A1Beam: The Next Rapper/Producer Out Of Baltimore

Shirley Ju

A1Beam is the next hottest artist to come out of Baltimore, pushing his NLU (Never Let Up) lifestyle. Most recently, he released the visual for “Quick Flippa.”

A1Beam is here to prove himself in the rap game, while putting on for Baltimore. Doing everything completely independent, the 24-year-old arrives with his own sound, own raps, and own swag. He states, ”I produce my own beats, I make my own videos, I engineer my own music. I do everything myself.”

With 42.5K followers on instagram and counting, Beam is quickly proving why he’s one of the hottest artists and producers to come out of Bmore. With a father who was a musician, he spent his lunch breaks and off days in high school recording music and shooting music videos. He was also an all-star athlete, who was actually on the path to play college football.

The turning point in his life arrived when he was unjustly shot by a police officer while recording a music video. Since then, he’s made it a point to chase his dreams for the long run, with music being his end-be-all. With Beam actually being part of his last name, the “Walk” rapper pushes his #NLU mantra, which stands for Never Let Up.

AllHipHop caught up with A1Beam via FaceTime to discuss the making of “Walk,” what made him want to rap, being shot by the police, dream collabs, wanting to sign, and more!

AllHipHop: “Walk” is a banger. Were you feeling yourself in the studio?

A1Beam: Man, I don’t write songs. I was in the studio, somebody said something about walking and I put it together like that. Pieced it all together. I be in my zone when I’m in the studio. I put it together in 10 minutes.

AllHipHop: You say “in the city move with heaters.” What’s the reality of growing up in Baltimore?

A1Beam: Staying protected and staying out the way, because it gets serious out here.

AllHipHop: What was the household like growing up?

A1Beam: It was good. It was me, my mother, my sister, that’s it. Just us in there. I did what I had to do to make sure everyone’s happy.

AllHipHop: When did music come into play?

A1Beam: When I was 11 or 12, I was watching something about Boosie on YouTube. I thought “I want to be like that, I want to be a rapper now.” Ever since then, I started rapping. My stepfather got me into the studio years ago and I ran with it. He was a Jamaican artist so he got me in there, stopped me from being shy. That’s how it happened.

AllHipHop: At what point did you realize you could do music for a living?

A1Beam: When I started getting a lot of streams and a lot of views. I did some marketing, I probably got over 10 million views online. I was posted on The Shade Room, Say Cheese. I was all over the place, I went viral. I was getting handcuffed while shooting a music video out here in Baltimore, it went all over the place. I was at 8K followers and overnight, I had 21K. It's crazy, it happened overnight.

AllHipHop: What were you handcuffed for?

A1Beam: They said I was trespassing, it is what it is.

AllHipHop: What happened when you were shot by the police?

A1Beam: I was actually filming a video, [police came. I had my back turned, I got shot in my back. They opened the door and shot inside the building, hit me in my back. I guess they got a call. I don’t know what kind of call they got because I wasn’t doing anything but shooting a video. He shot me in my back for no reason.

AllHipHop: How old were you?

A1Beam: I was 20 or 21. I was in the hospital for about a week. From there, I went home. I couldn’t walk for a month or 2. I was kicking back the whole time, trying to stay home.

AllHipHop: Did music help obviously?

A1Beam: At the time, yeah. I was making beats everyday in my free time. I make all my beats, I was making beats everyday and healing. I produce all my own s##t.

AllHipHop: Did you start out producing?

A1Beam: I actually started out rapping, but I didn’t have anybody to make beats. I didn’t really know about YouTube beats like that forreal so I started learning on my own. Trying to learn how to record myself on the laptop, it helped. I do it all the time now.

AllHipHop: What’s one thing you want fans to get from Da Preacher EP?

A1Beam: I want them to see how hard I’m about to come. That was a warm up. Expect a lot of videos, another big mixtape with some nice features on it. If I can go viral again, I’ll do that again. I’m coming real hard.

AllHipHop: You didn’t expect to go viral right?

A1Beam: Nah, just at the moment type thing. I didn’t expect to get 21K followers overnight, I was literally at 8K followers. Worldstar posted me, I was all over the place. I was going viral on Facebook, it was crazy. It can happen again, I wish it would. [chuckles]

AllHipHop: You released the visual for “Quick Flippa,” what was your creative vision with this one?

A1Beam: I said “let’s shoot it, let’s get this s##t done.” I actually edited that video. Sometimes I’ll be like “this song is fire, let’s shoot.” I make the song that night and shoot the video the next day, that’s how I do it.

AllHipHop: What does it mean to shoot videos in your hometown?

A1Beam: It’s where I’m from. I’m good anywhere out here.

AllHipHop: Talk about the independent grind. Are you looking for a major?

A1Beam: I actually want to sign because it’s part of my rap dream. I want to sign one day. As far as independently, I’m doing well for myself actually. I’m getting a good amount of views, a good amount of streams. “Walk” hit 100K plus streams, “Quick Flippa” going up. I’m actually doing fine with barely any blog posts, I’m doing marketing myself.

AllHipHop: What’s the origin of NLU?

A1Beam: When I got shot, I felt like I lost it all. I was down. I kept thinking to myself: keep pushing and never let up. It’s a rough time in my life and I kept pushing, kept striving. Never Let Up and ran with it. It means a lot to me.

AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio?

A1Beam: Water, cell phone, and I like to record with money sometimes. It motivates me.

AllHipHop: I know Shordie Shordie is from Baltimore, are you cool with him?

A1Beam: Yeah we’re cool, we’ve never worked with each other. I was out in Atlanta with Bandhunta Izzy this weekend, the studio session was fire. The track’s crazy, I plan on dropping that next once we shoot the video. Once he’s back in Baltimore because I’m in Baltimore now.

AllHipHop: Who are your dream collabs?

A1Beam: That’s a hard one, I could name a couple features I want right now. Lil Baby, Migos, DaBaby. I always listened to Migos coming up. I used to like 50 Cent a lot, I’d do something with 50. And Boosie.

AllHipHop: What goals do you have for yourself?

A1Beam: My goal right now is to hit a million views on a video. I haven’t hit a million views yet, that’s one of my main goals. To sign, of course. A lot of people keep telling me don’t sign though. It was a dream though, so I want to accomplish it.

AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let us know?

A1Beam: A lot of music is on the way, keep following the kid. Stay tuned.

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