Sometimes you wait for stuff, and you don’t even know that you’re waiting. In the last year I have seen Beautiful Lou go from being someone makin dope beats workin with great artists, to being one of the most sought after producers in this renaissance of rap. His sound has already begun to define the terms by which we measure the quality of music, and it will certainly only have an increasingly-profound affect on our ideas about music. Lou is perhaps what you might call an accidental musician. He has incredibly good taste, but he didn’t come from any kind of environment that provided him with a foundation in music. Like many of us marked by this technological age, Lou found his most notable skill set one day just fuckin with a computer, not even using a program traditionally noted for its merit as a compositional tool (he started out makin beats using Nero, you know the ancient CD burning application?).
And so, as everyone has begun to grow familiar with Lou’s sound you have all also been waiting. Without realizing it. Waiting because Lou is not just another producer making hot beats. Lou i a very talented artist, with a conception of music that goes far beyond the realms in which most have come to know him. Basically, Lou is a very smart guy who doesn’t say a lot. Until you ask. And so, it is with great pleasure that we present you with 2 in depth conversation with the man behind the beats for some of the most talked about rappers to talk about. The first half of the conversation took place over chat, and mainly focuses on how Lou works. The second half took place over the phone and focuses on what Lou has been up to lately. So, as we enter the final stages preparing for the release of the MNS record take some time and get to know the young Mexican-American dude in San Antonio who is changing the way we all hear rap.
Zachg: How’s it goin?
Beautiful Lou: good. Lets talk deep moody shit
No doubt straight to it then what do you use to make music with?
Lou: A gateway computer with that little cow symbol on it. My moms
from 96 thats it.
What programs though?
How did you start usin nero? Like somebody told you bout it, or you just found it?
Lou: I bought it off a friend so I could burn CDs. I didnt even know U could edit wav files with it. I figured out that this is prolly how ppl sample. idk shit about equipment. PUT THAT IN BOLD I DONT KNOW SHIT ABOUT EQUIPMENT
Haha, will do.
Lou: dont wanna learn either. then Ill jus b like everbody else. i just think its funny meeting all these other producers and they wanna talk technical shit and I hav no idea wut they talking bout. Jus pass the blunt already
Iono, I doubt it. I think most folks learn in the same ways cause they hear in the same ways. If you learned more bout gear you’d be more of you. I def feel you though. And yeah talkin bout makin beats is not anywhere near as fun as smokin weed.
Lou: I love talkin about influences and sounds and all that. The technical aspect jus loses me not gonna front
Right, all the history and richness is in the sounds. The gear is just an afterthought. To me at least. But do you remember the stuff you sampled early on?
Lou: Tejano music ranchera music 80s synth pop. Wutever my dad had around. Alot of Selena. Synths really catch my ear I dont know why. Tejano music like Selena and Emilo had these lush heavy synth intros and interludes that came outta no where and then went straight into accordions and shit it was weird to me but i loved it.
And what were you tryin to do to the sounds? Were you hearing stuff already and then focusing on that? Or just messin around to see what catches your ear? Or something else?
Lou: Before I even tried to make a beat I was breaking down samples in my head. Jus from listening and guessing how other producers did it I always pictured wut my stuff would sound like. Once I finally got the tools it felt like it came pretty easy.
Word ok, cause I can hear that in your music. I think it really comes through that you have this bigger idea about the sounds, and how they should be to create the experience
Lou: yeah the texture I guess? is just as important to me as the melody or wutever. The more I started working with other producers the more I saw that they didnt see it. They would come up with a melody and jus use a stock dry piano sound and Im like that sounds ugly wut about this digital raindrop that sounds like its dying or sumthin. I blame video games. everything sounds so beautiful in old videogames
Yeah you’re right. And I think it was kinda the same environment that produced hip hop. You couldn’t put a CD quality recording in a videogame back then. So the stuff they came up with couldn’t just be “good music”. They were really buildin worlds with sound
Lou: Yep, building worlds . Basically I figure RZA, Madlib, Pimp C were jus reapproriating wut they grew up on. Old soul, old school hip hop,cartoons etc. so im jus using wut I grew up on Synth pop/tejano, swisha house CDs and video games.
Exactly and so much of that is about listening. It has nothin to do with gear.
How did you link up with A$AP?
Lou: I was jus a fan of ASAP YAMS blog RNT and saw he was pushing this artist that had a strong Texas influence. I figured it was a good fit and I knew Yams liked my shit so I jus hit him up.
So before Trilla who had you worked with?
Lou: Well lil B def broke me on the internet if thats wut U mean? I had to go to the net I had no choice. I had lost everything in Dallas and decided to try and see wut was active back home in San Antonio but I was soo far removed from the scene that I felt like I didnt know anybody which I didnt. So I decided to hit the net heavy and see if anybody online wanted to collaborate. I read. about hip hop! A LOT
Soo I came across cocaine blunts.com and it was rite at the time Lil Bs madness was becoming understood. Soo I decided to send him sum stuff. He sends back Cocaine and I bug out. I get addicted and now I wanted all these like minded rappers on my beats. Thats how I came across Squadda B, Western Tink, Shady Blaze and all that.
Just asking around on the internet about these ppl. Different blogs and all that. PPl think Im joking when I saw that im new to the internet but I literally NEVER knew there where all these sites and personl blogs sooo dedicated to all this new music and shit. Its addicting. especially when all U think about is hip hop.
