A Special Kind of Love for Supreme Justice
Updated: Nov 20, 2020
Music Producer, Audio Engineer, and Occasional Rapper Tells His Story About How Music Became His First Love
By Bridney Casillas
CulturedAF is pleased to kick off its monthly Q&A series with its first interview with Supreme Justice Shabazz-Allah. Born and raised in Groton, Connecticut, the music producer comes from an artistic family.
He grew up around his uncle, who rapped and created instrumentals along with his friends. He says he was fortunate to have spent time around his uncle, who he considers to be an inspiration that influenced his decision to make music.
He is currently in the early stages of building a media company with a few of his colleagues. They all frequently meet with each other to fuse their different talents and ideas to establish their upcoming brand.
"We are at the early stage, still forming ideas, drawing board stuff," says the 21-year-old. Their goal is to rent out an office space along with a recording studio in the next few years.
During the quarantine, Justice and his friends came up with the idea because there was nothing else to do but be creative.
Well known in the Southeastern Connecticut region, Supreme Justice has several accolades under his belt, including engineering sessions and producing for notable local artists Mar Finesse, Asaiah, and Shemmy.
"They all have different songwriting methods, and I’m a music student, so I studied them a little bit as they worked, and they really became my favorite people to work with."
His method for creating beats starts with him beatboxing. Secondly, He carefully looks for kicks, snares, and hi-hats before digging through his vinyl records to search for a sample.
After getting the sample, he browses through a library containing melodies. Then, he hops on his MPC to hear the playback on the drums. The beat is finalized using FL Studio to mix and master it.
“I sample from vinyl because I own a turntable and records, and I don't just loop, I take the smallest sounds and manipulate them. I guess one can say I'm into the sound design because I like for my beats to sound a certain type of way,” says Justice.
His top five recording studio essentials he cannot live without are an MPC, a Mic, an Interface, a Laptop, and speakers.
Supreme Justice first began his journey as a music producer in middle school. He would record his raps on a tape recorder as practice and later developed an interest to create his instrumentals to accompany his rhymes.
Justice says the two artists that influenced him as a producer are Michael Jackson and Prince. In the 9th grade, Justice started to create his beats using FL Studio 11, a digital music software. In high school, Justice says he enjoyed making beats with his friends and occasionally watching rap battles during lunch.
"I picked up whatever instrument I needed to learn in school, and I learned how to make it work for me, music is a feeling, it’s not something that should be read on a piece of paper."
At the age of 16, Justice studied the teachings of Malcolm X and Dr. Khalid Muhammad after listening to references of the Nation of Islam in music by Jay Electronica, Rakim, and the Wu-Tang Clan. He then adopted his stage name for both his rap music and productions, Supreme Justice Shabazz-Allah after he accepted the teachings of Elijah Muhammad.
Justice considers himself to be in love with music and believes it is important to keep the arts alive in public schools. He feels that is how young adolescents find purpose and meaning by expressing themselves.
He enjoyed his art classes in school and says those classes were some of his favorite. According to him, if his schools did not implement performing arts classes, he would have been miserable with no outlet to express himself.
"Music is a universal language. Like Math. You can bring the music anywhere and there’s going to be someone that’s gonna be drawn to it."