Nottz: His Impact on Hip-Hop


Dominick J. Lamb, born on February 21, 1977, is an American hip-hop record producer and rapper Nottz or Nottz Raw. Hailing from Norfolk, Virginia, Nottz has impacted the hip-hop scene with his unique blend of skills and expertise in music production and rap performance.

Throughout his career, Nottz has worked with some of the biggest names in hip hop, including Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, Cassidy, Ghostface Killah, and Kardinal Offishall, to name a few. His keen ear for production and ability to craft impeccable beats have led to numerous successful collaborations and a well-respected reputation in the industry.

Nottz is also the leader of the group D.M.P., short for “Durte Muzik Prahdukshun.” This collective further showcases his dedication to hip hop both as a producer and rapper and demonstrates his willingness to experiment with different sounds and styles.

Early Life and Career

Growing Up in Norfolk, Virginia

Dominick J. Lamb, better known by his stage name Nottz, was born on February 21, 1977, in Norfolk, Virginia. He grew up in a city known for its rich musical culture, exposing him to various genres from an early age. During his formative years, Nottz developed a deep passion for hip-hop and began honing his skills in both rapping and producing.

Development as a Hip-Hop Artist and Producer

Nottz’s journey as a hip-hop artist and producer started in the late 1990s. Some of his earliest production work dates back to 1998 when he contributed to the Rawkus Records compilation Lyricist Lounge, Volume One. Nottz’s big break came when Busta Rhymes discovered one of his beat tapes, leading to three tracks on Busta Rhymes’ Extinction Level Event LP. Since then, Nottz has worked with numerous big names in the hip-hop industry, including Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, The Game, Pusha T, Scarface, and J Dilla.

As a rapper, Nottz is known for his hard-hitting, energetic style of rap, which has continued to evolve over the years. As a producer, he has developed a unique approach to crafting beats, incorporating elements from various genres and imbuing them with his signature touch. His collaborations and solo work have garnered him respect and admiration within the hip-hop community, making him a household name in the genre.

Music Production

Collaborations with Hip-Hop Legends

Nottz is a highly regarded American hip hop record producer and rapper who has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. His collaborations include producing for legendary artists like Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and J Dilla. He has gained recognition for his extensive work with a wide range of hip hop artists, such as Busta Rhymes, Ghostface Killah, Cassidy, and many others.

Production Techniques

Nottz is known for his unique production techniques, which often combine elements of sampling, intricate drum programming, and heavy use of basslines. His production approach exhibits a distinctive rawness, giving his tracks a powerful and authentic hip hop sound. His beats have been praised for their gritty and hard-hitting nature, which resonates with both underground hip-hop enthusiasts and mainstream audiences.


Nottz’s influence in the music industry extends beyond his work with hip-hop legends. He has also produced records for R&B artists, like Bilal, Sunshine Anderson, and Mayer Hawthorne. His innovative production style has significantly contributed to the evolution of hip hop and R&B music, inspiring newer generations of producers and artists to explore new possibilities in sound and technique.


Solo Albums and Projects

Nottz has released a variety of solo projects throughout his career. In 2010, Nottz released his debut solo album, You Need This Music on Raw Koncept. The album features collaborations with notable artists such as Black Milk, Dwele, Joell Ortiz, and Asher Roth.

In addition to this, Nottz has collaborated extensively with Asher Roth to create a joint project titled The Rawth EP. This EP was released in 2010 as well and showcased the creative chemistry between the two artists.

Another important project in Nottz’s discography is God in the Spirit, a collaboration with fellow rapper and producer Bumpy Knuckles. This project was released in 2013 and further reinforced Nottz’s skills as both a rapper and a producer.

