“The Strip Club is the Only Place to Get Chicken in the Middle of the Night”: An Interview with Letta and Beatking

A debaucherous interview between Grime producer Letta and Houston hero Beatking. The two talk about about rap, gear, young producers, and strip club chicken.
By    January 20, 2016


How can you put on a Beatking mixtape and not get fucking hyped? If you don’t get hyped stop reading, I don’t fuck with you. If you’ve heard my album, you’ll know that most of my songs are slow and kind of fucking sad — as am I. So when I need to snap the fuck out of it and pump myself up to get the fuck out of my house and go DJ or some shit, all I have to do is throw on “Houston 3 AM freestyle” and I’m in full boss mode halfway through.

To say that this is strip club music is accurate, but to leave it at that, sells it way short. This is clearly music made for the club as an art, a craft that has been studied, someone who observes and turns clubs into much more than a place with just thick bitches. It’s a whole world, it’s own ecosystem. Throw in the fact that he is funny as fuck and I don’t think anyone can dispute his title of Club God — if you know about Beatking, you know he ain’t no trick, and “he ain’t in the club giving these bitches money.”

With all these thoughts on how many dynamics I could hear in this seemingly simple music, I thought I’d get high as fuck and call him on the phone. If you haven’t heard his new mixtape with Nephew Texas Boy do so immediately. If you think i did a good job on this interview, then go buy me a Beatking shirt. I’m a size large, thanks. Get yourself one too.  — Letta

Download: Beatking – “Throwdatkonichiwa” (Letta Remix)

Beatking! Motherfucking club god. I’m hyped to talk to you man, huge fan. Love your shit. How’s your day going?

Beatking:  Cool man. Recorded a hit, possibly. I know what it’s going to do.

Word. I’m just smoking listening to that martian shit.

Beatking: What? Martian? What you know about that?

 Shit, I’ve been listening to your shit man. So life is good right now, yeah? Just in the studio banging out heaters?

Beatking: Yeah everything good man. Keeping it going.

I feel you. I’m not like a writer or any shit. I just make beats too. They just keep hitting me up to talk to people and I was like I’m trying to talk to Beatking. So first of all, you fucking, you stay rapping about Club Onyx. Is that the spot or what? What makes that the spot?

Beatking: Man, okay, I make music geared towards females. I’m going to gravitate towards strip clubs you know what I’m saying, but I’m no trick, I’m not giving these bitches money, I be in there, if I’m in the strip club, it’s to give the DJ the new song and to eat. Real talk, I love wings. It’s like the strip club is the only place to get chicken in the middle of the night. KFC is not 24 hours, Popeyes is not 24 hours. I love chicken. The strip club you can hear the music you want hear, you ain’t gotta hear the bullshit, you hear the hard shit you want to hear, and eat chicken.

That’s it right there.

Beatking: Straight up.

That’s dope, that’s a boss fucking answer. That’s a great reason to go to the club. What about the best wings overall in Houston?

Beatking: The best wings I’d say are at Onyx. Onyx to me, that club is the most comfortable. I’m cool with everybody. Dreams be live—all the other clubs in the city, too but to me, Onyx is a place where, it’s a big club, but you can be tucked off as well. You don’t have to always be taking pictures and all that nonsense and be cool and eat in peace. All the strip clubs live in Houston man but I’d say the wings are at Onyx, the best pasta is at B-Live, the best seafood that’s at Club Dream. For the most part chicken at Onyx, that’s why I be in there.

Word. Also the gangsta boo tape is fucking crazy. That’s the homegirl! /span>

Beatking: You in LA?

Yes yes.

Beatking: Okay cool. We’re working on part two, we haven’t started but we’re starting to get beats together for it. It’s gotta be retarded, it’s gotta be way bigger than part one.

What do you think of motherfuckers like Drake completely co-opting this Houston shit?

