If you have 2 hours free in your day, watch this!
If you have 2 hours free in your day, watch this!
Normally, as you heard Puerto Rocks/Boriqua brothers rock rhymes or beats, you feel an East Coast vibe. Places like NYC, Philly, Trenton, Newark, Hartford or Boston. What about a nice emcee/beatmaker from Houston? Enter into the world of AGILE!!!
1. What city do you hail from brother? (Son Ra)
I’m originally from Houston, Tx, as well as spending a good portion of my childhood in The Bay Area, Cali. About 50/50 altogether. I reside in H Town now and have been since 2004
2. When did the HIPHOP bug snatch you up? Did you start off bboying, rhyming, deejaying, etc.? (Amriki Aswad)
The Hip Hop bug got me when I was 8 yrs old, 1988, when I heard “My Posse’s on Broadway” by Sir Mix A Lot. Haven’t looked back since. I started off rhyming, I guess, but had no clue what was going on. Always wanted to DJ but my Mom couldn’t afford to get me turntables, so I “shadow” spun on the coffee table. Kids, Imaginations….lol. wrote my first rap when I was 10, and I went by the moniker “MC Nice”. Wow, I guess we were all wack at one point. That name is ridiculous. I still can recite that first rap too. It was about my 5th grade girlfriend dumping me…lmao
3. How has working in Houston and Oakland shaped your sound? (Son Ra)
Growing up, in Houston and the Bay, my sound is heavily present with both regions, i.e. my drawl. It’s like I’m confused when I spit, because I have a bit of a southern twang and I also have that Bay Area, super proper annunciation of certain words. My people in Cali say I sound like I’m from the South and my people down here say I sound like I’m from The West Coast. With my flow, I’ve definitely have taken on more of a laid back, slower, smoother cadence as I have gotten older, but when I was first really rapping, I was in Cali and I had a very rapid delivery. Both places are quite present in my sound, rhyming and with Production. Sprinkle on a bit of styles from everywhere else, so I can have a universal sound, or at least that’s the goal.
4. What things have you learned from the late Jasiri Hutcherson regarding studio management? (Son Ra)
Oh man, Jasiri was my idol, mentor, he was like a big Brother to me. He was 11 yrs older than me, so him and my Uncle Devlin (Dads brother), actually grew up together and we’re best friends. So, Jasiri knew me since I was a baby. Him and my Uncle are 2 of the most extremely talented musicians and artists you would ever see. Unc threw me on the drums at 5, it came natural to me, just started playing and took to it immidiately. I was always around Jasiri, because of my Uncle, while they were doing music, so I just soaked it all in. When I got older and started doing my own music, Jasiri was always looking over me and watching me progress musically, to where it got to the point, that I was worthy enough to get into the studio with him. He pretty much taught me everything I know about recording music. From recording with live instruments (he played guitar,drums,keys and was equally great at them all) and mic placements, to midi and separation of induvidual tracks with my beats, applying plug ins, building my own custom drum kits for the MPC and mixing and mastering. Without him, I wouldn’t be a quarter of what I have become, all around musically. I also was in marching band, jazz band and Symphony band, 6th grade-12th grade, so I learned through that as well and can read music. Overall, Jasiri molded me into a pretty well rounded musician. I still haven’t fully recovered from his passing at the end of 2012, til now and it has taken a huge till on me musically. That’s the impact he had on me. I’ve barely recorded. Helluva a man he was, period.
5. What is a Co Op Recording Studio? (Son Ra)
A Co Op studio, in regards to J7 Studios (Jasiri’s studio) is a project that one of my best friends, Mark “Maleko ” Weisbarth, took on when Jasiri passed. Mark was also a protoge of Jasiri’s as well and very close. He has turned it into a full time recording studio, an art gallery of Jasiri’s art and a place where the local youth can do their artwork at. It is a venue for live music and performences, in which Mark has established a bi monthly concert series called “Moss Beats” (Moss Beach, Ca. Is the name of the town it’s located in) where local artists from hip hop to rock to spoken word induviduals perform and showcase talent. There have also been a few well known acts Mark has booked, because he has been in the Cali Indy scene 15+yrs and has collaborated with countless folks. Hieroglyphics, Members of Project Blowed, Living Legends, amongst others have all performed there as well. It’s Jasiri’s dream, that Mark has brought to fruition, very successfully.
6. If you could sit a recording session with ONE legendary hip hop producer, who would it be? And why? (Butta)
In the studio with one legendary producer. …I can’t pick just one. But, without a doubt, my choices would be DJ Premier, RZA and Dre. I want to know how Dre creates what he does sonically, because it’s ridiculous how great of a sound and ear he has. RZA because, I want to find out how he comes up with the insane shit he does. It’s like trying to crack the DaVinci Code, trying to figure out how he programs some of that stuff. And Primo, just because I want to make beats with him. All neck break music, period
7. How did you link up with the legendary K-Rino from Texas? (Amriki Aswad)
I initially started sending links for beat folders to K Rino’s MySpace inbox and told him I was a huge fan and the beats I sent were his to do whatever with. This was 2007. He hit me back on a couple and was feeling them. Got him 1 track. I’ve been a huge fan of his since like ’93-’94 and was determined to work with him. In 2010, I was filming a performance at a club, that my homies, Antho and Jiggs were doing. I look across the room and I swear I see K Rino. I went and asked my boy Antho and he said, yes it was him. I walked up to him, dapped him up, said I was a huge fan, told him my name. He remembered me from the emails, from 3 yrs earlier, politicked for awhile, exchanged info and that’s it. We have a song ready to record, just have to correlate schedules. He is on the road alot.
