As confirmed last week, Sean Price is guest-editing HipHopDX this week. We asked the Brownsville, Brooklyn emcee who we should feature, and he had insisted on borough brother Harry Fraud. Harry’s had a busy year, between co-billing on Rugby Thompson with Smoke DZA, he’s also produced a popular mixtape for Curren$y in Cigarette Boats.
In what Harry considers “the best interview I’ve ever done,” Sean asks his past collaborator about his trademark “La musica de Harry Fraud,” Surf School and more. They two also go on record to discuss a project they apparently have in the works together.
Harry Fraud & Sean Price Discuss “La Musica De Harry Fraud” Tag
Sean Price: Here’s the first question: who’s the chick saying the, “La musica de Harry Fraud,” drop in all of your records, and why did you decide to use a Spanish voice?
Harry Fraud: [Laughs] You asking me this is great. The chick is just a friend of the family, so to speak. She’s [an] artist, she sings and she happens to be of Dominican descent. And it wasn’t really that thought out. She was in the studio with my homie and I told him, “Yo, have her do a drop for me.” And she did, she spoke in Spanish for mad long, and then like a little piece at the end, she said, “La musica de Harry Fraud” and so I took that as opposed to her speaking mad long.
Sean Price: That makes more sense, ‘cause I know you, you definitely wouldn’t be the [yelling], “Harry Fraud on the Beat, beat beat!”
Harry Fraud: [Laughing] That would be fucking hilarious!
Sean Price: That definitely is not you, know what I’m saying?
Harry Fraud: Nah, that’s not me, you know I got to do something cool and like, weird —
Sean Price: — ‘Cause Just Blaze got the, “Just Blaze!” And that’s him. And I can remember Khrysis at one time, tried to get a little catch-thing. “Khrys on the board with the beats!” I’m like, “Get this shit out of here, man.” [Laughs] That shit was [Comedy drum rimshot], shit was The Gong Show, “Bong!”
Harry Fraud: “Yo, Evil Dee on the boards!”
Sean Price: “Evil Dee is on the mix!” Nah ‘mean? I’m used to that, he been doing that for awhile, that’s Dee. Everybody got [their] shit, man.
Harry Fraud: Yup, totally. Everybody got to have something to identify with.
Sean Price: Even me, “Buh.” I first met Guilty Simpson, we did our first show, right? He said, “Yo, you really do that with your voice?” I was like, “What?” He said, “‘Buh,’ that was a machine or something.” I’m like, “Nah, that’s me.” [Laughs]
Here’s the next question: what was your reaction when Simon Cowell called your walk-on theme music at the International Emmy Awards a hit record?
Harry Fraud: It was weird because my father called me and said… ‘cause he was getting my music through to the Emmy [producers] for me, “Yo, this motherfucker Simon Cowell just stopped the whole show to talk about your walk-up music.” And I thought he was joking so I was laughing and shit, and then he sends me the little clip the next day, and I was bugged out, man. That’s like the harshest critic in the world, so if he’s with your shit, there’s gotta be something to it. So it was a good feeling. It was cool. ‘Cause you know, Simon Cowell is the dude who’s like, “Nah, that sucks.” So for him to recognize my song, it was dope.
Sean Price: Word. [Who was] the other guy who was on the show with him? The one who would go, “Dog, listen…”
Harry Fraud: Oh my God, Randy Jackson! [Laughs]
Sean Price: I’m a little older than you, do you remember How to Breakdance books back in the days down at the library?
Harry Fraud: Nah.
Sean Price: They used to have books back in the- they used to have books like, How to Breakdance, right? And in the back of the book they would have a Hip Hop glossary.
Harry Fraud: Like terms, like a Hip Hop dictionary
Sean Price: Yeah, “’Fresh’ means this…” and “’Dope’ means that…” and “’Chillin”…” [Laughs]. That dude sounds like he learned how to speak from that book.
Harry Fraud: [Imitating Randy Jackson] “Dog, that was dope!”
Sean Price: He sounded like he read from that Hip Hop book.
