NYC Producer Ras Beats Talks Classic NYC Sound, Collaborating With Legends, Evolving Style & More

October 22, 2018 | Interviews

Ras Beats is a NYC-based hip hop artist and producer.

With a sound that is deeply rooted in classic NY hip hop and at the same time new and distinctly his own, Ras Beats has worked with artists such as Roc Marciano, O.C, Elzhi, Masta Ace, Sadat X and plenty more.

Uptown Plug had the pleasure of chatting to Ras about his musical inspirations, evolving production style, working with legendary hip hop artists, the impact of streaming services and plenty more.

1) What’s up Ras, what’s been going on in your world?

I’m good, chilling, making music. Things are good. Getting ready to drop my EP The High 5 before the end of the year.

2) Your sound is deeply rooted in classic NYC hip hop music, but also with your own progressive style attached to it. Who are some of the key influences and inspirations on your music?

That’s a long list. First off I would have to say Marley Marl, Premier, Pete Rock, 45 King, Bomb Squad, Dr. Dre, DJ Muggs, Large Professor, Showbiz, DITC as a whole.

Once I found my own style and my own sound I get inspired by pushing myself, adding on to what I do while still staying true to what I’m working on accomplishing as a producer and musician.

Also I would say I’m definitely a study of music and production style whether it’s hip hop, soul, rock, pop, etc. mostly old records through digging, but I pay attention to any music that comes my way that catches my ear.

3) How has your production style evolved from the beginning of your music career to now?

A lot I’m sure, again I wanna stay true to the foundation and essence of the music I do.

Always want my music to give you that feeling, it needs to have the grit to it, something that you can’t really explain but miss when it’s not there.

My beats are a lot more layered, a lot more of different sounds working together in the production, a lot more manipulation of the samples to get them do do exactly what I want them to do sonically.

It’s still boom bap, kick snare shit but a lot more advanced and developed than what I did even 10 years ago. Just working on doing my part of staying true to the essence and adding on to it.

4) You’ve worked with legendary artists like O.C., Elzhi, Roc Maricano, Sadat X, Masta Ace and more. What is your collaboration process like with veterans like these?

First of all, every name you mentioned are artists that I have been a fan of long before working with them so as a DJ and fan of the music it’s an honor man.

I wanna make sure I do my job and try to make great records with every one I get in the studio with or collaborate with.

Since I know what legends are capable of it’s a little added pressure to make sure you come with great beats and production for them but I definitely welcome the challenge every time.

5) Do you have a favourite studio session or standout moment?

Yeah, a few. Working with A.G. was special because of the topic of the song we made.

Working with Roc Marciano was dope, he’s one of the slickest MC’s around, definitely one of my favorites. Sadat, Ace, been a fan of these guys for so long, it was great to do work with them.

Every rapper I connect with and catch a vibe in the studio with is dope, I just love the studio man.

6) How has the rise of streaming services affected you as an independent artist?

It’s a necessary evil, for real, it’s the way to get your music available to everyone in any location in the world, but it’s not necessarily the fairest split of revenue, I think that’s clear to any independent musician out here.

It’s cool how easy it is to spread your music through but if you wanna support any musician, purchase the music if it’s an option for you, if not the ears are still appreciated.

7) What’s next for Ras Beats?

My EP dropping soon, more beats, a few things I can’t mention right here right now, but I’m staying busy, pushing myself with the music.

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