Hailing from Brazil, Massachusetts and now New York, J. Cardim never slows down in the production field. You may know him for his credits for working with Joe Budden all the way to Jean Grae. It’s no surprise that his eclectic taste has gotten him placements in film and sports highlights you hear playing in the background. The good folks at HitHipHop.com yet again have given me a chance to converse with one of the most talked about producers out. Read the interview below as the Dice Music Group producer talks about Eminem, the Slaughter House gang and his advice to producers.
J Cardim take a gamble and work
HitHipHop.Com: So I hear that you are from Brazil and you recently took a trip out there. Many producers and/or artists usually pick up a new sound when they travel. Has that happened for you yet?
J. Cardim: You know I go to Brazil all the time, it’s not just a once in a while thing. Every time I go there, I definitely try something new, definitely. You know what I mean, going over there are so many different rhythms, so many different beats. Like just when I went out there now, I made a crazy beat that I would of probably never made. If I didn’t go there, not to mention I sold it while I was out there to a Brazilian rapper who’s doing his thing out there.
HHH: So, I gathered that you lived in Brazil, Massachusetts and now New York. What drove you to production?
JC: I was always into music since I was a youngin’, you know my pops he’s a musician. He is a piano player, he’ll play the bass, drums, everything, flute, guitar. You know since I was young, I use to play the drums or play the piano. So, I was always into music, as I got older my first taste of Hip Hop was Dr. Dre and “The Chronic” back in 92’, I was actually living out in Cali. I had just turned ten and I fell in love with the production on it. I was like “Damn, I never heard nothing like this,” you know? When I moved to the East coast, at the time Redman was poppin and Wu Tang Clan, which I was also feeling, but there was a big difference in production how you know Dr. Dre used a lot of melodies. East Coast was a lot of boom bap and a lot of harder sounds. I was driven to the melody; you know what I’m saying? A lot of my beats have a lot of melody and a lot of laid backness to it sometimes, but I also do the East Coast boom bap thing too.
HHH: Cool. So it seems like Dr. Dre made an impact in your production, who else has influenced you?
JC: Definitely Dr. Dre, honestly in the 90’s when I grew up it was Dr. Dre and Primo. They were doing all the, no Dr. Dre was doing all the Snoop and all them Cali. records, Tupac. Primo was doing all them East Coast records from Jay Z, M.O.P. to Nas and I was a fan of both those sounds. Not to mention that you know Primo and Dr. Dre are legendary producers now too, til today. Which are producers at the time I use to listen to and they inspired my beats at the time. I started making beats seriously like in 2005, 2004, but at the time when I was trying to make beats I tried to imitate Primo or something like that. That’s like the first steps I followed and as I got a little older I started listening to a lot of Just Blaze, Kanye West you know. All the you know producers that you know Dr. Dre, Just Blaze, Kanye, Timbaland is another one. They all had original sounds that I think made them who they are, you dig what I’m sayin’? Like Primo, Dre, Timbaland, Kanye West, they had a sound that was theirs. When you heard that beat, you knew that was theirs. That’s the type of beat I try to make.
HHH: What’s J. Cardim’s process when making a beat?
JC: First thing I do is roll up some good ole’ sour with diesel, take a couple hits and listen to a couple of my older beats. You know and get into it, then I turn on the keyboard and start playing with some s**t, you know what I’m saying start f***ing around. You know probably lay it down with the drums and start going in and start zoning out by then I’m already, once I found something it’s just a, it’s then a ride. You gonna have to strap on a seat belt, cause we start speeding off and taking out of here. Yeah that’s pretty much the process.
HHH: You have a nice range of artists including Jean Grae, Jae Millz, Joe Budden and French Montana. When you are in the studio has it ever got to a point where the artist doesn’t listen to your opinion on how to record the song?
JC: I mean, when I first started, like some artists at first I don’t deal with direct. Some is through email, sometimes the record might be through email, sometimes we in the studio. Like for example Jean Grae, the stuff that I did for Jean Grae like the st she used for her intro, I don’t know if you are familiar with that. I did her intro and her outro, I actually made it for her like her intro, so when I sent to her I told her what the idea and she used it as that idea. So, I guess you can say that she took my idea as far as making it an intro. The other beat I just sent to her and she just made it what she made. Sometimes, I do pitch ideas, but it depends. Like Joe Budden it’s half and half, ‘cause sometimes I’ll send him beats and he’ll just go in. Sometimes my manager might be in the studio, my manager’s Zack a lot of people may know him that may watch the Joe Budden TV, that he gives a lot of influence into Joe. Helps him with some bars and some st like that, but other than that you know it’s back and forth.
