Saturday, October 30, 2010

The D.O.C speaks on Suge Knight beating up DJ Unknown for rights to the Death Row name

from 04:00-05:32

Bonus; part2

O.G.C. VS The Notorious B.I.G. (Beef/Diss)

The video for "No Fear" caused a
small dispute between Starang Wondah and The Notorious B.I.G.
as the video contained a Biggie
look-alike when Starang said the line:
"I scare, petty MCs who claim they got gats/frontin
wit hoes in videos with pimp hats/but the fact,
still remains/that you're just a stain
on the bottom of my boots while I'm still Starang".

Starang was attacked by Biggie's henchmen at D&D Studios,
and later mentions the attack on
Heltah Skeltah's 1998 hit "I Ain't Havin That".
"No Fear" was also interpolated by
Beyonce Knowles on her 2003 hit "Baby Boy".

O.G.C.; No Fear (mp3) Produced by Mr Walt


Friday, October 29, 2010

Too $hort & E-40 Plan Collabo Album

Too Short recently spoke to PyramidWest about he and fellow Bay Area rapper E-40 planning to release a collaborative project in the coming year.
“We’re both shooting for a 2011, middle-of-the-year release,” Short Dog was quoted as saying.
Too Short and E-40 shared over 10 years as Jive Records labelmates, and while they had their share of collaborations, some fans always wondered why there weren’t more group efforts from the Bay Area pair. There was talk once before during their time at Jive of an album between the two tentatively-titled “The History Channel”, but according to Too Short, the same label that brought them together also wanted to keep them apart.
“For years and years me and E-40 have been friends—before we both signed to Jive, during the entire time we both signed to Jive, and we still remain friends to this day,” Short said, during an interview with PyramidWest. “While we were on Jive, we always wanted to make an album together. We figured we’re on the same label, lets take it to the label and say, ‘Hey, do an E-40/Too Short album.’ But that’s not what they wanted. To this day, we still don’t know why they didn’t want us to collaborate, because if we made an album seven or eight years ago, it probably would have been probably much more significant than it would be now.”
The two have appeared on numerous tracks such as the Ant Banks-produced classics like “Rapper’s Ball,” Cali-O,” & “Domestic Violence,”, “Show Me What You Working Wit,” “Just Like Dope,” as well as also being featured together on Ant Banks’ pair of T.W.D.Y. albums on songs like ”Pervin’” and ”Game Shooters”. And while about a dozen more collaborations have surfaced recently, including this summer’s “Bitch,” Short says there’s even more to come
“We’re defying the odds of what Hip Hop’s supposed to be,” Too Short added. “I’m personally 44, and I think I’ve got 40 by about two years. And we’ve got a hot song moving around this summer. Of course we’re still entertaining the idea of doing a project together. You’ve heard quite a few duets, and we have twice as many songs as that which you’ve never heard.”
Short explained that the currently untitled project would likely be released in 2011, after the release of his digital album, Respect The Pimpin’.
“Part of what my legacy is right now is to tear down that stereotype that Hip Hop has an age limit,” Short explained. “I’m doing it to the fullest right along with my man E-40 and a couple other OG’s out there [like] Ice Cube.”


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Snoop speaks on producer credits (Dr. Dre,Daz,Warren G,Sha Money XL etc.)

I always tell niggas, I coulda went on some Snoop Dogg shit and just said "Ay Dre, do my next record." and just lock down and be like "Fuck all yall I got the hottest shit on the West, and I'm the reason bla bla bla". But I'm not selfish. I coulda smashed everythang and did that. Cause he's at my disposal. But I'd rather fuck with other producers, other artists, and just give niggas an opportunity that I feel deserve it. Cause I fuck with Dre, it's not gonna be Terrace Martin, it's gonna be Battlecat, it's not gonna be Soopafly. All these niggas is gone! It's gonna be Dr. Dre produced by. Even if ya'll produced it! You feel what I'm saying?

Dubcnn: It's crazy you say that though. A lot of people been saying that for a long time.

Nah, but when I say that, it's not disrespect, because them niggas will bring a track that sounds cool, but when he's finished with it, that muthafucka is immaculate. Like for example if you were to hear the Stevie Wonder song that Busta Rhymes brought to Dre before Dre touched it, you would think it's two different songs.

For the record;
Been Through The Storm (feat. Stevie Wonder)
Produced By Sha Money XL & Black Jeruz
Additional production by Dr.Dre
Keyboards: Mark Batson, Dawaun Parker & Mike Elizondo
Orchestra production: Busta Rhymes
*Contains samples from "Everlasting love", as performed by Felix Cavaliere.

Dubcnn: But he still should get some production credit though.

But, at the same time, Dre didn't take that from Sha Money (^read credits above^). And when he was doing that for niggas back in the days, they didn't deserve to have their name in the game like that, because he did all of the work! So what you found a sample and you got a cool little drum file, but he brought the shit to life, so he really produced the track! Producing is bringing the track to life! Beatmakers make beats. A lot of niggas make beats. He produces tracks. So that ain't disrespect what I'm saying. I'm just telling you what's real.

I seen him make tracks from scratch. My whole record the nigga made damn near everything from scratch. "Ain't No Fun", Daz and Warren G brought him the little *sings melody*, that's all they had! Dre took that muthafucka to the next level! Warren G brought in the Donny Hathaway, "Little Ghetto Boy, laying in the ghetto streets." Dre flipped it like "Hold on, gimme that!" Took that muthafucka and made it straight hit!

Dubcnn: So you're saying it's wrong that Daz or Warren G would claim that they didn't get the credit they deserved on The Chronic or Doggystyle?

I'ma say it like this: they didn't deserve the credit back then because they didn't do the work. They made beats, Dre produced that record. Point blank, and I'd say it in they face. They made beats, cuzz produced the record. If you a real nigga in the rap game, you'll understand what I'm saying. I can make a beat, but I can't produce! I can make a beat, but can I tell a nigga what to rap about, can I tell him when to come with the hook? Can you break the beat down? That's what producing is.

Dubcnn: Right, but if I brought in the beat, I would still want my name somewhere.

But, if you brought in the beat, that's all you did, was brought in the beat. You didn't produce this record. This song says "Produced by" not "brought in the beat by". Keep it real! So that's what niggas got wrong, and they started pointing fingers and try to bad mouth him, when in actuality Dre doesn't need ya'll, ya'll needed him! Because this shit ya'll learned from him, that made ya'll better producers. He didn't learn shit from ya'll! See that's what niggas don't understand! Before The Chronic, how many hit records did Dre have before that? Everything he made was a hit record right?

Dubcnn: Right.

How many hits did Warren G make, how many hits did Daz make? None. None. Okay now, look at the tracks that they produced on The Chronic. Did they have any records like that by theyselves? No. You answer the question for me!

Dubcnn: Maybe on Dogg Food?

Come on man! Dogg Food was produced by Soopafly, Daz and Dr. Dre!

Dubcnn: Dre mixed it right?

