Hip-hop’s beatsmiths are fixed reminders that the DJ was the first star of the show and the emcee was a supporting force. In the thirty something years of hip-hop’s life the DJ returned to eminence by the time Jam Master Jay reached his peak. Christopher “Drumma Boy” Gholson is one more shining producer to come out of the school of beats and rhymes that the Bronx Three set-off in the ‘70’s. The Memphis native who’s most popular work is the cliff-hanging piano and keyed-in horns of Young Jeezy’s “Put On” is up for two Grammys for that song and work on T.I.’s platinum selling Paper Trail. His Drum Squad has been moving at a viral pace since he did work for Pastor Troy’s D.S.G.B. project a few years ago. Music was not an unusual choice because he was raised in a home with an operatic singing mother and professional woodwind player and music professor for a father. If his parents were not listening to the music that paid the bills they enjoyed the company of stellar local stars and would often have Isaac Hayes visit for breakfast. But it is his older brother Slice T and friends like Jazze Pha that inspired and educated his interest in becoming a hip-hop producer. Busta Rhymes, Young Joc, Keyshia Cole and Monica are some of the people in his appointment book but his success has not deterred him from modesty and humility in a business that thrives on ego. In this interview he describes his earlier life in Memphis, his family, beatmaking and his new TV show Welcome To Dreamland.
I know that you grew-up with different kinds of musicians in your family and I also know you studied an instrument yourself. What made you choose hip-hop for your profession?
It wasn’t really a choice it was something that I grew-up on and really I was just making music I didn’t really classify myself as hip-hop. Hip-hop just found me. A lot of the artists that came out of Memphis are pretty much hip-hop artists Al Green is only doing so much with his music like as far as the blues rhythm and blues it ain’t really no R&B artists out of Memphis other than what’s the lady’s name Stone (Angie Stone) I can’t even think of her name it’s not even that many artists coming out of Memphis other than hip-hop. So you gotta take what my daddy used to always tell me “You gotta take what the defense give you” you know what I’m saying if that’s what they giving me that’s what I’m going to take until R& B artists like so much of my hip-hop music that they want me to do R&B for them. I expressed that with “Here I Am” the Rick Ross joint getting musical and letting the world know I am a music producer I can produce any genre of music. And I also demonstrated that on this reality show we just shot called Welcome To Dreamland the artists that I had made it down to the finals rock, pop, Lenny Kravitz type artists and they doubted me nobody thought that I would pull it out and I mean we brought some real crazy material to the table. I mean it’s just a blessing to have this talent I mean for people to not really know I was capable of producing any genre that is brought to me.