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View Full Version : Big Hutch Interview Part 1!



Watts
06-15-2010, 04:14 AM
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First of all, pretty much everyone was asking whatís going on with the new above the law album?

Big Hutch: Well you know im mixing it right now so itís definitely in effect. Itís called ďVictims Of Global PoliticsĒ. So its coming out.. mixing that. Thatís it so far, I donít want to give too much up until we actually sit down with Above The Law and get it in you know.

But its definitely coming out?

BH: Most definitely, Itís definitely coming out!

When did you realize you made it in the music business?

BH:: Well umm, I guess I realized when I heard my record on KDAY. I mean as far as actually made it as far as the success part or just having a record out? I mean when Livin Like Hustlers came out, the day I seen it in the store I felt like I really made it. You know but actually the feeling of, Iím doing something that I always dreamed about doing was when I first heard murder rap on KDAY. Like I MADE IT, As far as, once you see a record in the store, you really feel like ďIím in the game nowĒ.

What do you feel is the future of g-funk, since I mean, you pioneered it.

BH: Right, Well you know, I feel the future of G-Funk is this: Whenever we make a record, Itís definitely going to be funky from the Gís perspective. You know what I mean? Thatís the whole science on g-funk - basically. I mean as long as we keep doing it thereís a great future for it. I think that other people donít really understand what g-funk really is and donít really get the originators and innovators of it, they may say ďwell if this persons not doing it or that persons not doing it, well itís not really relevantĒ; But as long as Above The Law keep putting out records, G-Funk definitely has a great future.

Aight ya, I peeped out your ďFresh out The PenĒ Album and itís got the old feel with the new.

BH: Exactly! You know one thing about us is that, we always want to look Ė and me as a producer - Like I always want to look at the game where, you can do new things but as long as you keep, you involved in it, and you donít get into, the industry standard of whatís going on and whatís relevant, then you will always be ok, because what may catch, itís like say for instance right now; People know about g-funk , know g-funk from certain other projects and then we put out a record and it goes top ten and multi, triple, quadruple platinum or whatever. Then what is everybody going to do? Theyíre going to want G-funk, you know? And what we never want to do is Ė We never want to put out records that arenít a reflection of how we feel in that point in the game. So in other words , when we did Livin Like Hustlers, we didnít want Black Mafia Life to sound like livin like hustlers. We didnít want Uncle Sams Curse to sound like Black Mafia Life, you know what I mean? And so on and so on. So just like now to bring up to speed, talking about Fresh Out The Pen and then we talked about the Victims of global politics thatís coming out, Itís definitely going to be flavorful like weíve always done and its always going to have that g-funk feeling because thatís us. ut itís definitely going to be a step into the future. Ya dig? If you want the old record Ė the special thing about it is going back and getting the old record . If you want the new record itsí just as special because its what we are now. You know, anything that im going to do..Iím never going to do anything thatís trendy, imma set a trend. Imma try to take it to the next level because creatively thatís what I believe that people want from a person thatís creating something.

Ya it seems a lot of the fans are stuck in the past. You know? They want the artist to keep doing what they always did and it doesnít work out that way.

BH: Thank you! See here it is: The beautiful thing about that is that, you do have to do that; But what you have to pay attention to is Ė You have to always look at, what are artistís doing? If an artist is doing something thatís an industry standard, then the fans will be turned off. If an artist is doing something new thatís them, they respect it. You know what I mean? Because I think the only reason that they buy us is because were artists I donít think they buy us because were robots. I think that the fans really have it on point but I canít, the thing about me is that you have to respect my growth , you have to respect where Iím trying to go to and what Iím trying to do as an artist as well. You have to realize I never had fans when I put my first record out. It was all me and my homies on the block doing records . You know what I mean? talking about what was going on. So when I got those fans from doing that, they have to understand that Iím going to continue to have the ideas that I have. Now if I change that for, say for instance I start imitating Kanye West, theyíll pull my card. You know what I mean? Because Iím not doing what I originally started doing and thatís putting a beat on a record

Aight, aight.

BH: So you canít really knock the fans. You know people stop me in grocery stores , in the gym or wherever and be like ďhey man you know, you need to do that real shit,, that real shit you know?Ē Make it fresh and new but keep it real you know what I mean? Keep it truly you, basically is what theyíre saying because I think thatís what our fans respect, the artistry of it. I donít really think people respect what a lot of these dudes are doing. And thatís not a dope or wack thing. You know what I mean? Thatís not saying that people are wack, its just saying donít follow other people who are successful. Do you and be successful in your own right.

Ya, where is soldier boy right now, heís mopping floors somewhere! You know what I mean?

