HHC: How’s it feel, to finally be up on MTV, BET and all that?
Big Rich: It feels good man, the hard work is paying off and it feels accomplished. But there’s still a lot more work to do, a lot more work to do.
HHC: How Do you feel about the Bay Area Hip Hop Scene Right Now?
Big Rich: I think its definitely long overdue, there’s more work to do though, I came out, 40 (E-40) dropped, Mistah Fab, Keak Da Sneak, and them to drop. We need the support, we need the unity, not no problems and shit, going on, that’s not gonna help this movement. I think I’m bringing something new to the movement, especially with my style not necessarily be Hyphy, which is showing the country that “well, there’s more out there than Hyphy” that’s a good look, more work to do, but I’m 100% down with the movement, I’m on of the front runners, I’m definitely wit it, cuz its’ bringing the spotlight to this area, but we gotta keep pushing.
HHC: What do you say to all the critics saying that Hyphy is a knock off of Crunk, and that we have no talent, people passing prejudgments on everyone coming out of the Bay etc.?
Big Rich: You’re gonna get those stereotypes, but I feel like at the same time, if they talkin’ about you, then you must be doing something right, if its good or bad, I feel I’m definitely bringing that alternative to the “hyphyness” to show the world that there’s more than that, if that’s a problem. Even if it ain’t, music is music, man. Hyphy is more than just music, it’s a culture, it’s a movement. There’s all kinds of different shit that goes on with the Hyphy movement, and I’m just playin’ my part. So I let the critics talk because that’s there job, I think The Bay should continue what they’re doing, and don’t worry about what they say, cuz it ain’t gonna stop us, only if they let it. You know what I’m saying?
HHC: What about all these swagger jackers, you know, out here in The Bay, we got our own style, swagger, slang, you know E-40 is the godfather of a lot of this “slanguage” in the rap game these days, what do you feel about all these rappers, not necessarily from the East Coast, or Down South, but just all around in general, who come up with stuff like “poppin’ my collar” and “ya dig?” and all that type of stuff, what do you feel about that?
Big Rich: I feel like it went on for long enough. At one point its slathering that mothafuckas is stealin’ your style, but when they continue to steal your style, that becomes an issue, because we was already in a drought, gettin’ no exposure, then you see people takin’ it and you see people buildin’ off what we started, but we’re here to take it back, so its like now, we’re gettin’ the spotlight now, so there’s no reason to let these dudes steal from us anymore, we just gotta keep pushin’. I feel like we can’t complain about nothin’ anymore, we just got more things to do. My record “That’s The Business” wasn’t getting no radio play, when we released it to the radio stations in April. So I hit the streets, and the streets got behind me, and we shot a video, with our own money, and that video made it to 106 and Park, and it made it to Direct Effect on MTV, it made it to MTV Jam of the Week, so instead of complaining, I just worked harder, and I think a lot of other people need to do the same. If we’re behind, we just need to keep pushing.
HHC: What made you decide to go with Koch??
Big Rich: I get this question a lot, because Koch is a situation where artists go when they are towards the end of their careers. We got the independent game out here in the bay area, and we know how to do it, so I’d rather get this deal with Koch and my pockets be safe, and when its time to go negotiate with the Warner Bros. and the Atlantic’s, and the Def Jam’s, which is already all calling us right now, our money is set, so we ain’t in no rush for no deal, like I don’t want to sit there and take whatever they throw us cuz we’re desperate, we go in there with our own money, so we got more power, a lot more leverage, and with a name, because when I came out, we beat out Chris Brown, Letoya Luckett, we beat out about five major artists for MTV’s “Jam of the week” so its like if we can do that on Koch, then what we gonna do once we get on a major deal? So it was kind of a way to make the money bigger, once we go and sign with a major. Warner Bros. is looking like a good move right now, but we’re not signing anything until we’re done here over at Koch.
HHC: How’d you hook up with J-Hood& Sheek Louch?
Big Rich: That was definitely the Koch hook up, going out there to New York back and forth a lot, you know, I got to meet those dudes, and we said we was gonna get down a hook up, but the last time we went out to New York, we were getting ready to wrap the album up, and they showed me love. It was all good.
