Ok, let me lay out the background scenario that led up to this interview. Back in 2006, there was some funk between the OG artists of the West Coast and the new one’s that were coming out. No matter what you hear these days, it was serious – serious enough for WC to have a secret meeting with Snoop Dogg about how to deal with the situation. I know because I was there. One night out in Burbank, CA while Snoop was rehearsing for an MTV show, WC came out to the facility to meet with him. I was there as a guest too and while Snoop was doing his thing with his band, Dub and I just kind of hung out. At first it was awkward because I felt a weird vibe. Up to this point we had never met but it was clear he knew who I was and who I hung around with. I had two strikes going against me. First, I was a friend to some of the artists he was having problems with and second, I was (and still am) Jazzy D’s homeboy. Jazzy and Dub went way back and he even did the “Granny” voice on his albums in the past, but the two weren’t seeing eye to eye at the time (that’s long been cleared up, by the way). So Dub walks up to me and says, “You’re Jazzy’s homeboy, aren’t you?” Not knowing if there was going to be any conflict next, I just replied truthfully that yes, I am Jazzy’s good friend. Dub was silent for a moment, then smiled, extended his hand and said, “It’s all good, man.” And after that we hit it off … Since then I’ve done a few interviews with him and his brother Crazytoones and whenever we run in to each other, it’s all love. This here is the first interview that we did together and it came a year after that first encounter. Dub was promoting his “Guilty by Association” and we spoke about that and other things such as the West Coast old/new artist beef, the Low Profile group with DJ Aladdin, and his friendship with Ice Cube. In this re-release, I’ve edited out the album promotion parts and just kept the stories. Enjoy! P.S. – The next feature on Raptalk is going to be a “new” interview! Get ready!
Interview by Tim Sanchez
TS: How are your feelings about the West Coast these days? I remember last year you were kind of “iffy” about some of the new cats. Is that all squared away?
WC: I wasn’t “iffy” about the new cats, never. I was coming in saying that no way ever will I accept any disrespect from anybody. I am not going to accept no disrespect from anybody in this game, new or old – you are not going to disrespect me. Any niggas coming in saying, “Fuck the old niggas” – It’s like, “Whoa! Time out! Who’s saying this?” That whole thing was my reply to a couple of cats out there doing that. I had a talk with a few of the new cats and their whole intent wasn’t to come out and disrespect the G’s that laid the foundation down. My intent wasn’t to go out and disrespect everybody that’s new that’s coming up in the game, not at all. Anybody that knows me and looks at my history will know that I always fuck with new niggas, no matter what. But my whole thing was me just sitting and accepting shit, I am not going to lay low! You are not going to say whatever the fuck you want and have me not reply back. I wasn’t going to say anything, I will just see you out in the streets but a lot of these niggas want to hide on the internet so I came out and said what I said. After that I hollered at a couple of cats and we are squared it away. We are all good. I wish everybody much love and success that are out here on the West trying to do it.
You asked a question about my take on the West Coast? I feel that the West has got a lot of talent. I just feel that we are not accepted by the mainstream in America. We are not accepted by these video, radio outlets and other publications – they don’t fuck with us – and now it’s forced to be underground. West Coast hip hop on a whole is underground. Whether niggas want to accept it or not, it’s underground. The only way that our shit breaks is by breaking it out here in the streets. We can’t worry about radio stations playing out shit because they don’t fuck with us like that but we always fuck with them like that. The one thing they always say about L.A. radio is that they always play people’s shit from out of town. I remember turning on the radio out here and hearing that song that says, “When the East is in the house, oh my God, danger!” …. You will never hear no shit like that on the East Coast radio about us out here. On the countdown? Get the fuck out of here!
TS: Why is there such a bias against us? What the hell did we do?
WC: There’s a lot of shit that went down in the past, ya know?
TS: That was 10 years ago! They are still holding on to that?
WC: You’ve got to realize that we came out and showed niggas how to make money. We were proud of where we came from, and you can rule shit for only so long. Niggas be like, “Fuck you” when they get on top and they don’t want to let it go (laughs), but a lot of the artists out there is cool. When we cross, we all chop it up. They are just doing them.
TS: Anything else on the horizon after this album for you? Or have you not planned that far ahead?
WC: Yeah, I’ve got a couple of flicks, a couple of movies that I’ve been working on. Also I will be out on the road soon coming to a hood near you. After this record right here, we are coming back with another Cube record, “Raw Footage.”
TS: Now that you bring up Cube, tell us what it’s been like working with him for all of these years. I know that you guys have known each other way back before you guys were ever stars.
WC: It’s been good man. It’s been like a family relationship. Sometimes you might get mad at a nigga like, “Man, fuck you!” and he might be like, “Fuck you too!” (laughs)… But at the end of the day, it’s all love, no matter what. We will be there for each other and that’s just the way it’s got to be man.
