KillerHipHop Exclusive: EOM Interview
Elements of Music or EOM is a producer hailing from the state of Virgina. He is best known as Wax’s go-to producer. Together they’ve crafted hits like “The Adventures of Larry and Tina,” and “Coins.” Wax & EOM have hit their stride these last few years releasing fan-favorite after fan-favorite. But their collaborations weren’t always so magical. In fact, Wax turned down about 70 of EOM’s first beats until he came across the “Larry and Tina” instrumental. They weren’t even in the same zip code when they came up with “Larry and Tina.” Now this rapper-producer duo is like yin and yang.
During our conversation, EOM explains how he met Wax on MySpace, the troubles of working with him through the internet, his beats bringing out the best in rappers, the production equipment he uses, upcoming projects and more. Hit the break for our exclusive interview with EOM.
QuezKHH: You recently came back from Lollapalooza. You were out there with Wax. How was that experience like for you guys?
EOM: That was probably the best festival, out of all the festivals like [The Vans] Warped tour and South By Southwest, this was like the one that treated us the best. When we got there, we had our own driver [and] our own Cabana. I’ve never seen anything like that but yeah the whole festival was dope. We didn’t get to stay except for like 4 hours. As soon as we performed at 12, they put us on a plane at 4. So we didn’t get to use our 3-day passes or none of that. We didn’t get to see nobody. All we did was enjoy the humidity and enjoy the fans that came out.
KHH: It’s crazy how Wax can rock a Lollapalooza show from something that he created off the internet. So we know what the internet has done for rappers. But how has the internet changed the game for producers?
EOM: Aye that’s a real good question. I would say it saturated the market on one hand because I think you can make beats on your iPhone now. Everyone likes making music, or everyone likes music I would assume. So a lot of people are going to want to make music. Then there are a lot of producers who are selling 10 beats for 10 dollars and you get one free. It kind of takes away from the term “producer.” Now you got people saying they’re beat makers and all that. If you got an iPhone you’re a photographer or a cinematographer now. It just saturated the market.
But on the other hand, [the internet] made it so that we can reach anybody. I can get on twitter and hit up Wale or somebody and say yo man I made this and this project. Can you check out my beats? I can go right to him or right to any artist and they’ll like that stuff. They’ll answer back to you if they can see you.
It’s pretty much like a double-edged sword for almost anything. You can make the two available but also the potential outreach is incredible to me. It’s cool that you can just reach out to somebody and get right to them instead of going through gate-keepers.
KHH: You actually met Wax through the internet right? Through MySpace?
EOM: Yeah. I heard about him on facebook. Saw him on YouTube and hit him up on MySpace.
KHH: So how did that happen? Did you send him a beat? How was it like?
EOM: I sent him like…let’s see. I hit him up. I told him I liked “New Crack” and all those videos and I was wondering if he wanted to get some beats. He said sure. The first time I sent him like 40 beats, at least 30 or 40. It was a ridiculous amount. Then he was like ahh, I don’t know if I like these. So I sent 30 beats after that and he was like ahh, I don’t know if I like these. Then I sent him a batch of 20. I pretty much sent him like 60 or 70 beats. He was pretty much like, no, I like your beats and all but I don’t think that I’m going to use any. Then after all that, I just sent him one more beat. That was “[The Adventures of] Larry and Tina” beat and the rest is history. He loved that beat. That was the catalyst for Wax & EOM.
KHH: So “The Adventures of Larry and Tina” was your guy’s first song together?
KHH: Was the chemistry between you guys instant?
EOM: It seemed like it. If my memory serves me correctly, at the time he was trying to produce his own album: produce, write, and everything. At first he was hesitant to do a whole project with a producer he’s never met. After “Larry and Tina,” he pretty much picked all of my weird beats which I thought were wack at the time. But now I look back on them and it’s almost like they were made for him although I didn’t know him. Now I can only hear him on those [weird] beats, like the really out there beats. So yeah it worked out pretty well.
KHH: What was the biggest challenge for you guys working over the internet?