Notable Collaborations and Features

Nottz has worked with numerous big names in the hip-hop industry, producing tracks for artists such as:

  • Busta Rhymes
  • Rah Digga
  • Scarface
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Cassidy
  • Ghostface Killah
  • Kardinal Offishall
  • Royce da 5’9″
  • Little Brother
  • The Game
  • Dwele
  • Termanology
  • Bilal
  • Asher Roth
  • Slaughterhouse
  • Pusha T
  • Torae
  • Rapsody
  • Shateish
  • Talib Kweli

Throughout his extensive discography, Nottz has managed to work with various mainstream artists, contributing greatly to their respective projects and albums. From singles to mixtapes, Nottz’s production skills have left a notable impact on the contemporary hip-hop scene.

Below is a list of some notable singles produced by Nottz:

  • “Final Exam” by 3rd Eye (1998)
  • “Nosetalgia” by Pusha T (2013)
  • “Barry Munday” by Rapper Big Pooh (2016)

Nottz continues to be a prolific producer, collaborating with both established and up-and-coming artists, contributing to the ever-evolving hip-hop soundscape.

Relationships with Other Artists

Working with Rappers and Producers

Nottz, a talented producer from Virginia, has collaborated with a variety of high-profile rappers throughout his expansive career. His production expertise is sought after by respected artists such as Busta Rhymes, Scarface, Asher Roth, Blu, Rapper Big Pooh, Kardinal Offishall, The Game, and Pusha T. Nottz’s contributions have been featured on notable albums such as Lyricist Lounge, Volume One, Busta Rhymes’ Extinction Level Event, and collaborations with other producers like 9th Wonder.

Several artists have also sought to work with Nottz because of his exceptional skill in creating catchy beats and unique sounds in the hip-hop scene. Some of these include Rah Digga, Cassidy, Ghostface Killah, Royce da 5’9, Little Brother, Dwele, Termanology, Bilal, Slaughterhouse, Torae, Rapsody, and Talib Kweli.

His extensive work in the industry has also led to him being affiliated with various record labels such as Rawkus Records, Jamla, and Mayer Hawthorne.

Nottz Raw Label and Affiliations

Nottz founded his own record label, DMP, in an effort to provide a platform for budding talent. Among the collaborators in his label, one notable partnership was his work with rapper Big Pooh on their joint album titled Home Sweet Home. This Mello Music Group release showcased both Nottz’s production prowess and Big Pooh’s lyrical abilities.

While working with various artists, Nottz has also developed a strong relationship with other producers. He has been deeply influenced by the likes of 9th Wonder, who he collaborated with on various projects. In turn, he contributed to a growing network of artists and producers extending their influence in the industry.

Nottz’s efforts have not only contributed to the success of his own label, DMP, but have also helped promote the growth and development of renowned labels like Jamla and Mayer Hawthorne. His extensive associations with a diverse range of artists and projects within the industry made him an influential figure in shaping the modern hip-hop sound.

Awards and Recognition

Contributions to Film Soundtracks

Nottz has made significant contributions to film soundtracks over the years. His work can be heard in various movies, showcasing his talent for producing memorable beats that serve as the backdrop for impactful scenes in cinema. Unfortunately, specific film titles are not available at this moment, but his presence in the soundtrack industry demonstrates his versatility and impact as a hip-hop producer.

Achievements in the Music Industry

Nottz’s long-standing career in the music industry has led him to collaborate with some of the biggest names in hip hop, earning him accolades and recognition for his work. Although awards specific to Nottz were not found, his production and collaboration on award-winning albums and tracks speak volumes about his contributions and influence in the industry. Some notable works include:

  • E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front: Nottz produced the track “Everybody Rise” on this Busta Rhymes’ 1998 album. E.L.E. was a commercial success and received positive reviews from critics.
  • Academia: Nottz’s production has gained him respect in the world of music academia, as well. His beats have been studied and examined by music scholars, helping to broaden the understanding of hip-hop as an art form.

