Todd Ray

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Personal life[edit]

Todd Ray (Married to Danielle, Daughter Asia, Son Phoenix) is the mastermind behind The Venice Beach Freakshow, a classically-inspired circus sideshow with an attached museum of oddities. A 21st century P.T. Barnum with a congenital resistance to very concept of "impossible," Todd has set out to build the world's greatest showcase for the unique, the bizarre and the wondrous.

As a teenager in South Carolina, Todd fell in love with the early hip-hop singles coming out of New York and began performing locally with friends. In 1986, he landed a record contract which led him to New York where he met Danielle, the woman whom he would end up spending his life with. Over the next decade, Todd worked with a wide range of artists, including The Beastie Boys, Nas, Mick Jagger, Santana (on the Grammy-winning "Supernatural"), and won two Grammys for his work with the innovative Latin group Ozomatli. He and Danielle ultimately moved to Los Angeles, settling in the suburbs to raise their two children, Asia and Phoenix.

Successful as he was, Todd had creative ambitions that weren’t being satisfied. "I decided I'd rather share the wonders of the world with families – kids, adults, everybody. I recalled an experience in my childhood, which ultimately changed my life forever. I had gone to a sideshow and saw a man named Otis Jordan (known as The Human Cigarette Factory). Performing without any limbs, he used only his shoulders, chin and tongue to roll a cigarette. At the end, I said to him, 'I don't think I could ever do what you did.' He said to me, 'Son, if I can do what you saw me do on stage, a young man like you can do anything you ever dreamed of.' From that moment, the world seemed different and I knew it was my call as to what life could be."

Venice Beach Freakshow opened in 2006, and since then Todd has searched the world for animal anomalies, bizarre artifacts, and people with unusual physiological traits and astounding talents. He has embraced the word "freak" as a joyous rebuttal to "normal" and the pressure of conformity. "Every single one of us, by virtue of our individuality, is an oddity. We're each a freak: a freak of the universe," he stresses. "But a 'freak' meaning the most special, the most unique, the most magical creatures in the universe." http://www.amctv.com/shows/freakshow/cast/todd-ray

Music producer[edit]

Grammy Award-winning music producer Todd Ray (T-Ray)'s career has logged a lengthy discography, which includes artists Jack Johnson, Nas, Mick Jagger, House of Pain, The Beastie Boys, G. Love & Special Sauce, Cypress Hill, Santana, 311, Audioslave, Artifacts, and Ozomatli.

Growing up in the rural South, Todd's living conditions and local entertainment options left much to be desired. After hearing a friend's copy of Soul Sonic Force's 'Planet Rock', Todd purchased a pair of turntables. He and his friends began performing locally. At this time, their group did not have a name and people would simply refer to them as 'those white boys'. Swatch Watch sponsored them, flying them to Breckenridge, Colorado for one of the first ever snowboarding events, where Converse Sneakers reps provided additional sponsorship.[1] Using his portion of the sponsorship money, T-Ray began building his record collection, which provided a solid foundation for his budding production skills. After mastering the concept of 'breaks', he quickly finished his group's first demo. A club in nearby Charlotte, NC was having a talent contest which Todd won several weeks in a row, which qualified him for the finals. The final competition was judged by representatives from Def Jam and Polygram. Although Todd did not win the final competition, a Polygram representative approached Todd with the offer of a record contract (1986)[1]

With the ink still drying on their deal, T-Ray and his group, moved straight from South Carolina to Rosedale, Queens, where they finished an album for Tin Pan Apple Records and appeared on the Fresh Fest Tour. But Polygram's rival, Def Jam, quickly became a household name and by the summer of 1987, the group broke up. Todd eventually ran out of money and had to move back to South Carolina. [1] With no rural job opportunities, and his pre-med scholarship lost, Todd worked non-stop on music production. Unable to afford even the floppy disks to save the beats, he would just record them on cassette.