EOM: Probably just collaboration. He can like a beat and I like his raps, but he may say, can you change this this and that on beat 2 or something like that. At the time I was having terrible computer problems. I would lose 40 beat projects because my computer died or something. That was a big problem. We couldn’t mix and master the project the way we wanted to because of computer problems. It was pretty much the only problem. That and just if I had something to say about his lyrics. It’s kind of hard for me to say, yo I think you should go back and do this and this, and I’m not even in the studio with him. It’s easier if I was there. I could say, yo you should rap it like this. It’s harder for him for 2 weeks later, after he’s finished the song, and I’m like, hey can you re-do that. He sounded kind of reluctant. But it really didn’t happen that much. But when it did happen it was kind of like, alright, it’s Wax. I’ll just see what he does, and it ended up coming out tight.
KHH: Is it challenging to adapt to Wax’s different styles. One day he can hit you with serious stuff like “Larry and Tina,” and then he can do more funny stuff like “Pictures of You.” Is that a challenge sometimes?
EOM: Ah. I think that’s good how he’s a little unpredictable. Sometimes some of the real real raunchy funny songs, they’re cool, but when you first hear them, you’re kind of like, yeah alright, so I know these people are going to listen to this song and it’s going to suck and they’re going to get offended by this. I was the one worried about offending people. He was pretty much like, nah, I wouldn’t worry about it. I wouldn’t say it was tough. It was one of those things [I had] to get used to. But once I got used to it, I fell in love with his style. He doesn’t have a style like anybody else so it definitely works out. It makes my beats stand out too so that’s cool.
KHH: What is it about your beats that bring out the consciousness or the lyricism in rappers you work with like Wax and Dumbfoundead?
EOM: Hmm, if I had to guess, I would assume it would be my style. A lot of people would classify [my style] as “classy bangers.” Either that or they’re just out there on some other stuff. The more random beats work well for Wax and the more smooth beats work well for Dumb. Like the stuff I did for Shad, like “Yaa I Get It.” I’m not really sure what [my beats do]. That seems like it would be a question for one of the rappers [laughs]. I don’t know why. I’m not real sure how what I do brings out some of the best work I’ve seen these guys do. But I’m glad to be a part of it. Like I’m that dude they go to.
KHH: Where do you draw inspiration for your beats?
EOM: Music. I’m a fan of music. I just listen to everything from country to Cambodian rock. I listen to all that. Cartoons. Being outside. Hanging out with your friends and they say yo you remember that one funny show or something like that. Then I’ll go look at that show. Watch it for a while and hear some crazy sounds in that video and I’ll want to sample it. I pretty much get inspiration from everywhere.
KHH: What equipment do you use?
EOM: Right now I use, I want to say it’s a Roland. I don’t even know what it is. It’s like a JX-3P synthesizer. So I use that. I use this MIDI keyboard. I use a laptop. ProTools. The maschine, I use that. That’s pretty much it. Recently I’ve been trying to get away from the computer ’cause after a while I’m making beats on the computer [and] I’m checking my e-mail on the computer. I’m social networking on the computer. I just get sick and tired of looking at a computer all the damn time. So I may just switch to an MPC or something.
KHH: Are there any projects that people should know about?
EOM: I got a couple upcoming ones. [Here’s] some of the ones I feel people don’t know I produce on. There’s Shad’s project, TSOL. It won a Juno in Canada in 2010. That project is dope. I did a project recently with a rapper from New York named K-Prime called Dark Night, Bright Dreams. I produced that whole project. I did my own project called Further. It’s like an instrumental journey, like 26 beats.
As far as coming up, I got Wax’s album. That’s about to come out. Dumbfoundead’s album, that’s about to come out. These albums don’t have names yet so it’s kind of, I don’t know what to say about that [laughs]. I got a project with Intalek from Virginia. It’s called Lava. That’s coming out soon. I have a project with K-Prime that’s coming out soon. Well not a project, but some songs with him. Some songs with Breezy Lovejoy coming. That’s pretty much it.
KHH: Are you going to be doing any more rapping? I saw you rap on “Summer Breeze” and that was pretty good. So I’m wondering if you’re going to do more raps soon?
EOM: I appreciate it man. But, I don’t know. I’m not that serious about rapping. I was when I was 13, but I was just too much of a battler. I would listen to mad Canibus. I would just try to battle everybody and after a while, I was like, man I look like a fool trying to do this. So I just stuck to beats. If I feel the need to rap, I’ll do it. I like freestyling more than actually writing. So we’ll see. We’ll see.