Friday, October 22

Interview With a Digger: Loopwhole

Interview With a Digger: Loopwhole

This time I decided to chop it up with Loopwhole from Like Gensu Dean, a loyalist to the classic EMU sampler, he’s also a digger witta attitude. Stern in his opinion on Hip Hop standards as well as a student of the Golden Era school of Hip Hop production, Loopwhole will inevitably destroy you all!

BTB: Peace, Loop- What was the first record you ever bought and when did you buy it?

Peace Brother. Man,.... The first record I ever bought was Nas "The World Is Yours" 12" and the Group Home "Supa Star" 12". I bought them in 1995 I believe. I copped them from a thrift store in Racine, Wisconsin. .. I didn't even own a turntable. I was just a big Group Home and Nas fan...also a dude from around my way had some turntables and a lil Dj setup, so i figured id bring them over to his house to see what was good with them....I still own those 2 records to this day! The Group Home 12" is beat to hell, and now autographed by lil' dap. the Nas in equally bad shape...I replaced them with some newer copies that I still listen to quite often.

BTB: What made you start collecting records? Was is solely for sample material or you just a collector? Do you DJ perhaps?

I don't DJ. When I first started collecting records I didn't know what the fuck I wanted to do. I thought I did actually want to DJ. So I copped some turntables and a mixer and hooked that shit up to my wack ass sharp mini stereo system and played the records all day, practicing scratches and shit, just making my neighbors mad, playing with them day in day I quickly stacked up a bunch of records to try to play and make some mixes, I guess. That didn't work out so well and I lost interest real fast. It wasn't until later on that I started getting into records to sample. Now when I buy records its either to listen to or most likely to sample.

BTB: Back in the day, It seemed you had to pay top dollar to find that gem that nobody had to flip, but nowadays, technology has made it so you can turn any ol’ record into a dope ass beat. Do you think it’s still necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on records? Or is is just talent?

Yeah...well to me I only bought rap records for expensive prices. And that was because I really wanted them. I usually pay next to nothing for my records that I sample, and stick to the dollar bins and thrift stores. I hit up the spots in Chicago that all the cats frequent, and its all good, but I'm a dollar digger for life! My neck of the woods is just hot with so called " Rare records" I've been blessed to pull some very rare joints outta the bins. As far as digital digging, nah that's no my stelo. Mostly because it takes a whole bunch of software that I don't know how to use to manipulate the samples off the computer into the old samplers. Nah it ain't necessary to spend like that in my opinion.

I feel you...I've pulled some rare records from thrift stores...always a good feeling. But, I gotta admit that I still spend top dollar on records if it's a rare joint that I been wanting for a while.

BTB: What’s the most you’ve spent on a record and what was it?

I paid like 60 bones for a Kool Keith record that I lost on the train on the way back from Chicago...guess that was a sign that I shouldn't be buying expensive records!

Damn..I dropped like 30 on that Stanley Crouch record, and another 30 on "Kites are Fun" by The Free Design in one day!

BTB: Nowadays, “looping” has got a bad reputation. These new kids think that just sampling an ill loop is not creative enough, and it needs to be “chopped” up. What’s your opinion on that? I mean, T.R.O.Y., one of the greatest Hip Hop songs ever recorded, was a loop.

Yeah I agree that T.R.O.Y. is a timeless classic. Possibly the best beat ever put down. Looping is the essence. That to me is where it all started. That's what made you get that feeling. It adds so much. Its what really got me into hip hop. BEATS! some cats play the shit outta loops, and the shit don't line up or whateva.

BTB: Do you buy records online? Ebay? What’s your opinion on so-called “e-digging?”

I copped a few off ebay, but only rap records. Just little things that I don't find a lot of in the bins around my way. Also a bit of 90s R&B. only reason I buy it is because is scarce around my way.

BTB: What advice would you give to the cats nowadays that ONLY dig online? Is it important to get out in the field or does it really matter anymore?

Shit...I'd tell do what they do. Cause most likely them cats that are just Internet digging, are probably not gonna be making beats like that. Mafuckas gonna get bored and go do some other shit. It just ain't that fun. I cant imagine just digging each his own i guess tho right.

