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ryderoncrack Interview: Sonic mastermind looks to level playing field between producers, rappers

Los Angeles-based, self-funded producer possesses as much talent and determination as any of his peers.

Mike Dean is the mentor, Kanye’s the coach, Frank (Ocean) is the therapist.”

ryderoncrack wears his influences on his sleeve, and he is not ashamed to admit it. The 20-year-old Los Angeles-based producer, raised in the San Fernando Valley, released his first project Die Hippie Scum in October 2021, full of vibrant synths, unpredictable song structures and powerful drums.

Fittingly, ryderoncrack explains the inspiration behind the mixtape was fueled by a DMT trip two years ago, which unleashed a new “avatar” inside him that still remains.

“It was basically a real life lightbulb moment, and it’s stayed on since,” he said. “Die Hippie Scum, the name, is my old self dying. It’s a rebirth, here’s the new.”

Unlike producers who typically create an entire beat and have artists rap and sing over it, ryderoncrack’s method is more unique. He considers his sonics to be the most essential aspect of a song and recruits rappers to plug in vocals, hooks and verses that align with the track.

The main goal of his career is to bring about more autonomy and ownership to producers’ attitudes, as he sees them as more than just tools to be used by rappers. His approach to achieving that is aided by releasing music as his own artist with projects like Die Hippie Scum.

“I’m not a placement producer,” he said. “I don’t really like how producers always make the artists bigger than themselves. ‘Look who I’m working with’ instead of ‘Look what I’m doing.’ I want to change that, I want to make producers just as equal in the eyes of the public one day.”

Ultimately, ryderoncrack’s sound has been curated by the great musicians in hip-hop of the 2010s such as Kanye West and Travis Scott, fueled by mixing god Mike Dean, as well as Tyler, The Creator and Frank Ocean – who ryder began his career making guitar covers of.

Albums like Calvin Harris’ 2017 rap/pop/dance album Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, which included Frank Ocean and Migos‘ summer smash hit “Slide,” and Metro Boomin’s star-studded 2018 album NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES have inspired ryder, as hip-hop has begun to see a prevalence of producers putting out their own projects.

“I’ve always viewed myself as the guitarist of the band,” he said. “I definitely want to come out as a Calvin Harris that makes trap music. His album Funk Wav Bounces, Vol. 1, where he got (Lil) Wayne, Travis and everyone, that’s a dream of mine. That’s eventually the sound I want to go for, similar to Tame Impala. I’m doing this trap shit right now because I love it, I love trap, it gets me hyped. But, I really do it because I’m trying to bring the underground in, then mainstream people in, then expose them to the real shit I can really do, like the guitar solos and synth work.”

Starting out with this underground niche, the features for Die Hippie Scum include some of the most talented, burgeoning acts in hip-hop’s rising youth. Four of the project’s 11 songs include MDMA, who is the younger brother of new wave phenom UnoTheActivist. He recruited Draft Day because he was enthralled by his verse on Lil Yachty‘s Lil Boat 3 song “Demon Time.”

The same goes for Yak Gotti, who he found through his feature on Gunna‘s WUNNA deluxe song “WUNNA FLO.” ryder loved what he heard from Lil Gotit, whose verse he paid for by selling his car, in a prior collaboration Gotit had with Lil Quill, who is featured on Die Hippie Scum’s “hellcat.”

However, two of ryder’s most beloved collaborators are Redda and KayCyy, both of whom had their hands in many of the tracks on Die Hippie Scum. ryder discovered Redda before his blow-up as an essential in-house producer for Sheck Wes during his Mudboy days with songs like “Chippi Chippi” and “Kyrie.” After having collaborated with British icons like Lancey Foux and Skepta, Redda supplied drums for the beats found on the first half of Die Hippie Scum, such as the song “yin yang.”

As for KayCyy, who can be considered the prized possession of Die Hippie Scum on the songs “all love” and “good now, he and ryderoncrack connected early on before KayCyy erupted as a songwriter, and KayCyy showed an immediate appreciation for ryder’s special perspective. KayCyy is a close collaborator of Kanye West – landing multiple writing placements on Donda and an alternate hook for “Keep My Spirit Alive 2.” During the time KayCyy submitted his verse for “good now,” he was helping write music for Beyoncé, which should tell you all you need to know about his skillset.

” ‘all love’ is super experimental and more like an eargasm than a song,” he said. “More like, ‘I’m gonna play this song and it’s gonna make me feel good,’ rather than ‘I’m gonna remember the lyrics.’ ”

KayCyy is an artist ryderoncrack hopes to continue building with. They have another collaboration in the works at the moment titled “777,” which Ryder hopes to add another blockbuster feature to. ryder explains “777” will be a hit of his similar to the magnitude of Travis Scott’s “Antidote,” or quality of Kanye West’s “Devil In a New Dress,” containing “unreal synths and guitar.”

“Every producer talks about growing with an artist, and I think I found that person in KayCyy,” he said. “We have really good chemistry, and like I said, I can’t really find any other rapper that has that strong of a voice that could go over these beats, that rap and sings.”

KayCyy, Redda and ryderoncrack finally connected for the first time in late January 2022, as KayCyy hosted them, along with several eye-popping artists like Usher, Lil Keed and SSGKobe, at his eight-day Who Is KayCyy? album camp to finish up his upcoming debut.

Along with landing more placements throughout the year, ryder is looking forward to his next project crackjunkies, set to drop in June 2023, by releasing singles all throughout 2022. His first single will come in the form of “MISFITS,” co-produced by Redda, featuring Matt OX.

“Definitely one of the hardest trap beats from my discography so far and beyond excited to keep pushing these sonics,” he said. “I wanted to start this year off with something producers can’t compete against.” 

With an elite ear for rich synths, a continuously improving skill at guitar, a rock-solid pool of accomplices and a fiery, lighting-in-a-bottle mixtape under his belt, ryderoncrack is poised to usher producers into a new era of individualism and recognition. ryder manifested this momentum with patience and commitment, knowing that hard work and timing is key to becoming the best version of himself.

“Most people my age get so hard on themselves and conform to an easy path before hitting the 10,000 hour mark,” he said. “And the 10,000 only starts once you’ve embraced the God given avatar. We’re too young to feel like we’ve failed at anything yet. Nothing bad happens at this time (musically), it’s all trial and error. Work smarter not harder, have full faith in your vision and fear God.”

Listen to ‘Die Hippie Scum’ below!