Tuesday, July 24, 2007

J. Que (Of The Clutch) Interview

J Que is currently 1/5 of the amazing production/songwriting team The Clutch but he's been writing hits for years. His work includes hits such as Avant's "4 Minutes", Fantasia's "Truth Is", Omarion's "Icebox", and he even won a grammy for his work on Usher's Confessions having written Usher's smash hit "Yeah". Though this interview is from last year, it is without a doubt one of the best about the behind the scenes of music making and songwriting. Que definitely keeps it real on every subject. He talks about The Clutch:

J. Que: Yes. There were a couple of companies that pulled us all together. We wrote...we got along great. We wrote and recorded six songs on a Friday. By Tuesday, four of those were gone. So we kind of sat back and said, "Well maybe we should think about doing this a little more often." So myself and Zeke decided that "Well fuck that, we're going to form a clique." Because Atlanta has pretty much stayed hot forever off of having a hot ass clique. So we were going to do the clique thing. We got on board and told everybody else. They were with it. We sat down and worked for a little while on trying to work some shit out. We got together as "The Clutch" around the beginning of this year. Since then, we've been able to lock down multiple song deals, about 60 records placed, a couple of singles. We got about seven singles about to come out. And...we're loving it. I mean one of my big things that I've always fussed about, not in a bad fussy way, but just trying to make sure that people get is using the word "producer" correctly. Because in the urban game it means something completely different that it means in any other type of music.

What a producer is:

J. Que: OK, a producer in the urban game for some reason people think that if you did a track...you're a producer. That doesn't make you a producer. That makes you a songwriter . There's a songwriter for people who write the music and there's people who write the lyric and melody. That's the composer of the song. A producer actually makes the sequence. If there was a team, the producer would be the coach. Which is why Puffy [Diddy], while he was doing his thing, was a very good producer. He had a great ear; he knew what was going to work. He'd go in...you may do the music, you may write the record. But he'll come and say "I don't like that, take that out, put the bell here, fix that, you need to do this here, you need to do that there. Alright let me listen. Alright cool. Mix that down, let's go." He produced the record. Like there are guys out there, I understand, that do tracks that are producers. Like Bryan Cox does tracks. He produces. But Bryan produces because he will also sit his ass at the board and make sure that the record's right. Bryan Cox is a producer because the record's not coming out without his "OK. Let's go."

Omarion's "Icebox":

J. Que: Umm, "Icebox" was actually real cool because Omarion's project was a project that we wanted to get on, but just dealing with some scheduling conflicts we were never really able to put it together. But, my little brother in crime, Eric Hudson, ended up getting the "Entourage" record, so we were really happy and excited for him about that. But we got a call from Sony, asking if we would be able to go in with Tim to do a record. And, you know the days they were trying to schedule it for just happened to be like two or three days when we weren't in session. So we were like "Yeah, you get us all there and we'll mash out." Of course Keri is already signed to Tim, so were like, "Whatever needs to happen...we're in." So we get out to L.A. and I remember because the day of the first session was my last day in session out in L.A. so I was double booked. I ended up getting out of my session pretty late, but [I] got over to the studio and O [Omarion] was already there and he had two tracks that had come from Tim's camp. He played one for me and I was like "I'm not really crazy about that one." And then he played me another track, which immediately caught my attention because it was definitely darker and I'm kind of into darker music. And that ended up being the "Icebox" track. So we sat around for a second and Omarion's absolutely full of ideas. So he's throwing ideas out, and he ended up saying he wants to write a song called "Cold." I wasn't necessarily crazy about calling anything cold because I told him, at the end of the day, I don't think people are going to flip [his] CD over, see a title called "Cold" and be like "That's my shit, I got to find out what that's about." I'm like that name's just not interesting enough. So we messed around and chopped that up and I listened to the track a little bit more and O screams at me "What about 'Icebox'? What about 'Icebox'?" I was like "What about icebox?" He was like, "I mean for the title of the song." I was like "Hell naw, nigga that aint hot!"

and much more so read the Full Interview

Look out for a lot of new music from The Clutch coming very soon including new work with Timbo. Thanks to Nep for the link.


