Speed on the Beat (Baltimore, MD) – Do Better

Do Better SA

The often controversial “No-Fi King,” Speed on the Beat, returns with the second  Death of the King single “Do Better.” As with “Thanatos (Stories Through Music)” before it, “Do Better” mostly does away with the “no-fi” style fans of Speed have come to know, opting for a crisper sound. The “Baltimore-born, College Park-raised” Speed seems to have found his groove, delivering an “anthem for the people that constantly want to improve” that’s both fun and introspective. Not often will listeners hear an artist compare himself to professional wrestlers not named Ric Flair and keep things focused to the message, but Speed does.


Twenty-something Speed on the Beat’s story is one of redemption and self-discovery. After being signed to several minor indie labels for his singing abilities, in 2002, he first discovered his love of making hip-hop. This hobby grew into a way to vent frustration and voice thoughts he’d otherwise kept to himself. Through this newfound freedom, Speed began recording lyrics in a manner referred to, by him, as “no-fi.” This intentionally garage-band-esque sound allowed listeners to engage his subject matter the way it was supposed to be: gritty, abrasive, and honest. Purposefully leaving in clips and the like, in his mind, gave the listener a more intimate relationship with his music–and showcased the true emotions behind it.

Over the years, Speed began to understand more and more about production–and more about perfecting his”no-fi” recording method. With these thoughts in mind, he decided to grow up and go the route of artists such as J. Dilla and Kanye West, focusing on production, but still leaving a place in his heart for delivering profound and blunt lyrics. Utilizing obscure samples, piano-heavy medleys, insane drum patterns, and an overall ear for music, Speed has started to carve his own path, on both sides of the board. Speed on the Beat is destined to make a name for himself with a simple mantra: “why can’t conscious rap sound gangster and why can’t gangster rap sound conscious?” Speed gathers influence from J. Dilla, Kanye West, Guru, Just Blaze, 1970s Soul Music, and videogame soundtracks, leading to his unique, jack-of-all-trades production sound. On the lyrics side, his influences stretch from Kurt Cobain to Immortal Technique, and everyone in between. Using this hodgepodge of influences, Speed has been able to use his “no-fi” recordings and infuse a sort of “unhinged reality” into them, and the music industry as a whole.

Speed’s first official release “RAQUEL R3:Lo@Ded (The Devolution and Death of the Modern Male)” was released in 2012 as part of a three-part collection “The Devolution, Death, Rebirth, Evolution, and Ascension of the Modern Male,” or the “Songs For…Trilogy.” It was re-released as a free EP in May 2013 on Speed’s Soundcloud. His second release, “Songs For… (The Rebirth and Evolution of the Modern Male),” was released on his 25th birthday, August 17th, 2013. The last part of the trilogy, “Death of the King (The Ascension),” is slated to be released on August 17th, 2014. The final chapter of the trilogy is also Speed’s first foray in years away from the “No-Fi” sound that he pioneered.

In addition to changing the world through his music, Speed also manages production and management duties for “#TeamDAR,” and writes for several blogs including SpeedontheBeat.com, his personal page, and Boi-1da.net. Speed’s desire to impact and change the world permeates through every facet of his life, and makes him a force to be reckoned with. His unapologetic approach to life is one that is sorely needed in music and in society as a whole.




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