Bobbito - conducted by Dave Spinosa  


Bobbito

2001

These are the transcripts of an interview with Bobbito. The interview was conducted by Dave Spinosa, mid 2001.


MVRemix: I've been reading your past interviews and you have said in them that you got into the whole scene, as far as Hip Hop, in the late 70's. So, I'd like you to try and explain to the newer cats, those who don't know, exactly what that time meant to Hip Hop.

Bobbito: Well essentially, I mean like, when I was first introduced to it, I would say in '77, I mean it wasn't even thought as Hip Hop. I mean like it wasn't thought as anything more than just,I mean like, the kid that introduced me to it, his name was Craig Radick. He was down with the Zulu Nation. You know, when you're in grammar school, you play football, you play basketball, you play tag, you play Truth or Consequences, and you just looked for all types ofrecreation that were like hip, or like street, or cool. And one of those things that came along was rhymin'.

MVRemix: Yeah..like back in the day..when you are talkin' about..I wasn't even born yet you know. And even for me , it's kind of hard for me to relate to that time you know?

Bobbito: Nah I hear you. It was like my man Craig came into school one day and was like "Yo, let's write a rhyme." It was just like it was like a cool thing to do. You know it's all we did, and these kids, they were doin' a beat on a lunchroom table. That's all we had, it wasn't like you had an instrumental or a record to rap over. It was just cats, like doin' a beat on a table you know?
Yeah I hear you, you were just enjoying yourselves.

Bobbito: Totally, I remember when Craig introduced me to B-Boying in the boy's bathroom. I remember him spinnin' on his back and I was like "Yo that shit is crazy," but it was totally fun and totally cool. A lot of the music that came around that timeframe was incredible. I mean, you had the radio stations in New York, they were playin' a lot of disco, but you know along the lines of hearin' good music, not on the radio but just hearin good music for the first time. My sister was a disco head, and she was listenin' to Babe Ruth's "The Mexican" and I was, I mean I got interested in all those records just by like word of mouth. It wasn't like that music was accessible. You either had to go to a club or know somebody. It wasn't like nowadays when Hip Hop is just readily accessible. The world, radio, film. It was kinda like you either knew about it or you didn't? But it was a special time.

MVRemix: Aight, so I've heard that you have been doing some work on some film projects?

Bobbito: Um, well I did a movie called "Prison Song". We had filmed it in '99 and that's supposed to come out this year on New Line Cinema.

MVRemix: Yeah, I had heard about that. You were also in "Summer of Sam" right?

Bobbito: Yeah, I got my 5 minutes of fame you know. I was the DJ in the club. Club Virgo. Rockin the pink and orange polyester joint.

MVRemix: Haha, aight. Yo, I've been listening to your show on WKCR for a long, long time. Since I was in high school as a matter of fact. I remember back in the day, being up at like 3 AM listening to your show and laughin' my ass off. That leads me to this. Do you think that over the years, Hip Hop has lost the side of it that was just fun?

Bobbito: Nah, because the fun in Hip Hop is still there. I mean if you listen to the radio show now, the C.M. Famalam show, which is Sear and I without Stretch, I mean we are still up there doin' the show and buggin' out. I mean we're still havin' fun up there, and you know what, a lot of the MC's come up there and they see us and they want to have fun with us too. Maybe there aren't as many records that come out that are kinda like, fun records to listen to, but then again, Kardinal Offishal had a song out last year called "You're Ghetto" which was hilarious. You had Lord Sear came out with a song called "Ya Mouth Stink". That was hilarious too. It's just like any other topic. You just gotta search. You gotta search for shit, it's not delivered to you.
Aight, good point.

Bobbito: Yeah but just for anyone readin' the interview though, the C.M.Famalam radio program is on every Thursday night from 1AM to 5AM. on 89.9 FM, or if you're outside the Tri-State area you can tune in and listen at www.wkcr.org Or if that doesn't work for you, go straight to my website, cucumberslice.com and log on to the radio show straight from my website.

MVRemix: No doubt. Now, I wanna ask you about the trip you took to South Africa in April of last year. What was up with that?

Bobbito: Yeah, I went out there in Johannesburg and Capetown. They had approached me about coming out there and then they asked me, "Well, can you bring an MC out with you"? And I was like "Well who you want me to bring out there?" and they were like "What? What?" and I was like, you know I was like expecting them to be like "Can you bring out like Jeru?" or some like crazy well known person. I was like "Oh shit, that's dope." They were like "Yeah, like we're up on the indie scene down here" and I was like "Cool?" So, I got in contact with What?What?. She was actually born in South Africa, so it was like everything fell into place. So I was like I'ma go down there and she had talked to Len about doing the show, so all three of us went down there and did the 16 hour flight and did the show and it was incredible.

MVRemix: Aight, I want to get serious here for a minute and ask you this. What are your views on the whole situation taking place in Vieques between the people and the U.S. Navy...as far as the bombing tests they do there and how it affects the people?