BTB: How long have you been digging?

Ive been seriously digging for about 8 years

How did you evolve as a digger? Like, what lesson would you give a dude who just starting hitting the thrift stores to find shit to make beats?

Hmmm..that's tough. Thrift stores are so fickle. Some are gold mines untapped, and others are full of the run of the mill Andy Williams, Barbara Streisand joints! I started out buying everything that looked clean so I could sample it. Then I ended up throwing out so many records latter on...thinking why would I every buy this junk?? But that's just it, my advice would be to stick with it and find what type of joints you like to flip.

Word up..

BTB: You have any crazy digging stories?

Man just recently I took a trip up to Milwaukee, and I hit a thrift store that was either untouched or somebody who was definitely kicking beats had just dropped some shit in there. I pulled out so many "Rare" was crazy. I made a lot of money off that dig, and acquired a lot of the original drum breaks that I had been using from break records. They were all in plastic too! 2 original Musicor S.0.U.L. What is it. One for ebay one for me. a lot of cats get sentimental over these rare joints, it ain't no thang to me..if I find a valuable record, I'll sample it then slang it and go get some other me no use hanging on to records with very high value...that's just me.

Wow...that's fucking awesome.

BTB: How many records do you own?

I just threw out 3000 today, so about 10-12,000

damn, 3,000? I been trimming my collection, but daaaamn, brah!

BTB: I know you make music, and you seem to be a patriot of the SP-1200..what else do you use to produce?

Yeah I fucks with the E-mu Sp1200. I also use almost any other vintage sampler i can get my hands on. In my current setup I'm using the Sp1200/s950, and SP12/e-mu emax 1, and I also have a mpc 3000 chilling on deck too. Ive had it all...ASR, MPC 60, EPS, Whole bunch of shit.

I was schooled on the ASR, but now I have a MPC1G, SP1200, and Proteus 2G.

BTB: Yo, I been trying to get this SP-12 Turbo off this dude, but he won’t seem to budge from 600$. What’s a good price for a used SP-12 Turbo?

SPs are funny. One day they are worth next to nothing and then somebody will politicize that they use the SP and the prices shoot up. SP12turbo, I've seen go between $400 and $850 dollars depending on condition and such.

I didn't get it...he ended up selling it elsewhere.

BTB: How do you get around the 10 seconds of sample time on the SP? Or does that limitation sharpen the skills of producers? Personally, I don’t see how yall do it! I mean, I have a SP-1200 and 10 seconds just ain’t enough for me!

10 seconds is tons of time! I just use that old running the record at a faster speed on the turntable and pitching it back to original speed on the SP technique. You can get much more time out of the unit in this way. Sounds crazy too. If you gonna make beats with the 1200, you gotta sit with that mafucka for months man...years. Just sit with with and run shit thru it. Eventually you'll find some shit! I'm still using the SP every day, but more likely for just dem hard ass drums and maybe a few accent samples. I'm using the 950 for my loops these days. I used to make beats strictly on the SP1200 and that's the shit! I like to throw some shit up there with the 950. That mafucka is amazing as well.

Yeah. I remember the SP/S950 combo from producers back it the day. I guess I'm spoiled because I started with the ASR in like 97'. My main reason was sample had like 30 seconds when I bought and I got it expanded to like 120 seconds quick, fast, in a hurry! But now with software there is no can sample all you want!

BTB: With indie labels getting sued like crazy, and cats claiming that sampling is for dinosaurs, what is it about using samples that’s so intrinsic to Hip Hop music? Will sampling ever die?

It could die....I wouldn't know. I don't really listen to any new rap music, unless it's something that I'm involved with, or its some reference type shit from some homies. The cats that's doing it for real will never stop sampling. Sampling is crazy, it's some other shit. Fuck that drum machine cell phone ring tone bullshit. Shit's wack. These new jacks don't even know what it feels like to put down a raw's a shame really. Fuck 'em tho. There's plenty of real heads out there to pump tho. But yo..dinosaurs? sampling? hahaha yeah to each his own I guess. I guess people that say sampling is for dinosaurs, I'd say do ya thang...I'll do mine.

