Thursday, June 23, 2011
Sha Money XL is a case study in hustle and dedication. The accomplished A&R is one of the last members of that fraternity of label executives who got their start actually making music. Realizing early on that rapping was not his calling, the Queens, NY native used his piano skills from childhood to become one of the most sought after producers in the game, having worked with Royal Flush, Tragedy, Onyx, Mobb Deep and many more.
Sha Money, aka “The Chain On The Bike” is also one of the key people who helped propel 50 Cent from mixtape phenom to GQ Cover model and mogul. As President of G-Unit Records he oversaw releases like the double-platinum group debut, Beg For Mercy.
These days, Sha Money XL holds the title of Sr. Vice President of A&R for Island Def Jam and has his sights set on blasting off newcomer Big K.R.I.T.’s career. But even in the midst of working various projects, he still finds time to give back by mentoring and motivating young artists to become future leaders and innovators in hip-hop. In 2005 he established an annual conference for Hip-Hop producers called The One Stop where the beatmakers of tomorrow are discovered.
Here he shared why Big K.R.I.T. is about to be the next biggest rapper to touch a mic and how Jam Master Jay inspired him to help encourage the next generation of b-boys and girls.
TUD: What’s one of your favorite moments in hip-hop that you were actually involved in?
Sha Money XL: It was my first trip to California. I went to this thing called “Rap Olympics” and that was the day that Eminem got discovered by Dr. Dre. And that’s where I saw Eminem in a battle where I knew he would win but because there was mad Crips in the building they didn’t let him win. But he beat that motherf*cker! That was an ill day! This was before Internet and before people could tape it and everyone could see it. That was my first trip to Cali and I hung out with Eminem. I didn’t really pay attention to the fact that it’s this white kid rapping but then when we turned around he became this ill dude and it was like, “You remember that kid that was with us that day and he was waiting to go upstairs to freestyle and he did that ill freestyle? It was like wow, we were with him! We were cool with Em before he blew up. That was one of my historical moments and then there was Jam Master Jay⎯the day I met him. That changed my life.
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