featured interview

Hen Boogie got beats: 'I'm obsessed with making my collection on point' A show somewhere in the nineties. Someone tells Biz Markie that the youngster of the group performing at the same venue, 'got beats'. Biz, known for his vast record collection, doesn't hesitate. 'Biz just verbalized it and gave it to me for hours.' DJ Hen Boogie, the youngster, explains. That moment motivated Hen to dig deeper, and triggered him to release The Dereliks' EP 'A Turn On The Wheel Is Worth More Than A Record Deal'. 'I know when I was making the tracks I was thinking 'Yeah, I'ma show you who ain't got no beats!'. Years later, the encounter with Biz still inspires Hen Boogie. This time for the '#youaintgotnobeats project. 'A way to use the Internet platform to bring us all together through what we love: music.'


Hen Boogie, what's #youaintgotnobeats about?

It's fairly simple. #youaintgotbeats is a photographic and oratory documentation of obscure music. Everyone who is pretty much into music has something that others may not have. Be it a record, a tape, reel-to-reel or even a musical production. Me and B.O.O.K.S. One from The New Math partnered in creating a space where the show and tell, which we both saw was a serious void, can be displayed and shared with the world.

To put it in the simplest terms: it's a way to use the platform of Internet to bring us all together through what we all love: music. Between you and me though, I just thought it was time to brag about the records I have and let people see what they're missing out on.

Where did the idea came from?

It's funny because I've always been able to turn a bad situation into an opportunity. Basically when I was just in the music game, I got 'sonned' by Biz Markie about records! At a show where we performed together, with my group Dereliks, he was told that 'I got beats'. I mean, he really put it on me and rightfully so. I, in no way, could compare to that dude at the time. I'm not going to lie man, if some young kid was presented to me the same way I'm sure the thought would have crossed my mind that 'youaintgotnobeats' too. Biz just verbalized it and gave it to me for hours.

It was no doubt a learning experience. I can't say that if it didn't happen I would have gotten so obsessed with making sure I had my music collection on point. I mean maybe if he never got at me like that, The Dereliks release wouldn't have been what it was. Because we did that show prior to 'A Turn On The Wheel Is Worth More Than A Record Deal' was put out on wax. I know when I was making the tracks I was thinking 'Yeah, I'ma show you who ain't got no beats!'

How can people get involved?

Easy. Just tag your Twitter, Instagram, YouTube post with #youaintgotnobeats.

I set up a live stream on the website so everyone can see what gets posted. I personally want to thank the folks at Tint for making that a possibility. It's really a great way to make sure that people come and visit again and again, to see what kind of material people have put up. There's some crazy stuff out there, man. All I can say is check the website because it's getting bananas!

It's really a personal statement in its purest form, especially with the shirts, we have shirts too. They really say so much with saying so little. I like the fact that it's becoming its own fashion statement. I'm looking forward to get pictures of people rocking the shirt. Especially people like Lord Finesse who was extra cool about it when I hit him up about it.

Nobody beats the Boog

Lord Finesse definitely has beats. In your opinion: when does one really 'have beats'? If he has The Dereliks record?

(laughs) Well having that is definitely a good look. But I already posted the original acetate test pressing so...#youaintgotnobeats! I think having beats means that you have something rare, good and obscure. I would never claim to have every record, tape or beat in my possession. If someone does, they're a liar. I know people who were a part of record pools. They have a bunch of common material but quantity to me is not really a good barometer.

I think it really is a personal thing. I've seen some things out there that I'm surprised about for sure but then again I've seen some stuff that was pretty wack in my opinion. I would never call anyone out about it, unless they stepped to me with it. But you know who you are and we see you!

You said 'it's getting bananas'. Are there records on the live stream which you are jealous of?

Most definitely! I've seen acetates of obscure jazz, the original reel-to-reel's from Big Daddy Kane, and a whole bunch of other records that I would love to have in my collection. That goes without saying man. I mean, we can't have it all right? Otherwise I'd be penniless and broke! But please believe if you come at me with something and you tag me @henboogie on Instagram or @djhenboogie on Twitter, you better not check me with no lightweight stuff.

I have to say this though. Since it got started, there have been some flagrant biters and imitators trying to do what #youaintgotnobeats is about. The beauty is though that there is a wonderful true story behind #youaintgotnobeats and it's not limited to just wax. All I can say is that we see you and we are truly flattered at how you justified such a great idea. It's definitely nice to be a consistent innovator. Nobody beats the Boog right?

Now you mention it, your 'Nobody Beats The Boog' release on FemaleFun was made with the same idea in mind?

Really it was my first post-Dereliks release and I thought at the time there was no guarantee that I would ever be heard from again. I was really trying to send a message to Biz to let him know 'I'm still here'. Thankfully Peter Agoston at FemaleFun records saw the vision as well and was willing to let me get my 'snarky' on.

Do you plan #youaintgotnobeats releases?

