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They say behind every great artist, there’s a great team. Couldn’t be more true in this case. Here’s a guy who plays the back role, but his work is recognized globally.
Meet one of T.I.‘s top Grand Hustle engineers: Brad ‘Dirt’ Horne
97.9 The Beat: So Brad, just how important is it for an artist to have the right mix on their record?
Brad: So important…think of it as a certified mechanic and a dude that does brakes in his baby mama yard. Would you let someone work on your Ferrari that hasn’t been trained? Your work is more important than even that example…
97.9 The Beat: I’ve checked out a brief amount of your work on All Music, but tell me more about some of the artists you’ve worked with and the songs you’ve added sauce to with your mixing?
Brad: LOL “the sauce.” I laugh ’cause b4 all the talk of sauce, one of the producers Sauce Lord Rich (of FKi) was kickin’ that sauce shit hard… But there’s so many artists from features to just un-released music that I’ve worked on and sauced up–but honestly I don’t have a favorite. I LOVE everything I’ve had the honor to work on. The music is far more important than any one artist to me. From the people no one knows yet on up to TIP, Eminem, B.o.B, Nicki Minaj, and all the other great artists.
97.9 The Beat: How did you hook up with T.I and Grand Hustle?
Brad: Wow, well believe it or not I didn’t even live in ATL, but my father knew some people in the industry and someone who knew me gave my name to the GM of Grand Hustle —Hanna Kang. She was really the first person I had contact with, aside from catching Dro in Detroit at one of our radio stations. But she said come in for a meeting with the chief engineer, Elliott Carter, so the next day I flew in. I took my best friend (’cause let’s be real I’m from The D and I don’t go no where alone lol). But E and I hit it right off. He offered for me a stand in position (which means I kind of would hang around and do sessions if they arose) and to come back when I got things together in Detroit… I told him S#*% fam, I’m here let’s work. Everyone loved that attitude so I started with Dro, Alfa Mega, and then was a stand in if E wasn’t available for TIP… And that what was wow, February 2007.
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97.9 The Beat: In what direction do you think hip hop is going? I mean, hip hop has been through different stages from conscious rap, to gangsta rap, to mumble rap. What do you think’s next?
Brad: By no means could I speak on what the next wave of music will be, but I appreciate/respect all the new twists on something as fragile, beautiful, strong, and unique as hip hop. No matter which way it goes it’ll be the voice of the people (rather young, old, male, or female). I also think the new innovations for recording and performing will have a lot to do with how hip hop is previewed. The fact that music moves in such a fast way now from the time you create something in your head, it could technically be performed within minutes (which may seem silly but when something is right, it’s right).
97.9 The Beat: In regards to experience, how many years would you say you’ve been in the Music Business?
Brad: Well like I mentioned I’ve been with Grand Hustle/Hustle Gang for 11 years, but myself along with two of my best friends, LaShonda and Waves, had a studio in Detroit and serviced clients like the City of Detroit, the late, great Proof (of D12), and artists on Iron Fist Records. So if I had to put a number on it, I’d say rolling up on 20 years.
97.9 The Beat: What’s the best way for an artist who’s serious about their craft to get in touch with you for your mixing services?
Brad: Well I’m a direct person so you can always reach out. I return emails always but social media is fine too. @313dirt on Instagram and my email firstname.lastname@example.org.
97.9 The Beat: Random question, what’s your favorite thing to drink?
Brad: LOL. Remy Martin V.S.O.P or better. I’m really an X.O. Drinker…. “BALLIN”
Interview by 97.9 The Beat‘s Online Editor Farlin Ave (@farlinave)
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