By: Tommy Tunes
West coast Vet Spice 1 is one who has seen alot. After being shot in late 2007, and surviving from that terrible incident.. The Hayward Cali native is on a vengeance to bring the West back!
Rapindustry.com recently had the privilege to catch up with the O.G. to see what he’s got bubblin.
Much respect to you on your recovery from the shooting back in late ’07. That has to be something that makes someone seriously appreciate life after going thru something like that. With Pimp C passing in the same week, did that have a pretty strange impact?
Yeah, very strange! I woke up the next morning after I was shot and found out that Pimp C was dead. I still had tubes in and out of my body. I had to figure out what happened. I knew he was at a nearby party. It was unreal.
How have you been?
I’ve been ok. I’ve been working my rounds. It ain’t easy since I was shot. My body will never be the same. I have a constant reminder since I still have the bullet in me. I always have to keep making sure it ain’t moving near my heart or other organs. When I got out of the hospital I had to make sure my vocals were right. A lot of rap is dependent on your breathing and since I got shot in my lungs I had to practice all over again. I had to stop smoking cigarettes so I wouldn’t mess up my vocal cords. After recovery, I can say it made me stronger mentally and physically. I went from 215 lbs before getting shot to now 235 lbs. Now, I have an extra 15 lbs that I am pack’n.
Tell us about your new album. The “Home Sweet Home” album, what’s the album consist of?
This album is like the first album. I have a song “Candy” that is hot as shit that is similar to “187 Proof”. “Home Sweet Home” is similar to “In My Neighborhood”. It is like the first album with a ’09 twist. I am real proud of the quality of this album. The quality is big! It is clear the base is knock’n hard.
Who’s all gettin’ down on it? Guest artist(s).
I’ve got Katt Williams, Daz Dilli, Scarface San Quen, Devon the dude and David Hollister. Not too many people on it. I didn’t want to put too many people on my shit, because they charge too much. I am an Old G. They are charging too damn much and they want me to still respect them. I been in this game for a while and they are charging too much; $30,000 – $40,000 for them to be a guest. That is like me charging Rick James before he died $50,000 to be on a single with him. He helped paved the way, why would I do that?
We gonna see you on the synth talk box like Kanye and T-pain…( laughs) joking!
If they wouldn’t charge me 100G to get on, then yeah, LOL! I love niggas music, but I can’t pay a nigga 100G to get on my cd. Especially since I have been in the game for a long ass time.
You gotta a 1st single picked out yet?
Yes, “Candy”. It is similar to “187 Proof”. It’s some hot shit, but we are still making up our mind. We don’t know what to use for the single, because we have so much hot shit on there.
Will you be doing any tours?
Yeah, this summer. My agent is setting it up. We will put everything on the website so my fans can see what is going on. I will have some guests on stage with me. I never know who will pop up. Just like the show I just did in Salt Lake, Petey Pablo just showed up.
The way this last Lil’ Wayne album sold and the music game being the way it is right now is pretty fucked up. Personally, (cough, cough,) Lil’ Wayne’s rap skills are pretty wack. He has that swag, but that’s about it.
If we could all go back in time 10 yrs ago, and listen to Lil’ Wayne and have someone tell us “He’s the Truth”, and then people buy that message and grab millions of copies of his album, we’d all think the world was ending or something. With that said, WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON WITH RAP RIGHT NOW?
What’s going on? I’m not a youngster. I seen the game when Rap was not even out there and the hottest thing out was Rick James. The heart and soul of Rap is gone. It is now Bubblegum. No one is sticking to real subjects. I call myself for this new album the modern day Marvin Gaye. I am talking about real shit that is going on. Not fairytale bullshit. It’s about hard times and mother fuckers coming back and achieving stuff after hard times. The whole album is about what is going on now. I am not trying to say that the rappers are Bubblegum. It’s the content. It is what they choose to listen to have on the radio. After people started complaining about Rap, they started to change what is about – reflection of real life. At that time the kids had a better mind frame. The music meant something, or said something. Now look at the kids, they are jumping around like they have no sense. We had the kids in a real environment, not a fake environment. Making it seem as though everyone has gold, expensive rides, laid out cribs and bitches. No one is real anymore. These niggas are so blinded by money and bitches. They don’t know who to respect and not respect. In my album, I am talking about things that are happening to everyone around us today like depression about being broke, or being half baked like Dave Chappel. The way things are now even the rich motherfuckers are broke. One minute you are rich and one minute you are broke. All that shit our kids see is phony; the riches, rides and gold are phony as shit. What happened to the real life shit. Motherfuckers are losing their jobs, houses and are just trying to survive. This new shit is making everyone look at Rap as teeny bopper shit.
