Monday, March 6, 2023

An Interview with RizzyBeats (and a premier of "Exit Velocity (End of the Line)")

RizzyBeats (photo by Justin Giles)

North Carolina based producer recently chose to rework MindsOne's 2006 debut album Time Space Continuum. The chance to talk to RizzyBeats came up, and seeing how much I'm enjoying The Time Space Continuum Redux, I jumped at the chance. I asked about the upcoming album, the North Carolina hip hop scene, and he even was nice enough to put together a monster seventy-eight track playlist featuring NC hip hop! 

MindsOne/RizzyBeats' The Time Space Continuum Redux is due out May 12 via Fort Lowell Records. You can pre-order the vinyl here. The single is due out March 10 digitally, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on RizzyBeats, check out his website. For more on MindsOne, check them out on Instagram. The original version of Time Space Continuum can be found here.

  1. The new album (The Space Time Continuum Redux) is a reworking of MindsOne's 2006 debut album. What made you decide to make a new version of the album?It basically started with some conversations I had with Tronic (of MindsOne) about how there aren’t more remix albums out in the world. Tronic mentioned he still had a lot of his a cappellas from their previous albums and I made sure to take note of that. I had previously remixed Aesop Rock’s “None Shall Pass” album and had a ton of fun with that so the prospect of giving MindsOne that same treatment was super appealing.About a week later, I was listening to their Time Space Continuum CD and I remembered that conversation we had about the a cappellas, so I hit up Tron and asked if he had those too. He did, sent them to me right away, and I got busy.
  2. What was the process of reworking an existing album? What did you decide to keep?
    For me, the process always starts with finding the right BPM so everything matches up correctly. I use FL Studio for producing so I usually layer the original track over the a cappella and make sure things are lined up on the grid before I start adding drums and other samples. Then I go song by song, seeing what inspires me from each record. I always want to give any song I remix a new flavor that I think better serves the artist and highlights them in a way they weren’t in the original. With this project, I wanted to keep it super hip-hop so I intentionally used a lot of famous drum breaks so it would give this project that golden era sound.
  3. Being from the Boston area, I'm hearing a ton of Gang Starr influences in this album. Is that more your style or MindsOne?
    I think both myself and MindsOne are big Gang Starr fans. I’m hugely influenced by DJ Premier so I know I’ve subconsciously adopted some of his sample chopping techniques over the years. Preemo is the GOAT.
  4. On the RizzyBeats Loves NC playlist, the tracks are incredibly diverse, but I'm hearing kind of a regional overall vibe that's laid back and embracing classic hip hop without sounding like a throwback. Do you think that's accurate, and what do you think leads to that sound? (If not, what would you say is the regional sound, if any?)
    I think that’s very accurate. I think, universally, there is a deep love for hip-hop in North Carolina. Every artist I’ve been a fan of, or even known personally, has been very conscious of their responsibility as a hip-hop artist in North Carolina and has sought to make a meaningful contribution to the NC sound. We’ve got a lot of range here but it seems that most folks respect the history of hip-hop.
  5. In Boston, it was basically impossible to see live hip hop for decades, and it's just recently becoming an established scene for live shows. How's the live scene in NC?
    The live hip-hop scene here in Wilmington has been steadily growing for the last decade. There is a great acceptance among fellow hip-hop artists to stick together and work alongside each other so we can all succeed. The shows aren’t as plentiful here as they once were about 20 years ago but myself and a few others like Louis., Sheme OG, MoeSOS DC, and Shuron Maurice are trying to usher in a new generation of live performances to keep things vibrant and thriving. And I have to mention all of the hard work put in by MindsOne, Fuzz Jackson and the whole Monumental Music crew. They welcomed us with open arms and gave us the support we needed to carry on the torch.
  6. What are the best/hottest cities for hip hop in NC right now?
    Lots of excellent music coming out of Durham, Raleigh, Fayetteville, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Greenville, and Greensboro. 
  7. When I heard you were putting together a North Carolina hip hop playlist, I did not expect it to be 78 tracks and 4 1/2 hours. If someone is short on time and wants to dabble before jumping fully in, what are the key tracks?
    That’s incredibly tough to narrow down but a few of my favorites are:
    - “Whatever You Say” - Little Brother
    - “Gmots” - Miko X
    - “Carolina Too” - Louis. ft Rob: Earth-One
    - “Legion of Doom” - MindsOne
    - “Mah Shiii” - Defacto Thezpian
  8. We're premiering "Exit Velocity (End of the Line)" today. Tell us about that particular song.
    “Exit Velocity” is the first track I worked on and what gave me the confidence to move forward with the whole project. It features both KON Sci and Tronic and is a really strong opener (in my opinion). I wanted to set the tone for the album and come in guns blazing.

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