Craig "KLC" Lawson

Craig "KLC" Lawson

Biography

Craig "KLC" Lawson (born July 15, 1969), is a rap music producer from the Third Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana. He found fame as a member of No Limit Records' in-house production team, Beats by the Pound. Since leaving the label, he has been a member of the Medicine Men, consisting of much of the same producers as the original Beats by the Pound, as well as some new talent. Along with Mannie Fresh, KLC is arguably one of the most important producers in New Orleans Rap and in Southern Rap. Juelz Santana's appearance on Paul Wall's "I'm Real, What Are You?" is one of the few occasions a New York rapper appeared on a KLC-produced track. KLC has worked with numerous recording artists and is credited for having discovered several prominent rappers, including Fiend, Mystikal and Soulja Slim. Recently, Rakim worked with KLC on a new track in his studios in Baton Rouge. He has also been quoted as saying he is poised to release a new project titled "Alarm Clock: Better Late Than Never."

KLC grew up in the Melpomene Projects in New Orleans. His father played saxophone and Lawson followed in his musical footsteps, earning the nickname "The Drum Major" even before joining the Green Middle School marching band. Lawson became fascinated by the cadences of a marching band's snare - the sound would later influence his production style. He moved with family members to a house in Uptown New Orleans on Parkway (the street would later be honored in the name of his first professional musical venture - Parkway Pumpin' Records). In high school, KLC got into breakdancing, one of his rivals being Michael "Mystikal Mike" Tyler. Tyler, aka Mystikal, would ultimately become a lifelong music associate.

After graduating high school, KLC and longtime friend Dartanian "MC Dart" Stovall started recording in a makeshift studio in the basement of KLC's home. Both had full-time, hourly jobs and one day decided to quit their jobs and devote their time to making music. They pooled their last paychecks and completed their first cassette. From these modest means, the teens established Parkway Pumpin' Records.

Although many independent labels appeared in the wake of New Orleans's 1991 bounce explosion, Parkway Pumpin', founded by KLC and Dart, was one of the first. It was also one of the most influential stables of talent, although the limited finances of the indie label resulted in precious few recordings. When Master P founded No Limit Records in Richmond, California and moved the label to New Orleans, most of the original roster (aside from Master P's relatives) were taken directly from the Parkway label roster.

Most of Parkway's associates never recorded with the label. Artists like Fiend, Mac (as Lil Mac The Lyrical Midget), Mystikal Mike (as Mystikal), Mr. Serv-On and Da Hound (Da Gert Town Hounds/Full Blooded) all went on to record with No Limit Records without having anything released in their time at Parkway Pumpin'. Only one future No Limit Soldier recorded on Parkway. Magnolia (Soulja) Slim recorded his sole Parkway Pumpin' release in '94, "Soulja Fa Lyfe."

The first act to record on Parkway Pumpin' was 39 Posse, a trio composed of Derrick "Shack" Mushatt, KLC and Dart. 39 Posse released their debut single, "Clockin' / Pumped in Power," in 1991. In 1993, 39 Posse dropped their debut full-length, "39 Automatic". Songs like "Ask Them Hoes," showed KLC's sound to be immediately distinguishable from other producers with his use of deep, sustained bass and martial snares. "Stuntin' Stars," "Bitch I'm Dart" and "Pass the Snake" show the beginnings of the later signature sounds of Beats By the Pound -produced tracks, with their hard beats and bluesy piano. Later that same year, Parkway released Lil Elt & DJ Tee's "Get the Gat" and "Get The Gat Gemix".

On Parkway Pumpin' there were no contracts, and artists including KLC himself often simultaneously worked at other labels. In 1994, KLC played keyboards and 39 Posse produced EXD's No Elevation for In the House Records. Mystikal (now minus the "Mike") recorded his debut album with Big Boy Records, where KLC also produced a track for veteran New Orleans rapper Sporty T. In 1995, Magnolia Slim recorded The Dark Side EP (produced by KLC and featuring 6 Shot) at Hype Enough. Fiend followed Mystikal to Big Boy Records and recorded his debut album on that label.