Ray helped his family build furniture out of wood- 'folk art' furniture with bark still attached. People began paying handsomely for his chairs and he was able to save enough money to make the trip back to New York. Ray got a call back on his application as an intern at Big Beat Records. Todd played a tape of his beats for Craig Kallman and informed him "All I have is music". The morning after, Kallman called Todd (about Kenny Dope's promo for Red Alert) and told him "if you know how to make this [recorded loop] into a record, you've got a job". T-Ray was the producer of Big Beat Records' first hip-hop 12-inch, 'Supa Cat' (1991- Todd is credited on the album as 'The Mad Racket'). 'Supa Cat' sold 70,000 copies and was the true beginning of T-Ray's career as a producer. He went on to produce an entire album for Double X, with 'Not Gonna Be Able To Do It" (1992) becoming his first video. T-Ray produced 'Aint Goin Out Like That' for Cypress Hill's album, Black Sunday (1993) and was nominated for a Grammy for it (Best Rap single).[2] Todd then became closely affiliated with the DJ Muggs led Soul Assassins producing for Cypress Hill and Funkdoobiest, among others.

By 1996, Todd had begun to produce rock & roll. His 1993 remix of House of Pain/ Helmet collaboration (Judgement Night soundtrack) led to his producing of the entire Helmet album, which led to more rock gigs, including 311, Korn, Snot, Hed PE, John Spencer Blues Explosion, and White Zombie. In 1999, T-Ray did production for Santana (which led to a Grammy Award in 2000 for Album of the Year) and a Latin group named Ozomatli who he won two other Grammys with, including a Latin Grammy- it was during this time that his life came full circle: "It was sort of like destiny in a way, for me to move from the woods to New York City," explains Todd Ray. "To get on as a producer, to go through turmoil, through hip-hop, and get to the point where I felt that people were doing hip-hop that I couldn't respect, so I moved to the West Coast to do rock & roll shit. I run into a group called Ozomatli who I wanted to do 'Incredible Bongo Beats' with. Their DJ just happened to be Cut Chemist, who I knew nothing about. But, as we're finishing the record he tells me this fucking story of how he was inspired by this fucking tape that he got from down South, and that tape was my fucking tape. The same tape I made in that shack, the same tape that I played for Craig when I met him at Big Beat. The same tape that I had played for the trees in Lancaster, South Carolina. I had made one copy for Eclipse (yes- that Eclipse), who originally lived in South Carolina too, who had sent it to an old friend in Rhode Island, who moved to L.A. and became one of the members of Jurassic 5, whose DJ just happened to be Cut Chemist. I felt like I had come 360 degrees!" [Elemental Magazine, Issue #62]

Discography[edit]

Production[edit]