What’s your take on the whole economy right now? Specifically music. How do you see the business turning around?
The only way is for motherfuckers to start doing real music. The music has to become a need instead of want. They have to believe that the music will guide them through their life no matter what they are going through. If they needed it they will listen and pay for it. Instead of you having to market the hell out of one song just to get them to buy the album. Only to find out the album is shit. You want them to need it, not to want it. Music is strong and goes beyond money. If you keep it real, you can sell to everyone.
As being one of the most influential West Coast rappers and with all the albums you’ve sold and all the knowledge you’ve soaked up, what’s the best advice you can give to young cats trying to get in the game?
Keep your day job! There ain’t no guarantees. Don’t let people hype your head up. It don’t matter how good you are right now. The music industry is buying the image, not skills. If you are going to do it be real to the craft. Master your craft before you get embarrassed by a real rapper.
You and Pac was pretty tight back in the day. How did you guys become so close? Any stories that really stick in your head between you two? A lotta good memories?
He was like my little homie. He was a year younger than me. We were just riders and partners. We took it from the street to the industry. Anything went down with him he would call me and vise-versa. He was my best friend in the industry. If he had something going on in the studio, or on the movie set he would call. We were both lifting each other up. We always had each other’s back. It hurt me physically and mentally when he died. We were hell of close – we went through a lot a shit.
Do you see anyone on the West Coast right now that has that same impact he had in the game?
Naw, hell no! There is no one close. There are some artists that are really good, but aren’t getting noticed, because the South took the shine. It’s just their time. We took it from the East and the South took it from us. Niggas have to work hard at their shit if they want to shine again.
What do you think it’s going to take to get the West Coast back to what it used to be?
Spice 1 to drop a new gangster album to put it back on the map.
You use to open up for NWA. What was that like? Any experiences that stick in your mind from those days?
Just being around them gave me an edge on the Rap game. It made me really appreciate that they took their street reality and turned it into an art, and I wanted to do the same. I was amazed! They could be street, look ghetto and entertained people. I was like shit, I could that too and put it one stage.
What artists do you listen to right now?
A lot of Reggae, but as far as Rap; Lil’ Bootsy and Webbie, San Quen from the Bay Area. Very few I listen to. I have to listen to who I know. I listen to Zero, The Fuc Click, my home boys in Houston. Always Tupac, day and night.
How close were you to Breed towards his last days?
I was on the phone with him two days before he died. We were going to do a show in Chicago. It’s a trip, because I was around Pac 2 days before he passed. We were laughing about time going by and about us getting older. We said you are only as old as you feel. We were talking about people we knew passing away, and that’s what happened to him. I still have the bullet in my back. I have to keep tracking it to make sure it is not going the wrong way. That’s why my music is so strong, I want to live forever even if I can’t physically.
You got any movies in the works?
We are working on Heartbreak Hotel. We got the script together and we are sending it out now. It is going to be funny as shit. The movie is based off real life shit. It’s like “Fridays” or “Half Bake”. This is a script that I wrote. It is hilarious!
What about them Thug LORDZ? We gonna see another album?
As far as I know…me, C-Bo and Yuc are always cool. We may just surprise everybody and go into the studio and put down an album. I just tell everyone to stay on the look out.
What up with 4-Tay? You guys working on anything?
Hell yeah! We have a few shows coming up. We have a group called the G.A.M.E. – bangers (Ghetto Attitude Manipulating Environment) We got some hot shit comin’.
What do you do in your down time?
Go through the Hood and find something to write about. I take my pen and a pad and see what is going on and start writing.
You have any last words?
Niggas is about to respect this Thug World shit. Business, ethics and all that shit. Look out for the new album coming out on Thug World Entertainment. Spice 1 ‘IS BACK’. I am the new Obama for the Rap game. Most qualified gangster Rap president – SPICE.