Check out this interview with the Long Island, New York-based producer Undefined. He constantly works with the Philadelphia crew Army Of The Pharaohs or the likes of Sabac Red of Non Phixion. He is on that real raw hiphop thing with an unique twist in the sound.[hr]
You are from Long Island, New York. Describe a little bit the scene when you started to gettin active musically, what influenced you etc.
At the time EPMD was really runnin’ shit on Long Island, of course Rakim is from out here, Busta Rhymes, Biz Markie alot of legends in the game. The indie scene was just starting to get hot which meant alot of dope spots to perform and network at. I was hitting up every event I heard about just trying to hit cats off with beat Cd’s and get my foot in the door. I still love the grind.
You’ve got a joint on the first Army Of The Pharaohs LP called “Henry The 8th”. What role this song plays in your carreer?
It definitely put my name on the map. To me, that beat was made for AOTP. When I hooked up the sample I could hear Vinnie Paz’s vocals on it in the head. He’s a real cool dude and helped my career out alot by letting other cats in the crew here my tracks.
How would you describe your style, whats the standout Undefined vibe?
Street, straight up, I love grimy samples. That 70’s vibe. That’s what I’m about, that’s what influenced me and that’s what I still check for today. I probably will never make a clean sounding beat, I don’t think it’s in my blood. *laughs*
You had a chance to work with PMD. Describe that experience, and what it means to you?
My man Charlie Marotta did alot of work with The Hit Squad back in the day. He’s a good friend of mine and invited me down to chill in the lab when P was recording for his solo record. Of course I brought my beat cd and got a chance to play some tracks for him. He caught some ill freestyles and I got a chance to build with one of my favorite Mc’s of all time.
As a producer, how much you try to put your feelings, emotions into a beat? Is it the same for you like for the lyricists or not really?
100% I put all my feelings and emotions in my beats, If I didn’t have that outlet I’d be doing some real crazy shit in life. I’m an emotional person by nature so I take that out in the studio. I like to think my tracks make you want to punch someone in the face and then feel bad about it. If your music has no emotion to it, it’s see through, at least to me it is.
What do you think nowadays about the “New York sound” and how it evolves?
I’m feeling certain groups that still have that NY feel. Cats like NYGz, Saigon, Ghostface, Kool G Rap, Joel Ortiz. Whether New School or Old School there are definitely some banging albums out there, you just have to dig through alot of garbage to find them. I guess like anywhere in the world the sound evolves to a certain point. Some cats stay true to their sound regardless of trends and other cats jump on the bandwagon of whats hitting at the moment. Rappers like G Rap still can still lyrically smoke most rappers in the game.
Some of your latest works are 2 tracks on the new Randam Luck album and with a Hungarian group Para Bellum. Introduce a little bit those ones…
Shout to Randam Luck they just dropped their album “Graveyard Shift”. We starting building musically last year, I really like their sound, I just started to hit them with beats and fortunately enough my track “Pick Your Poison” made the album. It’s more of a boom bap type beat, I try to stay creative and make each beat unique. I want to have my own sound, that Undefined sound but not for every beat to sound alike. As far as Para Bellum that’s my people. Their on that raw shit and we did a banger called “Kamu Kredo” for their new album. It’s some real aggressive orchestra type shit. I was really amped on how the final product came out. I’m looking forward to working with them again on the next record.
I name you 5 legendary hiphop producers, tell your personal thoughts about their style and work.
DJ Muggs – Insane resume of music. I cop everything he drops. Very creative and versatile with his production
Alchemist – My favorite producer in the game. Nothing but dope beat after dope beat. One of the most consistent beatmakers ever.
Havoc – I think Prodigy sounds perfect over Havoc’s beats. He also has alot of really dope joints on other peoples records. Sometimes I’m like “oh shit” Havoc produced that.
Necro – Killer shit for sure. He finds some real ill samples and always has knocking drum patterns. The joint he produced for Missing Linx– “What It Is” is still a favorite of mine.
Dr. Dre – How much time you have? One of the best to ever do it. You have to look up to Dre as a producer. He has done some many incredible joints that it has to inspire and make you step your game up. Sometimes I just analyze his beats and there are so many things going on that you might not catch it the first few times around. He has layers of sounds in his songs. That separates him from alot of other producers in the industry.
You’ll be upcoming AOTP record, “The Unholy Terror”. Let us know your part in that project..
I have one joint on the new record. I stay sending beats to Vinnie, Outerspace, King Syze and the crew. This track is one of my favorite beats I’ve done so far so I’m excited for people to check it. It’s the opposite of “Henry The 8th”, but I think it’s just as banging. My goal is to try and stay apart of these great records.
What are the current and future projects you are working at the moment?
I’m promoting my mixtape the “Manual Labor Sessions”, it’s a compilation of my favorite joints I produced. It’s got everyone from Outerspace to Big Lou, Shabaam Sahdeeq to Sabac Red. You can download it for free at http://www.execute1200.com/manuallabor Right now I’m back in the lab creating new tracks and getting ready to start shopping beats. You can check all my info and new music at http://www.myspace.com/undefinedbeats
Whats your ultimate “mission” and goal you want to achieve in your carreer?
Simple to just try and make every joint a certified banger. I want my musical resume on a whole to consist of nothing but banging joints top to bottom. I want to make sure my producer album is a classic. Classic like “Only Built For Cuban Linx”. I’m putting my soul into that record. As long as people feel it I’ll be happy.