Many people only associate Los Angeles when speaking about West Coast Hip-Hip, but if you ask Charles Bowens better known as Keak Da Sneak, the Bay Area is in the mix as well.
The “King Of Hyphy” himself has sat atop his throne for over 13 years with a catalog longer than O.J. Simpson and Adam “Pacman” Jones’ rap sheet put together.
Even though some still might disregard his accomplishments as just another flash in the pan, the longtime Bay Area Hip-Hop staple and veteran MC carries on by shrugging off the negativity as he continues to get “stupid with it.”
iHipHop.com: Most people regard you to be the “King of Hyphy,” for those that don’t know what it is, can you explain it a little bit?
Keak Da Sneak: There are a lot of definitions to Hyphy; you know what I mean? One of my personal definitions of it is to turn a negative into a positive.
But it’s really just a way of life, and it’s what we do. That’s just our way of having fun…
The word originally comes from the word “hyperactive,” and for me it’s like I have ADHD because I can’t be still… [Laughing]
iHipHop.com: [Laughs] What do you say to the people who consider the Hyphy movement to be just another gimmick to sell records out in the Bay?
Keak Da Sneak: What was the gimmick before that though? Before Hyphy, what was the other gimmick?
iHipHop.com: You tell me… [Laughs]
Keak Da Sneak: Hyphy has never been a gimmick, because it has always been in the Bay. It’s always been around; it was just never on a large scale like it is now.
iHipHop.com: In your opinion, what makes Bay Area Hip-Hop standout from all the other regions?
Keak Da Sneak: Everybody steals our sh*t before we can come out with it. But I think we have a harder sound than the other regions, like the East Coast and stuff like that. But some places don’t want to play our music, it’s like they’re scared of us or something like. Right now its like we have that Raider curse… [Laughs] You can call it the “Bay Area Curse.”
iHipHop.com: [Laughs]… Were you satisfied on how the last couple of projects you put out were received by the public?
Keak Da Sneak: Well yeah, everybody that got them; all I heard was good responses. With those albums, I do what I do. I sell 30-40,000 with no word-of-mouth, no video, or no radio.
iHipHop.com: With you being in the game for a while now, do you feel as if you’re competing against younger acts?
Keak Da Sneak: Not really because I feel like I’m one of the people who laid it out for the younger kids, especially from the Bay to come out and do their thing…