Born and raised in Dallas, TX, Ty Macklin began his music career as an emcee first. At age 16, he was influenced lyrically by the likes of Eric B. And Rakim, EPMD, and other east coast based hip-hop artist. " My emcee name is XL7 because I don't smoke, drink or eat animals. I caught the beat making bug around age 17 or 18. I was in a hip-hop group in Dallas called DDT lead by Jeff Liles. Me and Jeff were the emcees and the DJ of the group, DJ Jason made all the tracks and laid the cuts. He had tons of beat making equipment in his bedroom. He had computers and outboard gear everywhere."
"This was in the late 80's and he was using a computer. That shit was dope to me. The lights and knobs were fascinating as well. He would sample records into the computer and edit them then put a beat around it. When I saw that, I was hooked." Macklin says " I couldn't afford gear like that so I started looping beats with two tape decks and my mom's record player. I would go through her and my sisters records and find dope parts to loop. That's how I developed my ear for groove and pitch. A lot of producers I know, developed there skills and musicianship through playing in church. I developed mine solely through hip-hop. I learned my sense of pitch by layering samples off of records me and my friend Bobby D would buy from Half Price Books (a Dallas based bookstore). He and I would go crate digging. I was into 70's soul and jazz. I was heavily into cats like Roy Ayers, Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Donald Byrd and Freddie Hubbard. That influence still sneaks into my sound today. Through beat making is also how I honed my engineering skills. Producing and engineering are so closely related, it was almost inevitable. Plus, as time progressed, I started buying recording gear to record my vocals. That led to recording vocals for others as well."
From recording local artist in his bedroom at his mom's North Dallas apartment, Macklin was introduced to Al Gibbs Jr, a local studio entrepreneur in Fort Worth, TX with a studio called Alpha Omega Recording Studio. The two joined forces with Macklin becoming chief engineer. The studio quickly began to grow from it's humble 600 square foot location to it's new 5,000 square foot location presently located five minutes from downtown Fort Worth, TX.
After exiting DDT in the early 90's, Ty and cousin Jonathan Dangerfield (Mr. Fatz), and Bobby May (DJ Bobby D) formed the underground hip-hop group Shabazz 3. "We were always compared to A Tribe Called Quest because of the way my voice sounds when I'm rhyming. People always said I sounded like Q-Tip. That was cool because it wasn't intentional and I'm a big Tribe fan." In Shabazz 3, Both Mr. Fatz and Ty were the emcee's with Ty also making the beats, while DJ Bobby D held it down on the 1's and 2's.
It was during the mid 90's that Macklin re-connected with high school mate Erykah Badu. Both Macklin and Badu attended Booker T. Washington High School For The Performing Arts in Dallas together. " My group and Erykah were apart of a conglomeration called Soul Nation which consisted of actors, artist, singers, poets, and musicians. We would all do shows together. When my group Shabazz 3 would perform a song we had called I Gosta Handle Mines, Erykah would get on stage with us and ad-lib. She loved the beat. When she got her deal for Baduizm in 1997 with Universal/Kedaar Ent., she asked to use the beat and I said cool and the rest is history." The two co-wrote the songs "Drama" on Baduizm and "Today" which is on Sony's Red Star Sounds Volume 1. "Baduizm taught me about the music business. It was a priceless education..." says Macklin. From there, he's produced, written, recorded, and mixed songs for artist of all calibers and genres.