Keith Science (New Jersey) – Q&A Interview
Tell us a little about yourself. Where you are from? How long have you been making Hip Hop?
Hi, my name is Keith Science and I’m an experimental/underground hip-hop producer from New Jersey. I’ve been making hip-hop music for over 2 decades now. Although I’ve been doing this for the love of it for many years, it wasn’t until the last few years that I started to formally release my work. I really fell in love with hip-hop back in 1992. Prior to getting into hip-hop, I was a musician and audio engineer for years, playing various instruments and even performing live. So as soon as I started to be majorly inspired by hip-hop, it was a natural progression for me to want to create beats. Early on, I connected with a couple of emcees from Dover, NJ and we recorded constantly for years. That’s how it all began for me… just making beats for my friends and having fun recording and making tracks. We were big fans and we wanted to be a part of it. These days I have a fully equipped studio and I take it much more seriously.
What influences you in making Hip Hop?
I still feel that love for hip-hop that I felt when I was initially exposed to it and that’s what drives me to continue. I don’t think I could stop even if I tried. I love to explore various sampling techniques and experimental sounds. I’m also really into vintage studio equipment and traditional recording techniques. I like to combine all of those passions into my hip-hop productions to produce a unique sound.
Describe your music, and what separates you from other producers?
I would probably describe my sound as Atmospheric Boom Bap. I was heavily influenced by the golden age of hip-hop, and I try to take a purist approach. I use an old Akai S2000 rack sampler to make all of my beats and I try to keep computers out of the beat-making process as much as possible. It isn’t uncommon for me to create my own samples with real instruments. I spend a lot of time on each individual sound due to the nature of the gear that I use and how I record. I also do all of my mixing on an old analog recording console with two large racks full of new and vintage rack gear. Because of my influences and the traditional methods that I use, many people associate my music with the early 90’s New York sound. My music tends to sound dirtier and grittier than many of today’s hip-hop recordings.
Who have you collaborated with? Who would you like to collab with in the near future?
In the last couple of years I have collaborated with Kool Keith, Rampage (Flipmode Squad), Punchline (eMC) and Mista Spyce from the UK. Right now I am working on a single with Krumb Snatcha from the Gang Starr Foundation. I’d love to collab with Roc Marciano, Joell Ortiz or Prodigy from Mobb Deep.
Your definition of “Underground Hip Hop”?
This is a tough question. To me, underground hip-hop is a unique sound that is not made for commercial purposes. It is a creative street art form with participants who respect the craft and the culture by making positive contributions. Real underground hip-hop stays in alignment with the original concepts developed by its pioneers. Underground hip-hop is where it’s all about having skills.
Production wise, who are your influences? Who does your production?
I do all of my own production and mixing. I like to work alone. It really allows me to focus on opening creative channels in my mind. My biggest influences are Pete Rock, DJ Premier, The Large Professor, Showbiz, Diamond D, Lord Finesse, Buckwild, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, J Dilla, RZA, Easy Mo Bee, Erick Sermon, Havoc, Da Beatminerz, Alchemist & DJ Muggs.
Any current or future projects you are promoting?
The current project that I am promoting is my new instrumental album, Hypothalamus, which is available on 12” vinyl, CD or digital download. You can buy it almost anywhere, including iTunes, Amazon and UGHH.com. Later this year, I plan to release a 6-song EP, featuring various emcees. The entire EP will be produced and mixed by myself. My last two albums have been all instrumental, so now I want to show people what I can do with vocals over my tracks.
Can you give us a brief description of the creative process of Hypothalamus? Also/ what was the idea or concept description about your Album Art Cover.
Hypothalamus was intended to be an artistic exploration of boom bap beats, created using unique sampling techniques and sounds. It is basically a formally-released beat tape that is intended to be listened to from start to finish. I spent more time on this album than any other before and I am extremely pleased with the outcome. I hope everyone enjoys it because I really poured my heart into it.
That’s actually my own brain on the Hypothalamus album cover! A while back I had to get an MRI of my head and when it was finished, they gave me a disc that contained all of the pictures from it. I ended up creating the album cover artwork with my own MRI photo. It’s pretty wild!
Where can we find your music and info?
I’m very pleased to announce that you can now create a “Keith Science” station on Pandora! In addition, here are my links:
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/keith.dittmar.77
Facebook : www.facebook.com/keithsciencebeats
Any shout outs?
Yes, I’d like to give a shout out to DJ Uncut Raw, Nasty Newman, Kid Sean, Krumb Snatcha, Bobby Nelson, Luis Feliciano, Karen Noe, Ken Dittmar, Denise Wilson, Mr. Mackie, Korey Costa , Ryan Proctor and C-Red. Thanks!