Beatking: [Laughs] I’ve never met Drake. I’ve had countless opportunities to meet him, he’s cool with a lot of the same people I’m cool with in the promo game and the rap world and all that, but I have no problem with him man. For the most part, he likes it, he likes the culture so in the end he’s a fan of it. A lot of people have a problem with him not doing a song with these rappers here, but Drake’s not really obligated to do a song with somebody just because they’re from an area you like. It’s just like I love Memphis, but I’m not obligated to do a song with every Memphis rapper because I like Memphis. Drake be like I did a song with Beyonce, Bun B, I think I’m good. On the other side, a lot of rappers don’t like it. I’m not one of them. I don’t care.

I make some weird form of grime music, so I guess I see the parallels in all this Houston shit and now him doing songs with Skepta and prepping London shit all heavy.

Ka: I Fuck with the grime shit, it’s hard. I love that shit.

WORD? Fuck yes! Any artists in particular?

Beatking: The only artist I’m really kind of familiar with is Mumdance.

That’s crazy! That’s the homie.

Beatking: We had a show together in NY. That was my first show in NY ever. It was a movie. It’s on Instagram, it was sold out. It bugged me out.

Yeah Mumdance, that’s kind of more on the fringes. ‘Cause that shit’s crazy.That goes all over. I don’t even understand how his mind makes that shit at all, his mind is on a different level.

Beatking: He was playing some shit before I performed and his shit, if you can find a way to control it and rap on it, it’s so much. It’s so crazy.

I actually did this remix of “Throw That Ass.” I had a really bugged out dream dude. Basically I passed out high as fuck on the couch listening to “Houston 3 Am.” In the dream you were in this ancient temple and you were doing “throw dat,” and there was like geisha bitches all over you and shit chilling, and you spitting your bars but all the music was like being played by these old Japanese men on traditional Japanese instruments. It was crazy, I’ll send it over.

Beatking: [Laughing] Crazy.


That’s really dope you fuck with the grime shit.

Beatking: I fuck with everything that sounds insane, man.

Yes. So what would be some un-obvious references for you? Like things people wouldn’t expect from you.

Beatking: I don’t know, they’re pretty in tune to what I’m in tune to. I think all my influences, what makes me weird is I take from a lot of different places. Of course my favorite rapper is Juicy J so Juicy to death. On top of that, I love the mid-90’s Timbaland-Missy-JaRule-Playa, I love that era.

Missy, she didn’t give a damn. She was childish on songs, I’m childish on songs today. That whole era, but on the flip-side I just like anything. I like techno, but not so much techno. I think it’s called Gabber.

That super hardcore!!! Like 200 BPM and shit.

Beatking: Yeah like that [emulates gabber kick drum].
Neophyte’s my favorite group in that lane, you know what I’m saying? I listen to a lot of different stuff just to get the animal shit from it and kind of put it into my shit that needs to be controlled and a bitch can like it you know what I’m saying?

I think whatever you listen to, it just absorbs into the subconscious and shit. It will always show up in your music even if you don’t know it. Fuck man, so what’s going on right now? You’re just working? You’re working on an album or what’s next for you? What’s coming up?

Beatking: Man real talk, I don’t even know. I put out so many projects this year. But shit, you can’t take a break though. Once you take a break you’ll lose it. For the most part, I’m just recording every day. I’m just recording. I’ll probably look up in a month or two and 21 songs are done and that’s another project. I got a lot of projects pending. Me and Gangsta Boo gotta drop our shit, it’s been almost two years since we dropped the first one. Me and the homie Nephew Texas Boy from Atlanta, we just dropped Texlanta and the streets loving that. We’ll have the sequel to that. TM-88, he really pumped it live. He wanted to give us more beats and put out another one. That may be happening. Me and DJ Chose are talking about dropping one together so that may happen. I think I’m working on Gangster Stripper Music 3 right now, at least thats what it sounding like. I don’t know but I’m making a whole bunch of crazy shit right now.

What’s your setup like production wise? You still use an MPC?

Beatking: I haven’t really used the MPC in years, man. The MPC is sequenced to one of my old racks, one of my sound modules.

Oh so you got some old rack modules and shit?

Beatking: Oh yeah man, I’m 31. I’m old.

I’m 35 I’ve got some old ass shit too.

Beatking: I was telling my other partner that makes beats, “you don’t even know what a MIDI cable is.”

