Southern hospitality is alive and well at Stankonia studios in Atlanta, GA. Yes, the old adage was certified when The Crew was invited to the legendary home of Outkast as guests of in-house producers The Flush, to document their partnership with local production platoon SMKA for the second annual of Stankonia Sessions compilation project.
In between visits from Emilio Rojas, Los, Tech N9ne and a slew of other artists who were in town for the A3C festivities, we were lucky enough to sit down with members of both groups – The Flush (Rick Walkk, Jeron Ward, Go Dreamer & Bravery) and SMKA (808 Blake, Kato On The Track & Artist Sensey). Between speaking on recording complete compilations in four days and working with everyone from Big Boi to Jarren Benton and Spree Wilson to Freddie Gibbs, these gentleman showed they were not only capable of making hits, but carrying a great conversation as well.
If you’re interested in the interworkings of maybe the most well-oiled production house you’ll ever see, soak up some game below.
TSS: Obviously, everyone’s come together here because of Stankonia Sessions Volume 2. The project is very unique, as it’s bringing together different artists from all walks of life. How do you pick and choose the artists?
Jeron: Well, it’s a process that involves Mike of SMKA, where we basically just go through the entire roster of A3C. It’s really cool this year, with Mike being really connected to the festival, because we have a really direct – pretty much – partnership with all the events here.
So, we just hit up the roster, go down the list and just hit people up. Our whole intent is to see the greatest, but most unexpected collaboration we can create – being the fact that everyone’s here in the city at one time, which only happens in Atlanta at this one time. So, we wanted to take full advantage of that and pair together some people that wouldn’t typically be together on a track. And, do it at the home of historic music in Atlanta, Stankonia recording studios.
TSS: The list is pretty versatile. Are there any artists you were new to, that you really didn’t know what to expect from? And, how does that parlay into the situation in general?
808 Blake: Well, there’s a lot of ‘em. [Laughs] You can only listen to so many people. If one person is like ‘this dude is dope, I think you should bring him in.’ You just say, ‘cool,’ even though may never heard of him. Then, you hear him spit and you see why they said he was dope.
Leaving this weekend, I got a new understanding. Shit, we’ve already worked with 15-20 people that I hadn’t heard, just because they’re in a different region than I am. But, I think they’re dope and now I want to follow what they’ve got going on. So, it’s pretty cool, because you get opened to some things you don’t see every day.
Jeron: I definitely got hit with a good amount of surprises this year. You know, we’re all producers here, so there’s a mutual respect, where if he vouches for somebody…I take his word for it. Like, Los…he came through and went ham on a track (“The Sparks”). Soul Khan.
Rick: Soul Khan. Man that was my biggest surprise. I’d never heard him, but I’ve heard a lot of people say he’s a good battle rapper and makes good music, as well. When he went in the booth?
Jeron: Everybody was like ‘whoa!’
Rick: I’m talking about it got quiet. [Drops jaw] Yeah. That guy. So far, that was my biggest surprise and this is only day two and a half [Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted on the second night of A3C].