“The Illest Motherfucker Alive” – An Interview with SouthSide

Everyone’s heard of Lex Luger, but not everyone’s heard of SouthSide, aka Sizzle. Which is too bad because Lex and Sizzle came up at the same time, together, working as a super-producing team for 1017 Brick Squad. Sizzle has produced a number of bangers for Waka Flocka Flame and Gucci Mane, producing the majority of their joint effort, The Ferrari Boyz. Yet Sizzle’s most recognizable accomplishment, to this date, has to be supplying a beat for another long-awaited collab album, Kanye Kanye and Jay-Z’s Watch the Throne. “Illest Motherfucker Alive” is by all means a Sizzle production, his trademark snare drums threatening to overpower Ye’s towering orchestra sections and opera singers.

When I got the call from Shante, Brick Squad’s managing wizard, on Tuesday afternoon around 4:02 p.m., and she connected me with Sizzle, I was immediately taken by SouthSide’s imposing energy. Hell, I believe the dude when he claims there’s no downtime in Brick Squad’s weekly schedule. And if Lex Luger’s the chill one of the bunch, then Sizzle is more like four sticks of Iramite, aka ‘Super Dynamite’. That’s motherfucking explosive, homie.

Check the interview after the jump.

Congrats on your work with Kanye and Jay-Z for Watch the Throne.

Appreciate it. Appreciate it.

“Illest Motherfucker Alive” is actually my favorite record on the album. How’d you get involved in that?

I was in the studio with Lex Luger when he co-produced the “See Me Now” record, when he was adding the stuff onto it. And Ye’s manager was in there, and Ye’s manager was like, “Give me some beats, man. I might get you a placement or something you won’t believe.” From there on it just went like that. Kanye hit us and was like, “Yeah, I want the track so I can do what I do to it.” So I sent him the track out and we got the “Illest Motherfucker Alive”.

I immediately recognized your drums on that beat, like the snare. How much of the record is your original beat, and what did Kanye add?

Kanye added mostly all the synths. I did the drums, the snares, the hi-hat, and the breakdowns. Basically I added the 808, the new 808, and he put his Kanye classical, musical space-synth stuff to it.

Yeah, the opera.

Yeah, the opera. You know how Kanye is. He go crazy with stuff like that. It’s like he sees a movie in his head or something.

Like on “H•A•M”.

Yeah, the “H•A•M” track. I loved it. It’s really a blessing to even be able to work with Kanye West, man, like truthfully, and Jay-Z.

I think your sound compliments, or clashes with their’s rather well.

It sounds amazing.

Is there a dubstep element to the “Illest Motherfucker Alive” beat?

A what?

Dubstep.

What you mean dubstep?

There’s a unique sound to the beat.

My hi-hat.

Maybe.

It’s just something Lex and I came up with. Lex and I do everything. We just sit and create stuff all day long. You could be talking about a sound and I don’t even know what you talking about right now. We do so much stuff. We try to do something new every time, man.

I read Lex Luger was your mentor. Is this accurate?

Naw, he wasn’t my mentor. I’m actually older than him. Waka put us together. We were both Waka’s producers, and we just worked together. We sat there and created a sound together. He just blew up first. I was just patient and waited for my time. That’s the only difference.

What else have you been working on lately? Any other records I should look out for?

The Ferrari Boyz album just dropped with Waka and Gucci. I did eight tracks on that album. We’re working on Waka’s new album. Working on his new stuff. Everything with Brick Squad. I’m working on some stuff with Rick Ross right now. There’s a whole list of people.

I like that beat for “Psycho” too, from Gucci’s Writings on the Wall 2.

Yeah, that’s some different new stuff. That’s different.

It has that dark, grimy sound you’re known for. But did working with Kanye and Jay-Z inspire you to start experimenting with new sounds?

No. That just told me I can do anything I want to do now. Like I can accomplish anything. I was already experimenting, because I like to do everything anyway. I listen to music. I listen to stuff Kanye does, stuff that Swizz Beatz does, stuff that Timbaland does, and I try to do something new, like start trap music. I’ve always tried that, and I see what comes up.

