Tray Deee: Why The Caged Bird Rhymes

Former Snoop Dogg affiliate Tray Deee currently resides in the California

Men’s Colony State Prison in San Luis Obispo, CA.  In 2005, the West Coast artist was hit with an “up to” 12-year sentence for attemped murder. Presently, his earliest possible release his in 2013, although he could be freed sooner due to jail overcrowding and budget

problems. His career didn’t start in Colony State Prison and, if he has his way, it won’t end there either. The Long Beach rapper, better

known to his family as Tracy Davis, brought his unique sound, style and

flow of hard-core gangster rap to the Hip-Hop world in the middle of the 90’s.

Introduced by Snoop Dogg on the song “21 Jump Street” off of the

Murder Was The Case soundtrack, Tray parlayed that in to further

guest features on the Death Row albums label such as Dogg Food,

The Dogg Father, Glidlock’d Soundtrack, and Gang Related

Soundtrack. Tray Deee was also previously a member of The LBC Crew

which had a successful single off of the Thin Line Between Love And

Hate soundtrack called “Beware of my Crew.”

In 2000, Tray teamed up with Snoop Dogg and Goldie Loc to form Tha

Eastsidaz which was in honor of the area they hailed from, the Eastside

of Long Beach. Through Snoop Dogg’s label Doggystyle Records and with

the distribution help from TVT Records, Tha Eastsidaz released their

platinum selling debut, Snoop Dogg Presents Tha Eastsidaz, propelled

by the DJ Battlecat produced single “G’d Up.”  Tha Eastsidaz

appeared on Snoop Dogg’s The Last Meal LP and then went on

to release their sophomore album, Duces N Trayz: The Old Fashioned

Way.  Not long after that release trouble ensued for the group

as money disputes arose between the members. 

Tray Deee claimed

that he and Goldie Loc were not receiving their legal share of the group’s

money and the group was then disbanded despite an unofficial street

release of a project the group recorded called Khaki’s N Chucks.

Before the troubles between the group members could be resolved, Tray

Deee was convicted of the aforementioned  attempted murder charge.AllHipHop.com reached out to the West

Coast veteran to update the Hip-Hop

world on his well being, thoughts and current status.  Much has changed with the O.G.  

AllHipHop.com: First off, can you please

let us and your fans know how you are currently doing?

Tray Deee:  All praise be to Allah,

I’m solid. My health is firm, my stamina is formidable, my focus is

sharp, and my spirit is serene.

AllHipHop.com:  What are you doing

to maintain yourself during your incarceration?

Tray Deee: My program is laid back

but disciplined. I keep my circle small and circumnavigate all stagnative,

non-productive issues. I go to work at the canteen warehouse at 7:45

a.m. and miss the yard until I get off 3:45 p.m. – which is yard recall

for count time. I squeeze in some physical fitness, shower, and play

chess or write a letter until it’s time to call it a night. I collaborate

with various individuals on diverse projects to maintain an influx of

capital, and a small number of homies and friends chunk me a bone every

now and again to make sure I ain’t scufflin’ and wanting for nothing. Good lookin’ out y’all!

AllHipHop.com: Word has it that you

no longer associate yourself with your former Eastsidaz group-mates

Snoop Dogg and Goldie Loc. Is that true?

Tray Deee: Essentially, although about

5 or 6 weeks ago, I finally enjoyed a warm conversation with Snoop Dogg

after over 5 years of no communication whatsoever. We agreed to let

the past go like water under the proverbial bridge and we even shared

a few genuine laughs. We still have some existing financial discrepancies

left to resolve and from our roughly 10 minute conversation, I could

not gauge whether or not he is yet prepared to face that reality. Honestly,

I once cared for the dude like the little brother that I never had.

So, while I detest the circumstances which led to our dissolution and

resulting enmity, I can’t proclaim any lingering hatred for Snoop

because my love for him was authentic. Insha-Allah which means “God-willing”,

everything will work out for the best in due time.  

Now Goldie Loc, he has never exhibited

any degree of loyalty toward me. When our contractual abuse was uncovered

by our then manager, I instructed Goldie that the only chance we had

at rectifying the situation is if we stood unified, but he continued

to run behind Snoop which caused me to appear as the trouble-maker/bad

guy. The few times I’ve managed to speak with him since my incarceration,

he’s been evasive or outright lied to me.

