ESPN Music: Hit-Boy

Grammy winner Hit-Boy talks Kanye, Lakers

February, 22, 2013
Hit BoyRick Diamond/Getty ImagesLakers die-hard Hit-Boy won a Grammy for his song on "Watch the Throne" with Jay-Z and Kanye West.
When rapper/producer extraordinaire Hit-Boy was in high school, he did the unthinkable.

During basketball practice one day, the Southern California native went up to his coach and literally told him, "I don't want to play anymore. I want to go home and make beats."

While his coach kept convincing him to come back, Hit-Boy didn't envision a future in hoops because he knew he was never going to grow tall. But what he had was a dream to produce tracks for a living.

That dream not only led to the 25-year-old's first big hit, "N----- in Paris," but also his first Grammy award for Best Rap Song, which he, Jay-Z and Kanye West were honored for last week in Los Angeles. Now, Hit-Boy, who also produced G.O.O.D. Music's chart-topper "Clique," is arguably the most sought-after producer in hip-hop. And his rapping career is taking off as well.

After releasing his debut album "HITstory" last summer, he's working on his first compilation disc, "All I've Ever Dreamed Of," as part of his major deal with Interscope Records. It's set to release in mid-2013.

Everything appears to be falling into place for Hit-Boy, but there's still at least one thing he doesn't have figured out: his beloved Lakers, who have been the biggest disappointment in the NBA this season. Speaking with ESPN Playbook recently, he talked about his favorite team, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, his rapping and producing through the years, and much more.

(Read full post)