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R

appers and producers come a dime a dozen. In a media crazed era, forums like Myspace and soundclick make

production more accessible, but make artist and producer chemistry obsolete. Long gone are the days when a rapper would go to his “go to guy” for a hit record. Now, with the click of a button and small deposit into someone’s paypal account, production is literally in the palm of every artist’s hands. I’ve once heard Timberland say he would travel to Dubai just to get the newest sound. Although Toolez didn’t travel quite that far, his search for a product that complimented his style landed him in Providence Rhode Island.

BeatsBytheGraham has done production for the likes of Jim Jones, Kelly Rowland, Ludacris, The Game, Ray J, Keysha Cole, Memphis Bleek, Cory Gunz, And 1, Beanie Man, and Lil Kim but his favorite of them all, none other than Toolez

Providence Most Potent Product: Reloaded by BeatsBytheGraham I met Toolez around 2000 at Uconn his freshman year through Tony Robertson who was his teammate and a close friend of mine. Tony and another friend of ours Roland told me that there is a guy on that team that raps and he’s pretty good. Tony usually kept one of my beat CDs for his own listening pleasure and he let Toolez hear some of the material that my brother and I produced. From my understanding Toolez was impressed. I finally got the chance to meet Toolez while visiting Uconn and he was really a humble dude. I was able to get a glimpse of his enthusiasm and passion for the music right away. He later let me listen to some of his material. It was very raw and certainly not the best quality in the world but you could hear the potential more than anything. From there I gave him a couple of beats to rock with and really thought nothing of it. About a week later he called me and said he finished those beats and needed more. I figured the next time I go to Uconn I’ll bring the beats then, but being the driven person that he his, he said he’ll just come and get the beats. I don’t know if I believed him or not but within the next day or so he drove from Storrs to Providence just to get the beats.

To me, that alone showed me that he had a lot of hunger and selfreliance and it sparked my interest in Toolez the person even before the music. A short time after meeting Toolez and giving him beats he recorded a mixtape/album titled “They Wanna Know” and right there I was sold. Not only was he a great songwriter, he improved drastically from his previous project and it was very evident in his work. The CD got great reviews from reviews from Rhode Island to Coatesville and we continued to stay in contact. Toolez would come to Providence often to the point where he could just come to my parent’s house who I was staying with at the time, and feel right at home without me even being there. We would hang out a lot and build so when it was time to record it was effortless because we connected musically and personally. The most impressive thing about it all is, while all this was going on Toolez was attending a major university and he was a member of a division 1 nationally ranked basketball team and I think that speak volumes. As time passed and his basketball responsibilities increased, we both had other things going on in our life but we

still stayed in contact. Around 2003 Toolez told me he was ready to work on a new project and it was only fitting that he titled it “Reloaded”. The project was only 25% done when I started working on it but it had great production on it that motivated me to step my game up. At the time, my brother was running a studio so I was able to get Toolez studio time every day for free and he took full advantage. When Toolez came to Providence, he stayed for about a week and he would do up to 3 songs in 2 or 3 hours on some occasions. That was my first time seeing someone writing and recording songs the same day and doing it with one take. He pressed up the album/mixtape himself and released it two months after recording it. Reloaded really made a lot of noise and people took notice because you could hear his progression as his abilities started to grow. The album was nothing short of a hood classic and because of his school obligations it was done in very limited amount of time. I remember he called me and told me he was opening up for Kanye West and Ludacris and invited me to the show. That was major to me at the time, to see him perform some of our song in front

The Minority Report  

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