Don’t Sleep: 183rd Talks Working With Smoke DZA, Modernizing NYC’S Classic Hip-Hop Sound, Creating His Own Placements + More
New York City is home to the most complex public transportation system in the entire world. One of the most notable stops on the MTA is the 4 lines “183rd” street stop. The legendary Bronx block is also home to one of New York’s hottest producers 183rd.
Paying homage to his hood, 183rd not only named himself after his block but incorporated a train conductors voice announcing the stop to create one of the dopest tags in the game.
Growing up on the westside of the Bronx, on 183rd and Grand Avenue, 183rd grew up inspired by the dope the production of Trackmasters, Hitman and Cool & Dre which drew him to use classic samples as heavily as he does in his music.
183rd got into producing by being around people in the studio and picking beats and having Harlem rapper Smoke DZA finally ask for him to make beats.
“Learning about drum kits I fell in love with soul samples, and DZA asked me to make beats”.
183rd and DZA first met back in 2001, and aside from encouraging the Bronx producer to take it seriously he also was the reason he was able to work with his first artist, Nipsey Hussle (R.I.P).
“Nipsey Hussle was the first artist I ever worked with. When I used to bring beats for DZA, Nip would be recording “Bullets Ain’t Got No Names Vol. 3” & I gave a beat to Shipes (Johnny Shipes) & he gave it to Nip.
183rd met Nip through his ties with Cinematic Music Group which he is still apart of, and says til’ this day they’re the hottest independent label out. “It’s no competition”.
When asked, 183rd made it clear that it is his goal to be the one that revitalizes that classic NYC Hip-Hop sound. Which is a reason we see him pair up with some of the dopest artists the city has to offer.
In 2019 alone, 183rd dropped 5 collaborations projects and a beat tape.
It is now commonplace for a producer to work alongside an artist for a producer/ artist collab project but 183rd says he’s been doing it first. “I was doing it since last year releasing projects and creating my own placements I started it”.
183rd also views his collaborations with artist as a way to build buzz before the release of a big drop. “My shit is like gangsta grills when somebody do something with me I’m brand building. My projects are like a heat up before you drop your album.”
183rds insane work ethic combined with his “hold no beats” approach, easily made him New York City’s go to producer. “I continuously work because the sound of the music shifted and if an artist has the bag right, we can work. I don’t hold beats.”
Upon checking out 183rds collaboration projects that were released in 2019 you will notice that all track listing includes the songs and instrumentals for every track. He got the idea from being a fan of The Alchemist’s and Prodigy (R.I.P) collab records and the thought of them releasing the beats for fans to rap to.
“Think about how fun it is. It’s independent, why not put the instrumentals . Listening to Alchemist and Prodigy collaborate, I thought imagine if they put the beats out. Some of people like to just hear beats.”
183rd’s previous work as an A&R undoubtly helps him build that connection with artist and truly pick which beats best fits them best when coming together for a project.
“I got to learn what I like is not always what’s needed .It’s an opinion thing. Nobody knows what a hit is you don’t know how a song will make people react. You’ve got to push your record and promote it right.”
183rds reach has reached outside of the city, working with artist ranging from Dom Kennedy, Kendrick Lamar, Fat Trell & Wale. As far as whose someone he looks forward with, his answer was “everyone”.
Already haing having projects with Jae Millz, Monolo Rose, Smoke DZA, 24hrs and OT The Real finished he easily looks to reach his goal of seven projects.
183rd also had some great advice for young producers on the rise:
Create your own placement. By default we have to play the back for the rapper it’s not the rapper responsibility to let people know who’s on beats. Get your name up before you charge and always get your bread. Always gotta get publishing. Just because they paid you doesn’t mean you get paid for publishing.”183rds Advice For Producers On The rise
As we await to see what else 183rd has up his sleeve, you can check out his most recent project with emerging artist 100GrandRoyce below.