INTERVIEW: Fast-rising producer ChaseTheMoney talks working with Valee and ZMoney, and gives us the scoop on some exciting upcoming collabs.
Inextricable from the quick rise of Chicago rapper Valee is a producer tag he whispers on about a third of his songs. "ChaseTheMoney, ChaseTheMoney," he mumbles hurriedly, a cash-stacking mantra that doubles as Chase Dalton Rose's production alias.
Originally hailing from St. Louis, but now splitting his time between Chicago and Atlanta, the 21-year-old has been Valee's right-hand man for two-and-a-half years now, ever since they linked up for three songs on 2016's 12:12 tape. Last year the duo put out the severely underrated VTM tape, and just a few months back, Chase contributed a third of the beats on Valee's G.O.O.D. Music debut, the GOOD Job, You Found Me EP. Recently, Valee's blown up off his slow-building hit "Shell," his impossibly dextrous "Two 16's" verse, and that G.O.O.D. Music deal. In the meantime, Chase has been steady with his production features, but the bulk of his glo up has yet to be revealed to the world.
Speaking on the phone with him a few days ago, I barely got the first softball question out of my mouth before he exploded with a list of big-name forthcoming collaborations. Chase has clearly been putting in work these past few months, claiming that his production credit on "Two 16's" has resulted in similarly increased interest around the industry, and it looks like the second half of 2018 will be huge for him. Check out our conversation, in which Chase also discusses his chemistry with ZMoney, his first impression of Valee, and his recent collab with a personal hero, below.
HotNewHipHop: Hey Chase, how's it going? What have you been up to lately?
ChaseTheMoney: I been locked in with Yachty. I got maybe about eight songs with Yachty, one of them featuring Gunna, one of them featuring Valee. I just did four or five songs with Offset, I sent him a nice pack and he been going crazy. One of those features Gucci Mane and Lil Baby, one with Rocko. Um... what else? I got plenty of shit with Valee coming. I just did Yo Gotti's new single, I believe. I think he's still working on it, but we're locked in for sure. It's called "Best Life." I got another single coming with BlocBoy JB and Moneybagg Yo, it's called "Asian Bitch." What else I got? Lemme check... I got this project coming out with this artist by the name of Skinny, he's from Minnesota. It's called If Bombs Could Talk, and you know, they'd say, 'ChaseTheMoney, ChaseTheMoney.' We got maybe like ten songs on there. I just finished this project with Lil Wop, we did maybe about 21 songs, but only 12, maybe 13 are gonna go on the tape. We just finished that up, it doesn't have a name yet. What else? Oh yeah, I just did a whole project with Southside in like two days, we locked in and just locked that shit out. I think some of the tracks are gonna go on Free Agent 4, I don't know what we're gonna do with the rest of them. I'm also working on a project with Dro Fe, I don't know if you've heard of him. He's originally from Houston but he's based out of L.A. now. I think all the projects I've been doing have been fire. There's not a song that I don't like. I also got a couple records with Ace Hood, fresh off that deal. I also got some joints with Young Nudy, you definitely going to like those. I'm also working with AK, I don't know if you're familiar with him, but he's a real close friend of Metro's. I'm doing a tape with him called ATM, the third installment of them TM series. VTM, the one with me and Valee, rolled nicely off the tongue, same with [ZMoney collab tape] ZTM, but ATM is perfect— how else you gonna get your money out? Man, there's just been so much music I've been working on, I couldn't even explain.
Damn, you've been busy! I'm assuming the past few months have been the most active time in your career thus far.
Oh yeah. This is just the first apex, I haven't even really gotten into full work mode. I just got a new condominium in Buckhead, Atlanta, so I've just been getting myself situated. So that's all, I just took some time out to step away from the music, just to refresh my creativity and myself. I got a nice place now and I can do something with it. That's what my main focus was.
Has it been crazy to go from working with guys that are your friends, who you've had long-standing relationships with, like Valee, to everybody trying to get at you?
The majority of the sessions just happened on their own, none of it was really planned. It's always just like, 'Chase, you got some beats?' Shit, you know I got beats. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, that's all.
Was there a turning point, or like one song, that changed everything for you?
"Two 16's" definitely marked a change or a pivot in my career. That's the most impactful song that I've done so far that was actually put together by me. It's on ZTM, so that project was my complete idea. I'm not trying to take credit, but that's just what it is. I hit ZMoney with the proposal, like, 'Hey bro, what you think about doing a tape called ZTM?' I felt like just doing the tape with him, he does a lot of numbers, has a nice fanbase, but I feel like that song really turned all three of us up, really four of us because it was produced by Rio Mac, another producer that I work with who's also Valee's main producer and engineer, we don't really let nobody else mix our stuff but Rio. But I feel like "Two 16's" was definitely the one that changed things, and I just felt like it was orchestrated rolled out nicely. I think it changed all of our careers at one point. Originally I told Z, 'Ay, Gucci gonna be probably reaching out to you real soon, and if not Gucci, somebody close to him is gonna hit you and ask you about [Gucci's label] 1017 Eskimos.' [Editor's note: ZMoney signed with 1017 Eskimos just months later] This happened right after Valee announced the whole G.O.O.D. Music thing, so I think it was good for all of us.
