I found out about Kil from the ‘Live from The Writer’s Bench’ videos on youtube. I hit him up on Twitter to say that I dug the shows and we built from there. Now we’re buddies. He’s a real stand up and supportive dude. I learnt that he made beats so I had to check them out. I’m pleased I did. Kil got beats. That’s a fact. Check them out via the links at the bottom of this article. Peep what he had to say about the equipment he rocks and more. Enjoy.
Q) Which equipment do you use in your beat making/production process?
A) My production equipment has changed over the years. When I started out in ’93 I had a four track recorder and a DJ mixer with a 8 second sampler in it. In ’95 my moms looked out and brought me an ASR-10 and I rocked with that for the next 10 years. In 2005, I copped a MPC2000XL and rocked with that for the next 9 years and I literally JUST copped the Maschine 3 weeks ago.
Q) What made you choose them?
A) It’s funny…for the most part, up to 95 when I got the ASR-10 is was all about what I could afford. Since I’m 40 years old, I came up in a time when if you wanted to be a producer…you REALLY wanted to be a producer because equipment was SO much money. It’s not like nowadays when you can spend $400 on a ipad and get garageband and then call yourself a producer. In ’94 a SP1200 alone was $2,000, then you gotta get a S950 and some speakers, and a turntable, etc. etc. so to be a producer back in the early 90’s could cost you $5,000! And what 18 year old kid has an extra $5,000 just laying around? So, in ’95 I really wanted a MPC3000 but I only had $2,000 to work with and the MPC3000 was $3,000. But the time 2005 came around I was finally making money so I copped what I wanted which was the MPC2000xl. I choose that because as much as I LOVED the ASR-10, I always wanted a true to life drum machine (no dis to the ASR at all either) with pads and at the time the 2000XL was the best on the market. About two months ago the zip drive on my MPC broke for the 2nd time and since zip drives are damn near extinct I was struggling on what to do. It was gonna cost me $200 to get it fixed and about another $100 to order 6 zips off amazon and at the same time my many Krazyfingaz was in my ear about how dope the maschine is and the fact that I was gonna spend $300 to get a machine from the early 90’s fixed or just spend another $200 and get something brand new that a lot of cats are calling the MPC killer, so that was why I copped the maschine and so far I’m loving it!
Q) How long did it take to master each one or do they all have a continual learning curve?
A) First things first, to be 100% honest, I don’t think I’ve mastered any of the equipment that I worked on. I just learned how to make it do what I needed it to do. With both the ASR & the MPC2000xl I’ve always said I probably know about 50% of what each machine can do. Now I’m sure somebody may be thinking “why not learn the other 50%?” And to be honest, once I feel like I’m making beats that are dope enough to me, I toss the manual to the side. I know that’s closed minded but at times I am closed minded. But now that I’m on the maschine, I’m trying to take a different look at learning this. I’m actually taking the time to really learn the maschine and what it can do. The homie Krazyfingaz is constantly schooling me on what it can do and google and youtube have been my best friends with that process. But to get comfortable with the ASR-10 probably took me about a good 6 months and with the MPC I got it a little quicker because once I decided I was gonna make that switch from the ASR I downloaded the 2000XL manual and started learning how to use it so once I got it, there wouldn’t be too much of a learning curve.
Q) Analogue Vs. Digital, which do you prefer and why?
A) Before I got the maschine I was 100% analog. Again, just me being closed minded to the 90’s that raised me and everything being about the SP-1200, MPC’s, ASR’s and S950’s. But the reason why I rock with the maschine so much is because It’s like 50/50 of both. I have the actually drum machine to bang out on the pads but I also have the whole digital workstation too so I’m kinda good with both now.
Q) What makes the equipment special to you and your process?
A) With the ASR, the thing I loved most about it was the effects they had. At that time, those ASR effects were REAL dope…the ASR sweetner and bass boost were just two of my faves. With the MPC, what’s not to love? I literally LOVE everything about that machine. It’s damn near like we spoke the same language. And with the maschine…I just feel like there’s nothing that this thing can’t do…except change tempos in different patterns but outside that the maschine is a beast!
Your own productions/beats Top 5 (Track name & Artist)
1) Renassiance Musician – K Fanat…I used the same sample Large Professor used on Main Source’s Just Hanging Out but it was done by another artist and I absolutely LOVE this song and what Fanat did with it. To me THIS is a perfect hip hop song.
2) The Routine – Osei Moreland…I always loved this beat especially the Big sample “mac 11 cocked back, niggas better duck down, face down you know the routine” just fit it perfect. Osei said when he heard the track he could hear Sadat X on it which is why his voice is high pitched when he does the chorus.
3) How Not To Get Robbed In The Hood While Drinking Your Juice – Driz Lo…I made this beat and hit Driz up like “make a song about trying not to get robbed in Philly” and he absolutely KILLED it with his storytelling! I think the beat and the rhymes fit perfect together.
4) Song For You – Vegas…This was the 1st single off our 2nd album “You’re All Welcome” and to me this is another perfect hip hop song. The beat is dope, Vegas kills it and it just sounds like good hip hop.
5) Hungry – Unidentified Objects…I actually made this beat for my dude Khalil’s album but he ended up not doing anything with it so I gave it to Driz and Clev and they both killed it. To me if you don’t like this song, you don’t like hip hop.
Your favourite beats produced by other Producers/Beatmakers (Artist & Track name)
1) Come Clean – Jeru Da Damaja (Produced by Primo)…What’s there to say about Come Clean? If this ain’t hip hop what is?
2) Are You That Somebody? – Aaliyah (Produced by Timbaland)…I’m sure most folk thought I’d list all hip hop songs but this song right here? This beat?!?! There’s no way you could front on this song. I remember being at a club in NYC in the mid 90’s and everybody is dancing and then the DJ throws this on and slowed the tempo ALLLLLLLL the way down and not one person left the dance floor! In fact the crowd got even more hype! Timbo KILLED that beat.
3) They Reminisce Over You – Pete Rock & CL Smooth (Produced by Pete Rock)…I don’t even have to say anything about TROY do I?
4) Bucktown – Smif n Wessun (Produced by Da Beatmonerz)…I ALWAYS loved the horn sample that Evil & Walt used and Smif n Wessun just made this their beat…another perfect hip hop song.
5) Players – Slum Village (Produced by Dilla)…When I hosted Morgan State’s hip hop show 88.9 Strictly Hip Hop, I can’t tell you how many times we played this song…we literally played this song probably more then any other hip hop! And then when I found out where Dilla got this from just made me love it that much more. Another classic in Dilla’s chamber.
Peep Kil’s work below at these lovely links: