(Interview as conducted in November of 2015)
Interview with HurtboyAG, a producer and engineer rising the ranks of the hip-hop industry.
When did you get into music? More specifically, when did you start making music?
“I have always loved music, whatever it may be from Rap music to Reggae, old punk, rock n roll. oldies. blues. jazz, anything. I love it all. I love listening to it. When I was around 12-13 my Grandpa blessed me with a set of turntables. That’s Probably where it all began. I started messing around it with, spinning records and playing these old NWA, Snoop Dre, DJ Quik, King Tee, pharcyde. bunch of random records that I would buy from shops. Around that time, a girl asked me to be a DJ at her party and I had bought all the new singles on vinyl so i thought I was the shit. She paid me $40. That’s when I was like – aye this music shit is for me man”
“I started messing around with Fruity Loops, Reason and even Pro Tools (haha). I really wanted to make beats not just mix and use turntables. I messed around a little bit, nothing serious, I even used Garage Band. That was until I met this kid named Phil in High School. He was this Korean kid who grew up on Crenshaw from the 60’s. He barely knew english and any english that he did know was slang. He was an amazing producer though. He was really good at making Trap beats. We ended up hanging out a lot. He taught me how to Reason. He actually tried to stab me during gym haha.”
You were really young at the time. Was it hard to stay focused?
“I wasn’t very focused at that time. I was doing normal teenage shit. When I was 16 I got arrested with my friends for driving without a license, doing donuts in the middle of the street. We actually got off because one of my homies was really high and tried to run from the cops but he passed out. Him passing out got us off the hook. The cops looked scared, they didn’t know what to do. I had too many run ins with the police. They just never liked me as a kid.”
Throughout the remainder of Highschool and his early 20s, HurtboyAG built a name for himself working with local artist.
“When I was 22 I got a job at a art gallery. I would mop floors and stuff but it was cool because I got to do something different during the day. Then at night I would DJ for local artists. Like my friends CBG they were a local group from LA. They would come through for me and pay me to dj for them. It helped put me out there. Nothing really serious came from it but I learned a lot about myself and met a lot of cool people and friends that I share to this day.”
I heard you were cool with the Dungeon Family. Tell me a little about that.
“When I was 23 I went to Atlanta and stayed at Rico Wade’s house (Dungeon Family). It was an experience on its own being in Atlanta, almost living there for a like weeks on end working n’ meeting new people”
“S/O: Rico Wade, Wallace, Rube, Ray, Bubba, Khujo Goodie, even Mckinley crazy ass”
How did you meet future?
“I went to the Magic show in Las Vegas and bumped into Future. My homies had heard his mixtapes (1000/Dirty Sprite 1) and were telling him how much they liked his music. I don’t really know how it happened but Future ended up giving me his number and we were chilling with-in a week.”
“We never made any music, he just wanted to show me the industry and bring me around people who could further my career. We became real close. I was dealing with some legal issues and he would text me and make sure I was good. He would come over to my crib when he had a chance.I remember this one time in specific when he came over and told me to always look the part. He told to me wake up every morning and take care of myself first and have a rockstar mentality.”
“That stuck with me”
Did you produce for anyone in Futures camp?
“I did. I worked with Mexico Rann, Freebandz Casino and Slice 9.”
Tell me more about your lift off so to speak. When did really become a full-time producer?
“I was on house arrest around 2-3 years ago and I had nothing else to do but make beats. Being on house arrest turned me into a full-time producer. I began sending beats out to rappers that I would meet through Twitter and one day I hit Yung Gleesh up, I spoke to his manager. He said he liked my beats and he wanted to work.”
“He had a show in LA a few weeks later and came over to my crib. We clicked instantly, making beats and recording tracks. I have a home studio with all the equipment you need to record so it worked out. He stayed here for a couple weeks. We ended up making Cleansides Finest 3.“
“Gleesh introduced me to Fredo and I built on our relationship from there. It’s all about connections.”
Is that how you met TrapMoneyBenny? I always see his name next to Yung Gleesh.
“Nah. I have known TrapMoneyBenny for while before I met Gleesh. I met him through my homie fam at Elevator music and he introduced me to Ben West. TrapMoneyBenny and Ben West grew together. One day Gleesh hit me up and I picked him up from LAX, TrapMoneyBenny was in the back seat. We went back to the crib and recorded a lot of songs.”
I see you and Fredo together a lot.
“That’s my bro forreal. He recorded a lot of Ain’t No Money Like Trap Money at my house. I also engineered a large portion of it. Me and Fredo work together a lot.”
Didn’t you produce some track on Aint No Money Like Trap Money (Mixtape by Fredo Santana)?
“Yeah. I produced majority of the tape. Including How You Want It, Keep Getting Money which features Kevin Gates, Easy, Splash and Bricks; a collab with DPBeats.”
So how did you link with Chief Keef? I’m assuming Fredo played a role in it.
“Me and Fredo were working one day and i think we went over to Keef’s crib. Me and Keef clicked immediately. He’s like way younger than me but we are both kind of like big kids in a way. We are always joking and laughing, he’s funny as f*ck.. SOSA that’s the lil homie haha”
That’s awesome. It looks like fun to be in studio with the GLO.
“It is. Tadoe is hilarious, he is always turnt up. He never sleeps lmao. He is the most underrated in the GLO. Tadoe came over to my house on Valentine’s day at like 8:00am, I was asleep. He somehow got in and started pounding on my bedroom door screaming – Wake up HURT! What you on!!! hahaha”
“Me and him actually have a EP coming soon. We have a couple of the tracks finished but need to make more.”
Hurt then revealed the impact the late Capo had on his career.
“Capo had hit me up on Twitter telling me he was coming to Cali and wanted to work. He came over and we started to make music instantly. He was turnt, he had a energy that made anyone around him hustle harder then they would usually. Cap loved to deliver content to his fans, that something that stuck with me.”
“At that time I was going through a hard time in my career. I was having second thoughts on this producing shit, wondering if it was really for me. So having Capo over my crib really helped me move past that stage in my life. He would tell me that I go crazy and shit, you feel me? It meant alot to have someone like Cap give love. He really pushed me and it’s sad that he is no longer with us.”
So are you an official producer for Glo Gang and SSR (Savage Squad Records)?
“Im a producer for anyone if they pay me. An artist will have these pictures in their heads and I will draw it if that makes sense. I will always be loyal to SSR, Glo Gang, FreeBandz and the Dungeon Family though”
Thats awesome. What producers influence you the most?
“I have always looked up to TM-88, Drumma Boy, Shawty Red, Zaytoven and C4. All of them is crazy. I linked with TM through Ashley Miranda and Propane. TM is a real humble mf and a solid dude. He has helped me alot, kept me focused. It’s a funny story actually how I met C4. One day I was in my studio listening to some C4 beat when I heard a knock on my door. I answered and it was C4 beats. (laughs). We have a few mutual friends and my friend Ashley had told him to come thru. I couldn’t believe that he had pulled up lol. I have always looked up to him and even told him that and he was like shut up hurt, you turnt rn bro. We ended up collabing on the Trap beat that Gino Marley (SSR) used. Shoutout my dawg C4 music ”
Can you tell me about some of the upcoming projects you’re on?
“A lot of projects coming up. No Droughts by Savage Squad Records, Blood Thicker Than Water by Fredo Santana and Chief Keef and a EDM remix tape for Future. I have a lot of side projects too. Over 100 unreleased songs with artist. Just wait, I got a lot under my sleeve.”