Big Tune Results 2010

Big Tune Results 2010

Event Recap

More than one thousand music and hip-hop enthusiasts flocked to the Metro in Chicago to watch producers from around the country compete to find out who had the next “Big Tune." Eighteen burgeoning music producers participated in head-to-head battles in one of the nine qualifying cities before migrating on to the Red Bull Big Tune National Finals in Chicago. At the end of the night it was clear that the producers hailing from Detroit had won the crowd over, leading into the final round that pit Detroit against Detroit. Ultimately, 14KT pleased the audience with his fresh beats and energetic style winning the 2010 National Finals.

A coin-flip started each head-to-head battle but the end result was based on the crowd’s determination through cheers, hollers and overall applause.

Special performances by Just Blaze and DJ Premier kept the party going while stunning MPC performances by Exile and Araab Muzik kept everyone’s attention. The bass was blowing back the hair of several while tabletops of the DJ stands had to get bolted down for extra security, resulting in WTF-responses from the hosts, the competitors and the audience who all got to witness some unbelievable beat-making talent. The floor represented a factory of bobble-heads by the time the semi-finals were on the line between LA’s Hitmakers, Portland’s Xperiment, and Detroit’s 14KT and NOSPEAKERZ.

While searching for the next big name in music production, Red Bull Big Tune also took the time to reach out to inner city kids through a music education outreach program at local music schools, colleges and community centers. The program hosts shared vital information about the art of making music and the business tips needed to navigate the industry that help inspire and create the future beat makers of America.

