KIDD CALLED QUEST

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK | KIDD CALLED QUEST

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK | KIDD CALLED QUEST

VALIDATED: GROWING UP IN ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, DESCRIBE YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF HIP-HOP, THE CULTURE?

KIDD CALLED QUEST: A TIME WHEN HIP HOP WAS STRAIGHT GRITTY AND DIRTY. I REMEMBER BACK AROUND 1998 WHEN I WAS 10, WHEN I STARTED TO REALLY GET INTO THE MUSIC. MY OLDER BROTHER WAS A DJ AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER, 88.5 HE HAD A HIP HOP SHOW EVERY THURSDAY NIGHT. SO I WAS ALWAYS HEARING DIFFERENT HIP HOP JOINTS FROM DIFFERENT ARTISTS AND SOME OF THEM HE WAS PUTTING ME ONTO. THE SECOND DJ WHO I’VE DISCOVERED A LOT OF NEW MUSIC BACK IN THAT TIME WAS DJ CHRIS G, ROCHESTER, NY GODFATHER OF RAP "STRAIGHT FROM THE UNDERGROUND" SHOW ON 87.7. HIS MIXTAPES ACTUALLY INTRODUCED ME TO MCS LIKE AZ, DMX, CANIBUS AND SO ON. THIS WAS ABOUT A FEW YEARS BEFORE I ACTUALLY STARTED TO GET INTO MAKING BEATS. HIP HOP HERE DURING THE EARLY 2000S WAS DIFFERENT, DEFINITELY WASN’T HOW IT IS NOW. BACK THEN ONE OF THE MOST NOTABLE CREWS FROM THE CITY THAT INFLUENCED ME WAS "UPSTATE CYPHER". THOSE DUDES WAS PROBABLY THE ONLY DUDES FROM ROCHESTER OR I SHOULD SAY THE WHOLE WESTERN UPSTATE REGION THAT WAS GOING IN WITH THE OFFICIAL PRESSED CDS, TAPES, RECORDS, TV ADS, ECT. THIS QUESTION REALLY GOT ME GOING BACK IN TIME. THERE’S SO MANY MEMORIES I HAVE, I COULD GO ON FOR DAYS. IT WAS REALLY A TIME WHEN A LOT OF DUDES WAS ON THE COME UP. THE SOUND, THE WAY WE DRESSED, ECT... WAS DIFFERENT THAN HOW THINGS ARE NOW. IT’S GOOD TO SEE NOW THAT MORE ARTISTS FROM ROCHESTER IS STARTING TO BE SEEN MORE THAN EVER NOW.


VALIDATED: PRODUCING AND MAKING MUSIC, WHEN DID YOU GET INTO IT?

