Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"Gotta Get Mine" - MC Breed featuring 2Pac

First things first... I changed the color of STRIVIN' to this spiffy new white background . The black background was bothering me and was a little hard on the eyes I think. I'll probably end up changing it again in a few months.

Now, on to the show.

YouTube is the greatest goddamned thing since breakfast burritos. There is so much classic and new hip hop shit on there it's ridiculous.

Today I was snoopin' around on there and found this video for "Gotta Get Mine" by MC Breed and 2Pac. The track is from Breed's 1992 album, The New Breed which featured production from Colin Wolfe, The D.O.C., Warren G and Breed himself. I hadn't seen this video since damn near when it came out so it was a nice flashback for me.

Pac was just that wild ass, kickin' up dust kid in this video...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

New Interview - The Jacka of the Mob Figaz


First off, congratulations on The Jack Artist. It came out real solid all the way around and I never really saw any bad reviews of it anywhere. How does it feel to put out a project that's so well liked all the way around?
I'm proud man. I'm always happy for even the simplest shit. To be able to do something that I like and people actually like it too gives me drive and fuel to just make more shit and make me grow
as a artist.

What's been the response from your travels when you go and perform?
The performance response is always a cool one 'cause I can interact with the people.

What are some of the towns you've had the best time in as far as doin' shows, meetin' fans?
It's certain areas that I knew was good for me since the Mob Figa days, but it's also little spots that I never knew that they would even know who I was. Denver and DC, New York, Florida. I was in Florida and somebody was like, "You Jacka, huh? You're on that Burn DVD." There was a DVD out with my video. I knew it was comin' out, but I didn't know what it was or nothin' about it, but a nigga on the street I asked him for some trees and he had DVD's and all this shit. That was crazy.

You got a chance to do a video for this album.
Yeah, I did a video for "Barney (More Crime)" song. I'ma get into directing. I realized it was easy for me. I'ma give it a shot and direct more niggas videos. As far as that "Barney" go I really just wanted to be a regular street nigga just like how I am. No chains, no nothin', just straight cash. Hustlin' and rappin'.

What's goin' on with the group (Mob Figaz) now?
We was already friends so that ain't never stop. You get older and start goin' off doin' other little things, but everybody still cool. We still the Mob Figaz.

Is there an album comin' up?
A lot of people wanna do something with us. But that's like big if you wanna do something with that. That's not no average shit. We never really tried to be like the average shit. We really wanted to be big when we was young. Even though we was independent we treated it like we would probably go platinum. We didn't know 'cause it was our first chance really in the business. We did good with that attitude so that's the attitude that we keep. When we together bro, the songs that we make is so ridiculous so it's gon' be big. We need to really have somethin' big pushin' it.

So right now is there an album planned?
Yeah, we doin' somethin' right now with Bo. We just recordin' songs, makin' hot shit. Just doin' shit so when the time comes it gon' drop. It's gonna all come around 'cause everybody still around and we all still fuck with each other.

Let's talk about what's next for you solo? What's up with a new album? People are already lookin' forward to it.
I'm just tryin' make somethin' real. Somethin' really like worth goin' to go buy 'cause that's what they want. I'm just focused on tryin' to make some good shit. If I'ma bring somethin' back, bring some thunder back. I'm damn near done.

Do you have a title?
It's called What Happened To The World?

I'm sure Rob Lo is doin' most of the production this time around too.

Anybody else on there for production?
Dug Infinite.

Who do you have featured on there so far?
So far I don't have no features. I wanna get like Mess, I'm tryin' to get Cormega on some shit. Just my normal nigs that be comin' with that shit. Maybe my boy Amp Pacino from The Regime. Then after this album I'm gonna have like volumes, What Happened To The World? volumes like compilations and I got all kind of artists for that from different countries and everything. I got producers from hella places. Just some crazy shit, but it's actually dope. It ain't far out that you gon' be like, "Wow, this nigga's spaced out." It's nothin' like that, it's actually dope. The only thing I wanna do is give people their money's worth. I wanna be able to sell music 'cause I know what I put into it and I know that it's something that'll actually stick with you. You can learn from it, you can grow from it.

