Fifty Grand's music is scary. By incorporating full-bodied bass wobbles, horror-movie synth daggers and—occasionally—reverb-swaddled vocals, the Hollywood-based sound designer regularly crafts immersive SoundCloud nightmares. For our final "Summer 2014" FADER Mix, he assembled a murky 26-minute set for us; it features a few originals, unheard remixes of Bobby Shmurda and Father, and a truly unsettling Charles Manson outro. There's a little audio sample about eight minutes in when a man—probably a psychologist—is speaking to a small child. He's asking the child to recall a time when he maybe did something bad to a group of helpless baby birds. "What did you do?" the man asks. The child's response is hard to hear. "What did you do?" he repeats, just before the audio expands and Fifty's ominous, rattling production swells. What did the child do? To tell you the truth—I don't think I want to know. Stream and download the FADER mix below, and then read a short interview with the vaguely mysterious producer.
Where are you right now? I am in Hollywood. It's hot as hell and I'm sitting in a room with no AC. I've already showered twice today. There is a fan in front of my face though.
The mix is intense. What vibe were you going for? This mix is inspired by rage, beauty and evil. I am always driving, so I was inclined to make something for the road. This is a good selection of heavy songs, particularly for the nighttime.
There seems to be an objective darkness to a lot of your work. Is it typically coming from a bleak place? Yeah. I am kind of cursed in that I can only make music when my emotions are strong. I generally can't just sit down and make something. It usually feels and sounds like bullshit. I am trying to get over that. My music has always been dark. It comes naturally to me.
What draws you to a collaboration? I like to work with artists who will bring an element to the track that I can't. When I want to collaborate, it's mostly with whichever SoundCloud producer is blowing my mind at the time.
What's the last movie you watched that made you feel something? Actually, it was an online video that roused me—of a politician blowing his brains out at a press conference.
You have—very bravely—opened up about your transition from female to male on social media. How has that process affected your music? I have been in darkness for a long time. My music reflects that. Being a transman doesn't define my music, but as a whole it can be viewed as a trans body of work. To float somewhere between two worlds of gendered meaning for so long creates a deep ache within; one I can only describe in sound.
EASTGHOST - Omniscient, They
FIFTY GRAND- See (Triads Remix)
BOBBY SHMURDA - Hot N*gga (Fifty Grand's Triads Refix)
FELEVICITY - Around The Corner Was A Dinosaur
FIFTY GRAND x MISOGI- Blackheart
NA$TY MATT - Meet The Plug
RAE SREMMURD - No Type
FALCO x DADIAMONDDJ - Can't Deal
TEKDOTLUN - Fuckwithnunbutgangstas
FATHER - Look At Wrist (Fifty Grand x Mike Labyrinth Remix)
MASTER FLASH YEN - Chapter Eight
DIVINE - Don't Play
REDUX x TONES - Home
FIFTY GRAND - Ukey Black
FIFTY GRAND - I don't care if it hurts
CHARLES MANSON - Clang Bang Clang