off, how have you been lately? I know you were overseas for awhile...
I did a European
tour with Vakill, Louis Logic and DJ Equal and I just came home. The tour was
dope. We got 3 totally different styles, but they worked well for the tour.
I sold mad merch and the fans appreciate shit way more over there. A few days
after I got back, the punk ass city towed my fuckin car! That's why I put "Bullshit
City" on the album, fuck New York, I'm outta here the minute I make a million!
"A Job Ain't Nuthin' But Work" is done and out, are you happy with
how it came out?
happy with every album right after I make it and over time you start to have
your beefs and start thinking about what you would do different. But thats the
cool thing about every album. It represents where you are as an artist and person
at certain points in time, and things always change. This is my favorite of
my albums by far.
good with this album?
usual. I kept the guests to a minimum. Devin the Dude, Al-Shid, Celph Titled
and my partner in crime, Dick $tallion. That's it. If you like
that crass humor, funny stories and more entertainment type lyrics, it's for
you. If you want uplifting messages, you're assed out. The beats are more funk
influenced this time around. It had like an edgier funk/rock type sound. Heavy
bass, etc. I got pigeonholed with my old sound, so I switched it up a bit.
got Devin the Dude on the album, how was it working with him?
Real cool. We did
the song through the mail, but he's a real cool brother. Easy to work with and
crazy talented...and unfortunately very underrated. I suggest any self-respecting
hip-hop fan buy one of his albums.
your live show like?
People say it's
hilarious. You'll like it if you got a sense of humor. I got wild costumes,
I got a lot of energy on stage, I fuck with the crowd and just try to have fun.
are you driving now?
1978 Cadillac Fleetwood
Brougham, but that's only when I'm fantasizing. When I'm stuck in reality I
got a 1999 Mazda Protege.
the best place to cop ice?
I cop mine from
Pimpin Ron at Bling-O-Rama on Rockaway Blvd. I stay frozen, you petty broke
a different taste in Hip Hop compared to your fans, who are you listening to
I mainly stick
to old school rap, but in terms of new shit? Suga Free, Devin the Dude, the
213 album...I can't wait for the new Manny Fresh solo album and the Snoop album
produced by the Neptunes. Manny Fresh is amazing, but people hate on him and
I don't know why. Snoop works well with the Neptunes. The "Drop It Like
It's Hot" is a dope 808 drum machine, old school type joint. I like that
All time? Damn...that's
hard. Probably Kool G. Rap, Slick Rick, Kane, LL and Scarface. Honorable mention
to Ice Cube and Rakim too.
game is serious, what made you want to start making beats?
Thanks. I was always
into collecting old records, since I was 8 or 9 years old. I used to play bass
guitar as a kid. I would get my parents jazz and funk records and copy the basslines
on the records.
When I found a group I really liked, I strated to collect every record by that
group. My pops would take me record shopping at the old record shops on weekends
and I'd spend my allowance
on records. Around 1988, when 45 King and Marley really got into sampling, I
started noticing the funk records I had gettin sampled in all the rap joints.
I was so blown away by that shit that I
jumped into DJing and producing in the ninth grade. I eventually dropped the
bass for the rap shit, but I still can fuck you up on the bass! Call me Bootsy,
did you start with?
first set up was a DJ set with this 2 second Yamaha keyboard that had a mic
yoou could sample with. I'd put the mic to the speaker and sample shit. You
could overdub on it, but if you
were off in the timing, you'd have to start over! When I was 15 I got an SP-1200.
I rocked that for 5 years, and in 1997 I got the MPC-2000. I been using that
your first beats sound like?
Jazzy, cause that
was the style when I started. Upright
basslines, echoed horns, jazz pianos...Like Masta Ace's "Jeep Ass Niguh".
Shit like that. Like that early Beatnuts type shit. I got demos of me at 16
rappin over stuff like that. I gotta dig them bitches up!
your sound changed?
Since I started,
it's gotten more funk influenced. More bass heavy and I'm way more versatile.
Less "cartoonish" I guess you could say, but it still sounds bugged.
do you use now?
MPC-2000 and a
TR-Rack sound module with the Oxygen 8 Midi Keyboard. I use a CDJ-800 too, and
I just got Protools like a year ago.
does it take you to make a beat?
The basic shell,
about an hour and change. I save it, come back later and add little by little.
you know when you're done with a beat?
When I get eager
to rap on it or when start thinking of a rapper I think would sound good on
some crazy samples in your beats, how and what sounds do you look for in a sample?
I can flip anything
and make it sound crazy, but I usually look for sounds with character. Not necessarily
loops, but sounds that sound unconventional and odd that I can flip with other
sounds and make some ill shit.
Sounds that arent common, something different than your regular pianos and speeded
up vocal loops.
the best sample you've ever found?
There's a few.
I got some joints that's so ill I can't even flip em! The challenge of makin
beats for me is to make shit better than what it already is. If I can't make
it better than what it already is, I leave it alone. Most of my beats aren't
even chopped from my best records, ironically.
Bomb Squad, 45
King, Marley, DJ Pooh & Sir Jinx, Muggs, Dr. Dre, Premier, Pete Rock, RZA,
DJ Quik, Timbaland, Prince Paul...they all influenced me at one time or another.
did you intern at when you were coming up?