  • On A Mission (LP) PolyGram 1988
  • Back To The Grill (12") Def Jam Recordings 1992
  • Bow Wow Wow (12") I'm Shittin' On 'Em, I... Immortal Records (3) 1992
  • Daze In A Weak (12", Promo) Def Jam Recordings 1992
  • Here It Comes / Back To The Grill (12") Back To The Grill (LP ... Def Jam Recordings 1992
  • I Don't Give A Fuck / Mai Sista Izza Bitch (12", Promo) I Don't Give A Fuck, I... Rush Associated Labels 1992
  • Not Gonna Be Able To Do It / The Pure Thing / The Headcracker (Remix) (12") Not Gonna Be Able To D... Big Beat 1992
  • Now They Wanna See Me (12") Big Beat 1992
  • Put Ya Boots On (LP) Put Ya Boots On, Somet... Big Beat 1992
  • Return Of The Product (LP) Back To The Grill, Daz... Def Jam Recordings 1992
  • Black Sunday (CD) I Ain't Goin' Out Like... Ruffhouse Records 1993
  • Born Gangstaz (CD) Diary Of A Mad Bitch, ... Rush Associated Labels 1993
  • Bow Wow Wow (12") I'm Shittin' On 'Em, I... Epic 1993
  • From The Brick Jungle (12") Big Beat 1993
  • I Ain't Goin' Out Like That (12") I Ain't Goin' Out Like... Ruffhouse Records 1993
  • Judgment Night (Music From The Motion Picture) (LP) Come And Die Epic 1993
  • Swim (12", Promo) Columbia 1993
  • The Show Ain't Over Till The Fat Man Swings (LP) Big Beat 1993
  • Timber (12") Atlantic 1993
  • We Ain't Goin' Out Like That (CD, Maxi) We Ain't Goin' Out Lik... Ruffhouse Records 1993
  • Which Doobie U B? (LP) I'm Shittin' On 'Em, W... Immortal Records (3) 1993
  • Wopbabalubop (12") Epic 1993
  • Betty (CD, Album) Interscope Records 1994
  • Between A Rock And A Hard Place (CD) Wrong Side Of Da Track... Big Beat 1994
  • Biscuits For Smut (CD, Maxi) Interscope Records, Interscope Records 1994
  • Kickin Da Flava (CD) Citysong (Supernatural... EMI Music (Canada) 1994
  • Lick A Shot (CD, Maxi) Scooby Doo Columbia, Ruffhouse Records 1994
  • Lost In Brooklyn (2xLP, Whi) Down South, Tractors, ... Big Beat 1994
  • Wilma's Rainbow EP (CD, Maxi) Interscope Records 1994
  • Wrong Side Of Da Tracks (Cass, Maxi) Big Beat 1994
  • 4, 5, 6 (CD) Take 'Em To War, For D... Epic 1995
  • Dynamite Soul (12") Dynamite Soul (Album V... Big Beat 1995
  • New Jersey Drive Vol. 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2xLP) Love Slave Tommy Boy Music 1995
  • Black Sunday & Cypress Hill (2xCD) I Ain't Goin' Out Like... Sony Music Entertainment (Australia) 1996
  • (Hed) PE (CD, Album) Jive, Virgin Records 1997
  • Cut Chemist Suite (12") Almo Sounds 1998
  • Give It To The Fuckin' DJ (12") Almo Sounds 1998
  • Ozomatli (CD, Album) Almo Sounds 1998
  • Cut Chemist Suite (12") Almo Sounds 1999
  • The Funky Precedent (CD) Cumbia De Los Muertos Loosegroove Records 1999
  • No Retreat (12", Promo) No Retreat (Edit), No ... ABB 2000
  • The Platform (2xLP) No Retreat ABB 2000
  • Music From And Inspired By Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (CD + CD-ROM) Cut Chemist Suite Warner Music (Australia) 2001
  • Still Smokin' (DVD) I Ain't Goin' Out Like... Sony Music Entertainment Inc., Columbia Music Video 2001
  • Ice-T Presents Westside (2xCD) Wopbabalubop Obsessive 2002
  • The Future Is Now (CD) The C.I.A. Is Trying T... Landspeed Records 2002
  • U Can't Stop Hiphop (CD, Promo) I Ain't Going Out Like... Sony Music Media (Netherlands) 2002
  • Wrong Side Of Da Tracks (12") Big Beat 2002
  • The Alchemist Presents Heavy Surveillance (CD, Promo) ALC Music Recorded Library 2003
  • The Future Is Now Instrumentals (2xLP) The C.I.A. Is Still Tr... Uncle Howie Records 2003
  • Thicker Than Water (CD) Hobo Blues Brushfire Records 2003
  • Hip Hop II - The Collection (2xCD) I Ain't Goin' Out Like... Universal Music (Australia) 2004
  • Rap Sessions (2xCD) Doobie To The Head Sessions 2004
  • Show 'Em (12") Beatdown Recordings 2004
  • Street Signs (CD) Believe, Love and Hope... Concord Records 2004
  • The Future Is Now (Platinum Edition) (2xCD) The C.I.A. Is Still Tr... Uncle Howie Records 2004
  • Greatest Hits From The Bong (CD) Ain't Goin' Out Like That Columbia 2005
  • Legendary Status (CD) Lung Collapsing Lyrics... MTA Records 2005
  • Together / Hope You're Listening (12") Beatdown Recordings 2005
  • You Know What I'm About / Yes You May Remix (12") Underboss 2005
  • Max Power - Booty Bass (2xCD) I Ain't Goin' Out Like... Resist Music 2006

Co-production[edit]

  • Now They Wanna See Me (12") Now They Wanna See Me ... Big Beat 1992
  • Judgment Night (Music From The Motion Picture) (CD) Come And Die Epic 1993
  • We Ain't Goin' Out Like That (12") Hits From The Bong Ruffhouse Records 1993
  • Biscuits For Smut (CD) Biscuits For Smut (Mut... Interscope Records, Interscope Records 1994
  • City Song (12") City Song (N.Y. State ... Grand Royal 1994
  • Deep Shag (12", Promo) Deep Shag (Sunny Ray Mix) Capitol Records 1994
  • Acme (CD, Album, Dig) Calvin Toy's Factory 1998
  • Ozomatli (CD, Album) Almo Sounds 1998
  • You Know What I'm About / Yes You May Remix (12") Underboss 2005