Bobbito: Well, I mean, if you go to my website at cucumberslice.com, there's a pop up window which leads you right to somosarte.com, which is a website devoted to lending information and organizing towards stopping the bombing in Vieques in Puerto Rico, and I'm also involved in a project that's "Stop the Bombs", where it's a single with me, Fat Joe, Sabac Red from Non-Phixion, Q-Unique from the Arsonists, G-Bo the Pro. A lot of like Puerto Rican Hip Hop artists here in New York came together. You know...someone like DJ Eli, who's father was actually a political prisoner over here for 20 years, and he had fought against these kinda things and he just gained clemency last year. So you know, there's a lot of heads down with it here in New York. You getting the Navy out of Puerto Rico. Getting out of Vieques. But you know, I'm also a person who believes that United States should leave Puerto Rico alone all together, and grant independence to the island. I mean, it's been a hundred years and it's way overdue. When Puerto Rico gained independence after the Spanish-American War from Spain...
In 1898 right?

Bobbito: The U.S. military went down there and took over the island and created a military occupation of the island. Puerto Rico has never determined their own foreign policy, never determined where their tax money goes to, and a lot of people on the island have become very fearful of independence and very dependent on the United States because the United States has used intimidation tactics for the whole time they've been the imperialist colonizing state there.

MVRemix: You can see that just with Vieques...

Bobbito: Of course you can see that just with Vieques, so I'm totally pro-Vieques, pro Puerto-Rico and anti-... I'm not anti-U.S. Navy... I'm anti-U.S. Navy being in Vieques.

MVRemix: You're anti-oppression of your people.

Bobbito: Hey, you know, I'm anti-oppression period. One person once asked me, "You know, you're Puerto Rican but you don't live in Puerto Rico, so how can you want independence for the island?" And I told him, I said, "You know what? In the 80's, when Apartheid existed in South Africa, I was anti-Apartheid." And I was like, "You know, I don't have to live, I don't even have to be a part of the country to want civil rights, human rights and national rights to be met." You know, my feelings and sentiments go out to people in Tibet. I mean I'm not Tibetan you know. So I thought it was kinda foolish for that person to tell that to me. You know, those are my sentiments.

MVRemix: I know you've probably been asked about this a thousand times but I wanna ask you about Fondle 'Em?? What you got in store for us?

Bobbito: Well, next up for Fondle 'Em is to do a compilation with Def Jux, which is El P's label. Company Flow approached me about doing a Fondle 'Em compilation on CD and I'm totally with it. What we're gonna do is... I got like 4 songs that have never come out on Fondle 'Em and I got a whole bunch of older songs like The Arsonists, Cenobites, Juggaknots, that I'mma put on it. And I'm actually gonna produce two new tracks. One is going to feature Cage, MF Doom, and Godfather Don, and the other is gonna be Y@k Ballz, MHZ, Jakki, J-Treds and this girl named Galla Castillano. So that's what I'm tryin' to put together and hopefully it will be out in the fall. I think after that I'ma dead the Fondle 'Em name and ressurrect the label under a new name and everything all together.

MVRemix: Alright, because I've had a lot of questions sent to me to ask you about Fondle' Em and that was the big question you know??

Bobbito: Yeah, I mean you know, the whole catalog is available over at sandboxautomatic.com and the last single I put out was MF Doom's "Scars and Memories" limited pressing. A lot of my releases are limited pressing. You know, I mean I'mma very clandestine operation. You know if you want our records, you gotta find them and I like it like that. I feel like a special bond with people who buy my records because you gotta look for them you know? And that's the best thing about Hip Hop, you find it. You arrive at Hip Hop. Hip Hop doesn't arrive at you.

MVRemix: What's your favorite pair of kicks?

Bobbito: Of all time, Nike Franchises from 1981 and '82 and I would say those still stand above and beyond anything that's come along since as far as function, style and creativity.

MVRemix: Alright, now you've been a member of Rock Steady since '93. Now when I was coming up with my people around, it seemed like breakin' and you know doing a piece on a wall, it meant a lot. And it seems like to me, nowadays, a lot people forget about the contributions that crews like that and the people who were doing those kind of things back in the day made. Do you think that's just a sign of times or more just a lack of education on the part of the newer generation?

Bobbito: Well, there wasn't like necessarily an education to be had for the kids back in the 70's or 80's either. It was more like we gravitated to it because it was dope.

MVRemix: I hear ya man. I think it's still dope.

Bobbito: Yeah I do too. I think graffiti can never get played out. I think breakin' can never get played out. It's the passion of it. It's an art form. It's the passion of it and the statement of it, but it's up to kids. I mean the information is out there and it's available to people but you just gotta have the ambition, the desire to decide to go and find it. You know, if you live in a small town and nobody tells you about it, then maybe you might be wonderin' about it, but now with the Internet, you can talk to people in Croatia. You know, you can get to know and talk to people you'll never meet in your entire life and that's real cool. There's a lot of real good things going on on the Internet.

MVRemix: What kind of needles do you have on your tables man?

Bobbito: Right now, I'm rockin' the Autofon Pink Scratch joints with Technic headshells. I think out of all the needles I've ever used, I probably like those the best just because Autofon. They're a powerful needle. They pick up well on album cuts and I'm crazy known for spinnin' album cuts at parties. I really don't like spinnin' 12 inches all night long everywhere I go you know? So that's why I like that. With the Technic headshells, they're a little more expensive than other ones, but they're definitely pretty reliable. A lot of other headshells will go into mono in the middle of the night out of nowhere you know? So I got the Autofon joints with the Technic headshells and they've been pretty reliable.

MVRemix: Alright, I got one last question and it's simple. Give me one word that describes you.

Bobbito: HUNGRY! I gotta go eat somethin'. It's depressing. Actually, hungry and esoteric. Yeah, that's cool.





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