Those that say the West Coast's Hip-Hop is slippin' just aren't looking hard enough. Take The Strong Arm Steady Gang as a case study. The team of Xzibit, Mitchy Slick, Krondon and Phil Da Agony (and others) are running rampant on the streets out Left. They've managed to carve a niche as a unit and individually.
As an individual, Krondon has stood out for his physical features as much as his ability to murder mics from Xzibit's upcoming CD to the 2003 Anger Management Tour to his mixtapes that pilfer the streets. He's already dumped the 'Crack music' mixtape, and with SAS (Strong Arm Steady), the D-Bo series of mixtapes, O-Dog series and True Crime. All of that Hip-Hop and a SAS DVD that was released earlier this year, read why Krondon is one MC that you should look out for.
AllHipHop.com: How long have you been rhyming?
Krondon: Seven or eight years, putting records out since 1997.
AllHipHop.com: What about solo-wise?
Krondon: And for me as a solo artist, I got this [album available in] Tower and Sam Goodie with the push and promos behind it. For me, it's just a milestone. I'm happy to have been buzzing. We having been getting mad love - especially on the West Coast, because it's home. As far as what we are doing, and the caliber of music we are doing, radio and all of that, [success] has been coming full force.
AllHipHop.com: How did the group actually start?
Krondon: It's a real mini story, man. First, we were all friends, [then] artists that have [had] individual solo projects come out at separate times. Being on the West Coast, you already know the [small] amount of artists that got as far as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog and Ice Cube… that got connections. X to the Z [has been an] exception. When you look at that, like that there’s a need and a hunger for a new platform and foundation for the West Coast for us four come out of, but for Hip-Hop. [We] live and walk along anonymously. When Dogg Pound is Tha Dogg Pound, West Side Connect is West Side Connection and Aftermath is Aftermath, we needed a new label and brand in the West Coast, that kids could attract to and aspire to be part of and that we, the artist could use as a vehicle to get us where we want and need to go.
[We took] on the name of the label [as] Strong Arm Steady, we basically live by the name. By definition, to have a strong hold on the music industry from a street and corporate level, be consistent and or persistent with it, and to hold it steady and the word steady in slang means. We use that to describe, to be about it. The Strong Arms Steady we are about what we are about though..
With the release of the DVD, I really feel comfortable where X to the Z is at right now. I'm not comfortable where we are at around the world, so we have to move around the world to make it more less like a buzz; an uproar. It's bigger than music. Think about all magazines with the N.W.A. family tree. It started with N.W.A. and it brought you to all the way to now: Post Death Row days that came from that tree, we don't have enough “Rap Trees” growing in the West Coast. So, Strong Arm Steady is the new tree on the block that's going to grow, we are going the have lots of branches growing from it.
AllHipHop.com: How do you deal with the fact that members of SAS have varying rapping styles?
Krondon: If the other members of the group like each other’s styles... Other groups have members doing solo projects they just work on one project. Only G-Unit, the Roc, Cam’ron and the Diplomats have members in their group doing solo projects, the West Coast rappers don't do that. If we can trust each other, it can work in the music.
AllHipHop.com: When is X's album coming out?
Krondon: The album is coming out soon. The album is called the Weapons Of Mass Destruction.
AllHipHop.com: What can people expect from you what they don't know already?
Krondon: I was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. My perspective is strictly Los Angeles [as is] my content. All of the perspective of South Central Los Angeles, it will be put and presented to you like a mixtape presented to you in a way were no matter where you are Queens, St. Louis anywhere - you can relate and get it. A lot like what Ice Cube use to do, I pride myself on staying hood. Where I grab my energy from, I don't care. I have been around the world twice performing and everything. I still keep the perspective of that brotha on the block, and I take the block with me everywhere and it comes out in my music.
AllHipHop.com: Challenging the status quo of things, I’d be interested to hear who you admire or who influenced you?
Krondon: I admire like the Snoop Dogg’s, Redman’s, Ice Cube’s, Xzibit’s of the world the finish the way they started in music. Never sway, like Redman, my favorite [MC] in the world. He never changed hid styles whether he had a bad year or nothing he roll with it. Same as Cube. This brotha’s had bad years musically, but it's refreshing when they come with what you are expecting from them. The styles, they might be a little more advanced, more Pop or grown but they still have the same styles and are consistent. All my favorites are like that. They expect me to start like that. Stress Magazine dissed me years ago it wasn't a diss per-say but it was a diss. They said i sounded like Big Pun Rest in Peace that wasn't the bad thing. They said all Krondon is talking about in this record, [is] “Niggas, guns, and weed.” I was real mad. In 1997, when that article came out. X says because, of that don't speak on anything else don't advance it, don't change, because they going to get in what they fit in because that's the fan. I'm going to keep it real I'm going to finish what I started, I'm going to stay street and talk about real things that's happening in society and to me in my lifetime, and hard from the West Coast. How it's like in L.A. the positive out look for someone not for L.A.
AllHipHop.com: Are you albino?
AllHipHop.com: How does that factor into for people identifying you, because I'll honestly never forget the first time I saw you in Dallas, Texas?
Krondon: Growing up in the hood, around Blacks and Latinos, I was the only brother in a miles of radius that look like that. Other brothers could hustle on the streets, but I couldn't do that. The cops could remember me so easily. It was hard growing up, because kids are hard to when growing up because they are cruel to each other. Growing up has really hard, at first. Then as I grew, and my mental grew, and my esteem grew, I got to a point to think for myself, why I came out this way. I wanted to learn more about myself and my people. Because, of my situation they would ask me if I was Black or White, through ignorance. Through music and Hip Hop it seems people forgot, or admire
balance which makes you better and unique. Through music, I was always able to be the man, through music things started to look better for me, and people seeing me. I stand out from the other rappers.