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Scheme and DJ Scend have been a really dope thing going in their 2 Turntables and A Mic series. Each edition pays homage to a great Hip Hop producer, as well as the elements and the history between the emcee and the DJ. Plus, Scheme is a ridiculously dope rapper so… This latest edition pays homage to Pete Rock. They dropped the audio a couple weeks ago, and linked up with Sense Hernandez of Beast Factory for the music video. Today they sent us over the new visuals, as well as some insight into the series and why they chose the works of Pete Rock for this edition. Check out the interview below and hit the second page to check the brand new visuals.
RubyHornet: Why Pete Rock?
Scend: Pete Rock was on the “no brainer list” of producers we want to use for this series. His music is iconic to the Hip Hop culture and he’s a huge influence of mine being that he’s a dj and a producer all in one.
Scheme: When we started this series we wanted to focus on producers which were our personal favorites. We didn’t want to do a who’s who of top 10 lists. Obviously, we had a list of must use producers, but we also had some left field one’s that people may not expect. We could do whatever we want with this series because no one was or is doing anything like it. Pete Rock was definitely on the list of “must use.” He has classics under his belt and is still very active and growing. We just wanted to show our respect to one of the greats.
RubyHornet: How do you go about choosing and arranging beats? When and how does Scheme come into the process?
Scend: Scheme and I go through a list of beats and pick the ones we want to use for the series. I’ll start listening to them and playing around with how they sound in random order. Once I find a sequence that sounds good and makes sense, I’ll start playing around with how I will transition between them. Whether it’s a quick juggle, some cuts or vocal over lays of things that I’m hearing with my vision, I always try to have a certain layout for Scheme. I create the final mix and send it his way with what I’m hearing in my head as far as when the rhyming should drop and when breaks are happening. He spits ideas back, we make changes where necessary and the writing process begins. Scheme definitely adds a lot to the process once I have the backbone of it all recorded.
Scheme: The creative process for each series has been different. I always ask some close producer friends, who I respect a lot, about their opinions on a certain producer’s best beats. I like to get a different perspective, and sometimes they may bring one up that may have skipped my mind. For this series I asked Panik from the Molemen for his list of top 10 Pete Rock beats. Let’s just say he gave me like a top 20+ lol, and I also spoke to PNS about some of his obscure favorites that may not fall on everyone’s top Pete Rock beats. We actually do put a lot of thought into this. Obviously, then Scend and I go through our personal favorites. With someone like Pete Rock, you’re not going to be able to do his entire catalog justice in 8 beats, so we just try our best to choose what feels right and what works well for the mix. The great thing about this series is that there is no rule book, we can easily go back and do a Pete Rock Series #2 on another volume of the mixtape to cover some of the other beats we might have left out on this mix. Same goes for other producers.
Once Scend and I chose the final beats, we sat and figured out a basic order for them, and then I let him do his thing. By the next day I had a rough version of the entire mix and I just got to writing. Writing for this series is always tricky. It’s a different way of writing. Switching it up every 8 bars or so, and knowing you’re going over some classic production makes it for an interesting writing session. I have fun with it though. I don’t over think it. I’m not here to top the originals. I’m here to pay homage to individuals in our culture who created, and continue creating, great pieces of art. We just wanted to take it back to the basics; two turntables and a mic. Beats and rhymes.
I don’t feel like any MC out there has a DJ showcasing his skills. Not just in shows, but in every aspect of making music. I wanted to build that working relationship with Scend. He was already spinning for me at shows; I figured why not showcase his talents with what I’m doing and really bring the MC/DJ duo back to the fore front. This series was created to solidify that. Rappers use to take pride in their DJ. Now in days most either don’t have a DJ, or their DJ only pushes play, or the rappers are rapping over their pre-recorded songs so the DJ really doesn’t have much to do on stage. The DJ has played a huge role in our culture, I just wanted to make sure we kept that alive.
Hit the next page to see the new Video for Two Turntables and A Mic: Pete Rock Edition, presented by Molemen Records X SRNC X RubyHornet.
Shot, filmed and edited by Sense Hernandez for Beast Factory Films.