Between helping Big Sean score a breakout hit, contributing to "Watch The Throne" and being named to a to a top position at Def Jam Recordings earlier this week, No I.D. has enjoyed a stellar 2011, and he's not done yet. The veteran hip-hop producer tells Billboard.com that he hopes to make the most of his label position while readying new material for Nas, Common -- and possibly Jay-Z.
"Jay has started again," reveals No I.D., who worked with the hip-hop superstar on "Blueprint 3" hits like "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)" and "Run This Town." "He played me a couple of things. I gave him some music while we were at the 'Watch the Throne' sessions. But with Jay, you never know what he's really doing, thinking, planning until it's really done… I'm sure he'll make a decision one day to make an album very quickly, like he usually does. He's one of the best, period. I think he's at a place where he has visions of what he wants to do, and it's not really dependent on any of us. It's dependent on his vision and he's gonna do it, [and] hopefully I'll be involved."
In the meantime, No I.D. will take on a new role as Def Jam's Executive Vice President of A&R -- which was exclusively announced by Billboard.biz last weekend -- where he will oversee the label's current artist roster while seeking out and discovering new talent under Universal Republic Chairman & CEO Barry Weiss. "I've had a lot of experience, and I just want to help this thing to the full of it," says No I.D.
The announcement arrives as "My Last," Big Sean's single featuring Chris Brown, spends its 27th week on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, currently sitting at No. 10. After producing tracks for artists like Jay-Z, Kanye West and Rick Ross, No I.D. says he viewed "My Last" as an opportunity to stretch his creative legs with a younger artist.
"I wanted to do my part to break a good young guy without trying to make him sound like he's old," he says. "One of the things with [Big Sean] being with G.O.O.D. Music and everything -- he was thinking that his music should be more like Kanye. And I was like, 'Hey man, no. Let's put a real win on the board where you can get really exposed, and you can fill in the gaps later and really do the stuff that your mixtapes were doing.' So I definitely intended for that to be a radio hit record, a good club record and a good introduction to Big Sean."
However, No I.D. is still providing strong beats for veteran artists: along with "Primetime," the Jay-Z/Kanye West track on the deluxe edition of "Watch The Throne," the producer has worked with Nas on his forthcoming album and is producing Common's ninth studio album, "The Dreamer, The Believer," in its entirety.
"We're really trying to revive a certain part of hip-hop that seems to be fading out," No I.D. says of the Nas and Common albums, which have yet to received release dates. "They're gonna be full bodies of work that are really dedicated to the fan base. I think [Nas' new single] 'Nasty' and 'Ghetto Dreams' are just the cusp of what they have on their albums."