RAW, UNCENSORED WEST COAST RAP SHIT
featuring ozone award nominees
DPG ROCCETT THE PACK G MALONE THE JACKA MISTAH FAB WILLY NORTHPOLE
KEAK DA SNEAK
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I’M JUST SAYIN’THO BY D-RAY
Publisher Julia Beverly Editor-in-chief Jessica “Mz Jae” Hagmaier Editor-AT-LARGE D-Ray GRAPHIC DESIGNER David KA Music EditorS Randy Roper Maurice G. Garland ADVERTISING SALES Che Johnson Isiah Campbell Contributors Big Fase 100, DJ BackSide, DJ E-Z Cutt, Gary Archer, Jelani, Jessica Essien, Joey Colombo, Kay Newell, Keita Jones, Luvva J, Nippy Swagga, Portia Jackson, Shemp, Todd Davis, Ty Watkins Street Reps Anthony Deavers, Bigg P-Wee, Bigthangs, Big Will, Dee1, Demolition Men, DJ Jam-X, DJ Juice, DJ KTone, DJ Nik Bean, DJ Quote, DJ Skee, DJ Strong & Warrior, J Hype, Jasmine Crowe, John Costen, Juice, Kewan Lewis, Luvva J, Maroy, Rob J Official, Rob Reyes, Shauntae Hill, Sherita Saulsberry, Sly Boogy, Syd Robertson, Tonio, Twin, William Major, Zack Cimini COVER CREDITS Keak da Sneak photo by Trevor Traynor.
THE JACKA ROCCETT DPG MISTAH FAB JAY ROCK TOO $HORT
Snoop Dogg - This was just a plain dope experience, not to mention that it was history: Snoop performing in his hometown of LBC for the first time! He killed it. He did “Murder Was The Case” alongside a dope interview with Power 106’s morning show, Backstage Breakfast with Big Boy! What it do Fuzzy?
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Run-DMC - I saw them on my birthday at a club in San Francisco called DV8 and I recall just putting my camera down to enjoy “My Adidas.” That’s OG. Mary J Blige - Mary is so in touch with her feelings. She sings about real-life moments to put her fans in that hypnotic mood. I recall shooting her show on Mother’s Day in Concord, CA. There were mothers, boyfriends, and husbands in the building, and the whole place had a memory to go home with on a very special day. Her message is always deep and passionate. Mary is the only female on this list for a reason!
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LL Cool J - Everyone knows the OG in the game can’t deny his fame. I’m a female at a LL Cool J show in San Jose, and I must say that he is an all-around five-star entertainer. I’ve never been able to photograph his show because I’m too busy watching it!
WILLY NORTHPOLE GLASSES MALONE
got to catch a shot of him at a show, and boy, I waited! I would’ve been gone if it wasn’t Wayne in the Bay. He shut the shit down. He’s made history not only for his first day record sales but for selling out the latest Wild Jam just two days after The Carter III hit stores. He rocked the house and ended his show by thanking his fans and telling them he is thankful for them, and it’s because of them that he can make his living. So beautiful! Wayne’s Carter III has not left my deck. He’s deep! If you’re hating on Weezy, get a better hobby, or a better day job cause you’ve got too much time on your hands. West Coast End Zone issue #68, peep my shot!
Eminem & D12 - This was one of my first press junkets with a magazine. I got to go kick it with Em, and I had just seen him not too long before he blew at a Bomb concert in San Jose in his grimy-looking long-sleeved Budweiser Beer t-shirt. I was told, “Take his photo. He’s going to blow!” I looked again and said, “Ummm, no.” So I learned to never, never underestimate someone based on their fashion sense (or lack of). I was blessed with a great chance to be at their meet and greet and also shoot the show, where I saw Em in person kill it. Not to mention, I got a great shot of him and Proof on stage together that I love. My bad for judging you, Em. Thanks to one of my favorite publicists, Tresa!
