Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Desmond Catron & Savanna Hulbert (K.I.P.P)
The artist known as IMAKEMADBEATS grew up in the Orange Mound neighborhood of Memphis and is now regarded as one of the city’s elite music producers. His older brother was his inspiration to start making rap music and creating his own beats, leading on to a competition between the two to see who was better.
IMAKEMADBEATS said, “The first rap I wrote was me trying to come off as gangsta as possible despite me being a 14-year-old.”
He continued by saying that producing is his passion, it is what he does every day. After releasing his debut IMAKEMADBEATS album he moved back to Memphis and has since worked with local artists such as Preauxx, Alexander O’Dell and the TRDON collective.
His IMAKEMADBEATS album dropped in 2009, which gives an introduction as to who he is and what he stands for.
The producer typically appears in photos with his logo Photoshopped over his face.
In an interview J.L. Barrow from the NOD Factor asks the masked marauder, “What’s behind the mask?” and IMAKEMADBEATS answered, “There are several answers to that. The mask simply, when you’re any kind of artist you get to recreate yourself, recreate what you want people to see. Now when I’m in the streets, I’m not MF DOOM (a rapper infamous for only appearing in a mask and not revealing his face). I’m not going to walk around with a mask on, you see what you see. The mask I feel tells my story better than my face does.”
IMAKEMADBEATS has worked with various artists but one in particular stands out as a major factor in defining who he is today. He said rapper Busta Rhymes taught him about what it means to know who and what you are and how you can expand from that.
He said he feels as if a lot of artists are too cautious and fear that they will not be accepted. He encourages artists to be fearless so they will be able to feel like if they go to different cities like Atlanta, Detroit and New York they would be accepted them with open arms.
“Whatever you are, whatever you think you are, I want you to think about that and figure that out and push that past 10,” IMAKEMADBEATS said. “Push it past the dial people and society expect out of you and break that dial. People will appreciate you for being real and being yourself. To other people, are you someone that people would want to surround themselves with? Are you the guy with a car in his grass or the guy with his lawn cut and his yard is being cut and looking nice? Successful people move in a great direction. They want to be around people who can carry a positive image and want you to look good because you moved next to him.”