you been lately?
good, just feels good to still be in the game,
Movement" is your sixth album, how do you feel about the way it came
satisfied with it. I've tried to make this a well-rounded album. I feel
that music is universal and that I've been in the game long enough where
I can start reaching out now. I gave my loyal fans that Bay Mob music.
They know where I'm coming from. I'm also trying to mature with my music
you stay fresh being that you've been in the game so long?
just being on top of my P's and Q's. I've stay in the clubs, all the major
events, and I'm glued to the block. The music that I talk about stays
current because it's what I'm really experiencing right now.
did it take you to record "Block Movement"
Movement" album could have been done a long time ago. I have two
or three albums that are done, but I don't like to name another album
until I know one is coming out first. As the C.E.O. of my company, you
have to make sure that your business is straight. It takes time to switch
labels. Being an O.G. in the game, I've seen how it goes down. I like
to sit back and watch the sidelines and see how the Bay can develop a
new scene and get back in it. Radio DJ's are back behind the music, people
are coming back., and there's a lot of artists coming out right now.
it working with Rick Rock on "Block Movement?"
is a genius. We could have done more if time allowed it, but we were in
crunch time. He beat-boxes first, he'll make a beat with his mouth first
and then he'll turn it into a song, it's amazing. You wouldn't even believe
it unless you saw it. Just watching him develop
I remember when he
came from Alabama with his drum machine and to see where he is now, it's
a real story in itself of hard work and determination and staying true
to his music. He's on top of his game now and I'm happy to be a part of
do you have on the kids just coming up now?
the game before and I don't get biased about the music. That works for
some people, but not everybody. I'm everywhere, and I ask questions about
what do you want to hear. I go with different ideas and I'm not afraid
to do it. I do me and the Bay area, and I can do that on a South track
or a crazy outrageous track. Trying different things is what makes your
albums different. When all your albums sound alike, that's when you fall
off because your fans have heard it all before. You have to change something.
I've seen Jay-Z do it, where he'll rip a Timbaland track and get nothing
but love in the South for it.
you want to make by collaborating with artists like Jadakiss, Styles,
and Paul Wall?
a more universal sound and to show that we can all get along. Music is
our common denominator. I see Jadakiss and them all the time every time
I go out to the Source Awards or the All-Star Game. We had always talked
about doing a collab, but we never did. And for those guys, it's important
for them to have presence in the Bay Area too, and they want to come out
and know what it's like out here. All artists are trying to get that plaque
and stay on top of their game, and Jada wanted to get out in the Bay Area
and do his thing, and who better to work with than me? We hooked it up
and it turned out hot. It don't have to be a West Coast or East Coast
thing, it's a music thing. Music is universal and I'm trying to break
down the walls where we don't have to fit certain stereotypes. That's
what it's all about, breaking the barriers.
you want to go with Fontana Records with this release?
It was a
new situation for me. I've tried a couple of different situations. Jive
put me on hold, they were turning into a pop label at the time. I went
to Koch Records for two albums but I couldn't get my career where I wanted
it to go with them. I may be on a smaller level now with Fontana but I
can build a bigger pyramid here and have creative control and I'm thinking
it can be a good situation?
want to bring in more artists?
That's why I started the Block Movement imprint. I want to be able to
develop artists and bring in artists. I'll do my 1-2 thing as well as
sign artists and do distribution. I got the power and freedom to do that
over there. I'm running my own program and that feels good. That's the
whole purpose of me going with Fontana?
you feel about the way West Coast radio treats artists from the West Coast?
When I first
came out, it wasn't possible to hear West Coast being played on West Coast
radio. Now, you have an over-abundance of West Coast artists, which is
cool. Everything is cool and lovely. There was a time when they would
only play your music if your sales were high. Now, there's a division
between Northern California and Southern California. Northern California
won't play Southern California and Southern California won't play Northern
California. It's crazy man with all these beefs.
you seen the West Coast change throughout your career?
has always been gangsta music. You have rappers like C-Bo, 2Pac
all that is cool until it hit home. After 2Pac and Biggie, they wanted
love music. I consider my music real with no sugar-coating. Now that 50
Cent came back, he squashed all that love shit and its back to being gangsta.
