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On beats, rhymes, and life.

I’d like to take this time to address/clarify something once and for all.  I make beats.  I am a rapper.  I even DJ for a rapper.  And somewhere down the line, humans have gotten the impression that I’m in love with the idea of working with every rapper.  Perhaps it’s just a big ego trip that so many rappers are victims of, or perhaps I’m simply the victim of your typical “just-the-way-it-is” scenario.  Either way, I need to make it abundantly clear that I have NO* interest in producing/working with any other rappers for the foreseeable future.  Hit the jump for expansion.

Here’s a little history lesson: I started making beats, first and foremost.  My first beat was a circus-fanfare laced breakbeat, and they’ve been all over the spectrum since then.  You’ll hear where I’m at, these days, soon enough.  I soon after moved into rapping, and that took over my attention for a while until recently when I decided to go on a lyrical hiatus and focus on bettering my skills in my first love, beats.  For close to a year now, I’ve been listening to almost exclusively instrumental music.  Lots of hip-hop/electronic producers from the worldwide beat scene, past and present, have flooded my headphones and if you check my iPhone, it’s about 90% beat tapes.  This is where my head has been for the last year, and it’s been refreshing.

People who know me know that I’m a lifelong fan of hip-hop.  And true school hip-hop, to be more specific.  Every sub-genre of hip-hop has it’s place and holds a varied degree of respect in my eyes, but there’s nothing like a good ol’ MPC headnodder, or Queens smoothness, or gritty Shaolin raps in my heart.  However, the current climate of hip-hop has not at all made me a happy camper.  At one point, I was 99% sure I was gonna get out of the rap game for good because there was no longer a place for golden age romantics like myself.  But I won’t get into any cane-wagging because that’s another discussion for another time and place.  Plus, it’s not all bad.

Still, I’m a musician before I’m a rap fan, and my own musical background has been varied.  I love jazz.  I love cinematic music.  I REALLY love Kimbra.  And as a result, I’ve buried myself in that stuff as an alternative to rap.  I want to take some time, even beyond my return to my origin in beats, to explore my craft in these avenues.  I want to do a lot of things before I decide to dedicate another ounce of my passion and investment into rap.  Rap has taken years off my life, and broken my heart countless times, yet I still return to it faithfully.  But, for now, rap will have to wait.

So I’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of some of the brilliant minds of folks like Ta-ku, Elaquent, Flying Lotus, and Dibia$e.  I’m producing beats for the sake of producing beats. Beats with influence across the genre spectrum, and beats that require NO additional contribution from a rapper.  On occasion, I’ll even do a remix here or there, but I plan to distance myself from rappers as much as I can… with exceptions.  And the exceptions are few.  And this is the part rappers get butthurt over, and I cannot stand it.

*If we can review: I make beats, and I’m tired of rap(pers), but not all rap(pers).  I have a project in progress with LEO37, and Masia One and I will always be on the grind together. And there are a few other emcees I’d work with, in a heartbeat, but it’s very unlikely any of them will come knocking at my door for the links.  Still, what makes these two relatively no-name Asian-Canadian rappers so special?  Well, the fact that I was fans of theirs before we ever did work together.  I had respect for their work, I stepped my game up because of them, then they noticed and reached out to me.  It’s been a very reciprocal relationship, and ones in which we’ve met each other on continually elevating playing fields.  In short, if I’m not scrambling to step my game up because of you (let alone, haven’t said two words to you about your craft), it’s not happening.  Deal with it.  Cry about it a little, if you must.  But move on.  ESPECIALLY those of you who never supported me at a show, at the merchbooth, or with a record sale.

Among the things I hold with the greatest amount of disdain, I’d have to say rappers I’m not keen on (this ranges from rappers who are fine but not exciting to me, to rappers who are wack) approaching me for beats and such has to be in the top 3.  And worse still when they hear someone else on something they wanted, and approach me like “I thought you weren’t letting anyone on that one!”

I’ll tell you now: you get one ignorant shot like that before complete banishment.  I’m an artist, completely capable, and well within my rights to do with my art as I please, completely autonomously of you and your feelings.  I stand by what I say, regarding my lack of enthusiasm for rap, but that does NOT mean I can’t change my mind at a moment’s notice.  It also does NOT mean I have to get your permission or explain anything to you.  Catch all the feelings you want, take it as a shot fired, whatever.  I answer to a higher authority than you.  There is no disrespect in my actions, so don’t you dare ever disrespect me with your BS entitlement.  And if I so much as catch you plastering your lackluster-to-atrocious raps/freestyles on my beats, I’m coming for you.  Please respect my craft and my wishes.

In conclusion: It’s already been a hard enough year for me and my relationship with rap.  Please do not put any further strain on it.  If you ever want me to return to any sort of amicable working relationship with rap, after the heartache and stress I’ve endured, you’ll ease off and stop perpetuating stereotypes of rappers being massive asses.

  1. ohyeahpaulchin posted this