Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

Dirt Nasty Beats Interview

Published in Blog, villin. Tags: , , .

Dirt Nasty Beats Iowa

While regularly releasing music on his own, Dirt Nasty Beats has also been mixing it up across a variety of different genres and styles over the past several months in the collaborative realm. Working with artists both in and outside of Des Moines, where he’s based, a few notable credits from this phase of his work include tracks with DiggsDaBeat, Meep Mode, and Aubs., who helped bring together a five-song EP a few months ago. In this discussion, the producer explains that release, how the connection with Aubs. came together, his connection to the Blackshoe Inc. crew, and what his digital workflow looks like when creating tracks.

villin: I think what I most enjoy from your work is your take on various flavors of boom bap. What are your favorite type of beats to make and how’d you first get started making them?

Dirt Nasty Beats: Definitely the boom bap and especially the new age slow BPM/grime/boom bap is my comfort production. I actually started out making more heavy/808/horrorcore beats before horrorcore was a thing. I lived in a crib with some homies on the south side and they all made beats and I naturally just found a curiosity after sitting in on so many sessions, just watching them do their thing. I got me a laptop and everything took off after that.

villin: When thinking about production styles, was there anyone who you looked at as a template for how you wanted your own music to sound when you were first getting started? How would you say your style has changed over the past couple years?

Dirt Nasty Beats: At the beginning, not really. It was 2014 when I started making beats and I just wanted to have a style that would catch people’s attention, but still be pleasant to the ear. I’ve always listened to old school hip-hop; I got the Wu-Tang W on one arm and the MF Doom logo on the other. And after I got into making boom bap beats I wanted to be a mix between DJ Premier with the darker styling of Havoc, yet soul of the Alchemist with the uniqueness of RZA. After I learned sampling and the fundamentals, I accelerated quickly in the sub-genre and eventually used it as my main push coming out as a music producer.

villin: What does your workflow look like? What hardware and software do you find works best for you?

Dirt Nasty Beats: I switch between Logic Pro X and FL Studio. FL will forever hold a special place in my heart just because it was like a first love type deal when it came to producing hip-hop music. I typically like to start with chords, especially if I want a full sound for the finished product, [and] usually use the chords to fill up most of the mid-frequency of the beat, [then] add my little counter melody (if added towards the higher end of the frequency spectrum) and I let the bass dominate the low end. Good beats sound full, every time. I usually don’t add my bass/808 line until after I have the drums sequenced exactly how I hear them in my head and then I’ll come back with the bass line. I look at production like a puzzle: where do all the pieces fit? [On] a lot of my new age beats, my 808 and kick doesn’t line up together every hit; I’ll usually back off the 808 or the kick itself on some sections to give it a “space” and not have everything stacked on top of each other so it just sounds like a muddy mess in the mixing stage. And to top it off, I use a lot of texture or ambience for transition instead of switching up melody patterns or transposing the melody up or down to get listeners engaged.

villin: Is there any process or method you have when looking for samples or stems to use when creating your music?

Dirt Nasty Beats: I actually get a lot of my samples from Tracklib. They make digital crate digging such a dope and easy process. [It] helps you find the sample, has a looper in the app so I can quickly find loops, and when looking for loops I get a lot of stuff from old European indie horror movies just for the fact that they used a lot of super creepy instruments and the eerie space they leave in between instrument stabs/chords just give you a lot to flip with. I really want to get into ripping vinyl so bad but it’s expensive.

villin: I was first introduced to your work through the Dirt Lxrd alias. What was behind separating your music between that and the Dirt Nasty Beats name? 

Dirt Nasty Beats: I just like the look of it being two completely different entities. People on my personal socials and in town know it’s the same person, but the internet doesn’t. Not only to mention people in the industry take you on a more serious tip when you introduce yourself as a producer, compared to a rapper/artist. I can’t even count on my hands how many people I re-introduced myself to as a producer and their interaction was completely different than when I introduced myself as an artist. Plus the ego stroke of having your producer credits under your rap artist ego is nice every once in a while.

villin: About a year ago you collaborated with DRXCULV on a track called “Kick Back.” You guys came through again a couple months ago, teaming up on the outro to the five-track Blackshoe Inc. collaboration. How’d you first get linked up with that crew and how has the influence of working with others like that influenced your music?

Dirt Nasty Beats: Man, yes. I met the boy like two years ago on Facebook; he posted some of his music and I seen a video someone shared of it and he had the grungy style with boom bap drums at the time and we just instantly clicked. He lived on the east coast at the time and we just sent a lot of work back and forth to each other. I had a show for Halloween in ’21 and he flew out to perform at the show and shortly after he moved back. Him and DH Heartfather told me they wanted to get into throwing shows and DJing, and at the time I was a partner at the Iowa Hip Hop Showcase and designated DJ, so I talked to my partner about getting them on to help and, man, they really caught on so fast. They have always had amazing energy and I’m proud of what they are accomplishing.

villin: You also linked up with Aubs. in May for the From the Dirt. EP. What brought you two together and what made Aubs. a good fit for your style of beats?

Dirt Nasty Beats: Man, my guy Aubs. is a different breed. I met him at a show thrown by my guys at GFG Records, and it’s wild because I didn’t even plan on going, but I ended up with a free night so I went. I watched his set with King Supreme and was blown away by his lyrical talent and it helped he was on a grimey boom bap tip but with spoken word and I am all for that so heavy. It’s different and it’s needed! Just happened to be a coincidence he was homies with my guy McAllister from the McAllister Hours Podcast. He introduced us and we started talking I think I sent him a bunch of beats on IG one day and dude murdered all of them. He just started grabbing beats off me and about six months down the road From Da Dirt was born! We’ve done a lot of work since then, too, I’m so exited about!

villin: Prior to this conversation you’d mentioned an upcoming collaboration you’re cooking up. What’s that about and do you have any goals for yourself as you look ahead to the rest of the year?

Dirt Nasty Beats: I have some really good friends that do a lot of horrorcore—my original start, my initial start to the dynasty I wanted to create—and King Serp along with Crisis Child, I really believe we can make something super special for the horrorcore fans, plus making good music with good people is the end goal always! My goal for the rest of the year is to finish the end of [my] 2024 agenda and get the beginning of 2025’s started. Villainous Records is the big focus of the next move.

For more, stream his music via Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube, or follow him online via Instagram.

[This article was originally published by villin.]