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interview // beat rabbi

Beat Rabbi is the tremendously talented beat maestro mastermind whose genius shines on the Circumcised Mind and Deepspace5 projects. Beat Rabbiís anticipated freshman solo release entitled Deepspace5oul  is considered by many to be the closest thing to another Deepspace5 album. The album will feature all of the Deepspace5ís members over Beat Rabbiís ridiculously fresh beats.


How did you begin producing and who was your inspiration?


Around '95 I figured out that I wanted to get into production.  I had been into hip hop since '86 and had written and performed a bunch of raps, but in '95 is when I really started to get the ear for producing. In early '96 I saw an ad for a used MPC-60II and I knew it was on.  This was in the day before the MPC-3000 and MPC-2000 were out, when equipment for producing wasn't as available as it is today.  I knew of the MPC-60II from some of my records that mention edit, primarily Sup (the Chemist), so I bought it and it was on!  I was inspired at that time by Marley Marl, Sup, the RZA, DJ Muggs, Pete Rock and DJ Premier primarily.


What types of equipment do you currently use?


I still own that MPC-60II and have acquired an SP-12, but I don't really use them.  I do plan to hook up some fat drum sounds out of the SP-12 at some point, and maybe push some samples through it for that vintage sound.  But right now I am using a laptop computer running Sound Forge and Acid Pro for all my sampling and beatmaking.  To back that up I have two Technics 1200 turntables and a Stanton SKIIF mixer.


How did you hook up with the Deepspace5 and Apologetic to form Circumcised Mind?


Well, Apologetic and I have been very close friends since '86 or so, the time when we first got into hip hop together, though we first met in like '82.  Our lives have taken very different paths but we are still closer than brothers and its my dream to do another album with him some time, though it may be more focused on his spoken word and his singing than straight up rap.


With DeepsSpace5, I roomed with Braille at Cru-vention '99 and I think he told Manchild about me.  Manchild emailed me a couple of times and we hooked up Cru-vention 2000, crazy times in Nashville at the NASCAR cafe.  He heard my work on the Circumcised Mind record and was feeling it.  I sent him a beat later that summer that ended up being "Stick This In Your Ear".  He asked me to join in September 2000 and of course I was down.


Which artists have you produced for?


Well, DS5 of course, Fred Bruno, Stu Dent, Mars Ill, Sintax, Listener, Playdough, Circumcised Mind, Dirt, and a few others that never came out.  I have to send a shout out to Dirt and Shadow of the Locust; Dirt really was the first to put me on.


What influenced you to put out an instrumental album?


Actually, this record I am working on now is not instrumental. It could in fact be called Beat Rabbi's DeepSpace5 album, because all of the crew are heavily featured on it.  But basically what inspired is 1) I felt like the heads out there were not really getting what I was all about, with a track here and there on different records.  I wanted to get a full musical expression out there for people to crunch on and enjoy, to see what I can do and where I came from.  2) I was sick of waiting for the next official DS5 record to come out, so I decided to combine idea number one and get my crew on it, since they are just a SICK team of lyricists.



What will listeners hear on your upcoming freshman solo release?


They are gonna hear soulful beats and DS5 rhymes.  I wanted to take this one back a little bit and really show my influences as far as sound and feel.  This record is about soulful hip hop, not that itís a new concept or unique.  But its like I needed put my own version of it out there, I needed to express my own influences and love for hip hop production through this record.  So, by soulful, I mean that I'm relying heavily on the soul, funk and jazz that hip hop grew out of.  There are gonna be lots of horns on this record for heads that like that kinda sound.


Where do you get your inspiration for your beats?


Oh man.  My inspiration comes from listening to classic hip hop, listening to the records in my crates, and the lyrics and flows of the DS5 MCs.  The records in my collection contain some of the funkiest and most soulful music ever put to recording...from people all over the US and the world. Having a soulmine like that is very inspiring and resourceful.


On an average, how long does it take to create a Beat Rabbi beat?


It can really vary.  I can get ideas out relatively quickly and have a very basic beat pattern in about an hour, but over time it will be refined and developed. I do not usually have long blocks of time to spend on beats, so its gets done piecemeal.  Then after vocals are recorded, if I'm still involved, I change the beat more to fit the vocals.  So, the development life of a beat can last a long time in some cases.  Beats I made for this record a year ago are still getting updated now that I have vocals coming in form MCs.


What can we look forward to in the near future from Beat Rabbi, Deepspace5, and Circumcised Mind?


Well, other than my record (which probably won't be done for awhile) you will catch some of my beats cropping up on some new DS5 member albums.  Other than production I really want to get into some mix tapes. I want to do like a three volume mix for bboys, and mix of original samples that were used by classic Christian hip hop groups, like SFC, FOS and OGGs.  These projects have been on my schedule forever, and I have a hard time finding time to do them, but I am serious about it.


DeepSpace5 has a lot of stuff about to be ready to come out: Listener, Illtrip, Fred B, Sivion, Mars Ill, Sev Statik, Stu Dent, Sintax, Playdough, PC, and I think even Labklik all have completed records or are at least in the works for the people.


As far a Circumcised Mind, I don't know if there will ever be another album with that name, but like I said, before I would definitely like to work with Apologetic on something else in the future.


Any last words?


Just wanna say wattup to the whole DS5 crew and any fans that may be out there.  Thank you and Aphire for the opportunity to talk about things.  And a quick shout to my beautiful wife.


For more information on Beat Rabbi check out http://www.deepspace5.com  


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