CHECKOUT MY INTERVIEW WITH ONE OF HIP-HOP'S DOPEST PRODUCERS KEITH SCIENCE
MR 100: Wow you’ve been making beats for 22 years. That’s impressive. I know you have plenty of studio stories. Which rapper do you love hearing on your beats the most?
KS: That’s a tough question because it really depends on the track. Sometimes a rapper will hit a beat just right, and other times it doesn’t work out as well as planned. You can have the greatest emcee and the greatest beat, but if there isn’t chemistry and synergy between the two, the song isn’t going to be anything special. These days I have a pretty good idea of what will work and what won’t ahead of time, so I try to avoid those situations as much as possible. The rappers that I like hearing on my beats the most are the ones who are able to properly interpret the beat and hit it with just the right flow, rhythm and delivery. That “magic” that can happen between producer and vocalist is an incredible feeling and it’s a big part of what keeps me going after all these years.
Having said that, I recently produced a single for Krumb Snatcha (from Gang Starr Foundation) called “I Never Fail” and I am really pleased with the musical chemistry we had. I think it’s a great single, and I’m hoping to do some more work with him. Krumb is a true professional and he’s really easy to work with. I’d say he’s my current favorite.
I’ve also been working with a young and talented emcee from Philly named KiD SEAN, who I really like. He always surprises me with the crazy shit he comes up with. He really knows how to write a song, and he’s not scared to go-in on some adventurous beats. I produced 2 tracks on his new 2014 mixtape, “Bona Fide”.
MR 100: I love your sound, that underground grimy boom bap sound. I was raised on that sound in hip-hop. I'm glad you’re keeping it alive. What made you remain true to your craft?
KS: Thanks very much. Back before hip-hop went pop, it was much more of an intelligent, creative and rebellious art form. You had to be clever and unique back then or you’d get dissed real quick. I still think it should be like that now. Even though the scene has changed drastically over the years, I never used that as an excuse to get lazy with my production. As time has passed, I’ve gone deeper and deeper into the exploration of grimy and organic underground sounds while most other producers have gone in the opposite direction. Too many producers sound the same to me these days, with that sparkly-clean pop sound. Producers used to have signature sounds, but I don’t hear that as much anymore and it’s a shame.
I try to put as much pressure on myself as possible to come up with unique and organic sounds at all times. I take my time with my craft and I never take shortcuts. I enjoy the fact that my music is quite rebellious when you compare it to some of the other stuff out there. While some of these other dudes are busy chasing money, I’m busy creating real art. My fans appreciate that they can trust me, and they know that I’ll never let them down by releasing some commercial bullshit.
Also, the art of sampling is dying and I can’t just sit back and let it happen. I’ve always felt compelled to do my part to help while I still can.
MR100: Who are your favorite producers?
KS: The producers that have influenced me the most are Pete Rock, Large Professor, DJ Premier, Showbiz, Havoc, Alchemist, Diamond D, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, RZA, Easy Mo Bee, Beatminerz, Madlib and Buckwild. Every single one of those dudes has their own signature sound, and they each did it their own way. Those are real artists that made significant contributions to hip-hop and elevated the craft, in my opinion.
MR 100: With the release of your album "Hypothalamus" full of dope instrumentals, if rappers want to use a beat off the album, how do you go about that situation?
KS: Well, because Hypothalamus is an album, it wouldn’t really work that way. There are plenty of rappers that have gone ahead and used beats from my instrumental albums for their mixtapes and stuff, which is cool… But they could not officially release any of those tracks legally. I’d really prefer if they see me to get new exclusive beats. I love hearing rappers over my beats, but I wouldn’t allow someone to officially use a beat from one of my instrumental albums because I feel like it would be redundant, you know? The tracks from Hypothalamus, as well as my other instrumental album, Vessels of Thought Volume II, have already been released, so I feel like I’d be cheating fans out by re-releasing the same tracks.
I’m very flattered when emcees want to use one of the beats from my albums, but please contact me or my management directly to get an exclusive beat if you’re interested in working with me. Every beat is hand-made!
MR 100: What do you think about the state of hip-hop nowadays?
KS: I don’t know man. I don’t want to insult anyone, but I’m not sure I can answer this question without sounding like a jerkoff. Maybe I’m just too nostalgic or something, but I remember a time when hip-hop was overflowing with creativity, rebellion and a sense of urgency. Hip-hop had purpose. Those ingredients always kept it interesting. These days, I think most shit just sounds boring.
However, I have noticed that the new generation coming up is showing a lot of interest in the boom bap sound. A lot of them that I meet seem less than impressed with the current lazy-ass pop styles and would rather listen to Biggie. Hopefully we are on the verge of a new golden age. And if that shit happens, I’ll be there.
MR 100: Who would you love to do a full-length album with?
KS: I would love to do a full album with Nas. I realize that this is not an original answer, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. To me, Nas is the best, period, and it’s not even debatable. But he’s the best for so many reasons. One of the greatest things about Nas, that I don’t really hear people bring up much, is his voice. There’s just something so special about his voice. It is so unique, deep, compelling and captivating that there’s no escape once you hear it. And that one-in-a-trillion voice is the vehicle to deliver the most legendary rhymes ever assembled? Yeah man, that’s the dude I want to work with.
MR 100: Do you see yourself making beats for another 22 years?
KS: Definitely. There’s absolutely no reason for me to stop. I’m probably more excited about making beats than I ever have been and that’s what it’s about. Hopefully you can hear that excitement in my music, because it’s in there…
MR 100: I hope to hear nothing but successful things about your work, thanks!!
Thanks very much! Shout out to KiD SEAN and my man Bobby Nelson! Also, please check out my Pandora station if you get a chance! Peace.