BH: You have to look at one thing, whatever youíre doing. Are you setting the trend? Or are you being yourself and people are respecting you for your artist integrity, you know, the integrity as an artist. Some people make records based upon whatever the time is and once that phase plays out its like an outfit. Itís like saying who wears these kinds of clothes anymore? Noone wears phat farm and bell bottoms anymore. You know what I mean? It plays out like the fashion plays out. So Vs Ė I might wear that type of shirt or those type of pants but my music is about the guy next door, the person thatís on the block, the person that gives a fuck about the next person and the next 10 people in line. You know what I mean?

Ya

BH: Those type of things will always last long past a dance. Now while we putting Soulja boy, no disrespect to Soulja Boy but itís a dance, dances play out. Ya feel me? So unless he finds some type of record that makes him relevant of today, you can get in trouble being coined as an artist like that. You know when youíre more of a peopleÖ People say ď2Pac, Why is he still relevant?Ē. Because he talked about everyday stuff . He talked about the real struggle, the pain, the drama, the fun. He talked about everything. If a new artist is able to do that, youíll always be relevant. Its not a matter of whether you banked up, frontin or you know you may have a whole other healthy life from it but youíre going to be relevant by the content you put out there. A lot of times the essence of hiphop was brought forth in that the real diversity of everything.; When everybody starts saying ĒOh, I made a dance like Soulja BoyĒ, youíre kind of assassinating the culture there. In a sense heís not doing it but the people, the executives that are telling all these artists to make up a dance like Soulja Boyís are doing it because now Soulja Boy aint special no more; Because everyone followed them now.

Itís real disposable. Speaking on that, What is your favorite musician in the whole history of music?

BH: Ooh, thatís a deep question because I got a lot of em. Can I just say my favorite group of all time?

Ya, thatís fine.

BH: The Beatles man.

Really?

BH: Ya, Im a big Beatles fan. People donít know that Iím a big Beatles fan.

Wow

BH: The reason Iím a big Beatles fan is because I like the diversity that they had, you know? I like how the Beatles found their lane in a time where everything was kind of experimental and they zeroed in on it and a whole bunch of things blossomed from what they did. You know what I mean? It went from this extreme to another extreme. They really was into rhythm and blues heavy and into a lot of black American artists real heavy. You know when you really study whatís behind a lot of the stuff, I really dig that. But a single musician, I donít think thereís really a single musician who I dig a whole lot. I like Hendrix a whole lot. Of course my family; I love my uncle Willie Hutch. You know? A Phenomenal musicianÖ. ClaptonÖ Let me see, Miles, Miles Davis. You know, because I grew up playing the trumpet so I was a big Miles Davis follower. Thereís a lot of cats with me.

I had no idea that you actually played the trumpet or were into this diverse music like that.

BH: Ya, thatís what I studied in high school. I studied trumpet and bass guitar and I studied jazz in high school. That was my thing! I also played French horn in the orchestra and then I played in the jazz ensemble. I played bass and lead flugelhorn in a jazz band.

Howíd you get into rap if you were playing all these instruments?

BH: Well see thatís funny because I got into the rap game when I got out of high school. In the 80ís there wasnít a lot of west coast rap stuff going on in the early 80ís. My grandmother used to live in Harlem so I used to go to New York a lot. So I started being a fan of that movement and it really took me. When I got out of high school I started trying to develop rapping as an art. I had a groove in high school because hiphop was starting to be that thing for the young guy, for the young cats coming up. Ya dig? So finally when I got out of high school, I went back to New York for a minute and tried to vibe it out. You know, (I) really got cultured into it. You know what I mean? Then I went back to cali and linked up with my boys from high school and we created Above The Law at that time. I really just wanted to express my music through hiphop because it was something that I knew cats our age would gravitate to, quickly. You know what I mean? I was in band and different stuff like that and dug alot of different types of music because I had studied it all my life. My dad was a writer on Motown and my uncles Willie Hutch. So I was always highly influenced with music in general. In my era hiphop was the theme. If you wasnít rapping, people werenít trying to check for you at the time. Cuz when bands started phasing out in the mid to late 80ís, hiphop just kind of started taking over the youth. I took to it but thatís why if you listen to Above The Law, Itís more musical, its more jazzy, its more funky, its more vibey, you know?

I noticed from record to record that thereís always a little bit of experimentation and definitely a difference.

BH: Right, Thatís because of my background. Itís definitely deeper than gangsta rap. When I talk to people, Iím deeper than that, I try to tell people likeÖ Yearly, To sit with somebody and say ďYa I know this guy because of the records that he madeĒ But to sit with me and talk with me and to understand what I know as a body of music is that itís a whole nother level. Thatís really why I want people to respect Above The Law, because we respect music and me as a producer, I respect music. I get into a little snafu with a lot of people because I feel like rappers have a bad rap with people saying theyre not musicians but theres a few cats in this game that really respect music. You know? I think thatís why this industry has lasted as long as it has because of particular guys like myself who really love the music in general., all music. You know?

