by Mark 'Eastbase' Thompson
The Bay Area is arguably Hiphopís MoTown. Itís seen everything form the first Ďpopí act Ė Hammer Ė to the first Pimp rapper Ė Too Short Ė to the most diverse slanguist Ė E-40 Ė and the most dedicated rider Ė Spice 1.
Spice 1 has been doing this gangster rap shit for a hot minute right now, a total of 12 years since his debut independent release "Let It Be Known" dropped in 1991. Itís been a long stretch with 8 albums under his belt, and a gang of compilations and guest appearances to his name. Under-appreciated albums like "Black Bossalini", "1990-Sick" and the recent "Spiceberg Slim" weighing in along side undeniable classics "187 He Wrote", "AmeriKKKaís Nightmare" and his self titled "Spice 1" release make Spice 1 an artist who is familiar with both the ups and downs of public and professional opinion.
Catching up with Spice 1 in Las Vegas on the eve of completion toward his new album "The Ridah" result sin an interesting insight into both his own music and the Bay Areaís history.. When I caught up with him, he was enjoying a casual game of GTA where he was engaging in the healthy execution of a few digital police officers.
Whatís been popping with Spice 1?
Man, Iím just trying to get this album out there like it should be, you know? Itís called ĎThe Ridahí Like the Raiders? And the album cover is the Raiders, but itís me...You know? The Raiders patch? Itís tight, itís like a movie and shit. We got Kurupt, Kokane, (on vocals) Goldie Loc from the Eastsidaz, and Battle Cat making the tracks.. Right now we got about 3 more songs to do. And my marketing plan, right now in my head is to have a video out before the album drops.
What was the situation with Jive, which lead you to leave?
It was like, they were getting too far into Britney Spears and NSYNC and I really wasnít feeling that.
I read in the Vibe History of Hiphop that you had an album called "Full Metal Jacket", did that ever happen?
No. Never was. They get a gang of shit twisted. Instead of doing like you and calling and talking to me, they just make it all up.
No doubt. Did you have any trouble getting Kurupt on the album considering all the problems with Tha Row right now?
As far as I know, me and Suge is kinda like Ė we ok, you know? Between me and him weíre ok. Oakland and L.A is like 6 hours apart, so when I come to L.A Iím really not in the same beef they are in because Iím not from out there so me and Suge we never really had no problems.
Letís talk about the Bay area for a minute. Whoís about to blow out there?
The Independent artists out there donít get no love on the radio out there. Itís some bullshit. On the radio out there itís just down south music and east coast music. You very really hear - you might here the odd E-40 remix but if you hear 40 on there thatís it. They donít play none of my shit, they donít play Yukmouth, they donít play none of it and they really donít have a DJ that promotes local stuff on the radio station. Like on every radio station thereís always one DJ who plays local stuff from the streets and plays it on the radio. They donít have none out in the Bay area. If you not playing what the dude who runs the radio station says then youíre fired.
What about Davey D?
Davey D holding it down, he has got a new radio station. That is the most down motherfucken DJ there has ever been. He has the most respect. The only reason I can think of that heís not up there on the big radio stations is because he has the streets. Like, heís always understood how the music comes from the streets and heís respected by the streets. And they (the radio stations) arenít really down with that. They want robots. No contact with the streets at all.
Are the artists in the Bay going to do something about that?
If I could, I would, I mean if I could be a DJ up there or something. They (the artists) ainít got no hope out there you know? They (the stations) donít have any shows to play all the local songs and have people vote for the tightest song. They donít have nothing like that.
And that pisses me off, cause all you hear is down south music and east coast music. You never hear anything form the west. And then you go down south and then you hear west coast music. You go to the south and the mid west and you can hear West coast music, but you go to the East and you donít hear anything except West coast music.
What about everybody right now eating off Pac?
Everybody eating off Pac. Ja Rule, Nelly all them cats. What pisses me off is the rap crowd and the audience should say something about it. I canít, I mean I been there and I seen already. What pisses me off is they know damn well that Pac did not like Nas or motherfucken Jay-Z. And they playing the song on the radio. That shit is outrageous, and it makes me mad as fuck. It makes you wanna take one of their motherufcken beats and rap about them on it.
But the thing is, if I did that then the West Coast is hated on that much if I did that the shit I probably wouldnít even get heard. If I die and someone do that shit to me (steal my beats and rap about me knowing I didnít like them) I swear if thereís a way for me to come back I would just to serve they ass..
