A Talk with Act Won
Act Won is a hip hop producer who has been active since the ‘90s, with a new collaborative project, The Cookout EP, set to release very soon.
Act Won’s newest project is a collaborative EP with rapper Big Noah Genesis, otherwise known as Noah Brasos. The duo met over Twitter because of their love for the Chicago Bears, with both being Chicagoans who live in Florida.
The duo hope to release The Cookout EP as soon as Thanksgiving. Act Won spoke about the new project: “The sound is beats and rhymes, man. True school hip hop at its core … The motivation behind the project is that we both are making the album we wanna hear. We’re both hip hop heads but, more importantly, we love music.”
Aside from The Cookout EP, Act Won described his sound as a producer generally. He said:
"My sound is Golden Era with a modern take on it. I come from the school of Q-Tip, Large Professor, DJ Muggs, and Prince Paul. One major influence which I didn’t really notice until recently was DJ Shadow. His music was very sample-based, but it was dark and emotional. He has said that he makes music to strike an emotion and, in some way, I am as well."
Apart from his work with Noah Brasos, Act Won also has a project coming with rapper SurvivalInNegativity, or S.I.N. for short. He said: "Yeah, don’t have a definite title but it’s based on time. It sounds very lo-fi, but not really. I call it meditative boom bap. Been in the process for almost a year or so."
Act Won has been producing since the early ‘90s, with this new project being only a chapter in a long history of hip hop. He said: "Started making beats in high school back in 1994. My music class had a production studio and a MPC 2000XI, and after my best friend showed me how to loop up a sample and chop them, I was hooked. What got me into it was my uncle – he had a very huge record collection …"
He went on: “What appeals to me about hip hop production is the gratification of finding a dope ass loop or drum break and creating something outta nothing.”
Act Won spoke on the origin of his name. "The Roots on their album Things Fall Apart had an intro entitled ‘Act Won’ and it has a scene from Mo’ Better Blues where Wesley Snipes and Denzel are discussing the current state of music or the culture. I felt it because I have those same arguments with my fellow music lovers all the time."
When it comes to his future, Act Won said: "I plan on dropping my producing album like how Pete Rock dropped Soul Survivor. I plan on doing an album in that vein titled Life’s Aquarium. After that, just making music and hopefully networking and working with other artists. I definitely wanna expand my sound into house music. I’m from the birthplace of house, Chicago. People call it EDM or dance music – fuck that, it’s house."
With new projects on the way and ambitions for his career going forward, the future looks promising for Act Won.