Theres definitely a lot of good music from the old days that people need to check out.

BH: Definitely! People are so caught up in the now, the microwave. Theyíre missing that ??? ????, Spanish Soul, Its so focused. When you go back to the old stuff like jazz, itís so focused. I always say to guys that are creative and making music that now we are the Willie Hutchís and the Curtis Mayfieldís and the Marvin Gayeís. Weíre the Quincyís now.; because What we have to do now is start being passionate about the love of music like they were.

I grew up on hiphop so and I was interested in where they got some of the stuff from and now Iím into the oldies. The old funk and soul recordsÖ..

BH: Now for you, Cats like us have to make music like that because you have a greater appreciation for music in general, you know?

Ya

BH: When I studied jazz, before our session in our jazz ensemble we had to listen to cats like Coltrane and miles and all these different cats and catch a vibe, you know what I mean? To catch a vibe from cats that really played. If you want to bless the world with phenomenal music like a Parliament Funkadelic or The Ohio Players and all this great music then you got to listen. When you put yourself in a position to say ďOK Iím Above The Law but I want to be respected like Isaac Hayes.Ē You got to appreciate that, your foundation man. You know what I mean? We have to get into it to understand that our history is our future man.

It keeps building, the hiphop is building on the old stuff and I think eventually something will build up on the hiphop

BH: It just takes us having that real heart to do it cuz its art. It takes a lot for me to put myself on a record and say ďHey, This is how I feel today!Ē Do I look like a clown with some funny lookin shoes or are they diggin my red hat and my purple shirt? You know what I mean? You got to put yourself out there. This following business that weíre in is terrible man.


What brought you to Death Row (Records) and how do you feel about your time spent there?


BH: Suge (Knight) wanted me to oversee a bunch of projects there when he was incarcerated. It was good because at the time I started my own company 'West World' and I wanted to do more executive things. So I went over there as being the VP (Vice President) of music, over all the music production and everything. It was cool. I mean just to just. Everything kind of fell apart with how everything ended up with myself. I got caught up in my case and I went away for a minute, then the whole label just went crazy. The time (I spent) there was wonderful because they were working for some great people. We had Crooked I there, we had that guy Eastwood, we would collaborate with Ray J, (and) different up-and-coming artists. They had a lot of talent so it was wonderful. We were trying to do an 'Above The Law' record there at one point in time. Just things got kind of crazy for us on a personal tip as far as my peoples situation and the way the label went. But it was good, it was all good. I was old friends with Suge before they started Death Row we all worked there together when we were together with Eazy-E. So, it was cool.


Wow, I was always wondering why you went there? I know you have a little bit of, I wouldn't say animosity with Dr. Dre, but we all know the history. And at the time Death Row was releasing a lot of Dr. Dre diss songs.


BH: Yeah, well they did one record, 'Too Gangsta For Radio', which I saw mixed. I came in and mixed and overseen the project but I had nothing to do with any of the drama between Dre and Suge. Honestly, I really only had one issue with the situation; when he had problems with Eric (ďEazy-EĒ Wright) which was (because) a lot of the stuff that would become on 'The Chronic', was on 'Black Mafia Life' which was the G-Funk conspiracy. so that's the only difference I have right now with Dre. Dre put me in it, so I could never say it's an issue to where I would have animosity to where I couldn't come in and do a job with talented young artists. That had nothing to do with me. Suge gave me the opportunity to put my expertise to work and I went over there and did that. What happened between him and Dre I had nothing to do with. I have the utmost respect for Suge, Dre, Eric, all the above. For me in the industry, the thing about me is I always learned to understand that it's a business first. We're friends by what we do together in the workplace. As far as whatever decisions that people have to make and that underhanded thing they may have done, I'm still breathing and I'm still talented with the gift that God gave me. I'm fine with it all the way, as long as people keep believing in what I'm doing and give me the opportunity to show my talent.

I know you oversaw the production of (2Pacís) ďUntil The End Of TimeĒ Having worked with 2Pac in the past. Could you tell us about that? Also as a side question, Did you agree with the remixing of his songs that a lot of fans disagreed with?

