And yes, yes ya’ll and we don’t stop, it’s Ms. HipHopUDontStop coming at ya with ya weekly dose of our #MixedMonday Series. This week I had the pleasure linking up with the very talented Ken B bringing ya’ll that flava from the south side of Jersey. Now just cause this cat is from Jersey, don’t get it twisted thinking he produces the music you’d hear at Karma on Thursdays at the shore.
Ken grew up in the 90′s being heavily influenced by the golden era of Hip-Hop. With iconic producers such as DJ Premier, Pete Rock, RZA & monumental musicians like Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield & Prince, Ken started to try his niche in production. When he first started off he began by creating pause tapes and sampling hip hop beats (big ups to all my old school heads for knowing what these are). Growing up he said that he would go on driving excursions and just listen to music. He said “I would have back pack full of cassette tapes! I loved the tapes & would listen to it all the way thru cause it was dope from start to finish…there was no skipping.” As he got older he advanced to music production software which allowed him to listen to a beat, copy it and then proceed to see how the beat was made, looked & sounded. He told me about his first experience with the music production software and how he broke down the sounds of Electric Relaxation by A Tribe called Quest and after that he continued to teach himself through trial & error.
After realizing that his niche turned into a passion, he decided to travel to California and attend the digital arts school ‘Expressions’. He wanted to perfect his craft and be the best that he could be at it. So much that he even expressed that sometimes when he makes a beat he feels like a beat is never done cause there is always something you can add to it. He said, “Sometimes I have to come to a point and be like Ken! you have to let it go & let people hear it!” Production is an ongoing process, he will spend a day sequencing, one day mixing, another creating drum patterns, and the another day chopping up samples. When making a beat “it’s kind of a feel thing, some days I will want to make a beat but there’s nothing there so I won’t force it…it’s an organic thing that just happens over time”.
I always say that where words fail, music speaks and when I asked Ken what he wants people to feel when they hear his instrumentals he simply replied with
“I can’t dictate and tell you what to feel, but I know that it struck me in someway. See the strange thing bout music is that you can’t describe it with words…you just gotta listen. If it’s powerful the music provides a canvas for you to paint a mental picture with, and the instrumental take you somewhere, where that is I don’t know…only you can decide that”
I originally got in tune with Ken’s production after hearing that he had created the tracks such as “The Crown”, “Maybe It’s Me”, “Dreamcatcher” & others for Chicago’s own & Womazing recognized emcee Add 2. As he spoke on Add 2 he said, “Add paints such a visual image with his lyrics, you can see what he iss talking about. Its clear, concise & goes perfectly with any beat he lays a track over. I knew what he was bringing lyrically & I knew what I was bringing electronically, and I thought to myself if I ever get a chance, I gotta work with this cat.” Little did he know that a some time and a couple track tracks later, he would get his shot.
Take the time to listen to Ken B’s instrumentals and tell me that they don’t hit you and make you feel a certain type of way with the melodies that he incorporates. Recently he dropped his instrumental tape ‘Heavy Melodoic” which is what we are currently featuring but a personal favorite of mine is “Away From The Hustle”, which had me vibin to finish…just like a cassette tape. No need to fast forward.
I feel extremely blessed to have had the chance to get to chop it up with Mr. Ken B, and from all of us here at Womazing, thank you for providing that tight beat for a perfect verse.