Surrey, B.C. – C-Lance is the newest and youngest producer signed to Vinnie Paz’s Enemy Soil Records and he’s producing for everyone from Ill Bill to Jedi Mind Tricks. The Massachusetts producer has been holding it down in Surrey lately, and he took a few minutes answer some questions – and pose for a couple pics – for HipHopCanada’s Jamie Sands.
HHC: Before we start with the new projects and what 2011 has in store for C-Lance lets talk quickly about how you ended up on Enemy Soil Records and what it was like to have an underground legend like Vinnie Paz reach out to you. How did that all come together?
C-Lance: It all started with Doap Nixon from AOTP. I sent him a few beats for his new album “Grey Poupon” which comes out in February and he played them for Vinnie Paz and that’s when Paz reached out to me. I’ll never forget the day I got an email from Vinnie asking me to send him beats for his solo album “Season of the Assassin.” He emailed me and said that Doap Nixon played him some of my beats and that he was really feeling them, so I started sending beats to Vinnie which resulted in me landing 4 songs on his album and being signed to Enemy Soil Records. To have Vinnie Paz reach out to me is a dream come true because I grew up listening to Jedi Mind Tricks. I never thought that I would actually be able to work with them…but here we are.
HHC: The tracks you did on Vinnie Paz’s album “Season of the Assassin” used drums with a lot of punch to them and were all quite dark aside from the Paul and Paz track. Is this the sound we can expect to hear from you on your future projects?
C-Lance: Absolutely. That’s the sound I go for, the hard, heavy hitting, epic dark sound. I would say 99% of my beats have that hard-hitting sound. Those are just the sounds that catch me as a listener and producer. Every time I make a beat, I make it so this is the one song that stands out on the album. I want my song to be the most epic song on the album. However, I can also make softer joints like the Paul and Paz track. As far as future projects. I have all dark heavy songs on Heavy Metal Kings but look out for some different sounds on Vinnie Paz’s next album God of the Serengeti.
HHC: In your bio it says some of your primary influences are producers like DJ Premier, Dre, and Alchemist who are all very sample-heavy producers. Does this mean you generally like to use samples in your beats, or do you try to stay away from sampling?
C-Lance: I grew up listening to Eminem, Gangstarr, and Mobb Deep and those three producers were always a part of those projects. I fell in love with the sound of samples being cut up and flipped. To me, sampling is hip-hop, especially underground hip-hop. That’s the sound. It’s more grimy and hard hitting to me to work with samples. I would say I am a sample-based producer but I can also make originals and I have. “Pistolvania” and “Brick Wall” are two joints from Paz’s album that were sample-free beats, and those are still hard, so I can do either. To me it doesn’t matter what producers do, but I will always be a sample fan, I just find the sound is better and it’s more dirty, hard. Plus there is a certain feel in a sample beat that is always missing in an original beat, that’s just me though.
HHC: The new project from Vinnie Paz and Ill Bill Heavy Metal Kings – which stems back to the track they did together of the same name on Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell – is set to drop April 5th and they recently released the single “Keeper of the Seven Keys,” which you did the production on. How many tracks did you produce for this album and what other projects are you working on right now?
C-Lance: On Heavy Metal Kings, I produced 4 songs including “Keeper of the Seven Keys.” They are all that hard-hitting dark sound that I go for. The fans are in for a treat with this album. Vinnie Paz & Ill Bill are arguably the two best artists in the underground scene and this album is going to be a classic. Other projects that I am working on right now are Jus Allah’s debut solo album on Enemy Soil called “Meanest Man Alive.” This album is going to be incredible, a lot of people have been patiently waiting for Jus to release a solo and it’s coming. I’m working with Vinnie Paz on his newest solo album God of the Serengeti; we have a whole lot of beats picked out for that project. I’m also working with Ill Bill on his next solo album and we got about six or seven joints picked out for that. I am also working with Vinnie Paz and Jus Allah on the new Jedi Mind Tricks album Violence Begets Violence, which is a dream come true for me because I grew up listening to them. This will be the best JMT album ever made, I guarantee it. Outside of Enemy Soil, I am working with Diabolic, Celph Titled, Grayskul, House of Pain and Esoteric. A lot of big things coming in 2011, great year for hip-hop.
HHC: There tends to be a lot of buzz when it comes to a new Jedi Mind Tricks album, how much pressure is there to come up with new beats, or are you the type a guy who is in there making new beats everyday?
C-Lance: I actually am the type who comes up with new beats every day. I make beats every day for Vinnie, Jus or Bill so I am always working on new ideas, beats and sounds. I don’t really deal with pressure when it comes to making beats because I know I am making more beats than 99% of the producers out there. Vinnie always says my work ethic is unparalleled. The buzz around this album is huge though; a lot of fans out there are really waiting on a new JMT album and the first Jedi Mind Tricks release on Enemy Soil. I think the fans are curious to see if the sound is going to change or if this is going to be a different Jedi Mind Tricks album just because Vinnie did a solo album and so is Jus but like I said with Heavy Metal Kings, the fans are in for another treat with this album.
HHC: Well I’m definitely looking forward to hearing all these finished projects. Thanks again for taking the time to answer a few questions. Is there anyone you would like to give a shout out to before we end this?
C-Lance: The honour is mine. There are a lot of people I would like to shout out who have helped me get to where I am today and become the person I am. First off my beautiful fiancée Anna, who is always supporting me and pushing me to become greater every day. She is my biggest supporter and she has done a lot for me, I am so thankful to have someone like her in my life. My Mom and Dad for always supporting my music, helping me out with everything and just being perfect parents. My brother Mike for everything he has done for me he has been there since day one. Vinnie Paz for all the help he has given me, he didn’t have to take a 22-year-old kid and give me a chance but he did and I am grateful for that. Vinnie has given me a career and he has also linked me with everyone that I work with now, he’s become one of my closest friends in the process. Ill Bill for everything he has done for me. Bill, Jus, and Vinnie have taken me in and taught me a lot of things and given me a lot of advice, they are my big brothers and we have a lot of crazy music coming out this year. My friend Brian from back home. We been through a lot together and he was the one who first showed me Jedi Mind Tricks. My friend Greg who I have known since elementary school, he is always supporting what I am doing and he is a big fan of the music and I thank him for that, basically everyone who has been down since day one. I’m going to shock a lot of people this year. This is going to be a huge year for underground hip-hop, Vinnie Paz, Ill Bill, Jus Allah, Enemy Soil, Myself, my fiancée and my family. Last but not least the fans. Without them, where would any of us be? Keep supporting and thank you.
Interview conducted by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada.
Photography by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada.
Don’t forget to check out www.enemysoil.com/artists/c-lance.