No, Dre produced a lot of that shit! I'm telling you, Daz and them brought Dre beats, and he produced the muthafuckas! "What Would You Do" was just a beat that Daz had did. That "bu-bump, bu-bump", the nigga Dre put all that shit on it, that *sings* What would you do, whaa *sings* just to give it that other shit! I'm telling you what I know man! Niggas gotta give Dre the ultimate respect. Niggas try to bash him and cut his knees down like he didn't do nothing nigga, he's the saviour man! Because what he did was, he showed niggas how to produce. Because niggas was good at making beats, but he showed you niggas how to produce! If ya'll had really did what ya'll say ya'll did, ya'll woulda put records out that sold 3-4 million on your own, like he did. I still have to see it!

All the records that they put out solo wise, GARBAGE. Warren G's last record, HOT TO DEATH. The records in between, I don't know. And these are my homeboys, I don't lie to you, I tell it like it is!

For the record:
Dogg Food producer credits; (Dr. Dre is credited for mixing the album)

^click image to enlarge^

Dubcnn: You don't like the Retaliation, Revenge & Get Back?

He was dissing me!

Dubcnn: I know, but it was still a good record!

I don't give a fuck! I don't like records with niggas dissing me! What I look like man? I didn't smash him though. I had a record I did with Mack 10 that woulda shut is whole career down. I told him and I let him hear the record, I told him "Nigga, I'm gonna let you get away with this cause you're my little cousin, and you rolling with Suge. I'ma let you get away with it." But in actuality I shoulda smashed his ass and kicked him out of the game, but that ain't the type of nigga I am! I love Daz and I know he was brainwashed! That would've been Suge's goal, to make two niggas lose for the price of one. So that's why I say I never really listen to that record cause I know the nigga was dissing. But it didn't sell no units!

Dubcnn: It went gold..

It didn't go gold. They bought 300,000 copies of that record. See you didn't know that though.

Dubcnn: Nah I didn't know that. That's some crazy shit.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Kool Moe Dee rates the rappers of today

^click image to enlarge^

Rollin' with Dre: The Unauthorized Account: An Insider's Tale of the Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of West Coast Hip Hop

^click image to enlarge^

-Dr. Dre´s working process.
-Jay-Z wrote Still D.R.E
-Song writer credits

Mike "Crazy Neck" Sims; Caucasian radio announcers on NWA's 100 Miles And Runnin' EP and Above The Law's Livin' Like Hustlers.

Mike "Crazy Neck" Sims
Not only does is this studio rat's fretwork appear on
several Ruthless productions,but his voice can be
readily identified portraying crooked police officers and stiff,
Caucasian radio announcers on
NWA's 100 Miles And Runnin' EP and Above The Law's Livin' Like Hustlers.

Ego Trip's Book of rap lists
(really good for research, ISBN 0-312-24298-0)

Dr. Dre Chronic & Chronic 2001 booklet scan (producer/song writer credits)

^click image to enlarge^

Mac Dre Ronald Dregan: Dreganomics producer credits (booklet scan)

^click image to enlarge^

The G.O.V. produced Get Stupid - (Remix)
Not Dr. Dre.

Get your facts straight.

Purchase Mac Dre music here

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bushwick Bill Will Not Be Deported (speaks on Geto Boys reunion)

Last Thursday, Bushwick Bill beat his deportation case and was released four days later from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In July, the pint sized Geto Boy member was facing deportation for a drug charge two months prior. When XXL asked about a Geto Boys reunion, Bill said:

“I don’t think any of them is interested. I’ve never got the vibe that they would do a gospel song. ‘Cause when they talking about doing another Geto Boys album I said I would do it if I could rap like I’m rapping on my gospel album, I didn’t get a whole lot of cosigning on that from all the political parties concerned.”


