Monday, November 29, 2010

Big Hutch Talks Dr. Dre (Kush), Inventing G-Funk, And His Two New Albums

Exclusive: "Dr. Dre's understudy" shares his thoughts on "Kush" and the freedom he feels as "the architect of G-Funk" to take the sound wherever he wants to.

Twenty years after the release of Above The Law’s celebrated debut, Livin’ Like Hustlers, A.T.L. front-man Big Hutch, (a.k.a. Cold 187um), is still going strong with two new solo efforts set to drop: Only God Can Judge Me (due January 18th) and O.G. Since 1967 (due summer 2011).

On Tuesday, (November 30th), the Ruthless, Tommy Boy and Death Row Records alum will be providing a preview of his upcoming offerings via a 3-song digital EP, Ef U Hutch.

The producer/rapper recently spoke to HipHopDX to talk about the diverse direction of his new recordings, (“eventful” music that he explains was inspired by his mentors Eazy-E and Dr. Dre). Kokane’s cousin, (and nephew of the late Soul singer Willie Hutch), also explained why he thinks Dre’s “Kush” could have done without the “crossbreeding,” why as the subgenre’s inventor no one can tell him what G-Funk is, and lastly Hutch broke down why he feels those who are O.G. since 1987 have yet to match his generation’s contribution to the game.

HipHopDX: …I gotta ask why I’m still in love with the fly-ass “Untouchable” video 20 years after first seeing it as a little kid?

Big Hutch: [Laughs]…we was the first cats pushing Cigarette boats and driving big-body [Mercedes] Benz’s on a video. That wasn’t even the climate back then, and we kinda took it upon ourselves to introduce that to the game. On a whole ‘nother level, baby.

DX: Plus, your voice was like the flyest shit I had heard at that point. [Laughs]

Big Hutch: Well I appreciate that, man. [Laughs] I kinda [pride] myself on trying to be a fly muthafucka. [Laughs]

DX: …Who produced that remix of “Untouchable” for the video?

Big Hutch: Me and [Dr.] Dre. I came up with the elements, and then me and him took it in the studio and did it. ‘Cause I did it [initially] at the house on a little four-track [recorder]… Big labels wasn’t really fuckin’ wit’ cats out they mama bedroom, so I always had to channel it through Dre, any idea I had. So basically, it’s conceived by me but it’s actually all put together and developed by me and Dre, on a technical level.

DX: Was it the same process for “Murder Rap”?

Big Hutch: No, [and] it’s a trip because I produced “Murder Rap” on a 16-track and we just bumped it up to a 24-track. Me and Dre, we just took all the files that I did – all the samples and everything – and re-put ‘em into a bigger board…just sonically so it would sound better.

DX: And you played those synths yourself?

Big Hutch: Yeah.

DX: Those synths proved to be the start of a musical revolution.

Big Hutch: And that’s what I’m talkin’ about. [Laughs]

DX: Since [you] mentioned Dre, just curious to get your thoughts on “Kush”? I can’t help but feel like Dre’s about to pull an Axl Rose comeback and drop a Chinese Democracy dud with Detox.

Big Hutch: Well, I like his record. My whole thing about it is that when you doing records I don’t really think that we need to add any of the elements that are not from our element if we created the element. Ya dig what I’m saying? A lot of this crossbreeding stuff is…I won’t say it’s a cheap-shot, because I’m Dr. Dre’s understudy so I know he knows what he’s doing. My difference in that is that I don’t really think we need cats from other regions to sell records as west coast artists. I think that we’ve done enough work for people to respect us everywhere based upon what we’re capable of doing on our own. But I like the record… It’s dope. I felt it when I first heard it, and that’s cool. I just think those elements – When I hear him and Snoop [Dogg] doing a record, I know it’s the right shit… But when you add those other elements – No disrespect to Akon. I love Akon, when he does Akon with whoever he does it with. [But] when we start adding those [elements] I think that starts being the political…fake little Hollywood game.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking nobody for what they do. But, no one’s calling us who made a record hot out here to make their record hot.

But I love [Dr. Dre’s] approach… Dre’s always been a producer that always was like…he’s eventful. Like, when you see what I’m doing, I’m like that because of what Dre and Eazy [E] taught me: how to make your music eventful.

DX: And what’s gonna be the eventful direction of Only God Can Judge Me?

Big Hutch: I don’t know if nobody know it [yet], but “Lord Have Mercy” is the record that’s that record, that’s fin to knock muthafuckas heads off they shoulders… I think people try to put too much on the event part of it and not really check for the music, and I’m making the music that I’m making an event.

DX: We put “Electric Lady” up to our audio section and the people who commented on it didn’t judge very…pleasantly.

Big Hutch: That’s cool.

DX: What was the inspiration for that record, or why that direction for that song?

Big Hutch: Well see, one thing you gotta realize is this, there’s not a direction when I make a record. If I wake up in the morning and say I wanna rap to a Rock track, I rap to it. I’m not in a box. You gotta understand this, I’m the architect of G-Funk. You can’t tell me what G-Funk is. If I want G-Funk to be blowing on a whistle and beating on a box, that’s G-Funk, because I invented it. I am the architect.

DX: I thought Warren Griffin, [Warren G], was the architect?

Big Hutch: I am the architect of that. Warren Griffin used to sleep on my floor. I am the architect of G-Funk. So when people tell me what I should do and what I should not do, I tell ‘em shut up. I go to the studio and I make records based upon how I feel… And one thing that Eazy taught me while I was at Ruthless [Records], he said, “Look at it like this, Hutch: one day you walked in here and you didn’t have one fan. What did you come in here to do it for? Because of what you felt like doing. Keep doing that and you’ll always be good with yourself.” …I’ll keep it real with you, homie. I went in and cut “Electric Lady” from my heart, not to trick nobody, not because people is on my shit, but because I heard the beat - I heard it in my head, wanted to cut it, and did it and put it out there to the world. I feel comfortable with you saying I don’t like it, Hutch, because I did what I wanna do from my heart.

DX: But am I wrong as a fan for wanting some throwback sounds, some “Black Superman” slinky synths?

Big Hutch: You’re not, because that’s what I give you on “Lord Have Mercy.” But you gotta understand where he’s coming from. You can’t just say, “Oh I just want that,” and not give a artist [creative space]… I agree with you on this level - and this is why I do it like I do it - if you do something different you gotta do the old shit too. You can’t just do something different and stay different.

[That’s] the difference between the Kanye West’s and all these other muthafuckas. That’s what we do wrong [as west coast artists]. We stay one way. We don’t never try to be different. But when they rap over funky shit, and they rap over real shit, they’re cool. But [people are telling me] I should go back to doing [“Black Superman”], and not even giving me a chance to say I got other records y’all, relax, it’s cool…

DX: How is O.G. Since 1967 gonna be different from Only God Can Judge Me?

Big Hutch: O.G. Since 1967 is like a live album, but it’s more like a…how can I put it to you? …Only God Can Judge Me is more personal, and this is more like…raw sounding [and] soulful. I had written a series of songs that were kinda like Soul records but [still] Rap shit. And that’s what I’m doing on O.G. Since 1967. It’s like a lot of different fusion of soulful music, but with [rappin’] on it… I wouldn’t say it’s like Eazy-E-meets-The Roots or Above The Law-meets this, ‘cause I don’t like to get into [comparisons]. It’s just a different organic experience.

DX: I just wanna note that I think that’s pretty brave putting your real birth year in the title. You know cats who are O.G. since 1987 might front on it.

Big Hutch: That’s cool. I’m a music guy, dog. I don’t care about that [other stuff]. I’ma do what God tell me… People can look at it how they wanna look at it… I’m not too old to get up and write a hit song. I don’t see ‘em doing too much anyway. I don’t see the guys from ’87 doing a lot of shit anyway but the same shit that every one of ‘em is doing. It’s a great world of copycats… It’s funny [though], I was having a conversation [recently] about new guys…and believe it or not, I respect what they doing. So [if they] knock me, you put yourself in a bad position. Because hey, when I was your age, I wish somebody understood what I was doing. Because you gotta realize, when we first came out all these people didn’t support what we did… So if we woulda had that kind of support, we don’t know where Rap woulda been. [So]…if you gonna disrespect a person like Big Hutch, Cold 187um from Above The Law, you don’t really have a broad perspective of where you at as an artist anyway if you O.G. since 1987.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

What is Music Production?

a producers guide, the role, the people, the process
By Russ Hepworth-Sawyer and Craig Golding

To complete an album, a producer needs to know what goes into capturing great music and teasing out inspirational performances from artists. As a producer, you are guiding not only the music, but also the business and the technical aspects of an album.What Is Music Production?is a 'guide to this guidance'. Formed from a blend of solid information extracted from detailed interviews, the book focuses on the process of music production, providing insight into the producer's work and activity. Whether you are a student or just starting your professional career,What is Music Production?explains what you need to know - from working with artists, songs, pre-production, mixing, and mastering to the finance and budgeting, to glean a professional result. Combining the "how to be" with online assets and interviews, this book arms you with a vital insight into the business of being a music producer.