KIDD CALLED QUEST: I STARTED OUT RAPPING WITH MY BOY BACK IN 1999-2000. I WAS LIKE 11 OR 12. MY BROTHER BEING A DJ REALLY HELPED OUT A LOT BECAUSE HE HAD ALL THESE HIP HOP RECORDS THAT HAD INSTRUMENTALS ON THEM, I USE TO GET A BUNCH OF BEATS AND RECORD THEM ON TAPE. MY BOY LOUIE HAD THIS RECORDING PROGRAM ON HIS COMPUTER, S*** WAS BASICALLY A ANSWERING MACHINE. WE WOULD PLAY THE BEATS OUT THE RADIO AND SPIT OUR RHYMES WE WROTE INTO THE LITTLE COMPUTER MIC. SOON AFTER THAT I WAS GETTING TIRED OF RAPPING OVER INSTRUMENTALS AND WANTED TO DO SOMETHING ELSE THAT WAS DIFFERENT LIKE MAKE MY OWN ORIGINAL MUSIC. NOW FAST FORWARD LIKE A YEAR OR 2 LATER, MY BROTHER HAD A KEYBOARD SITTING IN THE BASEMENT COLLECTING DUST. ONE DAY AFTER SCHOOL I WAS BORED AND STARTED TO MESS AROUND WITH THE KEYBOARD. AFTER LEARNING THE BASICS AND EVERYTHING ELSE, I LEARNED HOW TO COUNT OUT BARS, SEQUENCE AND WORK THE THE WHOLE KEYBOARD. ALTHOUGH THOSE BEATS WAS AWFUL I WAS HAVING FUN MAKING MUSIC ON THE KEYBOARD AND ENDED UP DEVELOPING A LOVE AND PASSION FOR IT. I WAS 13 DURING THAT AS TIME STARTED TO MOVE I WANTED BETTER NEW AND IMPROVED EQUIPMENT, I ENDED UP GETTING THE YAMAHA DJX2 THAT INTRODUCED ME TO THE ART OF SAMPLING. I TELL PEOPLE ALL THE TIME LEARNING HOW TO SAMPLE WAS A ACCIDENT, THAT 7 SECOND SAMPLER CHANGED EVERYTHING. I ACTUALLY LEARNED SAMPLING BACKWARDS, I LEARNED HOW TO CHOP UP SAMPLES FIRST BEFORE LOOPING. DURING THAT TIME I AIN’T KNOW WHAT A LOOP WAS, I WAS JUST GRABBING PARTS OFF SONGS AND MESSING WITH EACH CHOP UNTIL I CAME UP WITH SOMETHING DOPE. A YEAR LATER (2002) MY MAN "DEVINE GOOD ALLAH" STARTED TO TEACH ME HOW TO USE THE MPC 2000. MY BROTHER ALSO HAD A 2000XL, I USE TO SNEAK AND MESS AROUND WITH HIS MPC WHEN HE WASN’T AROUND EVERY CHANCE I GOT. I PRETTY MUCH KNEW HALF OF THE XL BECAUSE IT OPERATED THE SAME WAY AS THE REGULAR 2000, THAT MACHINE WAS A CHANGER FOR ME. WHEN I TURNED 16 I GOT A JOB AT MCDONALD’S, THAT’S WHERE I ALSO MET MY BOY INNO, WE BOTH ENDED UP WORKING TOGETHER THERE. I WORKED MY ASS OFF SNEAKING IN HOURS AND I ALMOST GOT FIRED A FEW TIMES WORKING TOO MUCH. AT THE END ALL THE HARD WORK PAID OFF, I ENDED UP GETTING A MPC 2000XL. FROM THERE I BECAME A MPC HEAD . ONCE I GOT COMPLETELY COMFORTABLE WITH MY BEATS SOUNDING GOOD I STARTED TO DO LITTLE BEAT TAPES. I WOULD GIVE BEATS TO SOME OF THE ARTISTS MY BROTHER WAS WORKING WITH, DURING THAT TIME SOME OF THOSE ARTISTS WAS MOZ, NIKAL FIELDZ, 38 SPECIAL "38 SPESH", LI, BUILD AND DESTROY, ALL CIDDY AND MANY MORE. IT WAS GOOD FOR ME BEING A YOUNG UP AND COMING BEAT MAKER BECAUSE THERE REALLY WASN’T THAT MANY DUDES AROUND MY AGE 15 TO 16 IN THE AREA MAKING BEATS LIKE THAT YET. IN 2005 I DECIDED IT WAS TIME TO TAKE THINGS UP A NOTCH AND SPREAD MY NAME OUTSIDE OF THE ROCHESTER AREA. MY BROTHER HAD A IDEA IN 04 DOING A BEAT TAPE WITH HIM VERSUS KANYE WEST BUT HE NEVER WENT THROUGH WITH IT. THAT FOLLOWING YEAR I HAD SO MANY BEATS MADE I WANTED TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT, SO I KIND OF USED HIS IDEA AND THE NEW PRODUCER ON THE RISE I HAD PICKED AT THAT TIME WAS 9TH WONDER. 20 OF MY BEST BEATS AND I CAME UP ON THIS ENYCE INSTRUMENTAL TAPE THAT HAD LIKE 3 CDS FULL OF 9TH WONDER BEATS. AT THAT TIME FINDING HIS INSTRUMENTALS WAS A PAIN IN THE A**. ONCE I GOT EVERYTHING TOGETHER I JUST DROPPED IT AS "JAY QUEST VS 9TH WONDER", I HAD NO SOLID PLAN FOR THE TAPE. I AIN’T REALLY KNOW WHAT I WAS DOING, I JUST DROPPED IT TO HAVE SOMETHING CIRCULATING AROUND. IT WAS MY FIRST TAPE I EVER RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC. IT ENDED UP GETTING PICKED UP BY A LOT OF ARTISTS, A&R'S, INDEPENDENT LABELS, MAGAZINES AND HIP HOP SITES OVERSEAS. IT CREATED A BIG BUZZ FOR ME AND A DEMAND FROM UP AND COMING INDEPENDENT ARTISTS FROM ALL OVER. ONCE THE BOOTLEGGERS GOT THEIR HANDS ON IT IT WAS REALLY GETTING OUT IN THE STREETS. I HAD SO MANY BEAT REQUESTS THAT IT WAS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO GET BACK TO EVERY ARTIST. MY MYSPACE INBOX STAYED FULL. IT LINKED ME UP WITH A FEW DOPE ARTISTS. ME AND MY MAN AZARIAH LINKED THROUGH OUR BOY EUPHONY THAT LINKED HIM WITH MY MAN INNO. AT THE TIME THAT BEAT TAPE OPENED SOME DOORS AND DEVELOPED SOME RELATIONSHIPS WITH SOME ESTABLISHED WELL KNOWN ARTISTS AND UP IN COMING UNDERGROUND ARTISTS THAT ENDED UP YEARS LATER GETTING ON. I CAN GO ON FOR DAYS ABOUT THIS.

