BY ANTHONY BABER
Published February 23, 2006
In modern hip hop, the producers, long thought of as the stoic guys behind the mixing board, quietly arranging melodies, are quickly becoming just as famous as the lyricists. Artists go looking for specific producers because simply having Kanye West, The Neptunes or Just Blaze attached to a song can thrust the track immediately into heavy radio play. Joining the pack is LSA sophomore Brandon Green - better known as Bei Maejor - a University student who's already producing beats for artists such as Trey Songz, Jim Jones and Bun-B.
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In his dorm room in the Baits II Residence Hall, he's created a small studio perfect for crafting his finished arrangements. On his desk sits his MPC, a sequencing sampler workstation and the centerpiece of his equipment. Above the MPC is a turntable and against the wall, a keyboard. These tools, along with Maejor's own ear and mind, are crucial elements in his production process.
Sitting back in his chair, he recalled his already-impressive accomplishments in music.
"I did 2 songs with Lil' Mo - a song with Peedi Crack on Def Jam. I've been doing a lot of R&B," Green said.
"I did a song with Chris Brown that, unfortunately, didn't make the album. It was real hot, but I guess the label didn't want it. They'll probably use it on a soundtrack or something."
As a music-industry rookie, Green is rapidly gaining experience. Working with different artists, going to different places and meeting important people are all at the top on his agenda.
"My first song that came out on a major label, for Trey Songz last summer, 'Ur Behind,' was one of my favorite songs," he explained. "Not only did it get the most coverage, but I got to go to L.A. to work in the studio, so that's the most excited I've been."
Signed to industry giant Atlantic, Green is able to work with other Atlantic artists such as Twista and Trey Songz.
"I'm saving a lot of my best stuff for Trey Songz; he's one of my favorite artists. We first started working together and we're on the same label. (His album is) gonna be hot."
The feeling is mutual: In the current issue of Vibe magazine, Trey Songz lists Bei Maejor as one of his favorite producers to work with.
Green's stunning level of visibility at such a young age is the result of a lot of hard work, talent, and inspiration from some of his favorite producers.
"J Dilla, who recently died, Just Blaze, The Neptunes and Troy Taylor, an R&B producer . Those are the main people who have influenced my style," he said.
One of his most recent creations is featured on Bun-B's latest, Trill.
"I produced a song on there featuring Mike Jones, Birdman and Trey Songz, called 'Hold U Down,' he said. "It's set to be the next single, but I don't know when they're recording the video. The song has been doing well and moving up the charts all over the country from requests by people who just have heard it."
Though Maejor is a rising star in the music industry, he still thinks of himself just another University student.
"I consider myself Brandon Green most of the time. I can't just call myself Brandon Green, that's a terrible name," he said with a chuckle. "It's not catchy at all, not exciting. But there's really not a difference, I'm always Brandon Green, but I give somebody a beat I say, 'Yo, I'm Bei Maejor.'"