In this week’s episode of our podcast, Monday to Monday, Mike Boyd speaks with producer/manager Danny Hajj, a frequent collaborator of 2KBABY’s. As both a producer and manager, Hajj has worn many hats, and thus provides unique insight into the hip-hop landscape. They address his past as a classical pianist, how he determines the right people to work with and the dissolving boundaries between popular genres in 2020.
Danny Hajj Talks Producing for 2KBABY and the Importance of Passion
Early on in the episode, Hajj spends a bit of time answering questions about the ever-evolving landscape of hip-hop in 2020. A fan asks Hajj about the importance of playing an instrument, and although Danny’s a classically trained pianist, he doesn’t emphasize needing to play a traditional instrument. "I think that's what's really cool to see in, you know the way music is made today. It's like, it's actually less instrumentation and more digital,” he says. He also chats with multiple fans about the blurring boundaries between hip-hop and other genres of popular music. "Hip-hop, now, I think is becoming pop,” he says.
Throughout a lot of the interview and his interactions with fans, Hajj emphasizes the importance of both putting together and executing a game plan. “It's one thing to have a product, it's another thing to make sure that that product is put in front of people,” he says, before adding, “It's just about executing your game plan." This ethos has driven his managerial style with 2KBABY and is responsible for a lot of the young rapper’s success.
Later in the stream, YC—who co-manages 2KBABY with Danny—jumps on to chat. He and Hajj discuss how it feels to see all of their hard work paying off. “That is like the greatest feeling you ever can have,” YC says, and Hajj adds: "When you see it from the ground up, you really feel like you manifested everything that you put together. And that's the coolest thing. Because you know you start seeing the dots connect.” They’re both so proud of the work they’ve put out and how far they’ve come, and it’s really amazing to watch them discuss.
Near the end of the episode, Hajj discusses some of the qualifications he looks for in people he works with. He drops a couple of absolute dimes. "It's not about working with the biggest names, it's about working with the most passionate people that want to help us bring our visions to life,” he says. He follows that quote by putting it even more beautifully: "It's about that hunger. Judge somebody on what they strive to achieve, not what they've already achieved."
If you loved this episode and want to hear Mike (and the fans) chop it up with more artists, producers and managers, make sure to check out last week’s episode when he spoke to entertainment consultant Ximena Acosta.