Loosely named after an OG who will never walk again, Beeda Weeda carries his name with pride. He also comes across older than his 22 years. As he shares his views on Oakland, CA, the city Too Short plainly stated that, "You don't want none," the birthplace of the Black Panthers and the source of some of American music's preeminent examples of funk, rhythm & blues and most recently, independent hip hop, it seems Beeda's from another era musically. It's like talking to "Mr. So-and-so," who looks out his kitchen window and can tell you something good or bad about everyone in the neighborhood.
Raised in and around restless streets and older cats that pimped and sold dope, he raps about that culture on his Hieroglyphics debut, Turfology 101, where he guides listeners through life in Murder Dubs, a small turf of about 20 city blocks named for its high number of homicides. Rapping probably saved Beeda from a life of prison or a premature death, as he says he used to do anything for money until he watched two of his cousins (one taught him production) get life sentences and his little brother shot and killed by the police. With them, he began PTB (Push the Beat Productions,) his production label under Clear Level/Hiero Imperium, so his first release carries the weight for him and his entire camp. He also sets the record straight about the media-misunderstood, Hyphy movement, comparing its ‘don't give a fuck attitude' with Tupac's candid way of checking anybody, anywhere and anytime. After catching the attention of Tajai of the Hieroglyphics and assisting E-40 on location for the video, "Tell Me Where to Go," Beeda Weeda is going places.
MVRemix: Where are you right now?
Beeda Weeda: I'm in West Oakland right now?
MVRemix: What's the story behind your name?
Beeda Weeda: It's a neighborhood name. It came from one of my OG's from my hood called the ‘Dubs—The Murder Dubs, right? From one of my OG's, his name is Peeda Weeda—he's the original ‘Weeda.' He was a real wild cat when he was young and what not. He got shot by the police and can't walk no more; so he's in a wheelchair. So it's kinda my way of keepin' his name goin'…He a real, real bonafide gangsta, I love him to death. It's his mentality—even though he ain't got no legs, from how he talk and how he act; he still got legs ‘cause he just push so hard. And I love that mentality and I take that toward my music.
MVRemix: Has (Peeda Weeda) been in any videos we might have seen?
Beeda Weeda: Nah, I'm doing a video this weekend—he's gonna be in my video—but he hasn't been in any videos (before this one.)
MVRemix: Tell me a little about where you're from and where you grew up, what it was like growing up listening to artists from the Bay; things of that nature.
Beeda Weeda: Okay, I grew up in East Oakland California, grew up in the notorious Murder Dubs ‘hood. It's basically like 20 blocks. I mean, I always loved music since I was young and what not, but when I got in it for the producing. I never thought I'd actually be rap, you know what I'm saying. I mean, my mom bought me a keyboard to keep me out of trouble; it was a way she could look over me when I was in high school, so I grew attached to that, started messing around on the keys and hooked up with some cats from the neighborhood and started doing beats. And for a minute, I wasn't feelin' how people was rappin' over my beats, so I was like, ‘I'ma start writing my own lyrics; doin' my own thing.'
MVRemix: What types of jobs did you have before you committed to rapping full time?
Beeda Weeda: Hustling! (He laughs) I mean, I done had the nine-to-five—I done did a little bit of everything—I done had the nine-to-five; I done sold dope, I done pimped, you know what I'm saying? Anything to get money. It wasn't no limit to what I would do.
MVRemix: I feel you. As far as production, who did you work with on Turfology?
Beeda Weeda: This cat named Charlie O out of Oakland with Hard Labor Entertainment. Basically I got my own music camp called PTB, Push the Beat Productions. It consists of me and like five other producers so I try to keep it in house. I might go out and go holla at a few other producers and get a few tracks, just to mix it up, but as far as my music, I'm not just pushin' me—it's a whole story behind me and a whole family behind me. I'm tryin' to get my whole family out there; I'm gon' kick it off, you know what I mean? So as far as production, I try to keep a lot of my production in house.
MVRemix: You say there's a whole story behind your camp. Tell me more about that.
