This is a HUGE look for Hip Hop...
Sometimes we are so focused on the artist & producers we see and hear about everyday on blogs (mainly for drama) that we miss the REAL power players who deserve the attention for their talent (not drama) and for making power moves on a whole other level.
ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) had their 27th Annual Film & Television Music Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, CA where they honored one of Hip Hop's Legendary artist/producers, Def Jef for producing one of The Most Performed Television theme songs of 2011, "The Game" (BET sitcom).
Aside from producing the opening theme for BET's sitcom "The Game"... Jef has also produced for everyone one from Nas, Snoop, Mary J. Blige, Maxwell, Tupac to producing some of our favorite TV Theme songs like "That's So Raven", MTV's "Lyricist Lounge Show" & Queen Latifah hit sitcom "Living Single".. just to name a few.
iamcocoa.com caught up with Def Jef to ask how it feels to be honored by ASCAP with such a prestigious award... he responded:
I was honored to be among the top composers in film and tv not only because it showed recognition for all of my years of hard work but it was also a win for Hip Hop. We were the only African American recipients that night and I was the only producer with a Hip Hop background to ever receive this esteemed award!When asked how he went from Hip Hop artist/producer to TV & Film producer Jef responded:
I want to inspire other writers and producers with A Hip Hop background (and no formal musical training as I have not had) to realize that other avenues and "lanes" are available. You don't have to be confined to chasing that next big hit song. Being a music producer/artist with several relationships in place helped me a great deal in getting involved in this genre so I was fortunate in that respect but I still had to have to deliver.
Opportunities were slim to none back in the late 80s when I did my first theme song or "main title" for a video show titled "Pump It Up" on the fledgeling Fox network, but the opportunities have since drastically increased although it remains a highly competitive field. Once you are in, its up to you to deliver.Click here to contact Jef and visit his Facebook
It is definitely a much more demanding gig than the traditional song/track creating process of the music business. I didn't quite grasp the whole "composer" thing in the beginning, I just looked at it like I was "making a beat" for a TV show. I later learned that making a beat/track IS composing but you have to learn the lingo of the film/TV world and be able to deliver music at a faster pace than what you are probably accustomed to... UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. You also have to work closely with TV and film producers on their vision not yours. All things considered, ego is left at the front door.