Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Classic Interview-Tayda Tay of 11/5

Interview by Billy Jam...

This interview originally appeared in Issue 1 of Strivin' magazine.

11/5 started out, what, two years ago?
Yeah. Well, this is '96. No, we started out in '93.

The first album, Fiendin' 4 Tha Funk, did incredibly well and featured the same lineup which is Tayda Tay, Maine-O and Hennessy and now we're up to the new album which is the long awaited A-1 Yola. That kinda continues the same theme as before like Fiendin' 4 Tha Funk and 11/5 being sorta drug terms. A-1 Yola is also drug related, right?
Yeah, that's cocaine. That's pure dope.

But it's a metaphor for cocaine in this case, right?
Yeah, we're sayin' that our group is pure dope.

So do you feel that you, as a group, have grown?
I feel we've grown a lot. We found out little things that we had to do that we didn't do on the first album and we applied 'em.

Such as?
Well, we started learnin' the studio better.

So you produced this more...
We had a lot of input on the album.

It was three of you producing along with TC...
And Reg and Race at Premiere Studios. Also we have Mr. Laid from UDI.

So the new album... "I've got women / I've got bitches to buy me clothes..." Whichever way you look at it, that song is one of my favorites. The official title is "I Got Bitches." How did that come about?
Well, that came about because my group, we full of playas and that's what we go through.

It's kinda like "Brousin'" in a way?
It's sorta like "Brousin'", but a little more descriptive.

The last album had a great weed song and this one does too, right?
Yeah, called "The Nade." That's the new weed. It's Canadian weed that's been out through everywhere.

Can you get me some?
Of course!

So is it pretty good?
It's really potent weed.

It's even stronger than the Cali weed?
Yeah, it'll have you on shutdown.

For people who may not have yet heard 11/5, how would you distinguish the different voices and vocal deliveries?
Maine-O, he raps real intent. He never break off at all. Then we got Hennessy, he got that little grave digger sound. People like his voice a lot 'cause it's real deep. And me, I'm just that everyday hustler-player-gangster.

So when you guys come up with these songs how does it come about?
We work on the music together and after comin' up with the music, whatever we feelin' at the time that's what we come with. We choose our concepts and then we go home and write. We don't do no writing together.

Do you think that's a better approach?
Yeah, I think that's a great approach 'cause if we write together we may sound the same. But since we go home and do it everyone has their own different flavor.

What's your favorite song on the album?
It's got to be "Hate To See Me Have Shit." It's goin' out to all the playa haters out there.

The success of the first album... People got jealous, right?
Basically it's a lot of jealousy goin' on. A lot of bitterness goin' on 'cause everybody's not doin' as well.

There was even rumors started. It was (about) you were sniffling on the first album?
On the beginning of "11/5 On The Inside" I snorted my nose. I had a cold. People get from that that I'm on hop, I snort hop! It's a lot of rumors that come with it, but I'm pretty used to that now.

Now (the term) Kill-A-Hoe... Who came with that originally?
It was my boy Kevin Johnson, OG Kevvy Kev. We was at a rap symposium at San Mateo State and we was havin' a argument with one of the girls at the front desk 'cause we was tellin' her we was gonna perform. She was like "Your name's not on the list." so we wrote these little stickers and she said "What's the name of your group?" and we put Kill-A-Hoe.

Now that song offended a lot of people. You either loved it or you hated it. There was not in between. What was your response when people said it's a disgusting, demeaning, sexist piece of music?
My response is if you're not a bitch and you're not a hoe it doesn't apply to you.

So what else is on the new album that people should expect?
My boy Maine-O is doin' a lot more singin'. We do a lot of background singin. They even got me in there singin' now.

So what's "Slangin' Dope" about? Is that a metaphor for slangin' tapes?
That's how we went about it. It's still talkin' about dope, but we talkin' about ourselves as the dope.

What do you think of the Bay Area rap scene today versus just two or three years ago when you guys first came out?
There's a lot more rappers. I think a lot of rappers are corrupted.

In what way?
Say you goin' to school to learn a trade. That's what some people are doin' with rap. They're not really rappers, they just go to the drawing board and try to be like somebody else. I'm startin' to hear my groups sound in a lot of places. It doesn't take much to be original, everybody has it in 'em.

So what's your advice to people comin' up today?
Basically keep it real. We like to drop our own game and if our game that we droppin' can help somebody else better his then so be it, but keep it on the real.


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