Carrying the torch for a new generation of Gangsta Rap is Compton Menace. As his name states, this emcee hails from Compton, California – a city that several Gangsta Rap pioneers, such as MC Eiht and N.W.A., also call home. Signed to fellow Compton-representer Game’s Black Wall Street Records, Menace has developed a buzz this year with his Menace II Society mixtape series. The series began in May and continued most recently in November with the release of Volume 2, which features Wiz Khalifa, Cassidy, Birdman, Ace Hood, and the aforementioned Game.
As Compton Menace explains, the street story tales that he tells in his rhymes come from real-life experiences of his. Similar to how Game helped him discover the prospects of a career in music years ago, away from the street life he’d grown accustomed to, Menace hopes to share his journey with peers from his neighborhood.
AllHipHop.com: Tell us about your upbringing and earliest experiences with music.
Compton Menace: As a kid, I grew up in the church and that was kind of where I started with music… with the instruments and playing drums. When I was 14-15, that’s when I really started getting into Scarface and the other influences of mine that I was listening to. As far as my career goes, it was around 2006 when I had a couple issues with the law that made me focus all my energy toward music.
My first time being in the studio was really just messing around. I was on the road with Game, the beat came on, and he was telling me that he could hear me on it. I was just a young dude playing around. When we finally did the record I was like “Oh, ok, now I know what you were talking about.” It was serious, like, man, “That’s me right there.”
AllHipHop.com: A line of yours that stood-out to me from your song “For My Real Niggaz”:
Yeah I sold a couple grams but I was tryna make a way, my son runnin’ ‘round them acres let that lil nigga play
You mentioned having had a couple issues with the law. Has your involvement in the streets influenced your music?
Compton Menace: It definitely influenced my music, just because of the simple fact that a lot of people go through the stuff that we do as far as being involved with the police, drugs, or negative people. I just try to bring that out, because everybody goes through it and it’s something people can relate to.
AllHipHop.com: How has the development of your career in music changed your involvement in the streets?
Compton Menace: I’m not doing the same things anymore. When I do something that I take a likening to, I put my all into it. So I don’t have time to go sit on the block and sell drugs or do the stuff that I was doing before, because I’ve got a new focus. I’m a different person. I’ve had issues with a couple friends that I grew up and did stuff with because we don’t do the same things anymore. A lot of dudes fall into a bad situation by not keeping it real with people, like telling somebody something and not going through with it. For instance, I could tell one of my friends that I’m coming to hang out with them Friday, and then Friday comes and they don’t hear from me. Or [alternatively], I could say I’m gonna come pick them up Friday, and I could actually come pick them up, bring ‘em to my world, let ‘em hang out and at the end of the day we go our different ways. But that way they respect what I’m doing because I kept my word and did what I told them I was gonna do, as opposed to telling them something and not coming through with it. I feel like that messes up a whole lot of rappers careers too, by not keeping it real.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel like it’s a responsibility of yours to show some of the younger cats that look up to you an alternative from their everyday life in Compton?
Compton Menace: Oh yeah, it’s a big responsibility. I’ve been on the road for a month now, moving around promoting and getting videos knocked out. I’ve got a couple dudes with me from my neighborhood, just to show them that there’s more going on than what’s in Compton and Watts, or L.A. and California. I try as much as I can, with everybody that’s got a level head, to show them that there’s more to do out here in the world. I know that they’re thankful for that just by the way that they react.
AllHipHop.com: We have your brand new video with Wiz Khalifa here for people to watch. What are some other upcoming releases people should be checking for from Compton Menace?
Compton Menace: I’ve got Menace II Society Volume 3 coming out soon! I shot the video with Birdman, it’s called “It Ain’t My Fault” that’ll be coming soon. I was in Texas, I’ve got a song with Trae the Truth that we shot the video to. I’ve got a song with Bow Wow that we shot the video to. Everything else falls into place.
Stay tuned to AllHipHop.com for the release of Menace II Society Volume 3 coming soon.
For more info on Compton Menace, visit ComptonMenace.com.
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