AllHipHop.com Features  

Where Are They Now?: Spice 1

spice1

West

Coast Gangsta rap veteran Spice 1 is not a grumpy old

man. But dude is pissed about the state of the music he has spent the greater

part of two decades etching with his thought-filled hardcore rhymes.

 

In

the early ’90s, coming in on the back of a well-known Bay area comrade Too

Short, Spice quickly established himself with memorable joints like “187 Proof ,” “In My Neighborhood” and

“Welcome to the Ghetto.” Obtaining a slot on the Jive Records roster

two years out of high school, the Hayward, CA native felt fairly quickly

the woes of labels pressure versus an artist’s fight to protect his own raw

musical vision.

 

Though

releasing a chart-topping self-titled major label debut, platinum plaques, and

over a million records sold, Spice 1 still found himself chasing his dream

without the backing of Jive and the commercialized Rap music machine. Since

then he has learned the independent game brick-by-brick from the ground up,

released more than 15 solo albums  and spawning his own Thug World imprint¾this

year marks the label’s first album in his sixteenth solo Home Sweet Home.

 

After

recovering from a gun shot to the chest from an

attempted carjacking in 2007 that left him in critical condition, Spice 1 takes

his life and his music a whole lot more seriously these days. No wonder the

voice that once inspired 2Pac, finds it hard to have sympathy for all the pop

star wannabe rappers in rotation now.        

 

 

AllHipHop.com: Why do you

think it seems like you have been gone from the game, but in fact you never

left?

 

Spice 1: Because I

guess all of my projects since I’ve been off Jive in the ’90s have been

independent projects. I’ve just been putting out as much material as I can to

stay afloat, keep my fans happy and keep something out there. But most of the

material I’ve been dropping has been independent underground projects. They’re

probably mainstream, listening to some of that kiddy a** s**t, that’s probably

why they haven’t heard. Those motherf**kas are too busy listening to the damn radio and listening

to that fake s**t everybody tells them they’re supposed to listen to, when the

real s**t is on the underground.

 187 Proof – Spice 1

AllHipHop.com: Back in the

day you were sort of discovered by Too Short. But as an artist, why does it

seem like you quickly stepped out from Short’s shadow while both of you were at

Jive together as a Bay Area artists?

 

Spice 1: Short was

definitely responsible for bringing me out and into the game. But we were both

different types of artists, both different as individuals. Jive really was

intending to corner the Bay real hard, but I’ve always been on my own s**t.

 

AllHipHop.com: People always

respect cats like Too Short, Dre, Pac, Cube and Snoop

as pioneers of the West Coast. Obviously you’ve been around a long time, do you

feel like people give you your props as a pioneer for the West?

 

Spice 1: To a certain

extent in the streets, yeah. But in the industry, no. I

think a lot of these industry cats, real n****s in the industry they’ll give me

my props but these fake ass motherf**kas, no; they’re not going to give me props because they

can’t do what I can do. Some motherf**kas when they see a n***a that can

do something that they can’t do, they want to hate on that s**t. But some real

n****s will see that and respect it. But most hate on that s**t, that’s

probably why a n***a doesn’t have his props like he is

supposed to.

 Welcome To The Ghetto – Spice 1

AllHipHop.com: Does that

bother you at all?

 

Spice 1: It does bother

me, but what am I supposed to do? All I can do is keep

dropping albums. I mean, I’m arguing with certain people that don’t even

know I had videos on MTV, or that I’ve been No. 1 on the Billboard three times

in a row on some gangsta s**t. It’s motherf**kas that don’t know I

sold half a million copies in one week. Some motherf**kas that don’t even know I dropped my first album with no

features and went platinum. It’s motherf**kas that don’t even know that s**t and still want to

criticize me and say, “He’s underground. He’s a legend in his own mind, he

don’t know s**t, and he ain’t nobody.”