BH: I only got good reviews on the record so I didbt research t like that. I went into do a job that the label said they wanted done. Ive done it. Im a big fan of 2Pacís too. Great friends, great friend of mine, dear friend of mine, I would never try to do anything to taint his legacy. You know what I mean? My whole thing was that when I worked on the project was that me, I needed to give it a pure effort for a friend of mine that basically, the people in the business wanted done. How that came about was me being an executive at Death Row, me having one of sharpest music focus in the circle, I was put in the front of that. To be frankly honest with you, a lot of the guys who have worked on the original stuff didnít want no parts of it. And they can say whatever they want to say. I stepped in and it took me two weeks to do that project. It was 6 months, choosing you know, going over a bunch of songs and then it took me two weeks to mix the record. Actually like 9 days. I just did what I was hired to do bro., One thing I hate about the game now: Everybody got a whole lot to say about the gift that god gives to the world instead of sitting back and accepting it and enjoying it. Iíve never seen so many people worried about something that really, truly, people just wanted to give 2Pac something. Give another image of 2Pac out to the world and like I said, we really went in and busted our ass for that. Like I said, I donít get into all that bro. My whole focus is to stay true to who I am, keep god first and put out some good music bro.

I definitely agree with you. ďUntil the end of timeĒ was one of the best posthumous releases from 2Pac and it really came together well.


BH: I appreciate that. Like I said, I really really cared about doing that record. It wasnít like a lot of time I have noticed, when you put other things and try to sensationalize some stuff. You know Iím going to let this person remix this up. Let this person do it. A lot of people have opinions and Iím not knocking anyone for having that opinion, but when it comes to what I was doing? Iím was putting myself into that! There was nothing going to get past me that I didnít feel was right that I could say Pac would feel that, Pac wouldnít feel that. Heís one, my friend 1st. You know what I mean? Heís one of the few people that I can sayÖ He been to my house and ate at my momís dinner table. You get what Iím saying? I would never approach a record like that. If somebody called me and said, ďHey, work on this record?Ē Talking about ďOh ya, he was a fan of hisĒ, No he was a friend of mine!

So you go into it was a sense of personal responsibility.

BH: Exactly.

When you came out of prison, did you find anything different about the rap game?

BH: The only thing I found out about the rap game that was different was how we sell. Thatís one thing. There were a couple of things that I found. You know? I found that you can be a biter and get respect. You can sound like somebody else and still get respect because you sound like him. That wasnít happening for me before I left. The originalityÖ.. I found you can make the same kind of record, damn near rap the same and still get props, before I left that was biting. Then you can just make up some weird janky little thing, put it on the internet and now all of a sudden over night youíre some kind of big star. You donít have to be a part of a click. You donít have to pay no dues. You donít have to do none of that. You donít have to rap here, rap there, you know? This here is what I did discover after I got home and researched everything; You still got to be dope to last!

Or youíll be like rich boyÖ.

BH: You got to be dope to last. Thatís the only difference. You can myspace, there space, itunes , your tunes, there tunes, we tunes, but you still got to be dope to last! At the end of the day, people still download, people still buy stuff. People still checkÖ Thereís still people that say whether youíre dope or wack. Thereís still people who say whether youíre trendy or you set trends

How do you feel about people downloading your music?

BH: I think its cool if you aint stealing it. If you buy it through the right channels and download, thatís cool. To me, I think that if you donít take time to know what the artist is going through and get the whole thing, I think if you download my whole album, thatís a good thing but if you just download one song and think thatís the whole enchilada, I think youíre depriving yourself of the true art that the artist is trying to give you. One song doesnít embody everything that we are about as an artist. Iím with it if you guys aint stealing. I donít believe that nothing is free. I pay the price to study, learn, get better, work hardÖ Why should you be able to just download my music for free? Feel me? I paid my dues for that, thatís wrong. You should be able to click your mouse and go get yourself a loaf of bread for free. Thatís just real talk. I dig what goes on behind the scenes but what Iím saying is that: We have put our hard earned time in at the studio and youíre downloading my shit for free, thatís not cool, it can never be cool!

Iíve talked to a lot of artists coming up and some of them donít like it and some of them use it as a form of promotion to get their name out there.

BH: Well you know, bullshit aint nothing but chewed up grass too. It helps you have a better lawn but it stinks like a mother fucker. I aint saying that I canít take the bitter with the sweet. Itís a win. It is when it becomes a lose/lose situation. In some cases, when you put it into the perspective like that, itís a win/win because now you have more fans than sales but the one thing you have to understand its not right man! The thing about a lot of people now, they try to say ďok ya, I donít want to try and piss nobody offĒ,. Steal it if you have to homie, if thatís how you have to get down. You may have to pay your rent and canít pay for an Above The Law record so steal it. Aight, cool, but donít act like thatís cool to do because the artists bust their ass doing this shit man. I wish it was that easy. You know what I mean? Iíd give you a pass to do that if it was that easy. I never was for a bootlegger but Iíd never knock a bootlegger because a bootlegger keeps me out there at the price of promotion basically. I think that its wrong though! If you ask me whatís wrong Iím going to say thatís wrong for you to steal it man. Thatís wrong . You know donít do that man. I got children too man. Shit, thatís what Iím saying. When you balance it out, Ya, some of its great for promotion for people who wouldnít of really been your fans that can get your music for free that cant really get it. Ok cool but at the end o f the day if youíre just stealing to steal, CMON MAN that canít be cool, cmon man!

