PRODUCER HIGHLIGHT: JESSE RACK$ON CREATES MASTERPIECES WITH AN MPC AND SP-404
Daily Gems loves to feature producers and artists that aren’t afraid to push themselves creatively. Jesse Rack$on is the epitome of creativity when it comes to beat production and creating unique sounds no one has heard. Jesse recently sat down with Daily Gems to discuss his creative process, influences and the current trends in the music industry.
What made you get into producing? Let us know your introduction into music.
My mom is big on the soul so growing up I was listening to The Delfonics, Teddy Pendegrass, The Whispers, Luther Vandross. Not really Jazz, but soul music and when I was younger my Mom would let me watch tv and I would see VH1 Soul in the morning. I would listen to Jill Scott, Angie Stone and Lauryn Hill.
Kanye’s a clown now because he’s not for the people. But growing up Kanye was like my hero. Growing up I used to see him on the MPC and I was hype and he got me into Pharell and he’s a clown too but they would make real songs. What got me into listening to beat tapes was 9th Wonder. He would make these tapes that were like 2 hours long and I would put them on my ipod mini and I would listen to them all the time.
How do you feel about the “type beat” trend in production and using loops versus creating melodies from scratch?
I’m not gonna lie I don’t wanna sound like the old guy at the barber shop but I’ma be real. I guess to each his own the only issue I got with using loops is that it takes the fun away. If you can go look at “Pop Smoke Type Melody” you don’t understand the joy of going through old records. The records stink up your apartment and you keep going through and find a sound and it’s like “ooooh”. It’s like dating and finding love. Dating is the joy. It’s the same thing with the music. You gotta find what’s right for you.
Who or what inspires you to make music?
My friends there’s a whole underground scene, Zoomo, Spvced he from Houston, DFNS he’s from queens EWONEE those are the 4 that keep me inspired heavy.
How do you deal with beat block?
Oh beat block, I hate beat block. I don’t really go through beat block. I have this rule. I learned it from MadLib. It’s a 15 min rule: if I can’t bust it out in 15 minutes sometimes as producers we think we can make something in our head and doesn’t come out. If you can’t get the sound to do what you want it to do just move on. Don’t force it, pick another thing. With things like track lib and splice it’s easy so stop bitching. Just find something else. It’s not even that hard. I have a folder called the graveyard. Just because you not feeling it that day doesn’t mean you can’t build on it the next time. I just throw the stem into the graveyard and I just go through it at the end of the month with a different perspective. No idea is a bad idea, it’s just a bad day.
What is the biggest lesson you learned from failure? How do you stay motivated if you’re not getting placements?
I feel like if you doing the music for placements you should stop doing music. Music is a soulful thing, music is a feeling, music is not balenciaga or a rolex. Music is from the soul. It’s a sound that your heart resonates with. When I sit down and make a song I don’t think about it being a hit. I do the music from the heart and everything will come into place. You will be surprised by the placements that fall into your lap. Why are you doing this? For the streets or you doing it for you? If you not doing music from the heart, don’t do it. Stop following another man’s formula.
Tell us about your process making beats.
My process for making beats is I got a record player that runs through my MPC then the mpc runs into the SP-404. I put a record on and I record it on my MPC. I chop up the pieces I like on the MPC and I open up another track on my MPC then I match the sample chop to drums and I syncopate both in the manner that I like.
The SP-404 is recording during the whole process. While I’m hitting the pads whatever sounds I’m creating like this ensemble of noise is being recorded like with the SP-404 if I fuck up it catches the fuck up too. It’s basically like you playing live. If you make a mistake you have to do it all over again. Everything is by hand.
Why is this process better to you?
It separates who knows music and who doesn’t. You gotta time that shit in your head you really feel the music. You sample a trumpet or a horn or something and it makes your sound not robotic with the privilege of no sequencing. I have the freedom to play the loops as long as I feel and bring in the sample chop whenever I like creating an unorthodox sound.
What are you working on next in your career?
I drop tapes every month. Something I wanna do hopefully in the near future, in the past I did a whole rap project with an artist. Now I wanna do a project in the room and spend a month and we create a project together with the energy of two people in a room together captured in a project.
I also wanna learn a new instrument like maybe a xylophone and I wanna play more orchestrated stuff. I wanna drop a vinyl. I dropped a tape and it did exceptionally well.
Any advice to up and coming producers?
I tell everybody this — keep creating even when you feel nobody is looking. I promise you it’s gonna eventually hit. Even if you drop it and it gets 5 plays don’t let numbers define you. People gonna tap in eventually and they’re gonna end up revisiting the shit you thought was overlooked.