In addition to these achievements, Nottz has produced for a range of artists such as:

  • Busta Rhymes
  • Rah Digga
  • Scarface
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Cassidy
  • Ghostface Killah
  • Kardinal Offishall
  • Royce da 5’9″
  • Little Brother
  • The Game
  • Dwele
  • Termanology
  • Bilal

Nottz’s consistent and quality production work has solidified his place in hip-hop history, having worked with many renowned artists over the years, and contributed significantly to their success.

Personal Life

Family and Relationships

Nottz, born as Dominick J. Lamb, was born on February 21, 1977, in Norfolk, Virginia. His family background and early life remain private. Regarding his relationships, there is not much information available to the public. As a rapper and producer, Nottz has collaborated with well-known artists such as Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and more.

Involvement in Politics and Charity

While there is limited information on Nottz’s direct involvement in politics and charity, his music has been associated with labels such as Coalmine Records, Mello Music Group, and Teamsta Records. These labels have produced politically charged and socially conscious songs that reflect the views of their artists. For example, he produced the track “Nosetalgia” featuring Kendrick Lamar, which addresses social issues within the African American community.

In terms of charity, no specific information is available about Nottz’s involvement, but it is common for artists within the hip-hop community to partake in charitable efforts either individually or as a collective.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who has Nottz worked with?

Nottz has collaborated with various high-profile artists in the hip-hop industry. Some of the artists he has worked with include Busta Rhymes, in the late ’90s for the Extinction Level Event album, and Pusha T on the song “Nosetalgia.”

What is Nottz’s nationality?

Nottz is an American hip-hop record producer and rapper. He hails from Norfolk, Virginia.

When did Nottz start his career?

Nottz began his career in the late 1990s, making a name for himself in the rap underground scene with beats for the Lyricist Lounge compilation.

What is Nottz’s real name?

Nottz’s real name is Dominick Lamb. He is also known by his stage name, Nottz Raw.

Which genres does Nottz produce?

Nottz is versatile in his production skills, working primarily within the hip-hop genre. However, his style often incorporates elements of soul and other genres, giving his beats a unique sound.

Does Nottz have any albums?

Yes, Nottz has released various albums and projects throughout his career. In 2005, he released a full-length album titled “Nottz Presents D.M.P.” on Koch Records, which features his group D.M.P. (Durte Muzik Prahdukshun). In 2013, he released another album with D.M.P. called “God Made Durt” under Raw Koncept. Nottz also released his first solo album in 2010, titled “You Need This Music,” under Raw Koncept.

From the archives

Scratch Magazine Issue 1 (2005)_550x738

Scratch Magazine – Issue 1
Summer (2004)

To put it bluntly Nottz Raw has one hell of a catalog. In a little over a decade the low key Norfolk, Virginia native has managed to supply backdrops for hiphop’s most notable names from Busta Rhymes and Method Man to Scarface and Notorious B.I.G. Although a career in production seemed ordained, (his father and brothers all dabbled in beat making) Nottz got involved with hiphop by rapping in lunchrooms and at school talent shows. His flirtation with beats only began because he needed something to rhyme over, so his parents copped him a little Yamaha keyboard with seven seconds of sample time. Every time he used that joint it would overdub whatever he did, but that didn’t discourage the young novice from breaking it out at his first contest where some original beats and borrowed rhymes stole the show.

“Back in elementary school when I had that seven second sampler they had this talent show,” Nottz remembers. “I wrote down the whole rhyme of Grand Daddy I.U.’s “Something New” and did that shit at the talent show. I won and then I did that same rhyme again a couple days later in the lunchroom when this dude Roy wanted to battle me. I lit his ass up with that rhyme.”

After winning the competition and taking out a few more cats with the help of Greg Nice’s verse from “No Delayin” the kids thought Nottz was the king of emceeing. He continued rhyming, this time penning his own scripts, and making beats borrowing heavily from his dad’s record collection. His pops was a DJ back in the day so there was always mad vinyl around the house. That’s where Nottz attributes his ear for music. Inspiration came in the forms of gospel, rock, country, and even old movies. It didn’t matter if the rhythms were from Young Frankenstein, The Mack, Cooley High, Foxxy Brown, or Dolemite they just had to be funky. With that education in sound, Nottz soon outgrew his first machine and started teaching himself how to use some real equipment.