Will you ever record with any of your old ruthless label mates?

BH: You mean like RenÖ..? ÖÖÖÖÖÖ..

..? ÖÖÖÖÖÖ..

Stay tuned for part 2!

old skool Compton boy
06-15-2010, 05:03 AM
much propz man

Watts
07-09-2010, 04:42 PM
PART 2

Will you ever record with any of your old ruthless label mates?

Big Hutch: You mean like Ren? Definitely, everybody whoís still doing their thing, Cube, Ren, everybody. Dre! Whoever extends the invitation.

So youíd record with Dre?

BH: Definitely, yeah. The drama that people try to create is not with us - The difference is the fact that when we get into it, because everyone gets into it when talking about the g-funk, who took what and who did what; The thing is - everything is all-influenced. If I get on TV and say ďIím influenced by Dr. Dre so I did this type of recordĒ, thatís all I ever wanted. I donít want any beef. All I want is somebody to say ďMy little homie Hutch came up with this theory, we tried it on ĎThe Chronicí. We came up with these ideas and it came out dopeĒ. Iím not tripping off of who commercialized g-funk! I just want the world to know that Cold 187um and Above the Law are the ones who invented it and put it into the fold. Thatís my only problem! My problem isnít that Dre is wack or all this bullshit. People try to stimulate the aura of ďHeís gayĒ or ďHe canít do thisĒ. Iím not that guy! Iím the same guy that when I came to Ruthless (Records) he campaigned for me to put out a record when I was a street hustler. I donít forget shit like that man. So when it comes to people doing shit and doing it the right way, yeah Iíll collaborate with you because youíre doing the right thing. I tell anybody, Iím not in competition with Dr. Dre. Iím trying to bring solid music to the fold, bring some good ideas to the world and show people who I really am as an artist. I donít have time for that other bullshit. Anyone who thinks thereís any discrepancy between 187um & Above the Law and Dr. Dre, knock it off! Itís not that.


The only thing is that when you come out and try to coin a certain style that you know wasnít yours, you could have easily said ďI was influenced by my people.Ē Thatís when it gets wrong. Itís not that he was malicious and all. Itís not like he said "Above The Law aint shitĒ and ďfuck him up the ass.Ē He never said that so I donít have a problem with it. I donít want people to get in that business and I donít want people to go back and forth about me and Dre. I know who I am. I know I innovate. I want people to respect me for that. I donít want anybody to have to knock out or drag out arguments over me. I want people to just respect those who deserve the credit, period. Donít be a bandwagon hopper. Thank who deserves the credit and leave it at that

At the time a lot of people either went with Ruthless or Death Row because of the beefÖ

BH: I can respect that if itís the Lakers vs. the Celtics, but this is just me trying to do music and Dre trying to do music. Respect it, itís cool. We never got in the studio and said ďfuck youĒ to each other. None of us had anything to do with what he and Eric were going through, legally or any of that. We were just two guys that worked together that at the time; I created something that he saw was dope. I used it on Black Mafia Life and he used it on The Chronic. The Chronic came out first, Black Mafia Life after so you say tomato I say tomahto but the real truth is that people make a story out of anything they want to.

Is there anyone out there that you want to work with?

BH: Hip-hop wise, Iíd like to work with Jadakiss, The Game and Mary J. Blige are definitely some of the names on my list right now.

Mary J. Blige is tight. That would be a good collaboration!

BH: Thatís right, put it in the air!

Do you have any regrets throughout your entire career?

BH: I regret that we donít have Eazy here anymore. Thatís kind of like the turning point of my career. I feel that when we lost Eazy, we lost a lot of momentum and morale. When you have someone who truly believes in who you are and what youíre doing, and you lose that, youíre out here doing it on your own. Thatís the only thing that I can say I regret. As far as anything I have doneÖ Iíve never regretted anything that I have made. Iíve always felt strong about my decisions because they have always been pure. Itís always been about the right and how it felt, ya know? No regrets when it comes to that. Just the fact that I think we lost a major player. Most of the things here today wouldnít even be here if it wasnít for him.

He had that charisma. It didnít even matter what he said. He always came off right.