Harry Fraud: Oh my God, hell yeah. That motherfucker made some money, though. He was like a record producer —
Sean Price: — Nah, nah, nah. That wasn’t a diss. That was just a general saying. Hey, he knows what he’s doing. He know what he doing, he just don’t know how to talk. Learn how to talk slang, that shit he need to know. That’s like P.M. Dawn trying to rap a drug story: leave it alone, B. That’s not what you do.
Harry Fraud: [Laughs] It’s okay to be yourself. Moral of the story.
Sean Price: The hardest thing [is] to be yourself. A lot of these niggas ain’t who they are or who they say they are, so when you’re yourself, it’s appreciated. That’s why I’m saying “La musica de Harry Fraud” they get that fix, ‘cause you’re not, you know —
Harry Fraud: — I’m not Mistress Prima on the mic [laughs].
Sean Price: “It’s like this, this, this,” with the nasty Echo chamber. “You know what I’m saying? My main man, man, man…” [Laughs]
Harry Fraud: Oh my God. [Laughs] This is the best interview I’ve ever done.
Harry Fraud Explains Producing Songs & Projects In-Studio With Artists
Harry Fraud: The process of making projects with rappers is like… it’s really just a lot of hanging out, and just building on the friendship and being comfortable with people. And then it just ends up with me and that person in the studio. Those three people that you mentioned: [Action] Bronson, Smoke DZA and Curren$y, I didn’t send beats and have them send back raps and all that. It was like, we sat in the studio, for the most part I probably made the beats on the spot in front of the artist, and then another 20% would be the beats that I had.
For [Cigarette Boats] I had all the beats done, but for Smoke and Bronson, I make most of the stuff there. You know, it’s basically just get in the studio, vibe with each other; most of the artists write their raps in the studio, so I think that’s another important thing, ‘cause it’s like common that we’ll be like – I’ve got a Super Nintendo at my studio, so we’ll be playing Super Nintendo game and someone will make that into a rap. Or we’ll fucking go to eat lunch and- you know what I’m saying? And that’ll make it into the rap.
So when you sit in with people to do the project together, it’s like both of your personalities shine through. And also I think that it’s cohesive, number one because it obviously one producer. But number two, it’s like you’re sitting, doing the stuff at the same time. So it’s like, you didn’t write one song in January and then go write the second song in fucking October of the same year. You write all the shit in the same time, period, you’re going through the same types of stuff. It’s got continuity that way. So that’s how that kind of goes down, and that’s why I like that.
Sean Price: You’ve definitely got a good vibe, ‘cause I remember one time I went to your crib and I did like five features, remember?
Harry Fraud: Yeah. That first time you dropped mad shit.
Sean Price: And wrote ‘em all on the spot.
Harry Fraud: Yeah. And that was just, you were feeling cool, we were feeling cool, everybody’s smoking. It’s like, “Why leave? Let’s get this work done.” So I think it’s important.
And I think the other thing is, I think with Rap now, especially us ‘cause not for nothing, rappers are lazy, like, inherently. And technology has made it so most motherfuckers, they work together, producer and rapper and… you know how many rappers I “worked with” that I never met, or never sat in a room with? That’s commonplace now, so this way that we’re doing it, it’s different shit, the EPs and all the projects, it’s different ‘cause it’s back the roots of that shit.
Sean Price: Nah, that makes sense. When I was making Mic Tyson, I went to visit Alchemist, I stayed at his crib and knocked out some shit, man. And then the joint I did with [9th Wonder and] Khrysis, and his whole Soul Council, I went out to North Carolina. And I think 9th sent me one beat in his whole life. Most of the time you’ve got to go there. It’s not sending you beat.
Harry Fraud: Yeah. I’m the same way, I’m very similar.
Sean Price: And I respect that, ‘cause you come up with good shit.
Harry Fraud: Yeah, and it’s like, what the fuck? I’m not doing this just to work with a bunch of rappers and send my beats to a bunch of rappers. I want to make really good music and I just think the way you’re going to make good music is really collaborating.