Tech N9ne - I knew his music, I knew his face from magazine ads, I knew his wrapped truck - well, that’s a lot to know about this guy considering that DJs don’t play his music like they should. He’s serious and promotes his projects, with or without radio. I happened to be in Vegas one year when he had a show at the New Orleans Casino with Busta Rhymes, DMX, and Mistah FAB. That was my first Tech N9ne show and it was so dope I talked about it a lot. See, I’m still talkin’ about it! You have to see his show. He’s on point at all times during his set. Do you, Tech!
Mistah FAB - I have so many stories about his growth, I could do a whole Top 10 list of him through my camera. Fab does the dopest freestyles at his shows! The real freestyles, not pre-styles. Fans get a real heart-felt show. I captured a picture of him at the Wild 94.9 Bomb concert with him facing the crowd of 20,000 with their T’s up for Mac Dre.
David Banner - I recall my first David Banner show at the Tech.Nitions Conference in Vegas. He jumped off the stage and swung off the ceiling pipes into the crowd and just stayed there rockin’, giving love to his fans. That was early in his career, so to see him rock at a show today, nothing has changed. He’s a wild man in the crowd, letting the fans that paid to see him remember him with no blurred vision! Banner keeps that humble side to him that has taken him to where he is today!
Mac Dre - I’ve been a Mac Dre fan since the late 80s, no lie. When I started shooting Dre’s shows, I would just try to get in with my digital camera. All my memories are gone except a few because I was premature to the digital game and didn’t back up the computer, and it crashed. Now that a hater murdered him, all I have is memories and a frozen moment of his last birthday performance that he left us to remember him by! He was so fly that night, just gigglin’ and bustin’ all his hits. T.I.P. Dre! Lil Wayne - Wayne, the youngest Hot Boy! The swag he brings to the stage is straight RockStar. He’s got a great show. I was one of the select people that
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I Am The Streets – Street credibility is always important. Even though I’m out here on the radio and doing my thing I don’t forget where I came from. I know the dudes I looked up to might have rapped, but they were getting their paper in other ways. I just want the lil dudes lookin up to me to see a dude that’s actually getting paid for this rap shit. I’ve Been To Jail – Anyone who’s been there before can tell you it’s a good place to master your craft. It can be a good place for a rapper because you’re around different kind of attitudes and different kind of people. You’ve got a lot on your mind in there, so it’s a good place to really learn what to say. I’m Independent – There’s really nothing more that needs to be said. I’m The Hardest Working Rapper In The Game – I’ve never had a record deal. I sell a lot more records then probably anyone with a deal, doing the same thing I’m doing and I’m killin’ ‘em. I’m A Cool Ass Dude – When you meet me I’m the same person with everybody. I’m the same dude whether I’m wit’ my grandma or wit’ the A&Rs. You know what I mean? I’m A Handsome Ass Dude! – I’m definitely handsome enough to be one of the top artists in the world! I Have My Own Label – I don’t have to be signed as an artist. They gotta come at me with a distribution deal! I’m The Underground Artist Of The Year – I’m the Bay Area’s Underground Artist of the Year. I won an award for that. OZONE Magazine – I’ve been in there a million times. That’s one thing the industry knows me for, and that’s always a big deal. I’m Actually Dope – I’m not a gimmick. The only thing I use to sell records is the pure gift. A nigga’s fly when it comes to this music shit. A nigga’s raw, you know what I’m saying? That’s why they “All Over Me.” I’d bring swag to the whole staff, man!
Nominated for Patiently Waiting: California As told to Mz Jae
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Stop Wearing Shirts that Don’t Fit You – Where can you hide the burner at? Where you gonna put your burner if you got on a s/medium? If you’re 200 pounds you shouldn’t have no tight shirt on. Keep it G. Speak from Your Heart – If you’re gonna make music you need to speak what you know. Don’t fabricate nothing you do. If you G about it, your music should speak for itself. Don’t Kiss Ass – You don’t gotta kiss nobody’s ass in the music industry. You can make friends but you don’t gotta be an ass kisser. Be All About Your Money – Hoes come later. Focus on Your Goals – If you got a goal, make sure you meet that. Don’t let no haters get in your way. Keep your focus and don’t let nobody knock you off your block. Go out there and get it. Handle Your Business No Matter What – If you got a problem with somebody you need to handle that. Don’t keep ongoing beef. It leads to deaths. Never Associate with Snitches – I don’t care if it’s your brother, your cousin, your auntie, your mama – it’s not allowed. Rep Your Hood to the Fullest – It don’t matter if you’re from a small city or a big city. You can be the nigga to put your city on the map. Stay Away from Messy Bitches – Messy bitches will have you caught up in some shit. Don’t Discuss Your Business Over the Phone – Doing too much talking to people about street business over the phone can get you a lot of time in jail, so use pay phones and do a lot of meetings but don’t discuss your business over the phone.
