Stevie B Talks New Single ‘Call Me Up’ & Talks Pittsburgh Hip Hop Scene

Pittsburgh vocalist/producer Stevie B presents the music video for his new single “Call Me Up”, produced by Stevie and Dude IG. Stevie has produced for Wiz Khalifa and the late Jimmy Wopoas well as Dave East and Yo Gotti with more than 200 mixtapes featuring his work.

The video was directed by Grammy award-winning producer/engineer Jimmy Hoyson and Manic Entertainment. “I’m single and ready to mingle,” Stevie says about his new single. “And felt like singing about it! I wanted to show a more diverse side, not just for the streets, something for the ladies.”

You’ve been producing under the radar for some time now under some big names what made you decide to come out solo?

Well first of all I’ve always been an artist at heart so I’ve always wanted to do it. I grew up in a musical household and got my first drum set at 5 years old. My father was a keyboardist and he played at all the churches, so I ran around town playing with my dad when he was gigging. Man…. I was getting paid at a young age to do that, I was making like 300.00 a week, I even had W-2 forms. As I got older, got caught up in the streets but music was the gateway, I believe in music because it’s what I grew up in, if I can’t do it in the church no more then I want to do it for real.

What made you decide to become a rapper?

Where I come from, we love rap. We was into 2Pac, Master P, we lived in a big musical neighborhood. Like in any ghetto there were 2 ways out: rap or sports. I dropped out of school so that wasn’t a lane for me, so… music was my outlet. I dropped out because I wasn’t into school, I wasn’t that popular and it didn’t keep my interest. I was more interested in chasing life, I would skip all the time, I skipped 3 months straight just to hang with friends, I got kicked out a few times and when I hit a certain age I figured I’d just go out on my own.

Everyone wanted me to go to school, college but that’s what they wanted but not what I wanted. I wanted to chase my passion, I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing. Then I was producing for so many artists, it just made sense to do my own thing after a while.

What’s the first rap song you heard? Describe the moment.

2Pac – “Lord Knows” – It was the whole tape, the Only God Can Judge Me tape. Man, it gave me game, hipped me to life itself. How to be in the streets, be a young, black male, it opened my eyes. I was skipping school with my best friend Reggie, and we went to his uncle’s house, he cooked us food, we chilled, and 2Pac came on. He started breaking it down like: ‘We 2 Pac fans, not part of the Biggie camp’ because that was a thing then.”

How did “Call Me Up” come together?

It was pretty much a random moment, I’ll be in the studio thinking, chillin, blazing and I wanted to make a song and that was the moment. I wanted to make a song for the ladies, started smoking and that’s what it came up.

I always been a singer though, I was playing drums but I’ve been singing my whole life, I was singing in church, in the choir. I definitely have a little diversity because of that experience.

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I also build tracks a bit different than most people making beats because of my singing background. How I do it, I make the song based off the acapella, build the song then make the beat afterwards. It makes it more interesting and challenging.

I’m used to doing it that way, that’s why I was successful working with Pittsburgh artists because they had the vocals but not the beat so that helped me stand out as a producer. People started coming to me for songs because no one was doing it that way.

What are your predictions for the year in hip hop?

I see myself and other Pittsburgh artists making a mark in the hip hop industry. Lots of fresh new talent style wise bringing in their talent and I want people to see us.

I feel like hip hop is making a difference right now (culture wise) politically, what’s going on in neighborhoods, social issues, etc. It’s getting more involved now more than ever.

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