I already told my homeboys, I said; "If I die nigga, and any of these niggas that I didnít like make a song try to be like me, whoop they motherfucking ass. Check these niggas. They know goddamn well Pac didnít like them niggas man.
Motherfuckers like Pac Ė Pac liked to have beef with you. If you had beef with him, heíd take that shit till you bow the fuck down. [he was like] Them niggas didnít bow down, so fuck them niggas. If I still feel like ĎFuck them niggaz" I still feel like Pac feels "Fuck them niggas". Even though he dead and motherfuckers are saying ĎLet him rest in peaceí. Fuck that shit, that ainít got nothing to do with niggas biting his shit. They trying to get over on his name, and make money off his name. And niggas like me who knew him and who kicked it with him and was actually in the studio with him TOGETHER know what Iím saying? That pisses me off like ĎYaíll donít even know my homeboyí. Yaíll is some bitch ass niggaz for real. How can you make a song about a nigga when you ainít even been in his face and kicked it with him?
Thatís why you ainít seen Spice 1 rapping about other motherfuckers. If you do, believe me iím looking for that motherfucker with a pistol too. If Iím rapping about him, believe me Iím looking for him too. Thatís why I donít have time to fuck with these little cats out here. They canít fuck with the í85 gangsters, you know what iím saying?
I donít even consider what they doing today as rapping. They making the shit for the little kids. The kids are liking it and thatís whatís cracking, theyíre doing that but I ainít planning to get down with that.
The shit that I talk, I can walk through any motherfucker hood and niggaz will respect me. Because I look like iíll whoop a motherfuckers ass. These young ass niggaz look like if they threw their hardest motherfucking punch they wouldnít even hurt a fly. I mean, they donít look like theyíre going to get down like that. So, why are they spitting that shit then complaining when someone come at em on some gangsta shit? They wanna complain to the crowd like Ďoh we just rappers and entertainersí. Rap about what you do! Not about some gangster shit thinking motherfuckers ainít gonna test you. Thatís why I got like 6 gun cases in three different states and shit because I keep my motherfucking heat with me.
Alot of these motherfuckers, their past ainít add up to what they are now. Or what theyíre saying they are now. Like 50 Cent came right out to Ja Rule and said you ainít a gangster. You never popped nothing nigga.
Itís hard to respect this music shit now, you know? You canít look at this like itís real. You have to look at it like itís a cartoon. Itís real that weíre watching it, and itís funny, but itís not REAL. These niggas ainít real, cause a real motherfucker you would know right away Ė Like 50 Cent, Iímma tell you a joke he said, only a gangster would know this joke. That motherfucker said on 106 & Park when he got on 106 & Park and they asked him about a gun case you know what the motherfucker said? "It wasnít me, I didnít do it". He said those exact words. Thatís gangster comedy right there. Half the motherfuckers when he said that wasnít laughing Ė Me, when I saw it I was sitting in front of the T.V laughing my motherfucking ass off.
You got real motherfuckers like that, then you got other cats playing around.
When I made ĎPeace To My Nine', I really had the nine with a loaded clip, at every show, performing on stage and running through the crowd. The point was that we didnít give a fuck. That was the point. I would go in the bank with my motherfucken pistol.
Music has just turned into a movie.
Hell yeah, itís a joke right now. The poetry is gone. They wonít let us have any more Tupacs. Thereís no more cause they wonít let us have them. Thereís Tupacís all round this motherfucker, but they wonít let us hear them cause theyíre scared of what that motherfucker is trying to say.
I remember when Pac was like "I just sold 6 million records. The President only got 2 million votes. Shit, I could run for President" and that scared the shit out of them (the establishment).
People shy away from that.
Hell yeah, cause theyíre scared. I want my daughter to know that the world isnít all peaches and cream, and that sheís going to go through some shit as a woman, as a black woman...Sheís going to go through a lot of presidents and a lot of things.
But thatís been the history of America, right? Take all the bad things and sweep them under the rug.
Thatís why I named my album "AmeriKKKaís Nightmare". They do not want to see this. I got money, I got guns, and Iím pissed. You know? They donít wanna see that, you know coming from Oakland the shit goes so deep with the Black Panthers and everything they donít want nobody to be like the Panthers or none of that where we can get out and speak like that.
My pops was a Panther, you know? Iím the son of a Panther. So my poetry goes deep. It goes deep and itís real, you know? Because my pops used to read poetry to me when I was little like 9 year sold and shit and some of the same shit iím spitting now on my records is poetry he read to me when I was like 9 years old and all of the shit turns out to be true. I can spit the same shit in 2003.
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