Who produced “Stevie Wonder”, Gucci’s new record?

I don’t know. I don’t think it was me. I would know if it was me. I don’t know. It might have been Mike WiLL. I’ll have to check and see. I don’t know.

Growing up who did you listen to, like other producers?

I was always a fan of Pharrell. Like Pharrell was just flashy. He was flashy and he was hard with the beats too. He could back his game up. He could back it up all the way. I was always into Pharrell and Shawty Redd, and Drumma Boy.

Three 6 Mafia?

They kind of paved the way for us to make the kind of stuff we make. Of course I grew up listening to Three 6 Mafia.

Where are you from?

I’m from Atlanta. I’m from the South side of Atlanta.

What’s a typical day like for a Brick Squad member?

It’s a normal day, man. Get up, go get with the rest of the brothas, and we just ride around the city. Go to the studio, go shoot a video. A normal day, man, get up and kick it. That’s how we do it. This is how we were doing it before we became who we are now. We still doing the same stuff.

I talked to Lex Luger a month or so ago, and he was telling me about his work ethic. Obviously you guys work really hard.

Yeah, real hard.

What do you guys do to unwind, or on the weekends?

Ain’t no unwinding. [laughs] For real. We do the same things Monday through Sunday, if there’s a show or we’re in the studio, we’re still making beats. Ain’t no unwinding until we accomplish what we’re trying to accomplish.

I think it sucks people still discriminate against the South, especially on the East Coast.

I got the number one record in New York right now.

Some people still hate on Gucci though. In Toronto, where I’m from, it’s a whole other story though. I was playing Gucci in the car the other day, and someone from another car rolled down their window and yelled, “Gucci!”

[laughs] That’s crazy, man. That’s crazy. [laughs]

Why do you think some people still can’t embrace the South?

I’m going to be honest. I think they’re having a hard time dealing with the fact that this sound won. When it first came about, everybody was like, “That shit ain’t going to go nowhere. It ain’t going to do nothing.” And then the South took mixtapes and made mixtapes the biggest thing in the Hip Hop industry. When Gucci started out, people just called him a mixtape rapper, and that was a bad thing that people did mixtapes. Now that’s the greatest thing in the world, when they do mixtapes. So basically we stayed consistent. By us staying consistent, you can hate it, but you’re going to end up loving it. At the end of the day, I don’t know why they’re hating. I don’t know why they still don’t like it. Maybe because they’re stuck to one era. Everybody has their own opinion, and there’s millions of people in the world.

Every East Coast rapper seems to have a record influenced by you guys.

What does that tell you? New York rappers on those beats though, so they like it.

I’ll keep bumping Gucci here in Toronto.

I appreciate it. You in Toronto right now?

Yep.

I think we’re supposed to be coming out there. I want to get out there, man.

That’d be sweet.

Yep, Lex and I. We’re going to try and get that together. I need to come up there and work, and get it poppin up there.

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Written by Peter Marrack

Comments
7 Responses to ““The Illest Motherfucker Alive” – An Interview with SouthSide”
  1. chrisfacebook123@yahoo.com' cease says:

    the Stevie Wonder joint was done by Drumma Boy

  2. petermarrack@gmail.com' Peter Marrack says:

    thanks, cease… sick beat

  3. dockevoc@yahoo.com' dockevoc says:

    I am proud to say that I have never heard Gucci Mane or Waka’s voices

  4. petermarrack@gmail.com' Peter Marrack says:

    ah, don’t say that dockevoc…

  5. fvckyocovch@swag.com' fvckyocovch says:

    funny shit is doc don’t even know what that say about him outside of the perspective of his little backpack strapped bubble. elitist scum all up in through here you heard!

  6. fvckyocovch@swag.com' fvckyocovch says:

    funny thing is doc probably don’t even know what that says about him outside of the perspective of his little backpack strapped bubble. elitist scum all up in through here you heard!

  7. litomuzik23@gmail.com' Lil Lody says:

    lol i steal this niggas beat all day hahaha

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