Behind the Beats: LAKIM
First and foremost who is LAKIM and where do you reside?
(LALALALA) LAKIM. Maker of B E E T S. Chillest of chill. Specialist of $† ∑ ∑ Z. Master of gookery. Survivor of sorts. I represent all of VA, mostly for the (434) | (804). L Y N C H B U R G.
Describe the hip hop scene in your area.
The scene is pretty much nonexistent. There's only a handful of cats out here that are doing their thing on a serious level. Loads of untapped talent is here in Central Virginia but it mostly goes unheard because of either the lack of resources or by the people holding themselves back. Most folks here don't even endorse rap music so you get shunned from the jump. I could walk around in public and no one knows who I am or what it is that I do. But, it's cool. It adds to the mystique.
How long have you been making beats?
I started making beats when I was 15 using my dad's MPC 2000XL. He went over the basics with me and just let me develop my sound develop on my own. I switched over to FL Studio at 18 and I've been using that ever since. It has its detractors but it's what gets the job done for me. I just turned 22 so I've been at it for about 7 years now.
Describe your production style to the masses.
I make so many kinds of tracks in really hard for me to describe it or to try pinpoint specifics. I just simplify it and call it inconnu. I'm making my own art by grabbing past relics and reinterpreting them in a new light. I'm also developing my own sounds from scratch. That will show in my upcoming release.
2011 has been a very productive year for you as evidenced by the release of three instrumental projects and a joint album with Jèan P Where does your work ethic come from?
To be honest with you, I don't have the slights clue where it comes from. It just happens. I'm really spontaneous in how I work. I'll sit down to make something and end up having 4 or 5 tracks done in a single session. I try to do a session every other day so I'm not completely drained. That's why I release as much content as I do. I'm never slacking off. I could be blocking for a few weeks and something will inspire me to create. Next thing I know, I've fallen back into the usual session pattern and the cycle continues.
I really value the structure and beat programming of your beats. Who were your influences growing up and who currently inspires you?
Being from Virginia, you get exposed to pretty much every type of music there is. Growing up, I listened to A LOT of Tribe, Gang Starr, and Daft Punk. These three groups are where I learned most of my structuring and sequencing skills from. Currently, I'm just listening to mostly instrumentals from the homies like Professa, Kaytradamus and Ohbliv. There's so many producers out there that are dropping real quality material. When I do listen to emcees, I like artists like Kendrick Lamar, Yelawolf and Big KRIT. Those three stick out the most to me at the moment. I'm also a Rusko fan. Most dubstep that I hear just sounds like a bunch of irritating noise but not his. Still blasting my Discovery and Homework albums though. Daft Punk 4 Life.
What was the concept of Angels With Filthy Souls?
Everyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of the boom bap sound. AWFS was my take on that. Not in a traditional sense but just using that style as a basis. A foundation. I love hearing records with real gritty drums and vinyl hissing in them. It sounds the most authentic to me. Once you release few projects, people try to place you in a box and they never want to see you grow from that. That's why with everything I release, I always switch it up so that you don't know what to expect. It's sort of become a trend for me.
What was the concept behind #StuckInThe90s?
#StuckInThe90s simply wasn't supposed to come out at all. I just had batches upon batches of beats that sampled a bunch of my favorite 90's tunes laying around and I had no intentions to put them out. It wasn't until my bro WeeGee listened to a few of them and really pushed me to release them. It turned out not to be such a bad thing. I'd have to say that was the project that garnered the most attention this year. People really took to it because each song took them back as if they were reliving their childhoods in beat form. That's pretty ill to me.
What was the concept behind the Joe Pesci EP?
That project stemmed from a conversation me and my friends were having one day about who our favorite actors were. After the discussion, I did some researching online and found that Pesci had put some albums out. Being intrigued, I searched the net for them and when I listened to the music, I was blown away. Nearly every song was sample gold. I pretty much locked myself in my room from Friday afternoon until Sunday night and that EP was what emerged. I still get questions about the sample sources from that release. *les shrugs*
Recently you released a joint album with Jèan P called Opposites Attract. How did the collaboration come to fruition?
Me and Jéan linked up through our mutual homie Amor Jones. Amor had sent Jéan something we had done for his project, The Wake Up Show and suggested that we do work together. Afterwards, I sent Jéan a batch and about a week later, he sent me back what he has done with them. I really dug the joints. Originally, the tracks we did were supposed to go on the mixtape he was working on at the time. But, we enjoyed the jams so much that we decided to hold off on them and record a full length together. The project came together pretty fast. It took about a month to complete and we sat on it for a year before we decided to put it out. The timing had to be right. We're about to start working on the follow-up project soon. We're gonna actually try to take our time so the music is bound to be better this time around.
How has the project been received?
Nearly everyone who has listened to it has being deeming it as a "classic" album which is very surreal for me. Me and Jéan didn't set out to make anything of that caliber out of the gate. We just wanted to make the music that we, ourselves, enjoy listening to on a daily basis. It's crazy that people would throw that word around. You don't hear it much these days in music, specifically in hip-hop.
What are some of your goals for 2012?
The only goal is to get more ears hip to the music. It's only one you ever need unless you have aspirations to take over the world on some evil scientist shit I suppose. *cues the Mandark Laugh*
What are some of your interests outside of hip-hop?
Whenever I'm not doing music, I'm usually delving into some video games (PSTriple, G), playing some basketball, or catching up on my reading. Most of the people that I tend to hang out with aren't really into music so the differences between the two worlds provide a good balance for me. It also does wonders for the creative process in my case.
How can the fans get in contact with you?
I'm probably the most reachable via either my Facebook fan page or Twitter. I try to respond to everyone as best as I can. Facebook | Twitter.
Any final words?
Much respect to everyone who supports me and what is that I do. It's very much appreciated. Big ups to you, Praverb, for taking the time to come up these questions. Be on the lookout for my latest instrumental project, E L E V A T E . . ., which will be hosted by my brethren over at The Soul Dojo. Also, a project with my broham, Professa, is in the works as well. SAFEness, my G's.