BP - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman  



BP is the best producer you don't know about. The Long Island native released his debut compilation "The Usual Suspects" in 2003, which garnered critical reviews on this very site. With a sound eerily similar to the Alchemist, BP is definitely a hidden gem within the underground community. Below are the transcripts of an interview conducted by DJ L.K. (Low Key) with BP in May of 2004. In the interview below BP discusses not only his debut compilation album, but his struggles coming up in the game as well as his future plans.

MVRemix: First off, why don't you just introduce yourself and give us a glimpse of who you are.

BP: My name is BP and I am coming out of Amityville, Long Island. I am trying to bring that 1994-1996 feel back to Hip-Hop with a 2004 twist. Progress…but still respect of what has been laid down before you.

MVRemix: How did you first get into producing?

BP: I have been into music my whole life. I played the keys and the sax as a kid, but when I got a little older I strayed away from the music because that is not what people around me were doing. When I graduated high school I got some bullshit turntables and started to DJ. I was never that nice but I loved to make blend tapes. I used to make a lot of mixtapes for my people and started selling tapes under the name Traxx. Then I went away to school and started DJing parties with my people out in Jersey. We started a group called Common Virtue. That is what really motivated me to finally start producing. I took the little bit of cream I got from my graduation and spent it all on a fully blown MPC2000. My man J put me on to this spot in the city, and then taught me the basics. My man Mic Duela out of queens showed me a lot too. He is one of the sickest producers out there. I can’t even front, so much of what I have learned of how to make a good beat I learned form him. I started making beats and shit was starting to go right. Then my man D.O. got knocked and the group Common Virtue fell apart. My man Spig was always pushing me to chase after my dream. So being back in New York I linked up with my people back home and started working on my first project titled “Ghetto Sports” with my man Izzy Workin’.

MVRemix: What equipment do you use?

BP: I use an MPC2000. That is all I need. I got a Triton but I don’t really like the sounds of keyboards. Shit just sounds too fake to me. Some people is nice on the keys (like Scott Storch), it is just not what I do.

MVRemix: I know that you have only been producing for a couple of years, so why do you think you picked on everything up so quick? Do you have a musical background?

BP: I do have a musical background. I think my musical background definitely helped me pick everything up so quickly. It is wild because before I started making beats I hadn’t touched in instrument in over 6 years, so I lost a lot of the skills that I had been taught. The key to making good music is having a good ear for music and that is something my musical background has given me. I know what I am looking for and how I want something to sound.

MVRemix: How would you describe your production sound?

BP: Personally, I like grimy tracks, but I try to be diverse. I don’t want someone to say BP only makes gangsta beats, or commercial beats, I try to cover a wide spectrum. So if I had to describe my sound in one word I would describe it as diverse.

MVRemix: I've said that you remind me a lot of Alchemist, do you feel that is a correct comparison?

BP: I appreciate the comparison to Alchemist because I really respect what he has done, and I would love to work with some of the artists he has. But I don’t feel I am an imitation of him the way so many people have tried to copy Primo, Timbaland, or whatever the hot producer of the moment is. I think we have a lot of the same tastes in terms of instruments and sound. Alchemist is a dope producer, and I respect his work.

MVRemix: Who are some of your musical influences?

BP: The list can go on forever. Some of my favorite MCs (in no particular order) are: Nas, Tragedy Khadafi, Biggie, Jay-Z, Big L, Cam (before the ROC he used to have some really ill concepts, I wish he would get back to that), I like a lot of artists out of Queens, and Eminem can really spit but I haven’t liked all of his albums. In terms of Hip-Hop producers my list isn’t much different than anybody else’s. Primo, Timbaland, Dr, Dre, Scott Storch, Alchemist, Havoc, The Rza, Kanye West, Just Blaze, Phantom of the Beats, my people Stitches, Booth, and Mic Duela. I am sure I forgot a couple along the way but that is off the top of my head. I ain’t gonna name artists I sample because that will blow up my spot, but the music from the 70s was revolutionary in terms of sound. I still feel that the 70s is the greatest time period in terms of my personal tastes, but I will sample anything if it is hot.

MVRemix: Was it hard getting your foot inside the industry's door at first? What are some of the trials and tribulations you went through to get yourself where you are today?

BP: Shit, I ain’t even in the industry yet! As far as how I got to where I am today, my work speaks for itself. I may not make the best beats but I am a professional at what I do. I am efficient every time we go in the studio, I know how to run sessions, and the finish product will always come out dope. That has given me a good buzz in terms of my work ethic and the finished product I produce.