When did you first link up with GO and tink?
Lou: Them Space Age hustle dudes hooked me up wit GO after they liked one of my old videos and asked who id like to collab wit. Tink jus shot me a random email and I liked his slang soo I checked out his music. I used to really listen to everybody’s music that got sent my way because of Tink. I thought damn if a guy this good is still beggin ppl to listen to his shit theres gotta be more legends out there. I still encorage ppl to send my there music soo GLAZEEED (my photograper/manager) can go through it. I dont really hav time anymore but discovering new talent early and having a vision for it is still I think my biggest strength
Hahah ok. and why do you choose to work with the rappers you work with? Do they complete an idea for you, or do they give you new ideas? Cause i think a lot of people who might know that you did Trilla, and Kissin Pink, they might be surprised to know you also did Okay Cupid.
Lou: Vision. Jus being able to tell wuts gonna pop and not being afraid. Thats why I dont fucc with alot of other producers cuz they got no vision. They jus make a beat. Send it out to random rappers and hope for the best. ASAP was there making music ~ Kitty Pryde had music out but nobody was fuckin with them. I knew they were gonna pop. I told Kitty exactly wut was gonna happen. Now every mutherfucker wanna throw a beat at her or get on that next ASAP album and it jus makes me sick. THERE R A THOUSAND GOOD RAPPERS OUT THERE GO MAKE GOOD MUSIC WITH THEM AND STOP RIDIN WAVES!
For sure, but you know how it goes though, most of these folks wouldnt be makin beats if it weren’t for how easy it is, and how cool it’s become. Rap is weird, because it’s about music, but it’s just as much about social relationships, bein cool and shit and a lot of times that social part overpowers the music. i think most folks fail to see the music they just focus on the social the “cool”
Lou: Naw I love being cool. Being cool is the shit. Its jus the greatest feeling in the world to discover and help new talent but I hate when U do all the work of breaking it and then sumone else swoops in and bites the whole shit. thats all
Word, i was just talkin bout how most people gonna miss all those other rappers out there, cause those unkown legends aren’t cool.
Lou: I feel u.
But yeah hahah of course we all wanna be cool in some way or another. or else we wouldn’t be doin this music. do people in your daily life know about your tunes?
Lou: Yea its def crossed over. Esp since the ASAP shit. Even more wit the Kitty Pryde shit. San Antonio isnt very big so I get recognized. Esp since my face is more out there than most producers. Im a star baby I gotta shine! but yeah it does suck tho. ppl jus want me to put them on like I kno magic or sumthin. Cant really sell weed anymore either
Prolly the better trade though. i guess those two paths though, man they’re so intertwinved. it’s funny. so you got an EP comin with Kitty, is it all your beats?
Lou: That was the original plan but too many ppl got involved. Wish her all the best tho
No doubt. it’s interesting/admirable that you would do it like that. I think you know you had opportunities that a lot of people drool over, but you’re stayin on track for what you wanna do as opposed to doin what’s gonna blow up
Lou: well I’m jus lazy and petty. I do turn down a lot of opportunites tho. After Trilla broke on the radio Atlantic and Sony and all them were like Yeah send beats for Wiz and Lupe and all that but I dont listen to them so why would I want to collab. Im very picky just like with artist i listen to. very picky about who i work wit. I figure being hard headed and petty have worked soo far so why quit
Lol that’s one way to put it, i mean i’d say you’re sticking to your guns. with this shit it’s so hard to keep your stuff. even just listening to other people’s music
Lou: Cool I just dont want too much credit when really Im just a little hard headed emo shit
Well the credit is neither here nor there. It’s more about just the thoughts you have
and the way you approach sound, and what does that all mean to people
Cause it’s about protecting the art. the art is sacred
Lou: I guess. Fuck art too mayne. See there I go again
Lol nah nah. i mean art just a word. it’s whatever it is that you’re doin whatever in the universe said “hey lou, you hear that?” whatever drove you to make music, that’s the sacred thing. and the relationship you built with that drive is sacred.
Lou: I can feel that. i like that
But you know, i think a lot of folks betray that by ridin with some bigger artist.
so it’s admirable that you would stick by whatever it is that drives you instead of just jumpin on with kitty and doin somethin to ride that wave
Lou: But its my wave hah
Exactly. you stay ridin your wave. they rode your wave to some other wave
and you stayed on yours kept ridin. haha
Lou: Too many waves bottom line is im stubborn and dumb
Stubborn maybe. dumb is a joke though. so with tink then is it a different relationship than kitty or rocky?
Lou: Tink is the only other person in this game I feel comfortable callin family. Thats my ace. He believes in me like i believe in him. Just traveling with him and gettin to know him I feel like thats only gonna lead to my best music. cuz its OUR journey. Mobbin NO Sobbin
I feel that. that’s real he’s a one-of-a-kind in this. And obviously you are too, or else you woulda been sent beats to lupe or wiz. so do you think this Mobbin NO Sobbin album is gonna be a good definition of your music?
Lou: it will def represent this time in our lives
Lou: Me and Riff Raff are doin more stuff. I really respect what he’s doin right now. He’s a new generation of legends. He just feels like a character somebody you can see as icon. That’s how I feel it is in every generation that comes up. That fool is like a cornertone that will be remembered by these other fools.
Hit the jump for the rest!