AllHipHop.com: Is it possible to ever

reunite with Snoop Dogg or Goldie Loc once you are released from Prison?

Tray Deee: I would hope that Snoop

Dogg and I could recapture that vibe that we once shared, and salvage

the wonderful history that we created. It’s his call at this point.

Barring some extraordinary events transpiring between now and my release,

I have no interest of f***in’ with Goldie Loc ever again – except

to be compensated by him for prominently featured on his C.D. “My personal pedigree and

the environment that I come from is the foundation of gangsterism. 

Pushin’ a G-Line for me was as natural as a Norwegian becoming a fisherman,

or someone born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah being a Mormon.”-Tray Deee

AllHipHop.com: Are there any other

artists that you still associate yourself with?

Tray Deee: Coniyac, formerly of Doggy’s

Angels, is my fiancée’ and she has been my backbone through this

whole ordeal. 40 Glocc has been loyal and dependable from day one as

well. Fredwreck, West Coast producer and current host of MTV Arabia,

stays in touch as does another bomb West Coast producer by the name

of Scratch. The Lady of Rage used to write me and so did Ms. Toi. I’ve

received one kite from Bad Azz and a postcard from Xzibit while he was

in Tokyo. Those are all that come to mind at this time.

AllHipHop.com: Do you have any unreleased

music that you plan on releasing while you’re locked up? And do you

plan on continuing with your rap career upon your release?

Tray Deee: Truthfully, I don’t have

many unreleased tracks. As for me recording any new material once I

touch down, I’m going to first consult with a few reputable and knowledgeable

industry executives to figure it out from there. Metaphorically, all

of the stars have to be aligned for me to re-enter the game as an artist.

AllHipHop.com: Now that you are older,

what is your view on the gangster lifestyle? Has it changed any since

your incarceration?

Tray Deee: My personal pedigree and

the environment that I come from is the foundation of gangsterism. 

Pushin’ a G-Line for me was as natural as a Norwegian becoming a fisherman,

or someone born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah being a Mormon. Los

Angeles and its surrounding county of urban warzones; Long Beach, Compton,

Watts, Lynwood and Gardena is the birthplace of the Crips, Bloods and

Surenos (Mexican-American street gangs). Gang-bangin’ is prevalent

on almost every block in these communities: Hangin’ out, slangin’

dope, shoot-outs, assaults, and all else that this particular lifestyle

entails. So my view on anything gangster is this: Either you breathe,

think, act, sleep and dream gangsta shit or else you’re simply perpetrating

– period, point blank. Much has changed now that I am older. I’m

a totally committed Muslim now, so I understand the significance of

life now, and therefore I approach people and situations differently.

Change is essential to growth and I have perceptually expanded considerably.

AllHipHop.com: Aside from music, do

you have any other plans for yourself once you are released?

Tray Deee: I have many plans to execute

once I shake this joint. My initial goal is to reunite with my children

and redevelop the special bond that a father shares with his seeds.

Business-wise, I intend to have my semi-autobiography published and

accomplish short-term objectives until I settle into what best suits

my interest at that time.

AllHipHop.com: Are you able to keep

up with any new music that is coming out? If so, what are your thoughts

on what you are hearing?

Tray Deee: Yes. I have an AM/FM radio

with a cassette and CD player, so I do lend an ear to what’s supposed

to be the new hotness – and for the most part what crosses my ear

is crossover pop, pseudo-techno and vocoder trash. Then again, I don’t

have access to any underground radio shows, so I can’t speak on the

full spectrum of rap. I hear Glasses Malone is tight. I like Game and

I feel that he’s improved with each release. Crooked I is one of my

favorite artists, and I dig Plies style as well as Young Jeezy. Oh,

and I am waiting to hear Bishop Lamont’s project.

AllHipHop.com: Tray Deee, thank you

taking the time to answer these questions. Do you have anything that

you would like to tell your fans and the rest of the audience out there?

Tray Deee: Much love to all of the

real Big Tray Deee/Eastsidaz fans. Y’all weather the storm out there,

have faith in the Creator and trust that it gets greater later. Peace!     

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