Meet the SOULMAN

(This page best viewed at 800x600 resolution, 16 million colors.)

This Page Posted on 10-02-98

This is an LE FastCounter. Want One?

Many of you already know who the Soulman is: the beat-knowinest, knowledge-sharinest, record-collectingest beat-miner that ever lived. He's been DJ'ing since he rode in a schoolbus, and he's gonna' speak out here on subjects from DJ Shadow and Puffy to shoplifting. For you who know him, this will be a good opportunity to find out more about him and what makes him tick. For those of you who don't already know him, here's your chance to catch up and learn all about the master.

If this interview whets your interest, please check out Soulman's phat new website (redesigned and compiled by me), at There you will find over a dozen awesome articles and interviews he's conducted for the Rap Sheet mag (with monthly beat-lists), and a means to order his series of mad mixtapes (HIGHLY recommended, yo).

The complete interview follows, quoted exactly as it was written via email:

green bar

Okay, Soul, take a breath, man, here's the questions, in no particular order:
When did you start collecting records?

Did you start collecting beats or music first?

What were some of the first (or THE first) things you bought specifically for the breaks?

What other aliases might we know you as?

What is the meaning in this for you?

Has it lost any meaning over the years?

What are your goals with collecting/what were your goals when you started?

What is your favorite type of beat? Loud, fast, rock, soul? Favorite beat?

What did/do your parents think about this?

How do you afford it all? How did you afford it at first?

How did you know what to buy, as a beginner?

What are your feelings about people listing/not listing sample sources?

Why didn't you list the sources on your tapes?

Why are the Drum Crazy producers so anonymous and ashamed?
Are they seen as losers within the culture?

Why are people who reveal samples afraid of being labeled as losers? Who cares?

What is the significance of buying original vinyl only?

What are your feelings about reissues and compilations?
Is buying them cheating or a good way to hear the music cheap?

How about sampling: is it only acceptable to sample from originals, or whole songs...?

Any thoughts on mixing samples with live (or original music)?
DJ Shadow hates it; I, personally, disagree.

What types of musical projects have you been involved in?

Do you make music yourself?

Do you sell beats to producers/rappers?
Have you contributed the beats for anything we'd know of?

Do you ever feel like you're overlooking the music just for the beats?

Don't you get sick of beats after awhile?

How much is enough? Does it ever seem absurd sometimes?

About how many records do you have now?

How much have you spent on your collection so far?

About how much money is your collection worth now, excluding sentimental value?

How many new beats do you get nowadays per week?

Did you ever just give it up/take a break?

How do you organize/store all your shit?

What turntables/gear do you recommend for listening/sampling vinyl?

What were some of your favorite finds ever? Best buys? Best trades?

What are SOME OF the weirdest beats (or weirdest USABLE beats) you ever found? THE weirdest?

What were some of your worst collecting experiences or trades ever?

How do you find time to listen to all the music you acquire in search of beats?
Especially when it sucks...?

What happens to your collection when you leave this world?

And, MY last question:
Did you first hear about "From The Head" by St. Clair Pinckney from my site?

And here's some Questions Dave would like to ask you:

What about the Strata and Tribe labels out of Detroit? Tell us more about them...

How many records from those labels do you have and what are some dope records from those labels?

When are you going to sell your records and become a millionaire?

Does Beni B still reign in the crate digging world ?

There ya' have it, y'all, beat mining 411 from the master and some tips on how to rip off your employer. Consider yourself enlightened, I sure as hell do. Special thanks again to Soulman for takin' time out his busy schedule to do this interview. It's appreciated by many, man.

green bar

(c) 1998 Mhat,