Sean Price & Harry Fraud Discuss Brooklyn Burger Joints
Sean Price: Really collaborating, just getting together, vibing about like- you said it, go out to eat. You know where I went the other day, you ever been to Bear Burger?
Harry Fraud: Nah, where’s that?
Sean Price: I went to Bear Burger, it’s in Park Slope, it’s on 1st and 7th.
Harry Fraud: Oh, I got to go over there.
Sean Price: I ate a ostrich burger, man!
Harry Fraud: Oh my God. Was it good?
Sean Price: It was great. And I had a elk Burger.
Harry Fraud: [Laughs] Oh my God. So what, it’s just all different types of exotic meats?
Sean Price: They make burgers with lamb, regular organic beef – like grass fed beef, turkey, bison, elk, ostrich and wild boar.
Harry Fraud: Wow, that’s crazy.
Sean Price: I had [an] ostrich burger and then I had the elk burger, sliders.
Harry Fraud: How’s your stomach feel?
Sean Price: I feel great. Actually, I was full – but no heavy-full. It was good.
Harry Fraud: Well, they say beef is very hard to digest, so maybe the other burgers are better.
Sean Price: They had some curry ketchup I’d never had before, it was crazy.
Harry Fraud: Yeah, fancy!
Sean Price: Fancy. Look, me and my wife, three burgers and some fries, shit was like $70 bucks, I’m like, “God damn!” [Laughs]. Just to fucks with three hamburgers. My wife, she didn’t experiment with the burgers, she said, “Look, give me a regular burger.”
Harry Fraud: She doesn’t strike me as the type of lady that’s going to experiment…
Sean Price: Yeah, she doesn’t experiment, man. I go all over the place like, “Yo, I just had squid salad,” she like, “You fucking disgusting!” I’m like, “I just ate a chocolate Madagascan cockroach,” she like, “Nigga, you a fucking idiot!” I’m like, “You don’t understand till you try it.”
Let’s get back to these questions, let’s see…. oh, here we go: do you have any plans of making a compilation album featuring various rappers over your production?
Harry Fraud: Yes, definitely do. I actually have a small kind of preview to that that’s going to come out at the top of the year. But my kind of compilation-single comes out November 6, and that’s called “Mean” and that’s featuring French Montana and Action Bronson. And that’s going to come out for free with Scion A/V. And then in February I’m going to put out a five-song compilation with all my friends; I’m sure you’ll be on there, everybody. All the homies. That’ll be for free too.
And then hopefully sometime in 2013, towards the end of 2013, I’ll put out the motherfucking monster LP. But I just feel like it’s important with the producer albums, a lot of times they come out and come-and-go, and they don’t really get that much attention or respect. So I just want to build it up real slow.
Sean Price: Yeah, yeah. I noticed that too. A lot of these dudes… there’s a lot of these albums that be on this one producer guy who’ll hit me up, give me a $1,000 for a verse. Then [they will] reach out to five others and give them [money]. Those shits don’t last; they don’t hang around that much.
Harry Fraud: They don’t! Because I feel like, unfortunately, often times you get all the guys you want and this-and-that and you have your list of people and you go out and get them. But that don’t mean that you’re going to make good songs. It’s like- I want to focus with compilation stuff and my production stuff… I want to put out really good songs. Like, the first song that I come out with is going to be monster, you know? It’s not like a little funny compilation, right? It’s a big joint that hopefully-
Sean Price: It’s an umbilical chord record, I know what you mean. [Laughs]
HarryFraud: So I mean, I’m definitely going to do that slow and right. I don’t want to rush nothing, man. Plus —
Sean Price: — Everything can’t be microwaved, man. Sometimes you totally got to cook it.
Harry Fraud: Totally. And I don’t ever want to get distracted from getting these placements and doing these projects on just the straight producer side, because that’s the first priority. And then my stuff will come when I’m in a more comfortable position than now. I’m still trying to get on my feet with all this stuff.
