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The ?’z: Slimkat78 Interview

by Eric on July 26, 2010

If you have yet to witness the production wizardry of Slimkat78 you’re truly missing out. Whether it be his ridiculous selections that can be found on the yU classic, “Before Taxes” Diamond District’s “In The Ruff” or his eclectic productions as a member of OP Swamp81, dude truly has an ear for sample selection and chops.  With forthcoming contributions to Asheru’s new LP and yU’s official follow-up, it’s safe to say, that Slimkat is just gettin’ started.  Recently we had the chance to politic with Slim for a few, hit the jump for the interview…

B-House: First and foremost, thanks for your time Slim. Give the people a brief intro please..

Slimkat78: Whats Good World? This is 1/2 of the Group “The1978ers”, Slimkat78 Ya’ll…

B-House: Why the name SlimKat78?

Slimkat78: I adopted the word “Kat” when I attended Duke Ellington school of the Arts. Of course, I picked it up from a couple of musicians there. “Slim” in the Late 90′s/early 2000′s was a commonly used slang term in My Hood in the N.E., DC area. People would be like “Hey Slim!!! , Whatsup Slim”, and etc. 78 is my birth year.. Go figure, LOL!!! So, that’s how it pretty much evolved into This Name…

B-House: So what nudged you into production? A particular song, artist, etc?

Slimkat78: My Mom was The Best Dancer out of all her brothers and sisters. She would have Her own theme music to dance and play around the crib when I grew up around her. My StepDad at the time was heavy into jazz and would give me names to research. My Mom, aunts and uncles would eventually pass off there vinyl records to me when they found out I was interested in collecting them. I got into Hip-Hop along with everything else at the same time but I was more curious about Hip-Hop because I started recognizing the samples some artists would use. I Started out makin’ pause button tapes where i would loop & dub grooves I would find from the radio & records on a double cassette deck to try and emulate how it was done in Hip-Hop, that pretty much started my curiosity of how to make beats..

B-House: How long have you been churning out bangers?

Slimkat78: I Started Getting serious about creating music like 11 yrs ago. The urge never left me ever since.

B-House: My first REAL introduction to your production wizardry was via yU’s “Before Taxes”, namely my favorite cut from the LP, “Brainwash”. Being that you’ve both emerged from the DMV, I’m assuming you and yU go waay back?

Slimkat78: Thank you Sir. Humbled… Yup. We met at a good time in life. We connect through the music of course, but also just having like minded ideas and morals about real life.

B-House: A lot of cats are now identifying you as Slimkat78, the producer responsible for production on “Before Taxes”. Yet, you have a fairly extensive discography, production for the likes of Op Swamp
81 and The 1978ers. Can you share the origins of those groups/crews with us?

Slimkat78: Sure. The Group “1978ers” Formed When yU & I started creating songs while we were roommates. We simply gave it the name because We were born in the same year. My Brother Bilal Salaam, Danedra, Dre King and I are OP Swamp81. It formed from various research of rebellious civil rights events throughout the world. In particular, one (event) in the UK called (Operation Swamp 81). I am very fortunate to have worked with these amazing talents.

B-House: As part of the Low Budget extended fam, are you excitedabout the direction that DMV hip-hop seems to be heading in? I mean, damn, “In The Ruff”, “Before Taxes”? That’s CLASSIC material right there!

Slimkat78: I am very excited! This is only the beginning for Us. I hope the world will enjoy all of the future projects we have to offer..

B-House: Soundfreakers Vol. 1 was pure heat, what can we expect from the soon-to-be-released Vol.2? More of the same? Or have you switched it up a bit on this go ’round?

Slimkat78: Soundfreakers was s mix of beats I gave to artists I wanted to sing or rhyme to. Vol. 2 is a batch of beats I never sent out on purpose. I still use the same formula with drops and cuts & etc. , But just new beats.

B-House: You’re also responsible for production on Diamond District’s “In The Ruff”, Muhsinah’s “Triagle” and even Finale’s “A Pipe Dream And A Promise”, that’s a pretty heavy line-up. Out of all your collaborations, what’s been your favorite thus far?

Slimkat78: Muhsinah’s “More” interlude, I’m feeling the mood & the mix of it. It was also something different to put vocal sounds in the drum programing. There’s a Remix I did for Nicholas Ryan Gant called “Before the Fall” , I’m kinda proud of because of getting the challenge of adding more Music theory to my production.

B-House: What’s your go-to-gadget and why?

Slimkat78: I Use MPC 200XL & the 2500. I started using some programs also to chop and play sounds through also. MPC just has that Pulsing sound I Believe should be present in Drum or percussion rhythms, though its not really about what U use, it’s how U use it & the experienced ear is the determining factor.

B-House: Do you have any intentions on releasing a Pete Rock “Soul Survivor”, Apollo Brown “The Reset” outing with emcees spitting atop Slimkat production?

Slimkat78: Yezzzirrr!!! I plan on creating a full project with some of the dopest talents I’ve worked with.

B-House: Where do you get your inspiration from? I mean, your beats are so damn soulful!! You can definitely separate a Slimkat production from the pack nowadays.

Slimkat78: WoW. I appreciate Dat. I’ve been a student of music for a long time. Anyone from My crew can tell U I know a good amount of history of different types of music. Along with getting inspired from the studies of other artist and musicians, I get inspired by life experiences, love, hate, food, women, fans, family, etc.

B-House: What projects are you diving into currently and what can we expect from Slimkat78 in the near future?

Slimkat78: I Got some Joints on the up and comin’ release of Asheru’s New album. I have some production of course on yU’s new Album called “The Earn”. Got something goin’ on a XO remix project. I did the Title track for Nicholas Ryan Gants new project and more in the making but not solidified.

B-House: Outside of the DMV, who are a few artists that you check for on the regular, whether it be producers or emcees.

Slimkat78:There’s a few Dope ones I check for Man. Blu, Jay Elec, Pac Div,Black Milk, 14kt ,Young RJ , DJ Khalil, Dibia$e, Terrace Martin , AmDex, Illastrat8 , Brainfeeder, Klipmode crew just to name a few… I check for lots of stuff.

B-House: I’m not gonna’ make it easy on you and ask you for your top 5 production influences (LOL). Share your 5 favorite breaks of all-time with us..

Slimkat78: Okay, 1. Honey Drippers – Impeach the president 2. Gladys Knight – Who is she & what is she to You 3. Head hunters – God made me funky 4. Edwin Birdsong – Rapper Dapper Snapper 5. Bill Withers – kissin my love. All these breaks have an openness to them where I could chop and shape my own sound around recreating the pattern.

B-House: Any artists out there whom you haven’t had the pleasure of working with that you wouldn’t mind linking up with in the future?

Slimkat78: It would be cool to work with cats like Talib, Mos Def, Blu, Fashawn, De La, & Jay Electronica. These are some that come to mind but I’m sure there are more.

B-House: Being in the game for so long, is there anything you’d approach differently if you had to do it all over again?

Slimkat78: Haaa!!! It’s funny cause I really don’t consider myself in the game yet at all. There are a lot of Goals I am aiming toward and the half is not even accomplished. I wouldn’t do it any different way that it has gone down. I feel “it is in my life’s nature to work harder than average” 4 success”, then I’m willin’ 2 accept this. So when that success comes, I will be more prepared than the average to receive & handle it.

B-House: Thanks again Slim! Any shout-outs?

Slimkat78: Shouts to anyone who even gives the time of day to listen to my productions. It will be because of you that I don’t feel alone in the relation to the Music. Thank You!

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