Pretty Tony Talks Freestyle, Bass, and His New Track With Uncle Luke, "Do It for the Vine"
Photo by Alex Markow
Doin' it for the Vine is goin from the cell phone to the strip club.
That's thanks to a new club track by Uncle Luke and Pretty Tony, whose work out of a Liberty City studio called Music Specialists Incorporated in the 1980s and '90s took the sounds of Miami around the world.
Now, the popular phrase drawn from showing off in six-second, looping video clips has its own modern bass soundtrack, "Do It for the Vine," which signals the reemergence of good-time MIA dance music from one of the region's most prolific and creative duos. Here's what the track's producer, Pretty Tony, has to say about it.
Crossfade: Yo, that new shit is fire. It's sounds like today, but with the roots of your old stuff.
Pretty Tony: That was the idea.
How did this song come about?
You know, I gave Luke the 2 Live Crew back in the day. And about 6 months ago, I did the new 2 Live Crew album. I did all 14 songs. Got this one record, "Take It Off," hot as hell. So then Luke hit me. I think he heard that one. He said, "Let's go in!" So we worked it out and I think we did it in two days. I had the track already. He had wanted to record two or three songs he had ideas for, but as soon as he heard the track, dude jumped off the couch, and said "I got something for this shit!"
That shit goes like a motherfucker!
Everybody that hears it loves it. We're gonna start going for radio with it. Really, it's already on the radio. The DJs are playing it on the mix shows. It's playing on 99Jamz now, and we're gonna go for Power96 and 103.5 The Beat next.
I have 17 platinum records. That's what I do. I make the track, get the artist, and knock it out.
Pretty Tony and Uncle Luke.
Where'd you record "Do It for the Vine"?
I did the track in my Countdown Music Group studio, and then the vocals over at Midtown Studios.
What was the concept behind the production?
I wanted to stay in the high tempo, up by 138 bpm, and keep Luke where people know him, on the hook. I wanted to do an update on the trap sound. And when he heard it, he went crazy. I think he's up in New York right now, doing a deal for it.
The song is just non stop.
It's kind of like a DJ record, kind of like what Lil Jon and French Montana are doing, just straight-up hype. Honestly, I really started that stuff. I had a group called Freestyle Express with "Don't Stop the Rock" and "It's Automatic." I sold five million on Debbie Deb with "When I Hear Music," I did 3 million on "Lookout Weekend." And Trinere did real, real good.
How'd you get started?
I used to DJ. I was a mobile DJ on the street. There was all different DJ groups. Luke had one too. There was about five or six different high schools. He'd do one high school gym, I'd do another.
I did my own records too. I had "Fix It in the Mix," "Jam the Box," "Get Some," "Will We Ever Learn," and so many more.
This group from California called me up. They'd been rapping over my tracks and asked would I meet with 'em. They wasn't really my thing, but I said, "Let me introduce you to somebody I think would be a good fit."
I sent 'em over to Luke and the next time I went out to California, their 2 Live Crew record with him was hot out there. So I was happy that I introduced them, y'know.
And now 20 or 30 years later,
Luke says, "Let's do it again." So shit, looks like now it's happening all over again.
For all the young music people out there, explain the importance of publishing to the music business.
It's everything. Music publishing is like Mickey Arison. Mickey got the publishing on the Heat, and the player runs up and down the court. Players may get like 25 million a year. And Mickey gets like 40 million a night for the TV rights.
Publishing is the music business. And when it comes to me, I own as much of everything as I can.
That's why the writer is the most important person in the group. Kanye, Taylor Swift, Jason Derulo, all of them are writers. They writing their own songs. The important person is the writer and the producer. The singer that does anything to be famous, they sign away all their rights just to be popular and get up on that stage.
I never wanted to do that. I wanna be up in the front office, not running up and down the court or catching passes.
Crossfade's Top Blogs
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Miami, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.