VALIDATED: WORKING WITH ARTISTS ONLINE OR MAKING MUSIC IN PERSON, WHICH IS YOUR PREFERENCE AND WHY?

KIDD CALLED QUEST: THIS IS A TRICKY ONE. I DID A PROJECT IN 2013 CALLED "PMS" WITH A FEMALE MC FROM ROCHESTER WHO GOES BY THE NAME GOLDEN. WE DID A FULL ALBUM TOGETHER AND IT CAME OUT SOLID. THE CRAZY THING WAS WE NEVER WERE IN THE STUDIO TOGETHER AT ALL FOR THAT PROJECT. WE HAD THAT CHEMISTRY WHERE I HIT HER UP, GAVE HER SOME SONG CONCEPT IDEAS THAT WOULD GO GOOD WITH THE BEATS AND SHE WOULD MURDER EVERY JOINT I SENT. THERE’S BEEN TIMES I WOULD BE IN A SESSION WITH ARTISTS AND THE CHEMISTRY WOULD NOT BE THERE BECAUSE THEY REALLY WOULD NOT LET ME KNOW THE FEEL AND VIBE THEY WERE LOOKING FOR. ME AND G FISHER'S CHEMISTRY WAS JUST LIKE ME AND GOLDEN'S VIBE. ALTHOUGH I WAS NOT THERE WITH HIM FOR THE RECORDINGS EITHER FOR THE BX ROC EP, EVERYTHING JUST NATURALLY WORKED OUT GOOD BECAUSE WE WERE ON THE SAME PAGE AND BOTH KNEW WHAT TYPE OF FEEL WE WERE AIMING FOR. I WISH I COULD MAKE IT TO EVERY SINGLE SESSION. I WOULD PREFER TO BE THERE IN PERSON. BECAUSE I CAN ACTUALLY SIT DOWN WITH THE ENGINEERS AND GIVE THEM FEEDBACK ON THE SPOT HOW I HEAR SOMETHING, HOW I THINK IT SHOULD SOUND AND I'D BE ABLE TO GUIDE THE ARTIST MORE TOO. "THE YOUNG BLACK AND RESTLESS" ALBUM I DID WITH ROCHESTER, NY ARTISTS "KING RIGHTEOUS", WE WERE TOGETHER THE WHOLE TIME FOR THAT PROJECT. I GAVE HIM A LOT OF SONG CONCEPTS AND IDEAS THAT HIT ME ON THE SPOT DURING THE RECORDING PROCESS, THAT ALBUM CAME OUT VERY SOLID AND WELL PUT TOGETHER.

