MVRemix: How did your names originate? As in "Mr. Walt," "Evil Dee" and "Da Beatminerz"?
Mr. Walt: As far as for our individual names, Q-Tip gave me that name - "Mr Walt." He said it in a Tribe Called Quest track called "What." "What would the Music Factory be without Mr. Walt?" I used to work at a music store called "Music Factory" in Queens. Everybody used to come in there - Tribe, LL, Run DMC, De La Soul. You know, I met everybody in that record store. He (Q-Tip) gave me that name. Evil Dee - I don't know where the hell he got that name from. Haha.
MVRemix: What about "Da Beatminerz" as a whole?
Mr. Walt: Well with "Da Beatminerz," we was just trying to find a crew name that described us the most. We were always into finding records, so I was trying to come up with a nice little catchy name and I was coming across a bunch of other things. Our original name from our production crew was called "Black Moon." But my brother, "Evil," loved that name so much that he wanted it for his group. I was like "Sure, it's not a problem. I'll just make up another name." "Beatminerz" just came about. My man D.E.A. kind of put two and two together and said "You know, you guys do look for beats. Why don't you just call it mining?" And I was like, "Hmmmm - beat miners," and we took it from there.
MVRemix: Who taught you how to produce or who helped influence you into honing your talents?
Mr. Walt: Well no-one can really teach you how to produce. Producing stems from DJ'ing. Majority of all producers used to be DJ's first, or they're DJ's now. What it is is when you're mixing two records together, you're creating a song. You're creating a new sound when the records are put together, so all that just stems from DJ'ing.
MVRemix: In your opinion what is a "DJ" in the actual sense, because everybody likes to throw the term around these days. There's "mixtape" DJ's, "blend" DJ's, "scratch" DJ's. What's your definition of what a "DJ" is?
Mr. Walt: The DJ is the controller of the universe, haha. He's the one that controls everything that happens in the vicinity as far as music goes. If you're dancing to a record, you're dancing to a record that the DJ threw on because the DJ decided, "You know what, I'ma throw this record on right now." So he's like the backbone of everything. He's the one who keeps the beat, he's the one who like I said decides when you hear that certain record that you want to hear. It's up to him. He's the master of the universe. [chuckles]
MVRemix: What are your thoughts on the mixtape scene today?
Mr. Walt: I think for one, no-one's DJ'ing no more. With the exception of maybe Green Lantern. I mean I don't want to disrespect nobody, but from what I heard Green Lantern is the only one that makes official mixtapes because everybody else's mixtape is all about exclusives and if it doesn't have classics on it, everybody's mixtape is "I'm sitting in front of a computer playing exclusives." Like I said, I'm not gonna disrespect any other DJ, like I said Green Lantern puts the effort into his mixtapes. Premier, whenever these guys do their mixtapes, they mix. But you have certain DJ's that don't even do that. I don't know why they call themselves DJ's.
MVRemix: Same here, I mean I often wonder about that 'cause anyone can DJ if it just means putting a track on after a track. But unless you blend them in varied ways, there's nothing to it.
Mr. Walt: Yeah.
MVRemix: What's your creative process in terms of making beats?
Mr. Walt: If I hear something that inspires me to work. Then I'm ready to work. It's all about being inspired. You gotta be in the right mood. Never force yourself to work. Once you force yourself to work, it's not gonna come out the way you want it to come out.
MVRemix: Do you typically seek out artists or do they typically seek you out?
Mr. Walt: A little bit of both. Like certain artists I went after. I went after Artifacts when Artifacts was together. I always wanted to work with them. Who else? Rah Digga, I always wanted to work with her. Shorty Nomas, I always wanted to work with her. Stuff like that. Then there's artists that look out for you, that want to work with you. It works both ways.
MVRemix: Which producers do you respect and look up to?
Mr. Walt: The Bomb Squad is the reason I wanted to do this. When I first heard "It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back," that record right there made me who I am today. As far as new producers, there's certain producers I'll just buy anything with their name on it. Like a Madlib, Ayatollah, Jay Dee, Nottz. Producers like that.
MVRemix: What are your thoughts on the recent crack-downs of sampling laws?
Mr. Walt: I don't care about that. It doesn't bother me. You know why it doesn't bother me? 'Cause I'm still gonna do what I've gotta do. Because it's all about making music and that doesn't bother me. There's a thing on the Internet saying that Beatminerz changed their style because of the crackdown on sampling. Please. I never changed anything because of sampling. I just learned how to chop. I didn't know how to chop when I did "Enta Da Stage." Now we're ten years later. I know how to chop. I know how to do all the tricks now.
MVRemix: Plus there's the fact with white label's - it's hard to trace the original sources of the samples. You can still pretty much get away with it.
Mr. Walt: Yeah. That doesn't mean nothin' to me. Infact, being that it's more of a renegade thing. It's like the artists you shouldn't sample, that just makes me want to sample them more and more. Because it's all about love and creativity. You can't say I'm not creative because I took your music. I took your music to another level.
Lâ€™Orange and Stik Figa â€“ The City Under The City album review
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Canadian Underground Hip Hop - exclusive interviews, reviews, articles
MVRemix Urban | Online Hip Hop Magazine | US and Canadian Underground Hip Hop - exclusive interviews, reviews, articles