Grammy Award-winning producer Stevie J has a résumé most producers only dream of — his collaborations with The Notorious B.I.G., Diddy, JAY-Z and Mariah Carey barely scratch the surface. While Stevie is widely known for his appearances on Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta and Growing Up Hip Hop, it’s his work in the studio and innate musical talent that truly make Stevie J a legend.
Speaking to HipHopDX on Thursday (March 10), Stevie J revealed he’s currently on Star Island in Miami Beach, Florida putting the finishing touches on Diddy’s forthcoming album, LOVE, a nod to the Bad Boy Records mogul’s legal middle name. The excitement in his voice is palpable as he talks about reuniting with his longtime creative partner.
“I’m on Star Island with Puff,” he says. “We’re finishing his album, his LOVE album. We [Diddy and Stevie] working on the No Way Out 2 album with Jay Electronica, too. It’s going marvelous. He’s got artists from Justin Bieber, Ty Dolla $ign and Jacquees to Fabolous, H.E.R., Jazmine Sullivan, Kelly Price and even his new artist, Stacy Barthe.
“So yeah, it’s a wide assortment of wonderful artists that have come on this love journey with him. It’s like a baby-making type of album. It’s no trap music It’s just straight R&B love stuff, and I believe that’s missing out here because it’s so much trap. Don’t get me wrong — I listen to it, I turn up too, but I want something to play and it feels sexy, too. And I believe that this is the project that’s going to do that.”
It makes sense Stevie J is working on R&B material. Growing up in church, he gravitated toward gospel and R&B music early on. He’s also made several hit records with artists such as Faith Evans, Jodeci, Tevin Campbell and 112. For now, he’s just happy to be in the studio.
“Puff and I have a long history, so I just got called in on this project about less than a month ago to finish it up with him,” he explains. “I’m excited, I’m flattered and I’m even more just in awe of working with my partner again. We haven’t worked together in a while, so now we’re about to make history again.”
Diddy and Stevie J made magic on several tracks from Diddy’s 1997 album No Way Out, which included the Grammy Award-winning single “I’ll Be Missing You.” But the last time they collaborated was in 2015 on the Puff Daddy and the Family single “You Could Be My Lover” from MMM (Money Making Mitch).
Now back together, Stevie J is counting his blessings, saying, “I’m here and I’m focused on this music. I’m focused on my new television shows that’s coming. But as far as the music goes, yes, you’re going to get another chapter. You’re going to get multiple chapters because I’ll never ever be satisfied with the last hit I made.
“I just want to keep making more, create more to be in the atmosphere over here. Diddy’s over on Love Island and all of that. It’s Jay Electronica here, one of my favorite rappers and producers. We’re here together making music right now, executive producing the No Way Out 2 album.”
He continues, “Jay’s been in his bag, He’s in his bag. He’s in his bag with his production, even his rhymes. He’s still in his bag. Just because you don’t hear from a great, that doesn’t mean they stop being great. Just sometimes they’ll need to hibernate for a minute and get some rest before they come back out.”
Stevie J is featured in an episode of TV One’s UNCENSORED on Sunday (March 13). Check back soon for Part II of the HipHopDX interview.