RD: Going back a few years you released a project with Vast Aire. Was that the first project you produced with one MC?
R: Back in 2001 I released an album called Darkaside of Thingz featuring Blak Jak. It’s available on tenementmusic.com. The Vast Aire EP called The Heir Vast was my first project of the 2010’s decade and the beginning to my new way of thinking towards my role in Hip Hop.
RD: Two years later in 2018 you dropped King Of Crime Heights with Rustee Juxx. What was that experience like? What made you want to reach out to him for the next project?
R: Locked in with Ruste Juxx after hearing this joint called “Pimpin ya Wife” on DJ Premier’s Live From HeadQourterz show around 10 years ago, it sealed the deal regarding his greatness for me. The success I had with the Vast Aire project, I was hungry to drop another project and Ruste was active on Social media promoting himself so I decided to reach out to him. What started as an EP turned into 20 track 2XLP project. We just got into a rhythm. Working with Ruste is pretty smooth, he is on my next album called Street Corner Diaries coming out in early 2020.
RD: You jumped back into the scene big time with two drops on the same day, Cryptex Murderous Material with al.divino and New York State: The Renaissance with Mooch. Why release both on the same day?
R: It’s kinda like letting off couple shots in the air at 125th Street on Friday night in the summer. The year before I released a 20 song album, I decided this year to maintain my music output but split it among two projects. I produced these albums and mixed/mastered them as if it was one.
RD: Al and Mooch are two of the best in a growing scene, what was it specifically about each one that moved you to make full projects with them?
R: I agree with you big time! Heard Mooch and Farma Beats Heroin Farms project, and his voice stood out initially, but as I listened more the lyrics and personality were equally as dope. Mooch has some of the dopest adlib tracks I have heard in a long time coupled with dope street bars. I definitely felt confident he could be a center piece of one of my projects. al.divino has untamed energy, like a wild stallion living on the land. Stumbled on the ASESINO video and was blown away. Which led me to Monumentality, after I heard this album it sealed the deal regarding his greatness for me (not to mention Mr. Nack as well). His total disregard to the normal structure of hip hop songs was refreshing. His ability to rhyme on some of the most unorthodox beats impressed upon me the that this dude is on a different wavelength with this hip hop ish. GrandMaster status with MC skills, and does it with a flair and a great deal of confidence. Made it my business to reach out to him for a project.
RD: Your style is unapologetic-ally hardcore boom bap, would you say your approach to beat making has stayed the same since your start? If not, what changed?
R: My production has gone through several stages, so it has certainly evolved over the years, things like technology and experience have had major part in these changes. I would say, sound and samples that make me screw face haven’t much changed over the years.
RD: Do you create the beat first, then find the right collaborator, or make the beats specifically for each rapper?
R: For the most part I make a lot of beats that I like, and present them to artist I think would sound dope on them. However with the Cryptex Murderous Material project I had to send al.divino a lot of beats, it is not until he told me a couple of words about how he likes his beats, that I was able to get the right vibe. So in that case most of the beats were tailored for him specifically.
RD: Getting into your setup, how much has your setup changed in the past few years, and if there was any piece you could add to your collection what would it be?
R: Last big purchase was my MPC X and MPC Live. I also picked up a tape machine couple years ago. For the most part my gear has been in place for a good set of years. This has allowed me to carve out my sound. One piece I could add? There are so many, but I love Manley Analog gear. At some point I want to get the Manley Slam!
RD: Who are some legendary producers that inspired you to start making beats?
R: DJ Premier is my largest influence, Step Into the Arena really imprinted in me the way an album should sound and flow during my days as a young fan. By the time we get to Hard to Earn, I am a student in class learning from the legend. I like a lot of producers but the ones I studied are DJ Premier, Pete Rock, RZA, 9th Wonder, Alchemist, Just Blaze, No I.D., and Tony D (Poor Righteous Teachers).
RD: What are some long term goals for Tenement Music as a label and yourself?
R: Catalog, catalog, catalog. Just want to continue to put out good music for the fans.
Keep contributing to this Hip Hop culture, carrying the torch for a style of hip hop that will never die.
RD: If you could have any 5 mc’s on a Raticus producer album, who would you reach out to?
R: G Rap, MF DOOM, NAS, Elzhi, Droog. A separate project for each.
RD: What’s next?
R: Look out for few new projects on the way: Street Corner Diaries/RocVille, and Law 21 vinyl projects!
Follow the man on Twitter and IG @RaticusMusic @TenementMusic
Cop the wax here https://tenementmusic.bandcamp.com/merch