MVRemix: Tell us about 11701 productions

BP: 11701 productions is my production company. The 11701 is my area code in Amityville, Long Island. I got all of my love for Hip-Hop by growing up out there. Hip-Hop was always around me, and there were so many talented people in my neighborhood that it was ridiculous. No matter where I end up that is home base and the reason for who I am today.

MVRemix: You dropped your first album "The Usual Suspects" last year, so for people that haven't heard it, tell us about it?

BP: I was working on a lot of projects at the time, and I had a bunch of artists that I was working with. I started to realize, why the fuck should I do tracks for people and my name gets some small ass print or no print at all? Sometimes I wouldn’t agree with every song people was putting together on a project, or the way a project was put together. So I figured the best way to showcase what I do is to put together a compilation. I already had a vision as to what the project should be, and we recorded it in less than two months. You could pop it in and listen from front to back. The skits, the beats, the songs, the shit all comes together to give you an experience. It is a throwback to the days when the #1 priority was to make a good album. If you put together a solid album that is diverse, a good single will come out of it anyway. The album is like a great movie, by the end you might not have enjoyed every scene of the movie but the overall movie was dope. You may not like every cut, but everything is on there for a reason, it makes a complete album.

MVRemix: Tell us about some of the emcees you worked with on the album - Cixx The Future, C-Knuckles & Izzy Workin.

BP: Cixx is doing 4-6 upstate right now and it is a shame because he is one of my favorite MCs of all time (I am a little biased). C-Nuckles is still doing his thing, he got a little label called Horror Fam records with some young MCs with a lot of talent. My man Izzy Workin’ has been a close friend for a long time, way before the music, so we will always record together. We compliment each other real well and have the same taste in music, so always look for something new from me and him.

MVRemix: Do you have a favorite track on the album?

BP: “Cold Hearts” Cixx was in a serious zone that day. That was one of the only songs that I had before we did the compilation, but it was so dope that I had to put it on the compilation.

MVRemix: How long did it take you to complete the whole album?

BP: A little over two months.

MVRemix: Did all the money for the album come out of your own pocket?

BP: The artwork, most of the studio time, and the cost to press it up was footed by me. I still got copies that I am trying to move, so holla at me if you interested.

MVRemix: How was the reaction to the album? Did a lot of people front on it at first because you’re an independent artist?

BP: First and foremost I have to big you up because you are really the only person who gave me any shine online. People nowadays aren’t buying something that is new and unheard of. When I was coming up I always was looking for the hidden talent, but the industry is flooded with too many artists right now that shouldn’t be in the game. If someone is always buying independent hip-hop and it always sucks, eventually they will stop buying the music. Now not all independent Hip-Hop is wack, there are still a lot of artists on the underground that is talented. But ask any person that has been listening to Hip-Hop since at least ’88 or even ’92 and everyone of them will tell you that it is harder to find quality nowadays on the underground and the mainstream level. The problem doesn’t just lie there, I can go on forever as to why things are the way they are in Hip-Hop right now, this is just touching the iceberg. The point is I never had anyone tell me the album is wack, yet it took me a minute to get any buzz. I still haven’t gotten distribution online but I guess these sites are so flooded with music that they ain’t trying to give me any shine because I am just another independent artist. They get flooded with material that they probably throw my shit in the trash with everybody else’s. But believe me the only way “The Usual Suspects” is ending up in the trash is if someone didn’t listen to it. I feel the album needs to get further than New York and that is why the internet is so important. If you are interested in the album hit these online stores up and ask them why they ain’t got the album.

MVRemix: My favorite track is "Fallen", where you flip the Alicia Keys sample, so did Izzy Workin’ really call you up with that idea?

BP: Some of my best beats come from someone telling me they like a particular song. I usually give it a listen and try to give it more of a Hip-Hop feel. My man Izzy Workin came through with the Alicia Keys CD and asked me if I could do something with the Fallen track. The skit on the album is basically how it went down.

MVRemix: On the album you have an interlude which says that you had produced the AZ "I'm Back" beat first. So what are your thoughts on that, did it piss you off?