Right? Right here I got an analog 808 sub bass clone from I don’t even know when. It’s just a black box with like 3 buttons and a MIDI in an out, all my young homies could never fuck with this shit.

Beatking: [Laughs] Yeah ’cause you actually have to plug it in.

So what Modules you fucking with?

Beatking: My favorite modules are players from the EMU, they have software now. I just don’t have the software yet. My partner Mr. Lee, he has it. They had the MOPHAT, they had to turn on, they had a lot of dope shit. I had to go in there to get them drums, those 808s.

For sure, do you fuck with Kontakt at all on your computer?

Beatking: Yeah. Oh yeah. That thing has all the Roland shit.

I have the complete E-MU series for Kontakt. The Mophatt, Planet Earth, all of them shits.

Beatking: Oh my.

I’ll send it over when you get off the phone.

Beatking: Man I appreciate that.

I love those modules and I was even going to buy the Mophatt but then I found out that, I’m like fuck it they’re just samples on those motherfuckers. I do think it is tight that you have those though, like that’s some classic shit. Motherfuckers don’t know about that.

Beatking: Ah yeah man, Tasha keeps trying to throw them away every year I’m like nah man.

What are you fucking with then on the computer

Beatking: Man, I’m not going to lie, about two years ago making beats became unfun because my laptop had crashed and I lost everything. All I had was my drums that I still had on my old hard drive. From there, the only time I can get inspired to make a beat is when I was using a sample or something. I hear shit in my head but the sound isn’t my laptop, I can’t go through it. That really started me rapping on other peoples beats, that wasn’t a bad thing you know, you hear somebody else’s beats the words come faster. The hook will just come to you, rapping on your own beat you get tired after 30 minutes. Just recently, two weeks ago I met a dude in Dallas, 18 years old and he just gave me everything. Kontakt, Alchemy, everything..everyyyything. He gave me a folder that said “808 Mafia Stolen Laptop”. That was crazy. Real talk like he gave me everything. I was making beats-

[Laughing] Let me get that stolen laptop file.

Beatking: I got you. It’s crazy, it’s got everything.

So what have you been fucking with DAW wise?

Beatking: I’m on Fruity Loops. I use everything. Everything sounds good, Reason. Reason got some dope shit. It used to be whack. They got dope shit now.

I think it also comes down to, if you know how to make beats you’re just going to make fucking beats on whatever is there. I haven’t fucked with an MPC in years. I’m just like “why?” An MPC is just like a tiny computer.

Beatking: Man you gotta load up drums on a floppy disk, you gotta have…All that shit.

I didn’t even have the XL dawg. I had just the 2000.

Beatking: Me too, I never had the XL.

At least with the XL you could chop up a sample and shit and just slice it. You know on the 2000 you gotta copy it like 8 times and like trim that shit. I don’t miss that.

Beatking: Yeah you right.

I don’t miss that shit at all.

Beatking: I remember the MPC days. The screen going out on you.

That’s the worst, trying to find a replacement screen. Fucking nightmare.

Beatking: Bro it’s from the fucking early 90s, it’s been around. I don’t know how many people had it before you.


What do you think about younger producers that make fucking bangers but don’t really know the history of shit as far as gear or production or even just music? Their shit may be banging but it’s just like what do you think about that?

Beatking: Shit. Man, I don’t care. At the end of the day man I don’t care ’cause they don’t care. They don’t give a fuck about an MPC. It don’t even matter to them cause it’s like that ain’t my era, why would I even want to know anything about that difficult shit? That shit looks difficult, fuck that shit, I’m on Fruity Loops. I mean these dudes aren’t even making beats, I call ’em programmers, they program, they don’t even touch the keys. They just touch the mouse pad clicking shit and the beat’s made in 15 minutes and they haven’t even pressed one button. Like ya’ll programming beats and jamming. Like Fredonem that made “Flick of Da Wrist,” he don’t even touch nothing but the mouse. He just programmed the beat, I was like dawg…

It’s just like drawing. Fucking video games. Fuck. It’s fucked up.