Murder Dog Magazine; Ice Cube Interview by Black Dog Bone

Some people think the Internet is the greatest tool for musicians, but a lot of people feel it’s been the worst blow for the artists, making it hard to survive doing music. What do you think?
I think it’s a war on music going on right now. It’s a war against music. And it’s more than the Internet. I think it’s a conscious effort by all the major outlets—from TV and radio to retail—to let this thing die a slow death. The only freedom that ordinary people have to say anything and get people to listen on a mass level is through music. If you don’t own a TV station or you don’t own magazines, you can always go do a song that tells people how you feel. And people will listen to that song and some of them will say, “Hell yeah, I feel the same way.” There’s a common ground there, and that’s powerful! Especially in the hands of young, poor artists who are not being told what to say. To be able to stomp that out, to be able to stomp out true freedom of speech, it starts with the music. Because if I can make people not care about singers, rappers, or anybody like that, then you’re not gonna care about what they say. So next time somebody tell you: stop the violence, we’re headed for self-destruction! You ain’t gonna give a fuck, you ain’t gonna like nobody or nothing enough to care what they say. So it’s been an erosion of music on all levels. From not teaching music in schools, to the mainstream TV shows like BET and MTV not playing the music as much, and if they do they’re playing a weak watered down version of Rap. This is the erosion. Now the computer has basically made music worthless, it’s not worth nothing because you get music for free. They’re training themselves not to even buy music, because it’s silly to pay for music when you can go on the computer and get it for free. What that does is record labels is not giving out record deals. That means artists are out there with something to say and not getting heard. Fast-forward 40 years, 50 years from now. Will there be any artists doing anything or will it just be a lot of old music for people to listen to?
If Ice Cube were to be coming out right now with the way things are, there wouldn’t be an Ice Cube or NWA making the impression that you made 20 years ago.
That’s true. That’s what I’m tellin you. The new NWA, the new Ice Cube, may never be heard. The music industry is not lucrative enough for people to have dreams of doing it. It’s definitely a battle going on right now.
You’re saying that people don’t value music or the artists anymore. When I first heard you, you were like a god to me. We all looked up to you and listened to whatever you said. Now young people don’t have those types of hero figures.
That’s the essence of what I’ve been saying about the war on music. For one thing, to show that we’re mortals by picking us apart on this website or that website. They try to bring you down to an ordinary level. That’s to me what the TMZ’s of the world are really doing, taking the shine and luster off of being a celebrity. If I don’t look up to nobody then I’m not gonna look up to these outside influences. So when Stevie Wonder comes out with a song, or Ice Cube comes out with a song tellin me how to navigate through tough situations, I’m not listening to him enough to take the advice.
I was reading a book about Public Enemy called “Don’t Rhyme For the Sake of Riddling” and in there they have a whole chapter about Ice Cube called “Amerikkka’s Most Wanted”.
I haven’t seen that book yet. I’m gonna check it out. Sounds interesting.
What made you decide to reach out and connect with Chuck D? West Coast wasn’t doing music with the East Coast at that time.
I was a big fan of Chuck D before NWA blew up, when they first came out with “Yo! Bum Rush The Show” and of course “It Takes a Nation”. That was like my favorite Rap group. We had done NWA, and we had got a name for ourselves and we was finally on the show with Public Enemy. I just couldn’t wait to meet Chuck, and when I met him backstage he was so cool. He was into what we was doin. He liked how aggressive we were and that we was original. I exchanged numbers with Chuck. I had seen him a few more times after that on the road, doin shows. And every time we saw each other we would talk for a long time. When I was goin through my troubles with NWA I called Harry Ållen. I knew Harry Allen from bein on the road with Chuck. And I talked to him about me leaving NWA, and he was like, “You should talk to Chuck about it.” So I called Chuck and told him about leaving NWA. He was basically sayin, “If you can’t keep it together, good luck on what you’re doin.” We never talked about workin together. When I left the group, Priority gave me a solo deal. They were like, “Who do you wanna work with?” At the time 3rd Bass’ album was the shit, and the producer they had on there was named Sam Sever. I wanted to find him and do some beats, so I called Lyor at Def Jam and told him I was gonna fly out to New York and wanted to meet with Sam Sever. When I got to New York Sam Sever had stood me up; he didn’t come. As I was leaving Def Jam Chuck D walks in. He was like, “Yo, whatcha doin?” I was tellin him I’m tryin to get my album produced with Sam Sever. He was like, “Come down to the studio and talk to Hank Shockley about it. We’re doing a song with Big Daddy Kane tonight called ‘Burn, Hollywood, Burn’, you wanna be on it?” I was like, “Hell yeah!” When I got to the studio we cut the track. It was a dope track, everything was cool. Then Hank walked in and we started talkin about me leaving NWA and coming to New York tryin to find some production. Hank was like, “Why don’t you have us do the whole thing?” I jumped at it. Called my management like, “We’ve got the whole Bomb Squad!” So we started making plans about when we was gonna fly out and work.
Did you make that whole album in New York?
Most of the album was recorded in New York. I’d say about 90% of it.
How was it for you to be a West Coast artist in New York? Did it effect your music?
It made me focus a whole lot more, cause I had no distractions. We knew a few people in New York, but it wasn’t like LA. People would come by the studio like Stetsasonic and dude from X-Clan. People was comin by all the time. Prince Paul. It was cool to get a chance to rub elbows with the New York Hip Hop elite. I was in heaven cause I knew the production was gonna be tight, I knew the rhymes was gonna be tight. It was all about what magic we was gonna make when we got to the studio. It was just fun. I was lookin forward to it every day.
On your new album you state, “I Am The West”. Really Ice Cube is the West. But at that time your energy met with the East Coast music, that combination will never happen like that again. That was some magic.
I felt like everything lead toward making that happen. What if I had never run into Chuck D at Def Jam? He woulda never invited me to be on “Burn Hollywood, Burn”, and the record would’ve been totally different. All of those elements came together, where I saw fate step in and make it happen.
It’s not just that record that would have been different. The world would have been different. Hip Hop has effected the world in such a drastic way. I wonder if you even realize the impact that you have had on the world through Rap.
I know what you’re saying. In that period between ’87 and ’91 the records that came out at that time did change the world. Changed the way people thought of themselves, thought of authority. It sparked a movement. It connected people who were not connected before. But through Hip Hop similar minds connected to made moves to change things. It made things a little better, but there’s still a long way to go. It’s a little more understanding in the world.
Also it changed music all over the world. Anywhere you go in the world now, Hip Hop is happening and respected. Think about Southern Rap—that couldn’t have happened the way it did without people like you.
We opened it up for all artists in all walks of life to be themselves and not feel like they have to sugarcoat what they do or put on a façade to be accepted or to be recognized. We made it to where you could be yourself and still get the same respect as an artist that was super clean, like some bubblegum kind of Pop. That opened it up for TV and movies. It opened the world up to not be so unaccepting and censored. To be a little more open and honest.
A lot of young kids are playing your early CD’s now, going back and digging up the NWA and early Ice Cube records. Are you aware of that?
I have been hearing it here and there. When I go and do shows and I look out I see that it’s a young audience and an audience that’s my age out there. They’re both into it. What makes me continue to do music is for that. People can always discover it new, no matter how old the music is. It’s always there for people to discover, and it’s new to them. Like my grandmother used to watch old movies, and she’d be like, “Come watch this movie with me.” I’d be like, “I don’t wanna watch that old black and white movie. That’s old.” She’d say, “It’s new to you. You ain’t never seen it before!” That’s kinda the feeling I get when I play my music. People might not be on it the week I release it, but people might discover this stuff 5 years from now or 10 yeas from now. It’ll still be there. That’s the great thing about music, leaving a mark. A lot of people lose sight of that, so they lose the opportunity sometimes. They just put out bullshit instead of quality. I put out fun records, but I’m still trying to sprinkle some game into the records.
One of my all time favorite albums is that Lench Mob record you did. That was really an Ice Cube record.
Yeah. They were new to it, but they definitely were committed and believed in what we was doin. The Lench Mob, that to me is like taking Public Enemy and turnin it up and making a little more street, not so political. You can’t really do them kinda groups nowadays. If you do it’s gonna be a hard road to get recognition.
What I like about that project is it’s the darkest, grimiest record you ever did.
No doubt. “Guerrillas in tha Mist”, some of the shit on there is haunting. Especially that intro. That’s the kinda stuff we felt would get people’s attention and let them know there’s some serious pain goin on around here. We’re only doin music to express it. It’s a good way to take all that aggression and channel it.
On your new album you still come hard and have a great sound. But I always wish you would do something real dark like that Lench Mob record.
I know what you mean. With “Raw Footage” I started leaning more towards the political, cause I felt that it was a political year. With this album, it was supposed to come out in July so I wanted to make a summer record, a record that was not so heavy, more fun. But I think I’m at my best when I’m doin the political rhyming, even though it’s not as popular now. When you’re doing records you gotta just do what you feel. You can’t over think it.
With your political records they’re not just dry information. It’s more emotional. You put a lot of feeling into it.
If you can’t feel what I’m sayin, you ain’t gonna feel what I’m sayin. A record should make you feel like something at the end of the day. It shouldn’t just be noise.
It should leave a taste in your mouth.
Some kinda taste, either a good one, bad, something sweet or something sour. Don’t just be noise—not sayin nothin, beats don’t make me react, just there. I always felt like either you gonna love the shit outta this record or you’re gonna love the shit outta this record. You’re gonna do something. You’re not just gonna sit there and let it play, no reaction.
When I first heard “War & Peace” I wasn’t very excited about it because I felt like I had heard all the Ice Cube records. But now when I listen to “War & Peace” I really like it. That was an amazing album.
I always felt like those records were a little ahead of the curve. They were so experimental. They’re not really following any kind of regular Hip Hop “make money Pop” lane. It’s basically just dark Hip Hop music, kinda grimy. It’s really a listen-to record. It ain’t a record you dance to. It’s more of a headphone, just listen and vibe out kinda record.
When you go back and listen to your old records do you feel like that’s a different Ice Cube or that you’re the same person?
I feel like I’m the same. I just feel like I’ve got a better understanding of things. The young Cube would do “Burn Hollywood Burn” and make me wanna actually come down and burn Hollywood up. The new Cube would still make “Burn Hollywood Burn” but I realize you don’t burn it up from the outside; you burn it from the inside. That means you get in there and you change it. You make it better for your people or for any poor youngster coming in after you. That’s how you burn it. Not burn it to the ground cause then nobody makes money, nobody will benefit off it. We just want our share. So by me injecting myself into Hollywood and carving out a niche for careers like Chris Tucker’s and Mike Epps and Katt Williams—I am burning down Hollywood. It’s to where we can benefit off of it and not be destructive with it. That’s the tip I’m on. I think the main difference is that I want to be able to go in and make a real change, and not just bitch about it, cry and moan about it.
It’s incredible that a Gangsta rapper could become one of the biggest film actors of our time. You opened the door for a lot of rappers and Black entertainers to get in the movies.
No doubt. I can’t take all the credit. People like Run DMC had did movies before me. And if you look back over the years, you had music people like Elvis and Nat King Cole. I ain’t the first artist that started doing movies. But as far as Hip Hop, getting involved in producing and in writing movies—it showed that you can go deeper into this. You don’t have to just be an actor. You can actually make a difference, if you work hard.
When you started making this new album what was in your mind? Was there something in particular you wanted to get across?
I always go into a record with no concept. I hear a beat, write a rhyme, I’ll go record a record. And then I’ll record another record. At a certain point the record starts to take shape. It becomes clear: this is the direction we need to go in. That’s kinda how this record was. I did a few records and they all sounded kinda different. Then one just kinda caught on, I think it was “Drink the Kool-Aid”. Then I said, I’m gonna make a West Coast B-boy record. It’s not gonna be heavy or political; it’s just gonna be hardcore rhyming over West Coast beats. And we’re gonna celebrate the West Coast, cause it’s hard for us to get recognition. Forget running from it, we’re gonna celebrate it. That’s how the record started taking shape.
The music started talking to you and telling you the direction you should go with this record.
Yeah. Yeah. After you get 3 or 4 songs, the next songs you pick you start to say, “Does this fit the album?” Some records don’t really fit. Sometimes I record the song anyway and save it because it’s a good concept. Sometimes I just set the beat aside and say, “I’ll go back to this one when I do the record that fits this beat.” Cause I hate for records to be all over the place. I like to feel like they belong together in an album concept.
That’s one thing that makes Ice Cube albums so good. The whole record had a certain feeling, so you can just pop it in and play it through.
Just let it roll. It’s got a vibe. Chuck D taught me how to do that, how to sequence a record. Cause a record outta sequence—you could make “Thriller” sound bad if it’s in the wrong sequence. It’s all about how the records stack and how they play from one to another and what vibe and mood they give you from one song to the next. To me that’s an art form in itself, making sure the record has the right flow. Make sure that it feels like a constant concept and it doesn’t feel like, where did this song come outta nowhere? You have a super fast record that got you fuckin hype, and then the next song comes on all fuckin slow and takes your mood down. To me it’s a technique you need to pay attention to when you put together an album.
How do you put it all together? Do you play it in your car when you’re driving around or just do it all in the studio?
I have probably a million different orders that I play. Sometimes I’ll come into the studio, “Switch this song with that song and make me a CD.” Or I’ll come in and say, “Put it in this order now.” So my CD’s be in all kinda different orders, and I’ll listen to it and see how it make me feel. If you take this same record and switch the order around you will get a whole different feel. The whole album, you could make it more grimy or you can make it more fun and like “let’s roll!” it’s all different ways you can change the mood of an album in just the sequence, the song order.
When you first start doing an album, what kinds of things motivate you? Do you hear a beat or a song and it makes you want to get in the studio and make some records?
That’ll happen, like you hear somebody with a hit or somebody with some bangin shit, and you’ll be like, “Maaan!” It inspires you to record. I definitely get them feelings. Or just seeing something, or something pops into my head and I gotta write that down, that sounds like a song. And I’ll just wait for the beat, to find a beat that works with that concept. Or sometimes people send me music and it’s just bangin so much that I gotta go write. I’ll just go write to it.
What sounds do you look for? Do you still like the West Coast tracks that you were first using or is it other stuff now that interests you?
I like it all. I like anything that’s good or great. I’m not a person that feels like I gotta keep it G-Funk, West Coast Gangsta shit. I ain’t on that tip. I actually like people to do their own kind of Hip Hop. A lotta people after we came out started doing everything that we was doing, took our concept. I really like people to be unique and do their own thing.
Thank you for your time. You are still my hero, Cube!
Thank you. It’s always a pleasure talking to you, man. I always love what you’re doing at Murder Dog. Keep doing what you’re doin!

