A few years back I did a show in Baltimore and I met an MC named K-Beta. He seemed like a good enough guy, we chopped it up a bit, and he gave me a copy of his cd. Most times when this happens the cd gets a few seconds of listen than tossed. However Beta’s cd stayed in heavy rotation for the whole tour and beyond. I was amazed at how hungry, clear and hard his raps were. There was an honestly in his music that I havent heard from anyone in quite some time. He was the total package, if I started my own label he would be the first rapper I would sign. I recently sat down with Beta to discuss his music and life.
Please take a few seconds to introduce yourself to the steady bloggin audience, please give them a little back ground as to who you are, what you do, etc.
Whaddup y’all..I’m K-Beta coming outta the DMV. I’m 1/4 of Inner Loop Records..and also an artist on the label. I’m also co-owner and CBO of BetaRaz Entertainment. I’m an MC/producer/vocal arranger/party host/calendar publisher/last line of defense.
Right now you seem poised to make a big statement for the DC scene, what was your path from first starting out to where you are now?
Its a hell of a journey, and its far from over. I’m blessed and fortunate to be a part of a great team. We have all paid our dues, and have come too far to even consider turning back. The statement for DMV hip-hop is already being made. I’m coming in to put the period on the end of the sentence.
I first became aware of your work when you gave me the cd ‘Nigger” at Sonar in Baltimore. I was extremely impressed by the craftmanship on the record. The writing was some of the most honest I have ever heard put on wax. What was the writing experience like for that record. Did you have any concerns about it being too honest for an audience that typically gravitates towards the dramatic and sensational?
Thanks a lot A. Coming from an artist of your calibur, that’s a huge compliment. Honestly, most of those lyrics were written while I was still locked up. I came home in 2004 with hundreds of songs written, and we put Nigger together with the best joints from that bunch. I don’t concern myself with sensationalizing my work, because I pride myself on being a sensational lyricist. I have been given the ability to articulate any state of mind or emotion through my lyrics, and people gravitate towards that. The honesty pulls people in, because they can draw strength and inspiration from that. Its the way I was raised by the MCs I grew up listening to.
Listening to the 89 to 09 cd, it is obvious that you are a student of rap, the beats you picked come from a diverse cross section of artists and your flows stayed very true the the artist chosen. What was the reason behind the project and how has influence of the artists chosen guided you as an artist.
89 to 09 was a way for us to put something out that would stand out from the slew of mixtapes in a sorely oversaturated market. There are a lot of artists who are throwing out mixtape after mixtape, and the general interest has damn near bottomed out. With 89 to 09, I was able to not only put out a quality product that is an enjoyable listen, but also have a lot of fun giving props to some of my favorite MCs of the past 20 years. Also, I wanted to display that various influences that have guided and growth as a writer.
A lot of your work tells of your struggles with alcohol and drugs, being in this life, doing shows, touring, etc one is surrounded by drugs and alcohol, how do you deal with that, does it effect you in anyway?
I just focus on my purpose. I stopped drinking about two years ago, because my alcohol use was the biggest roadblock to my success, happiness and overall well-being. Being out isn’t a real problem for me, because I harbor no illusion about the severity of my struggles. I know the consequences of making that choice, so I cannot fool myself.
A lot of the country is not familiar with the DC scene, can you give us a bit of a history and tell us the current state of the scene?
There has always been hip-hop on the DC scene. I was fortunate to be around at a time when the scene was starting to take form, and as a result, I have been able to watch and participate in the explosion of DMV hip-hop to what it is today. Growing up, I was excited to see artists like DC Scorpio and DJ Kool on TV. It let me know that you didn’t have to be from NY or LA to make it. Those brothers and sisters made me believe in myself as an MC from this area. That is why I’ll do a project like 89 to 09. I will always give back to the foundation. It’s similar to paying tithe at church. I know that I owe the old school for having a shot at going down in history.
What’s on deck for K-Beta?
I’m in the studio everyday. I have an album on deck called FTC. I have production from just about every dope producer in the area on it. I can’t give you a solid drop date for it, but the first single will be out very soon. I’m also working on an album produced entirely by Team Demo. That’s a special project for me, because TD were the first cats specifically out of VA to make noise on the DC side. There’s more too. 2010 is going to be a very big year for us.
Where can fans find you and your music?
Right now, fans in the area can catch me on the Capitol City Music Tour with Kingpen Slim and XO. My first album, Nigger: An Audiobiography by K-Beta, is available on iTunes and CDBaby. The 89 to 09 mixtape can be downloaded for free at www.innerloopuncut.com.
Download K-Beta’s 89-09 Mixtape here