Just by listenin' to The Jack Artist it's obvious that you put a lot of time into each song. It's easy for a rapper to just do a song, but some of the stuff you say and the visuals you create with the music you can tell that you really think about and take your time with it. That's something a lot of people aren't doin' right now in the Bay.
I had a lot of time to practice. I was makin' songs when I was 13, 14, 15... I was actually in the lab every single day practicin' my craft. Just like everybody else in my group. I been doin' it a long time. You gotta be puttin' in work.

Who are some of the artists that you haven't had a chance to work with that you'd like to?
I really like to hear new talent. On my albums I might have Yuk and Keak or somethin' 'cause they my nigs, but if you hear another feature it's probably a young dude from off the street with a lot of street credibility and he really tryin' to make it. I like to do songs with niggas like that. Not only does it help them, it actually helps me too 'cause nine times out of ten these dudes got a whole neighborhood pullin' for 'em and I'm givin' 'em they first shot. That's helpin' me out too 'cause now I got they neighborhood too. They respect a real nigga comin' through fuckin' with they nig and puttin' them on so I look at shit like that. I know if I go get a big feature it's cool, but it ain't a big deal. A big deal is when you really helpin' somebody out. If a big feature comes and gets me, that's different and I'd fuck with 'em. As far as wantin' to go pay a nigga thousands of dollars to do some shit with me, I really ain't with that shit.

Speak a little bit about Freako (RIP).
Of the whole crew that nigga was like the top ranked dude. He had been through a lot, he had a lot of shit, he did a lot of shit. He was a fly ass nigga and he wasn't scared of shit. He was ready to do whatever at any time. He was like Troy, bro. I always explain it like he was like the movie Troy. You ever watch Troy? That's Freak, that dude is Freak, bro. He goin' at the biggest nigga and he gon' take him out instantly and be like, "Who else want it?" You feel me? That's how I always known him to be.

It's a shame that had to happen to him.
Yeah, man. It's mainey man 'cause you never know when it's gon' happen or how it's gon' happen. What I learned from that is that we gon' be around that kind of shit so don't do too much. Don't hang out. Don't do extra shit to be noticed when you out. Just relax and when you get done with what you doin', go to your destination. Don't fuck around man 'cause it's real. That's what that made me realize. That's what made me just change my whole way of thinking after that shit happened to Freak.

Let's get back to the Jack Artist album. What are some of your favorite tracks on there?
I never listen to that album. I just don't be listenin' to it, but today I was listenin' to the shit and I realized I like "Never Blink" and I put it number one 'cause that beat is a tight beat and we was comin' with some rhymes that was street shit. It's some independent shit and it ain't major, but it sound like it might could be. I like "Never Equal" too 'cause it made me get my props I think. Certain niggas that listen to rap and appreciate rhymes be givin' me credit on that. And a lot of Muslims give me credit on that song. "Girls Say" 'cause I can perform that in a party.

One that I really like on there is the one for your daughter, "Kuran." I think that is one of the strongest songs on there. Talk a little about that song and what it means to you.
My lifestyle is just so crazy 'cause I rap and I gotta do everything. I got a daughter and she mean a lot to me. She gettin' older now so she know that it's crazy. I really just made that song to let her know that I care about her like, "I'm explainin' myself to you in this song so when you get old enough to understand what's goin' on and you hear that song you're gonna realize that everything I did was for you." How she is is because of me. The things that she grows up to see, the woman that she becomes, everything she becomes is because of me. No matter what it is. If it works out to be good, that's great. If it turns out to be bad, it's because of me. It's a song for her and hopefully to give her some guidance to be a Muslim.

You mentioned being a Muslim and the quote on that song that really interests me is when you say, "I pray facin' the East, but don't know where Allah is." What do you mean?
I don't know where Allah is because I don't know where God is. You can't see him. I know he's there because I got faith. I can't see the air that I'm breathin', but I believe that I'm breathin' air. I got faith in that. Just like God. I pray to him even if I don't see him.