Once Master P arrived in New Orleans, he brought Beats by the Pound on board, most notably, KLC, who as the lead producer of the team. Their combined production capacity (churning out hundreds of tracks over the course of their stint with the label) and signature sound transformed No Limit Records from a little-heard west coast label into a southern powerhouse that sold over 50 million units. Beginning in 1998 through 1999, alleging across the board unfair business practices, majority of the roster left No Limit Records, including Mystikal and majority of the Beats by the Pound production team, including KLC.

After leaving No Limit Records, KLC, along with fellow producers Mo B. Dick, Craig B and Odell, formed production team of The Medicine Men. The team operates under the company name Overdose Entertainment. As a member of The Medicine Men, KLC continued to produce no only for former No Limit Records labelmates such as Fiend and Mystikal, but other rap stars such as T.I. and Ludacris.

From 1988 to present, KLC is credited (solo and with other Medicine Men team members) on close to 300 studio recordings covering over 100 studio albums. Lawson's RIAA accolades include eighteen gold albums, twelve platinum albums, four double-platinum albums, two triple-platinum albums, and one quadruple-platinum album as well as two gold singles, two platinum singles and one double-platinum single. Lawson has two Grammy nominations, both at the 45th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Rap Album (Word of Mouf by Ludacris and Tarantula by Mystikal) and two BMI Awards - one for the hit single Move Bitch (by Ludacris) and one for the associated album Word of Mouf.

His discography not only includes dozens of track for No Limit artists, but other popular southern and west coast rappers including Mack 10, 5th Ward Weebie, Ludacris, Juvenile, David Banner, B.G., T.I., Trina, Paul Wall, Bun B, and Scarface.

Production

39 Posse - 39 Automatic
  • All Tracks

39 Posse - 39 Automatic

Parkway Pumpin Records 1993
Sporty Big Balla - Jackin' For Bounce '94
  • Frank White

Sporty Big Balla - Jackin' For Bounce '94

Big Boy Records 1994
Mia X - Good Girl Gone Bad
  • Ghetto Sarah Lee

Mia X - Good Girl Gone Bad

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1995
  • Ghetto Stories

Tre-8 - Ghetto Stories

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1995
Down South Hustlers - Bouncin' And Swingin'
  • You Got It

Down South Hustlers - Bouncin' And Swingin'

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1995
Master P - Ice Cream Man
  • Bout It, Bout It II

Master P - Ice Cream Man

Priority Records, No Limit Records 1996
Sporty-T - The Saga Continues
  • He Shot - I Shot (Drama)

Sporty-T - The Saga Continues

Sporty Records 1996
Kane & Abel - The 7 Sins
  • Black Jesus

Kane & Abel - The 7 Sins

No Limit Records, Priority Records, Doral Records 1996
Silkk - The Shocker
  • The Shocker

Silkk - The Shocker

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1996
Skull Dugrey - Hoodlum Fo' Life
  • Crooked Ass Cops

Skull Dugrey - Hoodlum Fo' Life

No Limit Records, Priority Records, Spiral Records 1996
The Substitute (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  • Bang 'Em Up

Various - The Substitute (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Priority Records 1996
The Southwest Riders
  • Get Cha Mind Right

Various - The Southwest Riders

Sick Wid' It Records, Jive 1997
Master P Presents West Coast Bad Boyz II
  • R.I.P. Tupac

Various - Master P Presents West Coast Bad Boyz II

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1997
Tru - Tru 2 Da Game
  • No Limit Soldiers

Tru - Tru 2 Da Game

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1997
Mr. Serv-On - Life Insurance
  • Tryin' To Make It Out Da Ghetto

Mr. Serv-On - Life Insurance

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1997
Mia X - Unlady Like
  • You Don't Wanna Go 2 War

Mia X - Unlady Like

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1997
I'm Bout It (From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  • Cops Runnin' After Ya

Various - I'm Bout It (From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1997
Mystikal - Unpredictable
  • Born 2 Be A Soldier

Mystikal - Unpredictable

Jive, No Limit Records 1997
Def Jam's How To Be A Player Soundtrack
  • How To Be A Playa

Various - Def Jam's How To Be A Player Soundtrack

Def Jam Recordings 1997
Steady Mobb'n - Pre-Meditated Drama
  • It's On

Steady Mobb'n - Pre-Meditated Drama

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1997
Master P - Ghetto D
  • Make 'Em Say Uhh!

