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article imageIce-T and Mr. X talk about Electronic Beat Empire record label Special

By Markos Papadatos     Oct 30, 2018 in Music
Rap superstar Ice-T and hip-hop pioneer Mr. X chatted with Digital Journal about their new electronic dance music record label, Electronic Beat Empire (EBE Nation).
Ice-T's EBE was founded with production partner, Mr. X, who is also known as Afrika Islam. "It is easy working with Afrika Islam. We worked together for so long on many projects," Ice-T said. "We both work as experts in different fields. I do lyrics and he does music."
Mr. X added, "Working with Ice-T is like working with a brother. It is pretty easy, and everything we have done together has been successful."
Their plans for the future including focusing on the EBE record label, which is a techno label, where Mr. X is "the boss and in charge." Ice-T is the behind-the-scenes person for the label. "I make sure that the label is profitable. Our premier artist is Mr. X, who will be hitting the United States this year, and touring and playing," Ice-T said.
When asked what motivates him each day, Ice-T responded, "Just waking up each morning and being alive. I have a new daughter and I have a family. That's enough motivation for me. I love being creative as an artist. It is fun for you to do."
Last year, Ice-T and Body Count were nominated for a Grammy award for "Best Metal Performance" for "Black Hoodie." "I am doing music that I am enjoying. I will be doing a new Body Count album this year," Ice-T hinted.
Advice for aspiring musicians
For hopefuls who wish to go into the music business, Ice-T said, "Music is something you do because you love. There are no limits to making music. If you want to get paid for your music, then be prepared to have people try to change you. The music industry is a very difficult business to live and thrive in."
Mr. X added, "From a DJ's perspective and from being a pioneer of the hip-hop culture, I would say try to stay with it and live your dream. Go for it. It's going to go up and down. If you want to get into the music business, be prepared to be a slave."
Dream collaborations
Ice-T shared that he would have loved to collaborate with the late global music star Prince, and he listed George Clinton of Parliament Funkadelic as one of his biggest idols. "I would have loved to collaborate with Prince, Jimi Hendrix and Michael Jackson, and I would be happy to collaborate with their virtual selves," Mr. X added.
Digital transformation of the music business
On the impact of technology on the music business, Ice-T said, "Technology really is what gave birth to hip-hop. Without it, hip-hop wouldn't have taken off. We have a love and hate relationship with technology. With streaming now, you are not selling records. It is much more difficult for artists to make money unless they are pop and unless they are getting pushed on the radio because there is so much music. We are in a world where music can potentially be free forever, and the only way to make money is due to performance."
"As a producer and as a DJ, technology has allowed a lot of people into the game, and that's fine," said Mr. X. "It's the same as being a producer, everything is virtual. There are virtual instruments, virtual sounds, and virtual DJs. Right now, if you go to an EDM festival, you will see virtual everything."
Regarding their use of technology in their daily routine as musicians, Mr. X acknowledged that he has a "cell phone." "Everything is done on the computer these days. You are playing a saxophone on a keyboard. There is nothing analog. When I do Body Count, I had live instruments, but techno music is meant to be done with technology since that is what it is built on. I am not the producer in the band, I just use the microphone," Ice-T added.
For more information on Electronic Beat Empire (EBE), check out its official website.
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