Ron Browz may be best known for his Auto-Tune-heavy singles released over the past decade, but he’s also served as a producer on some classic records. During an interview with Montreality, the Harlem, New York native reflected on producing Big L’s “Ebonics” and Nas’ “Ether,” as well as the “Last Real Nigga Alive.”
Browz explained that he met Big L on the street to record what would become “Ebonics,” included on the 2000 LP The Big Picture. “I knew about Big L from just being in Harlem. He was one of the artists from Harlem who had deals. You could probably count on one hand – maybe two hands – how many artists from Harlem had deals and stuff like that and Big L was one of them. So I was kind of familiar with his work,” he said, recalling how they first met. “Just hanging out actually around the corner, me and my homie, and he just walked by and we just approached him like, ‘Yo, I got some beats.’ He came upstairs, the first beat he heard was ‘Ebonics.’ He laid it down on cassette in the house, and then we went to D&D Studios the next week and recorded the official single, ‘Ebonics.'”
He said that getting placements in the early ’00s wasn’t easy and that he had to supply Nas’ travel agent with a beat CD to secure production on “Ether.” Browz explained that he didn’t submit the beat with the “Fuck Jay-Z” sample on it, and that it was added after he learned that it would be a diss track.
“At the time, I didn’t really have a name for production. I just had did ‘Ebonics.’ We reached out to Nas’ travel agent. Back then, you had to do whatever you had to do to give a beat CD to an artist. You ain’t really see them… You ain’t gonna see Nas on a random day walking around like you see artists now. So we gave it to a travel agent. He held the beat for a while, and then a couple months later told me to come to the studio and it was ‘Ether.’ I didn’t know it was going to be a diss record until I got to the studio and he played it for me. A lot of people think it was premeditated. They act like I put the ‘Fuck Jay-Z’ at the beginning so they htought it was premeditated by me.”
Browz is currenlty prepping the release of his upcoming album Etherboy: Browz Reloaded that spawned the single “Swervin'” last October.
Watch the full interview below.