This week’s producer spotlight interview shines on Toronto’s own Bozack Morris. He runs GGBR Tapes & Records with DJ Big Jacks, offering unique collectibles ranging from vinyl to USB sticks. They first caught my attention in 2016 with 2 tremendous drops; ‘Never Change’ featuring Westside Gunn and Conway, and ‘Reality Rap’ featuring Meyhem Lauren. Intrigued, I immediately scoured Bozack’s soundcloud and found some really ill remixes including Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Sadness.
Bozack and GGBR as a company are not going to flood the market with releases, there is a high focus on quality over quantity. Utilizing unique colorways, killer artwork and top grade vinyl they have released pieces that are sure to be worth much more down the road. Here’s what he had to say for himself
RD: You run GGBR Tapes & Records along with DJ Big Jacks, take me thru the challenges of pressing vinyl and cassettes. Is one more difficult than the other?
BM: There’s more options with vinyl, with special editions, sizes and the colors. We do limited edition test presses with hand silk screened artwork for the covers. Cassettes are a bit more limited during manufacturing, but we do put a lot of thought into what we have control over (shell color/tape cases). Myself and Jacks plan a new theme for each release, we want the customers to have a unique experience with each drop.
RD: What was the selection process like for the emcees on the first 2 drops? Westside/Conway and Meyhem are some heavy hitters.
BM: Those were not the first GGBR drops, just the first 2 that were my productions. Loose Cannons 001 and 002 were supposed to be for my first EP, but I was waiting on something for 1 of the songs. ‘Never Change’ arrived in my inbox, and Jacks said ‘DONT WAIT, DROP THAT SHIT NOW!’ so I ended up splitting the EP into three 7 inches instead. Doing it that way had its pros and cons, it gave the songs a more individual way to shine.
RD: Cassettes are as big as ever, is that something you foresaw?
BM: I actually did not. Put out a 70s soul mix titled ‘ Black Zodiac Two’ on cassette inspired by the old DJ mix tapes. Then we got inspired the homie DJ Neil Armstrong, who put it on a cassette-shaped USB, and decided to put it on a USB stick as well. Years later, the cassettes are sold out while the USB’s are just sitting there.
RD: What goes into the color selection process for the vinyl, tapes and merch?
BM: It depends on the release, we try to tie the title of the song or artist into the physical. We are always doing special editions. Hus Kingpin & Big Ghost’s ‘Coke Case’ has a cocaine-like white powder on it, Daniel Son’s Karate Practice has a black belt on white vinyl. One day we’d love to do something never done before on a vinyl release.
RD: What gives your beats a signature sound? From the pronounced keys on ‘Never Change’ to the insane organ build-up on ‘Reality Rap’ almost every song has a trait that stands out
BM: It’s from the records, I’m a crate digger and am constantly inspired by the sounds I hear. When producing I’m trying to communicate a certain feel, sometimes I’m emo, sometimes I’m in the mood for some raw shit. Whatever the feeling may be, I try to capture it in the lab.
RD: You had 1 of the underground’s favorite placements this year with Conway’s ‘Biscotti Biscuit’. Did that relationship stem from your previous work with him?
BM: You could say that, having already worked with them played a role in getting on ‘Blakk Tape’.
RD: One of GGBR’s upcoming drops is with one of Respect Due’s favorites, Daniel Son. Take me thru making ‘Karate Practice’.
BM: Dan’s the homie, I met him and Saipher Soze last year after they dropped their ‘Divizion Rivals’ tape. One day he took an old instrumental I had up on soundcloud and bodied it. He sent me a clip, so I reworked the beat, had Futurewave master it and that was it. Glad to see that one getting the vinyl treatment.
RD: You have an EP with the energetic Heem Stogied, if you could lock in with any emcee on the planet for 4 tracks who would it be? Would the batch be ready, or would you chef up something new?
BM: Rappers can be unpredictable when selecting beats, even when you create something with them in mind they can pick something unexpected. Their mood when picking plays a huge part, that is something I’ve noticed with experience. Conway went with something melodic instead of my grimier beats for ‘Biscotti Biscuit’, but that is part of the magic of the whole thing. Sometimes the magic happens when you go against the grain and try different things. Conway is my favorite rapper at the moment, so I already have one of my wish list guys come to reality. DOOM and Roc Marciano come to mind, I think they’d push me to create something different and push my skills. I’d like to work with more singers/vocalists in the future.
RD: What does the future hold for the company and yourself?
BM: We still feel we aren’t where we want to be, when we get our props and get where we want to be…then its really on. Not to brag, but GGBR has something coming that everyone has been waiting to hear. It’s certainly something I’ve wanted to hear. But until we get the gold, we’re going to keep pushing this dope music out.
Follow Bozack Morris at:
Twitter and IG: @bozackula