Without question, Hip-Hop has let a lot of its stars pass as studio gangsters. Though many would argue that lyricism is in a drought, creativity tends to prevail over reality when it comes a successful rapper. For those getting skeptical about the line between fact and fiction, there are select rappers who undoubtedly seem to walk it as they talk it. From the gang-infested streets of San Diego, Mitchy Slick is one of them.
Mitchy built a name off of a successful independent career, as well as being a member of Xzibits Strong Arm Steady crew. For his latest release, Urban Survival Syndrome, Mitchy reportedly turned down backseats on the majors to ride with DJ Muggs Angeles Records. Where it lacks in budget, the effort is backed by powerful production from Alchemist, Jellyroll, and DJ Khalil. But in speaking with AllHipHop.com, Mitchy Slick reveals why his lyrics are undisputed by anybody immersed in the struggle of street life.
AllHipHop.com: In 2005, the last time we spoke to you, you were saying that Virgin and Warner Brothers were courting you, and that you were most likely going major. Urban Survival Syndrome dropped on Angeles Records, an indie. What happened?
Mitchy Slick: Im not just an artist, you know what I mean? A lot of them cats mayve felt that I had the potential to be artists on their label. But as far as me getting the guarantee that Id have the freedom to release this project, and do what Ive always done, [it never surfaced]. We real in-house over here, man. We work a lot for ours. Im not sitting there doing the mixing, but I know mixin, Im sitting there during [the mix]. [Last year] was cool, but its 06, 07, I got a whole new game plan.
AllHipHop.com: Youve got a record on the album, Superstar with WC. Given that most of Californias celebrities live around Los Angeles, do you feel like a superstar or celebrity in San Diego?
Mitchy Slick: Its crazy, man, but Im still right there in the hood. I mean, Im goin more places and doin s**t, but Im still real connected to the turf. I really havent gotten to go a lot of places yet outside of my surroundings and be looked at as a superstar. Even a place where Im really known, it aint even a superstar thing. Im known for bein the regular n***a. The superstar s**t? I dont know, I aint been there yet maybe when I start seein myself on TV everyday. For now, it aint no superstar shoes. I know I got a responsibility to uphold the city. But everybody in the city knows Slick personally. Ya auntie know me, your big brother know me. We aint have no stars in San Diego. We had Jayo [Felony] do his thing, but its been a while now. Without us having no real major stars in the town, its easy to stand out as far as being an entertainer or athlete in San Diego. We hit the clubs, we aint got So So Def in that corner and Death Row in this corner like the days of past. San Diego just basically got Reggie Bush, Marcus Allen, Rashaan Salaam, Ricky Williams four Heisman Trophy winners in a ten-block radius. Now with the rap thing goin on, we gotta see, cause everybody in San Diegos lookin at me like a regular dude, not a star.
AllHipHop.com: You had one line in that song saying, Publicists are paid for lying. How have you been misrepresented over the years within the media?
Mitchy Slick: I cant speak of incidents where writers mayve made a little mistake in their writing. But theres been other articles where I just read s**t like, Damn, I could see how the public could look at this and how they could be misconstrued. I know somebody said something about me and another guy, and I never really said nothin like that. I know how it works, but the streets dont understand that when they read something in a magazine that I could not be true. As soon as they hear it, they runnin off with it. [A writer] f**ked around a started a beef between me and someone just based on how little slightly I said something. Its a trip, because youre dealing with a writer that swear they know Hip-Hop and s**t, and they urban, and then they get on the phone and talk with you, and they dont understand what you talkin bout cause they really not as street as they say they are. Thats why my album is called Urban Survival Syndrome, cause Im trying to take you through a day in my part of town, so that you can see the way s**t goes down in my neighborhood so that there wont be misconceptions. I really dont be trippin off too much of that rapper s**t.
AllHipHop.com: E-40, The Game, and Snoop are all showing that the West is back. But from an independent label, can you benefit and penetrate a New York or Southern market?
