No two producers have been more instrumental to the late Chinx Drugz’s sound than Blickie Blaze and Biggs. Dating back to Chinx’s 2013 mixtape Cocaine Riot 3, these two gave the emcee more than musical assistance — they built a brotherhood in the studio that lasted until his dying day and beyond.
“[The last session] was the night before [he was killed]. That was the scary part. He was with [his widow], Janelli, at the studio the night before. He had recorded for three days straight,” Biggs told REVOLT. “After his passing, the first thing we did was try to get his wife to move and get out of dodge because I was just on defense. We went down to Miami.”
In this installment of “Studio Sessions,” half of the Four Kings Production team discuss putting together Chinx’s latest posthumous album, CR6; his unreleased Weeknd collaboration; and how they have been keeping his legacy alive for nearly a decade.
When did you two first connect with Chinx?
Biggs: Chinx and I are both from Far Rockaway, and we had the connection already because I was familiar with Riot Squad, and Stack Bundles was recording at my studio before he passed away. Stack was here, and ItsBizkit actually bought Chinx to me as soon as Chinx got out of jail.
Blickie Blaze: When I first met Chinx, I was in the studio working on some film and television stuff. Chinx kind of heard the music we were making and he said, “Oh, y’all working.” So when he came downstairs, I started playing some joints. After that, he said, “Yo, you’re my producer, bro.” He already had a relationship with Biggs. So from that day, it was all love.
Biggs: What’s crazy is the studio is in the crib, and Chinx took full advantage of that. He would call and wake n**gas up out of their sleep: “Yo, call Blaze. Tell him to take a cab over here.” We had all types of wild and crazy sessions. So many that I winded up moving out of the studio because it was becoming like a Motown [Records] with Chinx recording 24 hours a day. He would come in after we left the club at 3:30 or 4 o’clock in the morning and go for two days straight.
How many songs would he do per session?
Biggs: He was literally the hook king. He was the one verse, 12 to 16 bar king. He’d go through 10 or 12 records in a session, but none of them were done. It was a gift and a curse at that time because he left us with a lot of material, but even with this project, we had to go through five or six versions of records until we got to the right ones. If it didn’t sound like him, then we’re not letting it go for the sake of letting it go. I definitely feel like we did that on this project.
Chinx seemed to have a great personality. I remember seeing a video of him doing a dance battle in the studio.
Blaze: We did s**t like that all day. Chinx was a funny dude. People also don’t know Chinx is one of the smartest n**gas ever, bro. He’s “Jeopardy”-type smart. He always came to me about bars, like when he made the “Off The Rip” song. He would always come to me, tap me and say, “Yo, Blaze, you heard what I just said, bro? Do you hear what I just said, bro?” He would go all day trying to convince me he said some s**t, bro. Then, there’s always the fact his favorite sandwich was the tuna sandwich from Dunkin’ Donuts. Then, one day, he woke up and came down the steps with the Ethika drawers, saying, “These are the best s**ts I’ve ever had in my life.” This was before everyone was getting on the Ethika wave.
Biggs: I was not only on the production side but also his manager. [Two] of my favorite songs of his [are] “How To Get Rich” and “Go Get It.” The reason why those songs hit for me so hard is because they were personal discussions he and I had. But then, he turned around and flipped those discussions, lyrically, into a record.
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The first body of work we got from him after he was killed in May 2015 was Welcome To JFK, which came out three months later. By the time he died, how much of the project was done?
Biggs: Both of those [posthumous] projects were pretty much done. We didn’t do any production after. I think the only production we did was for two records. There was one called “Legendary” with Harry Fraud that we did with Mavado [on Legends Never Die]. Also, “Die Young” [from Welcome To JFK] was the last record we did. Outside of those two records, everything else was complete. After his passing, the first thing we did was try to get his wife to move and get out of dodge because I was just on defense. We went down to Miami.
He passed on May 17, 2015. How soon before that would you say was the final session you guys had in the studio?
