QUAD H INTERVIEW1. Can you tell us something about you and how you got into the music scene?
Beatmaster V: We are a superhero hip-hop unit comprised of myself and Genuine Brag. We write all our own music and play all the instruments, except for drums. Our robot does that, but he’s not an official band member. Our band bio tells our incredible story, but regarding our entry into the particular music scene here in Sapporo, Japan…Well, we were ordered to begin our campaign of musical superheroism in Japan and luckily I could already speak Japanese, so we just dove into it. As far as I know there aren’t many white guys rapping in Japanese. If there are I may have to eliminate them. Genuine Brag: I’ve travelled here from the year 2084, so this may be difficult to understand. In the future, the only means of resistance against the Robot Overlords and the Cosmic Space Ants is to play loud music. Our enemies are extremely vulnerable to Hip Hop and Funk, so I saw an opportunity to weaponise and harness these genres. Eventually I came back to the past, to the year 2014 to try and stop the alien invasion before it ever happened. It turns out that people in this age like shaking their asses to music, so it seemed appropriate to keep up the funk.
2. Who or which genre inspires your music? Genuine Brag: I discovered a cache of old vinyl records. Lots of P-Funk, James Brown and Prince. This stuff was cool. Also hip hop like K Flay, Talib Kweli, Q Tip, Stereo MCs. I’m fond of some blue eyed soulsters too, like Jamie Lidell, Lewis Taylor and Hall and Oates. John Oates’s moustache is probably the biggest influence on our music. Beatmaster V: My top 4 musical influences in my life are ABBA, Def Leppard, David Bowie and Pink Floyd, but my recent creative output is mainly influenced by a Japanese hip-hop/pop band called Def Tech. I’m a little frightened by John Oates’s moustache, to be honest.
3. How do you record your music, home studio or pro studio? Genuine Brag: We record in the Hip Hop Hive, a giant bee hive overseen by the Queen Bee: Queen Adrena. Despite her enormous wealth and resources she has only allocated us a small room, equipped with a Mac with Cubase and a keyboard.
4. Is there any particular song of yours that has a story to it? Beatmaster V: As far as I can tell, we just mash up stuff that sounds good lyrically, though I did write Japanese lyrics for a song called The Next Step, which is about the 2011 earthquake and tsunami here in Japan. Genuine Brag: They are all true tales of my life in the future, be it disco dancing in the underground resistance, getting down, getting up again or a robotic panda detective who solves crimes using ninja skills. I think Beatmaster V sometimes raps about politics, but he’s so skillful I can’t understand what he’s saying.
5. What is your view on the role of the web in music production / distribution? Genuine Brag: In terms of distribution it’s the only thing going. I went into an HMV (Traditionally a record store) in the UK and the CD section was tiny. The market for physical media is shrinking incredibly quickly. Ironically the market for humananity’s physical selves will very shortly shrink when Robot Overlord Zarkoz arrives and eliminates us all. In terms of production? I’m not sure, it’s not an avenue we’ve explored. Beatmaster V: Without it we would be even less popular than we are now. I will mention that in Japan, although digital sales are of course popular and substantial, physical media is still king.
6. What would you like to see on a music website like WWMC that you haven’t seen and would like? Beatmaster V: Maybe a page that is like a music video station? Genuine Brag: I’m very fond of trees, so perhaps some leafy foliage around the edges.
7. How did you find WWMC? Genuine Brag: We tuned in our mystical RC-M90 Boombox and heard the sweet music calling to us from the astral plane. Beatmaster V: Actually, as we were commanded by Queen Adrena to spread our music beyond the shores of Japan, I just Googled something like “world music contests” and WWMC was the first thing that came up.