BH: When you look at business, itís hard to understand who a person is. He did the right thing at the right time. He put his all into it and said ďI donít give a fuck what anyone thinks about me.Ē A lot of people have done things and reached great success but no one has done it like that. It was basically ďIím going to take these kids from a dope spot and make them artists. Iím going to take these kids from Cleveland, Ohio and make em something, or take it back even further than that; Iím taking The D.O.C. and all these other guys and create the way.Ē In turn it creates a phenomenal producer like Dr. Dre or a great artist like Ice Cube. Who dares to do stuff like that now at a time where everyone is so cookie-cutter? He took an idea that no one had in mind and said ďThis is what Iím going to do! This is what Iím going to put my money into!Ē

Let me tell you a funny story. We were doing ĎUncle Samís Curseí and we finished it. We listened to all the records like ďKaliforniaĒ and the last record we played was ďBlack SupermanĒ. We were in there vibing and Eazy said: ďThatís the single right?Ē We said ďYeah!Ē He said, ďOk then, give it to me!Ē I asked, ďOut of all these records you heard, you picked that to be the single?Ē He said that out of all these records that one record shows me everything that I just heard on one record. Thatís going to tell everything that people want to hear about ĎUncle Samís Curseí. Thatís how sharp he was. Thatís how in tune he was with what he saw about Above The Law. He said ďOne thing I know is that when you make a record, yíall going to give me yíall!Ē The funny thing about him is that he never came to the studio until I said I was finished. He said ďYouíre going to have me in there licking my chops and then talking about how you need to finish something up. When youíre finished call me.Ē That is why I always say, ďWhy do people always count out Eazy Eís brilliance?Ē

Bone thugs are still doing it today.

BH: Heís brilliant. He heard that! The funny thing about it is he would tell you ďIím not a music person. Youíre a rapper. Youíre a musician and thatís what you do. Iím a business man and if I hear it and feel it and have faith in it im going to put it out.Ē All these guys who float around from Harvard and Howard and all these schools and MAís and PHDís and get into the music industry to go to parties and pop extacy and champagne and act like theyíre doing so much. These were regular dudes on the street. He just said if you have talent I believe in you because I donít know what the fucks going on but I feel it when I hear it.Ē All these dudes with degrees and ďI know everything about everythingĒ, what do they do when they get into office? Copy what the next mother fucker doing!

A lot of the A&Rís are under pressure do go find the next act thatís just like this artist. Eazy had that earÖ

BH: He had that ear to say ďOk, Iím not the expert but i feel it!Ē Sometimes when you come in ďIím just starting, I understand, I did these and passed these at the top of my classĒ and all this old crap and you forget - what does it feel like? Does it feel like something that the dude two doors down going to be playing while cleaning up his house or when heís sitting up there playing dominos? Thatís the type of vision that youíve got to have in this. What does it feel like? Damn if WWQK is going to play it. What about lil JoJo on the block right there. Are him and his homies going to be mobbiní too it? Theyíre going to keep ya rollingí. WWQK is going to move onto the next mother fucker.

I know you get asked this a lot, but how do you feel about the west coast scene right now? It seems whenever someone is about to blow they disappear, like Bishop Lamont. Crooked I is getting his due but stillÖ

BH: If you get back to all the things weíve done on the west coast, our movement was more of an ďUsĒ movement. We never gave a fuck about how we sold. We didnít really care about how the industry sells. I think that a lot of cats that are starting to make records nowadays are looking at the record industry only. Theyíre looking at what the industry thinks about them, but the industry is just a small part of what goes on here. You shouldnít worry about radio, ringtones and downloads. Go into the studio and make a record that Lil JoJo and his homies are going to buy and youíre good. I try to tell people that are coming up: ďDo you want to make it out here? Do what we did. Donít give a fuck about nobody and donít give a fuck about nothing but what you do.Ē Your art will tell the whole tale. Once we get back into just going in and making a record, how we feel, itís going to feel good to the world again.

We start making records based upon the global scene. We donít make a record that says ďIím from the west coast.Ē Iím from the west coast but if you listen to an Above the Law record, it can be played anywhere. I think we should stop focusing on all this regional nonsense. Iím an artist from the west coast but I want to be sold globally. Thatís a flaw right now in what everybodyís doing in music - people are trying to concentrate too much on ďI just want to get on!Ē Instead of saying ďI just want my art to be sold from the artistís perspectiveĒ. Executives who want to sell my art are going to do one thing: Heís going to sit up there and ask ďHow do I fit you, nigga?Ē instead of saying ďHow do I give the world this art in a productive way?Ē

