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Wednesday, February 01, 2006 

Metallungies hollers @ Young RJ!

Young RJ in the flesh.

Recently I was able to talk with a man who looks to play a big role in the new generation of beat makers, but one that has a resume looks more veteran then rookie, Young RJ. Recording with everyone from Detroit legends Slum Village to Three Six Mafia, to Proof of D12 (who he even would go on to tour worldwide with as the sound engineer). You get a sense of how Young RJ lives for his workmanship, when asked about his favorite Slum Village moment, it wasn't getting to meet some big name or partying it up, but instead he listed the time when Slum Village told him to keep working and improve his beats. He realizes that practice will get him far and that is why day in, day out, practice is what consumes him. When we caught up with Young RJ, he was out of the studio, he was on his way to get some 2-inch tapes baked (that’s analog tape restoration for you non-music lingo people), even when he has some rare time out of the studio, it’s something that is related to his craft. Don’t think Young RJ is in it for the shine or the popularity, that is clearly not the case as he noted when he was in High School, few knew about what he did after the daily homework assignments were done (which was always had to be completed before any tracks could be worked on). This was the stepping stone for Young RJ to succeed Jay Dee aka Dilla as the in-house guy for Slum Village, which if any of you have heard Dilla’s work, are quite some shoes to fill, but Young RJ has shown with his love and dedication for the music that he is definitely up to the task. But don't think this talent for making records came out of nowhere, Young RJ is blessed with a music bloodline of Grammy nominated father RJ Rice who had his own R&B/Soul group ‘R.J.’s Latest Arrival’ that lasted for more than 2 decades. Outside of his father (who actually owns the label to which Slum Village is signed on to), Young RJ enjoys quite an eclectic mix of influences and music he looks to for inspiration to put into his own work, everything from Stereo Lab to the late great Marvin Gaye. Recently he and his partner Black Milk who together form BR Gunna (which could be the next producing group to be everywhere you turn ala Trackmasters/Neptunes) put out Dirty District Vol.2, with guest spots by big names such as Jay Dee aka Dilla (When I asked about Dilla’s state of health, Young RJ said he has improved a lot, which I don’t need to tell you is awesome news), MC Breed, Slum Village and Phat Kat. The album earned a good amount of critical acclaim, but Young RJ looks to take to a whole another level by collaborating with the some of the same artists in addition to names that include the likes of Nore, 3 Six Mafia, Skillz, to follow up with Volume 3, which he expects to be out in time for the warm months of the summer & spring.

Oh yeah what is his favorite thing to do outside of making his original sounding music? Is it sports ("I don't have time for it")? Nope, there is no other thing he’d rather do then make his music, you can see this man is completely dedicated to becoming a top beat maker in this hip-hop shit. It is clear when he sees his work, like one of the Slum Village track’s he produced in advertisement campaign for Chevy (yes, the same Chevy that makes your pimped out Tahoe), it inspires him and motivates him even more. In my complete honest opinion it is totally within his grasp, and he will be working be working with everyone in the rap game from Nas to Phat Kat like he aspires to. If you are true hip hop head be sure to check out Dirty District Vol.2 or the last 3 Slum Village albums to see how Young RJ shines.


ps. Shout out to Matt at Movement Marketing for hooking it up!!

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