Murder Dog Magazine

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Source magazine: Decade Of Rap Charts (Chuck D,Harry Allen, J. The Sultan & Funken-Klein (R.I.P.).

^click images to enlarge^


Tha Chill (of CMW/ Compton's Most Want) & MC Ren (of N.W.A) - Have Dat Money Rite


I2G interview with Knoc-Turn'al ("Talks Dr. Dre & Detox Pressures")

I2G is back in the mix with part 2 of our interview with Knoc-Turn’al. In this segment we talk in depth about Dr. Dre and Detox and the sway in anticipation people are having on the project. Knoc keeps it real on the subject as well as Mathmadix, his brother Jaguar, Noah Jones and much more so check it out. To peep part one, click on the link below.

Knoc-Turn’al Interview Part 1

You have been a long time collaborator with Dr. Dre. Out of all the tracks that you have done with him, what is your favorite?

Oh the one that put me on the map of course, Bad Intentions. Because that was something that I never expected to happen because it was for a movie with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre and why would I think that I am going to get the first single off of it when I am just a ghost writer for Dr. Dre?

Of course I was on The Chronic, the fourth song doing hooks and writing for it and the background. But with The Wash, they told me oh we are shooting your video with Dr. Dre next week. I was like what are you serious? They was like yeah that is the video that Dre said he wants to shoot. I thank Dre and I thank God for that, because that was the first of something of that magnitude of my career.

What’s your thoughts right now on Detox? I know you worked with Dre on the 2001 album and people constantly say that it is taking him a long time to finish it.

People do not understand what Dre goes through. I understand the concept is 12 songs and some interludes and intros, but Dre is a perfectionist. If there is a hair out of line, a molecule out of line, he is going to fix it and he will sit there until it gets fixed. People also do not understand the amount of business that he takes care of everyday. How many artists that he has put in the game that he still takes care of everyday. He does not turn his back on people unless they turn they back on him.

He is a selfless person, even though he has more than made his money in this industry, he still remains the same. I don’t understand the criticism for Dre and from the fans standpoint there is always that I want another Dre album, but he also has alot of other things in business that he has to take care of too. I am not making excuses for him but at the same time.., well I got to revert back to this, understand that he lost his son.

His junie, right in the middle of him making Detox. His junebug, which is his junior. Andre Jr., understand that, before you criticize the man, and it was right in the middle of him making Detox. Now if you lose your son, who is your junior and then turn around and sayI am going to put a album out next month and I am going to do a tour, that is not something that is easy to do.

I understand fans that say well you gotta keep pushing, well lose your son and say that.


And on top of that, the man has grandchildren, and I am not saying he is old, but he has other responsibilites as well. I say to any fan that is criticizing Dr. Dre for not putting this album out, lose your son and then say that. Let me see you put a album out a year after that, because that is not possible. That messes you up to raise a son and he is 17 years old and then dies. He already lost his little brother at a young age because some people wanted to beat him up and that is what the last song on 2001 is about.

As much as he achieves, you can never get back your family. Fuck the mic, people go through shit, even in football when a player loses someone in they family, the team gives them leave. Why can’t people understand that Dre is taking as many losses as he is gains and it ain’t about Detox. He said he wanted to do Detox for a simple reason, he is tired of inspiring the world to do evil.

