D.R.E.S. tha BEATnik
Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 9:05PM
Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 9:05PM
I was first introduced to D.R.E.S. tha BEATnik when he hosted Aquafina on the Bricks (a concert series in Centennial Olympic Park) during the Summer of 2004. From MC'ing to beatboxing, D.R.E.S. put on a show that I would never forget. I hadn't heard anyone like him performing in Atlanta before. A year later, I ran into him again at the MJQ Concourse on a Friday night, where D.R.E.S. was hosting Atlanta's #1 Hip-hop party. It was another incredible performance.
D.R.E.S. has been "puttin' on" for Atlanta for over 11 years with his company 4 Kings Entertainment. XTM caught up with D.R.E.S. last week for an exclusive interview and got the scoop on what it's been like for him consistently going against the grain in Atlanta for over a decade.
XTM: What brought you to Atlanta?
D.R.E.S.: I first came to Atlanta in 1991 to attend school at Clark [Atlanta University], but I ended up transferring back home to Philadelphia and got my degree in Marketing at Temple University. I returned to Atlanta in 1995 with my vision of 4 Kings Entertainment.
XTM: So how did you get started hosting events?
D.R.E.S.: The first show I ever produced was Dred Poets' Society back in 1997. We held it at what is now known as the Vortex in Midtown.
XTM: What kind of response did you get?
D.R.E.S.: Well, you know we just watched 48 hours ago (interview was conducted on Nov. 6yh, 2008) that people are willing to embrace change. So with any new production we knew that we had to be consistent with how we did things. We couldn't do a show once a month because, if there's nothing to stimulate that hunger from point A to point B, then there's always going to be a problem. But the feedback was good. We started the show in late May of '97, and by the end of the Summer we had a hit. Things were going good. And then we showed up one Sunday and the owner tells us he sold the place.
XTM: What? Did he let you know that he was selling the place?
D.R.E.S.: No. Basically what happened was he got caught up with an extra-marital affair. So to prevent the affair from coming out he had to sell the place to the woman he was having the affair with. Things were so bad, I couldn't even counter the offer.
XTM: Why not have Mic Club at a venue like Compound or any other nice club in Atlanta?
D.R.E.S.: Because, honestly, it brings out the wrong MC. It brings out that "rapper" versus bringing out a "MC".
XTM: And what "MC" are you looking for when you host Mic Club?
D.R.E.S.: Someone who actually wants to do it, and not because they feel as though they're entitled because of their skin color.
XTM: Now break-down what you just said, because a lot of people would say that a MC and a rapper are the same.
D.R.E.S.: Rappers have wish-list and MC's have a do-list. A rapper wishes for the things he wants and you can hear it in his music. MC's, on the other hand, talk about real life stuff and they bare their soul in their music.
XTM: So how do you see 4 Kings Entertainment within the change that has been slowly taking over Atlanta?
D.R.E.S.: I think that with what we are doing right now we're in the best position to rise up. And I think that, after 11 years, a window has finally opened. And I'm not just talking about 4 Kings Entertainment, but with underground artists, as well.
XTM: Lastly, how does one keep up with new up-and-coming Hip-hop artists?
D.R.E.S.: To be honest, by keeping their ears to the streets.
There aren't that many people that "put on" for Atlanta the way D.R.E.S. tha BEATnik has been doing for the past 11 years. So make sure you fall through MJQ on Fridays and SUGAR HILL NIGHT CLUB in UNDERGROUND ATLANTA on Wednesdays beginning January 14th, 2009. It will be a night you won't soon forget.