Full-time producer and part-time MC Khrysis is not about that “new year, new me” bullsh*t but his 2015 is looking pretty stacked. So we chopped it up with Jamla’s engineer and founding member of the Soul Council production crew about celebrating 10 years in the game and more.
17. He’s hitting the reset button…
“I got a new beat tape, Khrysis On The Boards Volume 1. I’m basically restarting the Khrysis On The Board With The Heat series that I’ve been doing. The last one I did, Part 2 with Rhettmatic came out in ’07. I haven’t been keeping up with it so I figured I might as well start it over for the new fans and people who haven’t been here. With Jamla I’ve acquired a lot of new fans that might have missed the first two. So I’m gonna start it over with new sh*t. Plus it gives old fans a chance to catch up.”
16. His beat tape is not an instrumental album, like 2012’s “FunkWachuHeard”
“FunkWachuHeard was actually a full fleshed out idea, project. A complete beat project as opposed to just beats. It had a whole big picture to it. This one is ‘if you missed out this is what I’ve been doing.’ It’s been previously released. If you heard it, great. If not, it’s new to you. Will definitely get another FWYH type project but I want to do a compilation or EP first.”
15. Has a new website: KhrysisMuzik.com
“It’s going to be all things Khrysis. I got a lot of stuff going on and it can be hard for your average fan to keep up with so I dropped one place so you can find out what my beats sound like and what I look like. That’s part of the problem with producers, especially when you’re not from one of the major cities. It makes networking a little weird sometimes. You go up to somebody and say ‘What’s good?’ and they look at you like ‘Who the fuck are you?’ and I say ‘I’m Khrysis’ and his whole face just change, ‘Oh sh*t you’re Khrysis.'”
14. He has his own ‘Detox’ legend building…
“I’ve been working on The Hour of Khrysis [compilation] for like six years and I’ve got at least 20 songs that I’ve been sitting on with other artists. I’ve got records with Brother Ali, Oh No!, Redman, Kev Brown & Oddisee and Tanya Morgan. And I’ve got songs that I’ve been rapping on…”
13. He rapped for a bit but…
“I picked up the mic and I put down the mic….I’m a producer first. When I picked up the mic I was new at it. By the time people heard me rap I’d only been rapping for like 6 months, but I always had ideas in my head, cadences and things, so it was more or less coming up with words. And I still do that but it gets a little difficult when you’re around incredible emcees. It’s like ‘what the hell am I rapping for?’ When I started rapping it helped me be a better producer because I could get into the mind of a rapper and how they approach beats. When I was working with HaLo on ‘Mansa Musa‘ it helps me produce the record. Or if somebody gets stuck on something I can be like ‘say it like this’ or I’ll lay down an idea and they’ll do it over. They be trying to get me to rap and I’ll be like ‘I ain’t got enough to say right now but you say this.’ I got to the point where I could make hooks without writing them down. When I did ‘A Love Never Dies’ with Sean Boog I did the first 8 bars without writing it down. But I slowed the rapping down so I could concentrate on Jamla.”
12. He’s a family man..
“I got a little brother named Blair and he came home just recently and I’ve just been kicking it and building with him. Just family. Me and my pops is close, me and my brother. I gotta sister up in NY so I’m just making sure the family is good. My brother was gone for like four years. He’s actually real dope too. He can rhyme, make beats, sing a little bit. It’s all about LIFE, life before I get into music with him.”
11.He and Add-2 held some things back from the Between Heaven and Hell sessions…
“Add-2’s solo album is coming in February. As soon as we stopped working on Between Heaven And Hell we started working on the next album. There were a couple of songs we did while making BHAH and we was like ‘hell naw this is too good to give away for free.’ We put nine songs on the project but we had like 20 records. The other ten we said we can’t give these away.”
10. He rebukes your categories…
“EPs and mix tapes are albums. Big KRIT’s Returnof4eva, I see that as an album. When I was coming up mix tapes were DJs cutting and scratching and exclusives. Then 50 Cent took it somewhere else where they were actual albums. I’ve seen the evolution from gray Maxell mix tapes with typewriter writing. The actual tape. If your joint got ate up you’d have to take a screwdriver and open it up. I got somebody’s Cuban Linx like that. Their tape got ate up and they said if you can fix it you can have it. I spent two hours fixing that Purple Tape. I knew where the scotch tape was coming up and would fast forward past it and keep it moving.”
9. He hears things in 3-D
“Back in the Cool Edit days we didn’t have the BPMs so you had to cut and paste and surgically arrange the track so it didn’t fall too far off beat. I mix and master every thing out of Jamla so sometimes you have to perform surgery to mix the damn song. Certain frequencies have certain (properties). I read sounds like a graph. It helps with that shit. When I hear the music I see the graph. Some people see colors or shapes, I see lines and graphs when I hear music. It’s the beat matrix.”
