Los Angeles, CA – In recent Hip Hop years, particularly in California has gone through a resurgence of jazz-infused funk to give it that melodic Cali vibe and a big part of that wave has been Terrace Martin. From Snoop Dogg to Kendrick Lamar the 3chordFold sound architect has helped shape a sound that has helped define the new West Coast.
Like any artist that comes from humble beginnings and makes it big, Terrace’s big break was a combination of grind, preparation and a little bit of happenstance. Last week the L.A. native stopped by #DXLive in Hollywood where he relived that one moment that would forever shape the course of his career in music and it was all thanks to veteran hitmaker Battlecat.
“I heard Battlecat got his haircut at the same place I got my haircut on 54th and Western, Good Friends. I think it’s burnt down now. But that was trippy cause I grew up in the Crenshaw district, in the 60s to be exact,” Terrace recalled. “At this time you gotta be in and out of these areas but I waited every day for like six months for Battlecat to drive past this damn barbershop. I remember he had a blue dually and sometimes I would just miss him. He would drive past and I would hear him bumping back then he was working with a guy named Beefy Loc.”
After months of persistence, Terrace got the call that would set everything off.
“One day my homie hit me up and said ‘He up here. He about to get a shave and the lady that’s about to shave his head is a little slow so you got time to get up here.’ So I ran up there with a cassette tape. I had a cassette tape of beats and one song called ‘Highs and Lows’” remembered Terrace. “I said ‘Cat, what’s up? I’m from the same neighborhood.’ He was like ‘Man, you do beats?’ I’m like ‘Yeah.’ He said ‘You got some beats?’ I gave him the tape, and instead of him taking the tape he said ‘When I’m done hold up’ and we went to his dually.”
He continued, “he had a blue dually and I never will forget [it had] 2 ’12’ False gates in the back, and he put the cassette in and I never had heard my music so loud. He was like ‘Man what you doin’ after this?’ I’m like “Shit I’m posting up.”
Even with the most successful pitch of his life up until that point, the moment that followed was the real inspiration to the then-fledgling producer. “What he played after my music changed my life. He said ‘Man I like your chords. I want you to hear something. You know who Chucky Thompson is?’ I said ‘Yeah, yeah.’ He said ‘You got Faith Evans’ new record?’ I said ‘Nah.’ This was her second record. He said ‘Listen to this cause Chucky Thompson got the drums but your chords, listen to this.’ and it was that Faith Evans record, and to me that Faith Evans record was the true bridge of like the ghetto shit, jazz and the R&B. But that was when I got with Battlecat and that’s what started my whole [career] to me sitting here right now. That one meeting on 54th and Western.”
Check out the full interview with Terrace Martin who talks about working with the biggest names in Hip Hop, being nominated for a Grammy and how a chance gig with Diddy led to him meeting and touring with Kirk Franklin at the age of 18. Tune into #DXLive every Thursday 6pm-9pm EST.