One after another, boats pass along the bay behind hip-hop producer Numonics's apartment taking advantage of partly cloudy weather. While he's dressed for the 90-plus degree weather in sunglasses, a red LeBron Heat jersey, shorts, and Jordans, his sometime partner in sound SIN is somehow able to pull of wearing khaki pants and brown Timberland boots.
After developing a friendship over the last year and a half and working on a few records together, SIN and Numonics agreed to make the most of what they were creating and release the 7 Deadly EP.
Numonics is no stranger with working on joint projects. In March, the producer collaborated with Saheed on Not For Nothing. And last year he joined forces with REKS on REBELutionary and Knowledge Medina on the Never Enough EP.
SIN, who has a tendency to remain quiet after releasing a project, took only a couple of months to release "Wipe Those Tears" after dropping A Toast To You in December, and then "Eye For An Eye" in May, produced by Numoics.
A few weeks removed from the release of their collaboration, the producer and rapper sat down with New Times to discuss the idea behind the project, the process of its creation and evolving creatively.
New Times: When did you think of the idea for 7 Deadly?
Numonics: It was probably about nine, 10 months ago. I'd known SIN through a lot of mutual people, developed a good friendship and then we started to do records. We really didn't know aim or purpose originally, just to kind of work with each other.
Once we started to get a couple songs done we realized, "Hey, we can do something real cohesive with this. And it made sense to work with the EP format because we could put together a project that's very together and put together certain sounds, but not have the long, drawn out process through the full-blown album.
When you guys sat down and started to work on it, was it you two working exclusively together?
SIN: When we first started banging out records, we were just doing songs to just do. We literally, probably did, how many joints?
Numonics: Somewhere in between 14 and 16. There was only seven on the album. And from that seven we had actually another song that was originally on there that we swapped out for "City on Fire" that was done really on the fly, because REKS happened to be in town, and we did the song the day before. I don't think there was anything to where it came to like it was a mutually exclusive thing, because he was working on Toast For You, I've been doing a bunch of different projects.
I kind of understood what works best for him as far as tempo range and beats. So when I would make something that fell into that kind of structure where I felt it made sense for him, it would be good songs, that's what we would work on.
And the whole idea was to have seven tracks.
Numonics: Yeah, just to play off the theme. It's a cheap marketing ploy. It's clever. I like things that are clever. It just made sense. Hold on, did we come up with the concept of the album then did the song or did the song and come up with the concept?
SIN: I think we came up with the name of the project first.
Numoics: And then we did the song.
SIN: And then we did the song, the "7 Deadly" intro joint.
Numoics: I think it all really stems from, because we have this one song that's actually a self-titled song called "Sin." I think that's when we were really like, let's roll with it 100 percent. And that song isn't even on the album, which is funny.
How did the beat selection go?
SIN: Well, I tell you what, the way we started working on this it's not like he would give me beats, I would go home to write to it. That happened to the tracks that didn't make the project. Every song that made the project, we literally were in the studio, he was probably making the beat or just made the beat earlier that morning, and I'll get there and he's like, "Yo, I made this beat." I'm like, "Word, Let me hear that." I'll just write to it on the fly. Record. Boom. Get it mixed.
What sound best fits SIN?
Numoics: With SIN it's very similar with Nics, it's a tempo thing. I think they're very similar artists, actually. Speaking of REKS, bringing it all together, I had a conversation with him as I was trying to explain what he does, I just feel like his background being from Rhode Island, and how he speaks and everything, he kind of has an East Coast vibe, but he does similar things such as spacing, use of cadence. You know, the kind of word play that's going on there.
For him it's a tempo thing. I know if I make something from like 70 to 82 bpm it's going to work. I don't think I necessarily have to do a distinct sound, the actual style of the beat, but the tempo has to be there. I can give him a rock-influenced thing, or a soul-influenced thing, or a trap song, or something in between, whatever the case may be. But if it's in between that tempo, you'll do fine with it.
I think when you produce for a lot of people, and you start to get used to different styles, you can understand where you need to be in the bpm range to bring the best out of them.
SIN: Which is what makes him a great producer. It's true. A lot of producers make beats for themselves and like, "Oh this is what I do." They don't really adapt to the artist and what their sound may be. He literally dissected my sound through time, and he knew that was the tempo. That's what I needed and he provided it.