Just Blaze

Just Blaze

Infobox musical artist
Name = Just Blaze

Img_size = 200
Background = non_performing_personnel
Birth_name = Justin Smith
Alias =
Born = Birth date and age|1978|1|14 Fact|date=September 2008
Died =
Origin = Paterson, New Jersey
Instrument = drums
Drum Machine
Genre = Hip hop
Occupation = Record producer
Years_active = 2000 - Present
Label = Fort Knocks Entertainment
Associated_acts = Jay-Z (2000-present)
Cam'ron (2002-04)
Saigon (2004-present)
The Game (2004-present)
T.I. (2006-present)
Current_members =
Past_members =

Justin Smith (born in Paterson, New Jersey on January 14, 1978 Fact|date=September 2008), better known as Just Blaze, is an American hip hop music producer from Paterson, New Jersey. Smith also is the CEO of Fort Knocks Entertainment.


Early life

As a child, Justin Smith grew up in Paterson, New Jersey. When he was younger, he developed an interest/love in music. Smith was highly influenced by his older cousin, who introduced the EPMD record to him. As he got older, his interests turned more to the production side. He attended Rutgers University for three years before dropping out to pursue his dream of producing music.

Production career

Justin began producing for well known musicians in the late 1990s. This production would earn him a spot on Jay-Z's "." His production on this album, along with the work of Kanye West earned them both jobs as in-house producers at Roc-A-Fella Records. His production work earned him the name Just Blaze, which would become his production name. Blaze then went on to produce for many of the acts signed to the Roc-A-Fella roster. In 2002, Just Blaze became a household name for the production of Cam'ron's summer smash "Oh Boy." Blaze went on to produce for Snoop Dogg, Shawnna, Usher, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss, Memphis Bleek, Cam'ron, Saigon, Young Gunz, Grafh, Beanie Sigel, The Game, DMX, T.I., Fat Joe, Juelz Santana, Rhymefest, Ghostface Killah, Jin, Fabolous, Joe Budden, MF DOOM, Kool G Rap, Rah Digga, Teriyaki Boyz, Edison Chen, and big UK MC's JME, Skepta and Klashnekoff. He also produced an urban remix of the Janet Jackson single 'Just A Little While' entitled 'Love Me.'

He also recorded several tracks for the popular video games Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 and NBA Street Vol. 2 and is a playable character in the game as well. A large part of Just Blaze's technique consists of altering the speed of samples, as well as adding in his own drum beat. In this way, he draws some of his influence from Wu-Tang Clan producer RZA, who has utilized sped-up soul samples in several of the group's beats. Just Blaze has used this technique with songs like "December 4th" from Jay-Z's "The Black Album" (which uses a sped-up sample of "That's How Long" by The Chi-Lites) and "Touch the Sky" from Kanye West's "Late Registration" (which uses a slowed-down sample of Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up.") However, he doesn't always do this; on "Public Service Announcement (Interlude)" from "The Black Album" and Foxy Brown's "Foxy Lady", for instance, the speed of the sample used is left unchanged. He has a knack for using horn stabs in his music and that is what gives him his signature sound. His work also often features the trademark phrase "No more handclaps" and a distinctive pronunciation of his name, with the 'a' in 'Blaze' lengthened and rising.

After the retirement of Jay-Z in 2004, Just Blaze decided to create his own label. Initially, he went to Roc-A-Fella with the idea, but they could not afford to grant a vanity label at the time, due to the Dame Dash split. Just then went to parent company Def Jam Recordings, who was not willing to take such a big risk on a pet label. Finally, Atlantic Records agreed to give him a label to be 50% owned by them. He would name the label Fort Knocks Entertainment.

Fort Knocks Entertainment

In 2004, Just Blaze launched Fort Knocks Entertainment through Atlantic Records. He would go on to sign New York mixtape rapper, Saigon. In 2007, the label released Saigon's debut mixtape, "The Moral of the Story." Saigon's first album titled "The Greatest Story Never Told. More releases to come in 2008. They record at Baseline Studios, primarily.

His brother is Daren Smith, aka DJ Poun'. He is a resident DJ at the Atlantic City 40/40 club. He has recently appeared on VH1's The White Rapper Show, giving two competing teams his latest productions, at which point the teams had to make a song and then have it played at the strip clubs. He is an in-house producer for Fort Knocks.

The label's next release will be label compilation, "Just Getting Warm."


External links

* [http://www.redbullmusicacademy.com/TUTORS.9.0.html?act_session=312 Just Blaze RBMA video lecture session Pt.1]
* [http://www.redbullmusicacademy.com/TUTORS.9.0.html?act_session=313 Just Blaze RBMA video lecture session Pt.2]
* [http://www.redbullmusicacademy.com/TUTORS.9.0.html?act_session=314 Just Blaze RBMA video lecture session Pt.3]
* [http://www.redbullmusicacademy.com/TUTORS.9.0.html?act_session=315 Just Blaze RBMA video lecture session Pt.4]
* [http://www.justblazeradio.com/ Just Blaze Radio]
*musicbrainz artist|id=e527455c-5f72-4208-b892-22f7271a9305|name=Just Blaze
* [http://www.myspace.com/justblazeradio Just Blaze's Myspace]
* [http://www.familybidness.com/2007/01/john_mayer_just.html Just Blaze & John Mayer dLife Jam Session]
* [http://themegatrondon2.com/ Just Blaze's blog, the Megatron Don]

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