Welcome to another exciting edition of TWIB meets. For this one, we sat down with producer Twiz The Beat pro who kindly blessed us with some jewels and eye opening facts about himself.
Waste little time and jump right into it.
For the benefit of anyone who’s been living in an underground bunker for the past few years…who on earth are you?
Hi my name is Tim McRae a/k/a Twiz the Beatpro and I produce music, particularly of the Rap genre. You can hear my work in various places like TNT, my latest project with my good friend and Queensbridge legend (not to mention Infamous Mobb member), Big Twins. You can check my resume, I upload most things I make here (soundcloud.com/twiz-the-beatpro).
How did you get started in music, and what drives you to continue?
The first piece of vinyl I had a beat on was when I was living in the UK and it was for a rapper named Mr.J. It was a 3 track 12-inch and I produced the last track, “Concepts”—I have the press somewhere. I really got into making beats by way of DJ’ing. An old friend of mine in the UK put me in front of a pair of 1200’s for the first time and I was hooked. Then I got my own turntables and started DJ’ing around ’95-96. I remember the first two records I bought were the Diamond D Remix of “Soul on Ice” by Ras Kass, and Too Short and E40’s “Rappers Ball.” I would practice scratching and trying to beat juggle in my bedroom. I remember it took me a while to get a pair of Technics 1200’s I had to learn on a pair of belt driven tables for a while, then about a year or two later I finally saved enough to get some 1200’s. I would deejay at local parties and events playing Hip-Hop, Breaks and even some D&B. I didn’t start making beats until 2000 when I got my ASR X. I’ve always loved music; I can remember listening to rawness like NWA and Too Short tapes when I was 8 with my older brother. Then I had a little Bob Marley phase and wanted dreadlocks for a while. After that in about ’94 Gang Starr got me back really listening to Hip-Hop.
Do you remember the first beat you ever made? How did you go about it?
Yah, I made it with the sampler on my lap. Joint in mouth, intoxicated. The ASR X has some sounds built in, and I made a beat from the sounds without sampling. I don’t think I ever saved it, it was just practice—learning my way around the machine at the time. I remember the first beat I made from samples. I had my rap friends rap on it. I had an ill hi-hat from the stock sounds. I used to use an Atari to sequence and arrange, but the ASR X sequencer hits harder so I have been keeping everything inside the box for a while.
If a movie about your life in music was to be made, what interesting/strange moments and stories would you share to make the movie cool?
Every single second, there is no room for an edit or any particular moment. There is too much constant action not to miss, I guess it would have to be a documentary reality type flick.
Are there any other interesting facts about you that hardly anyone else knows?
Great at English, sh*t at Math. I’m color blind, half British and I am not double jointed.
What is the greatest thing about working in the music industry? And what would you change if you had the opportunity?
Working with legends I grew up listening to like Big Twins, Prodigy, Evidence, Alchemist, Ras Kass, LMNO etc. its always humbling. Although there is mass music consumption, the sales are starving.
Looking back, what have been the most important moments in your life so far?
Birth was definitely an important moment, and before that conception.
What have been the biggest highlights?
They have all had their moments. Definitely producing the I Don’t Need Love EP for Evidence was a great time and opportunity. Working with Alchemist and especially scoring GTA 5 was unreal. Making an album for MF Grimm was also very special.
What has been your biggest challenge…and how did you overcome it?
My vinyl addiction, I haven’t been sober for years and I still can’t stop. Also breakage of the rotary knobs on my ASR X. I overcame it by buying new ones.
Who are your heroes? Why do they rock your world?
Whoever doesn’t say their Mom or Dad in this section has something wrong with them. Peace to all the Moms and Dads.
Who have been the coolest, most memorable people you’ve met along the way, and how did they make an impact on your life?
Meeting DJ Premier was dope as he has had a major impact from the very start, inspiring me to produce. Definitely anytime going to Alchemist’s crib is always memorable, and pretty inspiring. Having Pete Rock come through my crib was memorable. I also met Hi-Tek once at a Strong Arm Steady show, that was pretty dope. All these guys have inspired me to do what I do in one way or another.
When you’re sitting on the porch age 97 what would you like to look back on and smile having achieved?
Having winning the Pulitzer prize…consecutively.
What has been your most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
Rockin’ with Evidence performing our I Don’t Need Love EP in full here in L.A.
What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?
Meeting Ron Darling NY Mets Pitcher.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
My father. BBQ chicken and Hawaiian bread.
What are the greatest songs, albums, books, movies, TV shows, websites you’ve ever come across?
Its hard for me to have favorites. I like a lot of sh*t but, Word is Bond is absolutely the best website I have come across.
Name 5 songs (yours excluded) that we would expect to find on your iPod or Music Player
• Big Twins – Hit the Ground
• Step Brothers (full album)
• Notorious BIG – Who Shot Ya?
• Jaisu – Jaisaac Haze FM
• Hus Kingpin – Superdry
What special-hero type skills are you blessed with?
Turning ice into fire.
Where can everyone reading this interview keep up with your adventures?
• Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/twiz-the-beatpro
• Read here: twitter.com/twizthebeatpro
• Visualize here: instagram.com/twizard
Any final thoughts?
Buy my album TNT with Big Twins out now!
• iTunes: http://apple.co/1LNYoo5
• Amazon: http://amzn.to/1X2QOXI
• Google Play: http://bit.ly/1q9hWKk
• Spotify: http://spoti.fi/1Y3QPe5
• Tidal: http://bit.ly/1qmiQTo