S-1 (Symbolyc One) has been enjoying the success that comes along with producing records for artists such as Beyonce, Jay-Z, Ghostface Killah, Erykah Badu and many others.
His latest hit record is 50 Cent's "My Life."
HipHop-N-More recently caught up with S-1 to talk about how that record came about and get his take on what it was like working with 50.
HHNM: Let me start off by saying that I love 50 Cent’s new single ‘My Life’ featuring Eminem and Adam Levine. How does it feel to work with 3 heavyweights like them on the same song?
S1: Oh man, it’s truly a blessing. It’s one of those things that as a producer you long to do. You desire to work with artists you grew up on. I’ve been a fan of 50, Eminem and Maroon 5. So just to be producing a track with all of them on, it is surreal.
HHNM: I’ve heard that the beat is almost 2 years old and 50 was holding it for a really long time. Can you please explain the background story to it and how the three artists came together on the song.
S1: Yeah so I met Dre McKenzie about 2 and a half years ago. I was sending records to 50 through Dre and Tony, the A&Rs up at G-Unit. Dre hit me one day and was like ‘I have held these 2 records for 50, he’s really diggin’ them’. One weekend I just happened to be in New York and decided to stop by G-Unit office. I talked to Dre, he played the two beats that 50 wanted. And coincidentally 50 happened to be there. He got out of his meeting and came to me and was like ‘yo, you got some crazy stuff’. He pulled me into his office and he played me the ‘My Life’ beat and started doing his verses and the hook right there to show me how he wanted the song to be.
HHNM: Oh so he already had the idea before you got there.
S1: Yeah, he already had the idea when I connected with him. But he hadn’t recorded the song yet. He spit the lyrics over the beat live for me in the office and was like ‘yo this could be really big’. And that was the last time I talked to 50. Throughout the 2 years or so I was hearing things from different people. Like this cat at Universal told me Eminem hopped on the record. Somebody else then told me Adam Levine jumped on it too. I was only getting little pieces of information until maybe like a few weeks before the song actually released when all the paperwork had to be done. That’s when I found out that they are about to release it as a single.
HHNM: Crazy. So do you have more work with him? Any chance he may have recorded to another beat of yours?
S1: I know he has one other beat of mine that he really likes but I’m not sure if it’s gonna make the album. He does have more of my production with him that he’s digging. I guess as we draw closer to the release of his album Street King Immortal, we will know better.
S1 was also behind the boards for Kanye West's 2010 banger "Power." Check out what he had to say about the record and his relationship with the G.O.O.D. Music CEO.
HHNM: ‘Power’ is definitely one of the most memorable songs you have produced. Are you working or planning to work with Kanye again?
S1: Yes, I’m always working with Kanye. In fact, I’m actually part of his production team Very G.O.O.D. Beats.
HHNM: Yeah I’ve heard something about that. So that’s like an official production team with producers signed to it?
S1: Yup, that’s his production team Very G.O.O.D. Beats and I’m very much a part of that. I’m always working with Kanye. He has maybe like 20 records with me (laughs). Where they’ll end up I have no idea but yeah, I’m always involved with stuff he’s working on, whether it’s his solo project or a G.O.O.D. Music compilation album. I’m always contributing my ideas of work to him.
HHNM: 20? Wow. Well he’s supposedly working on his new solo album so hopefully we’ll hear you on that.
S1: Oh yeah, he’s gearing up to like really go in on that. I’m definitely excited about being a part of that.
To read more about what kind of software and equipment S1 uses to craft his music, his 3 favorite producers, his upcoming projects and more head over to HHNM.
"My Life" is now available on iTunes.