Posts Tagged ‘ interview ’

Montreality interview with R.A The Rugged Man

In this Interview with Montreality, R.A. The Rugged Man speaks about his upcoming Collaborations with Talib Kweli & Tech N9ne, the Story Behind his verse in ‘Uncommon Valor’ with Vinnie Paz, his upcoming Autobiography, the Key to Succes & More.

Maker Presents : Murs | DJ Quik

Both taking rise around the same time, Murs and DJ Quik reminisce about their days as two hip hop artists trying to make it in the game. Before all that, Quik remembers sitting in class at Compton Unified School District learning the craft to listen and molding him to be the legendary and reputable artist he is now.

Shot by: Robbie Jeffers, Grady Shon & Josh Ebner
Edited by: Grady Shon
Producer: Deeana Garcia

Intro Music by EOM

ALC sat down with DJ Pizzo (of

ALC sat down with DJ Pizzo to discuss details on his upcoming Russian Roulette LP (out June 26) along with upcoming collaborative efforts with Evidence (Step Brothers), Planet Asia + Killa Ben + Tri State (Doo-Rag Dynasty), Action Bronson (Rare Chandeliers), Roc Marciano, Boldy James. Al also spoke on the fate of rumored projects with Curren$y, Freddie Gibbs, and Vanilli.

Directed by Blake Michael for Firewalk Filmworks.

Phife Dawg (of ATCQ) Speaks On NaS’ Involvement In Tribe Doc [Video]

Psycho Realm’s 
Message Resonates As Strongly As Ever [via LAWeekly Music]

[Editor’s note: Weekly scribe Jeff Weiss’s column, “Bizarre Ride,” appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday. His archives are available here.]

Sick Jacken sees the gas mask wherever he goes. That’s the iconic emblem of Psycho Realm, the underground rap familia that he and his brother, Gustavo “Big Duke” Gonzalez, founded in the late 1980s as adolescents on the streets of Pico-Union. Since the mask was first used in the album artwork for Psycho Realm’s eponymous 1997 debut, Jacken has spotted it on the streets of L.A. barrios, at his daughter’s elementary school graduation, even in his parents’ ancestral hometown of Mazatlan, Mexico. Its ubiquity is testament to the group’s ability to transmute its experiences into sagas of the streets of any hood with shared social concerns and sense of struggle.

“We went on a tour of Mexico, and when I walked up the hill to my dad’s old house, the first thing I saw was a kid waiting on the steps for his grandma,” Jacken, who was born Joaquin Gonzalez, says at his three-room studio compound/tattoo parlor in an industrial park in Santa Fe Springs. “He walked over to me and says in Spanish, ‘Can I show you something?’ Then he picked up his pant leg and showed me the Psycho Realm tattoo.”
Adorned with a 1930s gangster fedora, the logo is based on a photo by noted local photographer Estevan Oriol. To Psycho Realm fans, it’s not merely a cool ghoulish image, it’s a flag of undying allegiance.

Jacken’s latest, Terror Tapes 2, a collaboration with fellow Pico-Union rapper Cynic, drops May 15 and builds on the connection painstakingly forged over 20 years of recording and rocking everything from Paid Dues to MEChA shows at Cal State Northridge, Big Duke’s alma mater. In fact, the group’s first break arrived after B-Real of Cypress Hill caught Psycho Realm at a 1994 benefit against neighborhood violence.

Soon after, the Cypress Hill star helped them get a record deal with Sony-Ruffhouse. So deep was B-Real’s admiration that he even joined Psycho Realm for their debut album, before amicably stepping back to let them forge their own path. Fans flocked not merely because of Psycho Realm’s ease at rapping in English and Spanish but also because it was the lone major Latin rap group chronicling the daily obstacles faced by first- and second-generation Mexican and Central Americans.

“Psycho Realm fans are as die-hard as Raiders fans. They buy the posters, the tickets and the shirts. [Jacken] is a people’s champion. He’ll sit and talk with his fans after the show, even have a drink with them,” says legendary Cypress Hill producer DJ Muggs, who collaborated with Jacken on the high-concept conspiracies of 2007 album The Legend of the Mask and the Assassin. “[Jacken] was an avid reader as a kid and has a unique inner vision for storytelling. He’s lived many years in a short time.”

