Part 1 of our interview with the legendary producer, Ski Beatz.
You’re most known for your work on Reasonable Doubt, your 24 Hour Karate School albums, and your work with Curren$y. As time progresses does your creative process change at all or is it pretty much still the same?
Nah, my creative process is pretty much still the same, as far as me putting my music together. If it has changed at all, it may have changed due to the new technology that’s coming out, it adds a different approach, compared to back in the day, you know what I mean? But as far as directing the music, getting the vibes, that’s all still the same.
What were the inspirations behind the dojo, and subsequently, the 24 Hour Karate School albums?
Well, when we had the dojo up and running, there were a lot of people coming in. Mos Def, Jay Electronica, Curren$y, you know, Cool Kids, everybody was coming in. One day I was sitting at the table with Dame, and Mos Def and Curren$y, and Curren$y was like “man, this is like a 24 hour karate school, we don’t ever sleep”. And Mos was like “yo, that’s kinda dope”, and next thing you know I’m doing a song with Mos Def called “24 Hour Karate School”, and from them I just turned it into a project. The name was dope, and then everything was morphing. We had the dojo, everybody coming in and out of the studio, it was cool and it was fun. It still is to this day.
Now, what’s your current relationship with Dame Dash? We know you guys have known each other since you did work with Jay, but what’s your current relationship like?
Dame is my homie. You know, the relationship is good. We’re gearing up to do another 24 Hour Karate School, I’m like 5 songs in already. Gonna get another 6 completed, you know, make it short and sweet. And I’m gonna put that out over at BluRoc, with Dame, because that’s where I started it so that’s where I have to finish it, you know?
The 5 songs you have completed are collaborations with artists you’ve worked with already? Or some fresh artists you haven’t worked with before.
There are like one or two that I haven’t worked with before, and a few that I have. But I can’t front, it’s coming out dope.
What are we looking at release date wise? Summer 2013, 4th quarter 2013, or later on?
I don’t know yet, I want to get it done as soon as possible. I wish I had a release date, and it was easier when we had the building. When we had the building it was easier because artists would just come in there and get work done, but now its different because I have the track, and I have to call up the artist and send them the track and wait for them to use their studio to record it, you know. But its still coming out dope.
Has Dame’s legal battle with Curren$y complicated anything, or have you guys been able to compartmentalize it for the most part.
The only real complication it presents is getting Pilot Talk 3 finished, because in order to get that done and put it out Dame and Curren$y have to figure out whatever problem they have. And the crazy thing is, is that I’m not really thrown in the middle because Dame is my dude and Curren$y is my dude, and they both want to see Pilot Talk 3 get done, but there are certain things that these two dudes have to get worked out, and once that’s done we can move forward and get to work on this Pilot Talk 3. Its gonna happen, I just don’t know when.
So what you’re saying is that Dame Dash has the exclusive rights to publish all the Pilot Talk albums.
No, no, its not that Dame has the exclusive right, its more of a, you know, ‘we started this over here, and we’re gonna finish it over here’, kind of thing. And its more of a code of honor thing, where its like why would you take this somewhere else when we started it over here. Curren$y was a big part of it, obviously, with the music, but Dame was also a big part of it for helping to figure out how to market it, how to get it out there. Curren$y already had the incredible fan base and the skills to take it to the next level, and what I added to it, with the music, those three components we have to keep together. Its so organic, and once they straighten out what they have to straighten out, we can get back in gear. Pilot Talk 3 is gonna be something crazy. The music I sent Curren$y already is fresh, and everybody wants to get it done, so its just a matter of getting over this hump–though I wouldn’t really call it a hump, its just about what makes sense for both parties–and we can move forward.
There were rumors that Pilot Talk 3 was already recorded.
If there was a Pilot Talk 3 recorded, it wasn’t with me.
-Khari Nixon (@KingVanGogh)
Check back with The Source tomorrow for part two of the interview, in which Ski Beatz talks about all the music he’s got coming up, and whether or not hip-hop is in good hands with the new wave of “super producers”.