Nominated for Patiently Waiting California As told to Ms. Rivercity
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Style – Style in the form of our music, with the concepts we were delivering and the overall quality of the music. Now everybody uses bits and pieces of what we started in their raps.
Creativity – We’re still here. There’s not much more to say. After all this time we’re still here. Originality – In the 90s when N.W.A started, and when we started, we started that gangsta shit. We’re veterans of all the stuff that was going down in that era and we’re still here. Swag – Having a unique style, hanging with unique people, always being there, love moving, can adapt to anything that’s going down. Production – We’ve produced classics like “Ambitionz of a Ridah,” “I Ain’t Mad At Cha,” and “Got Your Mind Made Up.”
The Formula – We changed the whole formula for selling records and making music. We brought uniqueness to the table. Dr. Dre, Warren G, and DPG, we changed the whole face of Hip Hop. Variety – With us, we had everything in one. All our collaborations were done from the inside the camp. We had more variety as one. Evolution – Everything evolved after us. We brought life back into Hip Hop. Record sales stepped up after us; we brought the million dollar record deals to the table. We brought Hip Hop to a whole new level. Organization and Inspiration – We taught people how to do it. We were a part of the greatest organization in Hip Hop period. We taught people how to sell their records by their damn selves. After us The Firm, No Limit, and Bad Boy were all runnin’ their shit how we ran ours. Liberation – We weren’t afraid to say anything. We fought for the people who weren’t afraid to speak their mind. Say what you say, express yourself. People from the establishment tried to shut that shit down. From the C. Delores Tuckers to the Rev. Al Sharptons, to everybody trying to put a hold on gangsta rap, we brought liberation to the table. We fought for the right to be able to say whatever you want. Now if you want to say “nigga” you say “nigga,” and if you want to say “bitch” you say “bitch.” We put the G in gangsta and brought the streets in the game.
Nominated for Best Group West Coast As told to Mz Jae
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Girls – I got to have some girls on the bus. I need Zaria from The Parent Hood. She was bad to me, she gotta be on the bus. Raven Simone, I’d have to get with her and try and talk her out of a few dollars. I’d need Oprah on the bus. We would sit up in the back and have a long talk. I would just have some important women on the bus. A.F.N.F – My homies gotta be on the bus, and I’ve gotta have my family on there. A.F.N.F. All family, no friends. Everybody that’s in that circle knows who they are, no need to say any names. Kanye West – I need Kanye on the bus, man. We gotta talk about how he’s just choked the game, and how’s he’s one of the only artists that doesn’t care what nobody says. I need to learn a few things from him. Kanye is the truth right now. He’s layin’ the foundation for artists like me. I’m like the Bay Kanye: spoiled brat, cocky, arrogant, still hella cool, but don’t give a fuck what anybody gotta say. The whole One West Movement – All my rap homies that really get down with me. Glasses Malone, Ice Cube, Roccett, Husalah, when he get outta jail, Jay Rock, Turf Talk, Bishop Lamont, Beeda Weeda, The Jacka, Spider Loc, Snoop Dogg, Too $hort, Mack 10, they know who they are. All my cats trying to unite the west coast, not just Cali, but Oregon, Arizona, Nevada, Seattle, Alaska, they WHOLE west coast. Some Comedy – We definitely gotta have some comedy on the bus. Someone like Mike Epps, or Katt Williams. I need another life of the party on the bus, so definitely one of them.