I agree...I'm with you. Sampling will never die. But every time I turn around some producer is claiming that sampling is dead and synths and live instruments are the new thing. It's all good.. I mean, look at RJD2 from the Deadringer album on. But people don't know..this is just history repeating itself because in the late 90's everybody started using synths and claimed sampling was obsolete. I think Kanye made it cool to sample again.

BTB: Top 3 producers?

1. Pete Rock
2. Lewis Parker
3. Large Professor

For me, Dj Muggs, Madlib and Hank Shocklee

BTB: Do you sell your beats? If so, what’s the process and what advice would you give other producers on selling tracks?

Yeah I slang beats. I've been slangin beats since day one. However it's just in the last 2 years become actually lucrative for me. You really gotta just keep paying dues, and the people will DEF let you know what's good. When your beats are ready to be sold, people will be at you for them.

If you got hot shit it will sell. A lot of cats go about shit the wrong way trying to pester cats and bother rappers. That's the wrong way to go about it in my opinion....I'd tell any up and coming producer to just stick with it...and never stop. Keep paying them dues. Talking to people...just payin dem dues...nah mean?

For me, consistency is a big factor in selling beats too. I get a lot of repeat custys....cause they know me and know that ill get them what they need. I've sold more beats like that than anything. Find good worthy people, stand up dudes. Keep the sharks out ya tank.

Good advice.

BTB: You made a statement on FB once about Dilla vs. Pete Rock in regards to production styles. What’s your opinion on the comparison between the two producers?
I don't know man...for me, like Pete Rock is the illest...and since day one...of being a crazy fan of hip hop in the early 90s...that was the illest shit. When Dilla got popularity, it was like already some other shit. I don't feel that futuristic shit. Whatever it may be...I like that real golden era shit. Don't get me wrong J Dilla had mad shit and did some dope shit no doubt. But the thing with Dilla, is that he's every herbs fav beat maker. You see all these dudes with they Mpcs and Dilla t-shirts, kicking that bullshit style, robot laser beam bullshit.

ha ha ha!!

It's all good, but its kinda like 2pac to me...You ask any dude that don't know shit about rap who his favorite rapper is and hes gonna say "pac!"you ask a dude that dont know shit about beats who his fav beat maker is and hes gonna say "Dilla" Yo, it's cool that people have something like that to like....but its not real to me. I'd tell those people to dig deeper. It's tragic what happened to Dilla, and may he rest in peace. I think a lot of people wear the realness of his name out. Respect due. But it's just not my thang. The fans killed Dilla for me. ....and you asked the comparison of Pete rock vs. Dilla. I don't think there is one. I don't think there's much at all similar to these dudes other than their discographies both hold mad classic collabos.

BTB: Is there a particular genre that you dig the most of? What about artists? What do you look for when you dig for records?

I look for anything that looks weird. Not that i try to make bugged out beats or anything, I just look for stuff that cats probably wont be up on. I like a lot of different stuff really. I guess you just gotta have an open mind, if you go in with something in mind ya might miss a lot.

BTB: What do you hit first, the dollar bins, the wall joints or new arrivals?

New arrivals.

BTB: Lastly, what projects have coming up and how can people get at you?

I have a few projects in the works..been doing a lot of beats and a bit of rapping. I did a lot of production for the new Brainsick Mob/Jack the Ripper album, that should be dropping any day. I rapped on a few joints on there too. Some of the stuff we've done can be found on my website as well. I've been putting in work on a lot of small budget indy stuff.

I'm wrapping up 2 albums with my homie Tomismore, about to drop real soon. A lot of stuff. And in the mix of that I'm working on my solo rap album. I'm trying to not produce all of it. I got some dope cats on the production for real. It's gonna be a banger. I started working on it about a month ago, and I figure it'll be out by mid 2011. I'm trying to rap a joint up with Lewis Parker right now, and Sadat X will will be on my release. I stay busy. gotta keep it movin.
Anyone who wants to get at me:


Peace, Loop. Thanks.