Jacken’s story starts in Pico-Union, the largely Central American and Mexican American district near downtown, the area patrolled by LAPD’s infamously crooked Rampart Division and the equally notorious 18th Street and Mara Salvatrucha gangs. During the ’80s and ’90s, it regularly had among the highest crime and murder rates in L.A. But until the Rampart scandal broke in 1998, Psycho Realm might have been among the most prominent voices chronicling the havoc inflicted by LAPD’s Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH) Unit.

“They’d plant guns or drugs on homies right in front of you,” Jacken says. “I knew people who got million-dollar settlements after being shot by the cops, but most of them blew it or had the money taken by their attorneys while they were in jail. The CRASH unit would do drive-bys. They’d steal cars from other neighborhoods and bring them to Pico.”

Though Jacken never fell into the gang life, he could easily be mistaken for someone who had put in work, sporting all black, a menacing bald dome and sunken eye sockets that betray immense pain. That’s no accident. Beyond the childhood friends lost to the streets, Jacken’s brother and musical partner, Big Duke, became a quadriplegic after a 1999 shooting outside of the Original Tommy’s at Beverly and Rampart. A fight had broken out moments earlier, and the elder Gonzalez had the misfortune of walking across the street at the wrong time and catching a bullet to the neck.

The shooter was apprehended and imprisoned, but the incident’s impact derailed the group’s career. After a year in various hospitals, the elder Gonzalez returned home to begin a lengthy recovery. Today, he runs Psycho Realm’s merchandising and has begun producing other artists, but for the first several years after the shooting, a distraught Jacken lost himself in alcohol abuse.

By the release of 2003’s A War Story Book II, Jacken had regained his focus and began building the Psycho Realm brand into a mini empire, with its own merchandising, art and online promotions team. At this year’s Paid Dues Festival, the gas mask’s visibility was matched only by Wu-Tang and Odd Future merchandise.

Outside of the West, Psycho Realm are a niche group with a minor but fanatical fan base, but they regularly sell out shows in Mexico, Russia, Germany, Spain and South America. At home, they are proof that, even in the Internet age, legends can remain local.

“People identify because they look at us as their voice. We talk about things that affect the street and things that we’ve been through,” Jacken says. “When we get messages from fans, it’s always: ‘Your music changed my life.’ ‘I was fucking up on the streets.’ ‘I thought I had no future and now I’m going to school,’ or getting a job. Or ‘I lost a close relative to violence and your music helped me.’ I guess people use it as psychotherapy.”

via LaWeekly Music

Snowgoons – The Story Chapter 1 [Video Interview / EPK]

Check out the SNOWGOONS story! If you don’t know about them- google, youtube, research! It’s worth your while.

Rah Digga Speaks on Odd Future and Fat Trel Diss

You gotta respect her. Not many girls can spit like her.

EPMD Interview w/ Converse’s Oh, Hello

Legendary hip-hop duo EPMD discuss their early days from meeting in Brentwood to splicing tape together to make loops, and how to stay relevant in an ever-changing music scene.

Raekwon Talks Hologram 2Pac and Bringing Back ODB [Video]

The Chef checked into the VIBE offices yesterday where MikeyFresh from MissInfo’s homebase asked him about 2Pac’s hologram performance at Coachella and the possibility of bringing back ODB in 2-D form.

On 2Pac’s hologram:

“That was brilliant. I tip my hat to Dre because it really shows the sense of love he had for Pac,” Raekwon explains. “Just to see someone do it for the first time ever. We only seen sh*t like that on TV.”

On the possibility of a ODB hologram:

“It made me think about Ol’ Dirty, too, Rae says. “I would definitely have to have a understanding with his moms. I think it all starts with [her] respect level. If [she] want us to do it and they feel like it’s cool that’s when we would continue to move on and do that. I wouldn’t jump up out of the blue and just say ‘yo I want to reincarnate your son this way.’ I think it’s important that you give moms respect for her son.”

Prodigy Speaks on Mobb Deep F*ckery [Video]

While on the air with Cipha Sounds and Rosenberg, P breaks down the whole hoopla that’s been surrounding himself and Hav over the past couple weeks.

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