Ice Cube [click to read] is west coast rap's elder statesman and has etched a
solid Hollywood career, writing and directing films. Still, Don Mega
made time to press on with music independently via his Lench Mob
Records, recording home for veteran WC [click to read] and Cube.
But while Cube and WC are household names, the producers working on the
music are not. In fact, Teak and Dee, who make up the Hallway
Productionz team, are virtually unknown. Yet, they're responsible for a
bulk of hits, including “West Coast Voodoo” on WC's Guilty by
Affiliation album, on which they produced six of the 14 songs.
Hallway's homebase is the reason they're obscure. Teak and Dee reside
in Stockton, California, a city that has made national headlines
because it has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the state, if
not the country.
But good music is apparently good music. Even if it comes from the “armpit of California.”
“Any projects Cube is involved in, he gives us a ring first - we got dibs on every project,” Teak told HipHopDX.
To get to that point took networking, timing and luck. In 2004, through
a mutual friend, the duo was able to get their CD in the hands of DJ
Crazy Tunes, WC's brother and Cube's tour deejay. Subsequently, one of
their beats made WC's Guilty By Affiliation track list. After that,
three of the 15 tracks made the cut for Ice Cube's Laugh Now, Cry
Later [click to read]. The controversial “Child Support” was among them.
Since then, Hallway Productionz has basically become the go-to producers for Lench Mob.
“Usually how we do it is I'll be home in Stockton and I'll put down a
bunch of beats,” Teak describes the process of working with the Lench
Mob boss. “I'll email them to him, he'll write and record and then we
get together. The thing about Cube is that he's really hands-on, he
knows what he wants to hear.”
Still, while Hallway Productionz is the grease in Cube's independent
grind, Teak told DX he's also producing music for Grammy nominee
Ledisi, Chief Excel of Blackalicious and even gospel rapper T-Bone.
“I'm really just branching and trying to keep it moving,” Teak summed it up. “It's really just crazy for us.”