In all your songs you hear your religion comin' into them, but you also have the street influenced lyrics. How do you balance your life between the things you might be doin' or what you're rappin' about with a righteous life as a religious person?
It ain't overnight. I wasn't born a Muslim. It was really somethin' that I had to grasp and was somethin' that I had to grab a hold to after bein' blind for my whole entire life. I know that God see everything that I do. I can't hide nothin' from him so I just pray for forgiveness. I ask him to work with me on everything that I do. If I'm hustlin' I still pray and ask for forgiveness and give thanks because he knows what I'm doin' and I know that he knows. Who am I hidin' from? I can't hide from him. So that's how I do the balance I guess. He's the most merciful. He forgives a lot so hopefully I'll get forgiven for certain things that I ask for forgiveness for. There's things that probably I won't get forgave for. In my music when I say somethin' about that, but I'm still talkin' about the streets it's because it's a struggle. It's like a war. I'm right here. I know the truth and I know what it say in the Qur'an and I gotta battle with whatever it is until I become strong and want to give up everything. Muslim really just mean somebody who submits to the will of God. I can't really even say sometimes that I'm a real Muslim because there's certain things that I do, but I do submit to the will of God. Even though I do certain things like have sex and drink and stuff like that, it's just some shit I gotta deal with and I gotta fight. It's just somethin' in me that I gotta fight.


    Wednesday, January 25, 2006

    Remember This?

    "Time 4 Peace" - Digital Underground, Paris, Sway

    Released during the Persian Gulf War in the early '90s, "Time 4 Peace" was pretty damn ballsy (especially Paris' verse: "...Make way for P Dog the Bush killa / cop killa / Black urban guerilla...") and actually got mainstream radio airplay. These days if someone put a song like this on a major station like KMEL, government stormtroopers would be kicking down the station door within a few minutes. You'd never see or hear that DJ again most likely.

    It's nice to know that a song like this could get on the radio back then and it's really nice to remember that not too long ago rappers in the Bay could actually take some time and record something for a purpose and a belief. These days everyone is too busy going stupid, goin' dummy, scrapin', etc... to give a fuck about the world around them. It's pretty fuckin' sad actually. Of course The Coup and Paris are still putting themselves on the line, but beyond them it's pretty rare to hear something like this in the Bay.

    Shit even Digital Underground put it down on this song and they were the fun lovin', party group of that time like the hyphy cats are now. Have any of the hyphy contingent stepped out of the box and done something like DU did on this track? If they have, I haven't heard it and I apologize for comin' down on 'em a little bit.

    Anyway, enjoy the old song. If it makes you think too much, just take some E, mentally block out the lyrics and get dumb, retarded, hyphy to the beat. That's what we do in the Bay these days, right?

    Thursday, January 19, 2006

    New San Quinn Video - "Look What I've Done For Them"

    It's very similar to Kanye's "Through The Wire" video, but the video isn't even really what I want to talk about. Bottom line is that the song is dope as fuck and Quinn's upcoming album, The Rock (Pressure Makes Diamonds) is going to be a monster.

    E-40's new Lil' Jon backed album, My Ghetto Report Card, is gonna bring some much needed attention to the Bay Area again, but once we start getting some ears pointed our way again San Quinn is the one who is really gonna set it off for the Bay Area. Bank on it.

    The Rock (Pressure Makes Diamonds) drops on February 7th. Buy it! Buy two copies! Do not download it! Do not burn it for your boys! Sales figures are what brings the big dogs sniffing around.

    I'm trying to get an in-depth interview with Quinn real soon so check back.


    Wednesday, January 18, 2006

    New Interview - C-Lim


    For anyone who might not know you, give your background, the albums you put out and some of the industry things you've done.
    My name is C-Lim. I also go by Slim Loc 1 and The C Monster. I was born in Sacramento, raised in Stockton, been back to Sac for the last ten years. I signed a deal in 2000 with Diamond Life Entertainment and released my first album, What Dat N Like, featuring Tray Deee, Lil Keke, Bad Azz, Big Syke and X-Raided. Sold about 25,000 copies. After that I started my own label, Northstar Ntertainment, and released the album, Spoils Of War, under my alias Slim Loc 1. In March 2005 released Star Wars, a joint venture with Black Armor Records and my boy Big Rock.

