Alright, folks, we’ve been here before. If you didn’t know before, you definitely know now that Duval County has a lot of talent. I mean, it is literally brimming over with talent and my latest subject, Notsucal, only further proves that point. I first met Notsucal a couple of years ago at Mr. Al Pete’s, Talk About It, album cover shoot, when he was filming the day’s events and I thought it odd, because I’d heard of him, but it was always because he was a producer/beatmaker, but there he was, with a camera. And I remember thinking at the time, “This dude does beats and videos?!?” Since then, Notsucal has proven to me, that yes, he does beats and videos, with his recent work on G3.0 with Mr. Al Pete and the countless videos he has recorded. And although he is an extremely earnest and humble cat, his videography reads like a who’s who of some of Duval’s finest. I recently caught up with Notsucal at Art Walk and we chopped it up about everything from beatmaking, the origin of his unique name and how the camera has a hold on him. Check it y’all.
Nakia: Tell the readers of LaVilla a little bit about yourself.
Notsucal: I’m a producer, I direct videos. You know me from The N Word. I did most of the production for Dr. Sam Beckett; I did an album with Mr. Al Pete, G3.0. I’m just trying to continue that going, I’m trying to get a little more, ya know?
Nakia: And the name Notsucal, explain the name to me.
Notsucal: Okay, you ever seen the movie with Jean Claude Van Damme, called Kickboxer? There’s a part on there where the crowd is screaming out, they’re going, “Nuk soo cow! Nuk soo cow!” And he turns and asks, “What are they saying?” It means white warrior, it’s like Thai for white warrior.
Nakia: Oh word, that’s appropriate.
Notsucal: Yeah, yeah. And a childhood friend gave it to me, like, “Yo, you should call yourself this.” And I was like, “That’s it.” You know what I’m saying?
Nakia: It’s very appropriate. (Laughter) Now in terms of your beatmaking, who are some of your influences?
Notsucal: Aww man, well the biggest influence was DJ Lord Swift, ya know, coming up in the early days, when we first started getting our feet wet, he was the producer, he was making all the 3rd Diemenchun beats and everything; just watching him, vibing off of his vibe. And my homeboy Mindbender, he had all the programs and he was like, “Yo, I’ll show you how to do it, you can do it yourself.” And he gave me a quick walkthrough, basically those two right there, I keep as my inspiration.
Nakia: What programs do you use?
Notsucal: I use Reason and Sonar; Cakewalk.
Nakia: How long have you been doing beats?
Notsucal: Since like 04, 05. That’s when I really started getting into it.
Nakia: Now you’re affiliated with 3045 with Sam Beckett. First of all, who’s all in 3045? How long have y’all been working together? And what have y’all done?
Notsucal: Well 3045 is myself, Sam Beckett, Daryl, Mr. Al Pete’s a part of it, Venom, Jasonplusone, they’re all on the TV show and everything. Me and Beckett, we’ve been best friends since like 1995. So we came up, going to school together, came into the game together and we really just started focusing on like 3045 is just gonna be our imprint. So whenever they see 3045, they know one of us had our hand in it. Beckett came up with the name, 3045 Enterprise.
Nakia: And what does 3045 Enterprise mean?
Notsucal: It’s just a reference; Beckett’s real futuristic with his rhymes. So 3045 is just a random number for a year, it’s like a year in the future. And Enterprise, is because it’s more than one thing. We got whatever you need.
Nakia: Y’all do it!
Notsucal: Trust me.
Nakia: Word up. What have y’all released as 3045, mixtapes…
Notsucal: 3045 mixtape, we helped put out the D.A.R.Y.L mixtape through Hip Hop Hell. We put out Dr Sam Beckett’s mixtape, The Fallout, the videos I produce, they all go under the 3045 imprint and you know we got the TV show, that’s the biggest thing going with 3045 is the live TV show.
Nakia: The joint on Ustream.
Notsucal: Yeah on Ustream.
Nakia: Now you mentioned The N-Word; The N-Word is just you and Daryl right?
Notsucal: Just me and Daryl.
Nakia: And y’all had a project that came out a couple of years ago?
Notsucal: We put out first one in ’07, we’ve put out three projects with Hip Hop Hell, we’ve put out three CD’s.
Nakia: And where can we find those?
Notsucal: Basically you’d have to contact us or get a hold of Triclops, he still got some left.
Nakia: Ok, we’ve mentioned Beckett of course, Daryl, Al Pete, who else have you worked with in Duval, on the scene, in terms of beats, videos…
Notsucal: I got some tracks that I just produced for Venny Dapadon; I’ve worked with Swordz over the past. I’ve worked with this guy named Mac. We just actually finished up a whole album, so he should be putting that out in the next 4 to 5 months, by the end of the year. I also worked with my homeboy Epistle; he’s out of the Beach and my man Grindboy. I’ve dropped beats for other people here and there, but those are the ones who I’ve really, really worked with. And the videos, I did a video for Monica Monet, of course I did videos for Daryl, the new joint, Ralley Car, Beckett of course, Jackvillains. Hopefully I’m going to be doing one for Paten Locke coming up.
Nakia: Oh word, that’d be a good look.
Notsucal: Yeah, yeah.
Nakia: Between the beatmaking and the videos, do you prefer one over the other?
Notsucal: Right now, my mind is wrapped around the video. The cameras got a hold of me right now. The beats, they come here and there, if somebody hollers at me, I’ll cook something up for them but I ain’t really just sitting around making beats like that anymore.
Nakia: Right, you’re focusing on the video? And what is about that that draws you to it like that?
