When Diddy assembled his platinum plus production team The Hitmen in the late '90s, young upstart producers Dnyce (left in above photo) and Trend were taking notes. In 2011 the California natives decided to be apart of a standout production collective, which their manager Tavon "Pun" Alexander dubbed the League of Starz, in an effort to bring together a unit of elite beatsmiths within their respective hoods.
“We all produced and were all hot in the areas we were in,” Trend tells BET.com of the thought process behind forming the unit. “We don't make beats together, but we all make nice music. It's just one place you can go and get pretty much any type of beats you can ask for. We're a one-stop shop.”
That all-for-one philosophy lead founding members Dnyce and Trend to join forces with fellow hot shot beat maestros Tone Bone, Curtiss King, Macado, Jaynari, Dupri and Osirus to create what they call "function music" — a hybrid of LA's G-Funk and The Bay's hyphy.
“Basically our sound is like the old school West Coast mixed with heavy 808's and more hypnotic sounds,” says Dnyce. “Everything is meshed together, it's like hyphy but it's slowed down. Hyphy mixed with Dr. Dre melodies.”
The sonic concoction that blends sounds from California’s north and south regions is fast becoming popular in clubs throughout the nation. Dnyce is currently best known for being the architect behind Tyga's infectious smash "Faded,” and Trend is recognized for producing E-40's left coast banger "Function.”
“The West Coast has been rocking to this type of sound since 2007. We just put our own little remix to it and it got popular,” says Trend. “We've been making this type of music for so long it just died down, but we just brought it back with a little slower tempo and heavy bass lines.”
While the beatsmiths first made a name for themselves during the "krump" and "jerk" eras producing tracks for local Cali artists — Dnyce produced YG's local smash "Aim Me" and Jinx’s "Feeling My Dougie” — they are comfortable taking credit for birthing function music.
“I think we are somewhat the pioneers [of function music] because when the jerk movement was going and everybody was on the jerk movement, we were still big producers back then,” boasts Trend. “People locally over here knew us because we made big songs during the jerk movement, too. We are a part of the reason the jerk movement kept going. The sound we have now, we are the pioneers of that because we've been doing that sound for like five or six years.”
With their sound gaining popularity, the request for their service is quadrupling. The Midas-touch producers are set to spearhead most of the production on E-40 and Too Short's upcoming collaborative album The History Channel and have been tapped by Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown and others to deliver their contagious club-friendly tracks.
“Every city has a different type of music they listen to in the clubs. Down south is more slow tempo and heavy bass. Then you got your Baltimore music [go-go music]. It's all different,” says Dnyce of the expansion of their tracks. “When you put those different rappers and R&B singers on to our club music, it brings a different feel and different cities can rock to what we rock to and we could rock to how their artist is rapping. It’s a nice way of crossing those two genres.”
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(Photo: Courtesy League of Starz)