"AraabMuzik kills the MPC"
That’s the heading of a video I came across during my daily visit to some of my favorite music websites. Now being a hip-hop fan, I recognize the importance of the drum machine as it relates to the creation of hip-hop music. The MPC, in particular, has been the drum machine of choice for producers of various music genres and continues to be a mainstay in their studio setup. AraabMuzik’s skills on this particular machine are unparalleled, and videos of him “killing the MPC” quickly spread like wildfire to some of the most popular hip-hop music sites on the internet. Duke Da God, Dipset’s A&R, got wind of his skills and signed him to his company. Since then, AraabMuzik has been one of Dipset’s go-to producers, and things are only looking up for his career. Some of the more notable records he’s produced are The Diplomats' Salute, Cam’Ron featuring Vado's “We All Up In Here ” and Reek Da Villian featuring Lloyd Banks's “Zoovie.” I got a chance to have a one-on-one with AraabMuzik and find out more about him and what he has planned for the future.
Can you start out by telling us your background?
I'm half Dominican and half Guatemalan and I currently reside in Providence, RI. I’ve been playing drums since the age of three and I also play the piano. I got my first MPC in 2005 (it was the MPC 1000) and then I graduated to the MPC 2500. Me being a drummer, I was naturally interested in making beats, and when I got my first MPC, I would just constantly work on creating new music.
What was your first big break in the industry?
I sent Duke Da God a beat that Cam'Ron and Hell Rell jumped on called "I'm The S**t.” They loved the beats and kept telling me to send them more heat. So that's what I did. Shortly after, Cam wanted me to come to the studio and work with him on his new album. I produced Cam’s record, "Get It in Ohio," and got many more placements on his album Crime Pays and his mixtape, Boss of All Bosses.
What inspires you to create music?
When I was younger, I used to just listen to instrumentals and study the different parts of those tracks. I would be inspired to create new tracks from those sounds. I also get my inspiration from listening to old classic records. Sometimes, when working on a beat, I might have a particular artist in mind and other times, I’ll just create based on what I’m feeling. It just depends on the situation.
Who are some of your favorite producers and why?
Some of my favorite producers are Dr. Dre, Pete Rock, DJ Premiere, Alchemist, Hi-Tek, Swizz Beatz and Kanye West. I like them because they have all developed their own sound/style and they inspire me to keep working on my craft as a producer.
What do you feel separates you from other producers?
My sound and style is what separates me from other producers. I play all of my keys out and I play all of my drums. I also can read music. I think that gives me an advantage because some producers aren’t able to do that.
What projects are you currently working on?
Right now, I’m working on music for Fabolous, Jadakiss, Styles P, The Lox, Cam'Ron, Busta Rhymes and Lupe Fiasco.
Who would you like to work with in the future that you haven’t gotten a chance to work with yet?
There are a lot of talented producers and artists that I’m hoping to work with in the future. Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, Swizz Beatz, Pete Rock, DJ Premiere, Just Blaze, Rick Ross, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and Young Jeezy are all at the top of my wish list right now.
What advice would you give producers who are trying to break in the industry?
I would just say to stay focused at all times and don't ever let anybody tell you that you can't be successful. If you really want something, put in the time and work to make it happen. Also, I think it’s important for producers to create their own sound…a sound that’s unique to them.
How can we keep up with you and what you have going on?
You can hit me on the following: