We had the honor of interviewing the legendary rapper, actor and record producer Ice-T and fellow hip hop pioneer and production partner Mr. X about their work in the electronic dance scene with the formation of Electronic Beat Empire and more!

Ice-T and Mr.X Interview

EDMTunes: What is the foundation of EBE Nation records – and the inspiration for creating a fusion label that encompasses hip hop, house, techno, funk and even glitch?

Ice-T: The inspiration is really Mr.X coming back to the United States. He’s been in Europe for 15 years performing, and he’s also the person that produced my first 3 albums so we’re friends. He said “let’s start a label and come back to the states and make some noise!”. The label gives us the ability to add new players into the game as we want to and we can put out new music as we want to…[] We want to make something experimental…something that breaks the mold. We both made our careers doing something that couldn’t be done. Now as far as all the art and all the music, that’s all Mr. X. That’s his brain, that’s what he does, and I’m just here to keep this ship afloat.

Mr-X: For EBE Nation, my idea was that since I spent so much time in Europe…[]…in these electronic festivals and underground dirty and dark eastern european clubs. I recognized that I was one of the only brothers there and one of the only americans and hip hop pioneers and have seen what real techno of 2017 and 2018 really looked like. I wanted to bring that back to America.

EDMTunes: Who are the future artists and collaborators for EBE Nation in the end of 2018 and start of 2019?

Ice-T: Basically, we’re just really working with Mr. X’s music. We have a lot of people in the pipeline, we’re not going to mention any other names now. Also another alter ego of Mr. X is ‘Charlie Funk’ and we’re gonna drop those first. Those are the first 2 artists of the year and we’re seeking other producers so we can keep it going.

EDMTunes: What was the conception of “The Brutal” EP?

Mr.X: The idea of the Brutal EP was basically how brutal human beings are to our extra-terrestrial brothers that come to this planet. So that’s why I had an Alien running through the video, because of all things, it’d be hard if you came to another planet and first thing they start doing is shooting at you.

EDMTunes: Tell us about the process with second featured EBE Nation album – “Hip-Hop DJs Don’t Play Techno”?

Mr.X: Well, that’s what I heard all the time, they’d say “Hip Hop DJs don’t play techno” and I said “until they do” and I’d scorch the turntables with 60 records in an hour and these guys were playing maybe like eight songs…[]…and that’s the premise of the album.

EDMTunes: Who are the main influences techno wise for ICE-T and Mr. X?

Mr.X: The main influences are Carl Cox, Jeff Mills, Aux 88, DJ Rush, Tyree Cooper, Jesse Saunders…switching between Chicago House and Detroit House…[]…I listened to Paul van Dyk when he was bringing out the trance scene. A lot of these DJs influenced me, but since I was a hip hop DJ, it was never about the records that were on my turntables…it was about what music I could put on my turntables to make people dance!

EDMTunes: EBE Nation is the standing as a serious techno label – what is unique about the approach towards techno productions in relation to the hip hop influences?

Ice-T: I think what’s unique is that we’re just going to come into it “wide open”. Islam (Mr. X) has had experience with techno for 15 years and he’s going to lay down the first layer and god knows who we’ll bring into the studio as we start to grow. Anything can happen when you get a lot of creative people into a studio situation, and that’s what we’re looking for. That’s what I call EBE – an experimental techno label. If it’s already out there, why would we want to make something that sounds like somebody else?

EDMTunes couldn’t be more stoked for the future of EBE – be sure to follow them and check out their music!


Check out our official EDMTunes playlist for the freshest tracks - updated weekly!