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Glasses Malone: Cash Money or Cash Out

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Watts, CA native Glasses Malone with his grizzly slow rhyme-style which he refers to as a steady moving Beach Cruiser flow, has been waiting in the wings to blow up since he signed his $1.7 million dollar deal with Sony a few years back. With the backing of Sony, it looked like Malone was set to become the next big national face from the West Coast, however Sony decided that it wanted out of the Urban market and dumped it’s entire division dedicated to it temporarily leaving him without a home. Glasses began his hunt looking for a new outlet to put out his album, The Beach Cruiser, and soon found help from West Coast veteran Mack 10 and his Hoo-Bangin’ Records company who in turn took the promising star to Baby & Slim’s Cash Money Records. Things looked good for Malone at his new home as his single “Certified” featuring Akon took to Southern California radio and soon found itself on rotation in other stations around the country and it appeared as though The Beach Cruiser album was shortly on it’s way. Months after the “Certified” single, the album was pushed back and has been time after time since 2007 when we last spoke to Glasses Malone & Mack 10 in an exclusive interview. Glasses Malone is armed with hope though as he’s gone back to the drawing board for The Beach Cruiser album and still has the backing of Cash Money Records. AllHipHop.com met up with the self -proclaimed “President of the New West” out in Long Beach, Ca to talk about his album and get the story on what’s been going on with his career since we last spoke with him. AllHipHop.com:

The last time we at AllHipHop.com caught up with you, we were at your “Certified” video shoot in 2008 with Mack 10. You were preparing to release your album The Beach Cruiser on Cash Money Records but since then it’s been continually delayed. Why has your album been pushed back so much?

Glasses Malone:

It has to do with not having a chart topping single. When you are with Cash Money Records, you’ve got to have a chart topping single. None of my singles have done that and when you’re with a number one label, you’ve got to have the number one goods. Hopefully my next single “I Get Doe” will chart. Glasses Malone Feat. Akon – Certified Video

AllHipHop.com:

Does that mean if your next single doesn’t chart, your album will not come at all?

Glasses Malone:

If my single doesn’t hit the top 70 or 80, it’s not coming out.

AllHipHop.com: So there is that chance that we will never hear The Beach Cruiser album.

Glasses Malone:

You are going to see the album regardless because if it ever gets to that point, I will put the album out myself. But yes, there is that chance that it might not come out on Cash Money Records. I respect Baby and Slim as businessmen and they have a certain level of expectations as they should. Lil Wayne set the bar high and Drake came in and matched it with his songs and and then came Kevin Rudolf and Jay Sean. You either get in line or you get out.

AllHipHop.com:

“Certified” with Akon was a big song that received some nice radio play. Did that song not chart well enough for your album to be put out at that time?

Glasses Malone:

It charted in the 70’s but they wanted to released a second single because they felt that they jumped on it late and it could have been bigger. The label wanted to keep that momentum going with a second single and then drop the album but “Haters” didn’t chart. Lil Wayne then came out and everything was about Lil Wayne at that time. That was probably the best education that you could get as an artist, being next to someone that sold a million records. I just sat back and watched it all. 2008 became my tutorial year.

AllHipHop.com:

I imagine with the album pushed back so many times that you’ve re-recorded it several times by now. Glasses Malone:

I re-did the whole album completely in December of 2009. All I kept from the original album was “Certified” and “Sun Come Up.” I made the album straight from the street. When you think of Cash Money, you think of getting the top name producers and the biggest features for your records. I did that and honestly I thought that I lost myself in doing so. I wasn’t making West Coast music. I was making music for everybody, instead of making music for here (the West Coast) first. When I came back from the tour with Tech N9ne back in October, I came back with the right mind-state. My A & R Pun took my music back to the streets of California. When I took the album to Baby and played it for him and Lil Wayne back in January, they were blown away. I am back on track. This next single called “I Get Doe” is going to chart.

AllHipHop.com: Altering your original sound is one of the criticisms that have received by fans. So you admit that now?

Glasses Malone:

I’ve always admitted that. When you are with Cash Money and producers like DJ Toomp, Cool & Dre want to make records for you, how do you say no? When T-Pain or Lil Wayne want to work with you, how do you say no? I’ve never denied it. I’ve had some doors and opportunities open for me and when the best of the best come to you, you take advantage of it. When I came home from the tour, it wasn’t about having the best of the best anymore. I had to step back and remember what got me here. I had to go back to being Glasses Malone. AllHipHop.com:

You mention previous producers like DJ Toomp, who produced “Certified” for you. Who are you going to for beats now?Glasses Malone:

You wouldn’t even know them. These are straight Glasses Malone records. When you hear them, it’s not going to be about who produced them and who is on them – just about how they sound. I went for the sound instead of the name. My goal was to make an LP that will be around for the West Coast for a long time.

AllHipHop.com:

That’s a very noble approach but there are some people that will pre-judge a CD based on the tracklist alone. If they don’t see a familiar producers name, then it won’t interest them. Glasses Malone:

The best part of the CD is that you won’t know what’s on it until you buy it (laughs). Hopefully people will judge the songs for their sound instead of the name – to where they don’t care who made it. That’s a risk and gamble that I am willing to take.

AllHipHop.com: You released a single called “Sun Come Up” featuring Rick Ross, T-Pain and Birdman. Then another version popped up without you on it. Did Birdman take that single from you and make it his?

