In association with my man Tevin, founder of Pittsburgh Sound, I’m privileged to present this new interview with Taylor Gang and 2011 XXL Freshman Producer Sledgren, who’s most prominent production credit to date comes as Wiz Khalifa’s Kush & OJ fruits of labor, “Never Been”! Originally intended to take place over the phone, our interview ultimately occurred through email. Why was Sledgren’s production famously absent from Wiz Khalifa’s debut album? How does he feel Rolling Papers compares to Kush & OJ? Find out that and more below…
Muzik’s My Life: Your real name is Edward, so how did your moniker Sledgren come to fruition?
Sledgren: I used to be called Edgerrin because of the football player [Edgerrin James] and somehow, someone added an ‘sl’ and changed the spelling.
As a gamer, how do video games tend to influence your productions?
Music period influences me the most. Video games give me other outlets for ideas.
How do emotions tie into your productions? Do you ever produce something based on the way you feel at the time, or a type of emotion you want the instrumental to portray?
Not at all. I just make beats, save them, and keep going.
As a producer, do you feel like you hear music differently than the Average Joe? Perhaps even have more of an appreciation for certain things you hear in music?
I think I hear differently. I love deep melodies and organized drums. I can tell when a lot is put into a song, whether it was the beat or the lyrics. I actually take other people’s beats apart in my head and rebuild them if I like [the beat], or can’t figure out what it is exactly I like about it.
Congratulations on becoming a 2011 XXL Freshman Producer! What does this honor mean to you, personally?
Means a lot to me. XXL is one of the first major publications that noticed me.
On Twitter you recently said, “When we first listened to Kush & OJ, I knew the impact it would have. We listened to it straight through about 10 times.” What was the initial reaction or feeling shared among you and the Gang while listening to Rolling Papers for the first time?
We all never got the chance to listen to Rolling Papers as a whole. We had alot more at the time to gain when we released Kush & OJ. Rolling Papers meant more, but Kush & OJ I feel was one of the biggest projects to get us to that certain point.
Your production is famously absent from Rolling Papers. Why do you feel that is, and can fans expect to hear your production on Wiz’s next project?
A lot of records weren’t used that were initially meant for that project. That happens a lot with albums. I’m working on production for High School—currently and through the summer.
Why is gin the best drink?
Try and you shall find out…