Ras Beats is a Queens based Hip-Hop producer who recently released his debut album "Control Your Own" featuring Roc Marciano, O.C., Rasheed Chappell, Elzhi, Blacastan, Masta Ace, A.G., Breeze Brewin, Sadat X and more. Originally from Denmark, Ras Beats came correct with his latest single 'God Bless', featuring A.G. and JBiz, a track saluting their fathers and the impact they had on their lives. We connected with this prolific producer to find out more about how he got his start making beats, what he's most proud of with the new album, his favorite rap songs and much more.
How did you get your start producing and who are some of your musical influences?
I came from DJ’ing, I was heavy into cutting, scratching, the battles, from there I started looking for old records and making my own beats, developed my own sound. Musical influences, so much talent. Most definitely people like Marley Marl, Pete Rock, Premier, 45 King, Dr. Dre, Rza, DJ Muggs, Showbiz & Large Pro. Beyond hip hop, just music that inspire me, old soul records, old rock records, soundtracks, jazz, just random sounds can inspire me all of a sudden. My brother and my father were also key for me, big inspirations. My brother for letting me use his turntables and so many music talks and listening sessions over the years and my father for showing me how to love music and how meaningful music is.
What motivated you to create the "God Bless" track and how did the legendary A.G. and JBiz get involved?
“God Bless” is a record I wanted to make for my father who passed away. The most important song I have ever made or been a part of. It was a big decision what MC’s to get to rhyme on that track once I had the beat. I knew JBiz has the ability to drop jewels, he laid his verse first and definitely set the tone. I played it for A.G. and he was feeling it and brought it home. Without speaking for them I think the record is really personal to them too. That song came together really organic, especially for a meaningful song, that was pretty incredible for us to make that happen, it all just fit. My father was always a huge supporter of my music so I’m really proud of that one.
Tell us about the "Control Your Own" album. How long did the album take to complete and what are you most proud of with it?
From beginning to end, the album did take a while to get done. I wanted to take my time with it, made sure it had everything I felt the album needed for me to make my point and show my ability as a producer of albums and just giving you a full album with everything the listener need. Getting the right MC’s on the right beats and lining up all those schedules is def time consuming too, adds some extra time to the process but I’m proud of the album. What I’m most proud of is the music, it’s made 100% on some hip hop sh!t. No agendas besides good music, banging beats and some of the best MCs in the business. I’m proud of how self controlled this album was, produced, distributed and sold thru my own label. We most definitely had some meaning behind the name of the album, you have to be in control of your own right now, there’s a lot of good music but a lot of confusion too, so that control and that conviction is a must in 2016.
As a producer who's probably made over 200+ beats, how do you know when one of your creations is done? Do you leave it alone for a few hours and come back to listen to it or seek outside opinions?
That can definitely vary from beat to beat, sometime you just know the beat is done, you know it’s ready, all it needs is that last instrument which is the MC. Other times you vibe with it for a minute, might go back to it a few hours or a few days later. Might change it up or realize it’s right the way it is. I don’t seek outside opinions unless I like the beat. If I’m feeling it I’ll play it for MC’s or my people or what not but unless it passes my test it’s not leaving the crib. That’s my quality control for beats, but yeah it’s different paths it can take.
What's next for you after "Control Your Own"? A US and European tour perhaps?
We def have some thing in the works, discussing different options right now, for right now we have some remixes and a few more things coming from the album. You can def check my website or any social media of mine to keep updated. Definitely more music coming soon.
What's your favorite beat and your favorite rap song of all time? I’m way too much of a fan of hip hop for me to do that, but right now off the top of the head. Favorite beat Gang Starr - Mass Appeal, Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Troy, Nas - Halftime. Favorite song Eric B & Rakim - Paid In Full. Souls Of Mischief - 93 Till infinity. I can go on, but right now, those are some of my favorite joints. If we talk tomorrow that could be all different, but those are def some top beats and top songs for me.