He is feeling like even though you can do what you want to do, don’t overdo it. You got to have a balance with what is going on, and you don’t want to have your ultimate claim to fame be that well I made everyone smoke weed. He is trying to revert that and make everyone understand that there is 2 options, and he won’t even allow you to smoke or drink anymore in the studio.

What you do on your time, is your time. He has a whole other focus right now and I don’t think people understand how Dre’s mind works. When he has a mission, and he really means something, he REALLY means it. He is a perfectionist, so you can’t go in there and pussy foot and half ass it with him. You will get Deboed out the studio, and all he will say is thank you very much, I am going to move on to this next thing so I will call you when I need you. Basically you just fucked up because you did not do your job.

He will call you out of the vocal booth and he won’t even let you finish your verse. If he don’t like it, and he will give you a couple chances to re write, and he will go to the next person and if he comes back to you and you keep messing up, it is going to be a problem. He is like I saw something in you but maybe it was not enough, I will holla at you later when you increase your talent.

That’s some real talk. What is the status as far as L.A. Confidential the group? Will you guys get back together and do you keep in contact with everyone in the group?

I keep in contact with Timebomb and Slip Capone. The status on that is there was a bunch of things going on as far as issues with payment of course and that is why I stepped away. It is a complex situation to the point where it was better for me to walk away then to stay there and that also gets back to me saying that I needed to take a step back and think about my family. Even though I could have kept eating but if it is a situation to where it is not looking good, and you are creating a bunch of chaos around the nation and around the world, then it is not good.

Because I am not here to promote that, I am here to promote me and to have a good time and I am not here to be fighting with different people in different cities. I ain’t saying that I picked up a Bible, I am still me, it feels good to be a gangster but it hurts to be hurt again. I grew up on the streets, I am a block baby, and I did not come into the music business to continue to be a block baby. I came into this industry to help pull some of my people off the block and get them paid so I do not have to see all this killing, going to funerals, mothers crying.

I am trying to better people in my neighborhood, and if I can’t do that then we revert back to square one when I said earlier that you are just a preacher preaching bullshit. I did this not just for me, I did this for my peoples, my family. I did not come from a silver spoons generation, and you have these people coming up now, they are the sons or nephews and daughters and nieces of people in high power. No disrespect but chicken noodle soup with a soda on the side what is that?


You don’t think that is someone in power that did that? Who releases a song like that? Even if he did eat some chicken noodle soup, you would not have it with a soda. Chicken noodle soup with a soda on the side, you would not do that. It does not make sense, and if you need chicken noodle soup that means that you are sick!


It does not even make sense man, who just eats chicken noodle soup all the time and a soda? I could see if she said Top Ramen but she talking about Campbells.


Another group that you work heavily with is Mathmadix. What is the latest status on the group?

Oh yeah they are doing a whole lot bruh. I have been working with them for about 6 years before I calmed down a little bit and dealt with my own personal issues. One of my own personal issues was as many people know is drinking. I am not drinking anymore and I am getting my levelheadedness to myself to make sure I stay in tune. Like Katt Williams said, you got to stay in tune with your star player.

What Mathmadix is doing is they are waiting to ride the wave and they are doing everything that they need to be doing to be patient. You got Knawledg, J Beam, Ripacut, Jaguar, Jamen, and AJ Almighty. We just trying to collectively, the whole thing why I made the group Mathmadix, was to say that it all adds up. The symbols, the logo, everything there is nothing that takes away from it. We don’t use any minus signs, division or anything like that in the logo, everything is a positive and gaining sign.

They doing shows and they are doing what they need to be doing and making sure that they stay humble. That is the key to this game, you have to stay humble. If you don’t remain humble, someone will blackball you and forcefully humble you real quick like and crumble you up like a piece of paper and throw you in the trash. If it was not for the fact that I remained humble, even though I was a alcoholic, you would not be talking to me on the phone right now.

I interviewed Noah Jones a few months back and he mentioned that you, Jaguar and himself knocked around the idea of doing a group album. Are you guys still looking to do that?

Yeah but as of right now, one things for sure is I got alot of things on my plate. Jaguar and Noah Jones have the capabilities of doing most of the work on their own and they doing what they need to do, and all they need to do is send me, and I hate to make myself sound like Dr. Dre with this, but they can send me the music like Dre and I will be in the song where I need to be at and do it.

I have been in the studio with both of them a couple of times and I know they know what they are doing. Technology is not what it was when I first started 11 years ago, now you can send someone a track and it comes out fine. Back then we was using 2 inch reels, now you don’t even have to be in the studio with somebody. But I know that Noah Jones and Jaguar need to create a bond with amongst themselves to where they ping pong and it is steel that sharpens steel. They need to get together and do that and let me finish it.

I have done about 5 songs with them already, and I don’t persay want to be all over the album anyway. I have proven myself to the world, I am a global artist and I thank God for that, but I want them to prove themselves to the world. So I can’t sit there and hold they hand on that project, but I will say that they are ready.

Do you have any upcoming shows or tour dates?

Right now, well I just had a show out in Phoenix a couple weeks ago but right now my main focus is to go around to these radio stations and go on promo, which alot of artists do not do anymore. I am going to go on a promo tour and I am going to go around to these radio stations and talk to people. Try to enlighten people on being positive instead of being negative. Because I have been on both sides of the world and one thing for sure is, I have even tried to straddle the fence and that does not work.

Positivity creates positivity, it is all energy. If you want to be negative, some negative shit is going to come your way. So just expect it, it is up to you, and it is a choice you were given by the grace of God, so people need to understand the choices that God has given them. Ok some people think they cool because they are being negative but some negative shit is going to come your way.

So expect it, and if you choose to be on a more positive note, but still guard your neck, but don’t try to be something that you are not. You got alot of these people out here right now that are doing that. You got alot of people walking around saying that they are gangsters but they walking around in skinny jeans. How can you fight in skinny jeans?


You can’t fight in those, you better go find a skateboard. There is a reason why we used to sag, so we have leeway to squab. That is where sagging came from, so we could fight. We did not want no 501′s because you can’t move around like you want to. It is a reason why when you look at the UFC, they might have some little tights on and it might look gay but they can squab.


You can’t fight with skinny jeans on, you gonna get your ass whooped. All I have to do is trip you.


You take a step back, I am going to trip you and you will fall. It’s too tight and below your ass and you have a little bitty ass shirt, you are going to fall. I don’t knock the style, that is the younger generation. But don’t call yourself a gangster when you are not. Because really that style came from skateboarders, so call yourself that and pick up a skateboard.

What is your website information?, Also they can contact my man Lunatic, who hooked up this interview as well and talk to him.

Alright well that is all the questions I have for you, appreciate you getting down for the interview. I have been a big fan of yours since you first came out and I used to have conversations with Lunatic a couple years ago before you 2 even linked up about how much we enjoy your music and it is good to have you back.

When you had me then, I was 75%, because I was always blitzed (laughs). This time you got me back and one thing is for sure, I am 110%. So it is going to be a great ride and I appreciate you for having me on Illuminati 2G and I also appreciate the fans that have been waiting. I appreciate that people still know who I am after 5 years, because some people walk down the street and hope someone recognizes them. It’s a good thing and I appreciate it.

Any last words before I let you go?