* Unravels some of the mystery behind producing records from the producer's perspective * Learn about the changing role of the producer in the music industry, looking towards the future * Based on the practice of key producers and music production professionals
Section A: What is Music Production A-1 Quantifying It A-2 Analyzing It Section B: Being It B-1 Being a Producer B-2 Your People B-3 Being a Business Section C Prepping It C-1 What's the Deal C-2 Pre-Production C-3 Project Management C-4 The Desired Outcome: Strategies for Success Section D: Doing It D-1 The Session D-2 The Mix D-3 The Mastering Session Section E The Future E-1 The Changing Face of Music Production Section F F-1 Appendix 1: The Tape Store F-2 Appendix 2: Glossary

ISBN: 9780240811260

Trim: 7.5in x 9.25in

Publication Date: November 10, 2010

Price: $34.95

Format: Book - Paperback

Pages: 304

Buy book the book from Amazon

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Story of DJ Ready Red... an Original Geto Boy

The Geto Boys are arguably one of the greatest groups in the history of Hip-Hop music. With eight studio albums and two greatest hits compilations, their longevity is evident. Their sound was raw, uncut, and politically charged, which caused mainstream media to take notice. The group's popularity also led to three successful solo careers.

Despite the platinum success of the group, they were not without internal problems. The following story is that of one of the original Geto Boys, Collins Leysath, also known as DJ Ready Red.

During the late 70s in Trenton, New Jersey, Leysath would make frequent treks to visit family in Brooklyn, New York. Upon his visits, Ready Red would visit the Bronx on many occasions to attend various block parties. Although Red had hopes of becoming a professional football player, he quickly developed a passion for the newly developed culture called Hip-Hop. Inspired by Afrika Bambaataa's classic record "Planet Rock," Collins was influenced to experiment with one aspect of Hip-Hop, Deejaying. The DJ being the backbone of any Hip-Hop group led to the formation of The Mighty MCs with Prince Johnny C and Brother Radee. Similar to most DJs, the Trenton native began to explore the art of production. After receiving a TR 606 drum machine from his mentor Jasper Bradley, Leysath was ready to delve into the culture.

"I was a DJ first. I was a DJ for many years. But when I heard that Grandmaster Flash was rocking the beat box, that was the natural progression for me to start making the beats."

In 1987 Red decided to leave the East Coast for the hills of Los Angeles, California. Along the way he made a stop in Houston, Texas to visit family. In turn, what was supposed to be a two week stint in Texas, turned out to be a more permanent stay.

"My oldest sister had a little domestic problem with a cat in Houston, so she wanted me to come down there and check him. So I told my mom I'm getting ready to go to Houston for a little bit, and I'll be back. But I liked it down there a little bit, and I had just broken up with my girl, so I ended up staying and going to a battle of the DJs they had down there."

Having adopted a New York DeeJaying style, Ready Red wowed the crowd in Houston by spinning breaks back and fourth, scratching, and blending in the fashion he picked up by hanging at block parties in the Bronx.

" It was more like a demonstration. Me cutting breaks and going back to back and all that stuff, they weren't used to seeing that, so they stopped dancing and came up around the turntables. One of the affiliates was telling me about a group called the Geto Boys, who had a local hit called "Car Freaks.""

Having a ear tuned to boom bap beats and gritty street lyrics, Red was not easily impressed by the efforts of the Geto Boys Proclaiming that "Car Freaks" was "wack."

"I'm born and raised up in Jersey, so anything that's not from Philly or New York to me is kind of wack. So I had to open my mind up a little more. I was hearing records like 2 Live Crew's "Hey we want some pussy." I was like, they put that type of shit on record?"

DJ Ready Red with two of the Original members of Ghetto Boys

After an impromptu introduction to Rap-A-Lot Record's owner J. Prince, Red was eventually signed. With a TR 909 and about 50 records, Red set out to impress Prince, which eventually led to him being the official DJ and producer of the Geto Boys. With the group consisting of Prince Johnny C., The Slim Jukebox, and dancer/hypeman Bushwick Bill, the group began production on their debut album, Making Trouble. Shortly after members Johnny C. and Jukebox left the group because they were disgruntled the direction of the sound. Red quickly forged a bond with Bushwick Bill.

"Making Trouble" is Released February 17, 1988

According to Willie D, when he was still a Rap-A-Lot solo artist he was asked by label owner James Smith to write songs for a new Ghetto Boys record: "I said "Okay," and I wrote some songs. I wrote shit like "Do it Like a G.O.," "Let a Hoe Be a Hoe," and they didn't like it. They were like it was too graphic. At the time them niggas had wives and shit. So I understood where they were coming from, but Lil J gave them an ultimatum; "Either y'all rap this shit or I would have to move on." They chose the latter. I then came in as a member of the Geto Boys and J was telling me about this dude he had named Scarface but at the time his name was DJ Akshen, and J was like, "It's going to be Juke Box, Akshen and [you]." Juke Box was one of the ones to stay. But Juke Box got a letter from his girlfriend at the time saying that he needed to find a real job because shit wasn't working. So he ended up leaving the group."

"I have to thank Bill, he got me out of that rat infested car lot. I met Bill, he was straight off the plane from Bushwick Brooklyn, and we bonded because he was a East Coast cat. He knew how to dance to the breaks that I was cutting. After three or four hours after meeting him, he took me to his sister's house. The next thing I know, they started arguing in the back room. He came out and said "Yo Red, let's go get your stuff, you're gonna live with us.""

