As a member of XL Cartel, Pie$ and his beats have been on my radar for a while now. He has done excellent work as a producer on other artist’s projects, but his talent for making deranged-sounding music extends to his quality beat catalogue on his Soundcloud as well. He kindly answered some questions for me about where this creativity comes from, where he seeks to apply it, and what he sees for the future.

1. Firstly, I want to ask about how long you’ve been producing/ involved in your scene. I’ve heard stuff from you dating back about a year but how long have you been doing music for?

I want say about 2 1/2 years, i mean my very first try was back in the 4th grade on this computer at the boys n n girls club. Ever since then I was always in to other different shit so I didn’t mind music that much when I was younger.

2. My first exposure to you was on Herme$ Bennessy & OG tape, which had a few really fire beats from yourself. How long have you two been working together and do you ever get the opportunity to collaborate in person?

Appreciate that man, I made my first song with Herm called PacMan I wanna say a year or 2 ago. Herm and his homie Crow linked up with in Oakland last year skated SF n shit, we had a studio in the hills for a couple days with RXMBO out of BMB Deathrow . We all ended up making hella tracks over those days haha

3. The beat selection on your Soundcloud is great, but do you have a full project of your own coming? Would be sick to hear you put together a compilation of your best work with some dope rappers on.

I’m dropping my first beat project, Hysteria, real soon. I’ve put up two tracks on my SC just to tease y’all and I’ve got a lot of collab projects coming soon.. so be on the look out for that haha

4. Who has been your primary production inspiration? Is there anyone in the scene right now that you admire as a beatmaker?

All my homies inspire me and I admire everything they do, from the sounds they make to the art they share the world. I’m surrounded by a lot of talented mfs that love their craft, seeing that shit just makes me wanna go harder as a producer.

5. Furthemore, who would say are your all time favourite artists, both rappers and producers?

SGP, DJ Smokey, Too Short, Mac Dre, MJG & 8Ball, DJ BattleKat, man… I can go on forever honestly haha

6. Xl Cartel seems to be doing bigger shit every time I check up. Do you guys have good relations with the underground scene in general?

I feel that we do, XL as a group, we only work people that we actually fuck wit

7. You hail from Cali, what is the scene like there? Do you feel it has a major impact on the world of hip hop in 2018?

Hyphy. Hyphy. Hyphy. Oakland been making a impact in Hip Hop since forever and we won’t stop.

8. Who are your favourites in the underground right now? Excluding anyone in XL that is.

Bmb Deathrow
Yvng Vudu
DeeDot Jones
Colton Skaggs
Patrick Slime
Dretti Franks
Young Litty
Fried Uchila
And everyone who I’ve worked with who I left out, that’s everyone you should check out also..

9. What do you think the future of your brand of hip-hop is? Do you have any ambitions for your music that you’d like to fulfil?

Hip Hop is on its downfall without a doubt, labels are signing social media personalities that make a mockery of Hip Hop. It’s like the industry is losing respect for itself, copying people without at least showing credit. I eventually want to open a chain of music venues around the country to give everyone a real sense of the true culture that’s for the people and especially the artists. I’m just tired of people settling on what they’ve been listening to for the past 5 to 10 years, there’s so much music out there.

10. And finally, what other shit have you got going on? What’s the plan for the future, should we be looking out for anything special?

I’m gonna drop a project with Stevie Durag soon. Oh yeah also, Gorgonstars. Some music with ShxpBoyz and BMB.

The XL Tape, fully produced by me.

Check out Pie$ on Soundcloud. Follow him on Twitter at @prodbypies.

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