Friday, July 29, 2005

Classic Interview-Cougnut of IMP (RIP)



Interview by Doxx...


This interview originally appeared in the February 1996 issue of No Joke newsletter.

This interview was done over the phone with the raspy voiced rapper Cougnut of IMP. Many subjects were hit on including the East coast West coast rivalry, the shooting of Mr. C (of RBL Posse) and the dope new IMP album, Ill Mannered Playas.

Now I've got some of IMP's old shit, but a lot of people wouldn't know that you guys have been doin' this for a long time. Could you talk about what some of your first releases were?
IMP, we hit the scene in '89. The group formed in say about '87, '88. We was just in the house workin' off a four-track, really gettin' into it and our first release was "Skanless." "Skanless" and "I'm Rollin'", "Gangsta Rock 'n' Roll" and "For You Dumb Mothas" or somethin' like that. "Skanless" was our first song that really put us on the scene and basically got us out there and known a little bit.

Who else is in the group?
It's Cougnut, C-Fresh, Hitman Sting, Rob V and Lou-E-Lou.

You've been doin' a lot of guest appearances. Who are some of the artists you been workin' with?
I was on Herm Lewis' compilation album. I was on Master P's compilation album. I was on Dre Dog's album. I'm on this new group outta Frisco called 2-Illeven, on they album. Cellski's album. Basically man I been on so many thangs it's hard to keep up with.

On the new album you talk a little bit about being locked up sometimes...
Yeah, a lot of times (laughs).

Bein' locked up, how does that influence what you're doin' in your rappin'? Does it bring anything to what you're doin'?
I think everybody has had a little jail time in they life. You got to see the place to know not to really go back to the place. Take, for instance, the song "Public Execution." "Public Execution" was a story that I got from my homeboy. I got that story from my homeboy, he ain't never comin' home. He gave me the story up there. It's a true story, but it went through me and I put it down on paper. It doesn't affect nothin'. I just think it makes me more, a little more stronger not to do it.

You also talk about the cars on "Shinin' Star." You likin' the cars?
See that ain't me though. That's the problem. People think me and C-Fresh sound alike. That's C-Fresh. A lot of songs on the tape like "Shinin' Star," "Wild Ass West" and a few other songsm, it sounds like me but it's not me. A lot of people give me his credit so I'm just tryin' to change that up and give C-Fresh a whole lot of credit that he's been due for. But "Shinin' Star" is like I'm rollin'. It's basically focused on Frisco and Bay Area life, how we rollin' out here. Gold rims, candy paint, drop tops.

You were talkin' about the Bay. What do you think about how big the Bay's gotten in the last two years?
We ain't playin' man. I feel like the Bay Area right now is the place to be as far as this rap scene. We're not LA. We're not New York, but I feel like the Bay Area is blowin' up so much right now to where I think everything comin' up out this Bay Area is hittin'.

Could you go down a few tracks on the album and tell what each one is about?
"Public Execution" is a story about a death row inmate, growin' up always been in trouble. Been locked up since a minor, doin' time since a minor. It's a lot of politics in the song too like how they execute brothas and they give other people chances. "The Bay Way" is my compilation song. I'm featuring my homeboys UNLV and all that. That song consist of we showin' everybody how we parlay in the Bay and what we do. "Wild Ass West," that's C-Fresh and I really like that because that got somethin' to do with the East coast West coast thang. If you really listen to that song you really feel how strong it is towards the West coast against the East coast. "Boots Laced Tight," that song is basically tellin' people not to run up on us. We can switch our styles up and talk about different issues, but that song is showin' everybody how we got our boots laced tight and if you roll through our city you better have your boots laced. Don't try and slide up under us if you don't know us. "Don't Get It Twisted," that's like my radio song. A lot of brothers... A lot of people, period, I feel like they got the game twisted. Goin' out behind these hoes, goin' out behind all this he say-she say shit. I wrote that song 'cause a lot of people had the game twisted. That song is so deep right there. It fits the title, "Don't Get It Twisted."

You were talkin' about "Wild Ass West" and the East coast West coast thang. What do you think about that whole situation right now?
Well, right now that whole situation is... Let me see, how can I put that? I mean it don't matter to me, I been funkin' with them anyway. I don't like the East coast. I'ma keep it real. It's a lot of people out there I do respect and give love to and listen to, but I pick up all these subliminal messages 'cause I'm a rapper. If you gonna send a message to somebody you might as well dis 'em in they face and keep it real. Don't keep it fake on wax 'cause when I see you we gonna handle our business wherever we at. The East coast can't fuck with the West coast, bottomline. Definitely they can't fuck with this IMP.

What do you think about what happened to Mr. C (RBL Posse)? Can you speak on that a little bit?
Man, that shit right there man... I knew that was gonna come out. I was gonna speak on that anyway. It's just unfortunate that we gotta take a loss like that. Me, speakin' for my crew, IMP, UNLV, 2-Illeven, personally that's hurtin' us. That's a major loss. It affects everybody, all rappers. Everybody nuts ain't made of steel. I don't give a fuck what you talkin' about. You killin' people, you doin' all this and you doin' all that... Your nuts ain't made of steel and right there that's a big loss for every rapper in the industry. That's a big loss and somethin' to learn behind. It's a lot of jealousy and the main thing to do is just stay away from it. I can't even really speak on that because it's hard for me, but rest in peace Mr. C and he's gonna live through the IMP.