Budo Winner
Budo has toured the U.S. and Europe with the likes of Brother Ali and the CunninLynguists, but the producer’s journey really started with a seventh-grade computer-music class. "The synthesis of music and technology opened a door to an immense world of creativity," Budo remembers. The young trumpeter/guitarist/bassist immediately began developing a unique production style by applying his first-hand knowledge of instrumentation. Now 28, Budo describes his current sound as "1970 in 2025." With a resume that already includes work with Mr. Lif, Grieves and M.anifest, don’t be surprised if Budo starts making some serious noise in 2011 with multiple scheduled releases.
14KT Runner-Up
"I’m set apart just based on where I’m from," says this native of Ypsilanti, Michigan. "Each producer is coming from a different city and environment, so when you apply that to the music, the styles are going to vary." Drawing from Detroit’s abundant musical wealth, 14KT has spent the last 15 years integrating elements of techno, hip-hop, soul, electro and gospel to create a sound that keeps him in demand the world over. After completing a European tour with Buff1 earlier this year, 14KT headed back stateside for his third appearance at SXSW. While in Austin, he earned a spot at his second Red Bull Big Tune final, having previously won the Detroit qualifier in 2008.
The Incredible Stro Winner
The Incredible Stro started off playing keys for the South Jersey duo Cartel la Familia. Working on his abilities with drumbeats, Stro gradually deepened his sound and began attracting the interest of other emerging Jersey artists like Apollo the Great and Beano. Now having taken first at 2010 Red Bull Big Tune Philadelphia, Stro comes into the Chicago finale representing the City of Brotherly Love—but he knows that just a few more big tunes will shine the light on some of Jersey’s most overlooked talent.
T Mos Runner-Up
"A blessing in disguise." That’s how T-Mos describes going home early at 2009 Red Bull Big Tune Denver. "Ever since then," the 24-year-old says, "I’ve only wanted to achieve more through my music." As he heads into this year’s Chicago finale after finishing runner-up at the Philly qualifier, the Maryland resident doesn’t plan to represent a city, state or even region. Instead, he’s holding it down for an entire culture. Back in 1999 when he first heard the Beatnuts track "Se Acabo," T-Mos says he realized "that hip-hop was sleeping on Hispanic culture." He adds, "I decided to start producing because I took it upon myself to show the world the beauty behind my culture’s music."
Los Angeles
Dibia$e Winner
Asked to name the best part about making the 2010 Red Bull Big Tune Final, Dibiase doesn’t mention the opportunity to move more copies of his recent debut LP, "Machines Hate Me." Nor does he talk about promoting his planned 2011 releases from the All City and Fat City labels. Instead, this Watts native describes the Chicago event as a "chance to expose other music lovers to the L.A. sound and the L.A. beat scene." Not one to forget where he’s from, Dibiase also stays true to the era that he came up in. Partly due to his ability to re-envision music from classic video games, as well as television series like the "A-Team," Dibiase has created a style that he considers to be "not really a style, but rather a reflection of who I am."
Captain Runner-Up
Given his track record at beat battles, Captain didn’t have high hopes heading into the 2010 Red Bull Big Tune L.A. qualifier. But this time the 23-year-old producer from Highland, California didn’t get bounced after the first or second round. With a little help from the moves that he developed during his time as a dancer, Captain captured the L.A. crowd’s attention and finished with runner-up distinctions—and a ticket to the Chicago final. Not too shabby for a guy who’s only been at the production game for three years. Although everyone else in his family either plays an instrument or sings, Captain previously distinguished himself as a sponsored skateboarder.
San Francisco
Cam Winner (Tie)
It’s been a busy second half of 2010 for this 21-year-old Las Vegas producer. Cam left home in June to compete at the Red Bull Big Tune qualifier in San Francisco, where he won co-champion honors. Three months later he celebrated the launch of a Nike video that featuerd his own original score, followed almost immediately by full producer credit on emerging emcee Sean Rose’s new EP. Cam will wrap up the whirlwind six months in Chicago, where he hopes "to finally shed some light on the music scene in Las Vegas and come one step closer to putting my hometown on the map."
Hitmakers Winner (Tie)
When Hitmakers began producing music in 2001, he didn’t have high expectations. “Actually,” the man born as Justin Yonan says, “at that point, I was happy if I could get my music onto a CD.” In 2005, the Bay Area beatsmith’s attitude changed when executives at Bad Boy Records expressed interest in his music via MySpace. Since then, increasing ambition has resulted in a debut production album, “Life in 3D,” with the follow-up slated for 2011. During 2010 alone, Hitmakers’ tracks have featured on “Melrose Place,” “Greek,” “The Real World” and “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.”
Boon Doc Winner
When Boon Doc says, "I’m not a one-trick pony," history backs him up. After starting out as an MC, Boon Doc first transitioned to production seven years ago—in which time he’s become a YouTube sensation and deepened his art with an entrepreneurial spirit. Videos of the two-time Red Bull Big Tune Denver champion tearing it up in the studio earn page views in the millions, while the man’s website hosts an expanding catalogue of for-sale beats and drum kits. Eclectic not only in charact
Xperiment Runner-Up
On his blog, Xperiment describes the 2010 Red Bull Big Tune Denver event as "one of the most exciting, heart-racing, adrenaline-pumping and nerve-racking days of my life." Although the 22-year-old Portland producer characterizes his music as "emotional" and says that he likes to "provoke a listener beyond just dancing to a beat, but to explore the feelings it represents," his stuff at Denver got enough people moving to earn a spot in Chicago. Now that he’s through to the finals, expect to hear some brand new beats from the man whose first major solo release is slated for 2011.
Risingson Winner
A second-place finish at 2008 Red Bull Big Tune Seattle inspired Risingson to expand his range of musical styles. "I don’t do one type of beat," the man explains. "I can do any type of beat." The 29-year-old put his virtuosity on display while producing an Xzibit single that dropped summer 2010. A few months later he went back to Red Bull Big Tune Seattle, this time leaving with first-place credentials. Now the Seatown native intends to take the overall championship back home, giving the Emerald City its second Red Bull Big Tune title in four years.
Trox Runner-Up
"At the end of the day, it’s a Northwest thing." So says Trox, who lives in Portland but punched his ticket for the 2010 Red Bull Big Tune Final by winning the Seattle qualifier. In addition to flexing his regional pride at the Chicago competition, Trox hopes to raise the Northwest’s hip-hop profile with the 2011 release of "The Pavement" from Epp, which Trox fully produced. Based on the nature of his music, maybe at the end of the day it’s really a universal thing. "I like to make beats that everyone would like," Trox says, "regardless of region or subgenre."
G MO Winner
"I wanted to be a rapper first," G Mo says about his initial childhood attempts at making music, "but who wants to hear a 12-year-old rap?" After dabbling on the mic, the preadolescent G Mo found his own talents behind the boards. "I started making beats, found out I was good and kept going with it," the now full-grown Minnesotan explains. Influenced equally by fine art, comics, photography and shoe design, G Mo has developed a sound signature that he describes as "modern and eclectic." As he puts it, "I’m always trying to listen to what’s going on and do the opposite. I try to put my twist on every beat."
Nicademus Runner-Up
Nicademus started as an MC but moved to production because, as he says, "everyone and their mom raps nowadays." Mom might try to rhyme, but she’s probably not collaborating with the likes of Freeway and Talib Kweli, or getting the Alchemist to spit on two different tracks. Nicademus, who grew up listening to classical music in South Minneapolis, can claim not only those personal accomplishments but also significant group success. Trakhouse Productions launched in 2006 and features Emazin, Faith and Vintage One Productions in addition to the 2010 Red Bull Big Tune Minneapolis runner-up.
St. Louis
Trifeckta Winner
Trifeckta spent time growing up in California, Maryland and Texas. Still, there’s no question which place the current St. Louis resident will represent heading into the 2010 Red Bull Big Tune Final. "You may know Chuck Berry, Nelly, the St. Lunatics, Chingy and J-Kwon," the 29-year-old says, "but we have way more diversity lyrically, musically and in our showmanship." Not forgetting his Midwest manners, Trifeckta adds, "We’d really appreciate your attention." Come November 18 Trifeckta will appeal for a little more STL love with a selection of joints that feature his theatrical, street-cinema soundscapes.
Mike "EM80" Dupree Runner-Up
Before catching his flight to Chicago for the 2010 Red Bull Big Tune Final, Mike “EM80” DuPree explained his mindset with one simple Tweet: “WORKIN’!” Not that this came as news to anyone who knows the dude. EM80’s relentless hustle, combined with the soulful sound of his music, has made him a known commodity in the STL hip-hop community. After finishing runner-up at the St. Louis qualifier this year, Mike said his idea of celebrating amounted to knuckling down and knocking out some brand new tracks to drop in Chicago.
Nospeakerz Winner
Following a maxim that states, "It’s not how it sounds but how it feels," these three teammates (iRock, Fame and BeeLee) have created a style that they say "sounds like nothing else, feels like everything—and that feels good." The crowd at this year’s Detroit qualifier felt good enough to award the guys a trip to Chicago to rep the Motor City, and no one on NOSPEAKERZ plans on falling short. "We are a team that understands the evolution of music," the producers say. "We want to be the best, period."
Big Pops Runner-Up
"I don’t have a particular sound because I try to do everything," says this Toronto producer. "Hip-hop, pop, R&B, house—I just love to make music." Big Pops’ versatility has paid serious dividends within a short period of time. In less than six years of focused production experience, Big Pops has worked with Lil Wayne, Drake and Gucci Mane, among other household names. Throw in titles from beat battles in Toronto, London, Atlanta and Detroit, and this 24-year-old has the chops to hold his own against the most seasoned vets around.