TS: That is pretty rare because friendships that are that old don’t always last that long for one reason or another. There’s usually something that will come up between folks ….and you know…
TS: But you two have seem to have stuck together for so long….
WC: It’s been a blessing man to have a real friend in this world. I think the key to the length of our friendship has been not tripping off of the way the other one reacts or how the other one acts. He knows how I am and I know how he is. He can say something that I don’t agree with or I can do something that he don’t agree with, as long as he knows that it’s not out of spite and as long as I know that it’s not out of spite, which we don’t do.
When we are in the studio working, I knew exactly what to do to make this record solid and in turn I trusted Cube’s vision and where he wanted to take the record. I knew that lyrically I had to chop motherfuckers up and I knew production-wise it had to sound big, but I came in and let him drive the car. I brought him a lot of the beats and he threw some out but he pulled a lot out too. On the hooks, he challenged me by suggesting that maybe I could come up with something better. At the end of the day it’s big. We got it crackin’ on this record.
TS: Now going back a little in time here, I was talking to DJ Aladdin recently and he told me that you started out as a beat-boxer!
WC: Yeah man, I was beat-boxing like a motherfucker (laughs)…. I was down with hip hop in whatever way I could be. I was pretty damn good too!
TS: Back in those days, we all used to try to beat box (laughs)… But that was cool how you were able to make that transition to step up as a rapper in the Low Profile group. You had replaced someone, right?
WC: Actually there were 3 of us, but one of the dudes went to college up north – a dude named Zero. He was the one that actually introduced me to Aladdin. We rode it out. Aladdin was so cold on the wheels! At the time in hip hop you had the DJ and the rapper: Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Eric B & Rakim, Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five – it was a DJ driven market. Aladdin was killing all of them contests, scratching with an up-tempo record but he was like, “Fuck all of that! I can showcase my skills but on some gangsta shit.” We played the music for Priority Records and motherfuckers lost their mind, and that was it.
TS: That “Pay Ya Dues” track was something else…. Too bad we couldn’t have seen a 2nd album from you guys though.
WC: Like you said earlier, unfortunately in a lot of relationships you go your own ways. I have never once said anything negative about Aladdin other than that I wish him much success. A lot of people came up with that bullshit line that “musically we couldn’t agree or see eye to eye” but none of that shit was serious. We had internal problems with the label and shit like that which kind of put a strain on the relationship – but we even still tried to come up with another album before it was time for us to eventually just move on.
TS: You guys all used to practice in Sir Jinx’s garage back then, right?
WC: We used to battle, me and Cube -battling and rapping. They couldn’t shut that garage on a nigga soon enough. I used to be up in there for hours.
TS: So you and Cube used to battle?
WC: We all used to back in the day, going back and forth. He was coming with it too and I would come with it also. It wasn’t like anybody was serving each other. We would go back and forth. He would rap and come with some crazy shit and then I would do it. You know what’s a trip? We went our own ways because we went to different schools at the time, then Cube was down with Dre, King Tee, DJ Pooh, Scotty D and them and I was fuckin’ with DJ Aladdin. Everybody had their own cliques and shit, and it tripped me out because I used to hear so much about N.W.A. and I knew a gang of them but I didn’t realize that Cube was the one putting it down like that and writing a lot of the shit. When I found out what was going on over there, I had a record coming out on Priority Records called “Pay Ya Dues.” Shortly after that Cube went solo and it was perfect with me being from the same neighborhood and a child-hood homie to fall right in.
TS: I did see you guys work a lot together when you formed WC & Tha Maad Circle. Cube would be in your videos and stuff…. It’s a trip the way that you’ve developed over all of these years. I remember the “Pay Ya Dues” days and then you developed that unique quick-rapid flow.
WC: I want to turn this around and ask “you” a question on some real shit. Who do you know, and give me a real name, that raps like WC?
TS: You are your own guy….
WC: And that’s how I am going down…. That’s how I want my name to be remembered. I had my own unique style. Even the motherfuckers that front on me can’t say that I don’t have my own style.
TS: When did you develop it? When did you start making that transition to the rapper that you are today? Really finding your niche?
WC: It was during Curb Servin’… a couple of lines I was hittin’ on Curb Servin and I was telling myself, “You know what? Nobody is fucking with it like this.” It was off of the title track and I said, “Never would-a, but-da-but could-a.” I kept repeating that to myself and was like, “Shit! Let me step up my craft and master this.” I did that more and more and when we did the Connect album, it was curtains. I did all that “Connect-gang-bi-di-bang.” Then I did the “Shadiest One” album and just ran with it all from there.