Lex Luthor

Who: Alex Vazquez
What: Producer, Miltown Beatdown 2010 Champion

1). First off, where does the name Lex Luthor come from?
“The name Lex Luthor comes from my brother. We used to buy comics frequently and my name Alex isn’t too far off. He gave me that name and it just kinda stuck. ”

2). What kind of thought process do you have when making a beat?
“I usually follow the same formula; I find a sample first that intrigues me and then I built a beat in my head from there. It all starts with the sample. I make it a couple of different ways and try to put it all together to fit a format I like. Sometimes it doesn’t come out exactly how I want it but as long as the ideas are there I can flesh them out later.”

3). What influences you the most when making a beat?
“Just seeing it through to the end, seeing a dope product. To see something come from a thought in your head to a physical product is always satisfying.”

Well do you have a certain style or artists that you’d say influences you the most?
“Nah, there’s several people I studied through out the years. I studied how The Alchemist chops pianos, and how DJ Premier does the 4 bar freak, and how J Dilla does his drums and I try to incorporate them. I might listen to Pete Rock for a while and say hey, maybe I might try a vanishing horn in my beat, you know… it depends on the day, the month, mood, etc.”

4). What kind of relationship do you have with current artists or are you strictly solo?
“I have some good relationships with some artists, some younger some older…artists I’m currently working with are of course Stricklin from EMC…Yo-Dot, possibly some other UMG artists, I’m working with A.P.R.I.M.E. to tighten up a song with him that we did a while back. There’s other artists that are lesser known that want work from me such as Sean Smart, Sikhest, SAFS crew and more. Frankie Flowers hit me up recently, I still have to send stuff to him. There’s a lot of little things I still have to wrap up but the relationships are starting to come.”

Would you say that has anything to do with your success?
“Yeah, yeah, I’d say it does. I mean, the Miltown Beat Down is a chance for 200-300 people to come out and hear who the winner is and in years past even when I lost people still reached out to me… now most people know my name, they’re familiar what kind of style of beats I make and a lot of success has come from it. I’m just trying to keep building from there.”

5). With your newfound success what kind of direction do you see yourself heading musically?
“I honestly don’t know where I’m heading musically because I’m a sample based artists so whatever I’m sampling is kinda where I’m headed. I’ve been constantly sampling rock music for the past six months so maybe I’ll get tired of that next week and start using French horn music or Italian moonlight music. I’m not sure but it’s just gotta be funky. I’m gonna try to keep it the same boom-bap style but reinvent new ways of putting them together like Illmind, M-Phazes and the slew of new producers killing it on the keyboards and software.”

6). Besides your own direction where do you see the Milwaukee music scene heading and how do you fit in?
“I see the Milwaukee scene headin’ in a good direction. I think there’s a lot more respect among the artists right now as far as sides of town…people have asked me in other interviews what do you think about Eastside rappers and Northside rappers, I think they’re all cool. They all do their thing and I’m glad for the most part we all get along from what I’ve seen. I’m down to work with anyone as long as there is chemistry and some sort of compensation for my time. Even if a case of beer magically falls off a truck and lands in my room I’m good with that! How do I fit in? Right now I’m just a free lance worker- I just turned 21 and I’m trying to figure out this whole adult life thing. I don’t know where the scene is headed but I want to be a part of it for as long as I’m here.”

7). Any projects we can look forward to coming up?
“As I said before, me and A.P.R.I.M.E. got a joint that will hopefully make his album this year…I think that’s coming out sometime in August. Hopefully I get to work more on Stricklin’s mixtape and album that he’ll drops this year. Jihad and I decided to put together a beat Cd called Championship Material that will be released in the fall. Me and my friend Sean Smart plan to finish this ninja turtle tall EP this summer entitled “Skippin’ Class”. My own personal projects that I’d like to put out next year is called Dollar Bin Delights. It’s where I sample records from Wisconsin thrift stores that cost a buck or less and make beats out of them. I’m trying to challenge myself because I can always go cop a $20 record with some fire on it so this will be a good change of pace. We’ll see how far I can take that project. We’ll see if it’s a little 20 minute thing a 40 minute thing but I’m working on it right now. I have more beat cd’s lined up but only time will tell if I follow through on them or not. STAY TUNED! ”

Alejandro Vazquez

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Photography by: Abigail Benavides (414.306.5255)