 25, 2010


Scram Jones explains moving from college radio entry into the world of production.  Scram emphasizes importance of paying dues and building relationships rather than initially focusing on making money.

Music is something deeper than money.

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  4. Jermain Dupri Says Money Ruined Music
  5. DJ Premier On Passion, Money, Music Business Trends

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

B.Dolla January 25, 2010 at 9:29 pm

That beat Scram did for Only Built for Cuban Linx 2 is RIDICULOUS. I think it’s called Broken Safety. My god son.

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illskilz January 26, 2010 at 5:20 am

word can you link that songs?im curious now :)

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CZA THE CEO January 25, 2010 at 10:07 pm

I always laugh when I hear a producer that’s on recycle this same bit of information. It’s easy for y’all to say “don’t do it for money” because y’all are already making money! That’s like telling Michael Jordan to not play basketball for money; if he wasn’t making bank off of basketball he would’ve gone to law school or something. Instead of saying “do it for the love” why not say “do it because you can do it and flip that money into something else you love”? Business is business and just because it’s art doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to turn a profit. If you truly want to do it for the love of music, sit in your basement and make beats for yourself. End of story.

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tony traxx January 25, 2010 at 11:37 pm

I agree . Do it for the love until u get money.

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Goldy January 26, 2010 at 1:39 am

scram do it cause he live it. scram is hip-hop

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Dj ILL One January 26, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I agree with Tony and CZA. Yeah ,do it for the love first,but money has to come in somewhere. This is why we spend hundreds to thousands on equipment,software etc. everything that Scram says makes sence,but also think about it. If there was no money in it at all,how many of us would do it? I think the number would drop dramatically. “Of course we gotta pay rent,so money connects”.

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tony traxx January 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm

People in the industry make it seem like the greatest thing in the world to be a record producer. The video’s the girls ‘ all the top of the line music gear ‘ working with big names and big stars. People on your dick wondering how you made this’ and how did you make that sound this way ‘ and blah blah blah. All the awards grammy’s and plaques. The after parties with groupies and movie stars nfl players . Mtv Cribs ‘ articles in magazines ‘ your baby mama not being able to destroy torment you anymore . Wake up 3:00 in the afternoon with a dimepiece ‘ go to the studio ‘n leave at 2:00 in the morning ‘ go to another after party meet a freak ‘ bang her out and do it all over again the next day. Thats the life of 1% of the producers out there.My reality is make beats ‘ sit on myspace ‘ go to open mic and see people who ain’t going nowhere anyway . Meet artists that are broke’ wanna come over and smoke a blunt thinking you gonna record them for free cause they are the best thing the world has ever heard ” think your gonna record ‘ record ‘record ‘ then they hate on your shit after its all done and got the balls to tell you your shit is wack and they ain’t gave you a dime.Then you run to guitar center and spend up all your god damn money ‘ wanna get paid yet artists are going on soundclick and downloading beats for free so they dont wanna pay you shit !and you put yourself through all this for what ? the love ? if thats the case ok ‘ alright ‘ Then you got some asshole on mtv who got in the game cause they lived next door to wycleff or pookie mac or whoever – whatever ‘ shit sounds just as bad as yours but they mixed it in a million dollar studio and the hook is catchy with a bunch of reverb and yelling all this crazy shit ‘ stanky leg ‘ say ahh ‘ lazy writing ‘ dead creativity ‘ the industry puts millions of dollars behind a hand full of people and we look at them like they are god themself . With the money they put behind album like lets say uh drake ‘ every producer that stops by this site today could eat .for real. He got money to blow. lol

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Digs. January 26, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Music thats made to make money, is like having a girlfriend thats with you for your money.
If you’re awake you can tell the difference.

If you want to make music soley for the money, then its better to focus on pop music.

Hiphop is a culture, if your in it for the money, then youre exploiting a culture.
Do it cause you love to do it, and money comes second. If your shit is real good, I believe money comes by itself.

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Dj ILL One January 26, 2010 at 4:50 pm

C`mon now. I am definitely in the hip hop culture because I love it. And I want to make money from it also. There`s nothing wrong with that. But when you put your heart and soul in it,you should see some rewad from it. My pops always says”It`s great that you love music and want to pursue it,but make it count”. A lot of these producers have families and are doing this by faith and love, but they need to see some money come from it as well. Just becaus I want to make a living from this doesn`t mean I can`t make real hip hop or don`t have a love for it. You have to be real about makeing a living too.

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xarro January 27, 2010 at 4:19 am

I totally agree with Tony Traxx. You´ve described my life. I´m near forty and still doing it. Anyone cant tell me Im doing it for the money.

When someone is aking me for a beat i Say: Ok, how much money do you think costs a beat of mine??? They say: “I dont have money” and I say again, “i´m not asking you for money, i´m asking how much do you think it costs??” , 5€, 10€, you can pay me what you think it costs, basically I let them to put the price (if you say 5 Euros i´ll make a 5 € work for you).