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My DJ – Can’t go nowhere without my DJ, Tito Bell a.k.a. Chello, right? He’s the real life of the party. OZONE Magazine – I gotta have OZONE Mag on there! My Mama – My mama gotta be on the bus because she’s goin’ to keep it lit. She’s going to get us even more girls. She’s a girl magnet and she’s goin’ to bring the purple. And when we need some food she’s going to hook it up! Mom’s got to be on the bus! God – I want God on the bus. Without God there is no direction. With a power and belief in him you can go anywhere. So I always want him riding with me. That’s a very important passenger on the bus.
Nominated for Best Rap Artist West Coast As told to Mz Jae // Photo by D-Ray
My stylist – His name is Garfield, but everybody calls him G. Field. He does it all, he styles, cuts hair, he does everything. He’s that go-to guy.
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I’m a Real Blood Nigga – If you don’t buy my record I’ma have to kill yo’ ass. Night Job – I need you to buy my record so I can quit my night job jacking folks. Bitches – Everybody needs to buy my record and make me famous, that way I can give it to all these bitches that wouldn’t give me no pussy when I didn’t have nothing. Hoe Ass Niggas – Buy my record cause some of these other niggas records you be buyin’ is police, snitches, and just down right pussy ass niggas. I’m In Debt – I owe Top Dawg Entertainment and Warner Bros. about a half million dollars and if I don’t re-coup I’m in trouble. Nevermind – Y’all ain’t gotta go buy my record, fuck all y’all! Nah, I’m just bullshittin’. Go out there and get my shit, cause my shit is the bomb! Fake Ass Jewelry – Buy my record so I can stop robbin’ these fools that come in my town with this fake ass jewelry on. It’s not turning a profit! I Keep It Real – I spit that real, uncut, straight hood shit. All that other shit niggas is spittin’ is straight fairytales. I’ma Real Hood Nigga – I’ma real hood nigga and feel all the same things that other real niggas from real hoods feel. Everything about me is real, ain’t no fake, ain’t no playin’. I Fucks With Everybody – I’m spittin’ some shit that everybody can relate to. I’m the first nigga to spit some real hood shit since Pac. Everybody’s been trying to do it but they’ve been putting out straight bullshit. My shit is real life situations that everybody feel and everybody can relate to. At least anyone who’s been in the ghetto all their life. Nominated for Patiently Waiting: California As told to Mz Jae
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They’re Repetitive – The hottest artists of the year win at every award show, so they all look like reruns. Too Many Egos - Unimportant people all try to act like VIPs and keep saying things like, “Don’t you know who I am???” They’re Too Long - The pre-shows and the post-shows are as long as the actual award shows. It’s Just A Fashion Show - Everybody talks about what everybody else is wearing. The Afterparties Are More Fun - There’s nothing else to say. Overkill - There are just too many different award shows in one year. They’re Expensive - The clothes, hotel rooms, and flights are not worth it just for somebody to say “congratulations” and give you a trophy. Lame Performances - I could just go to a “real” Beyonce concert if I wanted to see her perform. Kanye West Syndrome - Some people are too sensitive and get mad when their favorite artist doesn’t win. They’re Biased - I have five platinum albums, one double platinum album, four gold albums, and have never won shit!
Nominated for Best Rap Album West Coast Photo by Julia Beverly
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10 Me Against the World
– 2Pac – I swear to God, that album was so close to me I thought Pac was from my hood. Everything he said on that album was me. How he came with “Outlaw” and “Fuck the World” and “Me Against the World,” and even with “Can You Get Away,” Pac made it cool to be romantic with a female. You have to respect that. He was saying real shit. My favorite song was “So Many Tears.” I lost so many homies and that song was just me all around. Out of all the albums on my list, that’s the one that emotionally touched me the most.
Lethal Injection – Ice Cube – That’s Cube’s best album. I don’t know if Cube was a Muslim at the time or what, but he had a chip on his shoulder with America and he wasn’t afraid to say it. Every song on Lethal Injection was a story. Cube always had a talent for writing stories. He was the mastermind behind N.W.A. I respect Cube for what he stood for.