Remixes[edit]

  • Back To The Grill (12") Back To The Grill (Remix) Def Jam Recordings 1992
  • Losin' Myself (12") Losin' Myself (T-Ray's... Atlantic 1992
  • Our House (12", Promo) Turnstyle Records 1992
  • Sexual (CD, Maxi) Sexual (Safe Sex Mix),... Big Beat 1992
  • From The Brick Jungle (12") Bitch Control (Da Fell... Big Beat 1993
  • I Ain't Goin' Out Like That (12") Hits From The Bong Ruffhouse Records 1993
  • Judgment Night (Music From The Motion Picture) (12") Just Another Victim (T... Epic 1993
  • Just Another Victim (CD, Promo) Epic 1993
  • Swim (CD, Single, Ltd) Swim (T. Ray H20 Mix) Columbia 1993
  • The Program (12") The Program (Soul Assa... Mercury 1993
  • We Ain't Goin' Out Like That (12") Hits From The Bong (T-... Ruffhouse Records 1993
  • Who's The Man? (12") Put On Your Shit Kicke... Tommy Boy Music 1993
  • Wopbabalubop / Where's It At (12", Promo) Wopbabalubop (Soul Ass... Epic 1993
  • City Song (CD, Maxi) City Song (Supernatura... Grand Royal 1994
  • Deep Shag (12") Deep Shag (Sunny Ray Mix) Grand Royal 1994
  • Kickin Da Flava (CD) Citysong (Supernatural... EMI Music (Canada) 1994
  • Vibes - Strictly Hip Hop (CD) City Song (Supernatura... EMI Electrola 1994
  • Wilma's Rainbow EP (CD, Maxi) Just Another Victim (L... Interscope Records 1994
  • Omaha Stylee / 8:16 AM (T-Ray Mixes) (12") Capricorn Records 1995
  • Unreleased & Revamped EP (CD, EP) Hits From The Bong (T-... Columbia 1996
  • Go (Music From The Motion Picture) (CD) Shooting Up In Vain (T... Work 1999
  • Video Anthology (2xDVD) Alive (T-Ray Remix) Capitol Records 2000
  • Here To Stay (CD2) (CD, Maxi) Here To Stay (T Ray's ... Sony Music Entertainment (UK) 2002
  • Untouchables (CD, Album) Here To Stay (T Ray's ... Epic 2002
  • Be Yourself (CD, Maxi) Show Me How To Live (T... Interscope Records 2005
  • These Words (Remixes) (12", Promo) These Words (T Ray Rem... Epic 2005

Appears on[edit]

  • Back To The Grill (12") Daze In A Weak (LP Ver... Def Jam Recordings 1992
  • Judgment Night (Music From The Motion Picture) (CD) Come And Die Epic 1993
  • Sweet Thing (CD, Maxi) Sweet Thing (Extended ... Atlantic 1993
  • We Ain't Goin' Out Like That (12") Ruffhouse Records 1993
  • Wopbabalubop / Where's It At (12") Immortal Records (3) 1993
  • City Song (12") City Song (Supernatura... Grand Royal 1994
  • Unreleased & Revamped (EP) (CD, EP) Hits From The Bong (T-... Sony Music Entertainment (Australia) 1996
  • Calvin (CD, EP) Calvin Au Go Go 1998
  • Go (Music From The Motion Picture) (CD, Album) Shooting Up In Vain (T... Higher Ground, Sony Music Soundtrax 1999
  • Super Bowl Sundae (12") Almo Sounds 1999
  • U Can't Stop Hiphop (CD, Promo) I Ain't Going Out Like... Sony Music Media (Netherlands) 2002
  • Thicker Than Water (CD) Hobo Blues, Hobo Blues Brushfire Records 2003

Unofficial releases[edit]

  • Hey Mister Mister (12") Not On Label
  • Freaked Out & Mixed Up! (CD, Dig) Here To Stay Murphy Records 2002

References[edit]

External links[edit]