You have to realize that when we first started out, hip-hop didnít have a formula. Now the formula is ďMake a record like this and put it on the radioĒ. ďThatís a radio hiphop record.Ē Whatís that?! Who does that? When have you ever head of that? In hip-hop you can rap over jazz, funk, classical, metal or whatever. Thereís no box in that. Itís one of the freest forms of music that exists. As long as you rhyme and you have a hell of a style, youíre respected. As far as the west coast is concerned, we have to be about us, not about throwing up the W all the time. Itís about ďThis is where Iím at with it, this is where I want to get toĒ I was just at a show and someone said ďWe love that shit out there in New York.Ē Cats on the street love it. It might not be getting played on the radio, but I love to hear that because thatís who I make records for. I donít make records for a program director at a radio station. I make records for cats in them projects, in them boroughs, in these hoods and in them sticks. Unless we start getting back to making records for the people, weíll never get back to that mode man!

Iím out here in Boston right now and I told a few friends about this and they were hella excited. There are a lot of fans out here.

BH: Iíve been coming to Boston since í89. Like I said, I do music for the world. Iím from here by way of Dallas, TX and by way of Harlem, NY. California, Texas and New York are my biggest influences because Iíve lived in those places and Iíve been highly influenced by a lot of that stuff. When I go to make records I donít have any prejudices. I think thatís why cats respect what Iíve always done and my focus in it, because Iíve always been about the music, for the sake of the music. Much love to Boston too!

Thanks. I read a couple of years ago that you had a clothing company in the works. Whatís going on with that?

BH: Iím still working on it. Itís slightly twisted right now. I had to go deeper into the fashion world and get my dream team together. Hopefully Iíll be able to launch something in the summer of Ď11.


Is that the only venture youíre dealing with at the moment?

BH: Iím getting into the fashion industry and some interior design. Iím also getting involved in the club and restaurant industry. Thatís probably the next venture Iím going to deal with, an entertainment restaurant and hotel/resort. When I first got home I was doing some real estate business but then the market got stupid. By that, I met a bunch of people who are going to help me develop resorts, restaurants, and sports bars. Iím developing some stuff at the moment, but probably in the next 4 years I will have some stuff in the works.

I take it youíre doing really well then?

BH: Yeah, Iím ok. I want to get back into what I really love to do and thatís my music! Thatís why doing ďVictims Of Global PoliticsĒ has taken a lot from other things I wanted to do. I focused on the Above The Law record because I want you guys to understand that weíre a unit and weíre back on point.


Is there anything you can tell me about the album? It sounds highly political from the title.

BH: I donít want to kill it. I can tell you who produced the record. Me, myself, I produced it along with the group, Battlecat, Kill from Comptonís Most Wanted and DJ Premier.

DJ Premier?

BH:Yes, Premier has a track on there too. When you hear the record itís just like it is, victims of global politics. To sum it up, what youíre affected by in Boston, Iím affected by that as well. Shit, the price of gas is too high, its $5 for a loaf of bread, I just broke up with this chick, my brotherĎs doing life in jail, me and my mama had an argument, my ex girl baby mama drama Ė you know, all of that. All the things that you are politically affected by, by someone elseís gain. Itís always the little man, the grinder who is affected by it. Weíre all victims of global politics. Itís that peopleís record again. Whether itís being in the club or ďI got drama, you know, my mama wants me to go to church but I have to be out here on this block making this money cause that ainít working for meĒ - When you hear the record youíll be like ďOk, aight.Ē Itís back to that.

Do you think conditions have gotten better for the youth in California? Is it the same as it was 20 years ago?

BH: Itís like the 80ís man, the educational system, the judicial system and the economy. It just reminds me a lot of the 80ís. People are survivors first. We all have to eat but we all have to stick together too. Thatís how it should be but itís crazy. When I look at the futureÖ See, my son is 13, and when I look at how a lot of his programs are being cut out of school, it just seems terrible. Iím fortunate to be able to have my son in a fairly decent school where he has these type of programs that we pay for as far as tax payers are concerned, but the inner city schools, they cut the after school programs and the extracurricular activities. Itís pushing the kids back on the block!

I have a friend in LA right now who is a teacher and her school just got shut down because of the budget crisis.

BH: You build more penitentiaries but you shut down schools? Thatís backwards. You donít want to empower people with education but you book them because theyíre uneducated, for a crime that they probably had to commit to feed their families? Wow, victims of global politics ainít it? This doesnít have anything to do with you not doing what you want to do, or what youíre supposed to do. Opportunity is a blessing. If you take opportunities away, expect a lot of shit to go down!

What do you think of Obama?