  1. Thanks for posting this part. but if you ask me, this J. Que is one confused dude. in the game for one year and already he's trying to redefine the term 'producer'. LOL get back in the kitchen

  2. j.que is right,and he been in the game longer than a year....!! im a established producer,and i thought making the beat made you a producer,but it doesnt! only in hiphop has the person who made the beat but doesnt even show up to the real studio session,nor does he have any involvement but putting a beat on cd,call himself a producer! q been around the real music biz for years,you must not have read the article.so if you asked me YOUR one confused dude,oh yeah by the way i know que..in rock and other music forms before hiphop,the person who just made the beat,is the writer,or composer of the music,not the producer..the producer see the final product done....contributes to the final ok.....or maybe you just got mad or offended cuz you thought you was a producer..no.EVEN I WAS A CALLED A BEATMAKER BEFORE I EARNED THE TITLE FULL PRODUCER...KURT KOBANE

  3. Anonymous J Que has been around a long time, he knows what's up for sure so before you pass judgement defintiely read the whole article. It's an interesting read for sure.

    Kurt I appreciate the comment man. Good to hear a different side to the production story.

  4. Sorry J-Boogie,not related: New Timbo Track: "Jayme - welcome to the future" Link:
    (maybe its not a 100% tim production, but I'm sure you'll find out ;) Greetings from Germany

  5. This whole "you're not a producer unless you do this" stuff is getting out of hand... I can't stand people who are so caught up in titles like that. Its only a TITLE! Come off it.

  6. Jayme "Welcome To The Future" is 100% NOT a Timbaland track. It's been verified by Jayme with me, it's apparently "mislabled."

  7. its more than a title!!! lol! it's percentages,it's a check! i can get 4 points a producer,which is 4 percentage of srlp...and 50% as writer of the track...so when you in the biz ..you counting money with those titles

  8. He's not redefining the term "producer". He's giving the original definition of the word before hip-hop changed it to mean "beatmaker".

  9. I liked J Que’s interview. It’s insightful stuff, but I’ve gotta Cosign with brand on the issue of title. People obsess way too much over title.

    Hearing stuff like: I'm a producer, no I'm a composer, f*ck all that noise, I'm a superproducer, no you only make beats so you're a beatmaker- that get’s old, quick. lol
    To make it worse, it gets old when some of these cats come off straight arrogant and almost narcissistic on their explanations of what it is, what it isn't, and who and who isn't really a producer merely based on opinion.

    It’s like confused rulers of kingdoms constantly switching their titles. “Oh, today I’m a king, tomorrow I’ll be a pharaoh, next week I’ll be a chancellor, next month I’ll be a sultan, and next year I’ll be an emperor.” Lol

    Peeps need to relax on the constant defining of a title thing. It’s a distraction.

    From the money stand point like Kurt brought up, being identified as something makes sense, because it gets u paid.
    Of course you wanna be paid according to your title and J Que has identified what a producer is/isn’t based on the “traditional sense” of the word, but ok, we get it, now let’s make music already.

  10. I AGREE...but i think the fans and computer critics made it a point to always point out who did this or that! case in point..the royal court/timbaland issue...we inside the biz know who does what,and who doesnt..but by yall not knowing,you sometimes give some people too much credit while ignoring others..so now people come with the titles. if it was up too me we need to stop puttin on cds who produced this and that...! in the streets you meet a lot of kids talking bout im a producer,and you go what have you done,oh i made some beats in my basement..so im a producer like timbaland. NO YOU MAKE BEAT! i myself sometimes find myself liking some garbage just because i like the producers past work,and if it wasnt that producer name on it,i wouldnt like it..THIS IS WHY BARRY GORDY FROM MOTOWN NEVER PUT PRODUCERS NAMES ON CDS...ALL HIS ARTIST WERE PRODUCED BY A FAKE NAME..THE CORPERATION..but i agree with yall..fuck titles


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