[Super-producer Salaam Remi (The Fugees, Nas, Amy Winehouse) recently sat down with hip-hop personality and SOHH correspondent Shawn Setaro on his popular “The Cipher” podcast. Listen to the full interview and check out five gems he dropped during the Q&A.]

On how he makes beats:

“There’s certain records that are DJ records. I tend to make DJ records, because I think that way – like, what is going to happen in the first 30 seconds that jumps it off? What’s going to happen when the beat kicks in? What’s the DJ going to think?”

On his father’s relationship with Run-DMC producer Larry Smith:

“My dad’s [musician/producer/executive Van Gibbs] first band, when he was in a band with my uncle, he was on guitar and Larry Smith was on bass. I knew him and Larry knew each other from Queens, but I didn’t put together the fact that they were all in a band called Stone Free together.”

On his relationship with reggae and dancehall:

“My relationship with the music is, it inspires me, period, when I listen to reggae, soul, gospel, jazz, blues – anything I refer to as ‘the ground source’ – something that’s heavy, the bass is there. It’s what I feel in my gut, in my soul, and reggae is definitely a part of that.”

On The Fugees:

“What happened is that everyone realized they were talented. But they were fitting into what was going on. And when they did their first album, it was at the end of Onyx and very loud rapping and grimy. So a lot of their first album was caught in that. And then by the time I got the chance to do the “Nappy Heads” remix, I was able to put them in pocket. Because I was at the radio station with Flex, I was in the clubs, so I understood the pulse. But I also understood musicality. It was just a balance, and that’s what I was asked to do. I was able to show them what within their talent was appealing to people, and give them a formula on how to now formulate their records and go forward with it.”

On seeing Amy Winehouse become a giant star:

“That wasn’t the first time. I guess the Fugees was the first time that happened for me. Even Ini Kamoze, ‘Here Comes the Hotstepper.’ We’re doing demos in my basement, and then the next thing you know, we’re going around the world and it’s like, wow, this is the biggest song ever. With the Fugees, it went from I’m buying lunch because nobody has any money, to they are getting worldwide. It gave me a different perspective on how far my musical guidance was able to take someone.”