I remember how much fun i use to have making beats. I mean FUN, man. Way back when I was in high school. I had a big stereo, a dual tape deck boom box and a little micro turntable system. My mom was away for days at work so I usually had the run of the house. I’d cobble together all three of the systems like MacGyver, until if could play beats on a turntable, samples using the dual tape decks and then record the mix all on the big stereo. I’d never been happier.
These days, I have to say the ‘fun’ hasn’t been there. The last couple collections of beats, Music For Escalators & Elevators, and Unfocused were cool to make and listen to. But they were more compilations of unfinished songs, than a real project. I love some of the tracks in those groups, but most of them were directions I gave up on.
With “Beats… From Oakland”, I’m trying to build the project the way I use to. No pressure.. no expectations.. just FUN.
Real talk: I’ve been collaborating with a lot of people who I consider ‘real musicians’, most notably my brothers in music who I collaborate with in the Cross Country Collective. Trel and Doug have real music backgrounds and play actual instruments, so I’ve always felt like I was the weak link. It’s never been anything like feeling inferior.. more like just different. This has led to a lot of stop-gaps in my creative process. I’ve always thought that I needed to ‘do more’ with my trax.
It took me awhile to realize that I lost track of why I do this. I’ve never wanted to be an musician, artist, or producer. I never wanted to make this my profession because I KNEW the moment I had to compromise my creativity to earn a living, it would no longer be fun. Unbeknownst to me, it didn’t need to be a profession. I actually self-imposed that creative compromise. Somewhere along the way, I got lost in the bottomless pit or Facebook and Twitter accolades.
It took me a minute to get my head straight.. creatively. I had to remember that this is something I do TAKE AWAY the stress. I never did this for some type of acceptance into the indie music fraternity. I did this because it’s a part of me. I need to mess with beats because i’m addicted to the process. If i feel banging on the wall for 20 minutes if a spoon is a HOT BEAT, then that’s what I need to do. It’s not about pushing your work out to the masses. It’s about building your ‘dream’ sequence of beats. It’s about being able to pull out beats you worked on a decade ago, and still nod your head when you play them. That’s what I’ve been doing the passed couple of weeks. Going through my bandcamp site (biglavstodd.bandcamp.com) and cycling through the work I’ve done over the past few decades (that’s right, I said DECADES).
So with Beats.. From Oakland, I’m taking it back to when I did beats that made me feel good. This isn’t some talent showcase. This will be my love letter to Hip-Hop which has been with me since I heard my first Marley Marl sample. Simple, repeative, head banging beats, hopefully worthy of my favorites from the Boom Bap Era.
Beats.. From Oakland will be a free download on October 1st, 2011.
Preview: “Not Here Anymore”
[haiku url=”http://toddkelley.net/mp3/Not%20Here%20Anymore.mp3″ title=”Not Here Anymore”]