 

Those

are the motherf**kas that

need a swift kick, a long ass size 14 in they’re ass. They need to go check

their rap history and see what a real n***a is about, because they’re all stuck

on this jumping around, kiddy ass bulls**t. I’ll put it this way, the only

reason I’m still in the industry is because I think that real rap music has the

chance to come back.

 

AllHipHop.com: People look at

artists today like Lil’ Wayne and all the high volume of mixtape

material and collabos he’s had in recent years…but

over the course of your career you have released over 14 or 15 solo albums

almost year after year, not to mention collabos and

compilations since the early ’90s. What has kept you going, staying consistent

in the game for so long?

 

Spice 1: Just that right there, the point of being able to crush other MCs

and the wack ass rappers. Just being able to smash on

fake n****s keeps me motivated to do this. I’m just waiting on one of these

non-rapping ass n****s to say something so I can eat they’re ass up. Show them

how a real rap artist gets down instead of all these n****s rapping about all this fake ass s**t that they rap about, that’s the only

thing that keeps me motivated. That and the money, taking care of my kids and

having a nice life, that’s fine but you’re supposed to have that in life

anyway. Your goal is supposed to be for some real stuff, not all this, “I

get money, I got b*tches,” and that’s it. That’s

not what life is all about. Some of these motherf**kas think that’s what it is and that’s all they can rap

about. They need to expand they’re mind or something.   

 1990-Sick (Kill Em All) – Spice 1

AllHipHop.com: When you were

being picked up by Jive in 1992, you were only 21 years old. Talking about the

streets and a lot of hardcore stuff at such a young age, creatively, how were

you able to release so much of that type of music on a major label?

 

Spice 1: It’s just so

much to talk about. I constantly write and I’m always thinking about something

to say, s**t is always in the back of my head. It’s just f**ked up because I’ll

be touching on valid points and the s**t doesn’t get heard because of a lack of

marketing and promotion.  That’s

why I don’t understand where they come in with this fake ass funny rap s**t.

Reggae music had substance, even pop music had substance, they talk about the

real life. Rock music has substance, but this s**t that these n****s are

rapping about has no substance to song, and it’s not music. It’s not feeding my

soul like it’s supposed to.

 

That’s

my whole point about this, these youngsters, they want a motherf****r

to respect them. N***a, eat me up on the mic and then

I’ll respect you! Like all that ol’ Soulja Boy s**t, man that ain’t no battle. I ain’t dissing that little

n***a. I don’t have time to be dissing no punk puny

ass b***h ass n***a, I’m an OG, a real gangsta. I

don’t have time to argue with no little kid, but as far as a

n***a having skills, I can respect that. Back in the day if a

n***a even thought about dissing a respected rapper

like Ice T would get handled, he is a straight OG. And as far as a motherf**ka not knowing how to rap at all, I can respect a n***a getting his paper but he is lying to the game and

the fans. I think they’re being cheated because the n***a

can’t rap his way out of a plastic bag. But they’re buying his s**t,

thinking it’s the business, and the radio is playing that s**t all hard.

 

AllHipHop.com: The Spiceberg Slim album marked your first

release since Let It Be Known that

you were without the backing of a major label. After leaving Jive, did going

independent make things harder or easier for you to do your thing?

 

Spice 1: I was 21 when

I dropped my first CD, and I was on a major label. I didn’t know s**t about [the]

independent game at all when I got off Jive. All I knew was major label

signing. So I kind of had to start all over. And all the way until I was 27,

when I got off of Jive it was ’99 and I was released into the water where the

sharks were. I was sheltered by the major labels for

so long, by the time they let me out into the wild, I didn’t know how to

survive.

 

I

had to learn how to work it, market, distribute, promote and I had to learn how

to do all that independently all over again. That’s why it took me so long to

get me back to the point where I am now, comfortable with the independent s**t.

I had to learn that again and on top of that deal with getting shot, going to

jail, my pops passing away and my momma having cancer.

 Face Of A Desperate Man – Spice 1

AllHipHop.com: Do you have

any regrets?

