Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Not many rappers name-drop Helen Mirren or reference films like The Descent in their lyrics but Beans isn't your average rapper. Hes actually not even a rapper. Hes an MC - a pioneering one at that in the world of progressive hip-hop both with his solo work and with Antipop Consortium (one of my all time favorite groups). Besides being a gifted MC (and producer) Beans is a fan of good cinema. His appreciation for film goes above & beyond the average person's appreciation for film so I threw some movie-related questions at him and here's what he had to say


You did an interview with Vernon Reid a few years back where you expressed wanting to move away from rapping and focus more on doing film scores. It seems like more contemporary musicians are scoring films these days (Trent Reznor, Rza, Brian Eno, Tindersticks, etc)

      PINNLAND EMPIRE: Have you ever been approached to do a film score?

      BEANS: No. No one’s ever approached or asked me to participate in doing so.

      PE: Is there a specific genre of film you'd like to score or are you open to anything?

      BEANS: Yes, I would love to be involved in either a noir or a sci-fi flick.

      PE: Are there any specific filmmakers that you'd like to do music for? Like a dream collaboration.

      BEANS: Gasper Noe or Todd Solondz or Andrew Wagner or Nicolas Winding Refn or Steve McQueen

PE: Is there a particular actor or filmmaker you identify with as a musician? Basically - who do you feel is the cinematic equivalent to Beans?

BEANS: I hope not LOL!! I really don't know. That actor would do really good work but is slept on. I'm not sure.

Your music is considered progressive & experimental by many (especially in the realm of hip-hip).

     PE: Does this automatically make you more of a fan of progressive & experimental cinema? Or
     do you prefer bigger studio films?

     BEANS: Man, I just like a good film. A great movie is a great movie.

     PE: Open question (feel free to elaborate as much as possible) - What do you think the connection is  
     between progressive/experimental music & progressive/experimental film?

     BEANS: Sometimes one doesn't necessarily always have to influence the other.

PE: Random question - what's your favorite movie sample used in a song?

BEANS: Recently, I liked The Dark Knight samples used in the Captain Murphy song,"The Killing Joke"

PE: Do you occasionally sample from films in your own production? (in an effort to avoid possible legal issues you can just give a simple yes or no. No need to get specific if you don't want to haha...)

BEANS: I personally have sampled in the past but I try NOT to sample as the basis of my framework and I strove to be as original as possible which is why I started to pick up drum machines and synths in the first place. I tried to put the music in a context of what happened in the beginnings of early hip hop electro stuff with the influence of musique concrete by trying to duplicate what I was hearing in my head.

I couldn't also do that by searching through other people's records. It has helped me to make some joints in the past but that shit is also very expensive to sample.

Honestly, I'm NOT big on production. I'm not in love with it and my earlier material was produced out of necessity. THORNS was the last album I produced but recently, I feel the need to get out of my own head so I like to work with various producers because I find that more challenging.
But back in the day, I sampled from the THIEF soundtrack.

PE: When you're on the road touring in other countries do you ever watch films even if you don't speak the language?

BEANS: In France, but the theaters don't always have subtitles

PE: What were your favorite films from last year?

BEANSThe Grey, Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers, Artbirage, Silver Lining Playbook, Looper, Django Unchained.
I still haven't seen The Sessions, Killer Joe, Amour, or Argo (My mom wants to see it as well so I've been waiting on her)

PE: What films are you anticipating this year?

BEANS: Iron Man 3, Star Trek, A Place Beyond The Pines, Pacific Rims, World War ZSuperman, Thor: The Dark World, Europa Report, Zero Theorem, Elysium, Gravity, Snowpiecer, and World's End so far.

PE: Not sure if you know but Steve McQueen's new movie (12 Years A Slave) got pushed to getting released at the end December instead of 2014

BEANS: The one about slavery, correct? Yes, please add that (*to the list of anticipated films) as well.

PE: Yup that's the one

BEANS: That shit is gonna hurt!! I feel it already

12 Years A Slave
PE: Haha yea man. I think this might be the one. And it couldn't have come at a better time (exactly a year after Django). Also, I'm not sure if you know but Steve McQueen's next film is a Fela Kuti biopic!!! It was supposed to be after Shame but he ran in to some problems

BEANS: I know, I know. Very, very exciting!!! Honestly, I missed Shame. I got open on him from Hunger. That shit was crazy!

PE: Well Shame is WAY better than Hunger and I love Hunger haha

BEANS: Word? I gotta catch it!

The last time I ran in to you we had a brief discussion about Skyfall.

     PE: Do you like the more serious/darker tone of these new Bond films?

     BEANS: Looking back, the older Bonds seem corny except for the Sean Connery joints. The
     gadgets made it quite camp.

     PE: Do you think Daniel Craig makes a good Bond?

     BEANS: Yeah, I think he's on point

There's a documentary called Kill Your Idols (2004) about the return of the no-wave/noise rock scene in New York City (Black Dice, Liars, A.R.E. Weapons, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, etc). I've always felt a documentary on the rise of the underground/progressive/"different" hip-hop scene that you were a part of in the late 90's/early 00's (with an emphasis on groups/people like; Antipop, Co-Flow, Mike Ladd, Sonic Sum, Sensational, etc) would be a great subject.

     PE: Do you think that would still make a relevant film today?

     BEANS: I don't know. Everyone's still working. I'm not ready to be dated. Give it a few more years
     when I hit 50.

     PE: Is there a particular filmmaker you'd like to make that documentary?



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