On Our Radar: BeatAHoe [Interview]
Montreal, QC – Montreal’s producer-on-the-rise, BeatAHoe, released his Sewer Musicc project back at the end of 2013. BeatAHoe crafts beats for Canadian and American artists, alike, on his MPC 5000. And this latest project gave us a taste of the grimy, underground sounds that this up-and-comer is capable of.
So HipHopCanada caught up with BeatAHoe to find out more about his latest project, rapper egos, and the best beats of 2013. And because you are probably wondering (we were, at least), he has assured us that his name has nothing to do with assaulting women. Check it all out after the jump.
“I’m just so comfortable with the 5000. I can make beats with the light off in studio and – amazingly – I probably still know only five per cent of its full usage.” – BeatAHoe
HipHopCanada: Tell me about the first time you ever fell in love with music or production.
BeatAHoe: I fell in love with music ages ago. I was with my father at an outside music event (I can’t even remember the name of the act) and noticed a DJ scratching on stage. I just remember wondering what the hell is that? Both my parents are artists so they encouraged me and bought me a setup which consisted of two Gemini turntables and a Gemini mixer. All scratch DJs know that this set up is definitely the first mistake when it comes to scratching. Anyway, I practiced every day and night for perhaps a year or two and remained real whack. That’s when I decided to buy Technique 1200s and a Vestax mixer. Day and night when it comes to scratching. Then I hit it off for almost 10 years just scratching; no mixing and no beat juggling. I figure I became real close to communicating with aliens through scratching, which became my life obsession during these times. Unfortunately, I was virtually unknown on the planet as it was a personal musical journey.
After the 10-year mark of scratching, my father bought me a Roland 909 (music sampler) as my graduation gift from university. The sounds in the 909 were so whack but I loved them still as they reminded me of old E-40 sounds. I got my Roland 909 stolen by some twat a year later and bought an MPC 5000 after and that’s when making beats became more serious.
HipHopCanada: What drew you towards the hip-hop genre?
BeatAHoe: It’s the beats that drew me to the hip-hop genre. Being a scratch DJ, I always practiced on break-beats and hip-hop instrumentals. I always liked the way hip-hop drums sounded. I also always enjoyed listening to scary hip-hop joints; DJ Muggs and Alchemist style production. But then again, I always enjoyed E-40-type synth beats and Bay Area gangster rap beats. I never really felt drawn by hip-hop vocals because I grew up in a small mining city in Quebec so I really could not relate. But the production though, it just made me feel more passive in my life. I always listen to instrumentals in my car and it just helps me feel grounded and pleased. Kind of weird like that. Unexplainable, I guess. Note that I also like huge 808s too.
HipHopCanada: Tell me about the bond you share with your MPC 5000.
BeatAHoe: Man if you would see my MPC 5000 you would probably think its broken. I had to open up the pads a few months ago because the pads were starting to stick. I damn near lost my mind opening it up, cutting the corners of each pad as I was always imagining that it would not work anymore and all.
I just worked with the MPC 5000 and Roland 909 as far as samplers go. I love both even though I only have the MPC 5000 now. I’m just so comfortable with the 5000. I can make beats with the light off in studio and – amazingly – I probably still know only five per cent of its full usage. I’m weird like that. I just like to keep it simple as I know that I will never be a studio engineer or anything like that.
HipHopCanada: In your opinion, how does Quebec’s hip-hop scene differ from the rest of Canada’s hip-hop scene? How has it influenced you?
BeatAHoe: Great question. In my own personal opinion, I feel that most artists getting massive airplay on major commercial outlets in Quebec are just horrible. They sound like mini hip-hop robots created by music producers who want to break bread. I have nothing against making money. I’m actually a very money motivated person myself. I just feel that all the major urban product coming out of Quebec right now is 100 per cent whack. Shout out to all the real OGs outta Quebec who (without any major support) continue to bang out heavy product that remains against the grain and always hard. There is a lot of incredible talent in Quebec.
HipHopCanada: So where does the name “BeatAHoe” come from?