    What was that like since you just came out and all of a sudden you were doing songs with Tha Eastsidaz who at that time were pretty big?
    It was a beautiful thing. Tray Deee showed me major love. Back then I wasn't smokin' that much, but he made your boy blow big weed. We had fun, it was a new experience for me. I still had a lot of non-believers back home in Stockton and Sac speakin' low of me, not thinkin' I'm gonna do my thang with the movement I had goin' on, but you can't never just sit back and wait or buy into what all the haters believe and shit. You just gotta keep doin' it movin'.

    The last year or so we haven't heard too much from you. You did the Star Wars album, but since then there hasn't really been too much known about what you've been doin'. Let us know what's goin' on now.
    Man, I been doin' a lot of networking. I stay busy runnin' to the Magic in Las Vegas, the Billboard awards, bein' all over the place showin' my face. What I got in the works right now is this Brotha Lynch Hung Presents C-Lim project. I'm workin' hard with Brotha Lynch right now on some shit. Also you gonna catch me on his new album. We squashed all our stuff and we workin' together now. Also I'm workin' on a project with my boy Kavio. The Boss Gang, that's our group.

    That's Kavio from West Coast Mafia?
    Yeah, Kavio from West Coast Mafia. Shout out to West Coast Mafia. I been workin' on that and I got a couple solo projects that's in the closet right now. Mainly I been concentrating on shoppin' a deal so if there's any A&R's out there that's looking' for an up and coming, talented young man like myself, holla at ya boy.

    What label is that album presented by Lynch coming out on?
    I'm not really knowin' yet. It might be like a joint venture, Siccmade and Northstar Ntertainment.

    The album with Lynch and how everything is squashed... How'd that come about 'cause I know you guys had your differences or whatever?
    Well, Lynch is like family. A lot of people don't know that we kinda more connected than what you would think. His wife do the business with my sister, Lexxo, which is also my artist. Lexxo do the business with his wife, Zigg Zagg. On top of that we just basically had a misunderstanding. I got word back to him, he got word back to me that everything was one hundred and next thing you know we was on the phone choppin' it up and that was the business. I was just at the studio with Lynch about two weeks ago.

    That's good that it all could get worked out like that and end up bein' somethin' beneficial for everybody.
    Yeah, I got major love for Lynch so make sure that gets out to the world. Ain't no hatin' and on top of that I got major love for my boy Hollow Tip too. We squashed the beef so send a shout out to that man. Keep it movin'.

    So all the beefs are squashed?
    All the beefs are squashed.

    That's good man 'cause for a while there was too many of 'em.
    Oh man, how many did I have goin' on? I had so many beefs goin' on it was ridiculous.

    You're from Stockton and Sac. What kind of connections do you have with Bay artists?
    My boy ADR (of Triple 6) just brought me out to the Bay. That's my boy. I got much love for ADR and the Apartment 3 movement and shit. AP.9, that's my boy. I do the business with AP. I do the business with Messy Marv, B-Legit, Mistah FAB, Yukmouth, Too $hort, T-Nutty, JT (The Bigga Figga). Matter of fact, I just seen JT up at the rally at San Quentin for Stanley "Tookie" before he was put to death. Rest in peace to Stanley "Tookie" Williams.

    What was the scene like out there (at the rally)?
    Oh man, it was like the biggest rally San Quentin ever had. I was up there, Snoop Dogg was up there, JT The Bigga Figga was up there, media galore. It was real emotional. The police was on edge because it looked like somethin' might be goin' down, but we kept it all positive. Man, we had to park like two, three football fields away and walk to get to the event. Luckily you're boy is lightweight celebrity so somebody picked me and my little camp up and brought us to the front, but we was walkin' for a hot minute. It was real positive though.

    What's been the reaction out on the streets?
    Don't nobody really believe in that death penalty bullshit. I did a interview with UPN 31 news and Channel 13 news and the media basically wanted to know if there was gonna be retaliation or if the Crips and Bloods and all the gangstas are gonna start trippin' if they put "Tookie" to death. What they don't understand is that, like I said on TV, "Tookie" sent a positive message and he wasn't about all that bullshit so it wasn't gonna be no negative stuff jumpin' off if he was put to death which unfortunately he was. I sent that message out, let 'em know I don't think any of the Crips is gonna do anything.