8 Illmatic & Stillmatic
– Nas – You could mix both of these together. These albums had the same effect on me – it’s just different generations of music. Nas was New York. He was so ahead of his time with Illmatic. That was Nas’ #1 album of all time. If you listened to it you knew Nas was gonna be a problem. I was a big fan of the whole Nas vs. Jay-Z thing, seeing who was gonna say what.
Doggy Style – Snoop Dogg – This was hands down Snoop’s best album. It was a funny, well put together album, even with the cartoon album cover. It was something different. And who didn’t want to be signed to Death Row at that time? Snoop could turn from a gangster to a pimp and people respected him. Snoop was ahead of his time. Even now with the “Sexual Seduction” and the wigs he puts on, Snoop is more than a rapper, he’s an entertainer. Even with the pimp character he plays with the buck teeth and everything, Snoop is probably the only emcee that could pull that off and keep his street credit. He’s the best West Coast artist in my opinion. Straight Outta Compton – N.W.A – I think Eazy E was what DJ Quik was when he came into the game. His voice just stood out and the delivery was crazy. I know they used to shit on him and try to say that Cube wrote his lyrics. Regardless of how it came across, Easy was a star – from his image to the way he lived. I remember they used to wear the leather gloves and I used to try to mimic them when I was 9 years old, with the workout gloves and flannels. Besides the songs, Eazy is what made me like the album. The whole N.W.A movement started the West Coast getting respect in my eyes. I think a lot of people from the South and East Coast were influenced by that, which was a good thing.
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Life After Death – Notorious B.I.G. – I liked Ready to Die but Life After Death was my favorite. At the time when Ready to Die came out, I was really into the West coast music. I loved Biggie, his swag was crazy, but at the time I was just getting into New York music. That’s when I really started listening to Biggie. I went to jail when Life After Death came out. That was in ’95. The whole reason I got into East Coast music was because the East Coast/West Coast beef was going on. The Blueprint – Jay-Z – That album speaks for itself. As far as Jay-Z’s albums go, this was probably the only album where I liked every single song. People were sleeping on his last few albums before that, except for Hard Knock Life. I think The Blueprint was a classic. That’s when I was introduced to Kanye West and Just Blaze as producers. I think their style made producers step they game up. American Gangster – Jay-Z – That album just did something to me. I’m a rapper and lyricist so I listen to lyrics. I think Jay-Z reached his peak with this album. He took his whole swag and put it on the album. Plus, American Gangster was an anticipated movie. I used to work out to this album when it first came out. It was something I used to listen to all the time. Dogg Food – Tha Dogg Pound – That was like the prime of my life, as far as being a knucklehead. Snoop is still the man, but back then, even if you were a Blood you were damn near cool with Crips just because of Snoop. He brought that whole new vibe. I really respected that whole movement. The Chronic – Dr. Dre – Dre came like a beast. He came with a whole new slang. I liked the whole swag and the new team. He had Daz, Rage, Kurupt, Snoop. Everything from top to bottom, from the beats to the flow, was the best. He had the best female emcee, the best duo – Daz & Kurupt, the best solo artist – Snoop Dogg, plus him. Of course, that was when the West coast was at its peak and had the game on lock, with the whole Death Row movement. Honorable Mention: ATLiens – Outkast
Nominated for Patiently Waiting: Arizona As told to Ms Rivercity // Photo by Hannibal Matthews
