Interview By Nasa Lamode:
Just east of Crenshaw Boulevard is a neighborhood with rich historic value, Leimert Park. The neighborhood dwells in South Los Angeles and was home to many well known Black celebrities including Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and more recently Dom Kennedy. Surfacing from the same neighborhood is SB.HiT, the record producer and entreprenuer known for designing cutting edge creations from start to finish.
SB.HiT started producing music officially when he was 19 years old under the original moniker, “Mickey Bass”. This was about 7 years after he moved to Houston, Texas with his mother, who relocated the both of them to escape the perils of Los Angeles. Her being concerned with him heading in the wrong direction of gangs and violence, which was consuming the urbans areas of LA at that time, would ultimately be the decision that changed his life for the better.
SB attended the popular high school, ‘Hastings’ located in Alief, Houston. Here, he would meet superstar Don Toliver and YungJosh93. Both of the young artists had already been rapping for some time, meanwhile, SB was skateboarding as a pastime. SB would eventually try his hand at creating sounds, confoundingly realizing he was good at it. He captured the ears of his friends Yungjosh93 and Don Toliver and together they laid down some tracks for “Playa Familia”.
Fast forward 5 years, SB.HiT is now a virtuoso of his own, producing music for popular artists Don Q and Metro Marrs who are both signed to QC Records as well as Casho a highly sought-after Houston heavyweight. SB is now making time to scale his brand and assist his long time friends within their own careers. We got the chance to sit down and chop it up with the mysterious man behind the photos to get a better understanding of his life, success and how he got to where he is now. Here’s what he had to say:
Nasa: We got SB.Hit the house. It’s an honor to have you here.
SB.HiT: Honor to be here.
Nasa: So even though this is your first press release, you’re not new to the game at all. We see you in photos often with a lot of A Listers. What is it exactly that you do.
SB.HiT: I’m a music producer and do a lil bit of management for talent in the music industry.
Nasa: That’s interesting. So I peeped that you’re back and forth from LA often. We talked in the past and you mentioned that you were born out there, but when did you move to Houston?
SB.HiT: I moved when I was young. I was 12 years old when I moved to Houston with my family from ‘Leimert Park‘, Los Angeles.
Nasa: Gocha. I actually saw you in a rap blog post with Don Toliver in New York, I believe. You guys actually go way back though. How exactly did you guys meet?
SB.HiT: We met in highschool and been locked in ever since.
Nasa: That’s wild. I’m sure there wasn’t a doubt in your mind that he would rise to fame, otherwise you wouldn’t be as tight as your are now. But you were actually there since the tip-off. I’m sure lots of work behind the scenes. Tell me a little about that.
SB.HiT: Don and YungJosh93 rapped on my beginning beats and that pushed me to stick with it and get better. Honestly, probably wouldn’t be this consistent if they didn’t rap on my first beats.
Nasa: Crazy to see how those steps you took paid off for the big picture. I noticed you working with other major producers like Sonny Digital and rising artists like Don Q and Metro Marrs. How did those connections break?
SB.HiT: Just networking and building relationships honestly. The game is all about relationships and networking. Can’t get anywhere without it. A lot of placements and connections come from people saying your name in rooms you’re not in.
Nasa: So when I initially met you a few years back your pseudonym at the time was “Mickey Bass”. Since then, you’ve rebranded to SB.Hit. What did both of those mean and why did you rebrand?
SB.HiT: I used ‘Mickey Bass’ because it was just the first name I came up with and actually had a tag for at the time. I used to put a lot of bass in my beats, so it just fit at the time. I switched it to ‘SB.HiT’. I felt like it matched my story and what I’m about. That’s skateboarding and making hits.
Nasa: Wait so you can skateboard?
SB.HiT: I been skating since I was 12
Nasa: I remember once you told me that you only wear Jordan 1’s and SB’s. Is this why?
SB.HiT: Honestly, I have always been a Dunk type of person and Jordan 1s were the first skate shoe. That’s why Dunks look the way they do. I like Nike SB because how creative the shoes are themselves and that represents who I am creatively and my character. So both are really just my image and represent me as a person, without me having to say too much. First thing females look at is your shoes lol.
Nasa: Oh most definitely. I can dig that fashoo. So you career is in a good place and it seems to only be going up. What are some of your favorite songs that you produced?
SB.HiT: Honestly, my favorite songs I’ve produced are actually unreleased. But the good thing about it is, even though the world hasn’t heard them yet, I can actually ride around myself and listen to them and that motivates me to keep making music until the world gets to hear what I’ve been creating and working on. You know?
Nasa: I feel it. You produced songs on the EP “Playa Familia” too. Tell me about those and how that happened.
SB.HiT: Well Don T and YungJosh93 being close friends of mine- we were always locked in the studio, so that was just a product of our environment. Those records were recorded organically and just turned into being songs on their debut project as a group.
Nasa: What are some other pieces of experience that you’ve gained from working with the team you work with now?
SB.HiT: I learned and saw the game at the start up level and I’ve also seen the game at its highest level. And the knowledge I’ve gained from it is, you have to have leverage the game. It’s all about leverage, period.
Nasa: What do you spend your time doing now? Any new business ventures or records to look out for?
SB.HiT: I spend my time perfecting my craft. I’m shaping the narrative of what a producer is and the difference between a “producer” and an actual “beat-maker“. So I focus on pushing that narrative. I have a lot of records in the works, but with this game being an intellectual property type of game, you just never know what is certain. Honestly, things change on a day to day basis.
Nasa: I feel that. And i’m definitely tapped in. Any other knowledge you want to drop on us before you fade out?
SB.HiT: A producer and a beatmaker are not the same, lol. And to all the creatives, focus on creating LEVERAGE for yourself. That’s how you get pull in ANYTHING you do.
Nasa: Well I appreciate you dropping by and locking in. Cant wait to see what happens next in SB World.
SB.HiT: I appreciate you for having me and taking the time out to hear my story it was an honor fam.