Jazze Pha says getting dropped as an artist from Elektra Records led to his career in production.

If Memphis-born producer Jazze Pha hadn’t been dropped from Elektra Records years ago, it’s unclear if the musician would have gone on to produce hits like Ludacris’ “Area Codes” or T.I.’s “Let’s Get Away.” During a HipHopDX interview with Steve Lobel, the Southern beatsmith attributed his switch from artist to producer to his departure from Elektra Records.

Jazze says an engineer who would later go on to work with Puff Daddy and Aerosmith, helped with his production career.

“You know what made me become a producer? I got dropped off a label as an artist,” Jazze Pha said. “I was on Elektra Records…When the new guy comes in–He comes in with Digable Planets and all of that kind of stuff. Great groups. And I only had one record out. And I got dropped. I went back to Memphis. I had to go back to Memphis…He showed me how to work that machine and from there sold a beat, $400. Then $500. Then $5,000. Then next thing you know, we was getting 50,000, 75,000, 200,000, 250,000. 300,000 for a screenplay.”

During his interview, Jazze Pha dished on a number of his favorites. He named Quincy Jones as his favorite producer, and Andre 3000 as his favorite rapper. The producer later declared that he loves Canadian singer/rapper, Drake.

In regards to the current Atlanta music scene, he says it’s a lot more clique-y than it was 10 years ago.

“When I first came into Atlanta, I think Atlanta was a little more of a oneness going on. It wasn’t so clique-y as it got later on. Everybody kinda got a crew now,” he said.

Video of Jazze Pha speaking on his switch to production, can be found below.