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7 Arrests Deep and I Never Snitched – Nobody wants to go to prison and deal with the consequences of their actions. For me, a lot of times I had money for attorneys. I was able to get my charges dropped. I’m still going through a lot right now. The police harass me in my neighborhood and are like, “We hear that you’re the man around here. We hear you sell drugs.” I’m like, “Y’all crazy as fuck.” I coulda been out here puttin’ niggas on with work. I coulda stayed out here if I was gonna do that. They swear that I’m the man on some big dawg shit. I’m From the West and I Made It Past 25 Years Old – If you’re from the Los Angeles area – Watts, Compton, South Central, Englewood – whether you’re Blood or Crip, you’re born into the conflict. Every day you’re a target, no matter if you gangbang or not. It’s all about affiliation, where you’re from. It’s a forever-going beef. Every day you’re ducking and dodging bullets, trying to stay out of the morgue. I Actually Used to Lowride on Crenshaw Blvd. – It’s only been 3 successful rappers on major labels that lowride on Crenshaw. Mack 10 was the biggest rapper ever that used to lowride on Crenshaw. No other rappers, I don’t care what they lie about in they raps, can say they ride. Mac 10 is the only rapper I remember seeing out there in ‘95-‘97 lowriding. With his career, he was still out there posted up lowriding. 9 times out of 10 they’d be out there shooting because it’s so many enemies out there. I do remember seeing Dub C. He wasn’t into lowriding at that time, but he was out there. No other rappers were out there during ‘95-‘99. You gotta remember I’m kinda young compared to other rappers. People remember me out there lowriding and still hit me up about it to this day. Million Dollar Deal Later and I Still Street Race – That’s in my blood. That’s what I do. I’ll never stop street racing. I don’t care if I make 20 million dollars. I don’t give a fuck what the police say. It’s illegal as hell but that’s what I do. That’s why I understand a lot of rappers. Everybody was on T.I. talking about he’s got millions of dollars, why’s he buying guns? He can buy guns; he’s a real street nigga. That’s what he do. A real nigga gon’ be a real nigga. It’s the same thing with me and street racing. I’ma be me no matter what. I’ve Performed in All 3 Projects in Watts – Nickerson Gardens, Jordan Downs, and Imperial Courts. I done got down in all of ‘em.
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Once I Left Sony, I Had a Deal Within 20 Minutes – At first I didn’t think I was gonna get released from Sony ‘cause of everything going on. But I talked to a dude named K.P. – shout out to him ‘cause he really did something special for my career – and he was able to get me released. I was in Mack 10’s office trying to get someone else a deal with Mack 10 when I got a call from K.P. telling me I was released. Mack 10 overheard me talking to K.P. and asked me how much money did I need. He called Bryan Turner in from Priority Records and we worked it out right there on the spot. I walked out with a deal. I’m Signed to the #1 Baller Out West and Down South [Blu Division/ Hoo Bangin’/Cash Money] – Mack 10 is the biggest baller out West, hands down. He shines harder than anybody. He got the coldest car game. His crib is colder than most of these niggas out here rappin’. And of course, Stunna Man in New Orleans. People know what his money looks like. I Push a Bentley Without Ever Releasing an Album – I’m a real street dude. I deal with ballers. They put me on how to get my whip. They threw me the keys to the Bentley, no questions. From then on, I can whip out a couple of old-schools, a new Silverado. It’s ignorant. I Had the #1 Record in L.A. Talkin’ Ignorant as Hell on the Song – If you heard “Certified,” I talked super shit on that song. I pulled my shit out in front of everybody like, “Look – I’m the man out here. Fuck what everybody else is on.” Enough niggas understood my record and was like, “He a real nigga. This is the coldest record on Power 106 even with this nigga talkin’ all this crazy, outlandish shit.” For the streets and radio to embrace it the way they did, I think that spoke a lot about my character. The Only Crip Who Can Do All Blood Shows – I believe it has something to do with my faith in God. God wanted me to be able to put that on. It’s not about street credibility. I don’t care what I did in my past; people don’t care about that. This is about God, and people possibly seeing past my rag and wanting to hear what I have to say. By the time I’m done, most of the time people are like, “This nigga is on some real life shit.” It also has to do with me not believing in what I was born into. I’m hood and I’m a Crip, but I don’t believe in that natural hate for Bloods. In Watts, it’s more about neighborhoods than Crips and Bloods. I don’t believe in the system of Crips and Bloods. Being able to see past that has helped me be able to make the type of records I make, maybe some life-changing shit.
