Choppin' it up with Raleigh rap artist and producer Al Be

Al Be is a Raleigh based rap artist and producer originally from Kinston, NC, who is also a graduate of North Carolina State University. In 2015, Al Be released his first studio album "No Need" and more recently, he and fellow Raleigh emcee Danny Blaze dropped a very DOPE single entitled '2 Late', produced by Ace Dizzy. We thought that it was only right that we pick Al Be's brain about how he got his start as an artist and producer, learn more about the "No Need" album, find out what comes next musically for him and much more.

Carlton Boyd 

How did you and Danny Blaze connect to collaborate on '2 Late'?

Danny Blaze and I had bumped into each other once or twice in the city. We were both doing our thing and representing for our city so I decided to reach out. I figured it would be a good collaborative song for both of us and our city.

How did you get your start as an artist? 

I got started as an artist when I was in high school. I was the youngest of 5 siblings so once everyone was out of the house I was bored and by myself. That's when I started following my interest in Hip Hop and music in general.

To follow up on the last question, when did you start producing and do you save your hottest beats for yourself?

I started producing about 4 years ago. I actually play some of my hottest beats for other artists. The way I see it is, even if I inspire a song through my productions, I am still a big part of the record. I'm all about the good of the whole and producing allows me to be a part in a different way.

While at NC State, how did Kooley High inspire you to take your music to the next level?

Kooley High encouraged me to take my music seriously early on. Even before I had began recording consistently. After being in some of the same sessions with them I began to see myself in a different light. When they started really buzzing I knew it was real. That people I knew were good, down to earth people, could really make some noise. That was inspiring to me. It let me know I could do it too.

Tell us about your first album "No Need". What does that project mean to you and how will your next one build up on what you established with "No Need"?

"No Need" is really about being appreciative of life and all it has to offer. I think Hip Hop often encourages us to seek the things in life that seemingly happy people have. All of the superficial things. My personal experience is that those things won't bring happiness. A lot of my people come from a place of scarcity. So with this album, I just wanted to remind everyone that there is no need you have that can't be met. If you listen closely you will see that message through the entire album.

My next album will delve a little deeper into me as an artist and what I have to offer the game. I'm bringing a whole new paradigm with my music. I am never going to be that artist that focuses on the glitz and glamour but more on the heart and soul of my people and community. I'm going to focus on the beauty we were born with, not the beautiful things we wish to acquire.

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