I only want to let them know that doing this is hard an what they think about my work. But, this way is not working because they always want everything free, the beat, the recording, the promo… C`mon who do you think you are??? You´re WACK!!! I, ve spended a lot of my time producing and recording, people say i´m good at that, and that is what is going to happen:

You´ll find someone asking you for production and recording, you´ll say, “I like it, it sounds good” and you´ll decide to produce and record him for free because you like it and you think that person is nice and have skills. You´ll do it, weeks, months, producing, recording, editing, mixing,mastering….here you have the demo.

The next step is that person disappears, you´ll never will see him again but you´ll start to hear “things” about you. He has moved to another one that is “better” than you and you´re shit and a motherfucker, sorryyy???… I don´t understand, I called you and you told me we had any problem, you told me you said nothing….SHIT!!!
This situaton is going to repeat again and again.. This is my experience.

-Make them pay always unless it will be a little money.
-Dont work so hard for anything you don´t like it.
-Choose carefully who you are working for free, i mean CAREFULLY!!!
-Be ready for being dissed for anything by suposed “friends” and other you don´t know.

If you Keep producing in spite of all that, it means that you´re doing it for the love of music. I do.

Peace

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TONY TRAXX January 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm

I know a guy who claims he is a producer ‘ he records artists all day ‘ he even puts out mixtapes and gets paid for it ! but the truth is he goes on soundclick 24 hours a day and downloads free beats some other cats style. He has the nerve to critically judge my shit when he ain’t made one beat for himself. All he knows how to do is use pro tools a little bit and I showed him that.I gave him a few pro tools method one dvd’s and shit now he thinks he’s diddy ‘ lol I don’t care how someones craft sounds I respect everybody’s vision over cats like this. Matter of fact I hope he reads this. I know some other cats who run to some guys studio and record thier music ‘ I hav done a few songs with them myself .They tell me oh yeah Traxx you need to do this like that you need a avalon and all this shit. Cool I hear you but you know what I say .If you hipocrites would give me some of the money you gave that guy who don’t even believe in ya’ll anyway . I would have all that shit ILMAO !!!!!!

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Nasty January 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm

I think the point that he is trying to make is that if you get in it solely for the money, then you are going to have problems. Of course we all get frustrated because we feel that we’re better than so-and-so, we should be getting paid more than so-and-so, we should be working with certain artists, we don’t have certain equipment , and so on, but in the end the we (I guess I shouldn’t speak for everyone here) do it because of the love of the music. That is the reason that I first got started. At some point when I was in college, I realized that people really liked what I do, they were paying for shows, asking what I sell beats for, etc. After I graduated college, I decided to head to audio engineering school. I finished that up, and through a series of connects I made, including ones that I made doing free beats in college (before I ever really took it seriously), I’ve got several paid projects for some talented up and coming artists and I have quite a few other things lined up in terms of studio internships or jobs.

Trust me, I completely understand not wanting to give away beats for free, but at the same time you have to look at it from the artists stand point. They are most likely in the position of you: little extra money, just trying to make some music and live a dream. You also have to think that there are literally millions of people chasing that same dream, so you have to get a leg up on them in anyway possible. In no way am I saying to give out free beats to anyone that asks, but to think that artists are going to pay a premium to an unknown producer when they could just go on soundclick and find beats for free (as Tony said) is a little unrealistic. The fact is, you never know who that undiscovered artist could be. As a producer, the quickest way to break into the industry is to break a new artist. Yeah, you may be doing work for free for some artist, but if they get signed or something like that, that’s money in your pocket and more than likely will open doors.

In the end, I say work with the most talented people that you can, even if you are getting paid or not, because you never know what will come of it. Personally, I won’t sell a beat to just anyone, because if they make a shitty track, my name is attached to that. Just make sure you have them sign something saying you get production credit and are entitled to royalties on anything sold. Really it can say anything just as long as the two of you agree to it.

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B.Dolla January 29, 2010 at 2:56 am

I completely 100% agree with everything you just said. I’ve given out tons of free beats in my short career. Who am I to charge when you can go and download any beat you want for free? I do have a limit though. Unless I REALLY believe in an artist my cut off is two free beats. Why am I expected to buy all the studio equipment and the rapper just waltz right on in and use it and my time? I need some compensation after a point.

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B.Dolla January 29, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Here’s a little snippet from an interview with Illmind I just read on HipHopDX:

DX: You work frequently on mixtapes. When should a producer know a good opportunity from a free-rider?
!llmind: There’s producers out there that want to get paid for their work. Which makes sense, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But people ouot there have to understand that when you do a record with somebody, and you think that people will hear that record, there’s no reason you as a producer to not want that record to come out for the masses to hear. I’ll use Juelz Santana as an example. If Juelz uses one of your beats for a mixtape and he doesn’t pay you, that’s okay, because you’re getting promotion out of that. You’re getting your name out there as a producer, and you’re getting a production credit to further your career. The mixtape game isn’t bad. It’s promotion for you, and as a producer, you need to be smart about taking advantage of that in your own way.

Money will talk. But, there’s nothing better than getting production credit and getting your name out there in any way that you can. It’s all preference; you’ve got to pick and choose your battles with how that comes along.

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tony traxx January 29, 2010 at 11:51 pm

yeah but these assholes aren’t juelz santana

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xarro February 11, 2010 at 6:15 am

Word!!!

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