Their first album Making Trouble was the first time the world heard scarface samples in beats... Ready Red was the first to sample that movie in the song he produced "Balls and My Words" in 1988. This song was made before Scarface was in the group.

DJ Ready Red also did production work on Willie Dee's solo album "Controversy" released in 1989.

After the departure of Johnny C. and Jukebox, The Geto Boys went in search of two new rappers which was later filled by DJ Akshen and Willie D.

"There was this little cat that was rapping called DJ Akshen. I was like ok, let me hear you rap and he was not bad. Then K-9, who was one of the original members of the group had just got out of jail and came back home. I told Rap-A-Lot about Brad, and we had a battle between K-9 and Scarface or Akshen at that time. They started rapping and Face blew him up out the water. That's how Face got to be a Geto Boy."

"Scarface" The Geto Boys - Produced by DJ Ready Red

Upon the joining of solo artist Willie D., DJ Akshen (Scarface), and Bushwick Bill, the grouped turned it's sights on a much harder edged sound, recording Grip It! On That Other Level. As the group's popularity flourished and they began to travel throughout the United States, Red began to question the amount of money the group was being paid. Crowds were swarming to see this new phenomenon and what once was a blind loyalty to Rap-A-Lot for giving him the opportunity to shine, began to fade into the shadows of naivety and disappointment.

"We were traveling all over. I'm saying alright this is gonna be a good little bank man. Not! I said, I'm not gonna say nothing, I'm just going to get me a lawyer, and a CPA. They want family when it comes to them, but when it comes to us, they want us to accept what's going on. I was doing this all for love, but I'm not going to keep making somebody rich when I gotta worry about my lights getting cut off and all of that. That's the only problem that I ever had with James Prince. Yo man, you pay people that make you respectable, you pay them!"

Although he obtained a lawyer, he still didn't feel that he was properly compensated. Red also viewed the situation as a "Dead End" because J Prince owned the record label, management, and publishing company that he worked for. Finally Red assembled the Geto Boys in an effort to confront their label and management. Contending that there was never an accurate account of royalties, combined with his increased frustration, led Ready Red to one final group meeting.

"Do It Like A G.O." Geto Boys - Produced by DJ Ready Red

"I told them (Geto Boys) after a show that what we were going through wasn't right. Now if we stand as a group maybe they might give us our money. But J. Prince came in there with his hard hitters, and they left me standing there by myself. They kinda scooted over to the other side when the bass got turned up a little bit. He came in there saying "Which one of yall think I'm ****ing yall?" I said that happens to be me. I ain't never been one to not let my nuts hang. He tried to flip it to make it seem like I had all the problems and issues. It was four of us, but when it stopped it was me sitting by myself. So I said **** it, I'm out."

Professionally scarred, and personally hurt, Collins remained in Houston and attempted to make a living from his past fame. It didn't take long to realize that his once friends were there only because of his standing in the group. His business relationships and access to certain venues in Houston ceased. Shortly after, the group forged on, releasing their biggest hit to date, "Mind Playing Tricks On Me" from the We Can't Be Stopped album. Receiving constant taunts of regret from family, friends, and community members, and hearing the new single in heavy radio and video rotation caused Red's life to spiral out of control.

In 1991 the The Geto Boys released a new album and the single "My Mind Playing Tricks On Me" without DJ Reddy Red... the song is a hit!

The Geto Boys on YO MTV Raps in 1991...

"With problems escalating from marriage that had too much weight on it, I turned to crack cocaine to help deal with everything. I never thought that I would ever have any parts of that drug. It just happened to be there at that time to where you think it's helping take all the pain away. It just brought me misery for sixteen years. I never drank or smoked, I was clear headed. The more you see that the status that you had was because of who you were down with, you really didn't own that city at all. Everything started to get cut off, it just became crazy. It took me down to a bottomless pit, where I lost everything. I lost my Gold and Platinum records, I lost my cars, I lost my jewelry."

Red returned to his home in Trenton. Although he escaped the movement of the Geto Boys, he did not escape his addiction crack cocaine. Hitting a low in which he was homeless and living in an abandoned building, forced him to take a hard glance at what his life had become. His despair and desperation for change, transformed into a cry and prayer for help.

"I grew up in the church and my mother played piano in the church. As we get older we come back to that. I started making vows to the Lord. I said Lord if you pick me up out of this, I'll never go back to it, and I will help any and everybody. That was a struggle because I used to love to get high. They (drug dealers) used to try to put big golf ball rocks in my face to tempt me. But you trust and lean in the Lord and it's all good. "

With supplemental income from unemployment checks, and selling loose cigarettes, Leysath moved to California to start a new life. Living clean for almost eight years, has allowed him to re-focus on his spirituality and music. He describes every day as "A good day above ground," and prides himself on having control over his body and frame of mind. Red is now an official member of the Zulu Nation and has plans to start a chapter in Trenton, New Jersey.

