At just 26, Chauncey Hollis – better known as Hit-Boy – has become one of more sought-after producers in the current hip-hop game. After all, he is the man behind “In Paris,” the chart-topping, Grammy-winning Jay-Z/Kanye West anthem.
Jigga and Yeezy are just a couple of the successful artists Hit-Boy has collaborated with: Others are Beyonce, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Jennifer Lopez, will.i.am, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Drake – oh, it just goes on and on. But like most people who create hits for other artists, it was only a matter of time before Hollis got behind the mic to show off his talents. He’s currently doing that as one of the opening artists for Lil Wayne’s America’s Most Wanted Festival, which comes to town Saturday.
“It’s been amazing – great energy every night from the crowd,” said Hit-Boy, on the phone from Atlanta.
Before he was a behind-the-scenes playa, the Fontana, Calif., native always had his sights on being an emcee.
“It was always kinda just in me, you know?” he said, citing that he “was just gonna do it, no matter how long it took.”
In May 2011, he was signed to West’s G.O.O.D. Music label, where he would go on to produce instantly popular tunes such as “Paris” and “Clique.” Considering that West was once an ambitious yet unknown emcee who got his foot in the door producing beats for others, Hit-Boy obviously got a lot of lessons from him.
“That’s priceless information you get to, you know, hear about – when he was going through his struggles,” he said. “And it’s the same thing I’m going through right now, definitely.”
Hit-Boy is no longer signed to G.O.O.D. Music, since now he has a record label of his own: Hits Since ’87.
Hit-Boy has certainly been on his grind, letting people know he’s on his own and bringing along other aspiring artists with him. Earlier this year, he dropped his latest mixtape, the appropriately titled “All I’ve Ever Dreamed Of.” This mixtape, which includes appearances from Common, 2 Chainz and Robin Thicke, also has guest shots from performers Audio Push, K. Roosevelt, who are on Hit-Boy’s label.
“I’m definitely just trying to bring back how I used to feel when I was watching Bad Boy and I was watching Death Row and I was watching all these different teams,” he said. “They seemed like brothers. They seemed like real family, you know. I’m trying to invite the same thing and just bring quality music, quality visuals, quality product every time.”
So, before he serves up that eventual, full-length debut, he’s continuing to get the show going for the Lil Wayne tour – and he’s psyched to do it.
“I just try to enjoy myself no matter what the crowd looks like,” he said. “Whether it’s 50 people or 5,000 people or 10,000 people, I kinda just bring the same energy that I bring.”
Maybe one day, Hit-Boy will get to that level of success where he can perform one of his own hit tunes in front of a massive, frenzied crowd – over and over again.