I can't help it. I'm an ass. As a producer I have to be. The reasons are simple enough for ME to understand, but not so for those who have worked with me. In a song I produced, one of my ex-artist said this line:
"Rhyme schemes never stay parallel/
Shep stays coaching us hard like Bill Parcells/
But I'm like fuck it - oh well..."
That's' not lie. All of the artist that I've ever had the pleasure (& pain) of working with under my wing I stayed on their ass about lyrical content. It's important & even more important as ever these days. A million people in the world want to be rap stars. Technology these days makes creating home musical recording equipment even easier to obtain. There is a flood of music out there. There is almost no way to decipher it all. YOU HAVE TO STAND OUT!
If you let artist get their way all of the time, 9 times out of 10 they won't be thinking about that aspect. You got the ones that wanna sound like Jay Z, or Wayne, or for the females Nicki Minaj, or the most annoying of them all, Gucci & Waka. That's not attractive to my ears running a record label. I don't want to be known for putting out clones of other acts.
I am an asshole on many levels. Like with R&B singers (or "so-called"). Im sorry, if you can't hit those notes right you are not a singer. You just make noises with your vocal chords. I'll make a "singer" redo 50 takes if that's what it took to make sure the content being sang was done right (of course I won't actually do 50 takes)! Luckily for me I haven't had to do that in a long time. I'll talk shit about you to your face if you come in mine talking about you can sing & I ask you to sing some simple shit & you fuck it up. I DON'T BELIEVE IN AUTO-TUNE to doctor vocals so dramatically that you have to sound like T-Pain in order for it to make harmonic sense. I will not work myself to death to make sure your voice sounds right on Pro Tools when all you have to do is sing it correctly...right from the jump. I use Auto-Tune & other products like it very conservatively & with lots of caution.
I hate beats that just go on & on & on with no soul. I don't do "one finger" beats often. I am a musician! That involves me hitting more that three notes on my piano or keyboard. That involves me using more than 808's & claps on all of my beats. That involves me using various tempos & swings in my drum patterns. If I hear producer's beats that sounds the opposite of that I won't even pay it any attention.
I like rap content with weight. That means that the rap has to be real as well as entertaining. It has to be solid as well as compilable. I can get down with a non-lyrical MC if he/she attempts to talk about something...ANYTHING real & anything that is not a fad or a gimmick. Everybody wants to aim for the big time when they attempt to rap, but here's something to think about. Record labels release on average about 49,000 albums a year... that's annually. Out of that 49,000 only 30 goes platinum... that's 30 across ALL genre's of music. There are reasons for this, but reasons aside...doesn't that make you rethink what YOUR place is in the world of music down here at the bottom?
So being an asshole has it's advantages besides being somewhat feared. My key to my success is my toughness, so don't expect me to be less of an ass soon!