Where Are They Now?: Kam

Watts, CA artist Kam broke on to the major scene with the Los Angeles street anthem “Peace Treaty” back in 1993. The album celebrated the temporary truce between the rival Crips and Bloods gangs in the aftermath of the Rodney King riots. While most West Coast rappers made their careers as Gangsta rap artists, Kam has used his street knowledge to provoke thought and to highlight the struggles of young African-Americans on two solo albums Neva Again and Made In America. Having been brought in to the game by Ice Cube, things turned sour between the two during the mid to late 90’s and once again Kam was in the spotlight with his scorching diss to his former partner, “Whoop Whoop”, off of DJ Pooh’s Bad Newz Travels Fast LP. After releasing another solo album in 2001, Kamnesia, Kam started laying plans for his fourth album The Self And The Kind. While that album has faced many delays over the past few years, Kam caught a break from Snoop Dogg and was asked to be a part of The Warzone group along with MC Eiht of Compton’s Most Wanted and Goldie Loc of Tha Eastsidaz. AllHipHop caught up with the West Coast veteran to talk about his new ventures and to get his thoughts on several social issues. AllHipHop.com: What are your opinions on Sen. Barack Obama’s bid to become our next President? Kam: I support Obama but I am not a voter. I personally don’t believe that the President has the power to do anything. The President is basically like a figurehead or a puppet of the people that really control things – the powers behind the scenes like world bankers. There is more deception than anything else by the powers to make you think that your vote really counts – when it hasn’t really counted in a long time – at least for us Blacks and Hispanics. Despite that, I still support Barack because I think he’s the only person in politics that can address the race and color issues in America – him being both Black and White. [Glasses Malone "Certified Remix" Ft. Lil Wayne, Bun B and Kam]AllHipHop.com: Do you think America is ready for a Black President? Kam: America has been ready. It’s the powers that aren’t ready. The powers ain’t ready to treat people equally. This world is run by White supremacists. There are a handful of families – the world bankers – who are the ones that fund whole governments and fund whole wars, both sides of the conflicts! Those are the people that America is in debt to – the ones that own the central banks in all of these different countries – the ones that really own the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is just a title, it’s not a government business or corporation – it’s a private business. They are the ones that really run the show. The President is going to be who they say its going to be. If it’s in their plans to make Obama the next President, then he is going to serve their purposes or they are going to get rid of him like Kennedy.

“I am not a hate white people person. I hate the bad stuff that white people have done – the ones who did it – and those that still ride with it. A lot of white kids are just as dissatisfied as Blacks – that’s why they listen to rap.”

AllHipHop.com: What are your thoughts on the recent issues between Blacks and Mexicans in Los Angeles?Kam: That beef is based on dirty money and dirty business. It started in the prisons and worked its way down to the streets. The conscious Blacks and the conscious Browns ain’t really riding with that though. We all have family members that are a part of it or we all have friends that have been victims of that ignorance. It’s hard sometimes not to get emotionally involved or in to choosing sides when one of your peoples might have been a victim of this bulls**t. The Mexican and Black beef is only amongst gang members, not normal people. The Ese’s [Mexican homies] raised me growing up – they literally raised me – so I know better. We’ve got to be wise enough and mature enough to understand that we are pawns on somebody else’s Chess-Wars. The real enemy isn’t the Blacks or the Browns. If you want to go back to the roots – California, Nevada, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico all used to be Mexico. Who took it from Mexico? Us Blacks used to be in Africa. Who took us from Africa? This country used to belong to the Indians. Who exterminated the Indians? Nobody came and negotiated a righteous deal for the land. They just came in with weapons, poisons, lies and tricks and took this s**t. Now this is supposed to be a righteous place – Land of the Free and God Bless America. America isn’t the biggest super power because of its righteousness. It’s the biggest super power because of its weapons. I am not a Hate White People person. I hate the bad stuff that white people have done – the ones who did it – and those that still ride with it. A lot of White kids are just as dissatisfied as Blacks – that’s why they listen to rap. [Kam "Peace Treaty"]AllHipHop.com: Let’s get in to the music side of things. You first broke out back in the day with that song “Peace Treaty.” Do you think we can have a "Peace Treaty Part 2" for the streets of L.A.?Kam: That’s exactly what I am working on right now for my solo record – except the "Peace Treaty 2" is for the Blacks and the Browns. I am looking for an Ese rapper that is respected in the streets and has a tight flow on the mic. You just can’t be anybody; you have to also be tight on the mic – but respected by the Ese’s. It’s not going to be an overnight; we are in love with each other, type of thing. Too many lives have been lost. It’s about understanding and doing a song about respect. We can respect each other and understand that we are not the real enemy. I mean we are going to get in to it every now and then, but don’t make it a Black vs. Brown thing - make it a man against a man thing. We can’t force anybody to do anything but we can show in an entertaining way that we can respect each other and stop being pawns in someone else’s chess game. AllHipHop.com: Your solo album, The Self And The Kind, has been in the making for some time now. I’ve heard you say before that the album has been blocked and delayed by a lot of inside politics. Kam: They see me coming so they have to throw out the yellow cones, road blocks and detour signs. It’s not going to stop me but yeah it has slowed me down. But before my solo comes out, The Warzone project that I am involved in is going to come out first. AllHipHop.com: You’ve led me to my next question. How did The Warzone group come about? Kam: It was a product of Snoop’s Western Conference about two years ago. A bunch of us got together and originally Snoop was trying to get each of us our own solo deals because he was supposed to be getting a presidential position at some label that I can’t recall right now. The company ended up getting cold feet and not following through on their promise to Snoop. So instead of trying to get six checks to six artists he got us into two groups. One group is me, MC Eiht and Goldie Loc as The Warzone and the other group is Bad Lucc, Damani and Soopafly as The Westurn Union. Snoop asked us if we were with it and I told him yes. To me that is a statement of unity for the West Coast. AllHipHop.com: Has Koch Records given you a release date for The Warzone album? Kam: We were going back and forth between the Warzone and Westurn Union groups, and we agreed that The Westurn Union should come out first. It’s more like breaking a new artist and they should have that time and chance to be broken in. Me, MC Eiht and Goldie Loc already have followings – we are already kind of known. So we agreed to let the Westurn Union album come out first and our new release for The Warzone is August 3rd. First it was April, then July but now it’s officially August 3rd. AllHipHop.com: What is the chemistry like? The three of you have your own distinct style. Was it hard to make it come together as one?Kam: Naw, it’s kind of easy and fun. I think it will be interesting to see how each one of us can tackle a subject, theme or concept. I am going to bring what I am known for. Eiht and Goldie are going to bring in for what they are known for too. AllHipHop.com: What ever happened to your dealings with Paris and his Guerilla Funk label?Kam: The Warzone project put the brakes on it. With Snoop Dogg involved, he’s an institution and an icon – so I wanted to springboard whatever solo thing that I am doing off of him. Having a solo album come out and then The Warzone album coming out afterwards is like hustling backwards. I know that I’ll have Snoop and his machine behind The Warzone and then I can use that to start cross-promoting my solo album. The Self And Kind album was originally going to come out through Guerilla Funk but when this opportunity came up, me and Paris talked about it and he was like, “Do it bruh.” However, I am not signed to Doggystyle as a solo – just as part of The Warzone group. AllHipHop.com: You started with Ice Cube and then you two had a falling out. You came out with that popular Ice Cube diss “Whoop Whoop.” What was the whole story on that?Kam: For the record, the first thing I want to say is that beef is over with. It’s been squashed. But that whole thing came about from disagreements on the business side – mixing personal business with music business. Doing personal business for someone and looking out for them on a personal level is above and beyond the call of music business duty. I did that and I expected that same thing in return and it didn’t happen that way. That’s what eventually dissolved that business relationship. I heard some comments here and there so I fired back. AllHipHop.com: What resolved the beef?Kam: The first Hip-Hop Summit at Minister Farrakhan’s house in Chicago. I am in the Nation, so he basically called us to the table and asked us to squash it – and that’s what we did.

