American Beau Interviews Beat Butcha of S.O.I. (Spread of Infection)

prodigy

Prodigy and Beat Butcha (Courtesy of Beat Butcha’s Intsagram)

Beat Butcha, is one-fourth of the Queens based production/engineering team S.O.I. (Spread of Infection), that consists of Doe Pesci, Jay Bombaye, and Tha Jerm. All of which are currently on the come-up, producing mixtape hits for the likes of Lloyd Banks, Juelz Santana, Jim Jones, Tony Yayo, and Curren$y, just to name a few. Hailing from the United Kingdom, where he describes the Rap scene as an amalgam of sub-genres within rap that range from Reggae influences to the UK-specific Grime, Beat Butcha describes his beat process as a “gumbo” of many different sounds that may be out of the ordinary for most. You may not know him as of yet, but working with some of the heavy-weights from New York, Beat Butcha and the S.O.I. movement will be on many of the mixtapes to be released from some of your favorite rappers. With a custom drum kit on the market already (which had a hand in the beat of the newly-released Drake track “All Me”), Beat Butcha may be on to something. The interview highlights his career accomplishments such as working with Mobb Deep, to his upcoming production for the likes of D-Block and Lloyd Banks. Read below!

What exactly is the Spread Of Infection (S.O.I.) movement, and how did Beat Butcha link up with that?

S.O.I is a four-man production and engineering crew, the members are Doe Pesci, Jay Bombaye, Tha Jerm and me. We are predominantly known for working with Lloyd Banks, we handled the majority of the production and engineering of the last few projects he has dropped. But we have all worked with a variety of names, producing tracks and engineering sessions for “bredders” like Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, Jim Jones, Curren$y and more.

I’ve known Jerm and Doe for about two to three years. I first got put in contact with them through working with Tony Yayo a few years back, over the years we got close and became good friends with a mutual respect for each others’ work. So it was a no-brainer when Jerm reached out to me with the idea of starting a crew. It’s a good way to help each other out and create something bigger than what we can do individually, we all rep for each other and help each other out on a networking flex, as well as on a creative flex.

Being from the U.K. and working with artists there, how different is their overall scene of rap music as compared to artists from the U.S.?

The scene here is pretty similar to the States in a lot of ways, but it’s a very divided scene, there’s subcultures within the subculture, if you know what I mean. At this point in time, everyone and their mom’s shitsu dog is a rapper or producer with a hood video in the U.K. these days, but there is still a lot of talent regardless. It’s one of the main popular music genres out here.

Rap has been here pretty much as long as it has been in New York, and has had a lot of popular regional waves over the years. To the point where worldwide (specifically German & Japanese) record collectors go crazy for a lot of the 80’s & 90’s U.K. Hip-Hop releases from cats like Demon Boyz, Asher D & Daddy Freddy, Gunshot, and London Posse to 90’s cats like Blak Twang, Roots Manuva, Lewis Parker, Mud Fam, and  Jehst.

There’s also a type of rap over here called Grime, which is specifically only found in the U.K. It emerged out of the Drum & Bass and Speed Garage scenes of the early 00’s and morphed into a new genre, it’s heavily influenced by Dance Hall Reggae, Dance music and Down South music styles. Grime was basically U.K. street music, a lot of dope MCs with new cutting edge double time flows came out of that scene, like Kano, Ghetts, P-Money, Devlin and Durrty Goodz. The pure Grime scene isn’t really all that popular anymore, but the rapping style has definitely left it’s mark on U.K. rap, a lot of the commercial rap names on the British charts came out of that scene; Dizzee Rascal, Tinie Tempah, Wiley, etc.

 

Curren$y and Beat Butcha

You have worked with major artists such as Lloyd Banks, Mac Miller, Curren$y, etc. to name a few. Do you have a different method of production based on the artist you work with?

It really depends on the relationship I have with the artist, and of course it depends on where I am in the world, when “bredders” are trying to work. I’m not going to front, a lot of work is done over the internet, I send artists beats, they do a two-track of the joint, send it back and I add personal sequencing touches. Then I send the stems back to the artist so they can mix. Obviously, when the time is right, we deal with paperwork and sorts of things like that officially through lawyers.

But ideally my favorite process is being in the studio with the artist, vibing out ideas and giving my ideas on what would make the track dope. But of course that’s not always possible with every artist, because they really have to trust and respect you as a producer. Luckily as the brand gets stronger, more people are open to that kind of stuff, at the end of the day, I feel like it’s part of a producers responsibility to make sure the track comes out sounding as dope as it can. 

Discuss your production influences and the role they play in crafting your sound.

My beats are like a gumbo, I try to mix the textures of my favorite 60’s/70’s Soul and Rock records with some 90’s Hip-Hop spice, all of that gets stirred up in a pot and served out with a new swag. I listen to a wide range of music, I’m into a lot of different rap shit to, so I try and throw influences from those styles in the pot too, where I hear ideas I could use. I like to keep my creative process relatively free, so I will use almost anything and make almost any style, all depending on how I feel. Sometimes you might find me soloing on the guitar for hours to a sample, other times I might be making some trap using some unorthodox shit.

Artist-wise, my biggest influences are the cats around me like V-Don Soundz, the S.O.I fellas, Grandzmuzik & Buda Da Future, Banks, Mr. Probz, I’m constantly getting inspired by joints they send through to me. Aside from those dudes, I’m really into the shit the guys at T.D.E are doing, as well as A$AP Mob; who I’m definitely trying to work with. Danny Brown, Curren$y, Iman Omari, James Blake, Flako, Ciph Barker, Alchemist, Willie The Kid, J. Spades, MMG, Freddie Gibbs, The Underachievers, Nipsey Hussle, and Roc Marciano are all cats I listen to heavily.