Master P - Ghetto D

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1997
Rhyme & Reason (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  • Is There A Heaven 4 A Gangsta?

Various - Rhyme & Reason (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Priority Records 1997
Fiend - There's One In Every Family
  • Walk Like A "G"

Fiend - There's One In Every Family

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
C-Murder - Life Or Death
  • On The Run

C-Murder - Life Or Death

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
The Colonel Master P Presents No Limit Soldiers - We Can't Be Stopped
  • No Limit Soldiers II

Various - The Colonel Master P Presents No Limit Soldiers - We Can't Be Stopped

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
Steady Mobb'n - Black Mafia
  • Hit A Lick

Steady Mobb'n - Black Mafia

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
Magic - Skys The Limit
  • Ghetto Godzilla

Magic - Skys The Limit

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
Skull Duggery - These Wicked Streets
  • Shakin In The Streets

Skull Duggery - These Wicked Streets

No Limit Records, Penalty Recordings 1998
Big Ed - The Assassin
  • Make Some Room

Big Ed - The Assassin

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
Ghetto Commission - Wise Guys
  • Lost Thugs

Ghetto Commission - Wise Guys

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
Mack 10 - The Recipe
  • Made Niggaz

Mack 10 - The Recipe

Hoo Bangin' Records, Priority Records 1998
Mean Green - Major Players Compilation
  • That's The Nigga

Mean Green - Major Players Compilation

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
I Got The Hook-Up! (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  • Itch Or Scratch

Various - I Got The Hook-Up! (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
Big Bear - Doin Thangs
  • No Matter What

Big Bear - Doin Thangs

Tru Game Records 1998
Soulja Slim - Give It 2 'Em Raw
  • At The Same Time

Soulja Slim - Give It 2 'Em Raw

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
Mac - Shell Shocked
  • Wooo

Mac - Shell Shocked

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
Blade (Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture)
  • The Edge Of The Blade

Various - Blade (Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture)

Epic, TVT Soundtrax 1998
Gambino Family - Ghetto Organized
  • I'm A Baller

Gambino Family - Ghetto Organized

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
Silkk The Shocker - Charge It 2 Da Game
  • I'm A Soldier

Silkk The Shocker - Charge It 2 Da Game

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
Snoop Dogg - Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told
  • Snoop World

Snoop Dogg - Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
Full Blooded - Memorial Day
  • Count Down

Full Blooded - Memorial Day

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
Mia X - Mama Drama
  • Puttin' It Down

Mia X - Mama Drama

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
Sons Of Funk - The Game Of Funk
  • I Got The Hook-Up!

Sons Of Funk - The Game Of Funk

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
Prime Suspects - Guilty Til Proven Innocent
  • We Gots To Do 'Em

Prime Suspects - Guilty Til Proven Innocent

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
Master P - MP Da Last Don
  • Till We Dead And Gone

Master P - MP Da Last Don

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
Mystikal - Ghetto Fabulous
  • Round Out The Tank

Mystikal - Ghetto Fabulous

No Limit Records, Jive 1998
Young Bleed - My Balls And My Word
  • Keep It Real

Young Bleed - My Balls And My Word

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
Kane & Abel - Am I My Brothers Keeper

Kane & Abel - Am I My Brothers Keeper

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1998
C-Murder - Bossalinie
  • Money Talks

C-Murder - Bossalinie

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1999
Hype Enough Records - Limited Edition
  • Made For Walkin

Hype Enough Records - Limited Edition

Hype Enough Records 1999
Snoop Dogg - No Limit Top Dogg
  • Down 4 My N's

Snoop Dogg - No Limit Top Dogg

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1999
Lil Italy - On Top Of Da World
  • We Ain't Hard 2 Find

Lil Italy - On Top Of Da World

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1999
Silkk The Shocker - Made Man
  • This Is 4 My

Silkk The Shocker - Made Man

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1999
Mr. Servon - Da Next Level
  • Tank Nigga

Mr. Servon - Da Next Level

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1999
Lil Soldiers - Boot Camp
  • For My Shorties

Lil Soldiers - Boot Camp

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1999
Fiend - Street Life
  • War 4 Reason

Fiend - Street Life

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1999
Tru - Da Crime Family
  • Hoody Hoo

Tru - Da Crime Family

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1999
Mo B. Dick - Gangsta Harmony
  • Mo B's Theme

Mo B. Dick - Gangsta Harmony

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1999
Master P Presents No Limit All Stars - Who U Wit?
  • You Ain't A Baller

Master P Presents No Limit All Stars - Who U Wit?

