Song Premiere / Artist Interview: MindsOne & RizzyBeats – “Overlord (Thoughts of a Madman)”

Posted: by The Editor

MindsOne is working with producer RizzyBeats for a rerelease of their debut The Time Space Continuum, and Hanson sat down with both to discuss the Redux release. In addition, we’re excited to premiere the new version of “Overlord (Thoughts of a Madman),” the second single off the rerelease. The Time Space Continuum (Redux) will be releasing through Wilmington, NC, label Fort Lowell Records next month. Read the interview below, and check out the single.

Being the 17th anniversary of your debut album, how has the industry, the sound, and the general culture changed since your debut in 2006?
Since ’06 the general landscape of hip-hop and music in general has changed drastically, with a focus on how music is consumed.  The Time Space Continuum was our first official release and just having it pressed on CD seemed like such an accomplishment, and at that time it was.  Vinyl was still around then but it was much more niche and/or DJ focused, but obviously now it has made a big resurgence.  Fast forward to 2023, it feels great to have music out on streaming platforms but having the music pressed on wax offers up a similar accomplished feeling that we had about our first release on CD. Sonically, hip-hop has expanded in countless ways from production approaches to lyrically techniques to song development.  The core of what makes this genre and culture so unique has remained true through it’s various eras, depending on where you are looking and what you are listening too, which is what makes the Redux version of The Time Space Continuum produced by RizzyBeats such an interesting venture.  The music was relevant and true to the culture then, and 17 years later it still feels relevant and honest in its Redux form.What was it like working with RizzyBeats?
Working with RizzyBeats has been natural, seamless and overall fulfilling.  He is a friend to our crew and a respected musician.  His work ethic goes hand in hand with ours which also counts for a lot.  His production style is very complimentary to our MC styles, and he really knocked it out of the park with The Time Space Continuum (Redux) by making it feel refreshed while also paying homage to the original compositions.  Producers who remix songs know that this is not an easy task.

Fort Lowell Records describes this project as RizzyBeats’ “own personal gift for MindsOne.” Does this come across in the album?
Seeing that this project pretty much was a literal gift to us with 2023 being the year both of us turn 40, yes, this comes across in the project.  He took an album that we hold dear and gave it a new feel without departing far from its original essence.  Remixes can either be a gift or a curse for the original artist, and RizzyBeats definitely achieved the former rather than the later.  He reinvigorated our love for this album, which has only aided in the momentum we are building for the release of our new full length album we have been working diligently on for quite some time.

How does this new master show both of your personalities and RizzyBeats’ personality as well?
Our music is a reflection of who we are as individuals during specific time periods in our lives.  With that being said, we take pride in looking back at our discography and feel a true sense of self in each release with a consistent thread weaving through all of the music. In other words, the songs on The Time Space Continuum are not a huge departure, stylistically and lyrically, from songs we currently create though we strive to consistently evolve and grow as artists.  Our music has an intended and unintended consistency from the moment we started to the present day. This project is so special to us because it feels like RizzyBeats has been able to respect and honor our personalities and MC styles from 2006 with a production approach that also honors his own personality and beat making style, which just so happens to feel updated but also at home in 2006.

What was it like working with MindsOne? Did one particular part of the process stand out to you?
Working with MindsOne is great! Having been a fan of theirs, and knowing them personally, I have an understanding of their sensibilities and approach to making music. When I sent Tronic the first song I remixed (“Exit Velocity”) he just replied, “Keep going.” That’s when I knew I was on the right track and that my instincts were correct. Those guys are very generous with feedback and gave great suggestions so it made the process really easy and fun.Who are some of your biggest influences as a producer?
The Alchemist is probably my biggest influence as a producer and just as an artist in hip-hop in general. Not only is he an incredible beatmaker, but he’s also an amazing record producer. All of his projects are sequenced masterfully. From the skits, bonus beats, order of songs, everything. I’m a huge fan. DJ Premier, RZA, Madlib, MF DOOM, Q-Tip, Jake One, and Just Blaze are also huge influences on my style and how/why I sample records.

How confident did you initially feel going into the project?
I felt pretty confident because I’ve done a few remixes before and even remixed one of Aesop Rock’s albums (None Shall Pass) and I was super proud of that so I didn’t think I would have any issues making another project I was proud of. And then once I got the initial OK from Tronic, I felt really good about what I could do with the project.

Talk a little bit about the production on this master—where you started and how it evolved as you worked on it.
So I knew going in that I wanted to make this an homage to how hip-hop was made in the ’80s and ’90s: breakbeats and sampling from vinyl. I only programmed the drums on one songs, the rest were different widely-used drum breaks. Basically just my love letter to hip-hop and it’s history. There’s not enough appreciation from people my age, and younger, for the history of hip-hop so I took that project as an opportunity to display that some of us younger folk do love hip-hop immensely and respect it’s place in the canon of music.

What personally was your favorite piece of this project?
“Overlord” for sure. Making that was just one of those magic moments where everything came together exactly how I envisioned it. I found the sample almost immediately when I started digging and the drums I picked just worked. It was one of those ones where I couldn’t wait to finish the arrangement and hear the finished product.

Bonus question: what is the origin of your alias, RizzyBeats?
“RizzyBeats” comes from my nickname in high school, Rizzy, and the trend of a lot of producers inserting “beats” somewhere in their name. It was originally a placeholder until I came up with something better but I started using the name on projects and it just kind of stuck.

The Time Space Continuum (Redux) is out May 12th.

Hanson Egerland | @pseudodiscourse

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