It's crazy. There's so many different ways to classify music. I think
right now, in the Bay Area, we're on the Hyphy tip. That's how we do it
with the doors open, hanging out the windows, having fun. It just has
you feel about the Hyphy movement?
I support it. I've been on the sidelines the last two and a-half years,
and I supported it. But I'm looking at the sales and the sales aren't
matching up with the hype. How can we take it to another level? I'm addressing
the fans. If you like the music, you have to get out there and buy it
and support it because these artists are not making the music for free
and it takes money to make a new album. That's why I keep my sound universal.
You can't keep all your peas in one pot, and that pot overflows, then
it's no good. If you spread it out, some might blow and some won't. you
can't be one-dimensional.
do you see music in the Bay going?
I think you're
going to see two different things happen in the Bay. We've got the underground
Hip Hop going on out here. There's Zion I, I really like their music.
It reminds me of Q-Tip. There's cats like Casual from Hieroglyphics. I
went to his release party the other day. There's the Hyphy and gangsta
music too. Rap music is in full effect out here. There's all different
forms. I stay on the internet in the forums seeing what they're talking
about and what they want to hear. There's cats really rooting for the
home team, and that's why I do it.
like a lot of Bay Area artists have to go independent. Do you feel like
labels don't know how to market them?
Yeah. I don't
know if they're scared. Even though we have a big influence on the whole
Hip Hop community, from the pooping of the collars to the lingo like "fo'
sheezy my neezy," they never elect us to be up there. It's like they
like what we're doing, but they don't want to get us our platinum plaque.
I don't know why it's like that. It's crazy. We have the biggest influence
on the whole industry but they can't give us our props all the way. I
don't know if it's because we're from the Bay Area. I've also seen how
tours come through here and do a show in San Jose but they won't stop
in San Francisco or Oakland. That's what they won't do. I don't know,
are we the most feared? I don't know what's going on.
back, what does it mean to you today to be featured on 2Pac's "All
Eyez On Me?"
let you know that if you didn't make the "All Eyez On Me" album,
then you weren't a part of what he was trying to do. Everyone on there
was who he felt was down with him. A lot of people went out there and
made money off of him, but they weren't close to him like we were. It's
a beautiful situation. It was on the love.
heard that you have songs in the stash with 2Pac as well
I have other
songs with 2Pac, but you'll never hear them because I don't want to capitalize
off his death because we were real friends. If you look at the old documentaries,
you'll see me, Richie Rich. We were really close. Everyone out there is
acting like they're down with him but they never knew him.
these virtual collabs with 2Pac need to stop?
a whole lot of fake stuff thanks to Pro Tools. People are doing that just
to make money and I don't think that's right. Those people that did that
really made me not want to put out my songs with 2Pac. There's no real
love there in those songs.
think the Bay can be the next city to blow like Atlanta or Houston?
believe it will be. I think the Bay is in line to do it again and it's
time for history to repeat itself, and I'm going to be a part of that
movement. I was one of the first ones to start it off, and it's going
to be our turn real soon.
up with the "Dolla Danglin'" album with E-40 that's supposed
to come out?
to come out. When E-40 was on Jive he couldn't do it just like he couldn't
do the Too Short album. Now that he's on BME, it's all gravy. We also
have a Clique reunion album, look for that in the Summer of 2006. We're
going to make it happen man. We're going to give those people that support
us what they want.
up with your Purple House mixtape?
out probably in early November. Rick Lee hosted it, and its official.
I got some old stuff on there, some new stuff, freestyles, everything.
It's beautiful. I'm really loving that, it's in my car now.
you want to say to all your fans out there?
I want to
tell them first, thank you for the support from day one. I'm listening,
whatever you need me to do. I'm tuned into BlockMovement.com, drop me
a line and I'll get back to you. Let's keep it moving, it's very important
that we support each other if we want to keep this movement going.