Sap: From the Back of the Boards to the Center Stage [INTERVIEW]


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The Breeding Ground is the home to some of the biggest names in today’s Hip-Hop market. Sap, the producer rapper from Delaware will be no different in making waves in the industry. The low-key demeanor of this young man is a polar opposite to the impressive moves he has made for himself so far. Making his breakthrough production with Philly’s Meek Mill on “In My Bag” led him along a nod-worthy path that has led him to Hip-Hop production super duo Cool and Dre, as well as given him the solid foundation to launch his rap career.

Striving to put a quiet region in Hip-Hop in the spotlight, Sap has fall into his own rhythm of juggling his talents. Tune into Sap’s first look on, as he tells us how becoming a producer slash rapper is about keeping the balance of good beats and good bars, about his support in hometown Delaware, and where he hopes to take his sound. Where did you get the name Sap, is that a nickname?

Sap: It stands for “Sound of A Pioneer”, and that’s basically a little acronym we came up with it was just a neighborhood nickname, we made it stand for something. That’s basically where the whole ‘Pioneers’ movement comes into play. It’s a very long acronym that means Passionate Individuals Overcome Numerous Encounters Eventually Reach Success. And that’s just a whole positive movement we have in Delaware that we go by just movin’ up in the game. An artist from Delaware, that’s not common to come by these days! How did you do it? Was it important to reach out to artists in big cities near Delaware, and then bring it back?

Sap: As far as producing goes and, basically I’d be making beats and I’d be on the Internet a lot, and I was just trying to get beats out to as many people as I could. And I just ended up coming in contact wit dudes like Meek Mill on the Internet. I was working for this rap artist named Joey Jihad, and that’s how got to Meek Mill, actually. And you know once you get with one guy that everybody else knows in the city, you get to deal all of them so, that’s how it all started. When you made that transition from producer to artist, how was that grind different?

Sap: Well I was blessed to actually have the upper hand in that situation since I was already had the production, and I already had those relationships with certain people. People gave me that respect because they respected my beats and the production side, so it really helped lead into it. I was still making beats for people and I was doing my own thing. So the artists that you chose to work with as a producer, was it a different process of choosing artists that you started to develop your own music with?

Sap: I just went with the flow. I worked with Joey Jihad, then Meek Mill hit me up on MySpace. Working with him led to me working with Freeway, and it was just word of mouth. You know you can’t force anything you just gotta let it go. Tell us about your relationship with DJ Young Legend.

Sap: Young Legend was a dude that reached out to me for some beats when he was working on this compilation type of mix tape in Philly. He had hit me and said “Yo, I know some people,” that would get my stuff out there. He used to DJ for The Game. So he sent some of my videos over to Cool and Dre and it was a really good look. It just went from there, they wanted to sign me to their label and make some stuff happen. Legend and I been tight ever since, we talk a lot and we work on different things together. But he definitely helped me make a move that changed my life. How has it been so far with your production deal with Cash Money, signed with Cool and Dre?

Sap: It’s been good! I actually have a lot of stuff coming out. I got something on Busta’s new album with Cash Money, The Game, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross. I got a track I produced with this new R&B kid named Neako with Future on it. I can’t give too much away! [laughs] That’s more than I usually let out. We appreciate the love! So you’re in Miami now? Or Delaware?

Sap: I’m actually home in Delaware right now, it’s random. I may be in New York, Atlanta or Dallas just working. Even though Cool & Dre are in Miami I’m not always with them. They’re running round doing their own thing and I’m running around doing mine. We link up and make things happen. So you’re doing your own thing now, from producing to rapping. Who is your favorite producer slash rapper besides Pharrell or Kanye?

Sap: I have to say Q-Tip. Or Eminem, he’s dope, a lot of people don’t know that Eminem produces. But I think anyone who has it down to an equal balance. A lot of producer-rappers get beat up because people think “Aw, if he can make good beats then we not gon’ like his raps. If he has good raps we not gon’ like his beats.” But I think Q-Tip, and Eminem have found their own lane, and the beats are as good as the raps. Tell us about your solo tape you got comin, “Surprise Surprise” What can we expect?

Sap: Basically a little bit of everything. Of course, the signature sound that I use. There’s this record called “First Time” is like my signature sound that “In My Bag” type of drums. A lot of people haven’t heard much rap stuff from me, but there are a lot of records on there people wouldn’t expect me to do like “Surprise Surprise” and I got this joint called “Female Friends.” It definitely has a lot of soul. A lot of people kind of know me for more synthetic stuff with heavy drums, but I do have a lot of soul on the tape. I just wanted to present a different side of music from me besides what people heard because the only thing about being a producer is, it’s not limited but it kind of is because you’re only giving the artist what they want. So if they come to you for a particular type of beat… that’s what you give them. And people say “Producers sound the same!” But sometimes it’s the artist that wants the same type of sound, so it doesn’t leave much room to grow. But my favorite joints on the tape there are probably “Surprise, Surprise” and “Act Up”. I don’t know, I have a new favorite like every three days, so! So Delaware was our nation’s first state! Number one. What are you going to be the first at?

 Sap: The phrase “Put Delaware on the map,” is so worn out I hate saying it sometimes. I don’t want Sap to be just the guy from Delaware, but I still want to rep home to the fullest. I want it to be something different though. I don’t want to be the guy from Delaware that just sounds like a fake Atlanta dude or fake Miami dude; I want to be a new sound and edition to the game. There’s no point of being from a place that hasn’t been touched musically in the industry and you sound the same as everybody else.

Sap’s mixtape, “Surprise, Surprise” is due February 17, 2012. Be on the lookout for new music produced by Sap with rising star Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, Lil’ Wayne, and more hits with Meek Mill. Get prepped for Sap’s next solo project too! “The Invite” is due in May, a family produced album featuring Sap in front and behind the boards. The album is produced by Sap’s cousin Jahlil Beats, Tone Beats, and Sap himself. Expect to be hit in the head with that one!

Check out Sap on YouTube Facebook and be sure to follow the young phenom on Twitter via @therealsap