"My hometown is now overrun with the Blood gangs and they're killing each other. I have to at least make an attempt to reach out to anybody that needs help. I'm not trying to get in their face or anything like that, but if they need some help and a way out, I believe I can help them. That's what I have to do to make amends for my past transgressions."

Red is also focused on returning to his love for production and DeeJaying. With his artist Naimaj, he has been touring through California taking performances back to the old school , DJ and MC style of Hip-Hop.

With a strong co-sign from some of his former group mates, a comeback for DJ Ready Red is not inconceivable. When recently asked about him, Scarface said, "Ready Red was so far ahead of his time until nobody appreciated what he did until he was gone. Listen to "Mind of a Lunatic," Listen to "Size Ain't S**t, " that motherfu**er Red was too far ahead of his time dog." Willie D also offered support saying, "Somebody that had as much to offer as Ready Red did, I think he can still do it. He needs to get around visionaries in the music industry. I think if he did that, he could return to dominance."

"Size Ain't Shit" Geto Boys - Produced by DJ Ready Red - 1989

"Mind Of A Lunatic" Geto Boys - Produced by DJ Ready Red and Bido - 1989

Maintaining strong ties to his spiritual birth in the Zulu nation and a promise to the Lord, Collins Leysath's new outlook on life will keep him away from his past perils one day at a time.

On March 8, 2008, Dj Ready Red was involved in a accident in Reno, Nevada totaling his Dodge Durango. While trying to avoid hitting a flock of wolves, his truck careened out of control and rolled over three times. Although shaken and suffering a few broken bones, he was able to walk away from the accident and is now back home living in Trenton, New Jersey. He attributes his ability to leave the scene relatively unscathed to his faith in God.

DJ Ready Red next to his totaled truck

"The hardest thing that any man can do, is to get up and do the right thing. With that comes that humbleness and inner strength where you can move mountains. I get that voice that tells me to continue to do the right thing, and that's what I'm going to do."

DJ Ready Red with original Ghetto Boys member Prince Johnny C...

Here's the song that a lot of people say put the Geto Boys on the map back in 1988...
Produced by DJ Ready Red and written and performed by Prince Johnny C....

According to Ready Red Prince Johnny C really shined on these gangster tracks...
but it wasn't in Johnny's heart to do that type of music.

Chuck D interviews DJ Ready Red


HipHopHoopla interview with EA Ski November 2010

We hooked up with legendary west coast producer E-A Ski to discuss a number of things. The recent producer of an Ice Cube track which appeared on the bonus version of “I am the West” and the recent Locksmith & Crooked I “Gray Area” collaboration which sparked online, E-A Ski has seen quite the amount of success as of late, and there is much more of it to come. Those are two tracks in which we discuss with Ski heavily.

A real west coast original pioneer, we also get Ski’s thoughts on the current west coast and what needs to be done in order to “fix” the scene and return it to the forefront of industry.


Interview: We’re here with west coast pioneer E-A Ski. We’re gonna start this interview off by talking about a song which just leaked that hit the blogs and websites real heavy that you produced, “Gray Area” by Locksmith and Crooked I. Tell us about that song.

E-A Ski: It’s really funny how that came about. First and foremost, much love to Crooked I. That is a good homeboy of mine. He is the west coast representation of true lyricism in my book. Locksmith is my artist and he’s dope as well. I met Crooked on the Rock the Bells tour out this way in the Bay area. We were all together, Royce, Crooked I, Joell Ortiz and Joe Budden all talking. We started talking about a few things. I told Crooked I was working on Locksmith’s album and I wanted him to be apart of it. I wanted to do something different than have them just spit bars. As an artist who produces, to me, it’s about making a great record. I feel like Crooked I and Locksmith have that talent too.

I think everybody can really appreciate them doing a record about being in the industry and about being in the gray area of the record business. It’s about the stuff that goes on that a lot of people don’t talk about. It’s kind of taboo because everybody is just trying to make commercial records. They’re trying to make records that please the radio and clubs; records with no substance. These are two great lyricists that made something that I think can really impact people, especially by hitting them with something that will educate them on how this business really is instead of just spitting bars.

That was the idea for “Gray Area.” It’s not all black and white; there is a grey area in this business. People think they can come in here and be successful, but they don’t tell you about all the other stuff that goes along with trying to get to that point of success. It’s that gray situation that nobody ever talks about.

Interview: I like that. I think I speak for all of our readers when I say that the concept is great, and although Crooked and Locksmith are phenomenal lyrical rappers, it was cool to see them do something a little bit different than what most expected. I want to move onto “Pros vs. Joes”, the bonus track on Ice Cube’s new album which you produced.