Yeah go get Knoc’sVille. 11/9/10, one thing for sure is ya boy is back.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ice Cube Breaks Down His Entire Catalogue

When you're one of the creators of gangsta rap, there's always a story to tell. Nearly 25 years into his career, Ice Cube is feeling cocky. And why not? His contributions to hip-hop are mammoth. From his groundbreaking days as a founding member of “the world’s most dangerous group” N.W.A. to his fire-and-brimstone politically-charged solo statements, Cube is indespensible when dissecting the evolution of rap. Yes, there are critics who will point out that the influential visionary lost his sneering bite during his impressive turn as a major Hollywood player, starring, directing and producing in films like Friday, The Players Club, Are We There Yet?, Barbershop and Lottery Ticket. But the grizzled West Coast vet is not about to put down the mic anytime soon. With a new album, I Am The West, in stores, a defiant Cube breaks down his indelible musical career one song and album at a time. He’s not going anywhere, folks.

"My Posse” (1987)—C.I.A.

I first met Dr. Dre in 1983 going into ’84. He was the most famous person I knew at that time [laughs]. He was in the World Class Wreckin’ Cru who just dropped a record called “Surgery.” Dre was the only person I knew who actually released an album, so I was excited to meet him. When he heard me flow, he took me under his wing. He would be at the house making records and I would help him write whatever I could to just get in where I fit in. Before N.W.A., we were in a group called C.I.A. We were on Epic Records and we had a song called “She’s A Scag,” which Dre used the Tears For Fears track “Shout.” It was a cool little song, but it wasn’t particularly hot, so we ended getting dropped from the label. Then we got on Crew Cut Records and changed our name to C.I.A., which stood for Criminals In Action. But the label didn’t want us having the word ‘criminals’ on our record [laughs]. So they made us change it to Crew In Action and needless to say we were mad about that shit!’

That’s when we came out with “My Posse.” We recorded that record six or seven days after the Beastie Boys’ License To Ill came out. And Dre was like, ‘Y’all gotta rap like these dudes…real loud and screaming and shit.’ We thought, ‘Man, this style is kind of crazy.’ Dre had us on “My Posse” fucking screaming our heads off like we were Adrock because that was the new sound; the new style. We were a little bit out of character on that song [laughs]."

N.W.A. and the Posse (1987)

Before we even started this album, Eazy-E commissioned the song “Boyz-n-the-Hood” from me. Dre and me were doing these swap meet mixtapes clowning on those songs and talking about the shit that was happening in the neighborhood. We knew it wasn’t going to be a record that would get played on the radio, so we were going all out. But Eazy kept saying, ‘That’s exactly the style that I want! That’s what I want you to write for my group.’ That’s when I wrote “Boyz-n-the-Hood.” I knew the song was ill, but it was no iller than Ice T’s “6 In The Mornin’.” I saw the shit that was going on in the streets. It was an underground hardcore record and I wanted it to be visual. That was N.W.A.’s style…to be graphic with it."

Straight Outta Compton (1988)—N.W.A.

I’m not going to take all the credit for the gangsta style of Straight Outta Compton. Everybody contributed something. But there are certain moments that stand out. A song like “Fuck The Police” took N.W.A. from just being a hardcore group from L.A. to the world’s most dangerous group. That one song alone was just as political as anything that had come out before it. I don’t know if a song has ever peaked that kind of political vibe all over the world. It hit a chord with people globally who were sick of [unjust] authority. To me, that song is the essence of what the group had become.

To tell you truth, I wasn’t shook when the F.B.I. sent us that letter [condemning us for “Fuck The Police”]. I was naïve. Being that young, I didn’t really care about the F.B.I. [laughs]. They didn’t mean as much to me as the LAPD. I actually saw the cops in L.A. fuck with people for no reason. They would fuck with me and the homies for just doing nothing; We were used to putting our hands on the hood of a cop car and all that bullshit. That same year Eazy released Eazy-Duz-It. With Eazy’s record, a lot of people pitched in—the D.O.C., MC Ren, and myself. We all put a lot of effort to get that record done, but at the end of the day writers were not considered producers. No matter what you contributed to the record, style wise, you were not considered a producer unless you did beats. And to me, that was bullshit.

That’s when I started to have issues with the way business was being done. I was the one that told Dr. Dre to go ‘Gangsta, gangsta, that’s what they yelling, it’s not about a salary, it’s all about reality.’ Me bringing those records to the studio and telling Dre to use them is producing just as much as Yela rewinding the tape and making sure the drum machine is working. That was my main problem. I thought we should all get paid as producers. And Eazy didn’t see it that way."

AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted (1990)—Ice Cube

When I left N.W.A., I got the chance to rap on the Bomb Squad’s beats. I always loved their work on those Public Enemy records. On AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted I thought I was getting the chance to do something that not too many people had done: bridge the gap between the East and West with just one record. These motherfuckers were mad scientist when it came to sampling and layering beats. I was on cloud nine. You had the Eric Sadler on the bottom beats; Chuck D on the scratching and anything that you heard flying in and out; and Hank and Keith Shocklee were just adding and stacking sounds. I knew I was going to have a great record, despite all the shit that the guys from N.W.A. were talking about how my album was going to be trash. All I heard was, ‘You going out to New York to work on your record? That’s dumb!’ All that shit they hit me with, I was like, ‘Whatever…watch this.’ Me and Sir Jinx put together our preliminary plan and had some songs we took with us to New York. Jinx produced “Once Upon A Time In The Projects,” “You Can’t Fade Me,” and helped put together those skits. I call Jinx my crazy producer [laughs]. He’s a mad scientist his damn self.

I think “The Nigga Ya Love to Hate” was the perfect opening song. But originally it caused a huge argument in the studio. The crew thought that I was dissing myself on that track. No rapper had ever told the listener to literally tell them, ‘Fuck you.’ But I explained to them that because the song is called “The Nigga Ya Love to Hate” that means it was about the hate I was receiving because of the dope shit I was giving to the [masses]. It was back and forth until I let the guys feel what I was trying to do—they just bit into it totally. That’s how we knew we were making a record that was beyond the boundaries of anything that was done.

And then you have a song like “Endangered Species,” which was extremely powerful. For one thing, Chuck is rhyming on the track with me, which was just incredible. To me it’s a straight Public Enemy beat. We had some crazy ass distortion going through that song. It actually pierces your ears. And the end of the song is equally powerful. The whole chase down by the police dogs. Every black person that hears that can feel it in their chromosomes like it was happening to them. It was just a great record."

Kill At Will (1990)—Ice Cube

The track “Jackin’ For Beats” was my idea. In 1990, everybody’s beats were crazy from D-Nice and Digital Underground to P.E. and EPMD…everybody’s beat was damn near better than the next! So I was like, ‘Man, I wish I could rap on all this shit that’s out right now. And then I thought about it: why can’t I? I got with Chilly Chill and started building the record. But Chilly could only take it so far, so then I had Jinx to come in and put the finishing touches on it. All of the songs on “Jackin’ For Beats” got cleared, but when you do something as ambitious as that it can get pretty expensive. D-Nice had sampled “Call Me D-Nice from somebody, so we ended up having to pay D-Nice and the person he sampled from. Now just imagine having eight or nine different people’s songs in an actual track like that. That’s why I didn’t do a “Jackin’ For Beats 2” because that song was just way too expensive. It didn’t make good business sense to do a song like that [laughs].