Biggs: It was the night before. That was the scary part. He was with [his widow], Janelli, at the studio the night before. He had recorded for three days straight. It got to the point that Nelli said, “Okay, I’m going home.” She went home, and that night a promoter hit him up to come and do a party in the city. I think in that session, he did “Die Young.” He didn’t say whether or not it was going to make the album, but it was one of those profound things where, when I went back in the sessions and listened, it broke everybody down. I was crying.
Blaze: What [Meet] Sims was explaining to me was that they would never put that song out.
Biggs: They were probably tripping off a bad batch or something like that and started thinking about their mortality and being transparent. It wound up being a letter to everybody. It’s the last track on Welcome To JFK because it was so hard to put that record together.
French Montana is on that record. He’s the artist most closely tied to Chinx. What was their creative chemistry like in the studio?
Biggs: They definitely matched each other. French can run marathons too. It’s funny because we had a studio here, and then we put a studio in French’s house when he moved to Jersey. As soon as we put that studio in here, everybody was here. It was French. It was Trina. Then, we moved the studio over there and had to lock in for two or three months. Blaze was getting mad because we were going to Jersey, and he was over there for four or five days straight (laughs). He’s like, “Yo, this is nuts.”
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You mentioned you had a session with Durk, French, Chinx, and Trina. How’d that happen? Did anything come from it?
Biggs: The first time it happened, we did “Feelings.” We shot the video for “Feelings.” So, we got Durk, Trina, French, and Chinx didn’t even know. Durk flew in and did his cameo in the video. After the video [was] done, we chilled at the house. Everybody went down to the studio, and it turned into a session. Durk was brand new when we first started coming. He was beginning to make his waves and his heat. The sessions were more like sparring. It’s a competitive sport because they’re all rappers at the end of the day.
You’re all over the new CR6 album. What about this project is following Chinx’s vision?
Biggs: Chinx is a fly, wavy guy. He was the king of remixes. So, when you look at the first record that we dropped with Zach, [“Rollin In The Dope”], and the direction we went with that — we drilled it out. Would you ever have expected Chinx on that type of production? But that’s what’s current and what’s right now. Then, we have other tracks like the one we did with Benny the Butcher featuring Chinx’s brother JFK Waxx, [“Check This Out”], which is more of a New York record. There were some records where the beat was trash, and we had to take a vocal from one place and put it in another beat to make a complete record. We know his sound because we were with him more than anybody else.
Blaze: His albums are really informative. His albums give a message.
What are the oldest records on this project?
Blaze: “Don’t Wanna Talk.” It was a full record. We gave him a record with a sample, and we just didn’t touch the sample. My birthday was [Nov. 18]. I’m always in the studio. But, Chinx called me that night while I was in a session in Brooklyn. He and Stokes called me and said, “We’re going out tonight.” I ended up sending him a record instead of coming to see him on my birthday. I think he recorded the record in the city and sent it to me. It wasn’t really all the way done. But I know that was one of his favorite records.
Biggs: The hardest record we did is the last one on the album, “On Purpose.” First, we had to find the sessions. That was a nightmare because Chinx would record so fast, and he was so lethargic. So you would open up a session, and it has six different sessions in it. It has six different sessions in it because he was indecisive on the beats. So he had these throwaways, but you’re looking for “Don’t Wanna Talk” and “Rollin In The Dope.”
How did you decide to put people like Benny the Butcher on records with Chinx for this album?
Biggs: I think he mentioned Benny and Griselda to me a while ago. He would always keep his finger on the pulse of what was going on everywhere. Also, Buffalo and Connecticut and all these different places were places we would frequent because that’s where the music was the hottest. I haven’t reached out to somebody that’s out of the vein of what I know he would do — even the Migos record. We’ve had it for eight years because they came to New York. We actually have three records with them because they were on one of the mixtapes too. If there’s a feature to really be talked about, it’s his brother. That’s something that they never got to do together. His brother always dabbled in rap but never took it seriously because he was in the street.
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What’s an unreleased Chinx record you hope comes out?
Biggs: We got a Weeknd record with Chinx. We got a B.o.B. record. But timing is everything.