Sean Price: No doubt, no doubt. I knew you for awhile, so I’m glad to see the buzz you’re getting now, man. It’s long overdue.
Harry Fraud: I appreciate that, man.
Sean Price: And for real, I know you want to get greater later.
Harry Fraud: Yeah. I’m hoping for the same, my bro, so that’s why I’m kind of just keeping my head down, just working.
Sean Price: Here’s the next question: what other talents/hobbies do you have besides producing?
Harry Fraud: Well I’m an avid surfer. I don’t know if people really believe that or you know, I talk all that surf shit, but that’s really what I do. My kind of, hobby, is going surfing.
Sean Price: Yeah, that’s the next question; what the fuck is Surf School?
Harry Fraud: [Laughs] Well I grew up, as a hobby… my father is a very traveled dude, he’s from the border of Long Island and Queens. But he traveled a lot and learned how to surf so he always took me on trips, and to Long Island to learn how to surf in the summer. So that’s something I continued for my whole life. So really, if I’m not in the studio, I’m trying to go to the beach and catch some waves.
And through that, my crew Surf School is kind of something that I took from the surf world and then kind of brought into music because all we talk about is, our music is wavey and [we’re] putting out those waves. And Surf School is basically like my kind of young homies that are coming up, and we’re teaching them how to ride the waves. So that’s why we call it Surf School.
Sean Price: Do you catch waves in New York? You really can?
Harry Fraud: Oh yeah, hell yeah! The way I prefer to go surfing is at the tip of Long Island in a small town called Montauk- which isn’t really that small of a town anymore, it’s kind of like blowing up now, ‘cause it’s in the Hamptons. But that’s a little far out there, that’s like three hours. But the closer I go to Rockaway and all through there, which is only an hour from the city, I surf all the time.
Now at this particular part of the season, it’s kind of getting cold, so the hardcore dudes that want to go freeze their balls off, I’m not really into getting cold like that
Sean Price: Yeah you’re too skinny to be doing that. No protection on the bones. I can’t imagine you surfing in this weather, good Lord – unless you got waterproof long johns.
Harry Fraud: [Laughs] It would make a big difference, man. It would make a big difference.
Sean Price: People are crazy, man.
Harry Fraud: They are. But I’m planning a big surfing trip for January to go out, probably go down to Costa Rica, something like that and catch some big waves.
Sean Price: This is my last question, man. It says: explain how you met Sean Price. Me. It says, “Explain how you met me, Sean Price, and are you guys going to work on a project?” And, “What can the fans expect?”
Harry Fraud: Okay. Sean Price, I want to say in probably ‘05-’06, me and my best friend growing up, Eddie- who I started doing music with, like one of the first cats I ever did music with…
Sean Price: Eddie B!
Harry Fraud: Eddie B. We went to a Sean Price show at S.O.B.’s and we were hanging out. And I think after the show, you were standing outside and I was talking to some girl inside. [Eddie B] went to give you his CD that we just did. So he went outside, gave you the CD, he said you were mad cool, whatever, whatever. So then we go back to my mother’s crib, [and] we were like knocked out.
Then the next morning, Eddie gets a call on his cellphone, his number was in the CD – and he gets a call on his phone. And I guess you left him a message, and it was pretty much like, “Yo this is Sean Price, I’m listening to the CD you gave me, this shit is dope as fuck. Call me.” So then Eddie wakes me up, I’m fucking hungover, delirious from the night before, it’s early. Eddie wakes me up, [and] he’s like, “Yo, I think… I don’t know what’s going on. Either my cousin is playing a joke on me, or Sean Price just called my phone.” I’m like, “What the fuck are you talking about, bro?” So he played me the voicemail, I’m like, “Oh shit, you better call this dude back.” He calls you back, and I think you just said, “Yo, this CD is dope. Let’s chill, come check me.
Sean Price: He had another name back then.
Harry Fraud: Spazmatic was his name.
Sean Price: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Harry Fraud: Spazmatic Adjustable Ed was his name, and then I made him shorten it to Eddie B. ‘cause I was like, “Bro you fucking grown-ass man, you can’t walk around with a name like that.”