Beeda Weeda: How I started off, right, when I really got into music, I was hooked up with my cousin. My cousin Butchie, or what not, right? I was starting off producing. He showed me how to use all the equipment; we started off our own label with our own little group, it was called Clean Money Records. It was like five of us. Basically, what time it was, we was hustlin' in the streets and tryin' to do music, so the hustlin' would overwhelm our work habits in the studio ‘cause we was too busy gettin' money from other things that we wasn't really trippin' off the music too much. And that ended up—basically the whole of it was that my cousin ended up in jail for life. And my other cousin that was doin' the thang, my cousin tried to merge us with some other cats but for real, I wasn't feelin' them cats. So basically when it came to me, I just cut. My cousin had went to jail; it wasn't cool and I wasn't tryin' to hook up with no other cats that wasn't personal, that I didn't know real good, so that's when I just started doin' my own thing. That's when I hooked up with my peoples from my hood, which was Under Surveillance. They like the older cats, they was like the first niggas from my hood to put out an album—wait, I wouldn't say that—they was like the second—it was another group. But they was the niggas from the neighborhood that was doin' the rap thang and I looked up to them. So one day, they came to my house and was like, ‘Yo, we heard what happened with your cousin; whatever, you know, and you tryin' to do your music thing by yourself. Come on home. We all family anyway, and we all from the same neighborhood.' So that's what happened; I ended up linking up with them. And that's Push the Beat Records—PTB. And so then, I had a little brother named Lil' Al, right? He rapped, and like for a minute I was pushin' him, doin' production on his album. I wasn't really doin' too much rappin', I was doin' a little bit but one day, bruh was like, ‘Man…you tight, boy!' Let's be a group.' ‘Cause I always thought if I was gon' rap I had to be in a group ‘cause I'm not used to rappin', so I couldn't see myself doin' songs all by myself and what not. So he was like, ‘Let's be a group,' and I'm like, ‘Okay, fa sho.' So we started working on a group album, but the same thing happened with him that happened with my other cousin that ended up in jail. So now he in jail, we got this album halfway done, and I was like, ‘Fuck it, I'ma go ahead and do a solo album.'
MVRemix: Well then it sounds like this was meant to be for you then?
Beeda Weeda: Right, ‘cause I never really thought I'd be no rapper. I never thought I'd be rapping. I always thought, if I did music, I'd be behind the scenes, I'd wanna be the boss runnin' shit, know what I mean? Far as all that limelight I didn't wanna perform or do none of that shit. I'm in it for the money. But then, even after I started doin' my album, right? I was really just doin' it for me. I wasn't thinkin' like ‘Nationwide.' I wanted to do it for Oakland, me and my niggas, so when I wrote it, I just came from my reality, my space and my private experiences. And Tajai from the Hieroglyphics, a copy of a couple songs got into his hands and he got back to a couple cats from my neighborhood and was like, ‘Man, where is dude at? Dude tight! I wanna do some work with him.' And it was on from there.
MVRemix: You do have flow. I gotta give it to you.
Beeda Weeda: Well, I just started, I ain't even been rappin' that long. I been rappin' seriously like since, 2001. I don't even have—you know how most rappers got a big ass book full of raps and shit? I don't have that. The only time I write a rap is when I'm in the studio. All my songs (on my album) is basically all my raps.
MVRemix: I read that you helped direct E-40's video, Tell Me When To Go. How did that come about?
Beeda Weeda: Yeah, I helped do a lot of the casting. The interviews, where we did it at, getting people, the dancers. 40 wanted to bring the streets. He wanted the sideshows and the whole hyphy thing, you feel me? And he had heard around about me, like, ‘It's this cat Beeda Weeda, he be in the streets.' So I hooked up with him, it wasn't even on no mixtape, he didn't even know I rapped. I like slid him my number, he in touch with his town, he know a lot of people, he pop so he could probably hook it up. So he gave me a call and I was like, ‘Man, I would love to do that!' ‘Cause all that's gon' do is open up the door for me and my generation, as far as with the music.