“FRIEND OF MINE” BY KELLY PRICE
“THE THINGS YOU DO [BAD BOY REMIX]” BY GINA THOMPSON FEAT. MISSY ELLIOTT
“HONEY” BY MARIAH CAREY
“SUMMERTIME” BY BEYONCÉ FEAT. DIDDY
“BREAKDOWN” BY MARIAH CAREY FEAT. BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY
“MO’ MONEY MO’ PROBLEMS” BY NOTORIOUS B.I.G.
“LOVE @ FIRST SIGHT” BY MARY J. BLIGE FEAT. METHOD MAN
“LET ME BLOW YA MIND” BY EVE FEAT. GWEN STEFANI
“CAN’T NOBODY HOLD ME DOWN” BY PUFF DADDY FEAT. MASE
“CAN’T LET HER GO” BY BOYZ II MEN
“ONLY YOU” BY 112 FEAT. NOTORIOUS B.I.G.
“NEVER LEAVE YOU” BY LUMIDEE
“I’LL BE MISSING YOU” BY DIDDY FEAT. FAITH EVANS AND 112
“SPENDIN’ MONEY” BY R. KELLY
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY” BY NEW EDITION
Puff Daddy ft. Busta Rhymes and The Notorious B.I.G. “Victory,” No Way Out
Puff Daddy ft. Carl Thomas, Ginuwine and Twista “Is This the End,” No Way Out
Puff Daddy ft. Foxy Brown “Friends,” No Way Out
“Niggas Bleed,” “Notorious Thugs,” “Another,” “Playa Hater,” “Nasty Boy,” “You’re Nobody (till Somebody Kills You)” from the album Life After Death
Brian McKnight: “You Should Be Mine (Don’t Waste Your Time)” from the album Anytime
I’m sitting in my living room listening to the album Personal Conversation by Case (S/O to Case, your music is the perfect tempo for creating a classic article) and watching one of my favorite TV shows, Jeopardy. The “cool factor” of Jeopardy is even if you don’t know the answer it’s super intriguing to find out the real truth of the question. When I research all of the “true” classics Stevie J has produced or contributed to I find myself in another episode of Jeopardy. Hidden genius is a beautiful quality because it doesn’t seek attention, superficial attraction, or its own interest; the motivation is fueled by passion and relentless ambition. The characteristics of Stevie J are a perfect blend of God-given vision, gargantuan inner drive, unflinching confidence, and an ounce of insanity. Okay, I love Case but the Red Berry Ciroc is kicking in so I fast-forward to “Can’t Nobody Hold Us Down” off the No Way Out album. Normally when you hear a sampled song it doesn’t reinvent itself, but that’s part of Stevie J’s secret formula. Stevie J has an amazing ability to complement a track with an untraceable production approach and signature melodic finish. The footprints of legends can only be followed and not duplicated and that’s why his trademark sound will and must be publicly declared. I’m so amped right now! Music is the soundtrack to life and when “VICTORY” comes on, so many visions and thoughts are racing through my mind. I’m pacing through my condo like I’m in the ring of a championship fight.
Yo, the sun don’t shine forever
(You can turn the track up a little bit for me)
But as long as it’s here then we might as well shine together
(All up in my ears)
Better now than never, business before pleasure
(The mic is loud, but the beats isn’t loud)
P-Diddy and the Fam, who you know do it better?
Timeless music! How did Stevie J know what to add or cut from this sample and then make it work? Success has different outlooks, but the ingredients are always consistent. Stevie J hears a sound only he can ascertain and develop. When he enters into a studio, the room feels, smells, looks, and resonates with an ambrosial atmosphere. Every great performer, athlete, and entertainer has this creative arena within their mind which enables supernatural results and unfathomable heights of phenomenon. I just finished listening to “PAIN” and “Is This the End” blare through my speakers like a hip hop symphony. Ginuwine, Twista, and Puff Daddy own this track like it’s a birthright and it flows like a sonic motion picture in HD. Who could make death sound so good? Stevie J! The overall instrumentation and sonic delivery of this track are matchless in this current era. My adrenaline is wearing off a little, so as I sit my Red Berry Ciroc self down, I flip over to the track “HONEY (Bad Boy Remix).” This universal track connects with every race, gender, and hater! Jadakiss rips it from the beginning, Styles P supplies his signature gritty undertones, Mase provides the perfect god-flow finger roll, Puff is simply being Puff, and Mariah is like Cool Whip—she’s good on top of any dessert! Stevie J’s behind-the-scenes influence is visible throughout each verse, hook, string, chord, and baseline. Stevie J is James Worthy on the fast break and nobody finishes better. Who can make a pop record cross over to the streets better than Stevie J along with the Hitmen production team? Stevie J understands the language of music and that’s an inborn, God-induced gift. Possessing the ability to coordinate seven instruments simultaneously, manage sound, tones, voice inflection, intonation, and most importantly artistic chemistry. I stop and do 100 quick push-ups to get my blood flowing and raise my adrenaline. I switch to “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems” from the ten times platinum Life After Death album. Once B.I.G. said:
Uh, uh, B.I.G., P.O.P.P.A, no info, for the, DEA
Federal agents mad cause I’m flagrant
Tap my cell and the phone in the basement
My team supreme, stay clean triple beam lyrical dream
Man, need I say more about this classic record that Stevie J was a part of during the meteoric rise of Notorious B.I.G.? How many producers/people would Sean Combs trust with the music and career of B.I.G.? How many producers possess the patience, instinct, and overall musical acumen to deliver for arguably the greatest MC of all time? (It’s always a toss-up between B.I.G. and Tupac.) Stevie J’s catalog is responsible for the biggest hits during an entire decade and not to mention after the 90s as well. When I think about the song “I’ll Be Missing You” and the impact the record has made worldwide and continues to assist in healing the emotional wounds of people, I often wonder about the state of mind he commanded during those studio moments. Knowing that B.I.G. was recently buried and the entire world was waiting and needed this record for their eternal playlist. Stevie J, Puff, Faith, 112, and Sauce Money engineered one of the greatest songs of unity in the league of “We Are the World.” Everyone in the world felt compelled to mourn and be inspired at the very same moment.
Once again the beautiful mind of Stevie J provided the finely detailed production assembly of emotion, chords, guitar strings, blissful sounds, and undertones of Faith and 112 and made history again. Most people admire, detest, applaud, aspire to, and reject Stevie J every Monday night via VH1. The channel showcases a very small portion of his life. Stevie’s life is a true soundtrack and we’ve only heard a few tracks of it. In 2016, Stevie J will ascend to new heights and release new musical jewels for the world to love again. Stevie J is in the best shape of his life mentally, physically, and spiritually and he’s leaving no stone unturned. Multiple movies, TV shows, business ventures, and more occupy his current and 2016 roll-out calendar. The infamous Stevie J bus has actually turned into a super-ultra RV and more people have come aboard for obvious reasons. When you closely examine his catalog, journey, sound, music production, faith, and God-given talent there can only be one title: LORD OF THE STRINGS.
The entire staff of Popular Magazine, TALKTOCHELYNN, Million Dollar Mindset Talk Show, and EAE Radio salute your legacy and continued grind toward greatness. This article is written by Jonathan P-Wright, chief contributor of Popular Magazine, host of the Million Dollar Mindset Talk Show, and senior writer for Scrilla Guerilla Magazine.