Beat Assailant - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman
Beat Assailant: Ante Up
Never heard of Beat Assailant? Don't worry, after his debut album "Hard Twelve" drops you certainly will become familiar. With an electric combination of Hip Hop and jazz, the 26-year-old emcee/producer credits his vast musical styles to his times spent in Paris, in which he realized his full potential for making great music. Now residing in Atlanta, Beat Assailant is looking to stake a claim in America's Hip Hop scene with his debut album, which features star-studded guest appearances from J-Zone, Tash, Phil Da Agony & Danger Mouse. B.A. recently took some time out to speak with MVRemix about his album.
MVRemix: Let's start off by talking about your past. I see you were born in Miami and then moved to Atlanta. So what was your childhood like growing up?
Beat Assailant: It was pretty normal I guess. Going to school, playing sports, chasing girls, getting into a little mischief. Just doing stuff that young guys do.
MVRemix: When did you first fall in love with Hip Hop?
Beat Assailant: When I was about twelve or thirteen. I always loved music in general and always really liked hip hop, but around this time hip hop music started getting really hot and more artists were coming out with new styles.
MVRemix: How did you first get into the Hip Hop game?
Beat Assailant: Iíve been in and around the game for a while now but the first thing I ever got a contract for was a co-production gig for a French artist named Blackjack. It got me a lot of hype because the song was a duet with Blackjack and MC Solaar.
MVRemix: How did you get the name Beat Assailant?
Beat Assailant: People have been calling me B.A. since I was a kid. My homeboys named me that after the A-team character because of my low key demeanor and a tendency to handle business in the clutch. Once I started getting into the rhyme though, it just evolved into the Beat Assailant.
MVRemix: I was reading that you moved to Paris during your college years. So what made you want to move there?
Beat Assailant: Well actually I moved to Paris just after college. I had never been overseas and was visiting a friend of my family who lives there. Once I hit the ground over there I just fell in love with it and decided I wanted to stay longer. I just went for a little vacation and ended up staying about four years.
MVRemix: What is it like over in Paris, especially in regards to the Hip Hop scene?
Beat Assailant: The hip hop scene is huge. Once you go overseas you can really see how much the hip hop culture has effected the world. You see it in the style of dress, to the radio charts to what they play in the clubs. Its almost like being in the US in that aspect. They listen to all the same stuff. The only real difference is that they have their own hip hop movement and theyíre rhyming in French.
MVRemix: What would you say is the biggest difference between living in the US and Paris?
Beat Assailant: Just adapting to the language and the overall pace of life. Things move a bit slower in France but itís not too different really.
MVRemix: Your debut album is called "Hard Twelve", so tell us about it and what fans can expect.
Well its called ďHard TwelveĒ and there are twelve tracks. Itís all original music with no samples so itís a new sensation for the ear. Thereís a lot of live instrumentation and a wide array of sounds so its definitely a unique musical experience.
MVRemix: You got a lot of big names on the album such as J-Zone, Tash, Danger Mouse & Phil Da Agony. So how did you hook up with them?
Beat Assailant: Well I met these guys through Danger Mouse. Thatís my homeboy and we met in school at UGA. We did a lot of stuff together back in the day and while I was living in Paris, he was living in London so we had a chance to connect on a lot of stuff.
MVRemix: Overall, what do you want to accomplish with this album?
Beat Assailant: I just want to deliver new and good music to the people. Everybody has been going crazy over the album so I just want the whole world to get a chance to listen to it.
MVRemix: What is going to be the measuring stick on whether this album is a success or not?
Beat Assailant: For me it already is a success. It was always a goal of mine to make a great hip hop album and I think I accomplished that. I set the bar so high for myself that if Iím satisfied with it, I know my fans will love it.
MVRemix: Since you live in Atlanta, how do you feel about the insane popularity of crunk music?
Beat Assailant: I think its great. Crunk music isnít a new phenomenon. Down here in the south we grew up on this stuff. Itís just that now the whole world is getting a chance to see how hot crunk music really is. I love all the artists from the A, and I think its great that now weíre getting our turn in the spotlight.
MVRemix: Who are some of your favorite artists?
Beat Assailant: Tribe, EPMD, The Roots, Gang Starr, Outkast, Nas, 50 cent, Common, Redman- I could probably name about a hundred hereÖ
MVRemix: Since you have seen Hip Hop grow over the years, who would you say are some of the best emcees ever?
Beat Assailant: Hmm- thatís even harder- but Iíll give you five- not even a top five because I know Iím forgetting some people but five dope ones-
Biggie, Q-tip, Nas, Black Thought, and Method Man
MVRemix: Since your basically a new artist coming up in this game, do you find it hard to promote yourself or get your name out in the public?
Beat Assailant: Yes and no- the trick is just to get people to listen. If the people havenít heard of you, Itís hard to make them listen. I think people are naturally skeptical because thereís so much junk out there. But every time I make somebody listen to the record, they always thank me for exposing them to the new hotness.
MVRemix: What is the biggest headache you have had to deal with regarding this Hip Hop game so far?
Beat Assailant: Just all the administrative BS. Iím also Executive Producer on the album so handling the artist side and the business side at the same time can be a real pain.
MVRemix: What do you think about the current state of the US?
Beat Assailant: I think itís certainly been better before. Weíre in a war where we are the aggressor for the first time in our countryís history. Itís really hurt our rep around the globe and Americans are dying. Not to mention the state of the economy. Itís not a good time right now but our country is resilient and Iím sure weíll bounce back.
MVRemix: Overall, what do you want out of the Hip Hop game? Fame, fortune, respect or just love, etc?
Beat Assailant: I just want to deliver my art to the people. Iím not really looking for any of those things because hip hop is in my blood. Iíve been doing this for so long and never looked for anything in return. Really and truly, this is what I HAVE to do. I donít really have a choice. If Iím not doing music, I canít sit still. Iíll be making music until I die.
MVRemix: What else do you have planned for the immediate future, besides the album?
Beat Assailant: Just touring doing shows and starting to work on the next album.
MVRemix: Any last words, shout outs, etc?
Beat Assailant: Big ups to everybody in the A Ė Shoutout to my homie Blackbeard and everybody out in Paris- Blackjack, Mos , General- and the whole world- and Iím gone!