Monday 8 June 2015

Generic list post: a Lev Berlak appreciation

Until I peeped his AllMusic page last week, all ya boy knew about Lev Berlak was that he was the Oakland producer who'd notched up credits for Dru Down, Mac Dre, and the Mob Figaz, and helmed A-Wax's Thug Deluxe album from top to bottom. Turns out Lev was also responsible for a shitload of deep cuts I'd never realised were his beats and a shitload of great tracks I'd never heard before. What's more, his studio The Grill has been the go-to spot for mixing & mastering in northern California since the late nineties, making him the Mike Dean of Mob Music. Lev Berlak? More like Lev BerSlap amirite:

Dru Down - Choppin' It Up (1996)
Dru Down - Head And Shoulders (1996)
Richie Rich - Real Shit (1996)
Richie Rich ft. Simply E - It's Not About You (1996)
Mind Over Body - Anotha Day (1996)
Mind Over Body - Creepin' Thru Yo' Hood (1996)
X-Mob - Paper Chasing (1997)
3x Krazy ft. Dru Down & Yukmouth - Pistols Blazin' (1997)
Da Productz - It's About The Money (1998)
N2Deep ft. Baby Beesh & Mac Dre - The Throw (1998)
Mac Dre - Rapper Gone Bad (1999)
Mob Figaz - Tailor Made (1999)
Mob Figaz - Hustle In The Rain (1999)
Agerman ft. Richie Rich - All About Dollar$ (1999)
Keak Da Sneak - Alright Cool (1999)
Keak Da Sneak ft. Agerman - No Love (1999)
Mac Dre - So Hard (2001)
Mac Dre - Bleezies-N-Heem (2001)
The Jacka - Tha Mayor (2002)
Husalah - Hustlin' Ass (2002)
PSD Tha Drivah ft. Keak Da Sneak - Streets Or Rap Game (Remix) (2002)
Mac Dre - Witme? (2004)
Mac Dre - Me Damac (2004)
Mac Dre - Hotel, Motel (2004)
A-Wax - Dollar Bill (2004)
A-Wax - This Town (2004)
A-Wax - Check 1,2 (2004)
A-Wax - Be Together (2004)
A-Wax - Before You Go (2004)
J Stalin - Pop My Collar (2005)
P.S.D Tha Drivah ft. J Stalin - Joseph Stalin (2007)
A-Wax - Hum Bum (2009)

Gonna hazard a guess that there's also a handful of Lev Berlak tracks spread out across all those noughties Messy Marv albums with no production credits. Plz tell me he was behind "B" or Cheese You Out?


Unknown said...

I had no clue this was the guy behind a couple of my favorite mob figaz tracks I always assumed hustle in the rain was produced by rob lo.

d said...

ah man my favs in some cases, the same dude did Witme, Alright Cool, Hustle In The Rain & Joseph Stalin. Checking out everything else asap.

a1yolas p good for bay area credits aswell.

Kelvin Mack10zie said...


Just peeping now and that site actually lists Lev as being behind Thug Deluxe whereas he's not credited on either AllMusic or Discogs.

d said...

Rateyourmusic weirdly enough can fill in some blanks the odd time. Occasionally when the actual liner notes can't. Annoying af when the producers are listed in no order on the back or w e

Its like amazon reviews rotten tomatoes or some shit, dunno what the sites actually for

yeldarb said...

Is this guy Jewish?

Kelvin Mack10zie said...


Every rap scene needs a racially ambiguous off-white production genius, imo.

Anonymous said...

Guy is a legend off the "Me Damac" beat.

REDLite said...

*eyes wide mouth open emoji*

GGGGGG said...

Keak Da Sneak song with the Pink Panther sample is wild.

Johnny Rap said...

Also, you can check out the entire albume "No Gimmcks, Still Lawless" by Neva Legal (aka Dem Hoodstarz)

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

I need to hear that.

nemanja said...

Here's the zip "a Lev Berlak appreciation" :!4hVHBAJC!yo3CTDOM3xrO3vRQymHjvBs7DT4dm45fiyUFjiX_3Xg

sisilafami said...

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Cheers, lads.

Will blog it.

Ray Garraty said...

Noz writes that production for Paper Chasing was done by Pimp C.

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Pimp and Mannis Fresh both have a few production credits on the album.

Title track here is 100% Lev according to the credits. His sole beat on the album.

Lev Berlak said...

Great list I forgot a few of those songs, Thanks

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Please work with A-Wax again, Lev.

Also, that beat you did for Chapo/One Sound is godly.

Lev said...

Did 7 on the new drought season #3 .. jack and i had recorded at least 500 songs in the last 3 years , I'm focused there and working with the new kids , i try not to get stuck on one thing . tag it and move on... the first albums are everything.

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Yeah, even before I saw the Drought Season 3 credits I could tell you were behind most of it; not just because of the style of production but the mastering is so sharp.

That's why I called you the Mike Dean of Mob Music.

Krisch said...

According to Discogs "The Throw" was produced by Funk Daddy.

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Yeah, looking back on this list now there's a couple I've since found out that he engineered rather than produced.

J. Stalin's Pop My Collar is another.

Krisch said...

Ah, ok. Could you find out about any of those Messy Marv songs since then?

Kelvin Mack10zie said...

Afraid not.