N.A.B.: How long have you been producing? And what actually inspired you to produce?
Domingo: I’ve been producing now for like 20 years… In 2010 it will be 21 years. My Inspiration is my uncle. He introduced me to the whole DJ thing, when I was like 8, 9 years old. He let me hear my first hip-hop record. I used to watch him play his drums, DJ and do all kinds of amazing things with music. I was mesmorized with music. From there I adapted a love and understanding for music. I took it from there.
N.A.B.: You have worked with and created many hits with some of hip hop’s most influential MCs, including Big Pun, Big Daddy Kane, Eminem, Kool G. Rap, KRS One, Fat Joe and Joell Ortiz, to name a few. That alone must raise the level of expectancy from you as a producer. How do you manage to continue to breed hits?
Domingo: That’s kind of hard to say. I try to stay with what I know and what I do. There was a point in my career, where I was steered by bad advice. It took my close circle of family and friends to remind me that I have my own style. And that all those folk telling me I should make records to sound like this and that, aren’t helping me. Now, I would like to say, I stay true to music. I could adapt to any style of music. I could make a down south record if I choose. But I choose not to. I could do anything, and I mean anything.
N.A.B.: What do you look for in an artist in order for you to work with them?
Domingo: An artist who is himself. An artist who is not phony and talks about gun clapping but you’re not really like that. To tell you the truth, there are hardly any artists that I would work with at the moment. I like lyricists. I like context, structure. But when the context is constantly “I push 12 kilos,” “clap this, clap that,” “bang this, and bang that,” all the time… If I want to hear that, I would get that from true cats that live their life like that. Like a Kool G. Rap. Why would I work with a young artist that is just following in the path of a Lil Wayne or somebody else, fronting on the records and have never done any of the stuff they speak on record? As long as they are a lyricist that sounds good and can make a song, then we can work. You could be the illest lyricist in the planet and suck when it comes to making songs. I’d work with you anyway because I’m a producer not a beat maker. Overall, I’m not going to say your image is important to me, you could be fat, ugly and busted in your face. Image is not important to me — your talent is important.
N.A.B.: Do you still sell beats over Myspace for 50 bucks? And what inspired you to start doing that? Most producers that have your resume, would never.
Domingo: Well as for my fellow producers, my peers, whether friend or foe… I really don’t have enemies… I really don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks to be honest with you. I’m me and always have been my own person. And I make my own decisions. There are people that tell me, I’m hurting my brand. There are people that say I’m doing a great thing. Of course the people buying the beats think I’m doing a great thing. I know what it is to try and get in the game and not be able to pay for certain shit, and have access to certain names, or have access to that pro set-up that you need. I no longer sell beats on Myspace though. I have a website now at www.beats4tunes.com.
N.A.B.: What differentiates you from the next producer?
Domingo: Domingo is a producer totally cut from a different cloth than every other producer. I’m not going to pass judgment on people like Premier, Pete Rock and Alchemist. I love all their work. But I’m cut from a different cloth. Sure I have passion and love for music, but if I had to turn around and walk away from it, I’d do it. I don’t stress the fame.
N.A.B.: Are you currently working on a new project? And if so when could we expect it?
Domingo: Honestly, I don’t have any intentions of putting out any more Domingo albums for the simple fact that music is just not selling. I’m a person who creates his own budget. I don’t depend on the record labels. So if the record is not selling, I’m not doing it. I’m working on a documentary about my career called My Life in Hip Hop – The Story Shall Be Told. I do a lot of MTV, VH1 and reality shows. I got a M.O.P. record out now. I’m working with Ras Kass & Kool G. Rap. I always stay busy.
N.A.B.: Do you have any advice for the next up and coming Domingo?
Domingo: Stay true to the game. Know the game before you think about becoming whatever you want to become in the game. I was having a conversation with someone recently. I told him, before you could become a teacher, you have to go to school and be a student. You have to graduate and get that degree. Then you go and get your Masters and then you become a teacher. So what I’m saying is you can’t wake up & say “I’m a rapper”. You can’t wake up and say “I’m a producer”. It doesn’t work that way. The young kids are fixated on becoming an overnight sensation. It took me more than five years to get in the game. I’m walking and living proof that you could achieve your dreams.
Check out the authors at eleganthoodness.ning.com.