by Big La vs. Todd

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In the beginning of 2012, I had this dream. I had been doing beats since the early 90′s (yes I AM that old). What started as a technical curiosity became a creative outlet AND an obsession. I cobbled any and every piece of electronic equipment together and overdub and pause-mix samples on-top looped drum tracks. At the time I was dabbling in most aspects of Hip-Hop. I ghostwrote lyrics.. actually rhymed sometimes. I took my shot a tagging (with little success) and breakdancing was an epic failure. But composing beats was the thing that spoke to me. I never cared about doing it for a living. I never yearned for any praise. It was just something I HAD to do to keep my sanity. So I did tons of beats. I handed them out and worked with a ton of folks who were also in it for the fun and the chance to just ‘create’.

So when the 1996 hit, I decided to start taking these ‘beats’ and start putting together entire projects, if nothing else but to catalogue what I was doing, I was very proud of my first project “Short Attention Span Theater“. It was more of a ‘proof of concept’ that I could put together a cohesive set of decently produced beats on a VERY TIGHT budget. The milestone of that moment: a dozen emcees asking to use S.A.S.T. tracks for freestyles and mix tapes. That blew my mind. For the first time, there was validation that others dug what I was doing. That wasn’t necessary, but it did feel good that I was creating something.. bringing something into the world that made at least one other person feel good.

Four projects later, I dropped what I consider my first ‘modern’ project “Blue.. Kinda Grey” in 2007. Over the years I had been accused of being too “soul and smooth” oriented and not Hip-Hop enough. I agreed. I was all about moody strings and Fender Rhodes over Boom Bap Beats! Nothing made my head nod more. So with ‘Blue’ I decided to embrace it. I didn’t worry about my ‘hard-to-smooth’ ration of beats. I just made what I felt. And from that, I am thankful that it gave me that gateway to meeting my current crop of collaborative artists. From this point on, I had the technical skill and tech to do whatever I wanted. I had no obstacles or road blocks. From that point on I was going to do what felt right.

I remember in 2010 being burned out. I was older and my priorities had shifted and I was just making beats out of habit. I still felt good, but I wasn’t having that same wonder of replaying old beats like I did with everything up to ‘Blue.. Kinda Grey”. Don’t get me wrong, I still liked Water Under The Bridge (2009), Music​.​. For Elevators & Escalators (2010), and Unfocused(2010). Some of the beats on those projects are some of my favorites. I just didn’t ‘feel’ them as much as the earlier stuff. So I decided to step away from it and refocus on some other stuff like design and video work. I still made beats from time to time, but never with the fevered passion I had done in the years before.

In 2012, I decided that I was gonna make my last big run. I wanted to hunker down and produce a trilogy of projects that would be my last run at solo material. Beats From Oakland in 2012 was a huge success. My most popular collection to date. Lorem Ipsum in 2013 was even bigger. Even though I didn’t pay too much attention to it, it was nice to get almost 12,000 downloads from Bandcamp, Soundcloud and my own ftp site. The icing on the cake , it was the first time I got to properly showcase work from the two cats I’ve collaborated the most with, Doyle “Rhythmteacher” Robinson and Dantrel “Fave” Robinson (oddly enough, no relation). It was the apex of my success, creatively. I could’ve dropped the mic right there an left the stage, but I still have one more project to go. I needed to finish what I started 3 years ago.

Moods will mark my 11th musical project since 1996. It’s incredible to fathom that I’ve created close to 500 songs in this creative journey. From the most incredible arrangement, to the crappiest 8bit loop, it has been one hell of a ride. Moods will mark my last solo project. I’ll spend all my creative juices working with other artists and composing music for video projects. If time permits, I like to get all of my dream collaborators on the project, whether it’s original stuff or remixes. I want this to be a timestamp of how I’m starting in 2014. Moods was suppose to drop early October, but due to collaborator obligations, I pushed the release back a few month to make sure I get it right. At this moment, I have 17 solid tracks. I want to get it up to 30 to go out with a bang. Moods will definitely drop as a free download on December 3rd, 2013. Big shout out to all my friends, family and collaborators who helped me directly or just through inspiration. I hope I get a chance to work with you all going forward.


released December 3, 2013



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Big La vs. Todd Oakland

Oakland Producer/DJ by way of South Central Los Angeles. My style is smoothed-out 90's style Hip-Hop; following the path of my favorite cats, Pete Rock, 9th Wonder, DJ Premier, J Dilla, as well as others.

I love beats and samples. I'm not a keyboard person. Strictly Hippidy Hop, Choppidy Chop. This is more of a way of life than a hobby or profession. I love Hip-Hop. So I do Hip-Hop.
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