How's life been during the pandemic?
I was really blessed because I had a child right before the pandemic, so I was on work leave. I think I stayed sane during the pandemic because I didn't work and I didn't have the pressure to go work with humans.
I'm a railroad operator; a labourer on a private railroad that goes from my city, Sept-Îles, up north about 300 miles. There's three work camps—one every hundred and some miles. They bring us up in a helicopter and they parachute us into the camp and I stay there for seven days at a time.
Were you born and raised in Sept-Îles?
Ya, I was born and raised in Sept-Îles. It's 12 hours northeast of Montreal, along the St. Lawrence River.
It's a small mining city of 30,000 people and there's a really big company called Alouette, which is an aluminum company. I was born here but we went back to Montreal because my father went back to school. When I was in Montreal, I was in Côte-des-Neiges and in those areas for 7 years. Once my fathers schooling was done, we came back to Sept-Îles. I was like 13 or something and I was heavily into sports when I came back. From 13 to 16 or 17, I did a lot of sports, but when I was 15, I started doing a lot of drugs because that's what people do around here when they're young. Nothing too crazy at that point in my life, but I just got caught up with smoking weed and drinking beer, ya know. I regret that because I think I spent ten years of my life smoking everyday. I don't judge anybody. I think that smoking weed is cool, but for me, I didn't see anything positive come out of that ten years. Those were my early years in Sept-Îles—just filling that void.
It just rollercoastered into my life somehow. It just crept into my brain and I don't know how or why. For me it's always been the beat. When I started listening to rap, I was really into Bootcamp Clik, then E-40 and that Bay Area gangster music. Me and my brother became obsessed with E-40. Those bassy gangster beats really blew my mind away, ya know.
"I don't need music money to get a meal, so I can just do whatever the fuck I wanna do and when I wanna do it."
When you were young, was there any local hip hop coming out of Sept-Îles?Nothing. It was the anti-hip hop town. No rappers, no producers, no DJs, no breakdancers, no nothing. That's why it was just so foreign. Now I'm heavily involved in a sense that it stays on my mind. I really started to develop taste when I would find stuff like Brotha Lynch Hung. It was so interesting to me to find these dope gangster rappers from so far away.
No, it was on Napster and all that stuff.
Are you a fan of Quebec hip hop and did it ever have an influence on you?
I feel like these days there's so many ill producers. The mixing and mastering really caught up a few notches. When you hear artists on 7ième Ciel and these labels that are starting to get meals... the quality always impresses me. The way that it's manufactured, ya know—for popular music intention. They spend a lot of money on that shit and I respect that they're really tryna manufacture something and they're doing it the right way... the right hustle. I don't really listen to their rhymes and it will never make it into my whip, but I respect it and I see that those guys are hustlers and they're just trying to eat! I salute that shit, but I don't listen to it, I don't like it and I don't bump it.
Would you say it's at all accurate that your unusual style and sound is a product of the place you grew up?
I don't think it comes from where I come from because nobody schooled me and I've never been to someone's studio who makes beats and showed me shit. I'm a working man—I'm blessed. I don't need music money to get a meal, so I can just do whatever the fuck I wanna do and when I wanna do it. To answer your question, my sound has a lot to do with my role models for production, like Alchemist, El-P, RZA, Beat Butcha, E-Swift and Dr. Dre, ya know. I think my style is different because, first of all, I'm amateur and there's a lot of shit that I don't know and I'm learning and it may sound a bit off or a bit different. Another thing is that I really wanna gear away from samples. My inputs of music sources are really weird, like old synths or racks. I'm always looking for shit that people don't use anymore because if I just buy free loops and I buy the same fuckin' clap, it's gonna bore me to death. My sources of music are different too. I have different keyboards, I have the MPC, so the sounds I use are different.
How did you link up with Lord Goat on the Children of Doom joint?
I think I made that beat in like 3 minutes at my fathers crib with the MPC, and I hooked up the Roland 1080. The irony is that I sent that beat to like 20 people in Montreal and nobody even bothered to write back. I knew that I could get a rapper on it. It's a slimey beat. So when those 20 guys were like "Nah," or they didn't write back I was like, "Ok, I'll just throw this shit away," ya know... and then, me being a humongous Non Phixion fan, I sent it to Lord Goat and he was like, "Yo, give me this beat! I'm gonna use it on my album." I couldn't believe it at first. I'm not gonna name names cause I don't wanna be negative, but those rappers in Montreal were nothing compared to Gore, creatively. They were light years away from Gore Elohim (Lord Goat). He's crazy with the wordplay. Respect to Gore; real cool dude.
"My father has the gangster fingers man, so every time I go work with him it's always some one-take shit. There's no bullshit."
I've heard you say, "It's all about the boil." Whether you're cookin' with a guy like Kool Keith or Lord Goat, what inspires you to concoct that perfect boil?
I'm just a student of the game, so I'm learning as I'm releasing which is probably a really bad thing to do, come to think of it, but I got no choice because I know this life is so fast. It was either I was gonna wait like 20 years and become really good or I was gonna release things and learn from my mistakes and keep on going. What I mean by "The boil," is what happens when you're making music. I don't even make songs, I make grooves. That's how the boil starts; like a soup with water. The boil is just a crazy process.
How come you choose not to be on social media?
6-7 years ago I realized it was all nothingness and I had wasted a lot of time and energy. If I really wanna be a music producer, fuck Facebook and all that. I always managed to get projects going and it's no thanks to Facebook. Instagram is the same kind of devilish shit. It's thanks to me doing what a producer should be doing. The medium for me has always been the phone and the emails.
Your father has laced quite a few joints that you've produced. Tell me about him.
My father hates hip hop. The frequencies are not for him, ya know. He just helps me because I'm annoying. Sometimes he tells me, "You gotta leave me alone for a few months." My father has the gangster fingers man, so every time I go work with him it's always some one-take shit. There's no bullshit. I throw the beat on and open the Pro Tools stamps and play it and he'll just do whatever his brain... ya know, I don't even guide him. I always ask him to lace it heavy. Just go heavy with the keys or guitar or whatever. As we were talking, he just sent me the last Klee (Magor) beat that we're working on right now. Actually it's for the Riviera Regime album that's comin' out this month and I made two beats on that and my father just laced it.
My father is a studio musician and there's a big aboriginal music studio out here where I live. He composed songs for an aboriginal group called Kashtin. They went gold in the 90s and toured Canada. It's a band from Sept-Îles and he was the keyboardist in that band. I'll never be able to do what he does, so I feel like I'm so blessed to be able to work with him.
What's in the chamber for Beatahoe right now?
Riviera Regime is dropping an album on September. 9 and I got two bangers on that. I listen to Riviera still to this day. When I go cross country skiing I listen to that murder fuckin gangster music. I just spoke to Klee and he told me that our project is gonna be released soon. It's like 7 joints and it's done now. You might be surprised and it might throw you off. It doesn't really sound like stuff I usually do. It's still really grimey though, but there's more instruments, less samples and more room for the rappers. I have a project with California Ghost King. He's one hell of a fuckin' crazy MC. I made it with my Roland MC 909, so it just sounds really alien. I got my father to lace all those joints too.
I also have a project coming out with Montreal legend, Frenchi Blanco, that I made all the beats for, an EP with Peach Gal and a few singles coming out all before the end 2021!