Artist Spotlight – Hip Hop Producer Complexxx
Complexxx is a producer with a unique sound, and a passion for Hip Hop culture. His creativity has no boundaries and he’s quickly developing a reputation for being able to craft “any sound” into a finished beat. Yaheard.com recently caught up with the beat smith, to discuss his background as well as his musical philosophies. Get familiar with the Complexxx, a producer on a musical mission.
Yaheard.com: Tell us a little about the environment you grew up in?
Complexxx: The environment was 1974 Wilmington, Delaware during the height of 70s soul music. My Aunt Doris used to be the Head Bartender at the Casbar over South Bridge since before I was born…So imagine growing up in a household in the 70s and 80s and all the new music was coming through the speakers, because she would bring home all the jukebox records when the new singles came in. I was always fascinated with the sounds, drums, vocals, and arrangements from that era…
I come from a very tight knit family, and we would have gatherings on the regular, it was always good food, laughs, crazy stories, drinks and smoke flowing (not me) and most importantly, the music was the centerpiece…
Yaheard.com: How did you get into Hip Hop, and production specifically?
Complexxx: Well when I was a “youngin” in Wilmington Delaware and the beginning of Hip Hop was starting to bubble, my pops had the Sugar Hill Gang album and he used to play it all the time, so that was 1979 and I was 5. When you’re that age you are very curious and receptive to new things, sounds, art etc.
The cover art was the first thing that caught my attention, the colors were amazing to me, and then hearing it all the time really stuck with me. My beat making skills started in the 80s in the cafeteria at Stanton Middle School where my man Orian taught me how to make beats on the classroom table, and when I got good, I took it to the cafeteria to battle… I was a beast at every school that I attended after that, all the way through high school.
I was also making pause tapes by using my double cassette JVC tape deck and a BoomBox. So how I got into production… specifically it was because I’ve always been a DJ first, and when your a DJ first your ear is a little more in tuned when you go to make beats. When i graduated from college (Delaware State University) in 2004 I wanted to take my love and knowledge of Hip Hop and Djing and try to make Beats..
I reached out to an old friend Theotis(Dirty Red) Joe and he hooked me up with a burnt copy of Fruity Loops 4 and I was off and running, I still use FL till this day,
I also reached out to my man Brandon aka Lord Drak, he gave me my 1st drum pack cd…..I owe these 2 brothas for getting me started.
In the beginning I was so happy to get the software and see what I could do with it, I was sampling everything under the sun, no structure, no spot for an artist to rap, no bridge, just experimentation. But as I studied and became more in tune with myself, things started to sound like something.. I now am a SAMPLE FREE Producer, so for anyone that would collaborate with me won’t have to worry about copyright infringement.
Yaheard.com: Tell us about the album No Emcee Required.
Complexxx: Man…….This tape was made out of years of frustration..
I’m a person that believes in creative energy, and I always try to bring that out everytime that I have an idea about a project.
So for years I used to reach out to artists to rhyme on my beats, for free at that, I’ve never sold 1 beat. My whole philosophy was to create projects with artists so we could blow up together.
Since 2005 there have been less than 10 artists that have laid bars on my beats. So at some point you have to make a decision, Do you continue to reach out just to be told, yeah ya beats are dope, lets work, beats gets sent, and you hear nothing back for months or maybe never, or you can take all of your creative energy and make a Dope Ass Instrumental Mixtape Series where No MC is Required…
Yaheard.com: Who are your top 5 Hip Hop producers?
Complexxx: When you listen to my beats you will hear some of all my top 5 incorporated, and to make it even more Dope is that I haven’t sampled in almost 2 years, and it still sounds and feels like classic 90s Hip Hop
1* Dj Premier—His drum patterns, sample flips, and he’s the best vocal scratcher of all time
2* Rza—His gritty off beat style, grimmy drums, dope rare sample finder
3* Alchemist—His creativity is where i get most of my style from, his drums or lack thereof, scifi sound efx, sample manipulation
4* 9th Wonder—I learned that FL could be used as a type of MPC. His drum patterns, trigger samples and drums together, crazy basslines
5* Marco Polo—The most precise, His drums and patterns, stabs, bassline play is the best, use of non conventional sounds
Yaheard.com: What are some of your current projects or releases?
Complexxx: I recently released another installment of the No Mc or Emcee Required Series No Emcee Required 2, It’s currently on SoundCloud
It’s 5 of my most recent works, of course Sample Free.
Yaheard.com: If you could work with one rapper, who would it be?
Complexxx: I would have to choose Action Bronson, I love his word play, delivery, topics, creativity, and ability to rhyme over any type of beat.
Yaheard.com: How do you feel about the current state of Hip Hop?
Complexxx: I believe the state of REAL HIP HOP is doing really well, I’m speaking underground ofcourse. I don’t follow mainstream rap music at all, my ears are strictly focused on non commercial emcees. Griselda, Stove God Cooks, Roc Marci, Willie the Kid, Action Bronson, 38 Spec, Currency, etc
Yaheard.com: Any shout outs?
Complexxx: Yeah man, I wanna shout you out and the whole Crazy 88s crew for making me a honorary member, The whole crew always showed love..The list of shouts may be to long and I don’t wanna offend anybody by leaving them out, but there is one person that I do want to shout out My man Jay (Bless) Coakley
God bless the dead.
This guy was the person who believed in my talents as a producer the most out of anybody i know. I would call him all hours of the night to play him beats, he always picked up, I used to drive by his house on my way home from work late night to play him beats, he also came outside, he was a producer as well and he used to always tell me I had more practicing to do before I could be better than him lol…And i will never forget, one night I went by his crib to play some new beats that I knew he would like,
When I played the 1st beat He stopped, looked at me and sayed, I think the student has finally beat the master…
Yaheard.com: What’s your ultimate Hip Hop producer dream job?
Complexxx: My ultimate Dream is to Become a person who scores movies like RZA or Adrian Youngor get a Major placements with any multimedia company that is in need Original Sample Free 90s influenced HipHop Music
Yaheard.com: Where can people find Complexxx’s music?
Check out Complexxx West Side Story
My Instagram handle is Damon Complexxx Glasco
My Youtube is Complexxxhiphop1
Thanks for letting me tell the world a little about my story…..
Complexxx on the Beat Son!!!