 

Spice 1: Well I just

really wish I would have known more at my age, but that was impossible at that

age, to know how to run a record label at 21 years old. All I could do then was

write music and perform. As far as knowing the business, I never went to

college for that or anything, I had to learn from

on-hand experience. There are a few regrets but the most thing that came off

the regrets is that I got what I wanted, respect and to respect my mind. As far

as my props, real n****s give me those and the fake n****s are going to hate.

 

AllHipHop.com: Being in the

game for so long, how do you feel about the industry today? And even coming out

of your own hood with the hyphy movement, what do you

think of these new bloods, when you talk about substance?

 

Spice 1: Again when you

talk about substance, it’s just sort of like I’m here, I’m the s**t, I’ve got

my hands in the air, (What! What! What!) That is what the hyphy

movement is about to me. It’s all about partying, dancing and jumping up and

down—that’s fine. But I grew up listening to Marvin Gaye and real s**t.

So I feel that music should have some type of substance or soul and I’m not

getting it from this hyphy movement, I’m not getting

it from crunk music, I’m not getting it from nothing

but motherf**kas like Pac,

Scarface, the older rap artists. And it doesn’t have anything to do with their age, I mean we were 21 years old writing songs like

“Welcome to the Ghetto.” So why can’t one of these 21-year-old motherf**kas write s**t like that

now?

 

Why

are they too busy writing about some bulls**t that don’t make any damn sense in

their 20s?  They’re too busy

worrying about how much ass they’re going to get and how many b***hes are going to be on their nuts, when that isn’t even

important. What would n****s rap about if we were in the middle of World War IV¾their cars and b***hes?

They don’t know nothing about real life. I’m just

looking at it like f**k the cars, f**k the b***hes

and f**k the money, now write your rap.

 

AllHipHop.com: It’s been

nearly two years now since you were shot. Did that happening change anything

for you in your life or your career? How has it affected you?

 

Spice

1: To keep it real, it just made me want to shoot the next motherf**ka

that walks past me. And it got me to the point, where I used to be like,

“That n***a has a gun, let me get the f**k out of his face.” Now I

already know what that feels like, “You’re going to have to use that motherf**ka.” I can’t say it has changed me in a

positive way, because I was already positive. It got me to the point where I

had to control myself because I’m mad as f**k this b***h ass n***a shot me and ran.

It was crazy too because I usually always carry my piece on me and that just

happened to be the day I didn’t. A lot of people would think it would make a n***a soft, but it actually put about 30 pounds on me, so

I am bigger than I was before.

 

But

it made me write more real s**t, of course I wrote real s**t before. But it

really made me want to come harder and realer than ever before. I’ll tell you

one thing though, I’m happy it was a b***h ass n***a that

shot me, I’ll tell you that much. Because if it was a real n***a, I wouldn’t be

talking to you right now.

 

AllHipHop.com: Also you’re

preparing to release a new album this year Home

Sweet Home on your own label, what can people expect from it?

 

Spice 1: They can

definitely expect for my s**t to not sound like everybody else. I ain’t dissing

nobody on there and there is no T-Pain on my s**t. Everybody is trying to sound

like T-Pain now, but I’m giving him his props. My fans can actually look

forward to hearing something different. My music has always been the soundtrack

to my life, I’m not copying anybody. We also have

Scarface, Devin the Dude, Katt Williams, Daz Dillinger, David Hollister from Blackstreet,

San Quinn and Clyde Carson, and a few more local cats. There is a going to be

some L.A. cats and we’re going to get [Too] Short on there. I didn’t want too

many features but that’s enough.

 

Be looking for Home

Sweet Home, sometime in July and we’re going to start pushing the single

called “Candy.” It’s like a “187 Proof” but I made women

sound like different candy. It’s hot s**t, for the ears of females, males,

young and old. Right now, we’re in the process of getting Thug World together

and I signed myself to my own label. This album is the first album I’m dropping

on that label, so I’m putting more energy, blood, sweat and tears into this one

than I did for damn near all of my albums put together.

 

 

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