I'm just gearing up for this album.
you tell us about the new album, "My Ghetto Report Card"?
bananas, it's coconuts for real. This album is well-rounded. There's something
for everyone on here and I'm still being the vintage E-40, but at the
same time I'm being E-40 with a twist by rapping over Southern beats,
classic mob beats, and this Hyphy shit that we're on.
of beats did you want from Rick Rock and your son Droopy?
blaps. New millennium bangers. Every track on the album is a winner. There
is nothing mediocre on this album. Every song I came through and delivered.
album have a more universal appeal?
I just try
to make good music. At the end of the day, game recognize game, and if
they don't, they're late. I took it up a notch from the subject matter
to my wordplay
sometimes what I talk about can go over someone's
head if they've never dipped and dabbed or flea-flicked or lived the life
that we've lived. If the East Coast gets on it, it's good. I just got
back from New York. New York will respect you, but at the same time, New
York doesn't buy a lot of our music. I don't even think New York buys
a lot of New York music.
the main difference going through BME instead of Jive?
It's a whole
new vehicle and a fresh, new start. My confidence level is to the highest
degree. I feel very secure. I'm going to establish something with this
album. Lil' Jon produced a lot of tracks on the album, and you would think
that all the songs are club songs, but guess what, it's not. All the songs
are just good music. Even the first single, "Tell Me When To Go,"
was produced by Lil' Jon. A lot of cats thought it was Rick Rock or Droopy.
like you and Lil' Jon have good chemistry.
We got a
crazy chemistry. Every song that we've done, we did every last one of
them in front of each other to start fresh from the ground up.
Lil' Jon help you with everything on "My Ghetto Report Card"?
He told me
to let's just get in there and do what he do. Dude is a genius. I've been
in this rap game for a long time, and Lil' Jon has an ear. He told me
to hit every verse with a cold metaphor or punchline so that everybody
can remember each verse. I did that. He made sure that every hook was
memorable. We stayed on a good vibe, and here it is.
feel like the rest of the world is slowly catching on to the Hyphy movement?
like the bird flu. They might not catch on to it fully until three or
four more artists get involved in it to the scale that I'm involved in.
Hopefully it catches a fire. I think there are going to be a lot of labels
out here searching for talent out here. To be honest, they're doing it
now. Hyphy is not the only thing we do. I'm an all-around, well-rounded
rapper. We can all spit. We can only say so much about the Hyphy movement
and we can only make so many songs about it. I have about six or seven
songs about getting Hyphy on the album. I also have songs that could make
a gangster cry. It's a whole pack of different flavors like Lifesavers.
it going to take to get everyone to catch on to the Hyphy movement?
to take a little time, but they're recognizing it sooner than I thought
they would. My video is doing really well and it's doing what we designed
it to do. You can only talk about what happens on your soil so much and
people will only visualize it so much, but the video lets you see how
it goes down.
the main differences between Hyphy and Crunk music?
I think that
both are high-energy, controlled chaos. At the same time, I feel that
the Hyphy is more up-tempo than Crunk music. Droopy and Rock Rock, they
do the type of tempo and beats that make you want to get Hyphy. As soon
as you hear it you want to get up and dance and get in your vehicle and
are you of Droopy and his progression?
proud. He took piano lessons for five years. His mother put him in the
lessons and he didn't want to take them, but he pulled it out. He's got
a platinum and gold album from being on my albums. He's been around music
his whole life. When he turned 15, I decided to get him a full-fledged
studio to make songs. He was always in my studio playing with the keyboards
and all of that. I saw his interest in it and he hasn't stopped since.
have a lot of creative control on songs. How does that work between a
father and son?
no "yes sir's." We're just open and honest with each other.
If there's a verse that's not cool, we'll put it to the side. We won't
trash it, because I feel that everything I do is monumental. It may fit
over another beat and I can use it in the future. We're both honest with
each other. When he's producing his music, I'll tell him if I don't like
a sound, because when you're a producer, you have to have a certain pattern
that you always do so that people can identify your music. I'll tell him
to put some things in because it's his identity. I'll also tell him when
to switch it up, and I'll be switching up my style on songs.
B-Legit to Turf Talk, you guys are like the Jackson's of Hyphy music.
a lot of rappers out here, but we're the first to do the Hyphy music.
Check The Federation, Keak da Sneak
if rappers from here aren't on
it, they will be soon. I was on the song "Hyphy" with The Federation
three years ago. I did the hook and rapped on it. Smell me?
your family so musical? Is it talent or hard work?
been into music. Me and B-Legit played the drums at Franklin Junior High.
We started in 4th grade and played through 12th grade. We were in the
marching band and all that stuff. We didn't have Pro Tools or a studio.
I went to my first studio on Sonoma Boulevard. Hammer would be leaving
when we'd be coming in. We'd acknowledge each other. That's when we put
our first album out, in 1987. We've always been involved in music. My
sister is involved in the church and still is.
so many Bay Area artists go independent?
scene started by force, not by choice. We were selling tapes out of our
trunk. We didn't have any choice but to get down and dirty and do our
independent thing with smaller distribution companies. We had to do a
lot of consignment. Once they'd get rid of our product, we'd give them
more and they'd give us a check. We had to do that because there weren't
any labels scooping us up. We are the epitome and trendsetters of the
rap game. The rap game without us would be very boring. We've brought
so much to the game from the wordplay to our lingo to our slang words
to our swagger and popping collars. We are the epitome of that. We had
to go ahead and continue on our grit and grind. I signed with Jive in
'94. That's when they started looking out here. All the independent labels
out here got signed to majors and we dropped the ball. We fumbled. Once
we get the ball back, we'll be all right.
said that artists in the Bay aren't united.
I tell these
dudes that we don't have any time for this dumb shit. We have to stay
united. I feel with me being the quarterback and being the ambassador
and carrying the Bay in a duffel bag on my back for ten years solid, even
when we fumbled, I continued putting out music and kept it going. Everyone
else was hanging on and I was still the face of the Bay. I was able to
hang around to see it come back around. Now we can't play around. We have
to really go for this.
still working on the "Dolla Danglin'" album with B-Legit?
have a lot of stuff in the canister. We're waiting for my album to drop.
BME gave me my freedom to do other things and I'm ready. It's just a matter
of me and B getting together and finishing it all up.
Bay artists like Turf Talk get a better situation now that you have your
situation at BME?
possible. Right now, Turf Talk is in the lab right now and his album is
coming out ridiculous. To me, Turf Talk is one of the dopest rappers in
the game. I'm a fan, and I'm not saying that because he's under my umbrella.
Mac Dre's legacy on Bay music?
Oh man, he
was a character. He was one of the dudes you couldn't take too seriously
but you could never take him for a joke. He was a real dude. He did time
in the pen. He was always a talented dude. Even back in the days when
it was a Hillside/Crestside thing, he acknowledged me about my spit and
he knew I had game and I did the same. He left a legacy. I tip my hat
off to Mac Dre. I'm glad that we were cool before he died. I'm not going
to say we were closer than a booger to a nose, but we said we were grown
men, it's all love. We were trying to put something like an album together.
He left a big, big, legacy in the Bay and it's much love and respect to
you want to say to everyone?
that out here in the Bay, we are innovators and we're some of the most
creative cats on earth. The rap game without me would be boring. It would
be like old folks without bingo. Some people say I rap to fast, but they're
listening too slow. Go snatch up "Ghetto Report Card" on March
14 and see what it's about.