A Waste Of Time with ItsTheReal


#62: DJ Drama

This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the undisputed king of mixtapes, DJ Drama, to the Upper West Side! A longtime friend (as well as previous guest on the Lil Uzi Vert episode), Drama is promoting his new album Quality Street Music 2, available July 22nd! He talks about his journey from Philadelphia backpack rap fan to more-worldly student at Clark Atlanta University to leader in Atlanta's movement to the center of hip-hop in the early 2000's. We discuss working with Jeezy, T.I., Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Pharrell, Little Brother, R. Kelly, and so many others, his early days in Atlanta playing clubs and poolside at Evander Holyfield's mansion, and what it means to team with this generation's own rockstar, Lil Uzi Vert!

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Monday, August 3, 2020

#318: Greg Mayo

This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we get on the phone with our best friend, musical partner and third creative partner in ItsTheReal, Greg Mayo! Greg discusses growing up in a creative household, the son of a painter mother and a touring musician father (who played with, among others, Hall & Oates, Foreigner, Aerosmith and Peter Frampton, most famously on Frampton Comes Alive), how he initially shunned his musical side to focus on baseball, what it meant when his parents divorced, how listening to ONYX, Cypress Hill and LL Cool J informed his rhythmic thinking, how being competitive with his brother took his learning guitar into overdrive, how he focused his musical ambitions through high school bands and into studying jazz composition in college, and the unforgettable weekend his dad flew in to feature on a handful of tracks on Greg's first solo album. Greg takes us back to the phone call he got his sophomore year at Purchase College informing him that father passed away in Europe on tour, how he's moved forward in living life, the advice that his dad left that carries through to everything both work and personal, and how he's since responded when dealing with the loss of other close family members, including his brother. We reflect on our collaborations through the years, from writing and recording mixtapes as teenagers in Greg's basement to dreaming up sketches to give to the internet to stepping on stages we never could have imagined, the core values and good energy that surrounds that creativity, and how that same passion to make each other laugh is what we strive for today. All that, plus how's Greg's gotten into doing film scoring, how he became a staple at NYC clubs like Rockwood Music Hall and The Bitter End, who he leans toward between The Neptunes and Timbaland, why he didn't attend his high school reunion, where life could have taken him in a sliding doors moment, another classic Greg Mayo car story and so much more! Wanna collaborate with Greg? Go to GregMayo.net
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

#312: Leslie Brathwaite

This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we call down to Atlanta to connect back with the premier mix engineer in the business, the multi Grammy Award-winning Leslie Brathwaite! Leslie, who would go on to be the trusted man behind the boards for Beyoncé, Pharrell, Jay-Z, Outkast, TLC, Madonna, Lil Uzi Vert, Jack Harlow, Rick Ross, Jeezy, Cash Money, Monica, and so many more talks about growing up in the U.S. Virgin Islands, falling in love with music by deep-diving into his father's record collection, the three months his mother wouldn't speak to him because he was he was focused on studying music in college, the guidance counselor who led him to Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, the balance he found between technical prowess and pure feeling, what trial and error meant to his early career, how he scored an internship at Dallas Austin's elusive studio, the long-lasting friendship he's had with T-Boz of TLC, what their recording sessions were like, how Creep was written over a 30-minute car ride to dinner, how his time working with Dallas came to an end and allowed for new collaborations, and where he was when he got the call that Left Eye had passed away. Leslie discusses his thoughts on superstar auras, the one voice that he could listen to - a cappella or with instrumentation - for ever and ever, his shocking choice of whose voice is criminally underrated, the mixes that caused Andre 3000 and Beyoncé to stop in their tracks in satisfaction, the one mix that bothers Leslie to this day, and the one mix that he's completely pleased with. And most importantly, we discuss race, privilege in the music business, having to work twice as hard to get half the reward, how important it is to speak your truth, how Leslie explained to his children why people harbor hate, how he feels as a Black man in America in the middle of 2020, and much more.
Monday, June 15, 2020

#311: Atlantic Records VP of Rap Promotions Sam Crespo

This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we call our longtime friend and VP of Promotions at Atlantic Records Sam Crespo to discuss growing up in The Bronx in the 80s, falling in love with illustrations and music, traveling all around New York City to be a part of the hip-hop, metal and punk scenes, going to college and briefly studying to be an accountant, a professor's advice that changed his career path and ultimately his life, starting in the music business in Relativity Records' warehouse, moving into their sales office, meeting fellow Bronx native/Puerto Rican/hip-hop head Fat Joe, making a name for himself as a street promotions leader for Tommy Boy Records, what it was like to meet Kevin Lyles in interviewing for a job at Def Jam at the turn of the century, his friendship with N.O.R.E., meeting DMX the weekend Sam was about to get married, working Joe Budden's first album and the difference between Focus and Pump It Up, why Freeway's Flipside took 20 years to fully impact, moving over to Atlantic Records and working with T.I., DJ Drama, Wiz Khalifa, Lupe Fiasco, Lil Uzi Vert, Jucee Froot, how he's kept such a high level of respect around the business through his entire career, how he and his wife Shawnte have raised their 14-year old daughter, how Sam was diagnosed with cancer, fought it and has been in remission for five years, how each of his record companies have supported him through both personal ups and downs, his favorite moment in visiting Hot 97 with Angie Martinez, and so much more!