Overseas artists put in twice the work in order to get recognized. They get much respect in the hip hop game whether it’s rapping, producing or any participation to the art form. France’s Alter Beats have come a long way. With the impressive debut album The French Revolution Alter Beats has made a name for himself. Now with the sophomore album Class Struggle out and is well received by fans, Alter Beats talks about the production side of the game, both albums and his outtake on hip hop.
Ty DJC Jones (Intrigued): What’s going on my dude? I’m a little confused on this. Let me get this straight: Alter Prod is a production company and you’re Alter Beats or is Alter Beats is an alter ego?
Alter Beats: You’re right. ALTERPROD is a production company composed by 3 guys. Max is the Graphic Designer, Ben aka Bobby Six Killer is the Videographer and I am the Beatmaker, Tim aka Alterbeats.
Ty DJC Jones (Intrigued): Okay, finally I got that out the way…lol. Tell us about Alter Prod and how did you guys got started?
Alter Beats: It started in Paris few years ago, don’t remember when exactly! Lol. We began to work from our side graphically with guys like Army of the Pharaohs or Snowgoons and musically with Block Mc Cloud and lot of MCs. We’re focused on US underground Hip-Hop but the French market was nearer than you so we decided to do a Studio in Paris in 2008. Here was born THE FRENCH REVOLUTION project after 2 prequel EPS dropped with Halfabrick called REVOLUTIONARY TACTICS part.1 and 2. Then we made some travels to NYC to connect directly to people with whom we wished to work. And after a BIG Party this June in Brooklyn with Tragedy Khadafi, Rockness Monstah, Blaq Poet and many more legendary MCs, we came with this 2nd Album called CLASS STRUGGLE.
Ty DJC Jones (Intrigued):The album title Class Struggle has a lot of meanings. What’s your meaning of the title Class Struggle and how does it applies to hip hop?
Alter Beats: Sometimes, people think this title has a political meaning because of our Name (ALTER) and the name of the 1st project (The French Revolution), but as the 1st one, CLASS STRUGGLE is about our warfare in this Game as French independents who never give up and grustle hard to reach our purposes.
Ty DJC Jones (Intrigued): Class Struggle has 18 tracks with well-rounded emcees on the project. Was getting guest appearances on the Class Struggle difficult?
Alter Beats: It was easier than the 1st project because we built strong relationship with a lot of people in the US who know we’re serious and we drop our shit as it have to go out.
Ty DJC Jones (Intrigued): What are your favorite joints on the Class Struggle album?
Alter Beats: It’s very hard to answer to this question but if I have to choose I’ll say FRUIT PUNCH with Guilty Simpson and Rockness Monstah, BRASS KNUCKLES with Halfabrick and IDOL with Bekay.
Ty DJC Jones (Intrigued): Since this is your second opus, tell us the difference between French Revolution and Class Struggle?
Alter Beats: The French Revolution took a lot of time to do. It was hard for us to bring people to this project because nobody known us. That’s why this project is more like a compilation with a lot of different styles of beats and a lot of 16 bars. Then Class Struggle is more like a whole project which contains the Alterprod spirit since the release of the 1st project.
Ty DJC Jones (Intrigued): Take us on a journey of an Alter Beats beat. What is your arsenal weapons of equipment on an Alter Beats production beat?
Alter Beats: First I love to do beats in the morning that’s my favorite moment to create, add some coffee and a box of cigarettes and we can start! I used to work with the MPC 2500 but I am now working with Mashine. Mashine is really dope I feel really free on it and the software is really an easy way to create new beats! After that I go to my logic software and add a bass line and some synths then I edit the beat on logic too. That’s basically the way I do it add some synth plug and it’s done!
Ty DJC Jones (Intrigued): On the production tip, do you mostly sample, play out through instruments or a little bit of both?
Alter Beats: I always use samples; that’s what I love the most! I grow up with the 90’s hip-hop so I can’t imagine a dope beat without a dope sample! If I feel it, I add some synths on it because on some beats it sound dope to me to add some synths but always with a dope sample!
Ty DJC Jones (Intrigued): Do you have any issues with sample clearances when producing a beat?
Alter Beats: No fam! I am just an underground cat so nobody gives a fuck about my sample clearances. I guess it’s a good thing that I can do whatever I want! Lol !
Ty DJC Jones (Intrigued): Have you ever wanted to do an album with only one artist?
Alter Beats: This is the goal of Alterprod. Drop producer albums in collaboration with one artist now that we proved we can work with lot of different styles. We already got projects with Bekay, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Skeezo and one with all the alter unit on the way. Stay tuned…
Ty DJC Jones (Intrigued): What do you think is the pros and cons of constructing a production album with a multitude of artists?
Alter Beats: (Smile)! When you got a multitude of artists you just ask them to do a verse or a track so it’s easier for them. But as soon as you want to do a whole project with an artist you have to find a motivated guy…and it’s rare! LMAO’
Ty DJC Jones (Intrigued): Producers have a hard schedule. What are the most frustrating aspects of being a producer?
Alter Beats: I will say the rappers loooool because sometimes you wait so long to do tracks with rappers that are crazy!!!! We should have done 10 projects already but a lot of rappers are really slow to write and record but it doesn’t matter because we actually working with serious people so I guess we will not wait too long anymore!
Ty DJC Jones (Intrigued): What do you look for in an artist that made you decide to work with him or her?
Alter Beats: Sometimes, you are brought to work with legendary MCs that you listen to when you’re a kid so it’s dope. But the thing we’re looking for is motivation and implication except any artistic consideration which we can have for many artists in this game.
Ty DJC Jones (Intrigued): Do you think oversea producers have it harder to network with artists in the states?
Alter Beats: Sure because of the language barrier first and because of the fact that we ain’t on the spot where everything moves; in the studio sessions, on air, in parties etc…The only contact we have with artists in the US is Internet and phone with artists that became our friends then. But yeah it’s hard!
Ty DJC Jones (Intrigued): What’s next for Alter Beats for the future?
Alter Beats: We never want to announce anything before everything is done and ready to be dropped. This indie environment is hard so there’s always setbacks, problems etc… The only thing I can say is we work on projects with our AlterUnit members as Bekay, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Skeezo and more… and to stay tuned! Lol’
Ty DJC Jones (Intrigued): Any artist that wants to do work with you or check your music, how can they hook up with you and keep in touch?
Alter Beats: You got the Official ALTERPROD (alterprod.com) website where you’ll be redirected to our Graphic, Music and Video contents. We are always on Facebook (facebook.com/ALTERPROD.ALTERBEATS), Twitter (@ALTERPROD7) and Instagram (alterprod7alterbeats).
Go cop Alterbeats album Class Struggle on Itunes, Ughh, and Fatbeats