Well, we’ve taken a couple of days off over the holidays, kind of a hangover fueled hiatus honestly, but behind the scenes we’ve been pulling at those 2011 strings.
Rahim Kara for example has put together this insightful interview with Sam Sneed that we’re sure all of Sneed’s, as well as Death Row’s, fans will get a huge kick out of…
For those who don’t remember Sam Sneed, he started his career in the early 90s producing records for rapper K-Solo and hip-hop collective, the Hit Squad. After signing to Death Row Records in 1993, Sam Sneed (real name: Sam Anderson) released his first single “U Better Recognize,” featuring Dr. Dre. He then went on to co-produce the hit songs “Keep Their Heads Ringin’” and “Natural Born Killaz.” In 1995, Sam Sneed made an appearance in the Death Row-produced movie, Murder was the Case. At the peak of his career, Sam has worked with the likes of 2Pac, Dr. Dre, J-Flexx, Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound.
In 1996, Sam Sneed recorded a full-length album on Death Row Records with his rap-group Street Scholars, also featuring his Death Row-label mate J-Flexx. The full album remains unreleased, but a recent press-release from WIDEawake has confirmed that fans will get to hear 4 of those unreleased songs on Sam Sneed’s brand new album, along with 10 newly-recorded tracks. The 14-track album entitled Street Scholars is scheduled for release on January 25, 2011 and will be available in stores and online. For more news and updates on Sam Sneed, visit his official MySpace at MySpace.com/SamRoth or Death Row Records/WIDEawake’ official website at DeathRowMusic.com.
What influenced you to become a record producer?
The love of hip-hop. All early 70s and 80s music.
What’s the story that’s attached with the name “Sam Sneed”?
Well, of course, Sam is my first name but Sneed came from my father who was a pimp in the early 70s and mid 80s. The name originated from the golfer Sam Snead who was said to be a womanizer.
Tell us how you signed with Death Row Records.
I believe I was 25 and I truly believe it was the laws of attraction how I met up with Dr. Dre. I always wanted to get with Dre because of the quality of his production. When I was on tour with the Hit Squad, all I did was ask people in California if they knew how to get in touch with him and through that process I ran into a young lady in Santa Barbara who was digging me. On our way to McDonalds, I was telling her how I was hoping to run into Dr. Dre and she told me she was Dre’s babysitter. Of course, I didn’t believe it but she gave me his home phone number and it was the real number. The rest was history.
What was it like working with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg?
It was a fun and great learning experience and yes I would be happy to work with them [again] if they reached out.
Tell us about a good time you had working with Dre and Snoop.
Working with Snoop on some of his skits on Doggystyle was fun and it was great to see Dre utilize his team of musicians like Christopher Glove, Barney Rubble, Butch Small, Tony Green, and Ricky Rouse.
What is your best and worst memory while you were signed to Death Row?
The fondest was when my record “Recognize” hit the airways. The worst memory was when Dre was gone and I got caught in the middle.
What was your impression of 2Pac when you first met him?
I didn’t really get to work with him, but he had a lot of good energy. Pac was cool but I believe later in the game he misjudged me.
Talk about the recording session of “Immortal”.
Honestly, I don’t remember that session. I believe the Immortals [Outlawz] jumped on that track after I left Death Row. But I do remember going into Pac’s session to hear him bless the tracks.
What is the real reason you never dropped an album on Death Row in the 90s?
Dr. Dre left and it wasn’t comfortable for me to be there anymore.
According to Daz Dillinger, you got a brain tumor because of an altercation with 2Pac. Is this true?
I can see how Daz could think that but that wasn’t the cause of my brain tumor.
Where were you the night 2Pac got shot in a drive-by in Las Vegas of 1996?
I was back in my hometown.
What was it that made you want to finally release an album?
WIDEawake reached out to me.
Where do you see your career headed 10 years from now?
Hopefully flourishing. Hopefully with a bigger budget you can expect to see greater records from other artists that I’m working with like Money Ink, a south based, and Ramaj, a phenomenal artist.
What advice would you give to anyone who would like to enter the music industry in your footsteps?
Educate yourself in the field of hip-hop, be unique as possible and you have to be an innovator.
Thank you for letting us interview you. Do you have any last words for your fans at StreetHop.com?
Just wanna say I really love my true fans that followed me thus far.