Interviews — 13 September 2011

By Ahmad Awadallah

Knob-twiddler Kane Beatz has become one of the most sought out producers in Hip-Hop in such a short period of time. The mastermind behind “Bottoms Up” and “Right Above It” speaks on Nikki Minaj being the G.O.A.T, his influences, working with Nas and T.I., relationship with YMCMB, the state of Florida Hip-Hop and much more. Kane was definitely in the building.

Planet Ill: First of all congratulations on Nikki Minaj’s “Super Bass” breaking Missy Elliot’s billboard record. What do you have to say about that?

Kane Beatz: Aw, man that record was crazy man. I’m so blessed to work with Nikki and I love working with her. It was her first album and she was able to compete and her album came out crazy and then the record came out; broke all kinds of records. It’s going crazy right now and she just took home a VMA (Video Music Award) for it. So it’s crazy.

Planet Ill: People are quick to say that Nikki is the best female rapper to ever do it, what do you think of that claim?

Kane Beatz: I think she’s the best, at least to me. She took what female rapping once was and definitely took the game to another level and reinvented it.

Planet Ill: Is it irritating that the game lacks female rap talent?

Kane Beatz: It’s real irritation right now, because there are so many female rappers that are so talented and don’t have that platform to showcase themselves. With the success of Nikki, more females are going to come out and have that platform.

Planet Ill: Did you think the record was going to be that big of a hit?

Kane Beatz: [Laughs] No way, man. The song didn’t even make the album. It was bonus track on there, but we all thought it was hot. It was one of Nikki’s favorite tracks so she shot a video and it started jumping up notches on the charts. The fans really connected to record and it was a wrap after that.

Planet Ill: Whether I go to Israel, Maryland, New York, Atlanta, or wherever, the song Steady Mobbin’ is still going hard despite being released almost 3yrs. ago. Did you know that record have that timeless appeal? Lil Wayne Ft. Gucci Mane – We Be Steady Mobbin’

Kane Beatz: That’s my favorite record ever man. It really made my name and I’m so excited and proud on how it turned out. I never knew it would be that big. I knew it was hot, but it got play everywhere and it still does, so I am really proud for that record. It has the right mixture, you know what I mean? People can dance and it’s hard and I think it’ll be here for a long time.

Planet Ill: A Hip-Hop classic.

Kane Beatz: Oh yeah, definitely.

Planet Ill: In a few short years, you have racked a huge amount of hits, is there a secret to your quick success?

Kane Beatz: What it comes down to is basically keeping relationships with people. I just want to work with as many people as possible and making the best songs I can possibly make. It’s all about making relationships and networking.

Planet Ill: The game is so saturated with producers trying to make a name for themselves. How did you break into the industry?

Kane Beatz: I broke into the industry in ’06 working on Trick Daddy’s album on a record called “Tuck Ya Ice” and during the video shoot I met Birdman and we started working a lot, because he was the only dude really reaching out. So we’ve grinding hard and in ’09 Cash Money really got on fire.

Planet Ill: You craft a lot of hits for Southern based artists. Are you planning to work with any East or West emcees that might bring a different sound?

Kane Beatz: Yeah definitely. I just did three hot records with Nas and I just sent him some more when I seen him in Los Angeles. I’m doing whole lot of different shit now. I’m branching out to more Pop (music) and R&B; so I’m doing a mixture of everything.

Planet Ill: What do you think about the emergence of new Southern producers, like yourself and Lex Luger, running the game?

Kane Beatz: Right now, it’s such a blessing. We just working hard, me, Lex, Boi-1nda and others are like the leaders of the new generation. It’s also a blessing, because we’re all so young and we have such a strong impact on the industry.

Planet Ill: What advice can you give up-and-coming beat makers?

Kane Beatz: Just do you and to not be like the next guy. Develop your own sound and take any opportunity that comes up. Also it’s important to brand yourself.  If you don’t brand yourself then no one will invest in you. So brand yourself and keep relationships.

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