The neighborhood of Watts in the city of Los Angeles has long stood in the shadows of neighboring communities such as Compton or even South Los Angeles when it comes to the West Coast Hip-Hop scene. However, in the last few years there has been a lot of rap talent emerging from the small area known for its dangerous element. One of those artists is a young man named Terence Harden better known as Bad Lucc.
With a powerful style that takes one back to the days of authoritive rappers, Bad Lucc has built a reputation as a fierce lyricist respected by both new school and older rap heads. With the help of West Coast and Hip-Hop legend Snoop Dogg, Bad Lucc is steadily rising through the ranks and has become a sought-out writer for hire, although now it seems he’s ready to step to the limelight as an artist in his own right.
AllHipHop.com: You are from Watts, California. What was growing up there like from your perspective?
Bad Lucc: It’s the same ol’ story that you’ve heard except for the fact that I didn’t go through what a lot of others have. My life wasn’t really that hard? I have seen a lot of negative stuff but personally I haven’t gone through any of that. I’ve never been to jail. I’ve never sold dope. On the real, I represent the majority – the average cat growing up in a poverty restricted neighborhood who has decided not to gangbang or sell drugs. That’s my life growing up in Watts.
AllHipHop.com: Why is it that the average person’s story isn’t heard as much as the bad or sad cases?
Bad Lucc: Pride and ego. I joke on Twitter about rappers that make this image of themselves and make it hard to revert back to being just themselves. I don’t mean a gangster rapper not doing what they rap about but I’m talking about how some pretend to not have any feelings – when they probably are really a nice guy. It’s a pride thing and people don’t want to keep it real with themselves. Instead of just selling how they really are, they want to sell what everybody else is trying to sell. I believe they should just be who they are because there are more people like yourself than the gangsters. You will have more people identifying with yourself.
AllHipHop.com: What’s the story on your name?
Bad Lucc: That’s from some battle sh*t. In 1995 my name was Kid Capone. It’s kind of wack now but back in 95 it wasn’t. I started battling guys and I wanted a more creative name. Capone is associated with gangbanging and I didn’t want to tie in to that. I tried to come up with something clever where if you battled me, then it was bad luck to go against me. It stuck with me. I put the “two C’s” at the end and I get a lot of flack for that as far as the streets go because the “two C’s” at the end can signify gangbanging. I literally did that just to be creative because spelling it with “CK” at the end is not original. Having just one “C” looks wack, and at the end of the day, I know a lot of Crips although I’ve never banged.
AllHipHop.com: I imagine that you’ve run in to other artists with the same name.
Bad Lucc: Not physically, but yes on MySpace I came across some rapper from New York and some other dude from the West Coast. I’m not going to change it. If anything, they should change theirs. I’m with Snoop Dogg, and I’ve come out with him on magazines, videos and radio. I’m sure they get asked if that was them [laughter]. It’s not them, so they can change their names.
AllHipHop.com: Did you have a lot of competition to battle rap against out where you’re from?
Bad Lucc: In 1995, there was. I thought I was getting in to rap late back in ’95 when I went to Hamilton High. There were rap crews all around the school. Murs went to Hamilton High, and that’s how he came up. They had clubs like Project Blowed and Unity. You saw battles and ciphers all day long. It wasn’t rare to see out here but you know how money changes the game. It was at its height back then and you could catch a battle anywhere.
AllHipHop.com: Tell us how you developed your unique style and sound.
Bad Lucc: If I had to pick two styles that mix together to make my styles, it would be Ice Cube and Beanie Sigel. I’ve always looked up to them. Ice Cube was the Hood dude who never gangbanged – the same type as myself. He wrote the illest rhymes and told the illest stories. He didn’t just rap about waking up in the morning and shooting dudes. If he shot someone there was a story behind it. Beanie Sigel has that raw style and he’s from Philly so there weren’t big words and he didn’t try to be too deep but there was a witty style behind it. I kind of adopted those two styles and mixed them together.
AllHipHop.com: You use a lot of energy and like to emphasize certain words with power in your songs, whereas a lot of today’s rappers are more laid back.
Bad Lucc: There is a lane for everybody. A lot of today’s rap is what I call “mood music.” It’s not bad, it’s just moody. For instance you’ve got an artist like Drake. He’s an incredible artist hands down, but his album is more like a mood. My music is aggressive and in-your-face. I go big and emphasize words that I want to stand out. It’s a feeling and I want you to feel it. Sometimes making the fan feel an emotion is more important than what you are actually saying. Don’t get me wrong because you’ve got to be saying something. I’m just saying that it’s also important to rile up an emotion.
AllHipHop.com: So where do you fit in with today’s hip-hop climate?
Bad Lucc: I feel like I don’t fit in but yet I feel like I do. I don’t because the majority is not doing what I’m doing. I’m going back to the raw hard beats that can bang in your car and the club. Then I feel like I do fit in because there is a need for that. I have yet to put out a solo album and dudes see me everywhere I go and tell me that they’re waiting on my album to come out – whether its on the East Coast, West or overseas. I had some dude from Zimbabwe hit me up on Facebook telling me that he digs my music. There is a lane and a need for my style of music – I just need to provide them with it.
AllHipHop.com: Tell us about your association with Snoop Dogg. I know that he’s gotten behind your career in the past few years.
Bad Lucc: It happened because of the group that I was in called The Western Union also known as Dubb Union with my boy Damani. Later on we added Soopafly to the group. Snoop Dogg heard our songs and liked what he heard. He got down with us and put our album out. I’ve been working with him ever since. I guess he saw something in me and he kept me busy with work.
AllHipHop.com: Is the Dubb Union still a group?
Bad Lucc: Me and Damani still talk about it. I haven’t talked to Soopafly in a while. Damani still talks to Soopafly from time to time. It’s not over – I will say that.
AllHipHop.com: You’ve been primarily a writer for other artists at this point. Why?
Bad Lucc: I’ve been writing, working behind the scenes and trying to get that cash. I really love writing and enjoying this time working. I am now working on my own project called Meet The Writer.
AllHipHop.com: Isn’t that hard dealing with someone else getting the props for a verse that you wrote?
Bad Lucc: Yes and no. I know that I did it. The artist knows that I did it. The check damn sure knows that I did it [laughter]. It’s one of those things where you have to do what you have to do. I’ve got a family to take care of. I’ve got bills and I’ve got to live. At a time it did bother me a little though. I would be in the club and the one I worked on is the biggest song being played that night and nobody knows that the dude who wrote it is right with them. It used to bother me but the check is nice. However, Snoop Dogg just recently came out and spoke about my work on the songs “I Wanna Rock” and “Gangsta Love.”
Me and Snoop have a good working relationship. We’ll get together and hear different melodies and bring it all together. I respect him as an artist and he respects my pen.
AllHipHop.com: Tell us about your project, Meet The Writer.
Bad Lucc: That’s everything to me right now. It’s my first “real” project. There is no set date on it but it will be in 2012. I have some surprise features and producers but I don’t want to speak on that yet. I’m very happy about the features and producers though. I’m not doing a feature for the sake of a feature. I really am a fan of who I am featuring. I want to go deep with it because it’s about me. The title is Meet The Writer because I’ve been writing for so long. I also want to say that Diamond Lane Music Group will be the next big thing. Me and Compton rapper Problem are making great incredible music together and we will not be stopped.