BH: I like the fact that we have a black president because from the perspective of him coming into the office, it shows that we do have a chance and we do have a voice as people. When I look at people I think sometimes they feel that black people arenít as educated as white people. I think that anyone should be in a position if theyíre intelligent enough to be there but one thing I donít like is that we put too much power in the presidency and want Obama to change everything. Thereís a whole different power thatís in place and we all know that. Call it conspiracy theories or whatever but the president has always been the fall guy. If things donít get better, itís going to get worse and its going to be blamed on that man. I think heís doing as good a job as he can. Like we say in our camp, ďItís a thankless job.Ē Welcome to America. No one is going to fix that, trust me.

Bush messed things up so bad that no matter what he doesÖ

BH Yeah, no matter what he does. No one is going to thank him for it. He got health care and no one will thank him, theyíre still going to fight about it.

Does California have any kind of health care law?

BH: Everything is slim to nothing out here. This is a place where either you have something or you have nothing. There is no in-between out here. If I didnít have a little bit of a career that I was holding onto, I donít know where I would be right now.


Your uncle was Willie Hutch, the man who made ďThe MackĒ, one of the best soundtracks to come out of his era. Can you tell us something about him?

BH: My father was a writer and he wrote on ďThe MackĒ and some other Willie Hutch records. I was really young when ďThe MackĒ was around. They were cutting a lot of other records that I was around. The thing about it is - my uncle always supported what I was trying to do. As far as my life in rap, thatís why I chose rap, because of my uncle and my father. They are my biggest influences in doing this because I always dreamed of being them. I was too young to experience ďThe MackĒ but I was around when some of those records were recorded. The experience I had was being in the studio and I could barely see the buttons on the tape machine, it seemed like a giant. Iíve been in Motown when I was hella young. My eyes were as big as coke bottles. Itís the reason I do what I do now, because of him and my dad.

Do you use new equipment now or has it been steadily the same since you started?

BH: I use reason now. I use a lot of modules. Iím keyboard crazy. Anything I need, I can get it through there. Itís just mad efficient. I can write at any point with that. Instead of lugging around a lot of equipment, in my old studio I had a lot of powerful shit and what I did was just have them take all the modules and load them onto a hard drive. I still use an MPC3000. The Motif, thatís the master. When I really want to play big I use that. You know the big board. If I want to go all the way up the scale, I play the piano. I never studied piano but my dad taught me how to play.

Now technology has made it possible to get all those things and not need that gear anymore. My shit is funky as ever. To tell you the truth, I fought that shit for a long time. When I came home, thatís the one thing that was different, all this technology. I went to the music center and they said ďYou need to get into this program.Ē You know, re Ėlearning everything. It took me a minute and someone that was a close friend of mine just to sell me on it. You go to a store you know and they try to sell me something new every week, if I let them.

Are you using samples or do you use the synthesizers in reason?

BH: I donít sample. Thatís not conducive with me. I either replay or I produce it myself. A couple of producers come through and they show off stuff thatís samples. I donít know about you but me as a producer, I donít do any sampling.

I can tell from your latest albums that they definitely have an evolved sound.

BH: I donít do that. Thatís disrespectful to my family name and my heritage. I decided not to sample.

Because youíre a musician.

BH: I decided not to do that. I hear guys chopping stuff up and thatís cool. I can dig that but me, I canít do that.

Can you tell us something about this Crooked I album ďHood StarĒ that came out recently?

BH: Itís definitely a great record by Crooked I. If you like Crooked I now, itís going to show you what he evolved from. It wasnít one of those records that just werenít good enough to come out. We couldnít reach terms with the label to where they were sold on the fact. We talked about it earlier and they just didnít feel right. ďOh how are we going to...?Ē ďHow are we going to packageÖĒ I understand all of that. In between the fact that itís a business, all of us try to be like ďOk, Iím a musician, Iím an artist. Here goes my music. Youíre the marketing expert, go market.Ē I think that people donít understand that. Lyrically heís on point and Crooked I has always been a hard worker. All that online stuff and his mixtapes, he was always like that and he was like that on Death Row (Records). Heís really a worker and heís really sharp at what he does. Do I think he worked hard on this record? Definitely!

Did you rework any of the songs?

BH: I wasnít fortunate enough to go back and work on things because of the legal problems that they were having. They couldnít get in touch with everybody. They took what we had done and gave it to the world which I think is better anyways. I think the world deserves to hear what I was doing then. Thatís like saying we shot this movie in 95 but nobody ever got to see it, and now youíre able to see it. Then you have to go re-film the story and remake it. That takes away from the idea of what he was doing then, not just what heís doing now. Thatís what makes it special.

Did you produce a lot of songs on it?

BH: I produced about 70% of the record and I have overseen the whole record.

Anything else you would like to say?

BH: Keep an eye out for Victims Of Global Politics, Iím mixing it right now. Much love!