The rap and R&B of Nashville have witnessed substantial increases in popularity in recent years
by gaining appreciation not only from streaming platforms but from national sites such as NPR
and Complex and attracting the attention — and dollars — of significant companies such as
Prescription Songs and Roc Nation . The bulk of the spotlight has been on the city’s plethora of
musical and songwriting talent. However, not less important is the enormous work done by the
procedures and music promoters to produce such an exposition.
A.B. Eastwood is a producer, musician, and DJ. Eastwood, who is a go-to for artists like Tim
Gent and Brian Brown, approached the Scene with the idea of writing a story about the vital
work that these behind-the-scenes people do. He emphasized the Scene’s quick expansion and
increased attention, in addition to the lack of focus on producers. The rise of Nashville hip-hop
has inspired Eastwood to “really make it all count.” “It’s given it some value. We’re achieving a
bigger picture of what we want to do and how realistic it will be.
Eastwood praised a number of local producers, including Jack Keller, LacMan, Chris “Dirty
Rice” Mackey, and Darren King. He also mentioned WonderTwins, a producing duo. Jeremy
and Jermond Prince, the real-life twins, have collaborated with Kiya Lacey, Bryant Taylor, and
Mike Floss, among others.
Jeremy Prince, speaking over the phone, explains the duo’s credentials. He recounts how
growing up in a musical family encouraged the brothers to develop their beats and tracks – their
grandfather played piano with Ray Charles. Their grandmother played piano for Dionne
Warwick, among many other accomplishments.
He’s one of many who recognizes that the current state of hip-hop in Nashville results from both
the quality and quantity of talent in the area rather than a trend. Now that the local hip-hop
community is becoming more well-known outside of the city, our native talent in genres other
than country, rock, and Americana is receiving greater attention.
Making beats and tracks is only a minor part of the labor for many producers in Nashville.
Producers in town, as Eastwood explains, take photos, create music videos, play in live bands,
and far more. To put it another way, producers must work just as hard as — if not more than —
everyone else to make a living from their art. They don’t limit themselves to hip-hop and R&B.
“I was mostly a beatmaker when I was in Florida,” Eastwood explains. “When I returned here, I
noticed that people were not only producing but also directing shows. Ron Gilmore is a musician
who also tours with other musicians. They accomplish a great deal. I know some producers do a
lot in other locations, but it’s quite common in Nashville.”
When questioned about his ambitions for the production community, Eastwood says he wants
more hip-hop and R&B venues and events in town, citing the enormously successful long-
running dance party The Boom Bap to indicate the need for additional rap-centric events. He
also wants to see genuine, fruitful collaboration between hip-hop and country music.
The mismatch between Nashville rap and country, according to Eastwood, is due to a lack of
familiarity between the two scenes. Producers with links to Music Row, he believes, could do
wonders for the rap culture by bringing in other producers and collaborators for what he refers to
as “trust sessions.”
Holt and Cobb, who manage Eastwood, Gent, and Taylorr, are working hard to make Nashville
a more prominent hip-hop and R&B destination. They want to create a culture in which Nashville
musicians and producers have access to chances in all genres and a culture that attracts artists
from other cities to come here and collaborate with local talent.
Cobb and Holt are considering building a studio and performance venue that would cater to the
specific demands of artists and producers. They’re also looking into investing opportunities with
big names in the music industry, which they won’t mention just now.
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