I was moved to write “Dead Homiez” because one of my homies named T-Bone got smoked and he was a good dude. That whole thing fucked me up. I wrote that song in one hour because I was just feeling it. Jinx had this slow ass beat that I didn’t know what to do with, but it was perfect for “Dead Homiez.” Around the same time I started filming Boyz In The Hood. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t even interested in acting or the movies. I had never been to acting school. I was like, ‘Who would want to put me in a movie?’ I met John Singleton around the same time when I was upset with Arsenio Hall because he had 2 Live Crew on his show, but never let N.W.A . come on. And that show was taped right in L.A.! So John walks up to me and he’s like, ‘Hey, you’re Ice Cube from N.W.A.’ He told me he was going to USC and writing a movie and he wanted me in it. I was like, ‘Yeah right.’ I just blew him off, but I kept running into him. I ran into him at a P.E. concert. I saw him at a Farrakhan event.

John kept telling me the same thing. When I read the script, I took him seriously, but I was wack at my [screen test]. John was like, ‘Okay, I’ll give you another shot, but if you are wack again I’m going to get somebody else.’ So I took it seriously after that. Boyz In The Hood was very real. It was like, ‘Damn, this movie is actually about how we grew up. They are making a movie about this shit?’ I couldn’t believe it. Most people come into the movie game with cameo roles. But they usually don’t get something as powerful as a role like Doughboy. By me playing that role and being able to deliver on it I think people took me seriously as an actor. To this day, Boyz In The Hood made it possible for me to have a film career."

Death Certificate (1991)—Ice Cube

Working with Public Enemy you can’t help but learn about who you are. After spending time with them, I started getting into the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I started getting his point of view of what was going on with us in America; why we were in the condition that we were in. And I was really angry about it because I felt like we were being sabotaged in America. To this day, there’s still sabotage going on. But at that time, I was really ferocious, so I felt the best thing I could do is put that anger in rhyme form. I came up with the concept for the album cover. What the dead white body covered in the American flag represented was old ideas. Ideas of what a country should be. You have to kill that shit and start anew. There’s a lot that’s great things about America, but we have a long way to go. I thought that was the best way to get that point across.

I don’t have any regrets with recording “Black Korea.” I think in life you should only regret what you don’t do. But the song was as ugly as the situation was. When that girl Latasha [Harlins] was shot in the head, that was crazy. (On March 16, 1991, a defenseless Harlins was shot and killed by an L.A. Korean-store owner who accused the 15-year-old of stealing a bottle of orange juice. The incident gained worldwide attention and drew outrage from the black community. In response, Cube wrote the scathing “Black Korea,” a controversial song that some critics denounced as racist.) This was done even before the LA riots. “Black Korea” was a song that was trying to speak out at our frustration with our relationship with Koreans.

To me the best thing to do is to be honest about it and not pussy foot around it, especially in a rap song. You can pussy foot around it in an interview, but in a rap song you have to go all out and give the true pulse of what you are feeling. So I don’t have any regrets. If I hurt anybody’s feelings, I’m sorry about that. But there are people out there who felt a lot harsher than that record."

The Predator (1992)—Ice Cube

The Predator record was a change of pace for me. Songs like “It Was A Good Day” were less political because we had been so political to the point where people didn’t even think I could rap anymore. People didn’t think I was an MC! They were trying to turn me into some political figure. And I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, hold on…we are doing music. I’m just injecting what I feel is the truth in my music.’ So I wanted to get back to the music. And then in another way I felt Damn, we can’t get a song in rotation, but the [non-political] form of gangsta rap was getting played all day. I knew there was a difference. The music I was making was institutionalized-breaking shit.

The shit that me, Public Enemy, Ice T, and KRS-One were doing was not the status quo. We were making highly charged political arena shit. So, if I was MTV or any of the radio stations, I would make it my business to get us off of that political tip. And if I was a fan I would think, Man, President Clinton is in office. It’s time to party. No more Reaganomics…it’s time to let loose, man! Let’s hit the club…let’s get some weed, get a car, and get some pussy like Bill. Fuck all that political shit. We won. That’s when escapism rap became the standard. It was time to indulge.

I decided to use the track from [Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’s] “The Message” for “Check Yo Self.” Those beats back then, even the shit Whodini was doing, that wasn’t sampling. Those were motherfuckers in the studio making real music. Every time I heard the music for “The Message” it made me feel a certain way. It made me feel like I had to do a hip-hop B-boy rhyme off that. I had released “Jackin’ For Beats,” but this time I wanted to push the envelope. Instead of sampling R&B, jazz and rock all the time, let’s sample hip-hop too. But thinking back, the whole gangsta rap style of the early ‘90s kicked off the Mafioso style that Biggie and them were doing. After that was the ice age with Cash Money. Now we are in the 2000’s with the same escapism shit."

Lethal Injection (1993)—Ice Cube

At the time when I started recording Lethal Injection, I was in a juggling act. I was trying to juggle movies and music and I didn’t know how to do both at the same time. I would leave the film set and go do records and you don’t ever do that dumb shit [laughs]. So because of that, the music suffered. The records were not as good as they could have been. But there are some [solid moments]. On “You Know How We Do It” you can hear that I learned a lot from what Dre did on The Chronic. That song didn’t have the same style of sampling of my past work. I just felt that we needed to be good enough to start making our own music and sounds. If we always have to sample past artists’ music to make hits we are not going to be here too long. So I started pushing it upon the producers to not just use samples. I just wanted to create some original music."

“Natural Born Killaz” (1994)—Dr. Dre & Ice Cube

Dr. Dre invited me to the studio after being out each other’s lives. He had gone through the same thing I went through with Eazy. And then Eazy died, which was just crazy. So we just felt, man, we can’t be beefing over bullshit. So we started connecting again and Dre played me this beat that he was doing for Sam Sneed, which would later become “Natural Born Killaz.” That beat was insane. I told Dre, ‘Nigga, I want to be on this motherfucker.’ Something happened with the Sam Sneed record to where it didn’t jump off. So Dre called me up and asked if I wanted to be on song. I jumped on it and it was huge.

We were planning on doing an entire Dr. Dre-Ice Cube album, but as soon as we started to think seriously about that project, Dre runs across this kid named Eminem freestyling on the radio. He gets the kid and starts working with him and they make an amazing record. So Dre had to focus all his attentions towards that. Then soon as Eminem got to the point where he was doing his own shit, Dre and I were set to finally hit the studio again. But Eminem brought him 50 Cent and Dre was like, ‘Hold on…’ The album got pushed back again. Dre had to pay 110 percent attention to 50’s album, but I never tripped as much as other people tripped off it. I would have done the same thing."