No Limit Records, Priority Records 1999
Mystikal - Let's Get Ready
  • Big Truck Boys

Mystikal - Let's Get Ready

Jive 2000
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony - The Collection: Volume Two
  • Hook It Up

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony - The Collection: Volume Two

Ruthless Records 2000
5th Ward Weebie - Ghetto Platinum
  • Show Dat Work

5th Ward Weebie - Ghetto Platinum

Most Wanted Empire 2000
Skull Duggrey - 3rd Ward Stepper: The Album
  • The Grudge

Skull Duggrey - 3rd Ward Stepper: The Album

Hoodlum Entertainment, Private I Records, Hard Hit Records 2000
Ludacris - Word Of Mouf
  • Move B***h

Ludacris - Word Of Mouf

Def Jam South, Disturbing Tha Peace 2001
Mystikal - Tarantula
  • Paper Stack

Mystikal - Tarantula

Jive 2001
Ludacris Presents Disturbing Tha Peace - Golden Grain
  • Move B***h

Ludacris Presents Disturbing Tha Peace - Golden Grain

Def Jam South 2002
Soulja Slim - Years Later

Soulja Slim - Years Later

Cut Throat Committy 2002
David Banner - Mississippi: The Album
  • What It Do

David Banner - Mississippi: The Album

Universal Records 2003
Juvenile - Juve The Great
  • For Everybody

Juvenile - Juve The Great

Cash Money Records, Universal Records 2003
Soulja Slim - Years Later... A Few Months After
  • U Hear Dat

Soulja Slim - Years Later... A Few Months After

Koch Records, Cut Throat Comitty Records, In The Paint Records 2003
Turk - Raw & Uncut
  • Amped Up

Turk - Raw & Uncut

Koch Records 2003
T.I. - Urban Legend
  • What They Do

T.I. - Urban Legend

Atlantic, Grand Hustle 2004
B.G. - Life After Cash Money
  • Don't Talk To Me

B.G. - Life After Cash Money

Koch Records 2004
Trina - Glamorest Life
  • Shake

Trina - Glamorest Life

Slip-N-Slide Records, Atlantic 2005
Bun B - Trill
  • Bun

Bun B - Trill

Rap-A-Lot Records 2005
C-Murder - The Truest S#!@ I Ever Said
  • My Life

C-Murder - The Truest S#!@ I Ever Said

Koch Records, TRU Records 2005
B.G. - The Heart Of Tha Streetz Vol. 1
  • Get Up

B.G. - The Heart Of Tha Streetz Vol. 1

Koch Records 2005
Scarface - My Homies, Part 2
  • Club Bangaz

Scarface - My Homies, Part 2

Rap-A-Lot Records 2006
Fiend - The Addiction: Hope Is Near

Fiend - The Addiction: Hope Is Near

Fiend Entertainment 2006
Paul Wall - Get Money, Stay True
  • I'm Real, What Are You?

Paul Wall - Get Money, Stay True

Atlantic, Swishahouse 2007
Master P - Featuring...
  • Hook It Up

Master P - Featuring...

Priority Records 2007
Mr. Serv-On - Life Insurance 2: Heart Muzik
  • Hood Made Me

Mr. Serv-On - Life Insurance 2: Heart Muzik

Lightyear Entertainment 2008
B.G. - Too Hood 2 Be Hollywood
  • Hit The Block & Roll

B.G. - Too Hood 2 Be Hollywood

E1 Entertainment, Atlantic, Chopper City Records 2009
Snoop Dogg Presents My #1 Priority
  • Tru Tank Dogs

Various - Snoop Dogg Presents My #1 Priority

Priority Records 2010