Chauncey Hollis goes by the name Hit-Boy, the 25-year old producer from California is sitting pretty atop the beat-making throne.
For Hollis, it began on MySpace, where he received a message from highly-aclaimed producer Polow Da Don telling him to lace ‘em up so to speak. From then on out, it was all up to the young protege to prove he can perform with the big boys. Under Don’s umbrella, Hit-Boy and fellow American producer Chase N. Cashe created a production group called Surf Club.
In 2007, he produced “Forever” for Jennifer Lopez’s Brave. The following year he received the opportunity to work with Snoop, followed by several joints that fell into the pop genre. 2009 rolled around and it seemed the hype had cooled down, only producing one track for Mary J. Blige. For those that were following Hit’s timeline, fear not; once 2010 rolled around and the engines were lit. A beat he had made back in 2008 with fellow Surf Club member Chase N. Cashe, landed in the hands of Lil Wayne. That beat became “Drop The World” featuring Eminem, that’s right Lil Wayne and Eminem. Later that year, Hollis met Kanye who was incredibly enthusiastic about his talents. By the end of 2010, West had used Hit’s beat to create “Christmas In Harlem” featuring Big Sean, Pusha T, Musiq Soulchild and others. Hit-Boy had been inducted. Once Wayne and West request your talents, it’s safe to say you are on the inside looking out.
An important lesson Hit-Boy has stuck to is remaining original, whilst leaving behind arrogance. In an interview he explains that even when you think it’s perfect, there is always room for improvement.
In May 2011, Kanye West announced that producer Hit-Boy had been signed to G.O.O.D. Music. Within that year, he had crafted beats for Pusha T, Dom Kennedy, Casey Veggies, Kelly Rowland, Big Sean, Rihanna, Jennifer Hudson, Game, Smoke DZA and even Joe Jonas. You didn’t need to be an avid Hip Hop listener to have known that moguls Jay-Z and Kanye West were releasing a compilation record called Watch The Throne. Hit-Boy had been flown out New York and Abu Dhabi for production sessions. At the time, none of his beats had been chosen for the project. It wasn’t until Jay and Ye were in Paris without Hit that they had listened to one of the beats he emailed over. A Blades Of Glory sample, a Michael Jordan reference, and a new record set for amount of times playing a song live in a row; it’s “Ni**as In Paris.” The iconic track helped earn Watch The Throne a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album.
2012 has already been a fruitful year for the young producer. He dropped two of the better tracks off Nicki Minaj’s highly anticipated sophomore album. Kanye enlisted his skills once again for “Cold” featuring DJ Khaled, a track that has yet to call a project home. Rising emcee A$AP Rocky teamed up with Hit-Boy for an absolute gem “Goldie,” which has that grungy New York-style beat. His latest venture saw him contributing to an All-Canadian track with Drake and Bieber for Justin’s latest, Believe.
Last week Hit-Boy dropped a video called “Jay-Z Interview,” where he actually raps on it. To my surprise, the man can throw down. He went in over a Bink! beat, the flow was smooth, references were clean and relevant and his delivery was solid, very laid back. The video is a compilation of shorts from the progression of his lifestyle and as an artist.
Mr. Hollis has built a remarkable reputation with some of the biggest names in Hip Hop. It’s clear he loves what he does and there’s never a lack of creativeness in his work. Hit-Boy has the ability to rip out a banger for Kanye, keep it breezy for Justin and attempt something fresh for The Throne. Either way you look at skill set, it reeks of success.
Watch Hit-Boy – “Jay-Z Interview”