HHH: Speaking on Joe, your latest project was “Mood Muzik 4: A Turn For The Worst”. What was it like working with him?
JC: It was fun it was easy, you know he just asked what I needed, I asked him what he needed as far as in beats. You know and I just got it to him, I think that he like the fact that I work fast and I give quality work pretty fast. Even though sometimes he did wait around, he mentioned in some interviews but that was because I was out of the country as well or out of town. But other than that when he asks me I give it to him fast, PAUSE. (Laughs) But as far as beats go, I turn my work in pretty fast though.
It was a good look, I’m trying to get my hands in some more movies, I just recently did VH1 step show that they had I did a whole lot of beats on that. I just did a, lot they got a new show premiering on TNT this summer
HHH: How do you feel about Slaughter House being signed to Shady Records? And do you plan on doing any collabs with the boss man Eminem?
JC: You know I feel like that’s definitely what’s up, you know what I’m saying. I haven’t discussed anything about that with Joey yet. We just work and take it day by day, I didn’t want to get ahead. I just want to get this project out the way. We still working on the other “Great Escape” album, that he still got coming out. I know, I figure when it comes for the time when Slaughterhouse, Eminem and all that stuff making their moves, I know that he’ll come through and ask me for a couple of beats, but I haven’t really talked to him about all that. I know that’s what’s up, you know what I’m saying? It’s just an easier chance, an easier slot for me to get to Em though. I hadn’t worked with Em, I’d love to work with Em, so I got beats that would definitely sound good with Eminem. It’s just a major opportunity soon.
HHH: You did production for “The Beauty Shop” soundtrack. Many Hip Hop producers are stepping into the Hollywood scene these days. How did that opportunity come about?
JC: Well, the record that was on “The Beauty Shop” was the Jean Grae “Intro,” that I did for her album. Actually, I had no connection to that, it was her manager that made it poppin’ and you know it was a good check that I got at the time and it’s still a good check today. It was a good look, I’m trying to get my hands in some more movies, I just recently did VH1 step show that they had I did a whole lot of beats on that. I just did a lot, they got a new show premiering on TNT this summer; I forgot the name my manager just told me that they just sent the contracts in though. They also got my music on there and you know TV definitely pays, the royalties are not bad especially for movies, movies is better. It’s always good to get your music out there
HHH: What advice do you have for producers who are trying to get placement?
JC: My advice, stay consistent with your quality and you know sometimes I be slacking on how many beats I be making. There was a time when I made a million beats a week; you know you got to stay on it, you know you gotta always make beats at any second. If this is what you do full time, you got to do it you know what I’m saying. Sometimes, I got to remind myself like “Yo, J. you gotta make beats today.” Not only that, but you gotta have somebody that can represent you right, you know what I’m saying? ‘Cause at the same time you want to keep your mind on the beats and have your manager, somebody you trust go hard for your work, you know on getting placements and doing what he does. And that’s pretty much what I got going on, you know shout out to Zack ‘cause he goes in for my beats. He sells them, he gets them out there rather it’s local or industry he makes it pop. So, you know I think that’s one, you got to team up with a manager, an aggressive manager at that.
HHH: Now to wrap things up what can we expect from J. Cardim in 2011?
JC: It’s a mystery, y’all just got keep following. I got my artist Ariez Onasis we about to drop, he’s on Dice Music and he’s got a single out right now “Go Crazy” featuring Clinton Sparks and Fat Man Scoop. Video is about to drop soon, but yeah pretty much we got an album called the “Heartbreak Kid” comes out in about a month or so all produced by myself. This is gonna change the game, this is a whole another sound that people hadn’t heard from me. Whole different sound, you know what I’m saying. It’s gonna definitely gonna change the game, I’m very confident with this project and that’s where I got my main focus on right now.
Interviewed by Shiyana Bellamy
Conducted on January 26, 2011