I’m an energy person, I get inspired and influenced by anything that makes me feel something, whether that’s a power move or a chord progression. And I try and work with anyone that I’m a fan of pretty much.

 

Who was the first major artist Beat Butcha did a beat for? How did you find out and what was going through your head at that point?

Ummm, it depends what you call major, the first notable rapper who leaked/released a Butcha production was Havoc of Mobb Deep. My first notable EP/album placement was with Tony Yayo, I had worked with cats like Sean Price and Canibus, and actually working with Sean Price did a lot for me too. But as far as platinum-selling artists names it was Yayo and Hav.

I was dealing with a cat called Strike, he was managing me for a bit, he is cool with G-Unit and Mobb Deep, all of those things were done through him. He had told me that Havoc recorded to a bunch of my joints, “We Aint Playin” being one. I’m still not sure how it got leaked or why it leaked but it leaked on the Soul Assassins blog, my boy Ciph Barker actually told me about it, I didn’t notice.

I was happy to hear him on the joint, but because my communication with Hav’s people wasn’t that great at the time, I hadn’t heard any of the tracks. The leak was the first time I heard the joint, I was excited but I was also a bit pissed in a way though because it was unmixed. Plus I wasn’t credited anywhere, and when it said “produced by” it would say Hav did the beat on a bunch of sites. So yeah, it was dope from a fan perspective, but in other ways it was annoying at the time. But you know, these things happen sometimes, it was more annoying to me at the time because I was so hungry & it could have been my first decent look. It’s a minor though really.

As far as the Yayo joints, that was really dope, I was a big G-Unit head. I’d been sending them stuff for a good few years, he’d demo’d a bunch of joints but when I finally had joints that made it onto one of his GPG tapes, I was hype. Was even doper to get phone calls from Yay, because at the time I was getting disillusioned by the music industry, it definitely boosted my drive.

 

Out of the many different artists you have worked with, which production credit means the most to you and why?

I’m by no means well known yet, but I’d say up to now, I think it’d would probably be “Dead Man’s Shoes” by Mobb Deep, for a lot of reasons really. Other than it being the moment a lot of things changed for me, Mobb are/were my favorite crew of all time, so it was great to be a part of that.

Although it may not have been the biggest power move, it was the first time people around me were proud of what I was doing and it also taught me a lot about how things run. The first time in the lab with P (Prodigy) was dope, and I’ll definitely never forget the reception I got at the Lab from everyone, this record was recorded that same night.

In fact the whole session happened by accident, almost. I was at a show in Prospect Park (Brooklyn) and was feeling pretty pissed off. I was broke and had lost my passport a few days prior in a drunken stupor. Anyways, we were watching Raekwon do a set and we bump into my homie Nez, who I hadn’t seen for like two years and he suggests I come along to the studio because P had been asking about getting some joints off me. I was like, “Hell yeah”, this is why I always have to have my hard drive with me, you never know who you might bump into and who might want to hear beats.

Although I started to see the realities of the music industry, I first started to see my path more clearly. “Dead Man’s Shoes”, “Super Crack “and me working on Yayo’s  El Chapo opened a lot of doors for me working with other major artists. But specifically the Mobb record, because their music meant so much to me growing up.

 


What artists are you currently working with? How excited are you for the public to hear your upcoming work?

I got new work coming with Banks, Curren$y, AZ, D-Block and my homie Mr. Probz. As always, there’s stuff I won’t speak about in case it doesn’t get released. I got my hand in a lot of projects. Of course I always look forward to people hearing the new stuff, it’s been a somewhat quiet year from me so far (compared to last year). I’ve also been co-producing joints with V. Don and Grandzmuzik & Buda Da Future, so you can expect co-production placements at some point.

soi

S.O.I. Team

What is next for the S.O.I. movement?

The next thing you’ll be hearing from S.O.I. is the next Lloyd Banks tape with DJ Drama AON FNO, which is majority produced by S.O.I. and mixed by Jay Bombaye of S.O.I. It’s sounding really dope, I’ve got two joints on there at the moment, one which features Vado. I’m not entirely sure when it’s dropping but I will say it’s a dope body of work, with some dope features, some of which I don’t think people will be expecting. Doe Pesci will be releasing an instrumental tape sometime in the near future called With Honors, I just started working on a project and it looks like I might be doing a tape with DJ Woogie. Aside from that, we’re all going hard on the placement side individually.

Discuss some of your future plans, and where you would like to see yourself in the industry?

Following the success of my drum sound kits, I’m going to be doing more Butcha-brand based sound design, including more drum sound kits with the drum broker. I’ve got a lil’ power move in works in that arena, but I’ve signed a confidentiality agreement, so I won’t talk about it ’til the time’s right. What I will say is that I’m excited to be working with a big company on a major project like this.

Other than that, a U.K.-based clothing company called Think Zebra is releasing a limited “Beat Butcha” T-shirt, you can get that [here]. I will be working on a couple of Beat Butcha projects, one of which will be my debut EP, which will feature some of your favorite artists. You can expect to see more big placements, I’m working on some songs, co-writing for some U.K. crossover stuff too, generally just trying to stay creatively satisfied and do my thing.

As far where I’d like to be in the music industry, ideally in a few years I’d like to have a strong brand as one of the respected go-to producers within worldwide hip-hop and within good music of other genres. I’d like to have a decent amount of money invested in some winning businesses and good real estate. Ideally I’d like to be living in a better climate, like Southern Cali, working out of there. And hopefully S.O.I. will be that producer-click everyone wants beats from.

 

Beat Butcha and Large Professor

Beat Butcha and Large Professor

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