E-A Ski: Cube has always been a friend of mine. Even though he’s a busy dude and he’s always on his grind, we’re good friends first and foremost. Basically I had heard he was working on a new record. When he’s working on something, he knows I make heat. I have an official homeboy that works for Lench Mob who told me Cube was working on a new record. After that, we just connected to make great music. Cube is all about music and I was able to give him something that he thought was hot. It’s really about the music. If the music is hot, that’s what it is.

Interview: And how do you think he did with your instrumental? Did you love it?

E-A Ski: I think he really killed it. I really believe that. I think he did what classic Ice Cube fans want to hear from him. He really went in. He was speaking on real things. Ice Cube boombaye is what they say. A lot of people don’t know what that means but it means kill them. That’s pretty much what they were saying during the [Muhammad] Ali-Foreman fight. Basically this is what he does. You have to pay respect to somebody who’s been doing it this long and is still relevant in 2010 going into 2011. “Pros vs. Joes” is about being a pro, this is what I do. I know a lot of cats coming up in the game don’t wanna’ do that and that’s cool, but you gotta’ keep working and working to get to that level of where he’s at and I think “Pros vs. Joes” says it all.

Interview: No doubt. What are your current thoughts on the west coast scene?

E-A Ski: They’re a lot of good things going on but it flies under the radar. People don’t acknowledge the west the way they should even though they stole so many things from the west. We’re in a very hard position right now. A lot of people don’t look at the west. They look at everywhere else but the west. I’m waiting for them to realize that half the stuff these cats are doing is a branch off the west.

The west coast scene is trying to reinvent itself. I believe it’s becoming more powerful. Anytime you have nothing going on in the west, you have to know something is brewing. There is a lot of bitterness, but with that bitterness and anger I believe comes creativity. And when that happens, you have to be on the lookout because they’re a lot of great artists from the west coming up that you need to look out for. That’s really how I feel. The west doesn’t get the look on a lot of stuff and people bypass it. I don’t know if they’re intimidated by the west, or that the west has a violent reputation. Whatever it might be, the west is booming right now and it’s about to be a problem.

Interview: Which artists do you specifically think they have to look out for?

E-A Ski: They better look out for me because I have a lot to say. I say that because I’ve come from two different generations of west coast music; now and the past, and that’s a lot of knowledge I’ve gained. You have cats like me, WC, Ice Cube and new cats like Locksmith which are very intelligent cats that can put the streets, the politics and all the other things in one motion and give you the things that you need to have substance and stuff that is still relevant in the market place. I think they need to look out for me and Locksmith.

Interview: I definitely feel that. You mentioned “the west flying under the radar.” What do you think needs to be done for that to change?

E-A Ski: It really starts at home. We know that rap is 30 something years deep. We should be able to rely on each other in rap. We should be able to talk to the east coast and south coast and be resourceful with one another. Since everything is so segregated, people wanna’ rally around whatever is hot at the moment. It starts at home first. It starts with the DJ’s supporting west coast artists. Any section you go to, unlike the west coast, the south really supports the south and the east really supports the east. Overall, they look out for themselves while at the same time looking out for another.

On the west, it’s really different. It’s one of those things were you get west coast DJ’s fucking dick riding everywhere else but the west. They don’t rally around there own region. That’s the problem with the west coast. We rally around everybody but ourselves. It makes it ten times tougher to put ourselves in a position for success. We need to rally around each other, really do things and really build it. We don’t need to segregate cats from doing what they need to do. That’s where the game is at right now. It’s the only marketplace you can come into and everybody else will be more successful than your own artist. That only happens on the west.

Interview: E-A Ski is schooling the west coast on this one. I want to switch gears for a minute and talk about a short film you were involved in with Danny Glover which picked up an award.

E-A Ski: I tried to do something different being that I’m independent with EMI Films. I basically wanted to do something like what Michael Jackson did with Thriller. I wanted to make it like a short film and it’s called “No Problems.” In the process, it has me, Locksmith and my homebody Eastwood from Los Angeles. I had this whole concept about how I wanted to shoot it. I’m close with Danny Glover because we do a lot of activist stuff together like speaking to the kids and we motivate them to stay in school. We tell them that the music business isn’t easy to get into. We have that vibe and he wanted to be apart of something that can be exciting for hip-hop.

Before I put it out, I said I rather put it in a film festival. The first film festival it was in, they loved it. It was an international film festival called the Okanagan Film Festival and it won an award. It was a good look because it allowed us to show that you can do stuff on another level instead of just dropping videos. We put in a little more work ethic into it and we got creative instead of just shooting a video. I’m actually on planning to try and release this with HBO and make it exclusive. When you see it, it’s gonna’ be very impressive.

Interview: That sounds great, congratulations on its success. What’s next up for E-A Ski?

