In this exclusive interview with HipHopSince1987 multi-platinum producer, Bud’da chatted about composing music for the hit crime drama Black Mafia Family out on the Starz network.
Welcome to Hip Hop Since 1987. You have had an incredible career so far amassing an impressive resume producing many artists nationally.
Going way back, tell us how you got connected to fellow Pittsburgh native Sam Sneed.
Sam Sneed is a good friend of mine from the city. Both Sam and I knew each other because of our reputation in Pittsburgh for doing music, and we used to do music for a cousin of his named Godfather. When Sam moved to California and started working with Dr. Dre he came back to Pittsburgh and mentioned that he would like for me to come to California and be a part of a crew he was putting together to do music for an album that he was about to record.
During that time, you helped define the west coast Gangsta Rap sound of the ’90s. Did you know at that time how impactful it would be?
I had no idea about anything but the creativity! I’ve always loved the process of making music and spent many nights out for the sake of having fun to just being in the presence of music creating! Even when my career started to irrupt, I feel like I was still sheltered in a cocoon not aware of the impact it was making.
Around what time did you transition into film and television?
The funny thing is when I think about starting into film and television I think about where Wikipedia stopped, and IMDb picked up!
A lot of things halted in the year 2001, Aaliyah passed away which was devastating, and not too much to long after that 9/11 happened and my whole world was turned upside down.
My first television experience was doing the music for the Disney show The Proud Family. The creator Bruce Smith knew of my music history, and I had a good friend that worked for him that let me know they were looking for a composer. I had no idea that it would change the whole trajectory of my career! Had it not been for Bruce being so much of a teacher and mentor to me in that time as a composer, I don’t know what I would be doing right now.
You more recently began producing music and writing songs featured in the 50 Cent crime drama Black Mafia Family (BMF) out on the Starz network. Tell us how that came about.
Me writing songs for BMF on the STARZ network came through another good friend of mine. Relationships are everything! The music supervisor Derrick Big Tank Thornton contacted me and asked if I would be interested in submitting music to license for the show. I have always been a big fan of period pieces. Creatively the 80s is the era of hip-hop that I know from the very beginning, so it was a no-brainer for me to commit to being a part of the show!
The show is now in its second season set to air on Oct 30, 2022. What can we expect from the new season’s music composition?
Well as far as my contribution to songs being licensed you can expect more authentic 80s hip-hop and R&B. Last season we did early 80s but as the seasons progresses, time moves forward, and we start to transition more into the mid-80s music style.
Aside from BMF, you have been creating music for multiple hit TV shows including ‘Swagger’, ‘Ravens Home’, ‘The Chi’, and ‘Our Kind of People’ to name a few. Can you tell us some of your favorite pieces so far?
Well to tell you the truth one of my favorite pieces of music that I created was for the show ‘Our Kind of People’ where I wrote a song, and did the music, for a dance party wedding type call and response record named Jiggle! I don’t proclaim to be a singer or a rapper I am a music producer and composer, but I am grateful for not only the opportunity to submit music for TV shows but to write songs and perform them has definitely stretched me beyond my comfort zone and I’m grateful for it!
I also enjoyed doing a song with my wife called ‘Every Day Christmas’ that was in the Christmas episode of The Chi. It’s a song about making every day like it’s Christmas but it still fits the theme of the scene!
Another song that I enjoyed doing is ‘Slide Baby Slide’ which was a 1940s rendition of flapper music, and how I utilized live horns with muted trumpets. The song was performed and written by Francci who nailed the vibe to a T!
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