“My man D got that SP-1200 and I went ape shit on that,” claims the beat smith. “Then one of my homeboys had an EPS 16 Plus and I was fucking around on that for a minute and then one of my boys bought me a keyboard (ASR-10) and I’ve been doing joints ever since. When my momma said that sounds good that’s when I got that this is what I’m gonna do.”

With his mom giving him the thumbs up, Nottz felt comfortable enough to start shopping his tunes. In the beginning, much of his work was relegated to the underground until he got his first break when he appeared on Rawkus’ “Lyricist Lounge Volume 1.” His sonic contribution to the compilation, “Holy Water” featuring Lord Have Mercy and D.V. Alias Khrist, led to more work with Flipmode and opened the door for a collaboration with squad leader Busta Rhymes. Busta, who was conspicuously omitted from the songwas in the midst of putting together on his third solo LP and approached Nottz about getting a beat tape. He liked what he heard and the first three cuts on the cassette ended up being the first three songs on the “E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event)” album. After that, the former LONS member spread the word there was a new cat on the scene causing emcees like Snoop and M.O.P to check for him. But despite the exposure he received from teaming with Bus, those early tracks were just the beginning of the producer’s development. He has since moved away from the conventional loops that were evident on the smash hit “Everybody Rise” and branched out by experimenting with new techniques and styles.

“Before it was like using old records and looping shit, not chopping it up, just using the bass line off of the record and filtering it out,” Nottz admits. “Now it’s on some other shit. My drums and snares are live shit. I play a lot of hi-hats over everything. I improved the way I do bass lines. Now I’m playing bass lines over and using a lot of live instruments changing the whole shit up. I might be like fuck the sample and play the whole thing over. [My style] changes like every year. I’m trying to be different from the next nigga because there’s a lot of em that will take your shit and run with it. I stay to myself and listen to my own shit. That’s why I stay different. You listen to your own shit [and see] what you could change.”

At practically any hour of the day you’ll catch Nottz in lab analyzing his work. When you step into the studio the first thing you notice is his audience, a wall plastered with stickers, CD covers, pictures and posters. It’s kind of bugged but when he’s knocking out instrumentals he looks back at those pictures to help remind him who he is making music for. Several keyboards line the room including an ASR-10, Korg Triton and a Yamaha Motif. Pro Tools and I-Tunes are loaded up on the Mac and a small drum set adorns the vocal booth. This is where it all happens.

“Every button on that keyboard is broke,” Nottz proudly mentions pointing to the ASR in the corner. “That keyboard ain’t ever been to the shop. I got a brand new one in the next room and I don’t even fuck with it. This is like some good luck shit. I’ve painted it, put granite and stickers all over it. I eat on this motherfucker and drink on the shit. That’s dirty music.”

“I don’t like the Triton now,” Nottz insists, resuming the tour as he wipes the dust off the Korg. “Motif man! Motif is the takeover right now. Everything in this motherfucker sounds so authentic. I’m trying to figure out how they put the sounds in there. You got the flutes that sound so real, a lot of horns, Rhodes, everything just sound real. I’ll play it, sample it into the ASR, put it in the computer, and have that shit looping. It’s crazy. Everybody needs to get one. I also got a bunch of beats up in I-Tunes. It’s a lot of stuff I’ve done for major artists that’s out. That’s what I make my beat CDs out of so I don’t have to go nowhere.”

Four or five DA-88 audio decks are stacked underneath the table replaced by Pro Tools, who’s cut and paste ability has reverted the rest of the equipment in the room to mere decoration. There are boxes and boxes of discs of old music for the ASR-10 and SP-1200, but all of the new stuff is punched up on the computer. In the last two years Nottz has amassed over four hundred beats and continues to crank them out on a regular basis.

