Real Dreams Episode 13 – No Malice of THE CLIPSE

Day 13 – No Malice

The very first song of my very first album is basically the most important song of my career. It introduces me as a producer to the world, and it also sets the stage for my entire project, Real Dreams, which I’ve been working on for almost 2 years now. The dream has now become a reality. For this track, I reached out to none other than the legendary rapper No Malice, one half of the Clipse, the legendary Virginia-Based due of super-producer Pharrell Williams. “Skateboard P” is my favorite producer. His energy, talent, vision and persona have inspired me to become a producer. Next to greats like Dr. Dre, Timbaland, Ryan Leslie, he is hands down one of the few artists I can honestly say I would be nervous to be around. And I’ve been around quite a few stars. But Pharrell is basically a big reason why there is “Swissivory” as a producer.

So it was only a fitting tribute for me to have No Malice on my album, as the intro to my Real Dreams project. After 14 years in the game as a DJ and 24 years as a pianist, I needed to make sure I bring my A game to this playing field. The risk of the entire project was that no matter how hot my beats come out, there’s always a big chance of the artist not delivering the vocals the way they should. So it’s a true blessing not only to have these multi-platinum recording artists on my record, but to have them bring their best work in terms of quality is a testimony to the caliber of artists involved on this project.

With No Malice, after discussing the album concept, he asked me for a really specific type of beat, giving it a 90’s vibe on the drums, yet an epic / dramatic feeling. That’s why the song starts with epic strings, and a heavy baseline. Once the dirty drums kick in, I was blessed to have JC Collins of the Finest, a singer-songwriter who’s worked with artists such as Rick Ross, … lay his vocals for a singing intro to fit with the melodic vibe of the strings. Once the verse starts, the incredibly recognizable voice and flow of No Malice takes the listener by storm and the Real Dreams journey starts. It’s hard to imagine that the lyrics are all super-clean, just by the tone and color of his voice, the amount of grit and fury in his vocals literally rip the beat apart, another classic 16 bar verse by the veteran rapper.

I used to listen and spin records, acapellas and instrumentals by such artists. Now I’ve actually produced a record with them, they say my name and rap on my beats. That’s a dream come true, and I’m still trying to get used to it. Some people asked me why I didn’t do this before, and I think the reason is simply that it wasn’t the right time yet, until now. Now is the right time for #realdreams.