Heatmakerz: Still Blazing



The December marked the ten-year anniversary of Cam’Ron’s Purple Haze album. The 23-track disc was recorded during a time that found Cam’Ron Giles at the height of his popularity, skill level and creative chemistry with production crew, The Heatmakerz. Though the production team only contributed two tracks to Cam’s cult classic, they did contribute heavily to albums such as The Diplomats’ Diplomatic Immunity and Juelz Santana’s From Me to U and What the Game’s Been Missing!, which all helped to shape the sound at the center of the Cam’s Dipset movement. However, throughout the Dipset reign, the New York-based production crew remained largely overlooked.

“I don’t want to sound like the angry artist, but we’ve never gotten the credit we deserve,” says Rsonist of The Heatmakerz. “I say that because Dipset came out of nowhere and people were so amazed by the movement that they sort of neglected to give the production the same credit that they gave other elements of the movement. They never gave the production credit for helping to create the movement.”

It’s been a decade since their initial run and The Heatmakerz still aren’t being rightfully acknowledged for their impact. Recently there’s been a revival of sorts in a sound that is seemingly similar to that which The Heatmakerz first gained notoriety for during the early 2000s. In lieu of calling on the originators of the sound for that authentic heat, rappers like Drake, with songs like, “How About Now” and “Tuscan Leather” and T.I., with “King” – the intro to his latest album, Paperwork – have opted to rely on Heatmakerz-inspired tracks created by other producers.

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what sparked the recent interest in this Heatmakerz -ish sound. Rumors – which were later confirmed by Rsonist in an interview with MTV – did begin circulating in early 2013 that Kanye West had summoned The Heatmakerz to produce some heat for what would become his Yeezus album. Though the music they worked on for Ye didn’t make his sixth album’s final cut, it did show that there was definitely still an interest in that signature Heatmakerz sound.

Rsonist feels that producers have felt comfortable with, as he puts it, “copying our style and not really feeling anyway about it”, simply due to the fact that not too much of the spotlight has ever been placed on The Heatmakerz. “I’m not mad when anybody does it. I’m just mad they’re acting as if there’s been no way to get in contact with us,” he states. “To some people it may look like they’re paying homage, but in all fairness they aren’t paying homage, because we’re still alive. If we died they’d be paying homage, but we’re still alive, so they can reach out to us and get a real Heatmakerz beat.”

He does admit that he and his team are appreciative of the fact that people are still supporting a sound that they created many years ago. “I’m not mad at anybody, because at the end of the day there are a lot of producers that aren’t even remembered in this era,” he says, calling it, “a beautiful thing.”

“Hip-hop needs a redirection, not because it’s not good or anything, but because it’s time,” says Rsonist, before expressing that he feels The Diplomats could help create that shift, particularly with the assistance of The Heatmakerz. “We could potentially change the scope of hip hop right now,” he adds excitedly.

There have been attempts made to get everybody together and working again. Rsonist and Dipset member, Jim Jones have even had a conversation recently where the two were trying to figure how they could, at the very least, put a six-song Heatmakerz-produced Diplomats EP together for the fans, who have long been awaiting new music from the Harlem collective. “It needs to happen,” Rsonist says of a potential reunion between the rap group and the production crew.

To this day, there are fans that are still obsessed with all things Dipset, and Rsonist has theory as to why that is. He says it is a direct result of both The Heatmakerz and the Set (excluding Cam’Ron) – at the time – being new to the game. “We were brand new producers and they were brand new artists, so we didn’t have guidelines for what we should or shouldn’t do. Everything was so effortless.”

Rsonist believes that everything goes in cycles, and maybe there’s some truth to that. Just as the Heatmakerz’s sound quietly circles back to the forefront of hip hop, Cam’Ron announces via Instagram (The post read: #AChangeGoneCome.. my last album.. #PurpleHaze2 this summer.. It’s been fun) that the sequel to Purple Haze is on its way and that it will also be his last album. Hopefully, Cam, the rest of The Diplomats and The Heatmakerz can reconnect for this momentous occasion, and in doing so, The Heatmakerz can finally receive the credit they’ve long been overdue.