Knxwledge is a sample master whose beats sound like someone artfully flicking through a mixture of Sky Movie channel soundbites, LiveLeak videos and jazz breakdowns. The New Jersey native now lives out in Hollywood, right in the epicentre of the West coast beat scene. Amoeba Records is down the road. Chuck Strangers from Pro Era is practically his neighbour. The Alchemist pops in and out of the area to nab vinyls. It's an environment that Knx has feasted upon. He's 15TB deep in hip-hop tinged instrumentals and a vinyl catalogue that reaches into the thousands. But before scooping a half hour of exclusives and archive beats in this week's mix, we found out what Knx likes to put on his feet, his OCD tendencies and underrated rap groups.
Noisey: Yo! How’s it going?
Knxwledge: Chilling bro, cooling out.
What time is it over there?
It’s 4:30 over here.
Shit, ten minutes late. So you’ve got your parents over to see you I hear?
Yeah, they just came through for the week to cook me some Jamaican food and to see my place. I've been living out in LA for about five years and they’ve finally come.
Some of the that special rice and peas?
Pattie central. I’m about that jerk chicken life though. I found this place out here with the veggie patties.
What, no meat? What’s it like living on your own though?
It’s pretty wild. You feel like a grown man. I’m still getting used to it even though I'm 25 and moved out when I was about 19. It’s pretty crazy to be on your own and paying bills. It’s mellow.
But is your trainer game on point? What are your current favourites?
That’s a hard question. As in a gangsta ass question. I might have to go with the Asics Gel Lyte. Super comfortable. I used to be about that dunk life. RIP Air Force 1's.
Mine are just rotting in the back of my cupboard. How much vinyl do you have in your house though?
Ahh, man. You know that one piece of IKEA storage that has the most amount of slots? I got two of those full up. That’s probably a few thousand since I last got here. It’s pretty dusty in here. We live nice though. We’ve got the air filter.
Are you OCD tidy?
Yeah, pretty OCD. It’s not OD, but the place has to be tight or I can’t sleep type thing. I have to fill up my desktop in a week or I'm not a happy person.
That’s crazy. Don’t you ever overdose on beats?
Well, my computer does. The wire from my hard drive to my motherboard fried not too long ago. I have about 15TB of different versions of tunes, just in case the digital zombies come.
Looking at your Bandcamp, it looks like you’ve made about a gazillion beats.
Thats light wrk. It’s natural to me.
I was actually listening to some of your stuff just now and chilling. I came across WrapTaypes.Port.1 again and found that “Luchini” tune. Why are Camp Lo so underrated?
Dude, for real. The wordplay those guys have is legit. I need to find their engineer with all those acapellas and pretty much use all their tunes. I’ve seen an interview with them where they’re walking down the street freestyling and it’s so clean. I wanna remix it so bad.
Is that how it works with your tunes then? You just flick through random things and find a good sample?
Anything, yeah. Anything I see or hear whatever wherever, I just feel like I gotta get it.
Yeah bruh. It just sticks out for me. Certain notes together will stick out.
The stuff ends up sounding like a collage.
I like to keep it like that. It’s wild how it all comes together though. All the movie bits. I’m usually just sat down watching the same movies over and over again.
Belly, Paid In Full, New Jersey Drive, Baby Boy. That’s my joint, have you seen it?
Yo. I’m from New Jersey and that movie makes me feel like home even if it’s in a different part of town. I live in Hollywood now. Chuck Strangers down the street from me, DJ Skee right down the way.
That's an enviable neighbourhood.
It’s just way more laid back and there’s a lot of work out here. Everybody shows love when I play shows. I’ve been playing at universities a lot recently, like Princeton twice. Getting tree isn’t even a thing, it’s just in the air.
Does that help take your beats to another level?
This seems spiritual to me for some reason. I feel like maybe because my dad is 100% Jamaican and even though he doesn’t do it at all but back in jamacia he said they used to put it in the tea and the soup. Them old school ones. It’s some crazy vortex type styles and you get lost in the rhythms.
My dad’s Jamaican.
Yeah, when your image popped up I was like, yeah, this fool's Jamaican.
What do you use these days to make beats?
Pretty much just Ableton. I’ve been using it long enough to say it’s the one. Preferably 8.
How about when you’re not at a computer, what do you get up to?
It’s pretty much full time steez. It’s fun. My house is probably just a five minute walk from Amoeba Records. I ran into Alchemist not too long ago, he was digging with the homie Samiyam at the Swapmeet.
Oh sick. So In terms of the mix, what kind of stuff did you go for?
It's a whole heap of my stuff and there’s some exclusives blended in there somewhere too.
Cool, I like a treasure hunt.