VALIDATED: COLLABORATING OR PRODUCING SOLO, WHICH DO YOU PREFER?

KIDD CALLED QUEST: IT ALL DEPENDS, I NEVER HAD A ISSUE WORKING WITH ANOTHER PRODUCER ON MUSIC. IT’S CRAZY YOU ASKED THIS BECAUSE ME AND THE HOTTEST PRODUCER FROM ROCHESTER @MIDNITEBEATS ARE ACTUALLY WORKING ON A INSTRUMENTAL PROJECT RIGHT NOW THAT WILL BE OUT SOON. IT’S GOOD TO WORK WITH OTHER PRODUCERS BECAUSE THAT’S HOW NEW SOUNDS GET CREATED. THERE MIGHT BE SOMETHING I’M A LITTLE BETTER AT DOING THAN THEY ARE OR SOMETHING THEIR BETTER AT DOING THAN ME. BUT IT’S JUST LIKE WORKING WITH A ARTIST, IF EVERYONE'S ON THE SAME PAGE EVERYTHING WILL WORK OUT PERFECTLY TOGETHER.

VALIDATED: YOUR MUSIC CAPTURES THE CLASSIC SOUND OF HARDCORE EAST COAST HIP-HOP. WHO ARE SOME OF THE PRODUCERS THAT INFLUENCE THE MUSIC YOU MAKE? WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DID YOUR BORROW FROM THEM?

KIDD CALLED QUEST: PRODUCERS THAT INFLUENCED ME ARE DJ PREMIER, HI-TEK, RZA, ROCKWILDER, ERICK SERMON, BUCK WILD, SHOWBIZ, DR DRE, Q-TIP, SKI BEATZ AND MANY MORE. THE PRODUCER THAT INFLUENCED ME THE MOST TO DO IT WOULD BE HI-TEK. I’VE ALWAYS LIKED THE WAY HI-TEKS DRUMS AND BASS-LINES SMACKED AND FITTED HIS SAMPLES, THE WAY HE PLAYED KEYS OVER HIS SAMPLES AND HIS GRITTY SOULFUL SOUND. HIS SAMPLE SELECTIONS, TO ME HE ALWAYS SAMPLED S*** OTHER PRODUCERS NEVER TOUCHED AND THAT’S WHAT I’VE ALWAYS LIKED ABOUT HI-TEK. THE THING I REALLY LEARNED AND BORROWED FROM ALL OF THEM WAS ORIGINALITY. EVERY LAST ONE OF THOSE GUYS HAD THEIR OWN SOUND AND STYLES. NONE OF THEM HAD THE SAME SOUND. EACH ONE HAD THEIR OWN DRUM SOUND, STYLE OF CHOPPING UP SAMPLES, ETC... DURING MY EARLIER DAYS OF LEARNING YOU PROBABLY COULD HEAR SOME OF THEIR INFLUENCES IN MY STUFF. BUT OVER TIME PEOPLE STARTED TO MENTION TO ME THAT I HAD DEVELOPED MY OWN SOUND.

VALIDATED: YOU NOT ONLY LOST THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF YOUR DEBUT ALBUM "PUT YOUR HEADPHONES ON", BUT ALSO ONE THOUSAND OTHER INSTRUMENTALS YOU CREATED. HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO BOUNCE BACK FROM THAT?

