From DJ to beatmaker, one hip-hop head’s journey.
Robert Anderson has spent the last 34 years spinning his beloved hip hop music as DJ Iceman. He’s been a part of some of the biggest and best DJ coalitions (Nerve DJs, Fleet Djs) is down with some of the most iconic entries in the culture (Universal Zulu Nation, Wu-Tang Worldwide DJ Coalition) won many awards, earned a lot of accolades and spun a lot of shows.
Recently due to some health issues, the well-respected DJ had to take a step back from active DJing. So in order to keep his creative mind active, he decided to start making beats. We sat down to talk to “The Blendmaster General” about his journey.
So how did you decide to start making beats?
I’ve always been a bit of a “beat junkie,” so to speak. I’ve been a B-Boy, an emcee and a DJ so music has always been at the foundation of what I do. I used to mess around from time to time with things like the old MTV music generator on Playstation, FruityLoops or Sony Acid. but I always felt that i was never really cut out for it, that I would just let the pros do and I’ll just stay a fan.
What changed your mind?
I had a couple of real physical jobs in my life — corrections officer, roughneck on an oil rig, professional MMA fighter and as the years went on my body started breaking down. I have osteoarthritis in my lower back and knees and degenerative disk disease in my lower back, which really limits my movement. I can’t lift more than 25 pounds so that limits my ability to carry DJ gear. So I decided to step back from active DJing and finally give this beatmaking thing a try.
How has it been so far?
Like I said, I’ve played around with a few things before so it wasn’t that hard to get into. I think for DJ’s it’s a natural progression. We have to deal with bars and measures anyway. we have to know a wide variety of music, so we as DJs just have an ear for it. There are days where I’m totally in go mode and just want to pump out beats all day. Other days I may run into a block. It’s just the way it goes.
What are you using?
I’m just getting started, but I’m using a Native Instruments Machine MK1, M-Audio Axiom 25 keyboard and Isotope Orbit 6 for mastering.
Who are your influences?
I have so many. 9th Wonder, Pete Rock, Marley Marl, Mf Doom, Jazzy Jeff, Hi-Tek, Lord Fineese, Kid Kapri, Preemo, Showbiz, Rockwilder, Rza, Kept See, Teddy Riley, the list goes on.
Explain your style
I like to say I’m strictly Boom-Bap. I’m still trying to find MY sound though. I’m experimenting and learning as I go along.
Whats with the name?
I own and operate a promo/placement company for artists called Big Boss Ent. I also have a video marketing agency called Big Boss Video Innovations. So i figured I’d keep everything under one umbrella.
What are your goals as a beat maker?
I just want to make good music. Hopefully I can get a few good placements.
Any shout outs?
Shout out to my mentor Kept See, my Wife, my Friends and everyone who supports me.