My music is like hip hop circa 1971 in its rawest form.
Up and coming hip-hop producer Hasan Insane has already worked with the likings of Skyzoo and TapeMaster’s Inc. He dropped one of the dopest mixtapes of 2006, Perfect Strangers, which blended Nas and Jay-Z acapellas over his own original beats. His style is one of a kind, with precise kicks and snares laced perfectly over all instruments imaginable. I’ve known him for a few months, but finally was able to catch up with him and do an interview. Know the ledge on Hasan Insane.
Hasan Insane – Hustla’s Clarity (Ft. Lil’ Wayne & Jay-Z)
Off TapeMasters Inc.’s ‘Young Money Millionaire‘
Hasan Insane – Be Easy Remix (Ft. T.I., Pusha T & Jay-Z)
Off TapeMasters Inc.’s ‘I Am: T.I. vs T.I.P.”
Wacks: Whats Good with you Hasan?
Hasan Insane: I’m good, taking it one day at a time trying to break into this industry they call hip hop.
W: For sure, for those who don’t know, wanna explain a little bit about yourself?
HI: No Doubt, My name is Hasan Insane, Ive been Making beats for about 8 years now. Im Known mostly For my remixes and the Remix Cds I put out. The Pink Album with Dj Mills and Perfect Strangers. I’m From NY and Proud of it!
W: That Perfect Strangers joint has been everywhere, even over a year later. How long did it take you to make it? Are you the type of producer who just gets into a zone and works non stop for days, or spreads it out over time until its exactly how you want it?
HI: Well Perfect Strangers took me about 3 months to complete. It was done by December ’05 but didn’t really pick up stream until early ’06. Originally I had wanted to put Jay and Nas together because they were my favorite MC’s and i figured it would never happen so why not do it on this mixtape. Then they had the big show where they “united”. I was sooo pissed because the whole idea behind Perfect Strangers was numb. It was no suprise anymore if people heard Jay and Nas on the same track, so it almost didn’t get released at all, but my people pushed me and even my moms told me it would be a waste of all that work to not put it out, and it did real good.
W: You put that out with Tapemasters Inc. correct?
W: How did you link up with them?
HI: Tapmasters Inc. is family. Ive known them since 2000. We met at school, [Five Towns College]. That’s also where I linked up with Ac and Skyzoo and Poca.
W: Bet. You’ve also done remixes on a few of their tapes as well right?
HI: Yeah, they always reachout when their doing a new tape and i try to get them as much as I can. The Hustlers Clarity beat almost didn’t happen if they didnt ask for a Lil Wayne remix. I had the sample sitting on my MPC all chopped up but there wasnt any drums or sequencing done. I had a deadline to make and I knew the ‘Wayne tape would do numbers so i started looking through beats and found that one. Finished it up and it became bigger than I originally expected. It’s one of my favorite joints of mines.
W: Speaking of samples, when you go digging, what are the first things you look for?
HI: When I go diggin’ I look for familiar artists, or a certain time period that im looking for. It usally starts with a cover I haven’t seen before. I bring a record player with me so i can hear what im gonna cop first, so I usually end up with a good amount of music.
W: Most Def. If your crib flooded and you discovered your record collection has developed a terrible case of the mildews, but thanks to the record god, your favorite joint was saved. What record would hat be?
HI: Good question. Probobly The Black Album accapellas, because that started my remixing and its a reminder of that time. All the other records can be replaced in some form. I’m not a big collecter, but I think that record and a few of my drum break records are the only ones that hold any value to me.
W: I dig. How would you describe your sound to someone who is completely unfamiliar with hip hop?
HI: My music is like hip hop circa 1971 in its rawest form. Still just break beats, those extra long bridges and breakdowns in songs where the drummer and the bassist go at if for 1 minute. I’ve also been descrbed as soulful, but I dont take that lightly because alot of people confuse being soulful with using soul samples. It’s not the same thing. I think im soulful in my sound, not because I use soul samples but because of the feeling i try and recreate with my music. The emotion, the pain, the angst. Ghostface is the most soulful rapper in the game. Pharell is one of the most soulful producers in the game. Not because Ghost’ uses soul samples, but because of his emotion and the storys he tells on the track Pharell uses alot of different chords to convey an emotion. Like allure is one of the most soulful records of our time. It’s just real emotion and thats what music lacks these days.
W: Do you think hip hop is dead?
HI: Not at all. There are too many artist doing good music for me to ever say that. I wouldn’t even say the blues, or jazz, or country, or rock and roll is dead because the people who keep it alive are the artists who do it because they love it and who do it to advance the music, not the execs.
W: What artists do you tihnk are the future of hip hop?
HI: Well I only know of some of the people I work with, such as Skyzoo, Poca, Ac, Manhattan, Kid Cudi, Caktuz Tree, Jesse Boykins the 3rd, Rocky and Devo James Watts, Mickey Factz, Provoke and Che’lle. I mean the list is way longer but I won’t want to turn this into a grammy acceptance speach lol
W: If you could work on a one on one album with one rapper, alive or dead, who would it be?
HI: Wow. That’s a toss up between Big L and Biggie.
W: What would you call the album?
HI: Notoriously Insane.
W: Haha yes!
W: What beat made you say “wow, I want to do that”
HI: Early Swizz stuff had a big influence on me, but 10 Crack Commandments, Mass Appeal, and Electricrelaxation
W: Mix those up in a pot and you got a soup taht would make a great producer lol.
HI: lol, I hope so.
W: So Swizz and Preemo were both big influences correct? Who else was there that influenced you?
HI: Uhmm, Dilla, Rza, And Salaam Remi, Timbaland and The Neptunes, those are my top 5 dead or alive.
W: Definatly can’t go wrong with those. What’s most important to you when making a beat?
HI: That it feels right. Whether it needs more drums, less drums, no drums, more bass, etc. People get caught up in molds and standards as to what things should sound like, but you can never go wrong with the right feeling ’cause thats where it all started.
W: What do you have in store for ’07?
HI: Hopefully this year you will see another mixtape done and a major label placement.
W: Any shoutouts?
HI: illRoots.com, Dj Mills, John Shotti and TapeMasters Inc.
W: Thanks alot man. Hope to see you do big things this year.
For more on Hasan Insane chec out his MySpace.
If you somehow haven’t heard Perfect Strangers, then make sure you get your ass over to Mixtape Kings and cop it asap!