I had 2 major studio
internships and one record label internship. I did Power Play studios in Queens
in 1992. That was before I even had any real equipment. Akinyele's Vagina Diner
and Roxanne Shante's Bitch Is Back were being recorded at the time. I got to
see Large Professor work. I didn't do much there outside of wrapping cables
and getting food for people, but seeing Large Pro work was enough to make me
wanna take this shit serious.
My second internship was at Vance Wright's studio in New Rochelle, V-Dubbs,
in 1994. Vance was Slick Rick's DJ. That's where I learned most of my shit.
Engineering, how to mix, how to program drums as opposed to just looping breakbeats.
Vance and Mark Spark -a producer who did shit for Grand Puba, Salt-N-Pepa, etc.-
taught me a lot. I got to engineer sessions with Grand Puba, Greg Nice and some
local talent. I even did a demo with Amil back in 1996, before Roc-A-Fella.
I wish I saved that shit! I produced my first record there too. It was Preacher
Earl's "Fool, I Got Your Back". I was 18 then. He was rollin with
Greg Nice at the time. It was promo only and I got paid $100 for it, but I was
happy to have my shit on wax. That internship was major for me. I also interned
at Relativity Records in 1999 for college credit, but they got taken over by
Loud right when I graduated.
you learn from your experiences as an intern?
When Greg Nice
asks for grilled turkey and cheese sandwich, get ketchup with it! Haha! I pretty
much answered that in the last question, but I basically learned how much hard
work is involved in the music. I also witnessed the drama of trying to shop
your music to labels. I would do so many demos in there and the people would
go try to get signed with no luck. Around 1996, I started to really get into
Stretch and Bobbito's show and I saw that the best way to create a buzz was
go independent and do it yourself. All the people at Vance's studio were trying
to make demos to get signed and I learned real young that a change was coming.
Put shit out yourself if you want it out. People would spend hours in there
and a fortune in money makin demos, and if they couldn't get signed, they never
came out. Fuck that.
you working with now?
I'm working on
an album with Celph Titled. We're both rapping and doing beats on it. A lil
side project, it's gonna be that FUNK! I got calls from a few major artists,
but I don't wanna blurt names and look stupid if it never happens, so I'll wait
I did tracks on Casual's upcoming album as well.
your goals with your music?
To become a gazillionaire
wouldn't hurt! Haha, but for real, as long as I can have fun and influence the
next 15 year old kid like 45 King and those dudes did for me...and make a decent
living doing it. Plus I get to work with all the people I grew up listening
to and now we're peers...that's all the satisfaction I need. I'm still in shock
from working with King T, Biz Markie, Masta Ace and all these cats. You can't
take that away from me and you can't put a price on that. I'm gonna keep grinding
cause there's always room for improvement, but I've already reached a lot of
you like to work with next?
Suga Free, Slick
Rick, Project Pat, Redman, MOP, Too $hort, E-40, Ghostface, Snoop Dogg...A lot
of people you wouldn't expect.
the last beat you've heard by another producer that amazed you?
There's a joint.
I think it's called "213 The Gangsta Clicc" on the new 213 album.
I don't know the producer's name, I gotta look at the liner notes. It's got
a Steely Dan sample/interpolation and some NWA samples in the hook. That beat
about college radio DJ's and how a lot of them suck, why do they suck so bad?
This is supposed
to be college radio, meaning NO POLITICS. This ain't Hot 97! You won't play
my record cause I didn't get it serviced by a promotions company? If I sent
you the record myself, that should mean even more to you. But half the records
on these college charts aren't even in the stores! They're just payin $2000
to some company to servce it and the stations chart it. Save that shit for Z100!
Some college DJ's are cool and play shit cause they like it. But for the ones
that only play records that are serviced by a company...suck my dick with a
cherry on top!
have you had dealing with DJ's?
I've had 2 records
of mine serviced to radio, "Live From Pimp Palace" and "5-Star
Hooptie". They got charted. I took the contact info of all the DJ's that
charted the records. I send them "SLAP" 'Q&A" and "Choir
Praactice" and they don't chart them. Somebody even said "Q&A"
wasn't mixshow friendly. What! None of my records are mixshow friendly! "Live
From Pimp Palace" was 83 BPM and ya'll charted it, but that's cause Rawkus
paid somebody to get it charted. College radio is supposed to benifit independent
records. I say it all the time. The underground is a poor man's mainstream.
You still got the egos, the politics and the cliquishness, but without the big
money! If you're gonna be a ho, at least be a rich ho, bitch! That's why I roll
solo and they can all suck my dick.
coming up for you?
The second single
for A Job Ain't Nuthin But Work, which will be "Greater Later" featuring
Devin the Dude. There's a remix as well, and an unreleased b-side called "The
Art Of Shit Talkin'" check for that in early January. I just dropped the
album instrumentals too.
the b-ball season is underway, who are your picks?
As of now, for
The East, I got Miami and Detroit. The West, I got Dallas and I like Phoenix
too. But the Jazz look sharp. I was never a Jazz fan, but they look tough man.
by Brian Kayser
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