8. What future projects do you have coming up? (Amriki Aswad)
Future projects I tentatively have planned, are to release all of my unreleased material over the past 10 yrs. I also still plan on being on various projects with other people as well. I should recording capabilities of my own in the near future, to where I can stay on consistently with music. The past 3-4 yrs, music has taken a back seat to personal business, but I’m ready to get back in the swing of things…
9. Last one……….. Where can people find you on the web and/or social media? (Amriki Aswad)
I also have various music all over. From production credit to being featured on other artists work. Google Agile Riddick
Read through this article. If you are not utilizing half these tools in this article, I think you should consider doing so.
A new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives is being introduced in Congress this week that would give producers, engineers and mixers — often times the unsung and forgotten heroes in the whole song-making process — a piece of the digital royalty pie. The Allocation for Music Producer Act, or AMP Act (H.R. 1457), is being formally introduced by congressmen from both sides of the aisle: Reps. Joe Crowley (D-New York) and Tom Rooney (R-Florida).
Sometimes, beat makers/producers lose inspiration and try to find that boost. This is an conversation some of us had on the I Used To Love H.E.R. Facebook group. Some helpful tips to learn from.
DJ iLL Ace: What’s good people I’ll get straight to it thought I never ask this but wanna here people’s thoughts. For me reason I’ve been under the radar lately especially when putting out beats is I’m stuck. Lately been facing producers block and it sucks be having an idea or be starting to chop and create the beat one day. Then the next I’m like it doesn’t sound as good as I was making it last night. So for anyone or the Og beat makers here what do you do to overcome producers block? I know you just gotta listen to something good or what you like to get an idea. But lately it’s been misses with me can’t lie.
Dorian Graye: Ace grab some old records and start from there. Listen to certain parts of the song and sample.
DJ Jean: I was gonna say the exact same thing. I don’t produce, but love the art of it. Inspiration from listening I mean really listening to different sounds of music and tones sometimes is what helps inspire the most……
Jamal Akil: I’ve been stuck in Producer’s Block for more than a year now. My bedroom set-up is all wrong. My MacBook computer keeps on fucking crashing. That’s the MAIN problem. Can’t make the beats that I want to make until I get the doe for a new computer.
Hang in there Ace! A revamp of your equipment just might be the lick. If you’re like me, then you have those beats still stuck in your head…just waiting to be fleshed out on the right equipment.
PATIENCE my friend! It’ll happen!
Amriki Aswad: 2 things I do when I have Beat Block:
1. Step away from the beat or start on a new beat. Sometimes you just have to step away. My Mac has beats dated 2009 – 2012 half completed. I always listen back to finish them or recognize my development. If Prince can have vault of 1,000+ unfinished jams, I have some work to do.
2. Write down a list of beatmakers & producers (any style of music) who beats you like and have a listening session. I learn so much listening jazz.
Doom Da Wiz: I go to my beats that are older that I never finished and see if I can crawl out of the blockness…I also step away for a few days…plus listening to different music inspires me as well…or other beat makers and producers…one thing that helps me is listening to the Petestrumental albums. There are a lot of things that can help…it’s just that one thing that can bring u out and get u motivated…ur girl, ur kids, life itself…or a movie, etc. you’ll never know.
John Bender: When i get brain blocked, i start by going into tempos and rhythms that arent the norm. Many of my beats end up with nothing even remotely close to what it started out as lol. Take yourself out of your comfort zone, sometimes to get a good nights rest you got to flip your pillow over to the cool side.
Amriki Aswad: Ace Ortiz, I don’t make beats like I used too. But, Doomer’spot has beat battles. I’m not battle cat. Yet, his spot will throw up a random song and/or breaks to use. The weekly challenges get me out of my slump.
The last 5 beats I made came from the battles.
John Bender: this was a recent brain unblocker. it sounds NOTHING like it started as, wish i saved the original to compare and contrast…
eelxb: Continue to work. Maybe work on something new which leads me back to what i was doing before. But i don’t walk away from it ever.
ProtoKhasm: When i can’t get to dustygroove.com i’ll visit a youtube personality that i respect and see what they are listening to…i usually blaze one and zone out to get reunited with my muse…lol
Sensei Walingh: I stay the fuck away from my mpc every now and then. It helps loads. Listen to some producers you dig, but not too often, might influence your style a little too much.
DJ iLLa Ace: DJ iLLa Ace – Soundcloud
ProtoKhasm: ProtoKhasm – Soundcloud
eelxb: eelxb – Bandcamp
John Bender: Table Science Music – Soundcloud
Dorian Graye – Poet/emcee
DJ Jean – Co-Admin of I Used To Love H.E.R. Facebook group
The article had some helpful tip. Check it out at skillyonline.com