Constrobuz has a certain flair for understatement, really.
No wonder then if the guy known as Constrobuz defines himself as an “experimental” beatmaker. And, given the fantasy with which the beatsmith from Raleigh, NC, assembles loops in an imaginative way but always referable to the boom-bap matrix, it is difficult to blame him.
After entering the scene in 2007, around 2009-2010 he started working and collaborate with local rappers from his area. Mysterious guy (there are no photos of him floating anywhere on the internet and around) and endowed with surreal humor, Constrobuz is now best known for his excellent collaboration with Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, which remains the most profound one.
With the New York rapper, the perfect alchemy has always given rise to memorable pieces. If you’re new to the guy, dive into Constrobuz beats here, just in case.
Recently, he has dropped more heat for our ears, among instrumentals, and a sizzling R4MIX album, we’ve just connected with him to explore a bit more about his beat-making approach, and whatnot. Enjoy the reading.
Hey Constrobuz, welcome to StrettoBlaster. What was the first beat that you’ve sold or placed ?
Honestly, I don’t remember what beat or to whom. But it was probably back in 2009 though.
How long did it take you to produce something that you were proud of, as a Constrobuz beat?
About one and a half years. I didn’t really share my music with anyone for a long time so I never got any feedback. I needed someone to tell me my shit was wack. The first 300 or 400 beats I made are pretty fucking bad.
What’s your favourite production set-up?
Laptop, 2 monitors, sub, FL Studio, records. Actually, I make 99% of my shit on a laptop and headphones, then I just listen with monitors and a sub after I’m done creating.
What the best digging advice you’ve ever received from someone?
I don’t think I’ve received digging advice from anyone (or asked anyone for advice) but if I were to give advice, I would say:
1. Don’t ever spend more than a dollar or two on a record. Anything you could ever want is on the internet, anyway, no point in wasting your money.
2. Buy/download (e-digging is acceptable now, who cares) totally random shit, go to the $1 bin and grab a few records without even looking, and force yourself to make a beat from it.
Looping a dope sample might result in a dope beat, but you’re not going to grow as a producer or improve your skills and techniques.
Is there any producer, in the last 3 months, that made you say: “Oh, shit, I have to go back to the lab!”?
Samiyam. I wish more rappers would hit him up for beats. I’d kill to hear Roc Marciano, Conway, or eXquire over a full LP of Samiyam beats.
Your worst production mistake ever made:
Compressing EVERYTHING, or putting a compressor on the master channel. Or something that’s non-technical: being patient with braindead rappers that just want free beats.
One essential mixing tip:
Don’t overdo or overthink it. A polished turd is still a turd. Focus on your composition first. Remember you’re going to have people listening to your music on shitty laptop speakers, shitty headphones, shitty car speakers, shitty ears…I don’t mind a muddy mix or even clipping if the song/track itself is tight.