KIDD CALLED QUEST: THE ONLY CHOICE I HAD IN THAT SITUATION WAS TO REBUILD MY WHOLE LIBRARY OF BEATS. DON’T GET ME WRONG I WAS SICK TO MY STOMACH BUT I ALSO KNEW I COULDN’T LET THAT SLOW ME DOWN. WHEN I LOST THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF "PUT YOUR HEADPHONES ON" IT WAS A LITTLE DIFFERENT, I LOST A LOT OF SONGS. ONE OF THOSE SONGS LOST WAS A JOINT I DID THAT HAD SEAN PRICE ON IT. MY SILLY A** AIN’T BACKUP THE FOLDER WITH HIS VERSES. I ENDED UP JUST REDOING THE WHOLE COMPILATION. I REALLY WISHED I COULD OF SAVED THAT SONG. JUST LIKE THE LOSS OF THE BEATS I JUST HAD TO KEEP GOING AND BUILDING BACK UP AND KEEP IT MOVING.

 

VALIDATED: WHICH ARTISTS HAVE YOU WORKED WITH?

KIDD CALLED QUEST: REKS, LIL ETO, G FISHER, TERMANOLOGY, SCOTTY ATL, RAPPER BIG POOH "LITTLE BROTHER", BIG SHUG OF "GANG STARR" SKYZOO, EMILIO ROJAS, KEITH MURRAY, 38 SPESH, VIC SPENCER, D DAVE, AXEL LEON AND MORE.

VALIDATED: YOU'VE WORKED WITH LEGENDARY AND UP AND COMING HIP-HOP ARTIST, HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH RAPPERS TO WORK WITH?

KIDD CALLED QUEST: I JUST REACH OUT TO ARTISTS I THINK ARE DOPE. SOMETIMES PEOPLE GET BACK, SOMETIMES THEY DON’T. THE "PUT YOUR HEADPHONES ON" ALBUM WAS ALL THE ARTISTS I THOUGHT WERE DOPE. I ALWAYS TRY TO WORK WITH ARTISTS I THINK WILL FIT PERFECT WITH MY PRODUCTION. EVERY ARTIST I WORK WITH, I ALWAYS TRY MY HARDEST TO GIVE THEM SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAT THEIR LISTENERS WOULD NOT EXPECT. FROM WHAT SOME PEOPLE SAY, I’M GOOD AT PICKING DOPE ARTISTS TO WORK WITH AND I’M ALSO GOOD AT GIVING THE RIGHT BEATS TO FIT THEM.

VALIDATED: AS A PRODUCER HEAVILY INFLUENCED BY THE BOOM BAP ERA, HOW IMPORTANT IS THAT SOUND TO HIP-HOP?

KIDD CALLED QUEST: TO ME THE SOUND IS IMPORTANT. BUT ALSO BEING YOURSELF AND BEING ORIGINAL IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT. BOOM BAP ARE THE ROOTS OF THE WHOLE SOUND. IT’S DEFINITELY A STYLE AND SOUND WE CAN NOT ALLOW TO GO AWAY. IT’S THE FORMULA TO EVERYTHING. I CAN’T NECESSARILY SAY IT WILL FADE AWAY, BECAUSE IF YOU LISTEN TO TRAP YOU CAN HEAR THE BOOM BAP INFLUENCE IN IT WITH THE WAY THE DRUMS HIT. I TELL DUDES ALL THE TIME JUST BECAUSE BEATS HAVE 808'S IN THEM DOES NOT MEAN IT’S A TRAP BEAT. DUDES BEEN USING 808'S SINCE THE EARLY BEGINNING STAGES OF HIP HOP AND THE PROOF IS IN ALL THE CLASSIC HIP HOP ALBUMS FROM LL COOL J, NWA, RUN DMC, ERIC B AND RAKIM, KOOL G RAP, ICE T, JUST ICE, EPMD, ETC. SOME OF OUR FAVORITE GOLDEN ERA ALBUMS HAD PRODUCTION WITH 808'S AND THAT WAS ALL BOOM BAP. SOME PEOPLE REALLY NEED TO DO THEIR RESEARCH AND KNOW THAT BASS DRUM IS NOTHING NEW. MARVIN GAYE'S "SEXUAL HEALING" WAS MADE WITH 808'S AND THAT WAS BEFORE SOME OF THE LEGENDARY HIP HOP ARTISTS I NAMED.


