The Bad Boy production maestro (real name Deric Angelettie) joined Torae and Bonsu Thompson for an episode of Hard2Earn during which he reflected on crafting Ma$e’s 1997 debut album and showed love to Songwriters Hall of Famers Pharrell and Chad Hugo.
“Some songs you hear on here, for example, the Pharrell song [‘Lookin’ at Me’] they walked in with that joint,” D-Dot said. “Pharrell walked in and Chad and they popped that in and by the time maybe they got to number two or three we was in there like, ‘Oh shit!’ But it was them on it. It was them. I was like, ‘These dudes is fire!
“We already had some run-ins with them. Prior to Ma$e, they was already on with Total, they had already did the shit with Dr. Dre, so by the time they came to us, these dudes had — they were The Hitmen. But just two of them, they had the beats, they had the hooks, they had the instrumentation and they had a sound that was like, ‘We need that! Thank you.'”
D-Dot explained that his A&R tendencies kicked in when looking to add a scoop of The Neptunes’ greatness to the equation, which sometimes resulted in Diddy wanting to hop on a record.
“So as an A&R my ear is listening to what The Hitmen don’t do,” he continued. “So whatever we don’t do, I’m filling them gaps because there’s people that like this type shit. So let’s grab that even though and you know once we grab it, your man [Diddy] hears it and says, ‘I need to be on that!'”
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The Hitmen played an integral role in Bad Boy’s massive commercial success from the ’90s into the 2000s and the production team consisted of members such as D-Dot, Nashiem Myrick, Sean C & LV, Stevie J, Chucky Thompson, Mario Winans, Carlos “6 July” Broady, and Younglord. In 2015, Kanye West even joined the roster for a brief stint.
“Lookin’ At Me” was the final single released from Ma$e’s Harlem World and the track reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The album, which features guest spots from JAY-Z, DMX, Diddy, Lil Kim, Busta Rhymes and more, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Pop and R&B LP charts selling over 175,000 copies in the U.S. its first week of release. It has since been certified four-times platinum by the RIAA.
Meanwhile, Pharrell might have a pretty stacked resumé as far as collaborations go, but he still has a few people on his wish-list he wants to work with – including Playboi Carti and De La Soul.
The legendary producer sat down for a fan-led interview with The Guardian last week, and answered questions about everything from his great teeth to his skincare to his dream collaborations. Of the latter, Pharrell noted that he’s “overdue” to lock in with Carti.
“It’s always based on a vibe,” he said of what he bases his collaborative efforts on. “I like Playboi Carti. I think we’re overdue.”
He also added that he’d “do anything for” De La Soul while answering the question, “What album, past or present, does everybody need to hear?”