Sharon and I have been doing Respect Due for about a year now, and we’ve learned that persistence is key in the underground hip hop game. Many of your favorites worked hard for years in anonymity, honing their craft and networking. There’s not many overnight success stories, you just have to keep grinding and hope to garner the right attention. Today’s guest may be new to many listeners, but Robert has been doing this for a very long time. He’s shooting his shot these days, and he’s money from all over the court.
RD: You made a big splash this year and really got your name out there. How long have you been making beats, and what made you decide this was the year to release a ton of music?
Rob: I’ve been doing this for about 16 years now, don’t know what exactly made me really go for it this year. It was just a feeling that I had that it was time, and it worked out.
RD: Yourself and Won87 made one of the more unique releases of the year in Mean Streets, take us behind the theme of that album and how it came together.
Rob: I think it all started with me and Won87 being fans of each other’s work. We had talked a few times in the DM just giving each other respect and then I think I suggested we should do a collab album, using the same samples flipped in our own ways, he came up with using the movie Mean Streets and it just kicked off from there.
RD: Ice Lord emerged with The Black Angel of Carlyon, fully produced by you. How did you guys link up? Was that the first full vocal project you produced?
Rob: This was my first project with a featured artist. I had seen a post of his for History of the Guillotine and knew right away we were a match. I hit him up and said we should do something, he checked for my beats and it just went from there.
RD: How do you differentiate what goes on your instrumental projects as opposed to what gets sold/used for vocal albums?
Rob: Instrumental projects are 100% my brainchild, so I’m able to be more creative and push the lines a little more. In vocal projects I usually prefer the rapper take creative control for the most part and I just provide the soundscape.
RD: It doesn’t take many listens of your music without noticing the deep jazz influence. Who are some favorites, both for general listening and inspiration to make new material?
Rob: Alice and John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Donny Hathaway, Issac Hayes. Too many to mention
RD: With such a prolific 2018, do you plan on keeping your foot on the gas next year? Any projects you can tell us about at this time? Any specific goals?
Rob: From here on out my foot is on the gas. I just dropped an album called Drugs with my little brother King Nasty. Album features Icelord, Lil Eto, Madhattan, Creasy, and Killy Shoot. I also dropped another EP called Galesi Brescia on my born date based off the movie Taxi Driver (Galesi Brescia is a .25 Cal he used In the film). Album features Lunatic, Mav Montana, whatamess, Josiah the Gift, Royal Minus, Teek Hall and Hooks Arthur.
RD: Who inspires you among the underground hip hop community?
Rob: I really like Rome Streetz, Sage Infinite, Supreme Cerebral, Killyshoot, Lord Juco, Jamal Gasol and The Whole Piff team. V’Don is the best producer in our community in my opinion, and I was blown away by Farmabeats on his Street Farmacy album with Rome Streetz.
RD: You’ve already taken part in a producer-driven project, but if you could have any 5 talents for a Robert Deniro project who would they be?
Rob: Rome Streetz, El Camino, Willie The Kid, Roc Marciano and Freddie Gibbs.
Rob’s soundcloud is https://soundcloud.com/user-95551664
Follow him on twitter @RobertDenir085 IG is robdenir0_bhmg
Mean Streets can be found on Won87’s SC https://soundcloud.com/won87/sets/rob-deniro-won87-mean-streets