HHC: How was
Big Rich: They definitely got their perceptions, I mean they definitely don’t take a lot of us seriously, in rap, so I tried to be a proper representation of us and they love it. I’ve been doing interviews with a lot of
Speaking of that, you’re from the Fillmore District in
Big Rich: Hahaha, it’s the swag, it’s the City. You know
HHC: What’s with the Done Deal Family? What’s next for them?
Big Rich: They’re definitely doing their thing. I think San Quinn is doing his album, Ya Boy I believe is still affiliated. I’m really not sure what’s coming up next for them, they got a whole new roster out there. We’re still family though, I still talk to them all the time, but right now, we’re kind of on separate pages now.
HHC: So you got any promotional tours coming up?
Big Rich: We’re hitting up everywhere, we got about 35 shows booked from here to Atlanta, Miami, Midwest, Denver, St. Louis, Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, North and South Carolina, everywhere, we gotta sell this cd.
HHC: So right now, on MTV Jams all I seem to see pretty much, is Bay Area control. The Frontline had jam of the week, Champ Bailey, has lots of spins, Messy Marv & Guce, Keak Da Sneak, Turf Talk, is MTV Jams put together by certain regions, or is this nationwide? Is this what everyone is seeing by watching MTV Jams?
Big Rich: It’s 100% nationwide. We went out there to service the video, and the guys who run it are straight out of
HHC: So why’d you hook up with E-40 on this album, since you’ve always been affiliated with San Quinn and the Done Deal Family?
Big Rich: When the whole split happened, E-40 took a lot of interest into the album, and he’s real close friends with Charles, the former CEO of Done Deal, and the current CEO of our label, Street Cred. He was really close with him, and he came in as on some A&R shit for us, he was helping me getting this and that, getting’ the music, and as he saw how good my album was sounding so he put his stamp and his name on it and it was really a blessing, he didn’t have to do it, he just felt so good about the project, so he did it.
HHC: So in you’re video for “That’s the business” you have E-40 and Mista Fab in it and they come from infamous “rival” record labels Sick Wit It, and Thizz. Streets are talkin’ about some recent beef? How were they both in the same video?
Big Rich: Well, them two dudes. It’s some personal shit with the whole Thizz, Sick Wit It issue it’s a real personal family issue. So as far as Fab and E-40, they didn’t cross into that, that’s some internal beef going on with them, like Lil’ Bruce, and Fab stayed out of it. And the whole video in general, all them dudes in front of that green gate, all them niggas was trying to kill each other the day before, literally. We were looking at niggas that was bustin’ guns at each other days before, so that whole video was just unity, it was showing that we can get together and do something positive. They came out and supported and its been peaceful in the hood ever since.
HHC: So what’s it going to take for the Bay Area to be in the forefront of hip hop, like the hotness, Houston had it, Atlanta had it, The Bay Area seems like they’re picking it up, and we need to hold on to it. What do we need to do to put our stamp and get the respect from the critics, the fans, and other regions?
Big Rich: Consistency, bra. We gotta stay banging them in their heads with this shit. We gotta stay together, I think the music and the talent is going to speak for itself but we gotta maintain momentum. If we fall off and start beefing with each other, it’s not gonna work. What I noticed about Bay Area rappers, there’s a lot of insecure people with their talent, and that’s the number one reason they’re scared to see the next man shine, cuz they feel like its’ less of a chance for them to shine, and that’s crazy, because the more people that come out of the Bay Area and blow up, the better chance all of us got. You want to be the one to bring The Bay back, for what? You ain’t gonna win no awards for that. Be happy for every person, and be confident in yourself that you got what it takes to make it. I’m confident in myself, I knew I couldn’t be overlooked for so long. I just waited my turn, and now I’m getting what’s owed to me.
HHC: So to wrap this up, where can they pick up “Block Tested, Hood Approved” album?
Big Rich: Well, it’s been selling out everywhere, Koch I believe didn’t expect the buzz and I don’t think Koch really anticipated what would happen, it’s everywhere, local mom and pops, Target, Wal-Mart. I don’t think my product was put in the right area at the right time, but they made all of this happen. Go cop it!