BP: That is a real voice mail form the day my man heard AZ’s “I’m Back” on the Kay Slay CD. I used to record out of a rec center in Brownsville with a team called S.T.A.Y. enterprises. Cixx the Future’s uncle Akhinata was one of the people running S.T.A.Y. and asked Cixx to get down with what he was trying to put together. I had done a couple of songs with Cixx and he called me to come out there and record with him. We recorded over 20 songs in the span of two weeks. One of the songs I recorded with Cixx (he was going by the name Cecil Loot & Shells at the time) had a sample from an old Eddie Kendrick’s record. I flipped the I’m Back part of the record and the song came out bangin’. A couple of weeks later Cixx linked up with the kid ******** that was on the “I’m Back” song with AZ (this is before AZ had recorded the song). Cixx played him a bunch of songs and the I’m Back track was one of them. Then a couple weeks later the same kid (***********) that heard our song winds up on a song with AZ with the same sample. My people out in Brownsville was really heated over everything and shit almost popped off. Now I always copyright all of the beats I make, and that one was copyrighten too, but it is hard to prove that you were the one who came up with the idea to use that part of the record. Now I am not saying that Bucwild, AZ, and ******* stole the idea but shit is more than a little funny that the kid who heard the beat wound up on a song two months later that used the same beat. In the small amount of time I have been making beats I have come to the conclusion that there are a lot of people who do not have original ideas and their whole M.O. is to jack somebody else’s idea. I hope that is not what happened in this case because I grew up listening to AZ, and Bucwild was one of my favorite producers. If I felt beyond a shadow of a doubt that I got jacked believe me I would have handled it. I’ll give Bucwild the benefit of the doubt because he has made some of my favorite beats, but you never know who is ‘real’ in this game and who is ‘ghost producing’.

MVRemix: In general what are your thoughts on the beat jacking and ghost producing that goes on in the industry? Has any one of your beats ever got jacked?

BP: Ever since the situation with the “I’m Back” sample I try not to have anybody in the studio when we record. I also limit the amount of people who get a copy of what I am working on.

MVRemix: Tell us about growing up in Long Island.

BP: Growing up in Long Island you are about an hour form the city and 20 minutes from the beach. It is the best of both worlds. I do have a chip on my shoulder because we never really get the props we deserve in Hip-Hop, I mean we birthed some of the dopest acts in all of Hip-Hop. Rakim, EPMD, De La Soul those are pioneers right there. But people always call it the suburbs and how people form the suburbs aren’t as hard as people form the city. Basically it has nothing to do with where you’re from, or where you are at, it has to do with the kind of person you are. There are herbs in the city and on Long Island, and there are gangsters in Long Island and in the city. When I was growing up in the 80s Amityville had one of the top 10 crack spots in all of the United States. I been through shit just like the next man has been through his share of experiences. I just thank God that I never had to sell it or get into beef over it.

MVRemix: What are your plans for the immediate future? Albums, appearances, etc?

BP: Getting work and getting my name out there any way I can. The team I have right now is definitely official. As far as people I am working with I have been putting something together with my man DJ Stitches who is one of the best on the turntables and sick with his production too. I also have been working with Booth who did a bunch of tracks on the last Tragedy album. He is a producer and an MC. He is on the Black Market album with the alias William Cooper so look for that when it drops, shit is going to be crazy. The Black Market just put out a mix CD and I did the beat for “The Struggle” w/ William Cooper (Booth). I am also working on a project with my man DJ Stitches. That is my partner right there. He is definitely a talented dude. We are working with this kid named Computa out of the Bronx. Everything else I am going to fall back on right now, because I don’t speak on anything until I get some paperwork. Let me put it to you like this, either you going to see my name everywhere or nowhere, it all depends on what kind of year this is gonna be.

MVRemix: Are you going to be working with any artists outside of your crew?

BP: I am always trying to expand what I am doing. There is a lot of nice MCs out there but I am trying to work with someone who can make a good song. There are a lot of MCs that can spit all day and night but can’t write a song. Then there are artists like Ja who can write a good song but doesn’t have the hunger he had coming into the game. There has to be a balance and all of the greats had that balance.

MVRemix: Overall, what do you want to accomplish with your career?

BP: Not to come off too arrogant, but I want to be regarded as the best. I have a long way to go before my skills are that sharp, but why else do something? You think when Nas was writing his rhymes before he came out he said to himself, “I just want to carve a niche for myself”, Hell no! Anyone that has ever been a part of this wants to be the best. If you love what you do you will have a drive to be the best. Take anyone that is regarded as the greatest at what they do and it was always because they were hungry. Just look at what happened to Roy Jones against Tarver. If you would have told me Tarver was going to knock Roy out in the second round after only hitting him with seven punches I would have thought you was crazy, but Tarver believed in himself and did what it took to win. It is that drive that shapes individuals to become the best. Roy Jones said it himself he was bored with boxing, and look what happened.

MVRemix: Any last words, plugs, etc?

BP: To my wife and 2 daughters I do this all for you. BP411701@hotmail.com

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