MSDTV had the pleasure & honor to speak with super producer, Ski Beatz, on the day his second installment of 24 Hour Karate School was available for the masses. If you don’t know the history behind this “guru”, we suggest you sit back & take a few minutes of your time to enjoy this interview. All future beat makers & artists, you’ll find some great tips from him. You’ll also find out some of his favorite producers (then & now), favorite beats HE created, status on Curren$y’s Pilot Talk 3 & lots more. You know what to do. Enjoy![audio:https://msdramatv.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/ski-beatz-intro.mp3|titles=ski beatz intro]
All the hip hop heads know you’re from North Carolina. Moved to New York & met DJ Clark Kent but for those who don’t know, tell them about your come up & your big break in the game.
My big break into the game is when I joined a local rap group in my hometown (Greensboro,North Carolina) Everything that I’ve learned from producing to rhyming to shows, was with that group. The members of that group was: me, this kid name Riza Fanatic. He actually thought me how to make beats. And Mix Master T. We were on the road. We were together for years just doing our thing. We had this one record called “Dropping it” and it got exposure in New York. Marley Marl & Mr.Magic use to play it & they invited us up to the show. Once I got to NY & got a taste of the hip hop scene, I just stayed. That’s when the Original Flava was born. That’s when I met Dame Dash, Clark Kent, Jay-Z & everything started happening after that.
We’re pretty sure that, being from North Carolina, you must be proud to see the likes of 9th Wonder, Big Pooh, Phonte (with what hes doing with Foreing Exchange) super talented J.Cole. How you feel about them carrying the torch for the town?
I feel good man! People needs to realize that North Carolina is a DOPE place that represents hip hop music man. The whole Little Brother, 9th Wonder, J.Cole…even Petey Pablo. Everybody that did or doing music from NC, I’m really proud of. It’s just dope!
Do you remember the first beat you did ? What sample did you use?
The first beat that I did? No…I couldn’t tell you. But I know I did it on a SP-1200 ’cause that was my machine back in the day. But I don’t know “exactly” the very first beat I did.
Who were your influences growing up? Who did you looked up to?
Me growing up, I looked up to people like…well I was a rapper first. Was really into lyrics: Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Biz Markie. The whole Marley Marl & Juice crew thing (all the kids there) And then once I got into producing: Preemo, Pete Rock, Lord Finesse, Mark Spark, Riza Fanatic. Those are some of the people that inspired me to do what i do. Nowadays: Black Milk, Illmind…(stumbles to get DJ Khalil name right but gets help from us) DJ Khalil. THAT KID IS ILL!!! I look up to his music right now man! 9th Wonder is dope. As long has you’re keep the essence of that sound. I like the way these guys are doing it because it still has the essence of that sound & it’s made where it’s relatable now, you know what I mean?
You named us a bunch of producers but can you come up with your top 5 producers of all time?
Riza Fanatic…in this order. Riza Fanatic, Mark Sparks, Pete Rock, DJ Premier & Large Professor because that “Breaking Atoms” album was crazy!
You got a bunch of beats under your belt, which one would you say is your best?
(laughs) Damn! I mean back in the days, it’s defenitely going to be obviously “Lucini“…I love that beat. “John Blaze” was FRESH! I like the beat I did for Bahamadia. I like “Swing” from Camp Lo. That was back then. Now…today? I probably like “Audio Dope” x “Address” x “Nothing But Us” from Curren$y. I like….wow!!! The new L.E.P. Bogus Boys track that’s on the new 24 hour karate School. Man I like most of my stuff man! (laughs) I can’t say I have a “certain” beat.
You’ve worked with some many artists…who haven’t you work with (dead or alive) you’d really like to work with?
I’d like to work with Phil Ade, J.Cole. This kid from the Bay Area C-Plus. There’s some few other cats I can’t remember their names & they sound dope.
For the people who’s sleeping under a rock, can you tell them songs you produced for JayZ?
In my lifetime, Politics as usual, Feelin’ it, Street is watching, who you with, dead president…
“Dead President” is a timeless record. How did you come up with that beat?
I sampled that Lonnie Liston Smith joint. Then I threw some Nas vocal on there as a tribute. I wanted to see how it felt like because I liked Nas. I liked his sound. And what happen is I played the song with the Nas vocal on it & he (Jay-Z) was like:”I like that! Keep it just like that! Don’t change anything!” And that’s how it was done.
Watch the Throne…did you get a chance to hear it? What do you think about it?
I heard it. I thought it was cool. I wasn’t super blown away by it. Because oviously I’ve heard more incredible stuff from the both of them. It was cool…I wasn’t mad at it. But it wasn’t for me.
24 hour karate school 2 is out today…the first one was major. How is that going to top the first one?
Hmmm…you know what? Im not trying to top anything. I just put them (albums) out you know what I’m saying. I think the second one is doing it’s thing right now. It’s not even “top” type of kind…it’s just a vibe. It’s 24 hour karate school & I don’t really have any type of expectation about anything. I just make the music that I love & put it out.
Currency Pilot Talk 1 & 2 was mostly produced by you. Are you the “executive producer” for Pilot Talk 3?
We talked about it. I was down to do it & he was down to do it. We’ll start working on this Pilot Talk 3 right after we’re getting off this Murs tour. We about to go on tour with Murs for like 51 days in September and when that tour is done, I’m a hit Curren$y up & start banging this joint out.
Word is you’re working with Locksmith, Tabi Bonney, Murs, Terri Walker just to name a few but when we heard Rell & Nicole Wray, we were glad to hear they’re working with you. How did that come about?
That was easy because we’re family. I’ve always been a fan of Rell & Nicole. And what’s crazy is that I always wanted to work with them. Like I said, it’s easy, we’re family & we just have to get it done.
Dame Dash & yourself are really close friends How is he dealing with this IRS situation?
He doesn’t talk to me about that. But Dame…let me put it this way, hes’ good! He’s doing really good!
The world is waiting on one particular rapper to drop his album & about a month he announced that it was done. We’re pretty sure your good people with Jay Electronica. Did you produce any songs for Act II: Patents Of Nobility
Nawwwww man. I haven’t heard anything from it & didn’t get the change to work on it. Knowing Jay Electronica is super illusive. (laughs) I ain’t mad at him. That’s what he does..that’s his style and I’m proud of him man. He deserve everything he’s going to get.
What do you think of the state of hiphop now? What are some of the benefits & downfall of the internet?
The state of hip hop is pretty good man. If you’re independent, you cna make money right now. it’s wide open for independent artists & real creative artistic people tight now. The internet is dope because you able to connect directly with your fans & being able to try to get a feel of your audiance & how many eyes you got looking at you & all of that. And it helps you get your music out ferther. Like back in the days, you get your record play on the radio. One week a station would play & the next week, another staion would play it. Now you radio radio, internet, satillite radio (which are great because they can play whatever they want) The downside is if you got a record deal or you’re trying to sell records or whatever, with the download and stuff, they’ll (the label) definitely take a niiiiice chuck out of your pocket. But at the same time, they’re still helping you , promoting you. If you’re good enough, you can go on the raod. The internet is the perfect place to build your brand.
Any tips for any young beatmakers?
Just be original, be yourself & don’t copy anybody else style.
Anything else you wanna tell the readers of Ms.Drama Tv .Com?
Be on the lookout; there’s going to be a lot more music coming out soon. Appreciate all the love I’ve been getting & follow me or hit me on twitter @skibeatz. 24 Hour Karate School in stores now.