Definitely man, definitely. One of the many upcoming things you will see from the #youaintgotnobeats massive. It's basically writing its own, and B.O.O.K.S. and I are not going to let it stop.

Will there be video's of 'special guests' too? On the website, you talk about your vinyl collection in a video. Maybe Biz Mark, Pete Rock or Diamond D can do the same?

Yes, that's definitely the plan. I hit up Cool V -Biz's DJ- to get him a #youaintgotnobeats shirt and share the video. It was really a way to thank Biz for what he did and continuously does for the music. Cool V hit me back. He was really feeling it and asked my phone number to talk about the project with him and Biz. I talked to Cool V on the phone. He's called 'Cool V' for a reason. This dude was really cool about it. I'm not going to lie. I was nervous because I wasn't sure if he and Biz would take offense to it, but Cool V was like 'Hey man, I love it. It's hip-hop, baby.' That was one of the many highlights so far.

Did Biz Markie ever show you his record collection?

Nah. He definitely went through several crates verbally. When he was up in my face, roasting me in front of my friends and the Beatnuts though.

Saying 'youaintgotnobeats' to someone might turn out provocative. You had a misunderstandings with Pete Rock about it?

Wow. Well really, I think it was my fault. I didn't lead with an explanation when I hit him up on Twitter. I sent him a tweet and said PeteRock should play #youaintgotnobeats and Pete went off on me. He explained to me later that he thought I was saying he had no production skills, and that people on Twitter say some crazy stuff. Me and Pete are cool now. It's great that we've squashed it. He's now even following @uaintgotnobeats on Twitter. That really meant a lot to me! I'd still love to get him a shirt though. So Pete if you see this, I got you man. And you definitely 'got beats'!

Headless Heroes

Now let's talk crate digging. What's the one 'dollar bin miracle' you're proud of?

There was a store in the Bay Area called the Record Shop. It had crazy vinyl and I used to go to it every paycheck day. I found the Eugene McDaniels 'Headless Heroes' vinyl there, sealed, in the bin, in the early 90's... I lost my mind.

Any other amazing records you've found?

Well, during a job I had from this eBay seller. He hired me to receive record collections, price it and post them on eBay. All he really cared about were the Elvis's, Beatles and 60's rock records. So I got to take my pick from these unreal collections he knew nothing about. It was really like a scene from a beatdigger movie man. Seriously!

Do you buy a lot on eBay now?

I check eBay all the time. I'm always looking at collections that are posted. There's a lot of activity on a site from the States, called 'Craigslist'. With all the DJ's converting to vinyl and estate sales it makes it easy to turn another man's trash to treasure.

Where's your favourite digging spot?

In Oklahoma City I ran into this spot called Charlie's Jazz Rhythm & Blues. Ordinarily I wouldn't give out a nugget like that. But over the past 6-7 times I've been there, Charlie has been good to me. I promised him that because of he takes care of me, I'll take care of him. When I head out there, we talk records, I dig and we play dominos. It's just like it's supposed to be.

What were some of the first records you bought?

Some soul, funk 45's like Mass Construction and stuff. The first real hip-hop record I bought was the 12" of 'The Official Adventures of Grandmaster Flash On the Wheels of Steel' and it blew me away. I still have that record.

We can't figure out which MC ADE record is the best: 'Just Somethin' to Do' or 'How Much Can You Take'?

(laughs) I'll say 'Just Somethin' to Do' because of the DJ Eddie B track. Those transformer cuts were and still are off the chain.

Places And Spaces

What's your fav Sun Ra record?

'Invisible Shield' hands down.

Donald Byrd recently passed away...

Yeah man, wow, his passing hit me hard because he was such an influence to me musically. All-time favorites would have to be 'Places and Spaces', because it was one of the first songs my son sang, and 'Lansana's Priestess' because of the ill chord changes and progressions. I mean, you have to give it up for 'Think Twice' and 'Dominoes'. Even the Blackbyrds' catalog. Dude was and is a beast. May he rest in everlasting peace.

I remember you were working on an album, 'Mineral', with YZ, is it still on deck?

Well we've got a lot done, but the good and bad with YZ is that he prefers to work side by side on projects like this. He's old school and I respect that. I think it will make for a much better and cohesive sonic journey. It's an honor for sure, but with the distance between states it limits things. It's still on deck though. We both can't wait for it to come out.

What else is next for Hen Boogie?

Things always seem to be taking a life of their own. I'm still looking to release 'The New Math' LP through Low Self Discipline. I'm still doing a lot of music licensing for commercials, so that's been good. Besides that, I have the lead track for Vanessa Daou's upcoming release which I'm excited about. Always good to stretch my wings in different genres.

Right now, I'm really just focusing on #youaintgotnobeats. It's been such a great experience. To be able to finally share with so many people I would never have connected with. What brings us all together of course is the music. I really look forward to what the coming months will bring and so should you!


POSTED 02|13|2013
conducted by cpf

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