Hip-hop Innovator Beedie Speaks Out
By Jordan Mills Pleasant
The name Brian Benjamin Green doesn’t turn as many heads as the name Beedie, although they refer to the same person: an American rapper and hip-hop artist based in Pittsburgh who has many reasons to expect a bright future in the music industry. Beedie was originally born in New York City, but spent most of his formative years in The City of Bridges, which is perhaps apt because his lyrical style bridges the gap between an older, more classic hip-hop sound and newer, contemporary themes that speak universally.
The Gem City will be lucky to host such an up and coming voice as Beedie’s when he breaks out with Cappadonna from the Wu Tang Clan and other rappers at the Black Cloud Tour, which stops at Fairborn’s One Eyed Jack’s toward the end of the month.
Dayton City Paper had the lucky chance to interview Beedie, and here’s what he had to say about growing up, his formative years, the future of hip-hop and his anticipation of visiting Dayton:
Looks like you were born in New York City, but moved around quite a bit. What are some of your most memorable experiences from growing up? Those experiences that formed your personality as an artist?
Moving around so much while I was growing up definitely gave me a unique perspective on life. Nothing lasts forever but everything comes full circle, and I’ve gotten to see many different walks of life and have experiences in other people’s shoes, which is a blessing. My grandmother is an opera singer and both of my parents were actors. I spent most of my formative years in Pittsburgh. That’s where I grew into a teenager and adulthood, but everything that I’ve experienced has had an impact on the artist I am today. [Beedie]
How would you describe the Pittsburgh hip-hop scene and what role do you play in it?
Hip hop music in Pittsburgh is thriving right now. It’s been a completely untapped market for years, and now we are in the position where we’re starting to get a lot of spotlight on the city so it’s great to watch that change and be a part of it. I see the role that I play in Pittsburgh hip-hop as a leader and a trendsetter. I’ve been on the scene out here since 2007, and I can see the impact that me and my homies have made even in such a short time. [B]
You self-identify as “classic hip-hop with a new-school twist.” Can you elaborate on that, as far as style and sound go?
A lot of people hear my music and say that it reminds them of a time when hip-hop was in its “golden-era.” When I make music I try to emphasize the importance of bringing the best of all aspects to the table, from cadences to delivery, wordplay, lyrics, beat selection — the whole package. I think some people feel that modern music might lack in some of those areas. But at the same time I also come from a younger generation, so my message speaks to everyone. [B]
Looks like you’ve associated with some other big names in the hip-hop scene. Can you describe some of your more memorable times with other rappers?
Back in 2007-2008 Mac Miller and I were in a duo called The Ill Spoken, we did a mixtape called How High, which was really fun to record. Both of us were still developing as artists, so it was a great learning experience as well. Last spring after SXSW, the homie One Be Lo (from Binary Star) stopped through Pittsburgh on his way back to Michigan. We did a dope collab which can be found as a bonus track on my mixtape The Beat Bully LP. He’s one of the coolest and most humble people I’ve met in the industry and the advice he gave to me was sincere wisdom. [B]
You’ll be visiting Dayton soon to participate in a pretty big event. What are your expectations of the venue?
I’ll be performing at One Eyed Jack’s on March 30th with Cappadonna from the Wu-Tang Clan. The venue looks dope. [B]
What’s your opinion of the hip-hop scene in your neighbor state?
I’ve been to Ohio many times, but have never been to Dayton before. There’s a lot of talent in the midwest, so I’m looking forward to the experience and hopefully will get to learn some new things about the scene. [B]
How does the hip-hop scene in Ohio compare with the hip-hop scene in Pittsburgh?
They are both regions that have recently seen hometown artists make it on a national level. I see Pittsburgh continuing to impact mainstream and underground music over the next several years. [B]
Hip-hop is like poetry. I think even more conservative and traditional poets see the lyrical connection between hip-hop and poetry. Any comments on that relation?
Hip Hop definitely has similarities to poetry and spoken-word. They are both great forms of expression. [B]
For those amateur rappers out there, any words of wisdom?
I support anyone that’s trying to do something positive. That said, if you suck, don’t quit your day job. If you have skills then be humble and always stay working. You never know who might be able to help you in the future, and being in the right place at the right time counts for everything. [B]
(See Beedie and other hip-hop innovators live at One Eyed Jacks on Friday, March 30th at 7p.m. For more information, visit jacksdayton.com or call (937) 426-3400.)
Reach DCP editor Jordan Mills Pleasant at Editor@DaytonCityPaper.com.
Photo Credit: Derek Tull