He's produced for heavyweight artists such as Kyza, Braintax, Roots Manuva and Jehst, so we thought it right to chat with him, about equipment, past and future projects, and tons more.
First up, can you introduce yourself to the people?
The name's Beat Butcha aka Halal Capone, reppin' the Halal Beats Caravan Gang, along with Chemo & Big Skeptizzle aka The Last Skeptik. You might have seen me on road rockin' clogs and a bulletproof Turban.
How did you first get into music production and who were your first influences and inspirations?
I've always been into hiphop and had an eye for little details that certain producers would add. Since I was little, I always loved that grimey shit you know? Onyx, Wu Tang, Mobb Deep, G Rap, Jeru, Show & Ag, D.I.T.C, CNN. Producers like DJ Premier, Rza, 4th Disciple, Showbiz, Diamond, Nottz were really people that made me go nuts and punch walls and throw bricks at flamingos that were looking at me funny. But yeah, I got given a comp' when I started going college, 7 years ago, and that's that. I been a slave to deep basses and distorted snares ever since!
What did some of your first beats sound like and how long did it take till things started sounding tight?
Hahaha. This is gonna sound big headed but it didnt take me long to get a few banging beats. Generally there were stand out joints but the consistency came after about a year of fuckin' with what I had
What equipment did you start out with and how did a small studio effect your creativity?
I just started out on Cool Edit, running loops over each other. Don't ask me why but it works. I still fuck with Cool Edit. It's a sick program. I know that shizzle inside and out, just like my boy Chemo knows Acid inside and out. There aint no small studio here dunnderelli!
What tools do you tend to employ the most for your beats?
Varies really but yeah, a healthy dose of Beer/Rum/Alcohol, 80s synth, SP-12, MPC2000 & Cool Edit! I sniff sun dried endangered Elephant carcass to get me in the mood for making beats. It's all about being creative with what you've got 'cause you aint an artist if you don't push yourself to try new things every now and then. Break out da accordians boys!
Can you give us a run through of the releases out there that you've had something to do with so far?
Urm, I've done quite a few bits. Too many to name everything to be honest but the better known things are: Paragon Queen Like No Other/Music/The Heist, the two beats on Genesis 'Deh Pon Road', the two beats on Wordsmith's 'More Than Words Can Say' EP in '04. 'In This For Life' Wordsmith & Jehst 'Holy Water', which was on Disorda's 'UK Hustlerz: The Return'.
I know it must be hard, but what one or two beats are you particularly proud of having made?
At the moment there are one or two really musical beats that I love to death but a lot of MCs just want to hear the same shit over and over again. Dont get me wrong, I love my straight up hiphop shit but too much of the same gets boring ya know? But yeh, I'm very proud of the beat on 'Tha Git Down', which is a joint with Skribs & Kyza.
How would you describe your production style and if you had to compare it to another producer, who's sound comes closest?
Bwoy, that's hard 'cause I dont really just do one style ya know? But yeah, I'm like Premier, Alchemist, Dilla & Chemo chopped finely, put in an industrial macerator with sprinklings of crack.
Do you have a set routine when you're starting a new beat or is it a pretty random process?
I usually start with the drums, then chop or loop something over it, 'cause at the end of the day the beats are the skeleton that keep your head nodding and if they aint on point, no matter how sick that sample is, the beats are gonna be swag!
Do you tend to hear what vibe an artist is coming with and then cater to it, or hope you've got something suitable for them?
Well to be honest, I like hearing people do shit they wouldnt usually do, so if I'm working with a rapper I haven't done any work with yet, I usually test the water by throwing them some ish I wouldnt usually hear em on.
What projects are you working on at the moment and when will they see the light of day?
Wooo, there's a lot mate!! Firstly there's my two tunes on DJ MK's album, one with Rodney P & Roots Manuva and one with Plan B & Shameless. That's gonna be end of July sort of time. Me and Chemo are dropping an instrumental CD shortly after that. Got the two joints on Braintax's forthcoming album dropping in the Autumn. 'Tha Git Down' with Skriblah & Kyza, on the forthcoming Terra Firma Mixtape and may also be on my album.
