Thisis50 & Jack Thriller recently sat down with Traxster. He talks about producing big hits with artists such as Mariah ...
The Legendary Traxster (a.k.a. Sam Lindley) is an American songwriter / producer. He currently produced the Certified Platinum Smash, “My Chick Bad” by Ludacris featuring Nicki Minaj on the album “The Battle of The Sexes”. Traxster’s production on “My Chick Bad” helped land Ludacris a #1 album on the Billboard 200. Success is not new to Traxster, he earned a Grammy Nomination for his work with Mariah Carey, co-writing and producing the track, "One and Only" on her 2005 released album, “The Emancipation of Mimi” which sold over 10 million albums worldwide.
The 2009 reunion on Twista’s Category F5 has rekindled the chemistry between the two with six songs produced by The Legendary Traxster and reaching the Billboard with #1 Rap album including the hit single “Wetter”. Traxster landed another hit single “My Chick Bad” by Ludacris ft. Nicki Minaj on The Battle of The Sexs, which debut at #1 on the Billboard charts. His most recent hit single is “Make a Movie” by Twista ft. Chris Brown.
A native of Chicago, he is best known as producer for the platinum-selling rapper Twista and the famed rap group Do or Die, for whom he produced several albums including the platinum-selling Picture This. Picture This is notable for introducing Twista to the mainstream, particularly on the album's blazing centerpiece "Po Pimp". Traxster also produced Twista’s Platinum selling “Adrenaline Rush” in its entirety. Traxster is credited for creating the Midwest / Chicago sound: slow, dark, bass heavy grooves, with wild drums and running hi-hats, to match the triple time rhyme patterns of the rappers. He soon spread his sound nationally producing songs for artist around the country. T.I., Lil Bossie, Cam'ron, Scarface, Bun B, Mystikal, E-40, WC, C-Bo, Static Major, Tech N9ne & The Outlawz have all used Traxster production.
More About Traxster
The word Legendary is defined as: of, based on, or presented in legends; famous or remarkable; Legend as: a story about mythical or supernatural beings or events.
When you hear fast-paced rappers rhyme on heavy based rhythms and quick patterned hi hats, one should automatically think of the man behind the beats, The Legendary Traxster. Born Samuel Lindley, this multi platinum, Grammy nominated record producer has always been inspired by music and art, as he and friends learned how to blend records in the late 80’s by deejaying at house parties at the age of fourteen. For him, it has always been about having the latest records, the music that people want to hear.
Traxster began his musical expression as a battle rapper from the south side of Chicago’s “Pocket Town” neighborhood, were he formed his first group in high school. His peers thought he was unusual for wanting to be a rapper, because there weren't many Hip-Hop acts In Chicago at the time. Upon graduating high school, the group “D 2 Tha S” (Dedicated 2 Tha Streets) was formed and became well known lyrically in the streets. Inspired by NWA, D 2 Tha S’s aspirations were to have dope lyrics over dope beats, to be the “dope group” to make it from the rough streets of Chicago. With the noise the group was making in the streets, Ill State Assassins, a coalition of different rap groups, wanted the group to join their Hip-Hop crew. D 2 Tha S ended up joining the 30 member crew of different rap groups/ artists and became a major force in the movement. Their most noted rivalry was with Grammy Award winning hip-hop group, Naughty By Nature.
D 2 Tha S single “Livin In A Hellhole” was released in 1992 and soon following released two maxi-singles "Doomsday" (1994) and "My Brothaz Keepa" (1996). To make ends meet, producing became a hustle for Traxster. The demand began for production sounding like the D 2 Tha S records, Traxster started producers for other Chicago artist. This was the beginning of his understanding that he could make a living off producing music. In the mid 90’s, Traxster began producing music for local rappers, such as Psycho Drama, Do or Die, and Twista. His creativity and his discovery on how to make different sound which is filled with slow, dark, bass heavy grooves, with wild drums, and running hi hats, to match the triple time rhyme patterns of the midwest rappers, made his production very unique. Traxster’s rap career was put on hold when Do or Die’s single “Po Pimp” caught fire in Chicago and lead to the album “Picture This” released on Rap-A-Lot/Virgin (1996) was made. Creator’s Way Records was formed and his production on Do or Die’s album brought the group to platinum-status and sparked the journey to The Legendary Traxster’s success as a multi-platinum producer and songwriter. Also in the 90’s, he signed a publishing and production deal with Universal and Zomba Group/ Jive Records.
After the release of Do or Die’s album, Traxster began working on Twista’s single “Emotions” for the album Adrenaline Rush. With the independent release of “Emotions” this rapidly selling single created a bidding war with the major labels. That biding war birthed a deal with Atlantic Records. Thus solidifying a history making joint venture. The deal with Creator’s Way and the Atlantic was the biggest deal for an independent rap label and an established record company at that time. This allowed Traxster and the artists to have creative control over their projects. Traxster single handedly produced, recorded, and mixed Adrenaline Rush which is certified platinum. Soon after, Trax and his group, Shock The World, were also signed to Atlantic as recording artists, and was scheduled to release an album “Blast For Me - A Thugs Religion” in 1998. Due to financial and creative differences, the group split and some members of Shock The World members decided to continue their career with Twista. This conflict led to the shelving of the group’s album and in 2002, Twista was released from Creator’s Way and was signed directly to Atlantic Records. The two reunited in 2005 to collaborate on the double platinum record Kamikaze but Traxster’s presence was missing from Twista’s following two albums.
With success comes struggle, which has both built this legendary producer’s name in the industry. The brief separation between the producer and the swift-tongued rapper Twista has shown growth and maturity and is displayed in Traxster’s music, not only as a producer, but as a lyricist as he put out both solo and compilation albums “All Hell Breaks Loose” in 2001 and the latest album, “The Return of Gangsta Music”, released in 2008. His talents has earned a Grammy Nomination for his work with Mariah Carey, co-writing and co-producing the track, “One and Only” on her 2005 Multi-platinum album, The Emancipation of Mimi. Trax has also gone on to produce songs featuring R. Kelly, TI, Ludacris, Lil Boosie, Too Short, Cam'ron, Scarface, Bun B, Mystikal, E-40, WC, C-Bo, Static Major, Tech N9ne, and The Outlawz.
The 2009 reunion on Twista’s Category F5 has rekindled the chemistry between the two with six songs produced by The Legendary Traxster and reaching the Billboard with #1 Rap album including the hit single “Wetter”. Currently Traxster has landed another hit single “My Chick Bad” by Ludacris ft. Nick Minaj on The Battle of The Sexs, which debut at #1 on the Billboard charts. The chemistry with Traxster and Twista continues with them working on Category F6 slated for release the summer of 2010. This year will also embark new and exciting business ventures for the producer.
With multiple platinum and gold records, Traxster is inspired daily to create something new and different to prove his greatness in the music industry. “When I hear great music I desire to do something great also. When I leave the earth, I want to leave my mark”. According to The Source magazine, Traxster’s production is considered “magical, a new sound that’s not only going to put Chicago on the map, but the whole Midwest.” Though rapping is one of Traxster’s first loves, working with various artists throughout the industry has given him the confidence to continue to dominate the airwaves with his intense, heavyweight beats. “Producing is easier. I couldn’t survive if I couldn’t make music. When I am rapping people hear my mind/thoughts...when producing you’re hearing my spirit”. As an artist and producer, the magic will continue to live through this living legends music.