When you're talking about putting together those TM projects, are you saying you executive produced them?
Yeah, I'm executive producing them. I don't do any writing, I leave that to the artists. I can't teach you how to do you. Valee is his own person, he's gonna have his own individual and unique way of projecting his voice onto a beat. I don't like to take control and control everybody, I just like to make sure we're all making music and having fun at the end of the day. Music is stressful usually, so my whole point was, 'Hey, let's just lock in and make a body of work.' I don't really care about the executive production credit, people are gonna know I made the beats regardless. I just make sure my name is attached to it. That's how I am, I just care about the popular credibility, thing of that nature. All of this stuff goes on my resumé at the end of the day, the engineers matter, the managers matter, the producers matter, the artists matter, the photographer matters, everybody matters.
Yeah, and I would imagine you get more control of all that on those TM tapes than when you're just sending packs of beats to rappers or engineers.
Honestly, I don't send anybody beats. If you ask Valee, Z, Yachty, even Offset. I sent Offset one beat at the beginning, I didn't send him ten. I just sent him one because don't nobody really tell me if it's gonna be used or not. And then if I end up selling it all over again, or giving it to somebody else because there was a lack of communication, then there's gonna be a conflict. So what I do is I choose to not send people things until I have a direct contact on you, I can talk to you, I can call somebody that's close to you, or they can call me if they need something. That's just how I really operate, I don't like to just hand out beats. I'm not really that type of person, because I mean, I've had my hard drive stolen in the past, I've lost hard drives. I'm over that, so I'm on a certain protocol for now. I don't trust n****s around my laptop, nothing. If you family, you family, you can do whatever you want. But when it comes to strangers, or this my first time meeting you, I don't care if you famous or not, whatever, I don't care what it is, if it's my first time meeting you, that's just not how I operate.
Well it sounds like the family's expanding pretty quickly in that regard then.
[Laughs] Yeah, everybody's been good to me though. I don't have nothing but love to show back.
Going back to the early days with Valee, what was your first impression of his rapping?
Man, the first song we ever did was "Grandma House," and I thought he was weird as hell! I was like, 'What the fuck is this?' He came and bought those beats off of me, so I wasn't expecting much. That was my first time meeting him, I didn't know who he was, what he did, nothing. He just commented on my IG and he said he wanted those beats, and I just so happened to be at his friend DJ Victoriouz's house. Shit, I just thought the n**** was weird. The songs was just weird. I liked it, it wasn't a bad weird, I just thought it was weird. I was like, 'Damn alright, this is something new.' It was nothing that I heard before. I just felt like this man was crazy as hell. He's been on that type of, a lot of words in one flow, and he's real peculiar in the word that he uses. It kind of amazed me to the point where I was like, 'Damn, I don't even wanna sell this n**** beats no more, I just wanna make music with him.' It got to that point. I felt like I could trust my music with him.
Did he breathe at all during that "Two 16's" verse?
Man, at first I thought he did it in one take, but he actually punched in on them shits. I had gone downstairs to sleep when he recorded his verse. In my Fader interview, I had told everybody, 'I think he did it in one take, I don't know.' But I came to find out that his ass had to punch in. But, you know, that's a lot of words. Don't get me wrong though, the man's got a lot of breath. The man can rap for a long time. He can say a lot of words in a short span of time.
When you were doing those TM tapes with him and ZMoney, what was the biggest difference between working with one as opposed to the other?
Shit, I kind of thought they were the same person. When I first started making music with Z, I was like, 'Damn, this is kinda similar.' But they were still completely different people. It's kind of like Rio Mac and me. Rio makes a lot of fire beats and we sound similar, but we still our own unique, individual person. That's how I look at Z and Valee. I just felt like Z complemented my beats just as well as Valee did. I felt like Z was an old school Gucci, and Valee was an old school Kanye. I just felt like them n****s is the new shit. I didn't like nobody else music but their music. Back when I did those tapes, in between those times, all I listened to was Valee and ZMoney, besides Hoodrich Pablo Juan and Drugrixh Peso. Them guys right there, that's it. They all unique in their own way.
Back to the tape you did with Southside, I saw another interview where you said that him and Lex Luger, that whole 808 Mafia sound, was what got you interested in producing. What was it like working alongside one of them?
Man, I fuck with Southside, he's a cool dude. He's got a good heart and he's laid back. I fuck with him as a person. That's what I look for in people, I feel like if you've got a good heart, I can talk to you, I can make music with you.
Now that you've worked with him, who are some other dream collaborations?
Gucci for sure, Future, Thug. That's my three favorite artists right there, besides Valee and Z. I feel like they're the sound of now. I don't feel like they'll ever get old. Those are the originators of an original sound. Andre 3000 for sure. I already worked with really my original favorite rapper, Project Pat. I just did some music with him a few months back. In some previous interviews, I mentioned that he was my favorite rapper. I never really did an interview with anybody telling them that I worked with him though. Me and him have at least two albums worth of music. But it's like, they're all regular people at the end of the day. Different bank accounts, that's all.