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RBX: Still Droppin’ Bombs

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In 1992, Dr. Dre’s The Chronic blazed in a new era of Hip-Hop. More than being the catalyst for the G-Funk era, it was the foundation upon which Death Row Records was built. It possessed an intensity, boldness and swagger that seemed to be in direct defiance of the Native Tongue movement taking place out in the East. The spokespeople for this new sound were a stable of hungry artists wanting to claim the spotlight left vacant by N.W.A. A smooth rhyming Calvin Broadus Jr. (Snoop Doggy Dogg at that time) and the booming, unorthodox style of Eric Collins (RBX) were the most talked about of these new artists. Through the rise and eventual fall of Death Row, Snoop and RBX were selected as “Most likely to blow up” by industry insiders. 15 years after their introduction, RBX and Snoop have had careers that have gone in very different directions. Despite both winning awards and being a part of platinum selling projects, RBX has remained underground while Snoop basks in the limelight. With the release of his latest project, Broken Silence, RBX looks to silence critics by demonstrating that he can still drop bombs like Hiroshima.AllHipHop.com: The intro to Broken Silence features a reporter asking you about where you have been since ’94. Do you think that the common perception is that this is your first album since The Chronic?RBX: Well actually he was being sarcastic. I don’t know if it came across like that, but some people may not know me. For those that don’t, they may think that this is my first album, but if they dig into the crates, so to speak, they will find out that it is not. AllHipHop.com: You were introduced to the world via The Chronic, has there been any talk about you appearing on Detox?RBX: Yes there has. I am in the dark about the record just like everyone else. I had a conversation with one of my folks and they said that Dre is not complete on who he is going to have on it; he is still digging through some of the songs he has, but maybe I will make it. I don’t know yet. We are going to have to wait and see. Dre is so picky that one week you might be on there and the next week you are not, so you just have to wait till it comes out to see. AllHipHop.com: You have experienced everything there is to experience in this industry, but what would you say is the most frustrating aspect of being involved in Hip-Hop right now?RBX: A lot of these industry cats don’t know the history of Hip-Hop. No one looks out for the next man. AllHipHop.com: You appear on various projects by the Visionaries and Ld and Ariano’s A Thin line, but how did you guys first connect?RBX: Ariano has a kid by one of my brother’s cousins. Ariano tried to get at my homie Quaz who was working at this studio. We met and ended up always working around each other. Since he was working with the Visionaries, one day I hollered at Key Kool and 2mex and the whole crew, and now it’s all family. Working on this project with the Visionaries was strictly Hip-Hop. Everyone would come in like it was the Terrordome. All the MCs stepped their game up. AllHipHop.com: A year ago at the Visionaries album release party, you came out and kicked a freestyle. What was that like to perform in front of your home crowd surrounded by your family?RBX: Aww man you remember that. That show was crazy. It was really good. I work really hard to get the audience tuned in. To see loved ones from Long Beach show appreciation is a good feeling. It gives me my mojo back and reminds me I have some time left and some things to do. AllHipHop.com: You state on “Echoes of My Mind” that you were disenchanted after the Death Row situation and the passing of Biggie and Pac, but then you were back on. What was it that got you back on to Hip-Hop?RBX: I still had a love for it. I would hear beats, and my mind would start wandering. I would write hooks, so I knew I still had the itch. I was just depressed and frustrated because things didn’t turn out exactly like I thought they would, but I had to just grow up and stop being a big baby, get my mojo back, and start to doing what I am supposed to be doing. AllHipHop.com: Do you think those experiences have made you a stronger artist?RBX: Oh my God, yes! At the time I was going through them, no I did not think that. I thought it’s a rap, I am through with this bullshit. As they say, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” I now actually see what I was doing wrong back then, and I have corrected my errors. I act the way I do now because of the things I have gone through. I no longer drink or party. I ain’t got time for that bullsh*t. This is what I have come to. AllHipHop.com: Snoop produces “Overdue”. What is your impression of Snoop as a producer? RBX: He is my cousin and is serious about everything he does. At first I didn’t know he was serious about production, but he sent me this track, and it was all good. AllHipHop.com: How did it come about that he would produce a track for this album but not rhyme on it?RBX: He could have rhymed on it but at the pace we were working at, he wasn’t free at the time because Snoop’s plate is full as hell. I didn’t consider it because I know his schedule, but it’s not a big deal. AllHipHop.com: What is your opinion of the state of West Coast Hip-Hop?RBX: 9-1-1. AllHipHop.com: Why do you say that?RBX: You have all of the hoods in Long Beach and you have all of the hoods in Compton, Inglewood, Watts, all of those cities, and everybody is hating on everybody. There is so much hatred that nobody can grow. If we don’t have the West accepting the West, how do we expect others to accept that the West is hard when we are disrespecting our own people? We close the door on local cats, but if someone comes from Atlanta then the door is wide open, and we can’t understand that. The difference between cats in Oakland and out here is out there they are all together. Out there they may not like each other, but they are professional and will work together to get money and after they are done in the studio they can tell each other to get the f*ck on. Out here, they just want to cut and shoot and act like they are super-duper hard. No one is trying to be professional; everyone is trying to be a thug and a gangster. The industry mutherf*ckers get mad because they are intimidated because they didn’t grow up in that sh*t. I am talking about these rich kids whose fathers own billion dollar companies. They ain’t trying to get no AK shot through their Maybach These labels water down their material by going out to the Midwest to get all their artists rather than working with artists from the West Coast. AllHipHop.com: What can we expect from the upcoming Concrete Criminals project with Ren and will producer LD be involved in the production?RBX: In a week or two that sh*t is going to be done. I am about to make fireworks pop. I am going to slow my pace because the response I am getting from Broken Silence is overwhelming. I don’t think LD will be involved. Anything that I control, LD will be a part of, but when I am not in control, I don’t want to squeeze him into a situation that he wouldn’t be comfortable with. This is going to be a bang-out, bang bang album. This album will show that I have every piece of skill that I ever had. I am still rough and grimy. We are going to say some old N.W.A type sh*t on this album that will make people go, “What the F*ck?!” Stay Tuned.

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