Nez and Rio are born in Chicago and highly creative when it comes to producing music. Their first major footprint in the music game and rap game is a part of Schoolboy Q's upcoming album Oxymoron. Man Of The Year is the first single from the project and will have your head continuously nodding. I interviewed them and was able to dig deep into their world.
What was it like growing up in Chicago? Did you feel pressured to follow certain crowds?
Nez: Chicago was a super dope place to grow up for me because I was raised in a neighborhood called Hyde Park. You have a lot of influences there and are exposed to many different walks of life. Naw Didn't really feel pressured to follow anything really.
Rio: While growing up I moved around a lot on the south side but I always went to school in Hyde Park. It was a constant for me so it's the neighborhood I identify with. It has a little bit of everything. And we were never really the following type.
What or who was it that made you want to take music serious?
Nez: Michael Jackson.
Rio: MJ made it seem larger than life. But for me I'd have to say Kanye West. He made it seem like it was something we could actually do. My cousin Chris and I used to hang out around Don C. and cop gear off him as shorties. I saw the Kanye West thing from the very beginning. I can remember those moments vividly when Don was moving to NYC to help Ye take off.
Your part of a collective called Treated Crew. How did that movement start?
Nez: Treated Crew is a creative collective that started off as friends with similar interests just hanging out and throwing parties together. As time progressed members in the crew started to get more notoriety for their individual skill and things grew from there.
Rio: We were all looking for a way to come together. Mano hit us one day like "man, come f*ck with us my g's" and that was it. We had all been homies for years already so it was easy.
What is Treated Crew mission statement? What are Nez and Rio mission statement?
Nez: Everybody eats, b. Everybody eats. lol
Rio: what Nez said.
When did you relocate to Los Angeles? Who were the first people you met?
Nez: We moved to Los Angeles in January. We went to the studio as soon we arrived to link with our homie music producer Mike Daley. First people we met were the Underdogs and Ray-J.
Rio: Yeah, our first stop was the studio. We didn't even stop to drop off our bags.
Man of the Year is an amazing record. The beat has so much emotion and is full of color. Can you talk about when you created the beat for that record? Were you in the studio with Schoolboy Q while he recorded it?
Nez: We were just chillin at my homies crib in hollywood. Just coolin and the beat just came organically man. Just having fun with it. We weren't even in the studio with Schoolboy. I just sent it to him and it was like at the end of K Dot video a week or two later.
Rio: The funny part is that we almost didn't send that beat. We sent that one by itself after another batch of beats. We were both like "All he can say is that he doesn't like it." It's funny because sometimes you really don't know which tracks the artist will like. By now we pretty much know which ones to play for Q. But we still get a little shocked sometimes.
What record do you feel will be your next hit and who is it with? (No names just clues)
Nez: I feel like our next hit could very well be our own record.
Rio: I agree. People will be surprised to hear music. It's good. We learn a lot from the artists we work with.
It's a lot of g.o.o.d kids out here too. Lol
What can one expect when working with Nez and Rio in the studio?
Nez: Cool vibes. A lot of jokes. Honey Jack and maybe some herbal aroma lol...you know the regular things.
Rio: Doves, man. Dozens of doves. And nude b*tches. Lol Nah just kidding. Same old stuff. Hard work. A lot of takes. And a lot of fun.
Even if someone has money for production, are there certain people you wont work with?
Nez: Its all about whose trying to be dope. We wanna be paid for our work for sure but we care about the art first. We'll work with anyone whose trying to be dope.
Rio: Absolutely. Integrity is key. 20 years from now you want to look back and see that you made a lasting impact. You want to make music that lasts the test if time. That can't happen if you're strictly in it for the paper. Don't get us wrong, we love the paper too but we need it to be dope first.
What music have you heard lately that makes you think "damn i need to get back into the studio immediately and step my game up"
Nez: Imma come clean I'm a big fan of Toro Y Moi. He's super dope. His album was definitely inspiring as far wanting to push the boundaries for me.
Rio: Toro, Everything coming out of TDE right now is hard, and I do a lot of comparing careers by age. I look at Kanye and Pharrell at my age and try to beat them. You can achieve a lot by trying to best your idols.
What is your favorite album outside of rap/hiphop?
Nez: There's so many...12 Play R. Kelly, Off The Wall Michael Jackson to say a few.
Rio: Yeah you can add Curtis Mayfield Superfly, Frank Ocean Channel Orange, and anything Little Dragon.
Is money or respect more important to you in this industry?
Nez: Both. I want the respect but to me cash plays a hand in that respect too because it is about numbers on the boards.
Rio: It's definitely about both. You can't respect anyone that's not dope and rich or dope and broke. I need both at all times.
Have you ever made a beat based off a movie you watched?
Nez: Yea definitely.
Rio: All the time. Sometimes we mute films with good cinematography and let them play while we make beats.
Where do you expect to be on this day 1 year from now?
Nez: Eating and making hits left and right.
Rio: in the studio with doves... And nude b*tches. Lol