BeatAHoe: When I’m in my studio, I always like to have a musician around me so we can build ideas together. One close friend and musician was in a session and randomly said ”You should be called BeatAHoe.” I laughed it off but it stuck in my mind and became official a few months later. I’ve been getting a lot of feedback lately from my family, my girlfriend, [and] a few journalists about my name. I have never been incarcerated for beating a woman, nor have I ever laid my hands on a women. I just happen to like the way it sounds and feel that people will remember the name in this industry filled with millions of saturated music producers.
HipHopCanada: Good. I was going to have to lecture you about the importance of respecting women. So tell me a bit about where the idea for Sewer Musicc came from and how it all came together?
BeatAHoe: I had about 45 joints that I produced over a lengthy time period. They were just in a beat folder in my computer. Most of them unreleased and just forgotten, really. I decided to filter the best joints, get them mastered, add an intro and release it to the world. I named it Sewer Musicc because the joints I selected all sounded continually brutal and grimy, like the production had been conceived in a dirty sewer by BeatAHoe and the artists all came with dirty, hardcore lyrics which blended perfectly with the production. I also wanted to showcase my ability to create grimy sample-based beats, as well as creepy synth beats without any samples. Yes I can do that.
HipHopCanada: What’s the reasoning behind having four bonus tracks on the project?
BeatAHoe: I had four joints that I wanted to keep for Sewer Musicc 2 but decided that there will not be a sequel as life is much faster then we imagine it to be so I have already moved on to other projects and releases.
HipHopCanada: What were some of the best beats from 2013, in your opinion?
BeatAHoe: Anything that Alchemist, DJ Muggs, Madlib, Beat Butcha, Havoc, Sunday, Junior Makhno and others that I don’t recall at the moment produced in 2013. Most urban stuff created in 2013 was whack in my opinion.
HipHopCanada: What have been the biggest roadblocks in your career so far and how do you plan on overcoming them?
BeatAHoe: The biggest roadblock is not making any money and working so hard and grinding. This is just plain horrible. You imagine cooking bread everyday and networking and trying to sell your bread everyday and not making a damn penny during a few years. And when you finally get a break, the money received is so small that you cant even pay your rent with it. Its just that frustrating. Secondly, dealing with rappers and egos. This definitely sucks.
Rappers are probably the most annoying people I’ve unfortunately worked with in my entire life. Most rappers claim so much but have so little. I’ve worked with rappers who show stacks of money in videos and had to bum money off me to buy a sandwich. Rappers always promise me all kinds of things but always come short. Some rappers been telling me for years that they still want that one beat of mine and that a video is coming out real soon. Most rappers make me feel like a groupie when I reach out to link them with beats. The worst is just rappers telling you they will use your beats and never do. That’s by far the hardest. I really hate that and my patience is gone now. If it takes a dude more than a month to write a song, then you become a ghost for me.
HipHopCanada: What’s been the greatest success for you in your career so far?
BeatAHoe: Production credit on Gore Elohim (formerly Goretex of Non Phixon)’s latest album named Electric Lucifer. The joint is on Sewer Musicc and features goons Red Eye, Born Unique and Venom.
HipHopCanada: What else do you have in the works right now?
BeatAHoe: Im always in my studio creating music. I usually make dark sounding music but I’m always challenging myself to make different types of music. I’m working heavy with Eskr-One from Ottawa and Beeyoudee from Quebec. I will have releases with both these artists in 2014. I also have a release coming out real soon with Montreal rapper Ali Chaotik (RIP). We banged out a digital EP last December 2013. The joints are mastered and I just received the art work from my dude Pushino. Unfortunately Ali was murdered on Jan. 14 2014 in Montreal. Ali went real hard on this release with all joints produced by BeatAHoe. I’m also working with Jak Tripper, Gore and loads of brutal rappers in Canada and the U.S.
HipHopCanada: Any last thoughts you’d like to share with the HHC community?
BeatAHoe: I would like the thanks HHC for the shine and thank everyone who has worked with BeatAHoe.