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DAR Interviews: Speed On The Beat


Today, we return with a new interview with Speed On The Beat. He details his role in TEAMDAR, the growth of everything, his new album "Death of The King" and what's next for him. Enter into the mind of Speed, once more.

Q: How has everything been going? Last time we spoke, you seemed on a journey for peace.

I'm doing well. Can't complain--much. Like I told the homie Arteest, I'm not in jail, I'm not in a psych ward, and I'm not messing around, so life's pretty good. There's still days where I feel like "fuck this," but everyone has those sorts of days.

Q: So, what inspired the new album and the title?

The idea of "Death of The King," I spoke on in our last interview, but it's also a theme that I've spoken on since, practically, I started recording seriously again, around 2010 or so. If listeners go back to the Baby Even Cool Kings Yearn/The King is Dead (#BECKYTKID) project, they'll notice that I make mention "killing the king." Back then, the King in question was "King Constantius del Leon." That was a persona I'd taken on musically that was, simply put, on some stupid stuff. The "death" of that character was the beginning of my Chris Candido-like "no gimmicks needed" approach to music. Of course, as we know, I started doing the no-fi thing and kind of lost my shit mentally, so DOTK is me getting back to basics--killing gimmicks, no matter how important, just doing the damn thing, and finishing this story of mine. Substance over style, while still looking good doing it. It's speaking on that journey.

Q: Speak about the creative process and what it took to make this album. Do you consider yourself a perfectionist?

Considering this album has been spoken on to some degree for four years? Hell yeah, I'm a perfectionist. It took me years to perfect a sound that most brush off as me being lazy, the "no-fi" thing. So, of course I'm a perfectionist on this one. It's the culmination of my life's work to this point, musically and otherwise. Now, creatively, I wrote a good chunk of the album over a stay in a outpatient facility--I mention that in the notes for "Dreaming." I wanted to capture what it was like in the moment of going through that, getting "that diagnosis," and the "what now" of being diagnosed as bipolar. Do I just chill and let silly shit happen (kind of like I did within parts of RR) or do I not let this stuff keep me down and grow into the leader and the man I'm destined to be? I'm still standing, so I'd assume the latter's happening. And I've tried to reflect that in the album

Q: How are you able to balance your demons?

Prayer and meditation. Seriously. That and a good support system that doesn't get all judgy when I say "yo, I'm feeling XYZ today." That support system includes the music obviously.

QAs far as your relationship goes, do you feel that you're honestly ready for marriage?

Most of me is. I'll be honest, there are times where I'll ogle another woman. But, I'm a man. It's practically encoded in my DNA to look at women and say "damn, she's sexy." But, I look and don't touch. That's the key, I'd like to think. I've seen marriages fall apart because people aren't honest with each other, but more so they're not honest with themselves. If you find someone attractive, it's no harm in thinking of them in a sexual--or even sensual--way. At the end of the day, it's going to harmless if you love the person you're with and you're in love with them as a whole (because looks and stuff fade, like Andre said on "Growing Old"). Besides, man, skirt chasing and pussyhounding gets old. Plus, my kid's almost at that age that he's gonna start questioning stuff. Not saying I'm marrying someone to keep a happy home or keep up appearances or any of that, but it does weigh on me. I'd be a fool to say otherwise.

Q: What are some of your personal favorite songs on this album?

Can I say the whole album? I'll just say the whole album, because I've spent years fine-tuning this thing. If these songs aren't my favorite for the album...I done messed up

Q: What do you consider your role now in TEAMDAR? You are one of the original members and you're still here watching it grow. How does that feel? 

I guess I'm more of a spiritual advisor or something? Don't get it wrong, it's always DAR. But since I'm not as hands-on as I was coming up, I can't full-on say "oh I know the ins and outs of working with the team" anymore. That'd be lying and fake on my part--and fake is something I can't do. But it feels great to know that I've had a hand in growing this thing into the monster it is. And it feels great that I'm still a part of this growing entity.

Q: It's been documented that TEAMDAR has always remained in some type of conflict with outsiders. Would it be safe to say that's done with now?

Shit, I hope so; I'm tired of battling the world. Let us breathe, people. Damn! I'm getting too old for foolishness at this stage of the game.

Q: Will there be another album in the future?

Keep Integrity, Never Guises.

Q: You spoke about some of your issues through your blog and site. Do you regret that at all?

Should I? I mean, I'd rather talk about it now than have people wondering why I'm sometimes the way I am later. Plus, it's like free therapy. I can talk on this stuff and just get it out there.

Q: Any last words?

Get the album? As I've mentioned, every sale and stream (preferably sale, because streams don't pay as much) helps me keep my charity efforts going. Plus, it's a damn good album, it's not as no-fi (I know that was/is a complaint, even with the explanation of its intent), and it's ultimately a feel-good story.


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