“I used to do about five or six a day,” he says.  “Now it’s to the point where I really dissect a lot of shit and play a bunch of shit over if I’m hearing it different. Now I’m down to three or four a day where everything is a keep. I don’t even want a nigga saying I heard one wack ass joint. I just stay right up in this lab everyday all day. No sleep. I come up in here about two or three o’clock in the afternoon and leave about seven sometimes ten in the morning. I work alone. I keep the door closed and bang the shit out. I hardly be at the crib. They only time they see me is in the morning. I’m here on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, my birthday, even my kid’s birthday. They’ll be in here with me.”

“The studio is like ten to fifteen miles away,” he continues. “If I go home I get times where I wake up at five in the morning or something and I might hear shit on TV and I’ll get up and go straight there. It will probably be an old record I already got and I’ll decide to go fuck with it. One of my mans passed on Christmas and I heard “Man’s World” by James Brown on TV so I came to the studio and made a joint for him. It came out hot with everybody rhyming on it as a lil dedication. But the studio and the crib are in two different places so that if I get the urge I can just go instead of it just being right there because then you get bored with it quick.”

Don’t expect boredom to set in anytime soon though as Nottz has plenty on his plate to keep him occupied. His main focus is on getting more shine for his homegrown crew, DMP, whose debut EP “Nottz Presents DMP” made some noise last year on the Norfolk based Teamsta Records. The group is currently negotiating a deal to release their full length, a project in which Nottz will supply all of the beats.

Aside from his work with DMP, Nottz is busy lacing artists in a major way. He is slated to produce a track called “I’m so Fly” for Lloyd Banks and will be submitting beats for 50 Cent’s next album. In addition to that, he will be working with a host of others including Ms. Dynamite, Infra-Red and Cross, Cassidy, M.O.P, Busta Rhymes and the Flipmode Squad, Bilal, Ali Vegas, Ghostface and Sunshine Anderson. He’s also planning on contributing tracks to the long awaited “213” project featuring Snoop Dogg, Warren G, and Nate Dogg as well as The Untouchables, headed by Dave Mays and Source kingpin Benzino. Finally, to top it all off he will be blessing Dr. Dre’s grand finale, “Detox.”

The story goes that one of the reps for Teamsta Entertainment (Nottz’ company co-owned with manager Darrel Sloan) was hanging around with Angelo Sanders, an A&R for Aftermath, and happened to be playing one of Nottz’ beat CDs. When Angelo peeped it, he was like Dre needs to hear this and proceeded to rush the CD over to the good Dr. who upon hearing one track in particular said he had to have it. The album is slated to have an exclusive crew of outside producers to contribute to the project. To be involved in one of the best producer’s final offering is a testament to Nottz’ dedication and hard work and serves as the ultimate compliment.

“That’s big shit,” he answers in response to being added to the lineup. “We got like the first shit on his album, that’s crazy. I was shocked. Some niggas might hate cuz I’m on it, but others will be like that’s hot. I seen Just Blaze at the Amphitheater and he was like he heard the shit cuz Dre played it for him. So if Dre is playing it for niggas it must be something crazy.”

While most dudes would get big headed over such accolades, Nottz stays grounded as he gets closer to achieving his goal of doing at least one joint for everybody in the game. Instead of lamping up in a club on this Saturday night, he is set to head out after the interview to support his boy J. Clyde Morris, a producer down with his team who is participating in a beat battle at Old Dominion University. He’s continually supports new talent, taking out whatever time he has to give out advice to heads just getting into the game. His main suggestion for new producers is to concentrate on learning the industry before getting caught up in deciding whether they want a Triton or Motif.

“Get a book!” he emphasizes. “That’s your first piece of equipment. Read about this business before you get your ass in to it. It’s more business than anything. Fuck the equipment right now and get a book. After that start out with a turntable and listen to some old records and experiment, but get that book.”