E-A Ski: I’m working on my solo album and I’m making sure that the album is incredible. I have great features from Ice Cube, Tech N9Ne, B-Real from Cypress Hill and Freeway. It’s not a compilation though. A lot of people would think with those names that it’s a compilation. The thing is I don’t drop a lot of records. I had a lot of great features and people that fit what I’m doing with my album. I’m an artist as well as a producer. Of course I’m working on my artist Locksmith’s album. He has an incredible album called “Frank the Rabbit.” I have an artist named Left which was one half of The Frontline group with Locksmith. I’m producing some stuff for him and Frank Nitty as well. I have a lot of great stuff I’m working on. I just talked to WC about doing something. Look out for WC’s new album. I’m putting a lot of stuff together.

Interview: Everything sounds great. I really appreciate your time Ski. Do you have any last words?

E-A Ski: Look out for the west. It’s very important that music is balanced. When you’re not hearing from all regions, something is left out because we have a lot to contribute. I love music and I love all regions, including the south, east and mid-west. It needs to be balanced.

When it becomes one dimensional, hip-hop starts fading out. I definitely want to be that voice for the west coast. Be ready, because it’s not gonna’ be nice; it’s gonna’ be as real as it gets as far as my views on certain things and it’s gonna’ be the truth. It’s honest. A lot of people don’t want to hear honesty. They want to hear music that makes them feel good because they want to get away from what’s really going on. We’re gonna’ get back to business though.


Dr.Dre interview Scratch magazine volume 1 summer 2004

^click images to enlarge^

Friday, November 19, 2010

Behind The Scene of The making of Dr. Dre´s Kush with Chief Thunderbird AKA Sly Pyper

Exclusive behind the Scene Footage,
with Aftermath Artist & Song writer
Chief Thunderbird AKA Sly Pyper,
from Tha PieceMakerz.
Singing the Hook for the song
Kush by (Dr. Dre of N.W.A ft. Akon,Chief Thunderbird AKA Sly,Kobe & Snoop Dogg of Dpg)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Kanye West's Most Ridiculous On-Air Moments

Since his first album dropped in 2004,
Kanye's has been mired in a series of headline-making controversies,
usually after he goes wildly off-script.
Herewith, a compilation of—and tribute to—six years of absurdity.

View the video over @ JezeBel

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Davey D interview with DJ Premier

Rock The Bells 2010 Interview with DJ Premier from OpenLineMedia on Vimeo.

DJ Premier speaks on;
-Hip Hop started in the West Bronx,not South Bronx.
-Premier says you got to know;
Percy Sledge
Tears for fears
Tom Tom Club
James Brown
The Isley Brothers
The O'Jays
The Supremes

-Dr. Dre
Why they havnt worked together.
Dr. Dre is one of his favorite producers.
He (Premier) would love to do a beat for Dre/record with him.

Premiers favorite Dre records
Straight Outta Compton
The Chronic
World Class Wreckin' Cru

-Touch a little on Guru


KRS-One Recalls Making Of Criminal Minded

'We knew exactly what we were doing when we made this album,'
Hip Hop pioneer says of Boogie Down Productions' 1987 breakthrough.

By Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Sway Calloway (@realsway)

Making of the Moment: Criminal Minded

KRS-One is both known for dropping jewels to cultivate minds and dropping bombs to blow minds. The Bronx bred hip-hop pioneer has lived up to both his titles — The Teacha and The Blastmaster — over his almost 25-year career. T was considered Hall of Fame/ Greatest of All-Time list over ten years ago. Over the past decade, KRS has been expanding his artistic reach, releasing the gospel-tinged album Spiritual Minded in 2002 and the book "The Gospel of Hip-Hop: First Instrument" in 2009. But as the title of his most recent album, Back to the L.A.B. (Lyrical Ass Beating), shows, he's still down to tear the lining out of the sound booth walls.

This summer KRS has joined a slew of mic icons on the Rock the Bells tour. Snoop Dogg, Rakim, A Tribe Called Quest, Slick Rick and the Wu-Tang Clan are the headliners on the outing, which has a different twist this time around: Each act is performing a classic album from their catalog. KRS picked the first album he performed on, Boogie Down Productions' 1987 debut Criminal Minded. Back then, the crew also consisted of D-Nice, Just Ice, Ms. Melody and their late co-founder and leader, DJ Scott La Rock.

La Rock oversaw the business and handled the production of the album with Ultramagnetic MC's Ced Gee. The opus set off a new era in battle rap with timeless tracks like "South Bronx" and "The Bridge Is Over." As KRS will testify, it's also certified as one of the albums that spawned gangsta rap. Criminal Minded introduced KRS as one of the new mic stars of the era, alongside Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap and the aforementioned Rakim. Right after his set at the Rock the Bells kickoff in Los Angeles, KRS gave us some insight into his starmaking first LP:

"This may sound arrogant, but it's the truth and it's honest. We knew exactly what we were doing when we made this album. If you notice, all the away up to Return of the Boom Bap — I stopped doing it after Return of the Boom Bap — I used to say things like, 'We will be here forever! Forever and ever!' I used to always speak into the future: 'I got rhymes for the '70s, '80s, and '90s.' This was the '80s. So yes, as a metaphysician, as a philosopher, you know what you are doing. We didn't make mistakes. We still don't. That's why the albums are out the way they are. I say that humbly. I don't say that with no arrogance; 'Yeah, we knew what it was.' No, we didn't. What we knew was hip-hop. We knew if we came out with what our people wanted to hear, that's just what it is. It wasn't on the radio, there's no videos for it. We just said what we knew the block wanted to hear at the time. We knew we were changing the game.