    In the Bay Area we still have the street shit, but now a lot of music out here has shifted to the hyphy movement. What does someone like you who does the street shit think about that kind of music?
    I'm with that more laidback gangsta shit, but I'm feelin' the hyphy movement. There's hyphy people all around me right now out here in Sac. I'm feelin' the movement, but really I think what's about to kick off the movement is that Thizz movement. Thizz Entertainment and all that, that's who's gonna really jump the Bay off. I think that they got the big potential to put Northern Cali on the map how it's supposed to be. I'm feelin' all that shit.

    Did you ever have any dealings with Mac Dre before he died?
    We ran into each other a couple of times just from promotin' and little shit like that, but I never got to get down and do no tracks with him. I always had major love for him. Matter of fact I did do a track, but I wasn't there in the booth with him. I just laid my verse up at Hachet's studio up in Oregon and then he laid his verse and it went out on a compilation.

    Do you know which compilation that was?
    I can't remember. I think Celly Cel was on the song too now that I think about it.

    Back to that new album presented by Lynch. Do you have a title yet?
    Naw, naw man. I got a few good titles, but I don't wanna leak them yet. We got a few good things jumpin' off. And your boy Lynch on his project, he got some big things jumpin' off too. So y'all make sure y'all get ready to cop that Dinner And A Movie because he got some surprises for y'all on that one.

    Who are some of the artists down in Southern California you've worked with?
    Bad Azz, Tray Deee, Kurupt. There's a lot of artists that I haven't worked with, but I talk to like my boy Daz Dillinger. Shout out to Daz. Kill Kill, my boy Kay9ine. Pretty much anybody in L.A. I pretty much done messed with 'em or they know who I am from WC to Jayo (Felony) even though he ain't from L.A. he from Diego. I'm on that new Jayo & Spice 1 album and one of Jayo's solo albums too so make sure you look for that. Pretty much anybody you can name man, they know who the hell C-Lim is. I done did the business with 'em.

    I know you did some work with Bossalini Clothing...
    Oh yeah, big shout out to Bossalini Clothing out in San Francisco. My boy Gene Steptoe, he's the CEO. I was at the Magic with 'em this past February doin' it real big. Right now he's tryin' to pick up some different retail outlets to get his clothing in. He got some new sportwear comin' up, different t-shirts, all type of outerwear. Bossalini still holdin' it down. I'm still representin' Bossalini Clothing so if y'all see it, cop it.

    You were tellin' me you were just in the new Lil' Flip video?
    Oh yeah, me, Kavio, the Boss Gang. Shout out to my boy Black Al Capone, my boy Lil' Flip, my boy Red from the Clover G's. We flew out and filmed some stuff over there at the Long Beach hangar. Then we did it movin' to the hood in Long Beach and filmed some pieces. You'll catch me at the end of the video. Just look for the hat that say C-Lim on it.

    What's up with that Boss Gang album with Kavio?
    Man, we got so many different things goin' on right now. He got his new album, Hittaz On The Payroll comin' so he concentratin' on puttin' that out right now. Then he got a album comin' with Black Al Capone from the Clover G's. We just got things lined up so whenever we have a chance to record is pretty much when we can work on the Boss Gang album. The Boss Gang is comin', please believe.


    Tuesday, January 17, 2006

    "How Dumb You Go" - New Track From Casual of Hieroglyphics

    Click HERE for Casual's MySpace page and once you're there and the music player loads, click on the track titled "How Dumb You Go". edit: track has been taken down

    This is some brand spankin' new shit from Casual. Unfortunately there is no download available, but the track is dope and it's produced by my old school folks Raytona500 aka Rhythmx from $ickWid'It Records / Pharmaceuticals / Tha FYA Dept. / Tha Blap Factory / Tha Spliffstonian Starship / Mobbservatory Musick.

    Check back for an interview with Raytona500 aka Rhythmx real soon and I'm hopin' to get in touch with Casual for an interview as well.


