I've found some heat down at the D.C. and
Alexandria Flea Markets. While many producers are moving away from using
samples, what your motivation to stay digging?
Digging is what makes beat making fun. The art assembling songs from
records, that is how I learned [to produce.] 'You needed a record to make
a beat' was my early understanding of production. I stopped producing
these last few months, but I've still bought mad crates of records. They're
sitting around now, but the day I begin again I'll put them to use. I
can't sleep at night knowing someone else is at a spot buying the records
I want and it's probably a wack cat. It's an instinct. I've been digging
since I was 14 ya know?
When talking about music and the musicians
that Hip-Hop producers tend to sample, you've stated that we need to respect
them first before looking for reciprocation. How do you feel about older
artists who don't consider Hip-Hop or sampling a creative endeavor?
It's a misunderstanding. Those artists have a right to feel that way
because they are the creators, but if they're open minded and observe
the creative process, I'm sure they would recognize it as an art form.
DJing and Digging makes you a music historian. You follow these artist's
careers through the records you find. People are unaware how much knowledge
is gained from this. Since the Hip-Hop artists haven't collaborated or
personally reached out to the older musicians, they will perceive it as
just 'sampling' and nothing more. I appreciate the musicians that respect
what we do.
I'm sure if they witnessed one of your street
performances they'd have different opinion about Hip-Hop. What's the biggest
difference between playing on the street for strangers and playing in
a beat battle for headz?
I don't know what its like to play for 'headz.' That would be nice one
day. I've played for mixed crowds at battles and it's not very rewarding
to any of the best producers. I prefer playing on the street because I
don't have to consider a crowd. I just play what I feel and it's on my
time, it's mad fun exposing my city to real Hip-Hop. At battles I have
to examine the audience which generally means playing the beats I least
care for. Since I DJ, I know what wins crowds and I hate dropping that
The "Never Off" 12inch features
a remix by Insight but other than that, you handle all the production
duties for Y Society. Has bearing the weight of an entire album's music
changed your outlook on producing?
It hasn't changed my outlook. It's what I envisioned from the beginning.
My favorite producers did full lengths that I reference as the soundtrack
to my life. I prefer it that way. I was ready for the challenge and making
complete songs was my goal. Honestly after finishing this album, I'm satisfied
with my production. I have so many joints in the archives; I won't need
to make another beat again. This officially made me a producer. Working
with Sight is a perfect match. His beats are ill as well.
Tres Records seems to be mining the ranks
of younger producers for their releases, first with DJ Alibi and now yourself.
What was the process like in getting signed/discovered by Tres?
I hit them up through email and they responded summer of '05. When Panacea
shot the first video "Starlite" in Los Angeles, Chikara came
to the shoot. I gave him some music and my first 12inch. He had heard
my stuff before through Jaysonic of Time Machine, but he didn't know it
was mine. He expressed interest in my talent, but didn't want to drop
an instro LP. He said, "get an MC and Tres will work out a deal."
So Insight was that MC right? But strangely
enough you both have only met face to face twice. How did your partnership
He was on tour in 2004. I felt he was one of the last artists that would
respect what I did. I respected him a lot. I loved his beats, his rhymes,
and his whole vibe. It was important that he heard my stuff when he came
to town. I was too young to get into the club that night, but he came
out and we exchanged math. He kept in contact throughout the year and
I would send him beats when I had twenty or so finished. In December '05
I hit him up after I met with Tres. I had instrumental albums, but they
wanted me to work with a MC, so I called the best I knew...
Check out Damu Da Fudgemunk at his
various homes online: Myspace
& Y Society's Artist