As a new collaboration project for TheTika, we decided to link up with Belgium based label Back2DaSource Records; a newly birthed record label dedicated towards pressing & preserving new, rare & unreleased Hip Hop Music in vinyl form. How does TheTika fit with this, you might say? Our goal was to bring the listener & reader a series of articles showcasing the artists involved in the label’s releases. To celebrate the 1st release of this label, Tika member Metaphyzik & Back2DaSource owner Bee Lapointe, conducted a live chat interview with Independent, Maryland based Emcee, Beatmaker & Writer Dr. Becket (a.k.a Doc Bec, Docta Bec, Doctor Becket). The project ‘No Way Out’, initially self-released by Bec on CD & Cassette format, is the first wax to drop under the label’s name, and will surely give a hint & taste of what’s to come. Below, is a look inside the history & insight of the artist, ranging from past & present experiences as well as his independent accomplishments. Back2DaSource & TheTika will keep bringing you this collaborative effort as projects drop, and if you pay attention, might realize links between articles… We hope you enjoy the read, Peace!
First of all, welcome and thank you for accepting in partaking in this interview! We’re gonna jump right in; with your first appearance on wax being in ’98, how long prior were you induced in Hip Hop Music/Culture?
Bec: I been listening to hip hop since I was a kid. I can’t remember how old I was but I remember one of my neighbors playing Doug E Fresh from his window and I put my boombox up to his and made a tape. After that I had my mom buy me Kool Moe Dee and LL Cool J which she later confiscated. I kept collecting though. I had Fat Boys, Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Slick Rick and everything when it came out. Later on I started getting those Columbia House tape deals and caught up on KRS, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, NWA and everything that was coming out at the time. That was how I got into it.
Which element in Hip Hop did you first start practicing?
Bec: I started writing graffiti in the early 90’s. I had a friend who moved down from Philly name TUBBS. Later on he met a older dude who had just moved down from Harlem name YANG. We kind of already had a crew by then but YANG gave us the name K.O.F and made it official. I guess he kind of carried it from New York. I was drawing since elementary school so I was already into art, but YANG was the first person to show me how to do letters and graffiti style characters. This was around the time when Fat Joe came out with ‘Flow Joe’. I would listen to that a lot on the bus. We use to rack up on gear which gave us a reason to travel and bomb along the way. I remember one time Eastern Mountain Sports had a chalk board advertisement outside and it was done in graffiti letters. So we went inside and met the dude working there who name was DAH ONE. This was when Kurious was coming out and he played us the ‘Walk like a Duck’ demo from his headphones. We use to just ride the buses and trains all the time after school to different malls on a mission. That eventually progressed in all out bombing which was also one of our crew aliases A.O.B
What about between rapping & beatmaking?
Bec: Rapping. later on in high school we started making freestyle tapes with one of those small wooden tape decks that could record the whole room. I didn’t have money like that for no equipment and it was really rare to know anybody who did at that time. So I started off writing but most the time when the tape was rolling was spur of the moment and I didn’t have my rhymes with me. So most of my first tapes were freestyles until I eventually got some cheap equipment.
During those early years, who other than K-Skills were you connected with in the local/state/US wide scene that helped you make moves?
Bec: I started off freestyling open mics with a dude name Stylus Chris. I met him at a club called Pollen where DJ OSO FRESH use to spin. At the end of the night OSO would open up the mic. Chris would always get on. So one time I got on and after that whenever Chris got on afterwards he would signal to me if I wanted to go next. At that time OSO was putting out mixtapes and eventually started putting my demos on em. Which started getting my stuff heard locally. Later on after “First Class” came out I got DJ Dirty Hands to start spinning for us at shows in D.C. I actaully met him in Fat Beats in NYC but he was doing a party in D.C called Soul Camp after the Pollen era. Eventually Dirty Hands put my song ‘Hittin Hardest‘ on his mixtape which was where most people from D.C first heard it. Then became our DJ for awhile.
Chronologically, how was it & what kind of things did you have to go through releasing your projects independently during an emerging digital era?