Bow Down (1996)—Westside Connection

I made that Westside Connection record because of the Mecca of hip-hop, New York. Of course all the artists on the West Coast at one time were looking for the stamp of approval from the New York hip-hop kings. And we got it. We got it with Straight Outta Compton, we got it with AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, Death Certificate, Kill At Will…it was nothing but love. And then Dre and Snoop Dogg came out. But really, it kind of started with that Tim Dog record “Fuck Compton.” That to me was the first smack. Now most of the New York industry dudes didn’t support that Tim Dog shit. They knew it was foul. But then you started hearing the term ‘keep it real,’ which came out the fact that the East Coast thought the music the West Coast was making wasn’t real hip-hop. We would hear stuff like, ‘We sick of this jheri curl shit.’ It started to escalate to the point where I felt that no one from the West Coast was standing up for what we believed in and our contributions to hip-hop.

I remember Masta Ace making a song called “SlaughterHouse” on which he said all our records were just blood dripping bullshit. So that was the last straw for me. It had built up so much where we thought we needed to do a “Westside Slaughterhouse” and let them know how it really is. So we did that record on Mack 10’s album and our Coast rallied around it. It was like, ‘Yeah, man…somebody is finally standing up for the West Coast!’ I felt like I should have been the one to do it because I got respect from both coasts. That’s when Mack, myself and WC decided to do the Westside Connection album Bow Down and I was really happy with the results. I didn’t feel like we were starting shit. We were just defending ourselves because the West Coast was starting to feel repercussions from our success. That record was basically saying that there was a line in the sand. Without that album the industry would have stopped the West Coast long before that. We were getting the doors shut on us, and they are still shut on us today. That’s why I named my new album I Am The West. It’s still an uphill battle."

War & Peace Vol. 1 (The War Disc) (1998); Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc) (2000)—Ice Cube

I wanted to do something different because you can get tired of the hip-hop label routine of doing things. You have to do things to keep yourself interested and motivated. War and Peace was an epic ass project—two separate albums. I wanted to make a dark record and a fun, summer record. Each record takes on its own personality. I would do a song and think, ‘That record sounds like it should be on the War side,’ and then I would do another song and say, ‘This can go on the Peace record.’ One of the songs I recorded for the Peace album was “Hello” (featuring former N.W.A. members MC Ren and Dr. Dre).

It was cool to be in the studio with those guys again, even though I felt like the song was rushed. We didn’t have time to really record together like we did when we made Straight Outta Compton. We would be in the studio three days straight back then just thinking of whatever we could to make a record better. But now it’s like everybody was in a rush. The reason why there has never been a [full-length] N.W.A. reunion project is because there is other shit that we got going on that needs our full attention. This is just some side shit. It’s not like we didn’t want to do the record. But is it worth our full-attention at the same time for that long? Because a new N.W.A. record has to be a great record. It just can’t be a good record"

Laugh Now, Cry Later (2006)—Ice Cube

Releasing Laugh Now, Cry Later on my on label Lynch Mob Records was a challenge. This time around, we were the record company. So I put six of the smartest motherfuckers I knew that dealt with all types of business from record distribution and marketing and then we went to work. I went in and did the record I wanted to do. I wasn’t thinking about nothing but hip-hop…beats and rhymes. It was just fun."

Raw Footage (2008)—Ice Cube

I ‘m really proud of this record. When I go in the studio and make a song like “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It,” I feel good about the work. To me, if you are a B-Boy you love these kind of [conceptual] records. If you are just a rap fan, this shit is probably going to get on your nerves [laughs]. I’m staying down with the B-Boys, man, because at the end of the day they are the only ones who are going to be left. Everybody else is going to chase the next hit or the next trend. The B-Boy’s are going to be here forever. So I decided to do records for them. I felt because it was a political year that I needed to make a political album. This was 2008. We didn’t know who was going to be the next President. We had just seen Bush break the country. It was a time to figure out how Obama could be President. Even today, with Obama in office, nobody knows if they will keep their house. It wasn’t the time to party and bullshit. So I basically had that attitude. I just wanted to make a record that examined where we are."

I Am The West (2010)—Ice Cube

I thought this record was going to come out in July, in the heart of summer. I wanted to have fun with this one and not be so heavily political because I felt like if you wanted a heavily political record, go listen to Raw Footage. This to me was a record where I could just rhyme and do what was required of the music. Being able to put my sons [OMG and Doughboy] on my [latest single] “She Couldn’t Make It On Her Own”…to me they were good enough to be on the record, which was important to me. I didn’t want to give out a charity case. I told them both, ‘Yo, y’all got to impress me as MC’s.’ They had to show me as MC’s that they were true to it; that they wasn’t just doing it because they were my sons, but because they love hip-hop. We had fun shooting the video. Everybody has a silly side; life is too short. I have a dark ass sense of humor.

To me the song is just a fun record…it doesn’t tell a woman, ‘Girl you need a motherfucking pimp in your life…’ [laughs] It’s more like you need a fly motherfucker in your life. So I just wanted to make sure people understood that we are having fun with this. We ain’t trying to send females back 100 years and turn them into hoes. This record is all about celebrating the West Coast instead of putting a line in the sand like we did with Bow Down. I can do this forever. Stevie Wonder is still here. Why not me? People that have been doing what they do for a long time, if you are true to your art, there’s not a reason for you to go away. This ain’t sports…this aint the NFL or the NBA. My tongue won’t get an ACL. My flow is not going anywhere. I can rap like this until my teeth fall out, so people need to relax on that. It’s not about how old you are. It’s about what you are spitting. People are so caught up in everything except what’s coming out the speaker. And that’s all that matters."


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ice Cube Talks West Coast Rap, Going Indie, & NWA

Cube explains how the West can make a comeback, says NWA opened doors for pop-art, and describes how being independent has changed his music.

Ice Cube's ninth studio album I Am the West signifies an effort to bring left coast music not just to the forefront of Hip Hop again, but also to what the genre was once heralded for. Whether Cube was able to accomplish this with the LP is contentious, however the veteran emcee is still talking up ideas in which the West can return to the days of nostalgia.

"My inspiration behind the album was, I felt like West coast artists have been searching for what we need to do to get the attention of the industry," he told Billboard. "Ultimately what I said is we need to do what we do best. To do the music that we made famous, which is hardcore gangster rap and in my case, be proud of the West and our contributions to what we did and what we're doing for Hip Hop."

His message was not just aimed at artists of what is called the New West. He also spoke up on what he thinks is a missing element in the new era of music: respect.

"If you don't respect the game, you're not going to win. So that's the key--to respect the game, and respect the art of it. And if you do that, you got a good foundation for good things to happen. But if you just in it for the money and the flash, or for the girls or whatever you think you're gonna get out of it, that's gonna take your focus away from what really matters and that's the music." Ice Cube's experience in the industry finds its roots with NWA, which he says opened doors for all kinds of music.

"NWA for better or for worse, opened up all of pop art--not just music, but everybody now feels they can be themselves. Nobody has to put on a facade, change who they are to be famous.You can do it how you feel it.

Cube's latest album was released on indie label Lench Mob. He explained how making music on an independent label has been liberating for him. "I've had more fun making these independent records than I ever did on a label. It's just more freedom. We make the decisions. We decide how we're going to promote. It's not a meeting. It's not a big old corporate thing. It's just my team. I want my records to play on the radio too. And it's a shame that they don't because I'm not on a major label. That's what sucks, is that major labels get all the love when it comes to mainstream outlets and for people to hear the music, see the music and want to buy the music. It's an uphill battle, but I'm an underdog and I love taking this road. It's the only road I know, really."