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September 19, 2013 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Attention hip-hop fans. You’re going to want to remember this name — Stovetop Music. A multifaceted hip-hop and R&B production company, it records, produces, mixes and promotes up-and-coming artists who call this city home.
The group is on a hot trail now with new mixtape releases. After celebrating the company’s fifth anniversary, the musicians have had time to reflect on their start.
Since starting Stovetop in 2008, founder Larry Tucker, music engineer Curtis Jacobs, and recording artists Mac Shuan, DJ KC, Jae Breeze and J. Bone Capone have made major strides. “I got a beat machine when I was 16 years old, and I’ve been hooked ever since,” Tucker says. Influenced by his parents’ love of old records, Tucker’s transition into the business of music production and promotion was a natural fit for him. But the path to success didn’t start smoothly.
Just six months after moving into the studio, the recording space was broken into, and equipment was stolen. At times, the artists slept on the floor of the studio. They had only the bare minimum of recording gear. “We lost faith more than a dozen times,” Tucker says. “Like, ‘Let’s just close it up; let’s go home.’ But from the beginning, we said, ‘We’re going to make it,’ and we picked each other up.”
The Stovetop team grew together through trials and hardship. When one is feeling down, the others know what to do to lift his spirits.
“I know (when) we need to do something,” Tucker says. “I kick into overdrive. Like, ‘We’re going to set this show up. Let’s set this party up. Let’s do something.’”
A reminder covered in knobs, buttons and switches also sits in the studio to get them going. An MP4000, which Tucker calls the “holy grail of beat machines,” is the first piece of recording equipment Tucker purchased after dedicating his life to music. It serves as both a recording tool and a symbol of how far Stovetop has come.
“Everything we come up with is real life experience and what we’re going through today,” Capone says.
The company’s ninth mixtape, In Da Streets, Vol. 2, was released Sept. 18, following the recent successes Show Me State Heavyweights, Vol. 1, and The Future Mixtape. The recordings feature collaborations among the artists.
“It’s like playing for a Super Bowl team,” DJ KC says of working together. “Your roster is already hot, and whatever part you play, whether you’re a producer, a rapper or an engineer, the bar is set high. So you want to bring your A game.”
Check out Stovetop Radio, the company’s iPhone, iPad and Android app, to find the artists’ tracks and listen to their podcast, Ear to the Streets. The artists’ music is also available on iTunes, datpiff.com and stovetopmusic.com.