Nominated for Patiently Waiting California As told to Ms Rivercity // Photo by D-Ray
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KEAK DA SNEAK surviving the times
Keak da Sneak has lived through both the Bay’s mid-90’s hey day and the hyphy movement of two years ago, giving the title of his newest album Deified an even stronger meaning. OZONE caught up with the king of the super duper hyphy hyphy to get his thoughts on everything from Bay unity to bootleggers. Introduce yourself, for people who don’t know who you are. I’m from East Oakland, California, originally one-third of the group 3XKrazy. We had a major deal on Virgin Records back in 1997. I’m an entertainer and I have my own way of explaining stories which I spit out in the form of a rhyme. I’m not a battle rapper. We got goons from the bay like Mistah FAB who hold that down for the rest of The Bay. I have many, many stories to tell if you’re a slow listener. If you can’t understand what I’m saying you need to keep up. You are one of the few Bay Area artists to have a major deal. How did that come about? Man I know, it’s been a long time coming. In 1997 I started with the group 3XKrazy and we signed a bad deal with Virgin records I was 17 years old and still going to school. We were featured on all of the Bay Area’s major compilations and well as E-40’s Hall of Game. We fucked with the major Bay Area hitters and we stayed at it. What have you been doing since then? 3XKrazy decided to go separate ways because we did bad business with Nootrybe/Virgin. We were not happy with the things that were going on around us. So I decided to go solo in 1998. I breathe music so I couldn’t just give up. I’m not a quitter so I tried it on my own and it worked out. Every year since then I have been working on reinventing myself. I have had bad business partners make the wrong moves but I’m still not a quitter. I got people in my ear that constantly feed me negativity and the people that I thought was with me was really against me. They were all in it for their own personal reasons, but I’m still standing. I may have fumbled a few times, but I’ma get right back up. It’s all a learning experience. If you have the right people in your corner and around you it’s cool. When you have the wrong people it’s all bad. When you decide to do you, niggas be mad instead of being there for you. I’m a good guy so I would never turn my back on my niggas. I’m working on the Allndadoe album. I’m trying to build something solid and then I want to work with the South on something real big. I’m working on Bay Area’s Best Kept Secrets ranging from R&B to Rap. It’s hard to get a good fanbase and to get people to listen. I want to bring the best talent from
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the Bay to the table. It’s been a few years since your last album Copium. That was a classic. Yeah, it was it was one of my best albums by far. I just released Deified in June, it was a distribution deal with Allndadoe/Koch and I also put a lot into that album too. There were various albums released by prior management in between but this is my real 4th album. How’s everything going with Koch? Man, all I can say is, make sure you have your marketing team on hand. My publicist Hassana Chanelle walked with me on this and we did as much as we could. My album got pushed back for a year and it was frustrating. I couldn’t just bust another move, I had to wait. If you’re from New York it’s good, but if you’re from The Bay, do all the footwork you can before hopping into a deal. How do you feel about the growth of your career? I feel good about it because I have a fan base. I’ve been building something. I’m not out here just having fun. I’m really working. When people out of the area think “hyphy,” they really aren’t all informed correctly. Explain hyphy and the role you play in it. The word “hyphy” means showing off, having fun, giggin’. Instead of our youth being focusing on killing and shooting we have fun. We dance and create our own atmosphere. Hyphy is a way of life for us. What do you think is the problem with the Bay? There doesn’t seem to be much love in the game and you’ve got so many people burning albums. I feel like the Bay doesn’t come together and help each other out. Other niggas are sticking together these days and aren’t worried about who’s gonna be in the spotlight longer. Look at Khaled and what he’s got going on; it’s all about unity. I just wish we could all come together, and the time to do it is now. The rap game need all of us, not just me. What people don’t realize is that it’s getting hard for artists to sell if people keep burning stuff. It’s ridiculous. I’m still in the stores buying albums. I bought a few of Lil Wayne’s albums. When I catch muthafuckas burning shit on the street, I snatch all they shit up and throw the shit away. Our people as a whole should really know now is the best time for you to do something with your life. Burning CDs and DVDs ain’t no fucking career. // Words by D-Ray // Photo by Trevor Traynor
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Ozone West #70 - Ozone Awards 2008