Joshua “South Side” Luellen is on the cusp of becoming a household name thanks to Jay-Z and Kanye West. The 22-year-old producer had already been working tirelessly as an in-house producer for Gucci Mane’s Brick Squad imprint. If Lex Luger owned 2010, South Side is right behind him to snatch 2011 from their competition.
The two young men make up the 808 Mafia, and their trap star-friendly sounds have set the musical undertones for everyone from OJ Da Juiceman to Lil’ Scrappy.
South Side is credited with infusing his signature style within the majority of the new Gucci Mane/Waka Flocka Flame joint album, Ferrari Boyz. The Atlanta native is also responsible for much of the production on Brick Squad mixtapes and as if that wasn’t enough of a push to jumpstart South Side’s buzz, he also scored a track on the much-anticipated Jay-Z/Kanye collaborative effort, Watch the Throne (much to his surprise). The motivated newcomer is in the process of building a brand in Hip Hop, but he’s already thinking of the next move. From working with Brick Squad to G.O.O.D Music, South Side’s next plateau is imminent, his work ethic ensues that- no co-sign necessary.
On Brick Squad’s Creative Process: “Gucci [Mane] and Waka [Flocka Flame], they’ll hit me or they’ll hit Lex [Luger] like, ‘Shit, bruh. We gotta go in.’ And I’ll be like, ‘I need y’all to go in. But what y’all need? Give me two days.’ I’ll have your whole album done in two days. We do the beats first. Waka might be like, ‘I need some hard shit.” I’m like, ‘Alright.’ I play all the hard beats I got, or what I think is hard. It just works because it’s something creative altogether. It’s just a flow. It’s no particular, ‘We’re gonna do it this way and that way…’ We just come to the studio as friends making some shit.”
Family Ties: “I been around Waka since I was 17, I’m 22 now. When Waka wasn’t even a rapper- that was my homie. Get what I’m saying? That’s been my homie- for a minute.”
On Future Aspirations: “CEO status. I want my own production label, me and Lex already got it, we’re the CEOs – 808 Mafia. And film. We have Blaq [lead videographer/director], we got VA [videographer]… Tryin’ to do some film shit. Start our own film company.”
Bigger Than Rap: “I’m tryin’ to get into Pop man. We [808 Mafia] tryna do something and work with writers. I’m kinda getting bored with Hip Hop. I feel like we’re accomplishing… When we say Pop, we’re talking about Lady Gaga, shit like that. We got it too. Best believe we got it- right now.
On His Watch the Throne Placement: “Lex was doing ‘See Me Now’ and Gee Roberson was down there and Gee was just like, ‘Throw some beats on my computer.’ I was like, ‘Aiight.’ Threw some beats on his computer and Lex called me one day soon after that and was like, ‘Ay, bruh. I got a surprise for you.’ I’m like, ‘What’s up with it?’ He said, ‘You got a record [‘Illest Motherfucker Alive’] on Kanye [West] and Jay-Z [Watch The Throne] album.’ I was like, ‘Word?! Stop playing.’ He says, ‘For real bruh.’
On Work Inspiration: “Just before I make a beat I’m thinking I got a bill to pay tomorrow. [Laughs] Or my daughter needs some shoes. Or my buddy needs something. I’m always thinking about my friends and my family, man. Babies need Ferraris and shit. We got people to take care of.”