Versatility and persistence are a deadly combination of characteristics. They are much-needed weapons to have in an artist’s arsenal of traits.
For Taylor Gang’s in-house producer RMB Justize, these are the qualities that got him nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Album of the Year.
At the 2015 Grammy Awards, Justize was recognized for his ill production skills, working alongside Sledgren on Wiz Khalifa’s Blacc Hollywood songs “Raw” and “We Dem Boyz”(Remix).
Those are not the only hits Justize has in the bank as he has also been credited for his production input on Wiz Khalifa’s Cabin Fever, (The OG Wiz throwback), TGOD affiliates J.R. Donato’s Why So Serious and several of Chevy Woods’ projects including Red Cup Music and Gangland.
Lest not forget to mention his amazing work on Amerikas Addiction’s EP Four.
It seems as if there will be more hits to come as Justize stepped out of his producer element in June and blessed the streets with his debut album, Origami.
Kulture Hub caught up with the Chicago-based artist to see what has gotten him to this point in his music career.
One unique fact about the TGOD producer, the first song he remembers playing that had an influence on his musical ear was “I’m Blue” by Eiffel 65.
“The first CD I really remember was .. drumroll .. Eiffel 65 “I’m Blue” – that was the trippiest electronic shit I’ve ever heard [laughs]. So it put a whole new twist to everything as well.”
Amongst the trippy track, “I’m Blue,” some of Chitown’s homegrown music also had a huge influence on the way Justize hears certain sounds.
“Chicago definitely did have its influence- listening to everyone from Twista and Do or Die to Crucial Conflict, CWAL, DA Smart etc – all played a role in how I hear certain sounds, and what I think makes everything slap.”
Justize’s ear solidified a position working as an in-house producer with Wiz’s Taylor Gang.
He has always tried to outdo himself and Wiz being attracted to his sound from early on only pushed him to create new and versatile music.
“In a nutshell, I’ve always tried to outdo myself and keep a versatile sound that stands out simultaneously… Wiz was definitely one of the first to like my production, which of course motivates me to push the envelope all over again. Persistence is key for sure.”
“Pushing the envelope,” proved to work for Justize as he took the next step releasing Origami. The debut album is a very dope listen. Slapping snares, a booming bass, lyrics that are sung with emotion, and dope features encapsulate the sound of this LP.
I’ve gone through Origami from beginning to end countless times and the powerful rhythms and honest lyrics still got me trippin’. Touching on the creative process of Origami, Justize wanted to ensure he conveyed a message that would evoke feelings from his listeners.
“I wanted to make an album that showed pure emotion. I wasn’t too big on emphasizing structure but it ended up telling somewhat of a story in the end. I basically would make the beats at my apartment, and record vocals midway through the beat process – then later mix and car test everything. Looking at the tracklist, the songs almost are in the order I created them. Another shout out to my bro Wiz for the “Summertime” track. Perfect end to the album, I think.”
You’re a fool if you don’t see the next couple of years being successful for Justize. Besides working on his own music, his movement with producer and artist collective GlitchRealm is very unique.
It definitely has me hype AF as the production team includes Justize along with Sledgren, DeedotWill, and Jacobi.
“GlitchRealm is a collective of producers and artists, focused on all sorts of experimental music, to say the least. A lot of people look at it as unpredictable, and I love it. There’s no telling what might come from us, at all. The producers are me, Sledgren, DeedotWill, and Jacobi. Stay tuned is all I’ll say [laughs].”
Distinguishing himself as a producer and artist has also helped to establish him as a threat in the music game. This factor is major key to Justize,
“I think the recognition is very important because the game is spooky, I tell you. Ghost producers, all that. Standing out and distinguishing yourself is key, to me at least. It’s almost becoming too easy for people to get a hold of your material, manipulate it, and make it theirs basically.”
To add, RMB is working within different realms of production and new artists to expand his craft.
“Right now I’m just continuing the Origami campaign and producing for a lot of new artists. I actually just helped work on a silent movie score with a quartet so I’m anxious to see how things play out with that. Aside from that, working on a few artists projects, including MattyDidThat (CoolNeighbors) as well.”
His passion for music and his incredible work ethic has kept the Chicago kid going thus far.
Justize’s message for young producers trying to make it in the music game falls in line with just that.
“I’d really say at the end of the day, keep working. Keep striving, no matter how stressful or difficult. If you have the passion for it, it’ll never seem like you’re working. Never put yourself in a box, and explore all the opportunities that come your way. Trust me on that.”
So go get on that producer software and never put yourself in a box!