Glasses Malone:

“Sun Come Up” was my song. I thought I could be slick since they (Birdman & Rick Ross) were doing an album and I gave it to them so they could use it too. When they decided to push my album back, I wanted to take the song back but they had already done several versions to it. I got it back though. Birdman gave it back to me but all of the other versions are out there already.

Glasses Malone Feat. Rick Ross, Baby, T-Pain – Sun Come Up video

AllHipHop.com:

You’ve referred to yourself as the President of the New West movement. The New West was a collective of young artists from the West Coast working together but it seems that you all have disbanded. What’s the deal?

Glasses Malone:

I think we are still prevalent but a lot of people don’t use that term “New West” anymore because a lot of the OG’s got upset about it. I still continue to believe in it as a movement. The new artists are following the legends like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. I say on my album, “New West on my motherf***in’ lonely, even if nobody else says it.” I’m still the President, although it’s just me now (laughs).

AllHipHop.com: You are the President and the only citizen?

Glasses Malone:

I’m the President and like on that Hair Club For Men commercial, “I’m also a client.”

AllHipHop.com:

A while back there were some differences with the veteran West Coast artists like Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube and you’re name came up a lot because of your status within the New West. What’s the story on that?

Glasses Malone:

I’ve always stated that I’ve never had personal problems with Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube. Snoop Dogg is one of my favorite rappers and Ice Cube influenced my style. You can hear Ice Cube in my style. I don’t think it was ever an issue of me not liking or disrespecting them but I am a competitive dude and I come up under their reign of competitive nature. The veterans are very competitive with each other. Naturally I come in to this business as a competitor, especially if that artist is not responsible for my career. I want to be as dope as Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube, damn it. I didn’t get in to this business to be below anybody. That competitive nature on the microphone tends to make me an outcast.

Ice Cube, I don’t know if I will ever get that collaboration because him and Mack 10 aren’t seeing eye to eye anymore – and I’m Hoo-Bangin’ to the motherf****in’ fullest. As long as those two aren’t getting along, I can’t see myself ever working with Cube. Plus, Kam is my mentor – so who knows how all of that is going to work out. There is no disrespect though. A video surfaced online saying that I said Ice Cube was scared when I first met him – and he was! He was in a Watts V.I.P. Records Store and he was not comfortable. It was weird to me because he’s f***in’ Ice Cube the Predator! He’s supposed to be the Predator. You would think he would be comfortable in any environment. In the West Coast Connection group he was the “Killa” out of the Gangsta and the Dope Dealer. It was awkward to me and that’s when I first learned that making music is just music. I admit that being a kid and having all of his albums that I believed he was what he said in his music. Saying that though is not calling him out or disrespecting his name. I was speaking as a fan meeting his favorite artist – anybody would be shocked. That’s like someone meeting Too $hort and him being respectful to women (laughs). You expect Too $hort to call a woman a b***h because he’s Too $hort. People can get sensitive in this business but Ice Cube has to know that I don’t mean no disrespect. I’m your favorite f***in’ fan goddammit!

Snoop Dogg has respected me from day one. I’m pretty sure he’s thrown some bars at me but he’s a competitive dude like me. We’ve talked quite a few times and there was a time when he thought there was some disrespect but I’ve always been open with him. There is no disrespect and I would never disrespect Snoop Dogg – but on that microphone we are competing for being dope and respected on the mic. That’s how Hip-Hop is! That’s how it was when I was growing up and that’s how it’s going to be with all of the new voices that I’m putting on. When I do songs with the new guys under me, they aren’t laying down just because I’m on the song with them. They are writing to be the best on the record.

Me and Snoop Dogg have records together and when we do make music together, I’m trying to be dope so all of the fans that listen to his music can become a fan of mine. Everybody else can suck d*** if they want to, but me I’m going for mine and that’s why Snoop respects me.

Glasses Malone Feat. Snoop Dogg – Eastsidin’ (Crip Gang)

AllHipHop.com:

Snoop Dogg wasn’t offended by the skit at the end of your “Ghostwriter” mixtape song when you had someone impersonate him asking for ghostwriting services? Did that ever make it back to him that you know of?

Glasses Malone:

I’m sure it did but I’m funny just like they are funny. I’m a stupid n***a. I’m funny and I love making jokes. I’m sure they make jokes about me and talk sh*t about me. This is a fun and competitive sport. The humor in West Coast Hip-Hop has been around from day one. Dr. Dre’s The Chronic album had the best skits. Snoop knows damn well that I mean no disrespect. I even came to watch his kids play football. I’m trying to have fun with music and make jokes – and that song was intended to make you laugh.

AllHipHop.com:

As we end this, let’s rewind and go back to your album and your situation with Cash Money Records. Let’s say your album gets pushed back again; How much more of it are you going to take?

Glasses Malone:

When it comes down to it, Baby & Slim are the coolest dudes breathing. I know that they get a lot of lawsuits and people talk sh*t, but they are the coolest dudes breathing. If I wanted to put The Beach Cruiser out independently through Cash Money, I could do that myself. I feel comfortable that is coming out this year finally. I can honestly admit that sometimes I have not felt comfortable and I had to go see what they were thinking. I’m happy who I work for and I’m not saying this for political reasons. When I fly out ot Miami, I have money in my pocket and I stay at the Trump Towers and I record at a studio all day. I am happy with my situation and now it’s up to me to finish the job. Drake isn’t the only one on Cash Money that’s going to shine this year. It’s going down like a plane crash. I had to step up my efforts and for a while I wasn’t seeing things clearly. My mother passing away recently brought a certain level of clarity to me and my music and you will see it.

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