Life works in weird ways. Nas, 50 Cent and Big L would never have had some of their hottest tracks if producer Ron Browz's boss—Kevin Chiles of Big Boss Records—hadn't been suddenly locked up on drug charges. "Some guys who were trying to do something positive with their money got locked up,” says Browz. "Before that, they invested in some equipment. I started pressing the buttons, to see what this would do or that would do . . . .”

All the button-punching paid off. Browz learned to make some nice beats, eventually meeting the late Harlem rapper Big L. "I was nervous playing the beats, but people in the 'hood liked my tracks,” says Browz, 26, whose first break was Big L's "Ebonics.”

Continue reading this story in the July/August 2006 issue of KING (#32).