VALIDATED: AS A PRODUCER, WHAT DO YOU FEEL YOUR RESPONSIBILITY IS TO HIP-HOP CULTURE?

KIDD CALLED QUEST: I FEEL MY RESPONSIBILITY IS TO KEEP PEOPLE INSPIRED, MOTIVATED AND STAY TRUE TO THE ART. SOME PEOPLE BE SHOCKED WHEN THEY SEE I STILL DIG FOR MY SAMPLES AT RECORD SHOPS. WHEN I’M CREATING AND SEARCHING FOR SAMPLES IT MAKES THE ART OF BEAT MAKING MUCH MORE FUN TO ME.


VALIDATED: WHEN IT COMES TO PRODUCING MUSIC, WHAT'S YOUR GO TO PIECE OF EQUIPMENT AND/OR PROGRAM?

KIDD CALLED QUEST: RIGHT NOW MY GO TO PIECES OF EQUIPMENT ARE THE MPC RENAISSANCE AND THE MASCHINE. I FIND MYSELF GOING BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN BOTH. THEY'RE BOTH GREAT, BUT EACH HAS THEIR UPS AND DOWNS. RENAISSANCE HAS WAY BETTER TIMING AND SOUND THAN MASCHINE BUT MASCHINE'S WORKFLOW IS JUST WAY FASTER. THOSE ARE MY GO TO EQUIPMENT WHEN IT COMES TO CREATING.

 

VALIDATED: WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO FROM KIDD CALLED QUEST IN 2019?

KIDD CALLED QUEST: I’M DEFINITELY PLANNING ON PUTTING SOME MUSIC OUT FOR 2019. AZARIAH AND I ARE WORKING ON OUR SECOND YOUNG BLACK AND GIFTED GROUP PROJECT, "THE SECOND COMING". HE’S PRETTY MUCH ALMOST DONE WITH WRITING AND WE'LL BE IN THE LAB SOON TO RECORD THAT. ME AND A UP AND COMING ROCHESTER MC, JAE HUSSLE BEEN IN THE LAB COOKING UP AND IT'S DEFINITELY GOING TO BE SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO. LIKE I MENTIONED IN THE INTERVIEW EARLIER, THE ILLEST PRODUCER FROM THE ROC, MIDNITE AND MYSELF ARE WORKING ON A "NITEQUEST" INSTRUMENTAL PROJECT THAT SHOULD BE COMING SOON. I ALSO HAVE A FEW OTHER PROJECTS THAT MIGHT DROP TOO. JUST TRYING TO KEEP BUSY FOR 2019 SINCE I HAVEN’T REALLY BEEN AS ACTIVE AS I NORMALLY DO THAT MUCH IN 2018.

VALIDATED: WHERE CAN THE READERS SUPPORT YOU AND YOUR MUSIC ONLINE AND SOCIAL MEDIA?

KIDD CALLED QUEST: MY TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM, YOU CAN FOLLOW ME @KIDDCALLEDQUEST, SOUNDCLOUD (KIDD CALLED QUEST) KIDDCALLEDQUEST.BANDCAMP.COM, APPLE MUSIC, SPOTIFY, GOOGLE PLAY OR IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO MORE RESEARCH ON MY PREVIOUS WORK, ETC... JUST TYPE IN KIDD CALLED QUEST. ALSO MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW @JAEHUSSLE585 @SMOOTHFRESHNESS @OFFICIAL_G.FISHER @MIDNITEBEATS @D_DAVE.SQUAD.

Troy Hendrickson