"The song 'Criminal Minded,' the idea is so ironic. Big up to Ced Gee. He's the one that programmed the drums. Scott would come with the records and Ced Gee would program the drums. We were working at the Power Plant studio in Queens. The idea was revolutionaries. If you look at the cover of Criminal Minded, that's what we were saying modern-day Black Panthers are. I had the gun belt going over the shoulder, grenades. That wasn't hood. It wasn't like [we] had guns on the table like we were drug dealers — we had grenades. Real paramilitary stuff was on the table. We were showing ourselves to be revolutionaries. Gangsters are really intelligent. We're Black Panthers. We're not just dudes on the corner. Then when Criminal Minded came out — and I said it all over the record — 'I am a teacha!/ Others are gangs. It's the teacha, the teacha, the teacha!' Cats said, 'Oh no. You're the father of gangster rap.'

"On top of that, it wasn't our life that was gangster at all. We weren't selling drugs or none of that stuff. We were in the hood, we knew everybody. That wasn't our thing. Scott La Rock was a social worker; I was in the shelter. Even Just Ice, as wild as he was, he was still a Five Percenter. So he was following some kind of discipline.

All of us were. But what happened, the record came out and because of the battle with MC Shan, everybody thought, 'We're coming out hard core now. We're coming out like this.' And we did have a large crew. We had a couple of hundred people down with us and BDP at one time.

"After Scott was killed, I clarified the message with [the] Malcolm X [pose] on the [cover of BDP's 1988 album By All Means Necessary]. Trying to clarify, this is not about gangsterism, this is what revolutionaries look like. If you go back to the some of the revolutionary pictures of the Black Panthers, you'll see that same thing on Criminal Minded's album cover. It's just that over time, people didn't look at it for Black Panthers, they saw us in the hood with the gat and people started mimicking that, unfortunately."


Monday, November 8, 2010

YO! MTV raps. Fab 5 Freddy interview with Dr. Dre

part 2:

speaks on;
-The Helter Skelter album
-N.W.A reunion
-Oliver Stone
-Natural Born Killers
-Murder Was The Case
-Sam Sneed

Saturday, November 6, 2010

YO! MTV raps/Fab 5 Freddy interview with Ice Cube 1993

part 2;

-03:48-04:12 Speak on the Helter Skelter project
and mention the "You dont wanna see me"
track with Dr. Dre & George Clinton.
That later became "You Cant See Me" featuring 2Pac.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Willie D of the Geto Boys Sentenced To A Year In Prison

Geto Boys’ Willie D
was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for wire fraud charges yesterday.
In May 2009, he was arrested for
scamming $194,087.17 worth of Apple iPhones.
Willie’s currently out on bond until
he reports to serve his term.
Damn, he was playin’ tricks on ya.

Rap Radar

Willie D Talks Sentencing On Fox Houston

Last week Geto Boys’ Willie D was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for scamming iPhones. Willie D appeared on FOX 26 in Houston to speak on his situation, his reasons, and beginning his term on December 4th.

“Somebody did me wrong, somebody stole my phones, and so I did the same thing to somebody else. I didn’t necessarily steal their phones, I just didn’t ship them. I took the money and didn’t ship their orders. That’s what happened, and I felt justified in doing it, at the time. Of course, now, I realize I was wrong. I was grateful, ’cause it could have been a whole lot worse.”


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Public Enemy's Fan Funded Album A Success

Public Enemy raises $75,000 in fundraising money for their new album thanks to fans and fundraising site

Late last month iconic Hip Hop group Public Enemy announced via their Website that their attempt to raise funds for their upcoming album was a success.

“We just received word that our fund raising campaign has completed. This is truly a great moment for us and we owe it all to our fams on SellaBand - our true 'Believers,'” said the group via a statement made on

Thanks to Public Enemy was able to raise $75,000 for recording, marketing, and promotions for their new album. The group originally aimed for a $250,000 fundraising goal, but later recalculated the amount and brought it down to $75,000.

“As the title of this entry suggests, it has been a long and winding road,” said the group. “We've had explosive starts, media attention, corporate troubles, media criticism, recalculations and finally resurgence. When its all said and done, the bottom line is that we never lost faith in ourselves, our fams and the future of fan funding as a model.”

Public Enemy is currently on tour in Europe; it is unclear when the group plans on working on their new album.