By Christian Brown
DOWNEY − Being raised by a single mom on the streets of Long Beach wasn’t easy for Tito Rodriguez.
“I grew up on 15th street. My mom sold Nikes at the swap meet [to make a living],” he said. “My big brother took care of me and told me to do the right thing, but I was a little punk kid.”
However, Rodriguez harnessed the lessons he learned in the heart of LBC and translated them into a music career that not only produced hip-hop beats and rock jams, but also notable charity work in low-income neighborhoods.
Rodriguez first made a name for himself as a street break dancer and skateboarder, but ultimately found a niche in music production when friend and rap artist Goldie Loc introduced him to the west coast hip-hop scene in the mid-90s.
“That’s how I started working with The Eastsidaz and Snoop Dogg,” Rodriguez said. “I produced the song ’20 Minutes’ on Snoop Dogg’s album ‘No Limit Top Dogg,’ which sold like 8 million copies.”
The four-minute song featured Goldie Loc and opened up more doors for Rodriguez to produce music for the 2001 film “Bones,” starring Snoop Dogg and Pam Grier.
By the late 90s, however, the luster of the hip-hop/gangsta rap industry started to languish for Rodriguez as the reality of what he was producing caught up with him.
FOR THE FULL STORY: “Former Rap Producer Finds New Calling Helping Others”