Sha Money XL, Island Def Jam’s Senior VP of A&R, took some time out of this day to impart wisdom on some aspiring musicians from Jay-Z’s old middle school in Brooklyn. The students from IS 318 ages 11 to 15 met the executive at the SAE Institute, a world-renowned audio engineering school. The founder of G-Unit records told the children about how he started out playing piano as a pre-teen.
“I was once like ya’ll wanting to be in music…I tried to rap but I needed beats,” he said. “No one had beats for me so I started making music. But I realized my calling wasn’t to be a rapper. Thanks to the piano lessons I knew chord progressions and added what we learned in hip-hop and I became a producer.”
Sha also shared the story of meeting the late Jam Master Jayand how the legend introduced him to 50 Cent. After the talk some of the students performed songs that they’d prepared for Sha to critique.
“I’m inspired by their hunger,” he said afterward. “I learned a lot from the questions they asked. It goes both ways.”