Like a victim in one of his own lyrics, C-Bo was pulled over while doing 85 in a 35 zone while driving his Mercedes. What the police found in that German automobile, landed C-Bo in prison. Its that same realness that has had city officials on his back and the streets following his social commentary religiously for the last 12 albums.
As one of the Bay areas most infamous rhyme bosses, he not only represents a region where a good many West coast rappers are under-appreciated for their contributions, but its also an area where the disturbingly violent crime rate doesnt get the attention it deserves. C-Bos music has been the soundtrack to his own reality show from the time he was introduced to the streets. Love it or hate it, the rough rugged and raw is what you get.
From day one, C-Bo has used Hip-Hop for its primary purpose, which is not to glorify violence, or rebel against the man, but to speak for the streets. Spending his time incarcerated pushing his pen, C-Bo will release his 13th album upon his release. He grants AllHipHop.com access behind the walls to talk about time served in the game, and how hes bossing up this year.
AllHipHop.com: So what exactly were you charged with this time?
C-Bo: Bulletproof vest, and guns with extra clips, [and marijuana].
AllHipHop.com: Is that usually how you travel?
C-Bo: Most of the time.
AllHipHop.com: Why is that?
C-Bo: Its a dangerous world out there.
AllHipHop.com: When do you get out?
AllHipHop.com: I heard that you were running with Suge is that true?
C-Bo: Which Suge?
AllHipHop.com: Not too long ago, there was talk of you and Suge Knight seen together.
C-Bo: Nah, I wasnt running with him. I got a homeboy out in Arizona named Suge that must be who youre talking about.
AllHipHop.com: Lets talk about some of your career highs and lows. During the time that you got arrested for your lyrics were you on a high swing.
C-Bo: Yeah, I was on a high.
AllHipHop.com: Thats probably why they targeted you. Do you think that was a part of the whole police department conspiracy to take down certain rappers or was yours more personal?
C-Bo: I think it was personal, because I said some things about a couple of people from my city you know: the mayor, a couple police. I was talking about the Three Strikes Law, seeing as how I was a part of it they wanted to stop that.
AllHipHop.com: Were they sweating you that tough prior to all that?
C-Bo: Not really.
AllHipHop.com: So did that make you censor your self more or less?
C-Bo: Nah, I came right back and hit em with Enemy of the State.
AllHipHop.com: With all the rappers who talk about this and that what was it about you that made them stay on you?
C-Bo: Well Im from the neighborhood, got gang priors, and a record and all that and I guess they didnt really want their business out there like that. They figure this ain’t just somebody from the outside looking in. Im really a part of this s**t and really know whats going on and they wanted to stop that.
AllHipHop.com: So its your influence thats a factor for them?
C-Bo: Thats right.
AllHipHop.com: Does being C-Bo make serving time easier or harder for you?
C-Bo: Its probably easier, because everybody knows me and s**t, so its all right.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel Bay area artists have been short changed in the whole big picture of Hip-Hop?
C-Bo: Yeah Because theres not really anybody out there big like that. [Too] Short and [E-40] out there holding it down, but everybodys so spread out.
AllHipHop.com: Why is it so hard for the West coast to come together and make moves with each other, it cant all be gang influences?
C-Bo: Well, [there are] gangs, and its so spread out over here. On the East coast its all together over there.
AllHipHop.com: What, if anything, do you think could change that?
C-Bo: I dont know. I think n***as just gonna have to f**k wit each other, know what I mean? Over here, we think if we cant eat with you, f**k you! Thats basically how its goin down.
AllHipHop.com: I know youve worked with a lot of West Coast artists but who from the West would you like to work with that you havent?
C-Bo: Of course Dre, Snoop, Cube ya know.
AllHipHop.com: So how do you keep your music and label afloat while youre locked up? Did you pretty much have everything in place before hand?
C-Bo: Yeah, I went to Navarre, which is a distribution company out of Minnesota, and they gave me a chance. They gave me what I wanted. Im running my company and making the decisions; and plus I had a track record of being in the game for a minute, so they really got behind my company.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think being locked up is going to help or hurt your record sales?
C-Bo: Hurt, definitely.
AllHipHop.com: You really think so? Because these days it seems as though young people see jail time as street credibility.
C-Bo: It could, in a few people eyes. Thats why you wanna be free so you can get out there and reach the world, get out there and meet people, and get your music out there. You cant do that in here.
AllHipHop.com: You got a new artist out right now that dropped the same day as your Greatest Hits album, right?
C-Bo: Yep, thats Spade hes out of Carson.
AllHipHop.com: Hows Greatest Hits doing?
C-Bo: Its doing cool.
AllHipHop.com: Is there gonna be a book coming on your time spent in jail?
C-Bo: Im actually writing my autobiography right now.
AllHipHop.com: When you get out, whats the first thing youre gonna do?
C-Bo: Just go relax somewhere near the water somewhere for a minute, ya know.
AllHipHop.com: Then hit that promo tour?
C-Bo: You know it.
AllHipHop.com: We know you always fare well on the West coast but how well do you think youll be received on the East and elsewhere?
C-Bo: Well, I was doing a lot of runnin back and forth before I came here so I think it will do well. Its just a matter of getting out promoting and thats what I plan on doing.
Fans who wish to reach to C-Bo can do so:
Shawn ‘C-Bo’ Thomas #V44269
P.O. Box 9
Abenal, CA 93204