    Ask And You Shall Receive I Guess

    So two days ago I wrote about there being no new bio/press release for E-40's new album, My Ghetto Report Card...

    Well, this morning Warner Bros. released a brand spankin' new one. You can read it here: E-40 Press Release

    Now all they need to do is get someone at BME to take down that old ass one they got up and replace it with this one.

    Sunday, January 15, 2006

    New E-40 Video - "Tell Me When To Go" featuring Keak Da Sneak

    PHOTO FROM: Focus And Record

    First things first before I even get to the video...

    I'm positive Lil' Jon and BME/Warner Bros. are serious about trying to blow 40 up, but I'm a little dissapointed that the E-40 section of BME's website is using an E-40 bio/press release that was written to promote Grit & Grind back in 2002. It's actually not even the whole thing, just part of it. Regardless, it's talking about songs from a previous album. I know that this is a miniscule piece to a much larger promotion/marketing puzzle, but you would think that it would be REAL easy to get a new one written to coincide with his upcoming album, My Ghetto Report Card. From top to bottom, expensive video to online bio/press release, every piece is important.

    Click HERE to watch the video.

    The video is very well done, but I wish it could have been at least partially in color (maybe just for the car scenes and a few other scenes). Based on what they show in the video it seems like they're trying to show how vibrant and energetic the Bay is and I think a little bit of color would have highlighted that vibrance even more and really made it pop. BIG appreciation to 40 for having the RIP for Mac Dre at the end of the video.

    Proponents of the hyphy movement are already proclaiming this to be the biggest thing to happen to the Bay since Humphrey The (Hyphy) Humpback Whale got stuck out here in our waters back in '85.

    I have been an E-40 fan since day one so I'm glad to see him getting a chance to shine again and I have my fingers crossed that the video and the new album both blow up nationwide.

    Thoughts and opinions on the song/video? Leave a comment.


    Thursday, January 12, 2006

    Cool C To Be Executed

    This post may not interest some of my younger readers who don't know much about hip hop before 2000, but I'm posting it anyway.

    From allhiphop.com:

    Rapper Cool C's Execution Warrant Signed by PA Governor Ed Rendell
    By Seandra Sims
    Date: 1/11/2006 4:15 pm

    Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell signed the execution warrant yesterday for former Philadelphia rapper Christopher "Cool C" Roney.

    Roney, 36, is currently an inmate at Pennsylvania’s State Correctional Institution at Greene and is set to die by lethal injection on March 9.

    In October 1996, Roney was found guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of Philadelphia police officer and nine-year veteran Lauretha Vaird during a botched January 1996 bank robbery that included rap partner Warren "Steady B" McGlone and a third man.

    Vaird was Philadelphia's first female officer ever killed in the line of duty.

    While McGlone was convicted as an accomplice and getaway driver, later receiving life in prison, prosecutors asserted that Roney was the triggerman and sentenced him to death.

    The sentence was affirmed by the state's Supreme Court a year ago, and a subsequent plea to the U.S. Supreme Court was denied in October 2005.

    Roney was a member of rap crew The Hilltop Hustlers in the late 1980s and helped put Philly rappers on the map with singles such as "Juice Crew Dis" (which was later used by Philadephia rappers Beanie Sigel & Peedi Crack on 'When You Hear'), as well as 1989's hit single, "Glamorous Life."

    As a rapper, Roney released two albums, 1989's I Gotta Habit and 1990’s Life in the Ghetto.

    In 1993, he joined Steady B and Ultimate Eaze to form the group C.E.B. and released the album Countin' Endless Bank in 1993 on Ruffhouse Records.
    Just hearing the name Cool C brings back a lot of memories for me. "Glamorous Life" was my shit back in my middle school days! I remember wanting to get a blue track suit like the one he had on in the video. Shit, I still find myself doing the little "ooo ooooo, you got it" call every once in a while.

    I'm not here to debate his crime and the death penalty or anything like that. All I can say is it's a shame that his life turned out this way.

    "Glamorous Life" video

    "Glamorous Life" mp3 (this is a longer version of the song than what you hear in the video)