Thanks to cats like Swizz Beatz, Diddy, Arab Music and the like producers in 2014 no longer have to take backseats to the rappers they make hits for. With signature catchphrases like “Its Showtiiime!!” or “Just Blaaaze!” hitting the listeners ears before the first bar is ever spit, producers getting their just desserts is quite a common occurrence. And with eight records on the chart and a critically acclaimed album getting love across the board,Cali Native DJ Mustard’s signature “MustardOnTheBeatHoe” is the phrase that pays.
2014 has proven to be show time for the man born Dijon McFarlane and his Pushaz Ink crew. First, Ty Dolla $ign’s Beach House EP is a hit thanks to the Mustard produced “Paranoid” and “Or Nah.” After that came My Krazy Life from Compton champion YG which has put the entire camp at the forefront of the game with tracks like “My Nigga” and “Who Do You Love?.” Along the way Mustard produced hits like “Rack City” for Tyga, “I’m Different” for 2 Chainz, “Show Me” for Kid Ink, “R.I.P.” for Young Geezy and anyone else who needs a winning single and a little mustard on their career. Pun intended…
For a guy with such loud beats, jewelry and credentials, Mustard tends to keep things quiet. Even his blogs don’t show him speaking about much more than the next track, toy or artists in front of him at the time. But when it was time to talk imitators, inspirations and his upcoming album “10 Summers” with TheUrbanDaily Mustard was happy to let more than his soundboard do the talking.
TheUrbanDaily.com: How did you get the name DJ Mustard?
DJ Mustard: My real name is Dijon McFarlane. My family members nicknamed me Mustard because my real name is Dijon.
How did you come up with your sound? Any specific influences?
It’s just a mixture of Lil Jon, Dr. Dre, Timbaland, Pharrell… just listening to them, studying them, you come up with a lot of creative stuff, especially when you’re creative yourself. Not to say that I’m the most creative person in the world or no sh*t like that. But when you study hard and work hard at something, you’ll probably get good at it.
What kind of equipment do you like to use?
I use everything. I use Fruity Loops. I use Logic. I use MPC’s. I use everything man. Reason would have to be my favorite.
And where did “Mustard-On-the-Beat-hoe” come from? Ty says he invented it…
It’s really just something YG made up, he came up with it cause he has his own. “YG so hard,” and then Ty has one has it own that says “Dolla sign.” So when I finally got my tag, I kept on using it on everything and it became my trademark.
There’s been a little confusion about if you did the beat for “Toot it and Boot it…”
Nah, that didn’t have my tag on it. I didn’t even have a tag back then. Ty did that one. (Laughs)
Speaking of Ty Dolla $ign… Any thoughts on that XXL freshmen list?
I think Ty Dolla $ign is up there so we good, we winning. (Laughs)
Your sound is becoming more and more mainstream. Have you notice the imitators yet?
Man… of course I do. I just hope they willing to pay for what they want. (Laughs) Whatever they want, they should be willing to pay for it. I don’t know if they want to pay that much money for it. I mean… I want the sound to evolve into something that’s bigger than all the rap game. So, I’m fine with it… I mean, I guess that’s the right thing to do.
Producers are more vocal these days… do you ever feel the need to call out the copy cats?
Nah, cause I don’t care. If it don’t say Mustard… if you don’t hear “Mustard On the Beat Hoe” and it sound like Mustard it’s a rip, it’s wack. That’s just a copycat, don’t nobody want to be a copycat. You want to be a leader or a follower? You want to be the boss or you want to be employed? I’m the boss of everything that I do. So I ain’t worried about nobody taking my style because that’s what’s gone happen. When you doing what you supposed to do, they gone steal your style, but I’m the one out here with these $30,000 chains on my neck, I got two of em. I’m the one out here with the $30,000 rollie on, I’m the one with the house, the car, I’m the one with that so… I don’t see none of that little stuff, that’s little stuff don’t get in my way.
The money I’m making is easy money to me man, I’ll make a beat with my eyes closed. I stay up all night for this. I work to hard to even be asked the question “do you worry about…’ nah man. If you get a record and it sounds like me and you actually win off that record? I’m happy for you, but if it ain’t Mustard and it sounds like Mustard, then it’s fake just like the person who made the beat!
I feel you on that. But do you worry about people wearing out your style?
I mean, anybody can have their own style. Like back in the day… even now! Take a Pharrell beat. If you want a Pharrell beat, you have to go to Pharrell to get one. But if someone was making beats that sound just like Pharrell, Pharrell can’t let that get in the way. You know why? Because Pharrell’s a millionaire! Pharrell has BBC, the clothing line and whatever else he’s got. He just can’t let hat kind of stuff get in the way. You can just go check the stats. You can have one fake Mustard beat or you can join the eight other real ones that’s on the Hot 100 right now. Why wouldn’t you want to be apart of that? So that shit don’t bother me at all, I kind of enjoy it. It’s flattering that somebody would take the time to make a beat exactly like me. That means I’m doing something right.
Have you given any thought to the next evolution of your sound?
I always think about that. You know producers man, they come and they go and I’m definitely not blind to that… I understand it. I get it. I get how you can be on one year and you can be out the next and I ain’t in it for that. I got an album coming out this summer called “10 Summers,” I plan on being in the rap game no less than ten summers! That’s a promise to the streets that I’m making as a boss and as a man that I know what I’m doing. I might come out with a song that sounds like “Show Me” or I might come out with a song like “My Nigga.” You never know what I might do. I might just go to the studio with Kanye West for few hours and make a song called “Sanctified” you just don’t never know with Mustard dude. I don’t put myself in that box to where my sound can get overrated. And even if it does, that’s not the only thing I can do. I ain’t worried about it. I’ll take my tag off a beat and still sell it. That’s the least of my worries… of my sound getting played out. Everybody’s sound gets played out. Everything gets played out. History repeats itself all the time. Just like everybody was wearing True Religions a year ago. Now nobody wears True Religions… you gotta understand, everything is gonna fade out. It’s just about what you gone do next. What you ‘gon do that the next person ain’t gon do? That’s the job, making the music is the easy part, being creative is the hard part.
So what are you gonna do next? You just mentioned a record with Kanye West…
You never know man, you never know. With Mustard, expect the unexpected. You just never know. I got two records coming out that don’t sound like nothing I’ve ever done in my life. And you will not expect me to do it. And I actually did em, you know what I’m sayin? I know a lot of producers out here got producers with ‘em. That’s not no disrespect to that cause I got a producer with me too, but I’m talking about records that I stayed in the studio and I did myself… with Rihanna. And they’re very, very, very, very deep records. It’s not no turnt up in the club… we got those too, don’t worry. But at the same time, I can do anything, I can do everything, I’m like Michael Jordan. I can play basketball, switch up and play baseball on these n*ggas. I don’t think there’s anything I can’t do if I put my mind to it and focus.
Yeah, but Mike wasn’t that great at baseball… Yeah, he wasn’t that good at baseball but I’m gonna be better than him. Maybe he wasn’t that good at baseball but he got that check, I’ll tell you that. They let him play. That’s all I’m saying, they gon let me play…. for ten summers!
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