Ever heard the expression, “Walk the walk, talk the talk”? Well if you haven’t, the basic definition of it is to practice what you preach. In the world of Hip-Hop, very few follow this philosophy (as shown by the whole Rick Ross debacle).
But one individual that can’t be denied when it comes to legitimizing his history happens to be none other than West Coast staple, Spice 1.
For over two decades, the man born as Robert Green has solidified his place in the ever-changing genre with albums like 187 He Wrote, AmeriKKKa’s Nightmare, and Immortalized.
Not even his near-death experience back in 2007 by being fatally shot in the chest could put the breaks on his career, and most importantly his life.
The music industry might be different from when he first entered it, but one thing is certain—once a gangsta always a gangsta; as you’ll soon read about down below.
iHipHop.com: What have you been up to lately?
Spice 1: I just been holding it down baby, you know I got to hold it down…
iHipHop.com: [Laughs]… Any material you happen to be holding it down with?
Spice 1: Ah man, I got a surprise coming for y’all… [Laughs] I got a surprise for my fans… I got some hot sh*t, and it’s how my fans wanted me to come back, so that’s how I’m coming back…
iHipHop.com: With all that you’ve accomplished in the game, how do you still remain driven?
Spice 1: As far as that goes, I’m an artist man… I’m a natural poet, and I’ve been writing poetry since I was 10-12 years old.
So it would be a shame if I never wrote down all of the thoughts that came through my head, because it’s some hot sh*t that I think up. I can’t just hold it back like Rakim… That’s how I feel; you know what I’m saying?
iHipHop.com: How do you feel about West Coast Hip-Hop right now? Do you feel like the talent pool is pretty deep?
Spice 1: They’re holding it down, but like they say: Hip-Hop floats around world and the Untied States. It hit the West Coast, it hit the East Coast, and it hit down South. But the West Coast just has to hold their ground, like we’ve been doing it. As far as the young cats out here, they have a long way to go, but as long as they’re holding it down, I don’t have any complaints.
iHipHop.com: I had the opportunity to talk to another veteran MC, and he said he doesn’t like how older acts don’t respect the younger MC’s coming up, and how they [older acts] use their veteran card as a crutch. Would you agree or disagree?
Spice 1: As far as me, I would never do that and I disagree with it… That’s like me watching someone about to fall off a cliff, and me not telling him—I’d be wrong for that. If you try and tell the little n*ggas something and they don’t want to listen, let them learn the hard way. I got love for all the little n*ggas, because I was once a little n*gga. But when they get in my position, they’re going to want a mothaf*cka to respect them the same way.
iHipHop.com: Is there anything different you would’ve done if you could start your career over?
Spice 1: I’m happy the way sh*t came out, because mothaf*ckas know I kept it real and kept it G the whole time. I got into the game for more of a respect thing, and being able to walk through any ‘hood I wanted to at any time… That’s what I got in the game for, and that’s what I got—RESPECT!
Right now I’m in the middle of a Blood neighborhood in Sacramento, [CA] called Oak Park, and I can walk anywhere in this mothaf*cka I want to, and ain’t nobody going to say sh*t besides, “What’s up Spice 1.”
iHipHop.com: But do you think your whole mentality of not changing a little bit hurt you in terms of reaching a bigger fan base?
Spice 1: I think it didn’t hurt me at all because if a mothaf*cka ain’t a real n*gga, he ain’t going listen to that sh*t. I don’t want some fake-ass n*ggas listening to my sh*t anyways… All I want is real mothaf*ckas listening to my sh*t. I’m not Hyphy, I’m not Crunk, or that other sh*t. I do strictly Gangsta Rap Music… So all of my fans have to be some real mothaf*ckas…
iHipHop.com: Was there ever a time in your career when you thought about hanging it up?
Spice 1: Yeah when a lot of these fake-ass n*ggas came into the game… [Laughs] They come in make it seem like the game you’re in is a fake one to the rest of the world, and that makes you not want to be a part of that sh*t.
If y’all are going to be walking around acting all phony and jumping around like b*tch-ass n*ggas—I’m not that that type of n*gga. While these n*ggas are doing Superman dances, I’m over here lifting weights on puffing on blunts because that’s just me, and I’m a 90’s gangsta…
iHipHop.com: Speaking of the Superman, [Laughs] I read that you defended Ice T in his quick feud with Soulja Boy. So you felt that he [Ice T] had a right to speak on him [Soulja Boy], even though they’re from completely two different generations?
Spice 1: I felt like when I was Soulja Boy’s age a lot of n*ggas were talking sh*t to me too… But I took constructive criticism; and it made me the hardest mothaf*cka in gangsta rap in my area.
If you’re practicing Kung Fu, and your master pops you on top of your head and tells you that you did something wrong—then mothaf*cka you did something wrong! He [Ice T] been doing this sh*t for years, and he’s trying to tell you what’s up. As far as Ice T goes: Any n*gga that had on a Rolex in ’85 got my mothaf*ckin’ respect…
The n*gga was robbing banks and wearing Rolex’s in ’85, so how the hell is Soulja Boy going to diss that n*gga?! But Ice T can learn a lot from Soulja Boy, and Soulja Boy can learn a lot from Ice T. It’s the same way, but n*ggas don’t need to be dissing each other at all. It’s just that Ice T is an OG, so whatever he says, people should take that and learn from it.
iHipHop.com: So what’s next for Spice 1? Any idea on how much longer you want to be in this game?
Spice 1: I’m just going to keep on recording and keep on doing my thing, because I couldn’t quit if I wanted to. That’s because thoughts keep coming into my mind, and I’m always going to be writing some gangsta sh*t. I can’t just collect those thoughts, and not use them.
iHipHop.com: Any new talent out there that you want to work with?
Spice 1: I’ll f*ck with any new talent… If the n*gga is hard, I’m f*cking with him! But if they can’t rap, then I’m going to distance myself from their asses. I’m the OG in this game that believes in mastering your craft, and if you didn’t master your craft I can’t f*ck with you… So any young n*gga that can get in and rap, I’m f*cking with him no problem…