Where are you from and what was it like growing up there?
Hi, well I was born in raised in Macclesfield, Cheshire where I still reside. It’s a pretty gloomy and miserable town, with not that much happening here musically bar a few little bands, myself and the Gouki Productions lads (a 6-piece Hip-Hop group I’m down with). You may have heard of Ian Curtis of Joy Division, and the Macc Lads who came from here – well that’s about the size of it. But yeah, it’s a nice little community and I’ve made some really good friends here and had a lot of support – it’s not too far from Manchester either which is where we tend to hit up for Hip-Hop nights.
How did you get your name and is there a story behind it?
Haha.. Of all the interviews I’ve done upto this point, this is surprisingly the first time I’ve been asked about the name, which most people try and pronounce as Beet Nun, Be It Nun, Bate Nun and Bite Nun or whatever.. but it’s actually pronounced Bet Nun. The first few years at this were as part of a duo alongside a mate of mine at the time and so it wasn’t until I started taking it seriously that I actually thought it was time to have a proper name. I never quite liked the idea of using my birth name as my artist name as I don’t really feel I want to be the artist out of the booth, nor my real life persona ALL the time on record. I wanted to differenciate the two. Beit Nun is where my first name ‘Ben’ originates from in the Hebrew language meaning ‘Son’. It was a temporary name at first that i thought was pretty simple, yet original.. but it stuck.
Was there a situation or a person who inspired you to rap?
Erm, to be honest, i wouldn’t say any specific situation or person was behind the reason i got into this, or why i still do it. It all kinda evolved from poetry early on, then obviously the early tracks we used to write out of boredom back in the day. But it’s pretty full on now… it’s on my mind all day and so everything I see inspires me in some way. I’m recording something or other on an almost nightly basis at the minute haha, it’s getting serious.
Tell us about your latest release.
My latest release is a collaborative effort between myself and IllSkilz. IllSkilz is a dope Dutch producer who I had worked with in the past and he always seems to come with the heat. He sent me a bunch of beats at the beginning of the year and i penned a couple of tracks. The first of which was ‘The Music’ which is just basically my ode to music – a pretty simple topic, and it turned out to be one of my best tracks to date. It seemed to go down really well and was featured on 2 other releases during the year. So after this, and with the other 2 we had finished which had a very similar vibe, we decided to get them out properly and so put the E.P. together. It’s only a short project at 23 minutes, but caps up my year nicely and has a really good flow to it. It features guest verses from Dan Bull, Suicyde, 777, Old Owl, JND & Chris L, aswell as cuts from Jabba Tha Kut and SDSK.
What do you prefer; playing live, recording in the studio or battling?
I’m gonna have to go with recording here. I haven’t actually performed in about a year now, due to absolutely nothing going on locally, aswell as the fact there seems to be less and less people even turning up to half the shows. So yeah, recording for definate at the minute.. working on so much at the minute and really enjoying the whole process from writing to selling.
How did you go about setting up independently?
Well after dropping a demo CD in 2004, I wanted to put something out properly and see if I could manage to shift enough copies to atleast break even. So in 2005 I set up Innit Records and set upon my first release, the ‘Cheap As Chips’ E.P. alongside Menace which came out in December that year. It seemed to go really well, and I had plans of putting out fellow artists work under the Innit Records umberella throughout 2006. For various reasons, nothing came out of 2006, and it wasn’t until late 2007 that I felt I wanted to get back on it and so in December 2007 i put out ‘Where The Art Is (Volume 1)’ which was basically a compilation of various demo tracks I had been sitting on from the previous 2 years. Since then we’ve helped work on and fund the UKHHF Mixtape, my new E.P. ‘Colours’ with IllSkilz, and also ‘Septimal (Volume 1)’ by 777. 2009 is gonna be busy and is already looking exciting.
Forget the budget, what would be your dream collabo?
That’s a tough one. I reckon Andre 3000, Redman, Cage, RA The Rugged Man… any of those. Obviously I’d love a Premo beat too haha.
With so many artists out there, what are you doing different to get heard?
I’m trying to work as professional as possible, yet staying honest with myself. I’m trying to switch my shit up, and at times even dumb it down – I’m swaying more towards the song having a message and it actually sounding good on the ears, than the technicalities of the rhyme structures and shit. Although yeah, I do like the battle shit., but I’m sick of hearing albums where every track is on a bragging tip. I’d rather come away from hearing a record, feeling you know the artist, and that’s what I’m now trying to bring to the table – personality and character.
Now is your chance to get something off ya chest! Anything getting you down or any opinions you need to voice?
Haha, I reckon I’ll just quote a line from the new E.P. as it basically sums up what I wanna say… so.. ”To all who say they’re too poor to support the scene// I’ve got a question for you… Who bought your weed?//”
Okay, before you go please give us you’re My Space details.
You can find me on myspace at http://www.myspace.com/mrbeitnun, or the labels page at http://www.myspace.com/innitrecords. Also feel free to check http://www.myspace.com/amasshegemony which is the new collaborative project from myself and fellow MC 777 coming in 2009.
Shouts to 777, Dan Bull, Gouki Productions, OJB, Filthy Rich, Bare Beats, IllSkilz and whoever else who’s supporting or helped me in some way or other over the years.
Thanks to yourself for the interview..