Beatking: It’s like DJ’ing man. Nobody care about no vinyls. These 18 year olds don’t care.

What do you think about that same way of thought about like knowing what kind of music you’re making and them not even knowing the complete history?

Beatking: At the end of the day man those young kids don’t care. I care ’cause I was around. I know Lord Infamous invented the way that Migos rap. I care, I’m 31 but a 16 year old don’t care, they know Migos. They don’t care about this, they don’t care about that. At the end of the day you have to kind of modernize your brain and the way you think. If you have history in your mind, that’s cool, that makes you more knowledgeable but for the most part man, these young kids don’t care. I try to tell myself that when I’m trying to make hits and stuff like I may want to put something in a beat or do all that because I want sound freaks to hear certain things, but at the end of the day a bitch just want to hear the bass and the words. And you know, it’s just like that balance. Those trap beats, all your instruments can’t shine. That bass go too hard.

Really you don’t even need any instruments. You don’t want ’em. That 808. What’s your process? You just kind of bang out a bunch of beats for a while and just write to them, or do you do it song by song and shit?


Beatking: No process. It happens different ways every time. Sometimes I’ll be in a club and a bitch will walk past me and say something and I’m like that could be a hook, or I’ve already got the hook in my head and I need a beat for it so maybe I’ll make the beat around it, like I did on “Throw That Ass.” Or I’ll hear a beat and it inspires the hook right there, that’s how I did “Hammer and Crush.”

So it’s just some more organic shit than that. It just flows just however it’s supposed to flow.

Beatking: You never know where it’s going to flow from. That’s kind of the frustrating part ’cause sometimes you might want a hit right then.

That’s not how it works.

Beatking: It’s weird like that.

I trip out out on it, too. Sometimes I feel like I’m channeling some shit I don’t even understand, ’cause I’ll get a crazy beat and I couldn’t even make that beat again. I don’t even know what happened.

Beatking: Yeah you don’t know what you did.

Have you been out to Europe? Have you been out of the country?

Beatking: I have not.

Yo. It’s crazy dude. You would fucking murder shit over there.

Beatking: That’s what my girl Speakerfoxx told me. She said you have one of the hottest verses out there cause like “Flick of Da Wrist” they’re loving it, they think it’s my song, you know what I’m saying? Because when we first did it, the original version was me, Cheddar, and a dude named Boston George. I put that song out and this is before Cheddar was with E1 and you know when he got with E1 the label took everybody out. you know I respect that. We had already had our version out and in London they think my verse is the best one on it. Speakerfoxx sent me a video when she DJ’d out there in August and everyone was screaming it word for word…All that in London. I got family out there in London man, Southern Hospitality.

I was out there October or like September. October? I don’t know. And yeah dude, I was dropping your shit with my grime shit and they’re going crazy over that. That shit is live. Do some grime songs dawg, they’ll fuck with that over there real fast.

Beatking: I don’t know who they are but somebody recently just got all my acapellas off the internet and dropped a whole Grime mixtape. It’s hard.

Classical Traxx, right?

Beatking: Yeah, yeah.

Yeah they good people.

Beatking: The whole mixtape goes hard.

I think this is the year this pops in the states. Skepta is doing shit and I don’t know. That’s why I get frustrated with Drake though ’cause now he’s doing it, he’s just totally co-opted UK Grime and he’s like I don’t know. It’s cool, it’s whatever.

Beatking: Nah man, Drake’s hustle is to stay on top, you gotta keep on taking shit.

Yeah. Gotta keep stealing the future.

Beatking: You gotta keep on taking shit at that point, you know what I’m saying? He looks at it like he’s not stealing, he just gets this vibe man. But yeah man, I fuck with grime.

I feel like it’s pretty similar, like energy wise, you know? It’s some trap shit, some club shit. It’s around the same BPM too.

Beatking: It sounds like an EDM version of a movie score.

Yeah all those, like chopped strings and shit. Definitely. Word G, well I’m going to let you get back to it. I’m inspired, I’m going to go fucking make some shit myself right now.

Beatking: Aight, I’m gonna get back to it.

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