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Trav's Favorite Producers, Part Two – J-Zone

by Travis on September 21, 2007

Straight from a small planet called “Bitch, Please!”, J-Zone has been a somewhat hidden treasure in the hip hop landscape. Known for extravagant beats that employ many changes, switches and sound bites. More recently, his funk influenced beats with heavy bass tied to the sounds are becoming a trademark of his. Zone credits past production gurus such as The Bomb Squad, Sir Jinx, DJ Pooh (all fav’s of mine), Vance Wright, and Hollywood Impact (of Twin Hype fame) as influences of his sound. Coming from the east coast, one would think that Zone would be influenced by the east coast style stuff, but checking his influences and the fact he has never hidden his love for the old west coast and southern ig’nant rap. Its something that is coming more prevalent in his music. He is the Dick Stallion aka Captain Backslap, the drunken master of the “odd beats”.

Zone got his start playing various instruments as a youngster such as bass guitar, trumpet, sax, guitar and more. By age nine or ten, Zone was already collecting funk records, which was his original love and dreamed of playing bass guitar in a funk band. Soon he realized there wasn’t too many in Queens that shared his interest. It was around this time a friend introduced J to hip-hop. After already being interested in groups like Run DMC and UTFO, Zone was blown away by what producers such as Marley Marl and the 45 King and by 1991, he started experimenting with his own beats.

He would get a internship at Powerplay studios in Queens, New York, sweeping floors and basically being a gopher boy. He would watch legendary producers such as Large Professor in action when he was working Akinyele’s “Vagina Diner”. By the 10th grade, he would buy his first SP1200 and start his calling as “Capt. Backslap”. In 1994, J-Zone would hook up with Vance Wright, Slick Rick’s DJ, who he claims to owe his career to. It was during this time when he was interning and doing engineering, for artists such as “Greyson and Jayson” (he reportedly did a demo tape for them as well, but its lost), Amil & the YG’z. He would also do some work on Nice & Smooth’s “Jewel Of The Nile” LP. Grand Puba was also working on the “2000″ Lp at the same time. In between taking the garbage out and getting turkey sandwiches for Nice and Smooth, Zone would produce his first track for Preacher Earl, who was down with Nice and Smooth during those times. It was a promo only b-side called “Fool I Got Your Back”, but Zone got his foot in the door.

J-Zone would go on to college majoring in music and for his senior project, he would crank out the underground favorite “Music Tu Madre”. The track featured many guest MC’s and Zone behind the beats. The album would find its way on Zone’s label “Old Maid Entertainment”. The next album, or EP in this case was “A Bottle Of Whup Ass” (a personal favorite of mine). The next release was the underground favorite “Pimps Don’t Pay Taxes”, with his “Old Maid Billionaires” partners in crime, Huggy and Al-Shid. It was basically Zone more matured, but also contained some “..Whup Ass..” material was well. Zone would change shit up on the listeners with “$ick of Bein’ Rich”in 2003, which might have cost him some fans, as Zone changed his production tendicies and his lyrics. Bringing more crass for dat ass, and growth in his beats. Since then, J-Zone has done a remix albums, entitled “Gimme Dat Beat, Fool”, which featured Zone remixing classics by Eazy E, Redman, MOP and more. He did two volumes of his “Ig’nant Mixes”, did “To Love A Hooker”, a soundtrack for a movie that isn’t out. He also released a funkin’ stank ass album with Celph as Boss Hog Barbarians entitled “Every Hog Has It’s Day”. Zone has since announced that he is hanging up the mic and sticking strictly to producing. His latest projects have been monthly mix shows that are excellent, “Gator$ N’ Fur$”….

J-Zone – In The Zone (Brought To You By The Schooklyn Zoo pay Vas a visit)

1. X Factor – Sadat X
2. Tame Az It Ever Wuz – Tame One
3. In The Zone – Akinyele
4. In The Stoney Lodge – Cage
5. Aknel – Akinyele
6. Happy Hour – Copywrite
7. Say That Then – Casual
8. Squeeky & The Head Detective – Louis Logic
9. It’s Going Down – Prince Po
10. Artillery – High & Mighty
11. Extra Thug Sauce – Magik Most
12. Taken – GM Grimm
13. Monday Night Raw – Access Immortal
14. Heat – Tame One
15. Dancing – GM Grimm
16. Never Ending Sega – 7L & Esoteric
17. Strange – Louis Logic
18. Slick Talkin’ – Weathermen
19. Not Me – Wordsworth
20. Brawl – RA The Rugged Man
21. Meet Me At The Bar – Prince Po
22. This Far – AWOL One

J-Zone – In The Zone Part 2 (No Track List, from Schooklyn Zoo as Well)

July Gator$ N’ Fur$

August Gator$ N’ Fur$

September Gator$ N’ Fur$

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