8. He’d like to be on the radio more…
“I do records like Rapsody’s ‘Drama’ all the time but there is a lot of politics in radio. I try not to go too far, because I want it to still sound like me. I love boom-bap, that’s my home but I just took the boom-bap sound and put it in the radio format. Every sound on that beat, from the hi-hats to the drums, came off a record. All of those crazy sounds in the background, all that shit is straight records. That record I got from the world famous Gene Brown. He’s from here. I’ve known him for a long time, I met him through 9th Wonder, he and 9th went to Central together. When me and 9th was living together back in the day, during The Listening days, that’s when I met him. Every time he’s in town he calls and I come running, ‘Watchu got?'”
7. He’s celebrating 10 Years since his debut as The Away Team, National Anthem. (August 16th 2005)
“We started it in 2002 and finished it in 2004. It’s been a minute. It feels good to make a career out of doing what I love. A lot of people don’t make it past their third or fifth year. I’m still able to get music out and work with legends. I met people I never thought I’d meet, been places I never thought I’d be. I’ve earned the respect of my idols. It’s been an experience.”
6. The Away Team is still together…
“Sean Boog is managing me right now. We have a couple records stashed but I guess it’s not where his heart is at right now. But he still wants to be involved with the music. You’re always gonna see us together. We talk everyday, chop it up about life. We also manage certain affairs with the label as well.”
5. He’s an introvert..
“I’m one of those people that internalizes a lot of things. Something will be wrong but I won’t tell nobody til I’m ready to talk about it. It’s one of those things where I gotta be comfortable. If you really want to hear my life story I got like half my life story in one record already, this ‘Be Alright joint’ from the deluxe version of ‘Funk What you Heard.’ and I have another song I did called ‘A Better Place’ that hasn’t come out yet. That will be for my rap album/EP, whichever opportunity comes first.”
4. He has a strict definition of what constitutes an actual crisis…
“If it’s on Twitter it’s probably some bullshit. A crisis is probably something where you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, where it looks like a f*ckin dot. It can be very internal. A d*ck pic flying on Twitter would not be a crisis. That wouldn’t be crisis for me. [laughs] On a serious note I’ll say the violence with police and Mike Brown, Eric Garner, that never ending cycle of police brutality…I see a lot of insensitivity to these situations and I see that as a crisis. I see people being really insensitive to Black life. That’s an emergency type situation. We need to open up a discussion about how race relations work, at least get an understanding of how the cultures work, where each side is coming from.”
3. His new drumkit is his way of giving back…
“I’ve been hearing my shit out there before I was doing drum kits. I’mma keep it real. I gave some drums to one kid one time and two years later the drum kit came back to me from somebody else. A kit I made when I started on Fruity Loops. That’s my fuckin snare. So if y’all want it that bad here you go. This is my way of paying it forward. Everybody wants to help out the person who got it already, but what about the person who ain’t got it? When I first started making drums I used the intro to ‘Shook Ones’ as a snare and a hi-hat and nobody could figure out where I got it from. It’s just time to pay it forward.”
He’s actually running a contest with the new Drum Kit:
2. He’s working on albums with Elzhi, Oh No, and Del from Hieroglyphics
“Elzhi just got off tour. We’ve been in touch hardcore ever since the Minstrel Show because I recorded the session for ‘Hidin Place,’ that’s how we met. We ran into each other again when we were touring for The Minstrel show and then I gave him some beats and he called me back like three days later with verses he wrote to it. The next year I had a little trouble where I couldn’t go into Toronto, so I spent the day in Detroit. He had DJ House Shoes come and scoop me up. We cut two records but I lost them joints in a hard drive crash. Then we did the ‘No Competition’ record with Talib and Phonte last year so you might get an Elzhi and Khryis project. Me and Oh NO! been working together too, we have 10 songs laying around. We’re both rapping on each other’s beats. We got some RECORDS boy. I have a song on my Soundcloud now. It’s called ‘OhKMD.’ It’s on my Soundcloud. That shit been out. I did that shit in celebration of me reaching a certain amount of followers on Twitter. By the time the site comes up there will be more records up there.”
1. He really, really likes Mortal Kombat.
I was a Mortal Kombat fiend back in the day. My favorite character was Noob Saibot. I played it on Sega Genasis when it first came out and used to rent it from Blockbuster every weekend. Played em, beat em, and went to the next version every week. I was in 7th or 8th grade at the time. I’d put in that blood code: A, B, A, C, A, B, B Start, N*gga.” I haven’t made a beat with the MK sounds yet, but I got a beat in my head for the fatality music as we speak!