It was hot and muggy, I was jet lagged (and hadn't slept for more than two hours), and I was tired of hearing Yellowcard (although I may secretly love "Ocean Avenue"). Welcome to the Warped Tour, ladies and gentlemen! Don't get me wrong, seeing Bad Rabbits, Watsky, and Wax was doper than dope, but I felt out of place surrounded by so little hip-hop. So, by the end of it, I was ready for some good old fashioned rap nerdery. Lucky for me, I linked up with producer extraordinaire EOM, and amongst the sea of Hot Topic connoisseurs, we found a place to sit, relax, and talk about nothing but hip-hop.
For those that don't know, EOM is the go-to producer of DJBooth favorite Wax. In fact, Wax's first studio album, Liquid Courage, was produced in-full by EOM. Since then he has gone on to produce a number of records for Wax, most recently, "Feels Good", and he even has a DJBooth approved project of his own in 2013's For All We Know.
How did you connect with Wax?
"I saw the 'New Crack' video on this Facebook group Hip Hop Lovers Delight For Life. This guy posted it on there and I checked it out and I was like 'holy shit!' I watched all his shit and looked him up on MySpace and asked to send him some beats. So I sent him a batch of 50. He didn't like none of those. So I sent him a batch of 30 after. He didn't like those. Then I sent him another batch of 40 and he wasn't fucking with those either. Then he was like, "I'm just going to produce my own album" and I sent one more beat, just one. It was 'The Adventures Of Larry And Tina' and that was it.
I was in college at Hampton University and I was just sending him beats. I was in my room making beats instead of doing all the homework I should have been doing. I thought I would be working at a bank or something. I completed my degree in finance, but I was expecting to like make beats for fun and work at wells Fargo, but now I'm like fuck Wells Fargo."
What's it like now? Since he has so many styles is he hard to produce for?
"He's pretty open to anything. It can depend on the day even. For instance, I made that beat 'Coins' and he finished that in a day, but for beat's like 'Wax Goes Bananas' I think, he'll spend mad time working on it. Then there are times where he loves the beat, but he'll know it's not for him. He has my whole collection of beats and gets first dibs. It's kind of hard. Sometimes he'll want to do an acoustic song, but sometimes he's in rapiddy rap mode. Like he'll watch battles and shit and want to knock that out real fast."
What's your process like normally?
"I have a shit load of records or stuff on YouTube and I listen to 'em. If I find a noise I like, I'll take it and destroy it as much as I can so there is still some creativity there and I'm not just taking ten seconds of this one song and looping it."
Do you ever sample anything you really love?
"Sometimes. I really like Stevie Wonder, so I did the Stevie Wonder project. I really want to do a Michael Jackson project, but I don't want to fuck it up. Also, if it's been sampled, I won't use it unless I can flip it differently. Recently my process has been to take a sample, flip it, and have people replay the flip."
Have you ever not been given credit or had a beat stolen?
"That happened with Chamillionaire actually. He used the song 'Summer In the City' from Liquid Courage. He used that beat and it still had the same guitar in it and I was like "What the fuck?" I guess he's still a big rapper, but back then he was huge, so I was like "Holy shit Chamillionaire used my beat!" He got that beat because a fan of both him and Wax sent it to him."
Did you make any money for that placement?
"No, because It was on a mixtape; Mixtape Messiah 7 I think. I got like maybe a hundred Twitter followers on top of my twenty followers when he tweeted me about it, but he didn't hit me up for more beats or nothin'."
Did that bother you? Did you want the "spotlight" so to speak?
"Nah. As long as the people involved know I made it, like, 'Yo, he made that beat, he's dope."
What do you have planned that you are excited about?
"I'm about to launch my own imprint, Black Mannequins, that you can check out at blackmannequins.com. It's basically me uploading and talking about all my friends' music and art. Anything they do I want to showcase it on my site. It's also a place for me to release my music, it's like my Madlib invasion. I'm about to come out with my album, I hope by the end of this year. No title yet, but it has Blu on there, Anderson .Paak, Wax, Random, Dumbfoundead, a bunch of people. Then I got a project coming out in October with Shanaz Dorsett called 'Mother Tongue'; it's more of a singing vibe. It's gonna be dope!"
I certainly didn't head into Warped Tour expecting to talk about Chamillionaire. I also didn't expect to chat with EOM, but getting to talk to the man who has had a large role in shaping the unique, diverse sound of one of my favorite emcees was a welcome treat. EOM couldn't have been nice and his personality, honesty, and talent and is as refreshing as the air conditioned room we chatted in. Although I think he owe's me a thank you too; our interview got him out of having to load the tour truck....
[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is “College Dropout,” but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth.]