Mitchy Slick: You know whats crazy? You should see how much love they give me in New York, even Boston, New Jersey. It aint a big giant fanbase, but it makes me proud to say that people who know of Slick, know me from my independent push and mouth-to-mouth efforts. I made myself. Theres a whole lot of cats in the East livin how we livin, even more with the Blood and Crip factor goin on. And a lot of my songs are from a Blood and Crip perspective. It aint like Im gonna make a song about Im happy to be a Blood or Crip, but Im from Southern California, and the code of the streets is a gang-banging code. I dont give a f**k where you is, if you got a Black neighborhood in Southern California, its probably a gang neighborhood. Its gotten so ridiculous that Id say 50% of the states in the United States is really on some Blood and Crip s**t. So when I think on how they gonna take my music, g#######, if you a Blood or a Crip in the East Coast, Id imagine youd trip to hear Mitchy Slick s**t, man. The s**ts so authentic. Im the epitome of that from gettin money, to being on the streets, to lowriding, to flyin South to do my thing. Its always been a connected thing, man. I feel Jeezy, I feel [Lil Wayne], I feel Juelz and Cam and Jim [Jones]. Youve got folks everywhere, man.
AllHipHop.com: Theres people on the West, MC Eiht for instance, who have vocalized a problem in that though. In watching your Strong Arm Robbery DVD, you see first hand the day-to-day deaths happening as a result of gang activity. In New York, the stakes dont seem as high. Dont you think its a different world, really?
Mitchy Slick: I really dont give a f**k what somebody else is doin. To me, its kinda fascinating to see some cats so far away feel this movement. It must be some s**t for us all to feel a necessary need to represent what they doin and where they from, based off some s**t that was [from California]. I dont glorify the s**t, sayin, Oh, this belongs to us, whatever whatever, why would I give a f**k? I dont trip off the small s**t. I cant knock em, homie. What I do is this gangbangin f**ks up the rap s**t, and thats one of the main reasons why the West Coast aint where it [needs to be]. Thats why, because its hard from the movement to travel from hood to hood when only half of the hoods is really gonna accept you bein from where you from. You aint even gotta push it to the forefront. In California, you could dress clean, get it all together, the first thing anybody in California thats from the streets is gonna do is see which side of the tracks is he from. This s**t f**ks s**t up.
AllHipHop.com: Is that what made Death Row so strong, because it was built on the backs of Bloods and Crips?
Mitchy Slick: It would not have happened if both were not together. It cant. Suge knows what hes doin. The n***as smart. I dont give a f**k what nobody say, dudes smart. Theres no way that he couldve put something that big together without including everybody. It wasnt just Bloods and Crips, Suge was f**kin with Bay artists like Mac-Shawn, with Down South artists like Tha Realest, East Coast artists like Sam Sneed from Pittsburgh. It takes everybody.
AllHipHop.com: Thats a great segway for this track Termination with C-Bo. Its powerful music, but it also shows Northern and Southern California artists from different sides getting down together
Mitchy Slick: C-Bo is really a force within itself. A lot of cats was on the commercial s**t comin up, but if you was a really, really, really hood cat, comin up in the 90s, C-Bo was one of the cats that didnt fall off. C-Bo was getting million dollar deals through the West Coast drought. I had homies that was locked up with him; his songs are what its really about. C-Bo was official. Everybody loves C-Bo, Blood and Crip alike. Sacramento is one of the Northern cities that still take the Southern code. The Bay aint really on some Blood and Crip s**t even though I got some homies up there. C-Bo crossed them boundaries. He our underground favorite. For me to make Termination he stay smashin on the police, so it made sense to me. I hopped on C-Bo and Killa Tays album, a song called Im a Killa produced by the homie Cricet. After that, Bo and I put it together. Its been a marriage ever since then. Real n***as do real s**t.