The Winner

Drawing from Detroit’s abundant musical wealth, 14KT has spent the last 15 years integrating elements of techno, hip-hop, soul, electro and gospel to create a sound that keeps him in demand. After previously winning the Detroit qualifier in 2008, 14KT earned second place as the runner-up at this year’s first Red Bull Big Tune qualifier in Austin, TX. He was just concluding his third appearance at SXSW after returning from a European tour with Buff1. Detroit’s 14KT will now be heading into Red Bull Studios in LA in the near future to record with an A-list artist of his choice. In past years, names have included Common, Ghostface, The Game, Ludacris, Lupe Fiasco, Talib Kweli and NAS.

14KT is not the only producer already on the fast track, hailing from different backgrounds, each producer came with a unique story and sound. This year’s National runner-up, NOSPEAKERZ, includes “Bee Lee,” and when Bee Lee isn’t producing beats or rapping, he may be at the local barbershop cutting hair. The only time he turned down the opportunity to trim up an established artist was on the evening of the Red Bull Big Tune qualifier in Detroit last month. That artist ended up in the front row that night at St. Andrews Hall and witnessed NOSPEAKERZ’ talent and dedication. Only a few weeks later and they already have a track produced with Detroit-native Obie Trice.

I’m set apart just based on where I’m from,” says this native of Ypsilanti, Michigan. “Each producer is coming from a different city and environment, so when you apply that to the music, the styles are going to vary.”

Keep up with 14KT at!/14KT AND