True. When I heard that I said "Ah shit" 'cause they (RBL) were gettin' ready man. They was gettin' ready to do somethin'.
They just signed to Atlantic. They was buildin' they own houses on the same block. They was gettin' up outta there and it's just hard man. See people think Frisco... I really want people to listen to this. I got a song on my solo album called "It Ain't Nothin' Like The Postcard." Everybody think San Francisco is faggots and it look like the fuckin' postcard. Where I live at it don't look like the postcard. Everybody think Candlestick Park is like, "Lovely Candlestick Park." Candlestick Park is in the ghetto, Double Rock! Frisco ain't nothin' like that and it's sad that we can't come together. I remember back in the days like in '87, all the gangbangin' days, everybody was gangbangin'. Shootin' each other up and it was like a fad, it was the thing to do. It was live or die. What I'm sayin' is this rap music done brought a lot of brothers together. Like back when you asked whose albums was I on. I was on JT's (The Bigga Figga) album. We never got along. I mean we did, but we didn't. Fillmore and Lakeview, Sunnydale and Hunters Point. We never got along. Hunters Point and Lakeview always got along basically. When it came down to goin' to parties and doin' all this we always had animosity to where there was always fights or shootings. But now since this rap scene and this Bay Area is blowin' up, Frisco is blowin' up, seems like everybody is gettin' together. If somethin' happens, a killin' or somethin', it's basically personal. It's not because you live here and I live there.

Now you said how rap kinda brought everyone together who used to be funkin'. A lot of people in the government are tryin' to fuck with rap sayin' it's causin' a lot of problems when in reality, what you just said hit it dead on the nail. It's bringin' more people together to do somethin' better for everybody.
Yeah, yeah. I mean the government always gonna try to bring us down. They been bringin' us down for I'ma say five hundred years when there wasn't no fuckin' government. They can try and stop rap, but it ain't gonna never stop. We'll be dead and gone and somebody'll still be rappin' and somebody'll still be givin' interviews. It'll just be in a different way. I think it's bringin' more Black people together because this is a form of our speech. This is how we communicate.

Who did the production on the new album, Ill Mannered Playas?
I produced it, my DJ Rob V, Hitman Sting, The Enhancer, TC, Reg and Race. Basically, that's it. And my homeboy from Sac who works with Homicide so I got a few producers. The reason why I did that was because this time I said, "This time we gonna have a different sound." I wanted a little bit of everybody's sound so I tried to get together with all the tightest producers that I thought wasn't gonna charge me an arm and a leg. I just wanted a different sound and I feel like our tape don't sound like nobody's tape. I feel like every song on the tape is qualified for a different person. Any creed or color, everybody can listen to my tape. I got somethin' for everybody on there 'cause it don't sound the same.

'Cause it ain't like your typical shit on there.
The whole tape ain't about killin'. The whole tape ain't about cussin' bitches out. The whole tape ain't talkin' about the White people. The whole tape ain't rasta. There's somethin' for everybody on there. Get a drink, smoke some weed and marinate.

3 Comments:

Anonymous MDrepresentah said...

Word em up man, Cougnut is hella fresh. he'll be missed greatly...

was way ahead of his time

RIP

October 05, 2005 3:58 AM  
Blogger CJOG said...

R.I.P Cougnut mayne. The best rapper out the Bay area. It's sad that he has to leave us so damn early. If he was around probably there wouldn't be any hyphy bullshit right now. Probably everybody will be still into the mobb muzik comin from the Bay in the 90's.

It's all good that his homeboy C-Fresh still puttin' shit down. He released new album last year. He is collaborating with Apt.3 / DNA. Find this shit if you don't got it.

March 17, 2009 12:48 PM  
Blogger jimi said...

TO MY FRIEND COUGNUT 3-23-12

THIS IS WHITEBOY JIMI DOWN THE STREET FROM NORNANS LIQUOR STORE.
I FOUND OUT YOu DIED A YEAR AFTER YOU LEFT US. YOU WERE ALWAYS COOL WITH ME. I REMEMBER HANGING OUT ON YOUR SIDE WITH YOU TIM KNIGHT AND THE SOTA BROTHERS DRINKING SOME 8 HONDREDS AND ST IDES SOMETIMES SOME SHLITZ BULL WOULD SLIP OUR LIP. I NEVER HAD A CHANCE TO LET YOU KNOW I WAS, AND STILL AM PROUD OF YOU FOR YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS. I STILL REMEMBER HOW YOU WERE SPITTIN THEM WORDS OUT ON THE LATE NIGHT IN THE 90'S HANGING ON THE CORNER. JUST LIKE ALL MY FRIENDS I HOPE WE SEE EACH OTHER AGAIN. YOU WERE A HARD PLAYER BUT YOU ALSO HAD A KIND HEART.

PEACE & LOVE BROTHER

JIMI BAKER

March 23, 2012 4:55 PM  

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