Then there's the shit, where there aint no proper date for but that's finished, like the Redmaster's 'I'm Right, You're Wrong', entirely produced by me. That's been done with for a year or two. Two joints on Manage's LP, an album from Hackney based click Phalanx Heressy, which is entirely produced by me and Chemo and features Kyza, Skriblah, M9, Blind Alphabets and more. Also be on the look out for my album with Jason Donovan & David Hasselhoff dropping on the Estonian Black Market in 2010.
Have you got any plans to produce a full length album and what rappers would you most want to get on there?
Yeah, I'm working on it right now, but I'm taking my time. I'm just making sure everything is hot as fiduck. People always remember ya first shit drop. I want it to be straight up hard, from start to finish. Plus, rappers are long so I'm having to wait for some people, ya figgadeal me? Haha.
I'm having a good cross section of heads. Up and coming heads like Phalanx Heressy, Anti-Heros & Chain Of Command (Manage, CLG & Syanyde), as well as the better known dudes like Jehst, Kyza, Skriblah, Yungun & D.Ablo. Plus, a few international heads like Ciph Barker who used to be in Lingwistikz & Trem, who is a sick MC from ozzie click Lyrical Commission. But there's a lot of guys ideally I'd love to get on my debut. Heads like Saigon, Ill Bill, even my favourite heads from the grime scene like Durty Goodz, Ghetto & Kano.
Are you signed or affiliated with any label at the minute?
I've got Lowlife for the album project but other than that, not really, naw.
Producing aside, do you rap or get involved in any other aspect of the hiphop culture?
I DJ, used to write, and am currently working on my barnd new style of crumpin-morris dancing. Shit's too gully blard!
What outside interests in music do you have and how do you think they effect the stuff you do?
The usual shit. Old soul, jazz-fusion, reggae. I love a bit of RAI too. My dad both listens to a variety of different shit so I guess that's what's made me want to do all sorts of different styles. I can get an idea off of the compostition of a Jan Hammer or a Hi-Tek record. It's all music innit!.
How do you rate the current standard of UK hiphop and how big is the gap between our scene and the rest of the world now?
Well, I think there's a lot of talent but the problem is that too many people rap & produce now so to find suttin' you like, you have to shift through so much fuckin' swaggery, which is often why people talk about how the scene is cack. Germany & France seem to have had their scene on lock down for years now. People getting in the charts and all sorts. I'd love it to get to that point. We all know the commercial scene is set up but there just don't seem to be anyone pumping any money into our good quality shit!
On the other side of things, everyone and their gran seem to rap nowadays. I have a message for you lot! If you know you need to work on your shit more, don't release anything. You're fucking shit up for people like me. Get on your bike, go home and become a fucking goat hearder dun! And another thing, young hustlers. Please don't think you can rap just because you copped a skeng with some see through building's laser vision last Tuesday and have been inside Feltham since you were 6! I love my road shit but people, please don't rap if you cant rap. Same with beats. Stay away from production!! But yeah, UK production wise, I rate people like Chemo, LG, Harry Love, D-Lux, Fusion, Terra Danja, C-Swing, Jehst, Evil Ed, Last Skeptik, Ghost, MC Wise. All of the dudes I've meantioned already.
Are you one to embrace the grimey styles of rap or does it all sound a bit too messy?
Blud, I bin making grimey shit. That was what my click Lingwistikz (shouts to Ciph Barker & Oostblok Joe aka Joe Bananas) were about! I make all sorts of ish though. Nothing is off limits, not even archispanic-eastern-euro-crunk. The only thing that's off limits is House/Trance/Techno/Euro Dance. I fuckin hate that shit! But yeah, I'm down to do Grime as well, if that's what you're asking. I aint gunna come from the same perspective though, but I love the energy they have a lot of. It is pretty swag though.
Where should people keep an eye on to find out what you're up to. Any website or Myspace pages?
Myspace.com/Beatbutcha and the Soundclick page. I hope to sort out my own website in the near future when I get some p's and a bit of time. If anyone wants to sort me out with a free site gimme a shout. Hahaha.