Sean Price: Right, right, right. Good call.
Harry Fraud: [Laughs] And you know, got up, drove over to your crib in Brownsville, sat around with you all day and smoked pot and played NBA2K on Xbox. And you played us- that was right before the Jesus Price Superstar album came out – and you played us the whole Jesus Price Superstar album, and we were like, “Holy shit!” And then, you know, the relationship was forged there. Then I think you and me kept running into each other here and there in little industry situations. And then I think from there we started to build-
Sean Price: We started working on stuff, right.
Harry Fraud: We started to do stuff, and I started to get little features and this and that.
Sean Price: I did like a thousand features with you, man. Only one I remember is the one me and Eddie did, and besides the awkward shit, other than that I didn’t hear nothing, and there’s way more than that.
Harry Fraud: But I think that shows you that I wasn’t bullshitting and I wasn’t one of those dudes calling motherfuckers up like, “Let’s hang out,” if I’m calling, I’ve got some money for you or opportunities.
Sean Price: I was like, “I’m giving a discount, man,” and you were like, “Alright, I’ma call you back.” And then you called me with two, and by the time I come over there, by the time I left I did like three more.
Harry Fraud: [Laughs] You come over with a couple of stacks.
Sean Price: I come in with a couple of stacks like, “Great fucking day,” know what I mean?
Harry Fraud: So I think we always had a good rapport from there. But that’s crazy, because on some real shit, you’re probably the first “real rapper” that was making money from Rap and had a real career that showed me and my homie some genuine love. It was good because that’s a time where I was taking it serious, but at the same time, I was a kid. When somebody that’s really doing it gives you a little bit of, “Yo, this is dope, you’re good,” it’s like, okay, this is not just my homies telling me I’m good, this is somebody who’s getting money and they’re doing this as their career telling me I’m good, he’s pursuing this.
So that was definitely an important situation in my career. 100%. That was definitely a very, very important situation in my career – and Eddie too, ‘cause Eddie’s still doing it too. And he’s doing good, he’s got his album coming out at the top of the year —
Sean Price: Did he put that other jewel we did on his album?
Harry Fraud: Yeah, he put that on his album. The “Warning” shit.
Sean Price: Yeah, the “Warning” shit. I can’t wait to hear that.
Harry Fraud: It’s retarded. So yeah, everything comes full circle. Both you and me are going to gear up to work on a project together, and we’ve both had so much go on in our careers from then, then we’re coming back to the starting point. It’s dope.
Sean Price: I got to do a song… we got to figure out how we’re going to do the other songs, but I’m telling you, I’ve got to do a song with somebody they don’t expect. I done a song with Action, but that’s going to happen a few hundred more times, that’s my G though. That’s my man, come anytime, I got him. We need to do something completely left.
Harry Fraud: Yeah, somebody left, but that you still fuck with. Because I know you, you’re very opinionated
Sean Price: Maybe we can get – I don’t know, you know [Wiz Khalifa]?
Harry Fraud: Yeah, yeah, yeah, totally.
Sean Price: Maybe we can get Wiz on there. That might fuck my fans up, they’d be like, “What is he doing?”
Harry Fraud: Wiz is the type of dude, if he likes the record, he’s going to do it. Like [Mac Miller] or any of those dudes, they’re very cool with shit.
Sean Price: I’m supposed to call Mac after I’m done with you.
Harry Fraud: Oh cool, tell him I say hello.
Sean Price: You want me to ask him a question for you?
Harry Fraud: When will we hear some of the Mac Miller / Harry Fraud songs that have been sitting in the vault? ‘Cause there are some that exist and they need to come out.
Sean Price: Yeah, I did a verse for him and didn’t give it to him, I had it for like a month. [Laughs] He went on Twitter like, “I’m gonna punch you Sean Price, I don’t care if I lose, I’m gonna punch you.”
Harry Fraud: [Laughs] That’s funny, man.
Sean Price: I’m bad.