"The diss song and the position that I took against Cube got me a lot of respect in the streets but on a business level to where I should be right now and where I was trying to get to – it killed me a little bit."

AllHipHop.com: Aside from that, did you and Ice Cube have a side discussion?Kam: Yeah, we did all of that. It just takes wisdom and somebody that is wiser and more powerful to see a clearer vision then what we saw – because we were young emotional hot-headed motherf***ers at the time. AllHipHop.com: Going back, would you do it all over again? Or would you handle it differently?Kam: I would have done things different. The diss song and the position that I took against Cube got me a lot of respect in the streets but on a business level to where I should be right now and where I was trying to get to – it killed me a little bit. Ice Cube is an institution and you don’t buck institutions like that. I might be the s**t in L.A. but [49] other states won’t ever know about me because he can pick up a phone and say, “If you support that Kam record, then I am not supporting you.” He can shut me all of the way down. AllHipHop.com: Do you two see each other now and then?Kam: Yeah we see each other. We shake hands, hug, and keep it moving. AllHipHop.com: You two have never talked about hooking up again musically?Kam: Naw, that’s kind of like the Brown and Black Peace Treaty song: It’s not about us necessarily being in love with each other – it’s about respect. You stay out of my way and I stay out of your way. Bad blood happens but the best way to squash it is respecting each other – no more dissing or anything like that. AllHipHop.com: Before we go, can I get your thoughts on today’s rap music?Kam: I am real disappointed in the content. I am not mad at the beats or production although some of it is garbage to me. The majority of the lyrical content is garbage with no kind of substance. You can still cuss, be tough, talk about partying or picking up girls but know that the rest of the world is suffering also. There is a Depression going on right now - not a Recession – no matter how they try to market it in the media. If someone can speak to the struggles that mother*ckers are going through and make it entertaining – they are going to win. That’s what I think is missing and that is what I do. As I end this I want to announce that I just came out of a meeting yesterday with Snoop Dogg and a few other people. We are about to kick off this mini-tour for the Western region called “The West Fest.” It’s being put on by Snoop. The line-up is The Westurn Union, The Warzone, Glasses Malone, The Lady of Rage, Mistah F.A.B. and W.C. The dates are going to be from Mid-June to Mid-July and it’s going to hit anywhere from 20 to 30 cities – all up and down California, Nevada, Portland, Seattle, in to Vancouver and Canada – all of our spots. It just got finalized yesterday and we are going to be promoting it real heavy in the next few days and the upcoming weeks. GET A LATE PASS...[Kam "Still Got Love 4 Um"]Kam "Pull Ya Hoe Card"Kame "In Traffic"