If you haven’t heard of the Working On Dying collective by now, you’re probably not listening to the right music.
In the past 12 months, the Philadelphia-based group have become some of underground hip hop’s most prolific producers, knocking out hits with artists like Lil Yachty, LUCKI, Xavier Wulf, Black Kray, CHXPO, Pollari, Lil Tracy, among countless others.
In the process, the members of Working on Dying have even managed to establish their own instrumental genre – a murky, dark, high-energy style of trap now known as ‘tread’.
With the help of fellow Philadelphia group 5 Finger Posse as well as Goth Money Records, tread is becoming more and more popular and influential to the underground scene, as producers and artists alike try to ride the momentum and wave behind the new sound.
Working On Dying are unquestionably some of the undergound’s most important artists right now, so as part of our ongoing series ‘Producer Talk’ we caught up with one of the group’s most highly-regarded members Oogie Mane to talk about life as an underground producer, the Philadelphia scene, and the current state of hip hop.
How long have you been producing for? And what motivated you to start?
I’ve been producing for about five years now, and what motivated me to start was my brother F1LTHY. He started producing first with The Loosie Man, back when boyz had the basement studio.
Ableton, Fruity Loops, or Logic?
Fruity Loops gang.
How did Working On Dying come together?
Well me, Forza, and F1LTHY all lived on the same block. Brandon Finessin was two blocks away, and we met The Loosie Man through Ganso3m and thtchnwht.
The Philadelphia scene is really gaining prominence right now, from WOD to 5 Finger Posse – what do you think has driven this?
I feel like WOD and 5 Finger brought a whole different scene to Philly. Because there isn’t really a big one here. It’s hard trying to make a name for yourself here. That’s why I always salute anyone who made it out. And we’ve just worked hard and done a ton of shows here. But shout out my 5 Finger Posse gang we destroy every show we in, I was actually just DJing their set before Goth Money last night.
Can you talk a bit about the ‘Tread’ genre?
The tread genre is scary, it can go anywhere and very far. I appreciate all the bros helping each other make this genre what it is. And also thankful to the artists that have helped to mold this genre too. But I feel like the start of tread was when ‘Shitty Sickboy’ came out – shout out to my brother F1LTHY and Kray. Then Forza and 5 Finger made ‘9k Strip Club’ and this genre really started to take shape.
Who’s your favorite artist to produce for?
My favorite artists to produce for have to be: CHXPO, 5 Finger Posse, MattOx, WifiGawd, Goth Money, and Dizzy Santana. They’re all gang, I like working with artists I personally know and interact with in real life. That’s the best way to make good music.
Where do you see the underground scene headed in the next few years?
I honestly don’t know. There are new hot artists appearing on the scene everyday. And a lot of the people who deserve their shine are starting to see it, so the underground might be looking up.
What are the best and worst aspects of selling beats online?
The perks are waking up to money in my PayPal, and I sell beats to people across the country so it makes me feel lit. Worst part about it is probably dealing with folks who aren’t serious and just wanna talk to you.
Personally, who are some of your favorite producers?
Of course everyone in my gang, because we all bring our own style and swag. Shout out Forza, F1lthy, Brandonfinessin, The Loosie Man, and Ganso3m again. People need to stop sleeping on Brandonfinessin and Ganso3m they up next. But outside my camp, producers I’ve looked up to are Kanye, Lex Luger, White Armor, yung sherman, Drip133, Timberland, Mannie Fresh, Nedarb, Lederick, Keenza, Dj Smokey, SGP, Freaky Zekey, and Trip Dixon. My bad for naming so many but I love music. And I know I’m missing some names too.
If you could produce for any artist who would it be?
Future, Chief keef, and Toro Y Moi haha.
Do you have any advice for all the up and coming producers trying to make a name for themselves?
Dont ever stop working, be yourselves, know your worth, and stay true.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2017?
Got a show for 10 Deep in NYC at the end of April, a tape with WifiGawd and also one with the bro sub9k.