Notsucal: It’s the visuals, I guess. I like looking at shit. Especially now a days, with everything being on the internet, if you can look at something as opposed to just hearing it, it just gives that much more…
Nakia: Gives it that, “oomph”.
Notsucal: Yeah! Coming home from High School, can’t wait to go watch this Rap City. Recording the tape and all the homeboys get together and we just watch all Rap City tapes, you know what I mean?
Nakia: What are your plans for it? Do you want to get into film? How far do you want to take this?
Notsucal: Films, the ultimate goal. Film is the ultimate goal. I actually finished a short film with Al Pete and Venny Dapadon, I just finished editing it and everything and I’m going to be putting it out next week. It’s a little short, like 8 minute joint. That’s where my minds at now.
Nakia: Are there any video directors or even film that you look up to? What’s your aesthetic when you’re filming? Do you have a style, you know?
Notsucal: I’ve just recently got into where I’ve been paying attention to the director of the movie. I really enjoy Quentin Tarantino films, Martin Scorsese films, you know the big pictures. I like the big pictures.
Nakia: Any video directors?
Notsucal: Hype Williams, he’s top dog, when it comes down to it. If I could get on that level, I can sit back and be like, “Alright, I’m doing something.” You know?
Nakia: Yeah, just in peeping the videos and just watching you go from the earlier joints to what you’re doing now, you can see the progress it and that’s cool, because it’s not just you and a camera, filming folks jumping around.
Notsucal: Right, appreciate it.
Nakia: I heard you submitted a video to Jacksonville Music Video Revival. What video did you submit? What’s going to happen with it?
Notsucal: I submitted, Daryl’s Ralley Car. Al Pete just hit me up today and told me that he got confirmation today that they’re going to play it at the first premier on August 6th.
Nakia: Dope. Now I saw the Ralley Car video and it was a little more advanced that some of the other stuff you’ve done. Tell me about the making of it, how did you do it?
Notsucal: I taped up a green screen to the side of my house. And we just pulled Daryl’s car in front of it.
Nakia: It almost looks like it’s a video game.
Notsucal: Yeah, it’s a couple of joints on there, I used like an old Sega game, I threw it up there to make it look like him and Timmy was driving real fast, it was crazy. Tried to give it like a little dream look. I wanted to make it so cheesy, it was beautiful. That’s what we’re going for.
Nakia: Did you say so cheesy it was beautiful? (Laughter)
Notsucal: Like the funniest jokes is the worst ones. We wanted it to obviously look, not real. And to fit the song, you know it was fast paced.
Nakia: Give me a rundown on what videos you’ve done.
Notsucal: The first video I did was back in ’07 for the Jackvillains with Sam Beckett called Catch Me. I did a video for KB of the Jackvillains. And then from The N-Word, the first one, called Quarter Life Crisis to the All is Good (Mr. Al Pete); the Monica Monet joint, Jay Steez, my cat, Moodswing. The Truth, I did both of Al Pete’s joints All is Good and The Truth. I did Sam Beckett’s Up Against the Wall/Here We Go Again. I did the Alias commercial for The Great Known; Mas Appeal’s joint, Whatcha Wanna Do.
Nakia: Any future plans, collaborations?
Notsucal: Yeah, look for The N-Word at the beginning of 2011.
Nakia: Mixtape or album?
Notsucal: Album, we’re just going to go in there and make some tracks. We’re going to focus on the rest of the year running with his 7 Bridges album. You know what I mean? That’s the only thing I have lined up as far as certain projects to work on; we’ve been talking about that lately.
Nakia: Anything with Beckett coming up?
Notsucal: Beckett’s working on a mixtape to put out. I’ll be recording it, mixing it and everything for that.
Nakia: So you mix and master? You got the whole shop?
Notsucal: I try not to, I prefer someone else to mix the records. I’m cool with recording, but when you hand it off to someone to mix it down, when they give it back to you, they’ve heard something you didn’t. They put a drop where you wouldn’t have thought about putting it. Things like that just make the record sound so much better.
Nakia: Right, it’s almost like they have fresh ears and listening to it, they can hear it from a completely different perspective.
Notsucal: Right, I read somewhere that your ear is a muscle and after hearing the same thing over and over, it gets tired too.
Nakia: Word. Do you have a motto; words to live by? Make it good.
Notsucal: Man, just treat everybody good, man. And you’ll be treated right, yo.
Nakia: You have any advice for upcoming artists?
Notsucal: I wish.
Nakia: You wish? (Laughter)
Notsucal: I wish. If I had advice to give, I wouldn’t be where I am now.
Nakia: I see what you are saying, but you got like multiple videos out there, you’ve accomplished quite a few things. I see where you’re coming from, you’re humble.
Notsucal: It’s hard not to be. I don’t know, just keep loving it. Just do what you do, just keep at it, you push a rock long enough, it’s bound to move.
Nakia: Word up, I like that. See that’s the kind of quote I needed out of you.
Notsucal: I got you, I got you.
Nakia: Where can we find more information about you? Websites, social networks?
Notsucal: Anywhere you go, just type in Notsucal. N.O.T.S.U.C.A.L. Luckily that’s the only spelling of that on the internet.
Nakia: What’s your Twitter?
Notsucal: Notsucal. YouTube? Notsucal.
Nakia: There you go.
Nakia: Word up.
Notsucal: So y’all don’t be, fucking getting my shit first.
Notsucal: I try to log on and it ain’t there, I’m like alright, somebody fucking with me, somebody fucking with me.