Among the most versatile musicians and producers of his generation, Terrace Martin has worked extensively with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Lalah Hathaway, and Herbie Hancock, and as a leader has a Grammy nomination to show for his creative synthesis of jazz, R&B, and hip-hop. The first record the young Martin bought was EPMD's single "You Gots to Chill." While his love of hip-hop continued to grow, he also began to appreciate jazz through his father, a drummer. After playing keyboards for several years as a teenager, Martin picked up the saxophone and within a few years landed a gig with P. Diddy. Shortly thereafter, he began a long-term association with Snoop Dogg and gained a college scholarship via Jay Leno after the Tonight Show Band's Kevin Eubanks heard his playing.
Martin kicked off his production career in 2004 with work for 213, Shawnna, and others, and in 2005 he worked with a pair of West Coast legends, landing a track with Warren G along with three cuts on the collection Bigg Snoop Dogg Presents: Welcome to tha Chuuch - Da Album. Snoop also gave Martin his first production credit on a single when "Neva Have 2 Worry" dropped in 2008. That same year he released the mixtape Locke High with DJ Drama as host. The year 2010 saw him partnering with DJ Devi Dev on the mixtape Here, My Dear. In 2011 he joined forces with rapper Murs for Are Melrose, and worked with Devi Dev on the Sex EP. The next year, Martin contributed to Kendrick Lamar's breakthrough, good kid, m.A.A.d city. His first solo album, 3ChordFold, arrived in 2013 with appearances from Lamar, Snoop, Ab-Soul, Robert Glasper, and others.
During the next few years, Martin racked up an assortment of credits on albums by Lamar, Big K.R.I.T., Travi$ Scott, Ty Dolla $ign, and YG, among others. Signed to the Ropeadope label, he released Velvet Portraits in 2016. Featuring Glasper, Thundercat, and Lalah Hathaway, the album's relaxed grooves were recognized with a Grammy nomination in the category of Best R&B Album. Continued studio sessions and live activity with numerous collaborators, including Herbie Hancock, preceded 2017's Sounds of Crenshaw, Vol. 1. Credited to the Pollyseeds, it was another multi-genre work, and involved the likes of Glasper, Kamasi Washington, and Rose Gold.