Bec: Well we recorded ‘First Class‘, ‘Hittin Hardest‘ and ‘Galaxy rays‘ on 2 inch tape. DJ KAOS and DJ NUMBA NINE also known as CLINTON PLACE helped us a lot with that. Telling us where to press it and how to get it out. This is when Bobbito was on the radio so NUMBA NINE gave Bob our record and then Bobbito hit me up. Next thing you know we was on CM FAMALAM Show. DJ ECLIPSE also helped early on by taking our record in Fatbeats and things like that. By time we dropped singles like K‘s ‘Patience n Persistance” and my ‘Bad Muth F%*#a‘. Websites was emerging like sandboxautomatic and undergroundhiphop.com but it wasn’t flooded back then so you could get the main page and get some type of exposure
We’re you the type to hustle your projects on the streets at any chance you’d get?
Bec: Oh yeah, the first thing I actually released was a demo cassette of ‘Lyrixcism’ which I later re recorded and released on vinyl. But at the time of the cassette I would park at the Howard University McDonalds and slang the cassettes. This was when you could just ask anybody if they like hip hop” and they would say ‘yeah’ and then play it from the car and they would be like ‘how much for the tape?’
Did you often do local shows & even travel for some during those early years (1998-2006)? Do you have some experiences to share?
Bec: Yeah I did a few shows on U Street like State Of the Union and Metro Cafe in D.C and the Black Cat. We used to always do shows at Towson University near Baltimore. Performed at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe for Bobbito. We took the train from NJ to NY with Kaos that night. My cousin had us staying up in the Waldorf Historia afterwards. Definitely had some fun NY memories with my cousin. Staying in Trump Plaza. Getting crazy looks from the reception desk. Riding to NYU radio in a limo. Grap Luva came up with us once, El (Da Sensei) would meet up with us and we would all stay in the Trump plaza. NYC was crazy fun during late 99, 2000.
How did you connect with ‘Jazz Addixx’ to feature on the classic ‘Oxygen’ album released in 2005?
Bec: I met DJ Ragz through a DJ name DJ Hi C. He used to through shows and one time I went down to Richmond with him to DJ Ragz house. When I got there MUDD was staying there too at the time and was making a beat in his room. That night we recorded on it for the INVISIBLE FLOW mixtape. Later on after I came back from the Europe tour they was working on the album. They had like 5 songs or so. I told Ragz I liked how it sounded and he invited me to the studio they was recording at in D.C. We did ‘Flowing‘ that night and then recorded ‘Something you live‘ maybe a few weeks later.
(Dr. Becket with DJ Ragz of Jazz Addixx)
For people who aren’t very familiar with your music & lyrical content, we notice that you often touch on topics such as Unity, Meditation, Elevation.. Would you care to elaborate on such & shed light on your inspirations to talk about such subjects?
Bec: Most of those subjects was to my beats. Early on I would write lyrical stuff for other peoples beats. I think i started mellowing it out around the time I did ‘Who this Iz’ in Sweden for Sentense. After that was the Jazz Addixx stuff and then I really got mellow on my beats for the ‘Way Of life” LP. I guess I was just trying to switch it up a little from the hype stuff I was doing before.
What are the roots & origin of your main alias ‘Dr. Becket’?
Bec: It was a nick name given to me along time ago by my friend name Mohammad aka Lil Mo.
[Cool ! Anything to do with the television series ‘Quantum Leap’ ?]
Bec: yeah from that show.
In this present day, would you like to talk about your more recent projects, and share what’s in store for the future of Doc Bec?
Bec: I recently did a project called the ‘Zurich ep‘ on vinyl with a producer from Switzerland named 3FZGN. Also a remix version of it on picture disc vinyl. Along with a few 7″ singles. Not too long ago I released a project on cassette called Bexmix2. Its 10 beats of mine behind classic hip hop songs by other artists. Artists like De La Soul, Kev Brown, Mic Geronimo and a bunch of others. Also I just dropped an album called “No Way Out“. It has songs on it like ‘Going Down‘, ‘Mellow Out‘ and ‘Worldwide‘. It’s released on a label called Back2DaSource Records located in Belgium and being distributed worldwide.
We would both, and the whole crew at TheTika, thank you for your time & sharing all this with us and the readers. Is there anything you would like to say & share as a final word?
Bec: Yeah thanks for having me.
Here’s a link to preview the release, directly from the Back2DaSource Records Soundcloud! (make sure to follow!)
Limited to 300 copies only, support & cop your copy here: http://back2dasourcerecords.bigcartel.com/