We had the chance to catch up with a production duo on the rise. In a short period of time The Standouts have delivered full projects with Bub Rock, WateRR, and Lord Juco. A Dot and C Dot have been stashing inventory and they’re prepping for a major run in 2020.
RD: You guys have linked up with some of the finest names in the underground over the past few years. When did this all start? How long were you building up inventory?
A Dot: As far as building up inventory, we’ve had samples/ loops/ beats from like 2004 we just always saved that type of stuff. It really started in 2018 when I saw an IG video of Bub Rock and I thought he was dope. I just wanted to get a beat to him, but that turned into a whole EP (XV). From there he plugged us with Ty Farris and other artists started working with us. We had beats on deck and samples that we could use so we just started from there.
RD: Did you guys get into production at a similar age? Who was the first one to get serious about this?
A Dot: C Dot is my younger cousin by 7 years. I started getting into it around my sophomore year, like 2001-2002. I was watching BET and that Jadakiss Knock Yourself Out transitioned into We Gonna Make It, and that was it for me (shout out to the Alchemist). All of us (my cousins, his brothers) would just hang out like family do and alternate between hoopin, playing the game, and messing with Fruity Loops. As time went on C Dot got really into it too, and we would just kick it ride around and really study music. Literally listening to 9th Wonder sample mixes and stuff like that. I’d make a loop and have him do the drums on the beat. Someone on MySpace wanted to buy some beats from me on these two beats where I did the sample and he did the drums. The rapper picked those immediately with no hesitation. I sold those beats, and brought $40 to C Dot for his piece of the profit and it was on from there.
C Dot: My love for beat making started back in elementary honestly. I owe it all to the Grinding beat, shout out to Pharrell that is really started it all for me. Beating on the tables with pens and shit I literally would get suspended for beating so much. That lead me to playing the snare in middle school on a drum line that they basically made because we had such a cold line up. I was too smart to not be in school learning, so I wanna say it was one of my coaches that put me in band. Anyways that band background was the springboard for my beat arrangements and all the percussion and shit I would utilize back when other producers beats were complete ass. We didn’t wanna be trash so we just kept at it, and A Dot is such a wizard with anything he puts his mind to so after a few years we really started rocking and making a little cash.
A Dot: Oh yea! I forgot I was in band in middle school too. I was playing the clarinet but I noticed I was the only dude playing clarinet so I switched to trumpet. First Chair on both instruments too, we been on some music shit.
RD: What is the division of labor in the group? Does one member do a certain part of the beat, or does it vary?
C Dot: For a few years I was doing drums and A Dot was chopping samples. Then it switched to me chopping samples and A Dot doing the drums and arrangements. Then I went off to college and would never go to class so I had plenty of time on my hands and started to overwhelm A Dot with all the samples I would send through. Eventually I got tired of waiting on him to do something with certain joints I would send, and started just doing it all myself and that’s really when The Standouts became like a real legit force that could hold up through any test of time. I grew off the tree A Dot planted but have different inspirations musically so where my shit is more melodic and tends to change up every 4 or 8 bars. A Dot comes in with that gritty hardcore dark ass evil tone, but beautifully put together shit and whenever we do collab on a beat these days it comes out crazy. Once the money really starts coming in and we can make a living off this shit we’ll do a lot more tag teaming. Right now we’re just building our skill sets more and more till it’s time to really go!
A Dot: We’ve done it all from switching up on who’s doing the drums vs. chopping the sample from of course making beats together via email. Now we both do everything, but the emphasis varies. My emphasis is on the mix and the sonics of it and C Dot being an artist himself he’s gonna put an emphasis on the arrangement and making sure the beat isn’t 100% monotonous. So its not necessarily like we cooking up together side by side but we definitely each play a part on each beat.
RD: Is there a different mindset producing a full project as opposed to a few placements?
A Dot: To be honest, fully producing projects just happens so organically so there’s not really a mindset. If we send an artist a pack of like 3 or 4 beats when we first get to building they might just like 1 of those 4, and make a fire ass song from that. That sets off a light bulb with us, so the next batch we send they might fuck with 3 out of 4, and now we got 4-5 songs and the songs start to have a theme, which lends to the title, then cover art and so on its all just super organic. Perfect example of that is The Plaza EP with K Burns. That shit came together in less than 24 hours like that!
RD: Of the full projects done thus far, which one do you think most encapsulates The Standouts sound?
A Dot: That’s a good question that’s really hard to answer personally speaking. We don’t really have a certain sound we just cook up randomly and try to send beats we think they would float on. We’re not saying “this sound like something such and such would rap on” we’re saying “damn such and such would kill this shit.” There’s a difference.
C Dot: When it comes to the Standout Sound the only thing that makes it all comparable is the laugh at the beginning. Outside of that you really can’t put your finger on what a beat from us will sound like and that was our goal from the jump. Our main focus is to just make it dope no matter what style it is that way we won’t ever have to worry about being boxed in.
RD: We realize that often times the cat has to stay in the bag, is there any upcoming work you can discuss?
A Dot: Of course the shit that’s already been posted about such as Eddie Kaine’s Nezzie’s Star project. Spoda’s project Audio Trafficking will probably be out by the time this comes out. There’s a couple of other projects we got cooking and artists that we are working with but they in the early stages so I don’t wanna jinx nothing. There will always be things in the tuck for guys like Ty Farris and Bub Rock.
RD: First 5 calls you make to start a Standouts album, no budget involved.
A Dot: I can’t even say because I’m actually gonna make those calls so ya’ll stay tuned.
C Dot: No budget involved I’m going with a dream line up so I’ll roll with Jim Jones off top. Earl Sweatshirt,Willie the Kid, Bankroll Fresh (R.I.P) and Action Bronson.
RD: Message for the listeners?
A Dot: Appreciate ya’ll fuckin with us and we gonna keep cooking up we here and we ain’t stopping.
C Dot: Appreciate all the love and support. Y’all have only got a glimpse into one of our bags so stay tuned. Niggas really musically inclined in a major way so the more comfortable these artist get with allowing us to take more of the direction the more of the bags you’ll see.
Support Standouts produced projects here